Weekend afternoons are a sacred thing to me. In the mornings and evenings we do family stuff (chores, day trips, worship, movies), but on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, there’s a glorious three-hour window when the kids go down for quiet time/naps, my wife buries herself in a project, and I can just sit and game. It’s amazing.
It’s not just the free time, but the fact that I can play during the day for once instead of the very last thing late at night when I’m fighting to keep my eyes open. During these afternoons, I get to unwind from the week, and I look forward to them.
That’s why I was disturbed the other Saturday when I settled into my office, put on my headphones, and… didn’t feel like playing anything. No MMO appealed to me. Nor did any other games, not even new ones like Cyberpunk 2077. I felt restless and bored. And normally that sort of “entertainment ennui” would’ve been fine except that for the special qualities of these afternoons. I felt like I was wasting it, somehow, to not be playing.
Of course, that’s silliness from the emotions talking. My head knew better, and so I simply worked on some writing projects and spent some extra time reading while sitting next to my wife.
But it’s always a little unnerving when those moments hit. It’s not exactly burnout, but it’s somewhere in the general vicinity. Maybe it’s a sign I’ve done something for too long without a break, and it’s time to shake things up a bit. Maybe I’m not being challenged or stimulated by the right sort of games.
The answer to this is, of course, always the same. It’s just to back off, do some other stuff for a while, and don’t feel pressured by what an afternoon represents. And so I did that for a few days, just stayed away from gaming, and by Tuesday, I felt back to my so-called normal.