“Not tonight, my head hurts.” That’s how it always starts. Then it’s “I’ve got too much on my mind with work and all” and “’I'm just not in the mood.” Before you know it, you’ve put down your controller and gone on to an archaic form of entertainment like television. It’s a phenomenon I like to call “gamer fatigue.”
All of us have had our bouts with gamer fatigue over the years. Usually, it arrives shortly after the winter glut of games has subsided. Having gorged ourselves on game after game, the HD graphics begin looking less bright and vivid, enemies no longer sound like they are in the room, and the controls become boring and monotonous. The developer’s are not at fault. The games they make are top-notch works of art, but their players are suffering from information overload.
There is hope, however. After my latest feud with gamer fatigue, I found a rather unorthodox solution: the Wii and, to a lesser extent, the DS. What I found there was refreshing and new, and it was all a direct result of the motion and touch controls.
Previously, I was not incredibly interested in Project Natal and “Sony‘s wand waving gizmo,” but now I am. Even if developers just make “casual” games for these systems, at least the controls break out of the repetitive nature of button pressing and joystick manipulation. The change of pace allows players to continue enjoying their favorite pastime without getting bored of similar controls and content.
It’s like eating steak and mash potatoes everyday; at some point you get bored with what you like. That’s when you need a donut, nutritionless and delicious, to mix things up.
None of us would wish that our classic controllers would disappear completely, but maybe there’s room for all these new control systems in our everyday gaming.