1. I’m bored.
I’m not going to say that there’s nothing new to write about in respect to MMOs or games anymore, but I’m not sure I have anything new to contribute. The blog community as a whole has often joked about how in 2117 when we’re all living like Road Warrior there will still be epic battles about monetization plans. It’s sad, but (probably) true.
To add insult to injury, it seems like MMOs have solidly gone in the opposite direction of where I hoped and advocated that they would go. And I mean, hey, that’s fine — apparently I’m a poor oracle of profitability and the desire of players — but at this point I’m solidly into “old lady shouts at clouds” territory.
2. I’m not really playing any MMOs
Black Desert Online is a pretty fun game that brings some unique ideas to the genre, particularly for Western players. I don’t regret spending $30 on it, but I’m also not playing it at the moment. There are just too many games to play, and too little time to play them. My interest in any game lasts about two weeks, and then I’m distracted by the next shiny announcement or hidden gem that’s already in my Steam library. I’m currently playing Witcher 3 and Cities: Skylines, two games that I played for a couple of weeks last year and am now ready to invest another couple of weeks or so.
3. The rampant consumerism of game culture is a bummer
So look, I’m no saint when it comes to spending money. One of my other hobbies is cooking, which means that yes, sometimes I’m that asshole who buys locally-sourced organic seafood that was hand-raised and told repeatedly how special it is during its childhood. I’ve bought just about every middling MMO that’s launched in the last decade. I own an elcor plushie.
But all that being said, I am quite frequently put off by the fervent consumerist zeal of the gaming community. Particularly as a blogger one starts to feel compelled to pre-order and buy into early access, because by the time a game launches it’s already over. Did you buy Overwatch? Did you buy Overwatch shoes? Or t-shirts? Or the deluxe pack with the skins? And soon it will be the summer Steam sale and let’s all get real excited for the opportunity to BUY MORE GAMES.
I’m being pretty critical, so let me stress again that I’ve been the person saying these things, and I probably will be that person again. But I feel like at some point the line blurred between being excited for a good game and being groomed as a rabid “prosumer”. (Oh, how I loathe that term.)
4. There are a lot of jerks in gaming
This is not a new issue, but my tolerance gets lower as time goes on. Even if we don’t discuss the harassment campaigns that continue, albeit more quietly, to this day, and how being a woman with Opinions About Video Games is still a thing that requires a certain amount of bravery and sass to navigate… I’m just too old to play with jerks.
And don’t even get me started about any game-related media that isn’t carefully moderated. Subreddits about any given game are almost always awful, and pretty much the last place a happy player should ever go. Even my Twitter feed, which I have carefully cultivated, has pockets of jerkocity. Still like playing WoW? You’re a sheeple! Don’t like playing WoW? Stop being negative! Have an opinion about things? Not so fast, here’s random people who want to argue about it.
I find myself in a similar position to the one I was in when I quit being serious business in WoW, back in 2011. At the time I was worried about what my self-identity would be if I was no longer a WoW raider and guild leader. Today I caught myself thinking, “But what am I if not an MMO blogger?” That’s a dangerous road to go down, friends.
I am a blogger — I love the format and the length, and I miss it dreadfully during my book-writing adventure. But when I’m done, and I come back, I can’t promise that I’ll still be mostly writing about games.