Entertainment Fatigue

It's not you it's me

‘It’s not you it’s me’ I think as I turn my console off during the early evening for a forth time in as many days. For a few weeks I’ve lost the will to consume much, entertainment wise. Games, films, TV shows, they’ve all dropped out of my mind and evening routine. Where once I’d game when my partner went to bed or continue a TV series after watching something with her I’m now seeking sleep, or browsing the Internet for not much at all. I’m just not in the mood.

I don’t know the reason for this, I can guess, but without knowing it’s hard to change and feel enthused about entertainment again. Of course it’s not that I need it to change. Theres nothing wrong with a break from the noise and experience a reprieve but I’d like to get back to it as I get a lot from gaming or watching a good show. The joy of playing, the sense of achievement or the experience gained from a well told and executed narrative are things I enjoy, moments I relish. Maybe I’m just getting older. I’m at a different place in my life than I was 6 months, a year, 5 years ago. I’m running my own business, planning a wedding and moving house whilst contending with an 18 month old at all times so entertainment, sometimes, feels a little trivial. Each of those ‘life’ things needs it’s own time, it’s own thought put to it so my time has become more limited. Of course all of this entertainment will be there when I want it again. It’s not that I’ve a finite time period to consume it (except the length of my life), although there is a finite time to join in the wider conversation on a new release.

It does however all begin to build up. The dreaded backlog. There’s a lot on mine, and not just from releases last year. Suddenly the idea of jumping into something new becomes daunting. What to pick? Should I crack out a short run show, watch a movie or churn through a 12, 16 hour game? If time is limited should I only pick the best entertainment to consume? Should I be extremely picky with my choices? For me I know that last answer. It’s no. I find joy in discovering little gems, playing something that’s three years old or experiencing a story that doesn’t have to appeal to everyone. I think I just have to take each piece of entertainment as it comes and when I have the opportunity to interact with it see what sticks.

As I mentioned I have games to play, things to watch, but I’m not in the mood. Nothing is truly getting it’s grasp on me to kick me out of this funk. There are a few exceptions but these are consumed in isolation set apart from the broader need for more of the same, for more entertainment. None of which have pushed me to move straight onto the next hit. Shadow of the Colossus and Altered Carbon were the only things I got out of bed for in late Jan early Feb. Both were really enjoyable and both gave me something different. Altered Carbon is one of my favourite books so I pressed my partner on watching it as soon as it released. We’d watch an episode and discuss it after at length occasionally jumping straight into another one. We’d watch one or two an evening until we gave in an marathoned the final three in one sitting. This is something we used to do a lot but haven’t recently because nothing has engrossed us like Altered Carbon, Stranger Things or Jessica Jones did. Perhaps our habit has changed due to the months of dealing with a baby who dislikes sleep and thinking we can’t get into something without a disruption. Shadow of the Colossus is a different beast. Where once I’d have played through in a couple of sittings it took me about ten days to complete. I played it in 20 to 30 minute chunks, or defeated one Colossi and did a little exploration. It was a beautiful game and worthy of the praise it’s garnered but it just wasn’t what I wanted at the time. To be fair I don’t know what I want so that’s not a criticism of the game.

Whilst my funk continues, or feels like it does, I have in the last week consumed a little. Blade runner, which was excellent, was again watched with my partner and discussed after but I didn’t seek out another film, browse Netflix or consult various oracles for what we’d watch next. The film finished, we conversed and that was that. Game wise Assassin’s Creed Origins new Discovery mode is giving me something I didn’t know I wanted. An ‘educational’ tour mode of ancient Egypt, from the Pyramids to the importance of beer or landmarks in Alexandria it’s all super interesting. Having played AC Origins first I’m more invested in the time period and setting to want to know more. I know this however won’t hold my attention long. Although there is always photo mode.

I’m not sure what I’ll move onto next. It might not be something that’s already released that pulls me out of this mood. I may have to wait for that next big game I know I’ll enjoy (I’m looking at you God Of War) or a new show I’m already invested in like Jessica Jones season 2 yet these might not do it. Again they may just be enjoyed in isolation. Perhaps I’ve turned into a crotchety old man, annoyed at everything, never finding joy in entertainment again. I hope I don’t have to wait long to find out.

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Ben is like a fine wine, he spends far to much time in cellars. He deliberately developed a stutter and a slur and walks with a limp to conceal his raging alcohol problem. Once beat up a fish for looking at him funny. Ben hosts the Tanked up podcast, but we are pretty sure he isn't aware of that.
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