Here are 3 quick ways to recover from restartitis and becoming bored with video games in general.
Like everything else with this era of technology, the underlying problem that is causing your dilemma can be stated in one word…
How dope is your dopamine?
Restarting games and becoming bored of them are directly related to your brains cravings for dopamine.
Do you ever rush and “fiend” to get home so you can play hours of video games but when you actually get the games fired up you don’t really feel like playing?
That’s because it’s not the reward itself, but the ANTICIPATION of the award that motivates you. Your brain thinks that things are important mostly based on how much dopamine it is expecting to get.
Fix video game boredom by being realistic in your expectations
The next time you are out of your home somewhere and dreaming that you would rather be home playing your games, become self aware and see it for the trap that is is.
Remind yourself that “the less time you get to play your games, the more you will enjoy them”. Fight the impulse to hurry home.
Drive slower and more patiently.
Take more time with your friends, family, or significant other.
Also remember that video games are not as fun as your brain is tricking you into thinking they are. It’s only the anticipation of the reward that is so awesome, not the reward itself.
On the other hand, doing the harder things in life are actually the one’s that make you feel good in the end.
So don’t rush home so fast and be sure to live in the moment.
Fix video game boredom by performing lower dopamine-releasing tasks first
Then, when you do get home, don’t fire up the games so fast.
Whatever your brain wants? Do the opposite. Don’t fall for the trap.
Clean. Organize. Blog. Stretch or lift some weights. Go for a walk or a jog. Work, or learn something. Get a degree. Etc.
What I do is I open a tab with Google and type in “stopwatch”.
I start the timer and I do things that I don’t “want to do now but that I know I will feel great about later.”
I’m talking DELAYED gratification here.
Then I revel in the time as it goes by, knowing that I’m spending time on my future self. So I don’t judge myself by completing the boring the task, but instead I enjoy the process of these more boring tasks as I do them.
Look at my clock now. Here’s where I am since I started working on this post (instead of opening up Cities Skylines, like I was craving to do).
Now, that I’ve spent the time on it, I feel super stoked and and excited that I did it. It feels great. I’ll feel good again when I see the stats showing that you are reading it right now.
But now there is less time to play my video games this evening.
And this makes this time more valuable and enjoyable.
There is more satisfaction in playing them because it’s a contrast to the hard work I just did. Now it “feels” like the high dopamine item it is supposed to be instead of just feeling boring.
Fix restartitis by taking the time to revel in your current build and playing as slow as you possibly can
“I’m tired of specializing in melee….. if I had a character that specialized in magic, the game would be so much more exciting…I should restart the game and play a mage”…
OMG if I had a dime for every time I thought that, someone please
bitch-slap slap me and take my dimes from me.
Now that I read my own writing, maybe I shouldn’t use the word bitch-slap. Yes I know people become too butt-hurt when it comes to being offended now-a-days, and I’m certainly not afraid to write what I feel about, but it still has a negative vibe to it. The world doesn’t need bloggers spewing negative vibes for no reason. Strike that.
Anyway, check this out. The next time you “finally get to your game after doing your low-dopamine-items-with-delayed-gratification”,
PLAY AS SLOW AS YOU CAN.
First, think about your character. Pretend you are an actor and you have to get into the role. Are you Geralt in The Witcher 3? Or the wastelanding vault dweller in the Fallout series? Close your eyes and smell the post-apocalyptic Boston.
Then get into your build. Take the time to go through the screens examining it. How are these perks and buffs going to impact your game play? Are you a rifleman? Then know that you will spend your session improving your rifle skills, perks, and damage. Look at your DPS numbers, etc. Analyze your weapons and ammo. Take it more seriously and work to get that toon to level 50 or beyond.
Loot sloooowly. Read every letter and book.
Get into combat slowly. Think tactics (unless your character is a total barbarian – then crank The Immigrant Song, bust into an area, and go to town with a 2-handed hammer).
Play as slow as you can. Literally.
If you are bored with the story, stop restarting – that’s making it worse. Play it through as one build, then put it down for a while before you play it through in another build. Find another game to focus on. You have less time now anyway because of your other delayed gratification endeavors.
Have you every beaten Skyrim all the way through as a pure mage in pajamas? Get into that shit.
As a side note – because of our short attention spans, game developers have been making games easier and easier. I do recommend one bump to the difficulty slider up one notch for most games. But don’t go crazy with that or you will end up having to grind to stay strong – which is an immersion breaker.
Good luck and please leave a comment.