When Does a Game Get Boring?

You ever re-look at your gaming collection and either toss a game to the side or just go “Man I haven’t played this in a while?”  All games have a lifespan like we do the only thing is a game’s lifespan fluctuates. See, a game could be great for a month, 2 weeks, one day, etc. The real thing issue is that a game though can also come back to life at anytime.

Excluding classic, never gets old games like Ocarina of Time, Super Smash Bros (series), Super Mario Bros 3 or World, you look at a game like Bomberman 64. Look at Bomberman 64, it was a great game when it came out, but now it’s kind of in the abyss. See a game has three stages of life: New Release, Nostalgia/I’m bored, and Re-release or mention.

Anytime you receive a new game (whether it be by hearing about a new game, renting, borrowing, purchasing) you automatically become enamored with that game, even if you were playing a game before, the most recent game becomes your loved one. I mean who doesn’t like new things? After buying a new game, regardless of internet opinion and score (unless you are one of those type of people then it will greatly affect you), the new game “X” can last you literally until the weekend. Why? Well, you either may get stuck in the game, find it too difficult, become bored with it, or just realize it was a crap game. Take Skyward Sword for example, Miyamoto said he heard many players just stopped playing the game for no reason but disinterest. There a game officially hits a dead point.

Now, depending on who you are or what type of gamer you have the choice of returning/selling/trading the game or let it gather dust until you “rediscover” it by being bored or feeling like playing some “old games”. In this stage, you have a better appreciation for the game because you are more patient, understand some of the game [if you didn’t beat it] and are REALLY BORED (though this a double-edged sword because of a patience level). During this playthrough you may discover secrets you didn’t know about, learn hidden moves, and as my younger brother likes to say when he was stuck “realize how dumb you were in the past”.

Off topic here, have any of you ever gotten stuck in a game and just stopped playing after torturing yourself for a couple of hours? I don’t mean in 2D platformer, I’m talking Final Fantasy, Zelda, puzzle kind of stuck? Or how about you couldn’t beat a boss? So then you come back to playing the game and you realize how easy it is and you are just like…huh? Yea that’s what my brother meant.

Most times if you manage to finish the game in the Nostalgia phase, you feel pretty good for beating the game, but not great since it is not fairly new and you have no monetary value left for that game.

The final phase is one of a rebirth for some or a new discovery for others (so all in all a first phase new game*) The reason why the new game is with an asterisk is because getting a re-released game isn’t the same as getting a brand new game that no one has ever played, the game is fairly old but you are enjoying it yourself for the first time. Now, a game can get to this list by being on a random list, brought up in a conversation, or the company announces they have this game coming out for this system or virtual console. The player may not have the same feelings that many of other video game players had when the game was first released, take Ocarina of Time 3D (though that is a remake) so Link to the Past as an example. While the new player may enjoy the game or hate it, there feelings never really match those who played the game the year it came out and truly enjoyed it.


Michael Troina writes features and reviews Nintendo games for Analog Addiciton. When he’s not writing or playing games or sports, he’s out at his job at the Daily Bugle taking pictures as the web-slinger we all have come to love…either that or he’s getting sandwich saving one world at a time. Find him anywhere with this flavors.me/michaeltroina


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