I long for the days when I could sit in front of the PC for hours on end during school’s summer break, playing a single game all damn day. It’s not so much the span of consecutive time I spend playing, but rather the time I spend playing a single game.

I’ve talked about my addiction to “newness”, whereby I am at peak interest in a game or a hobby when I’m learning the ins and outs, and how my interest wains once the lessons fall off and I’m left to simply apply what I’ve learned. I don’t think that’s a particularly special condition, so I guess the usual hooks that a game offers in the long term — character advancement, story, etc. — really aren’t strong enough pulls to get me to stick around for very long.

Moving outside myself, I have considered that having a wealth of options at hand is also not conducive to my ability to stick with a single game for a long period of time. I don’t currently subscript to a buffet service like Humble Choice or Game Pass, but my Backlog is significant, as is our universal curse in the Modern Age. I also use GeForce Now whenever I can as I don’t have to wait for games to install locally. The fact that I can pick from a large catalog of titles, some of which I have never installed, means that dissatisfaction with the status quo need not equate to boredom; I can always find something else that might hit better than whatever I had been working on recently.

I say this because my time with Nightingale has dropped off precipitously. Like many games I went kind of hard-core with it for a few days, playing nothing but for long stretches of time. I pushed forward and got through a lot of content, but not all content since even at my speediest I am always somehow behind absolutely everyone else no matter what the game. As usual, taking a break was what killed me. I thought about logging in but remembered where I was and what I needed to do next and realized that the “learning curve” was now a plateau. I could seek out more recipes, travel to new Realms, and build out my base, but as cool as the Realm system is, it’s just a new face on the same mechanics and the same requirements. That the game is in Early Access is also a reason, as it was with Palworld, as many things are incomplete or not working well, and maybe eventually I’d like to go back to both, but not before they’re content-complete; I dislike repeating myself, despite how often I do it here.

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