Video Game Fatigue: Can You Really Have Too Much Of A Good Thing?

There’s always that one video game or series you’ll love and cherish until the end of your days. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health––you get the idea. When a game has more story left to tell, like RPGs, the current trend in video games is to release DLC. Regardless of what your feelings are with this business practice, if you love the game enough you’ll most likely drop down the money to extend your gaming experience with a game you love. But what happens when you’re halfway into a DLC you purchased and you can’t bring yourself to finish it? Does this mean you’ve fallen out of love with the video game? Not exactly, but it may indicate your game has made you too tired to play it.

How do you get too tired to play a game? When you spend too much time doing anything and everything in the game. I think this is likely to happen more with RPGs or games that have more content than hours in a given day to play it all. The best example of this is Dragon Age: Inquisition.

I don’t think I have to repeat my crazy in love obsession with the Dragon Age series. A quick search around my blog will take you to any number of posts dedicated to the game or a reference of it somewhere in other posts talking about an entirely different topic. My fangirl membership isn’t in jeopardy here. What is surprising to me is reaching a point during your gaming experience with your favorite video game and all of a sudden the lack of motivation to continue has finally hit you.

Bioware released their first story DLC for Inquisition, The Jaws of Hakkon, back in March. It immediately became a no-brainer to purchase, download, and play the crap out of this new add-on to the game. I was excited to dive into a new adventure with my Inquisitor and her chosen companions to tackle whatever lied ahead. In the first couple of weeks since the DLC’s release, I found myself disinterested to play further. I saved the game, popped the disc out, and turned off my Xbox One. It has been four months since I’ve last touched Inquisition.

Four months? How can a super fan like me do the unthinkable and not play the entire DLC to completion like in past Dragon Age games? Did someone body snatch me and replace me with an imposter version of me who didn’t like Dragon Age? Let’s not get overly dramatic here. The simple answer to all those questions is I felt burned out by Inquisition.

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I devoted an entire three months to playing Inquisition for myself and made it a video game challenge for the blog. That’s three months of non-stop exploring, collecting, fighting, and progressing the story along during my downtime. After completing everything I could of the game, I did feel a sense of relief to finally be able to put the game aside. At least until DLC came along. The day finally arrived when its first story DLC came out, but finding myself doing much of the same, like I did when the game first came out in November of last year, I lacked the energy to invest time into it. Even if playing Hakkon is only going to take a few hours of my time, playing it means wanting to do every side mission I got before I finished the main quest. Just the thought sounded daunting and less exciting. It also came down to simply wanting to play other games.

Inquisition is a huge time sink, maybe more than Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 combined. Finding the focus and motivation to dive into the game with reckless abandon is something I felt a little reluctant to do. I took this as a sign of needing a break from playing such a huge RPG until I felt the tugging in my heart to play again and finish it. With the release of Inquisition’s other story DLC, The Descent, coming out tomorrow maybe this might be an incentive to go back to Hakkon.

To answer my own question, yes, I do believe you can have too much of a good thing. Playing Inquisition for three months straight and ignoring any and all games during that time can be intense and frustrating. I do love the game, but sometimes Inquisition had its moments I wasn’t particularly happy about, like shard collecting or less than meaningful fetch quests in some cases. Once I got all of that out of the way, it’s understandable why I may feel kind of burned out from playing the game. A ton of content in one game doesn’t always necessarily mean a better game. I think Inquisition might have done better with trimming the fat, so to speak.

Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and a little time away to rekindle that spark I have for Inquisition will be exactly what I need to finish Hakkon and play Descent next. What games have you played that you needed a break from? Did time eventually lead you back to the game with renewed eyes or was it simply time to move onto other games? Share them with me in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Video Game Fatigue: Can You Really Have Too Much Of A Good Thing?

  1. A few weeks ago, I was so enveloped in Xenoblade Chronicles that I was dreaming about it! When that happens, I know it’s time for a break. Plus, it’s such a long, emotional rollercoaster of a game — the sheer exhaustion of playing was just too much. I moved onto other games. I’ve since returned to XC feeling very renewed and less stressed, so I get what you mean about maybe overdoing it with Inquisition. That game is so huge that it’s easy to spend sessions doing nothing but crafting or collecting or talking to your teammates. Add to that more hours of DLC (both Hakkon and The Descent look interesting), and it’d be easy to get lost in the game again. And that’s tough to do when you’ve got lots of other games (and just regular life) demanding your attention.

    1. It really does feel overwhelming after a while when you’re focused on one game for too long with so much to do. Something starts feeling a little stale, even if you love a game or series so much. Stepping away from a game for a little while is usually the best remedy. You truly do come back excited to play again and are able to look at the game with fresh eyes.

      And I’m not gonna lie, I had dreams about Sunset Overdrive and Dragon Age: Inquisition one time and back-to-back! Probably a sign you’re spending way too much time with a game. Or you just love it that much. 😀

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