Lament of an Apathetic Gamer

Such has been my crushing gaming apathy of late that even my desire to write about it has fallen beneath the slush of ‘meh’.  A crippling syndrome which has dogged most of my gaming life since the middle of the SNES era has once more returned with a vengeance.  Apathy.  I just can’t be bothered and it is frustrating and disheartening in equal measure.  Some time ago I penned a blog about gaming classics and how there so many things I wanted to have played but just didn’t want to have to and all things considered, this is merely a symptom of my greater problem. My condition is now such that I can barely raise myself from the quagmire to get excited about anything, let alone actually fire up my 360 and play it.


A trail of gaming corpses stretches back into the mists of my personal history – the sad plastic remains of games that might have been.  Some are classics, others cult favourites, mainstream mashes, and general detritus which at the time made my eyes shine as I devoured the boxart and blurbs, absorbed reviews, weighed up my feelings and gave in to my want.  They still remain – sad, dusty grave markers lined on my shelves like preserved mummies in some Bradburyesque catacomb.

Every now and then I trail my idle fingers over them and feel the want to play them struggle inside.  I feel the potential enjoyment, imagine the playing in my head, and then I step back.  They won’t live tonight.  The tools for their reactivation lay within reach – console paddles to fire a charge through these waiting wonders to let them breath at last.  But I sit back and merely content myself with how they look, captive on my shelves.  At last count there are over 67 PC games alone, some of which were started but never finished.  Retro games such as SNES, N64, and Game Cube are legion and DS and Gameboy games lurk in every drawer, shelf and cabinet like a serial apathy-gamer’s macabre collection of trophies.  The desire to possess was never as strong as the desire to play once apathy had washed over everything and any hint of depression, distraction, or pure laziness was enough to derail the best of intentions until the piles mounted and the body count click, click, clicked out of control.


Now the off putting thing is the sheer weight of gaming history now staring accusingly back at me – the lost hours and frittered weeks, months, and years can never be recaptured and there are just too many now.  Where would I start?… the fruitless exercise of even trying feeds into this poison.  I’ve even forgotten where some of the bodies lay now, while others are simply too old to be successfully reanimated – their OS window of life having long faded.  So with this ridiculous weight now built up, I have another reason to remain in my chair, fading under this more evolved strain of apathy.  So many of these games I know I would love.  Six 360 games alone are vying for first place in my must play/can’t wait to play list, but always I will busy myself with nothing – watching sand slip between my fingers while they too, slowly age like so many victims before.


Occasionally…just occasionally, a pin prick of light stirs the dust and I lift my weary head and take note.  No longer is mere apathy loosed upon my world…and what rough beast, it’s hour come round at last, slouches towards the dashboard to be reborn.  A game from a long time past, from more pro-active gaming times when Workbench and Directory Opus reigned, emerges.  I found myself switching on my Xbox with greater purpose and this phase, this trough among the shallow peaks of my gaming activity began to warp and change and splutter to a halt.  The game was over too soon, and when the socket clicked off and the screen darkened, I had to take stock.  Do I let the feeling slip away again, or do I let this sudden clarity hold sway against the poison?  Do I play on, do I continue?  Can I face the insurmountable task of catching up on the havoc that apathy has wreaked on my gaming life all these years?  Dare I?

So much to do and increasingly very little time.  But these worlds and their whispering grow stronger now, my new purpose catching their slumbering attention and they won’t be let slip into the night.  Shadow of the Colossus, Beyond Good and Evil, Pikmin 2, Age of Empires, GTA, Tomb Raider, Phoenix Wright, Tekken, Ocarina of Time, Resident Evil 4, Fahrenheit, you shall live and you’re just the start.  But first…this guiding light from the past which has driven back the fog needs to be honoured with just one more play.  And suddenly, the weight lifts.  Whether I make this my last remains to be seen.  It would be such a waste – I can salvage something from this wreckage of a gaming life…they can’t all be saved and played, but enough can to ensure that this second coming of my gaming focus is here to stay.


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