Video games take up too much of your time – Reader’s Feature

A reader argues that video games are becoming too long and too time-consuming and don’t fit in well with modern life.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about whether Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is too hard and whether that’s putting people off from playing it. Based on my experience of previous FromSoftware games I imagine it’s probably judged just about perfectly, assuming you know what you’re getting into and have the patience for it. But I may never find out, because for me the problem is not the difficultly but the length of time it would take to beat it.

Since I passed 30 I began to realise that video games are not aimed primarily at me anymore, or at least not the big name ones like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Destiny. Never mind whether I would want to, I don’t have the time to play them for hours every day just to keep on top of the current meta. And would resent playing exactly the same thing day in and day out when I’ve got a world of other experiences out there that I could be enjoying instead.

But if you’re a teenager with nothing in particular to do I can see the appeal, especially if you’re playing with your mates and chatting while you play. But that’s not a video game that’s a glorified chat room. If that’s what’s popular then fine, but it’s not for me.

I was briefly interested in Anthem, because I liked the idea of the flying and the Iron Man suits, but when I realised just how much it was like Destiny I knew I’d never have the time or if I did it would become the only game I ever play, which I don’t want. But these are specific types of games and becoming your whole life is their point. If that’s what some people want then I don’t want to mess with it but I’m also experiencing similar problems with single-player games as well.

Assuming Sekrio is similar to Bloodborne that game would take a huge amount of my time for probably a month or two to beat and while I’m sure I’d enjoy it I’m also sure I’d begin to resent it. I’ve similar concerns about Metro Exodus, and while I haven’t played one of the Metro games before my impression is that it’s a complex, lengthy single-player adventure – which is exactly the sort of game I love and exactly the sort of game I haven’t got time for anymore.

I would like to make it clear I’m not criticising these games in any way or suggesting that they’re doing anything wrong. Maybe the games as a service titles, that exist purely to fleece impressionable teens from their pocket money, but the single-player games are not a fault. It’s not them, it’s me.

I don’t think I’m alone in having a lack of spare time and a multitude of other entertainment options all nagging away at me (if I don’t use them that subscription will be a waste of money!). Video games are evolving into an all or nothing situation where you either dedicate all your time to them or there’s no point bothering at all.

No wonder mobile games have become so big, and now companies are desperate to stream real games onto them as well. It also helps explain the success of the Switch, especially as many of its games are cut up into easily digestible pieces. I’ve got 20 minutes on the train free every day, but I feel lucky if I have that much at home.

By comparison, games I have enjoyed recently – or more importantly have had time for – include the amazingly well updated Resident Evil 2, which is a great game that not only doesn’t overstay its welcome but is divided up into smaller sections that are their own little campaigns. Devil May Cry 5 seems similar and I will also try to pick that up. There’s also been some great indie games lately, like Ape Out and Baba Is You, that are perfect for dipping into and out of and don’t want to become your life.

I already have a life, I just want video games to be something I do during it – not a replacement for the whole thing!

By reader Rascal

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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