The Monotony of Computer Games

posted by on 21st March 2012, at 8:27pm

Games, monotonous? *GASP* How is that possible? Those of you who are veterans in the computer game industry know what I’m talking about. After awhile you just get to a point where you’ve either mastered the game (by knowledge known or deed accomplished) or you simply come to a point where it doesn’t seem fun anymore.

Mastery of the Game

I don’t know about y’all, but whenever I start playing a game I like to do tons of research about the entirety of the game mechanics and such so that I don’t have any nasty surprises when I reach certain points in the game. It also helps me to build my character the best way. The bad part about doing lots of research is there is that much less than you learn while playing. Of course this is both bad and good. Good, because like I said before, I’m prepared. Bad, because it may reduce the fun of some areas.

Another type of mastery, of course, is actually completing everything there is to do in a game. This would be things like doing all quests and getting 99 in all skills on Runescape, or reaching max level with the best gear in an MMO like Guild Wars or EQ. You’ve done everything there is to do and know everything there is to know, so why play anymore?

We play because…we play?

Why play after you’ve mastered the game? Well many people don’t. Lots of people play the game for the sole purpose of maxing out and then moving on to another game. To me, this doesn’t seem very satisfying because you have nothing to show for your time spent in the game since you just leave it once you finish.

Many people, on the other hand, continue playing after they max out. Usually they do this because they either want to make another character with a different build, or because they have good friends that they like playing with.

Sometimes, it’s just time

Sometimes though, you just get to a point where a game is no longer fun or no longer holds your attention. Even when playing with friends or doing a new character your find that it’s not very fun and get bored quickly. When this happens, usually the only option is to take a break. Yes, I said take a break, a pause, a leave of absence, AFCG(away from computer game). When this happens it’s common to start playing another game. If this happens, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you have to give up the old game and spend all your time on the new one.

A few ways to keep from burnout-boredom-monotony

Here are a few ways I’ve found to help avoid burning out on a game.

1. Don’t focus solely on leveling combat.
In Runescape for sure, don’t go from 1 attack, strength, defence, to 99 without stopping to do other things. This goes for other skills as well. If you focus solely on one thing for a few months then you’ll inevitably burn out on it and get a sour taste for the whole game. Mix it up. Do a few levels of combat, and then go do a minigame or some fishing or cooking for a few days. Just taking a little time out from doing something can make a big difference. This same concept can be applied to other games such as MMOs. Gain some levels, then go do some crafting or minigames. Don’t burnout on doing tons of deeds/accomplsihments/the like at once. Do one, then do something else.

2. Play with others, but also play alone.
Some people say only play solo or only play with others, I say do both. Why? When you play with others you can do more and get to talk/type to other people which helps keep things fun and entertaining while still making good progress. However too much of this will make it boring as you won’t have to think as much for yourself. When you play alone you have to take each situation into account and act accordingly knowing that you are the only person there. This is good because it gives you challenges. Playing alone can be bad though because it can get boring due to the lack of social interaction.

3. Play Multiple characters.
This is primarily for MMO games like GW, WOW, or LOTRO. Playing characters of differing race and class presents different challenges, both when playing in a group and alone. Also, when you find something good on one character that is made for another you can switch to the other character and try the new item on them.
In Runescape multiple characters can still be good, though in a slightly different way. Instead of having differing races and classes, Runescape has three basic types of characters, all player made types. There’s the Main, which does everything, a Skiller, which only does non-combat things, and a Player Killer, which mainly kills other players. Playing each character intermittently can help from burning out because of questing, skilling, or killing.

4. If at last you don’t succeed, Take a break!
It’s actually best to take a break before burnout occurs. If you think something is starting to become boring, take a break from the game for a few days or a week and either go play some sports, read a book, or play another game. Don’t feel like you can only play one game at a time. I play 3 or 4 games fairly often and I’m not burnt out on any of them. If you’re in a clan or guild and need to do things with them every couple of days or each week then just tell a leader that you are taking a short hiatus. You’ll still be reachable by e-mail if they need you. When you return you might find they want to do things with you even more.

In the end..

All things can get annoying, monotonous, or to the point where you just burn out. That doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your career in that game. Just means you may need to rethink some things and do some different activities.

I hope this article has helped keep some of y’all from burning out on the various games you all play.

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