Growing Up is Weird…

It’s so weird that it’s E3 and I didn’t even notice until social media news articles started popping up.

Ten years ago I was going out of my way to be there the moment E3 started, an entire week spent obsessing over all the new game releases, all those future possibilities for fun staring you in the face.

But now I don’t even care. I guess I’ll watch the Nintendo one since I do have a Nintendo Switch and there’ll probably be a game or two that’s announced that I’ll get excited for. But seeing it live and avoiding spoilers and everything just isn’t a priority anymore.

It struck me as odd once when I read a blog post by a prominent webcomic author who talked about having undergone a pop culture freeze, around age 25 just not consuming that much media anymore and being perpetually stuck in the year 2005. But now, besides movies, I’m wondering if that’s going to hold true for me too.

Being an adult means you finally have the money and, before you have kids I guess, time to explore media on your own. But it feels more like, for video games at the very least, I’ve completely dropped off. In all of 2017 and 2018 I probably spent 100 hours playing games, besides Super Smash Bros. which is more a distraction during conversations with friends than anything. And the games I do play are usually older games I’ve already come to love–e.g. the Paper Marios and Banjo Kazooies and Civ Vs of the world–or games I missed on the first go-around–like Stardew Valley, which I picked up and played through last year, or that Capcom Beat’em Up Collection that came out recently.

Video games are fun! I love playing them when I can, even though that’s become a little sparse. But even when I stopped playing many games (around when I started college), I still watched E3, and I still got excited for the new advances in technology, the innovative new games. I was extremely excited for Watch Dogs and The Division except that both got delayed enough that I lost interest and ended up playing neither. Games like Destiny and Anthem were cool to see even if I was never going to play them. But over time, I guess what happened was… it stopped mattering, and I had more important things to do than to watch press conferences for games I was unlikely to ever play.

Maybe part of why I kept watching these E3s is that I still held hope that I would eventually play the games featured? I bought Dragon Age Inquisition on sale with some leftover credit; I kinda thought about getting a Ps4 once for Metal Gear Solid V; I watched probably 3 hours worth of demo footage from Xenoblade Chronicles X. Part of getting older is realizing that free time is more valuable than it was when you were a kid, and without realizing it, maybe I came to accept that there was no way I was ever getting around to playing I Am Setsuna, or Mad Max, or Persona 5, or most any game I was mildly excited for over recent years.

It makes me feel a little like Morgan Harding sometimes, feeling ambivalent while everyone else is excited. E3 kind of bores me at this point, which would make my teenage self really sad.

I will take this all back if they announce a new Kid Icarus game at the Nintendo press conference, though. That will get me.

4 thoughts on “Growing Up is Weird…”

  1. I remember watching the intro to Super Smash Bros. Brawl’s Subspace Emissary on a laptop with my brother at our granny’s house, in the dead of night, laying on the floor. I was so excited for a story mode I would never play. The games we play today are remakes, retreads, or sequels of what we’ve played already. The last one I bought was Pokemon Moon, which I definitely didn’t feel the drive to complete.

    There was also a time when I had to watch every video the Angry Video Game Nerd put out…but now that time has gone! Also, E3 sucks.

    1. The difference between 2013 me, when I skipped school to buy and play Fire Emblem Awakening on day one and then put 100 hours into it within a month… And 2016 me, who got a used copy of Fire Emblem Fates from a friend and then never played it…

      It’s kinda sad.

      1. My brother said to me “it’s sad but I think you have less interests now than you used to.” I think it’s more that I’m pursuing my interests differently or not at all; I’ll never lose some of those soft spots. Did our lists of interests shrink, or did we just redirect our energy in order to cope in The Adult World?

        And if it’s sad, why can’t we work to bring a sliver of the magic back? i mean you said youre gonna put some hours into Mario Maker 2 so like arent you back on track already

        1. I don’t think we have less interests, I think it’s mostly about time and prioritizing that time differently. I’m sure if I wasn’t a writer, I’d still be playing tons of video games and watching through an anime series a week like a lot of twentysomething nerds.

          Combine that with being more discriminating (e.g., I have the sense to know that putting 100 hours into a shooting game isn’t going to help me in any other realm of my life and doesn’t relieve much stress, so I don’t play them that much), and you have what feels like diminished interest, but really I think it’s some kind of betterment.

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