As a recent college graduate and a man turning 23, I wonder constantly about whether or not gaming is still something I should be doing with my spare time. I’ve seen many close friends turn from video games to other forms of entertainment, with differing results and reasoning, but no matter how much or little I play games, I know that they’re part of my identity. That being said, I’ve also found that I enjoy talking about video games more than I actually enjoy playing them. Some of my friends have been talking recently about quitting games like League of Legends (good riddance) and Magic: The Gathering, and the question has come up about whether or not what we do so often can be a part of a healthy adult life.
Obviously, as a form of entertainment, there are times to game and times not to game, so if you are taking a break from gaming to further your career or strengthen personal relationships, then that’s completely reasonable and this article will probably not disclose anything new to you. On the other hand, if you think that gaming is childish and that you don’t think it’s appropriate to game anymore, feel free to continue reading. First of all, gaming is like all other entertainment mediums; we game when we have extra time, want to let loose or get away from thinking about our busy day at work. Gaming can be a part of a healthy adult life just as reading, watching movies or playing sports can be. It goes without saying, but one must do everything in moderation, so gaming can be a destructive hobby if you spend more time on it than you do on your job, relationships or any other important part of your life.
I’m going through a part of my life that many nerds, geeks or gamers are familiar with; the older I get the less excited I get to play video games. Over the past 6 years I’ve spent most of my gaming-energy on playing and discussing older games, rather than new. Does that mean that new games suck? No. It just means that I’m not excited for them like I used to be. My first thoughts on the subject were that I was only backing out of games because I subconsciously feared being the aging nerd who lives with his mom. After much thought, I don’t think that’s the case. I still like games and love talking about them, but I’m not as excited about them as I used to be, that’s all. What I’m getting at is that, if you feel like you’re growing farther away from games in general, don’t fear taking a break to figure out why you feel the way you do. You’re not turning your back on gaming or the gaming community by opting out of the most recent E3 coverage or not buying the newest next generation console. You’re just doing what feels right, until you figure out where gaming fits in your life. It’s key to figure out what you like most about video games and explore whether you can still enjoy them for those reasons. If you find you have nothing to gain from games, then “quitting” is just fine, but don’t do it because you think gaming is only for neck beards or because you’re afraid of what people think.