The holidays are over, and I’m feeling a little burnt out. Not just on the cooking and cleaning and hosting and all that stuff, but on the holiday events in the games I play as well.
Obviously, if I give two shits about an in-game event at all, it’s because I enjoy the game it’s part of in the first place. So it’s not as though I dislike these limited time events. They’re additional things in games I’m already playing anyway, that tend to offer unique cosmetics and bonuses. But they certainly can start to feel a bit like a chore sometimes; instead of “I think I’ll play a bit” it becomes “Oh, I have to play in order to complete this event before the time runs out.”
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And the more games you play (I play a few regularly), the exponentially more burdensome it can feel when these limited-time events start stacking up. Now don’t misunderstand me: I can choose not to participate in these at any point. Obviously nobody is forcing me. So I’m not calling these sorts of events out for any fault I have with them existing in general, more just making an observation about how easily a hobby, an escape, under specific circumstances, can start to mirror some of the qualities of a job. And some certainly do tend to respect the players’ time more than others.
I’ve certainly felt that way with some of the MMOs I’ve played in the past, when you reach endgame and suddenly “dailies” become the grindy timesink to keep you occupied until the next content drop. “I need to do my dailies” is a phrase I’ve uttered on too many an occasion in the past, in a way that that hour (or whatever) of my day is already not mine to do with as I please; it’s an obligation masquerading as entertainment.
If you don’t like the game itself, this is obviously a non-issue. You just don’t engage. But it can be tougher when these things are ancillary attachments to something you otherwise enjoy. Sure, you can not do the event… but does that also mean you fall behind/feel like you missed out on the cool winter hat everyone else is wearing?
Its the responsibility of the player to manage is or her own time commitments, for sure. However I do think developers also need to try and strike a balance between engagement and content, and being respectful of their players’ time.
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