Neophilia and Gamers - the joy and curse of novelty-seeking

I was reading this article about Neophilia - the tendency for novelty-seeking, and it really rang true about gaming in specific.

A lot of us are constantly chasing the new and shiny. That's the first part of the GWJ Conf Call is all about, after all.

I'm certainly a neophile, not just as a gamer, but it really is in gaming that the neophile tendency hits it's stride.

The article I've linked above has 4 principles for balancing your neophilia, and once again, they really struck a chord in the context of gaming:

1: Regularly interrogate your tastes and run experiments. Remember Elysium's "horizons broadening project" when he hate-played The World Ends With You? Maybe you don't, oh god that was 12 years ago. But it's an excellent example of this, and something I've intentionally engaged in since then. Sure, sometimes you just confirm your tastes (yup, still hate RTS's), but sometimes you find things you love (hello, sim racing!).

2: Choose curiosity over comfort. e.g. List the things you want to play but haven't, then go and play them! That is to say, indulge your neophilia, but with intention, rather than doing yet another raid.

3: Avoid the trap of newness for it's own sake. If you feel it getting out of hand, go on a "consumption fast" for a couple months. We've had "I'm not buying any games this year" threads over multiple years here, and it's always a fun ride watching people fall off the wagon as the year goes on.

4: If your neophilia leads to impulsiveness, consciously add in some time to decision making. We've all made those 3am purchases. At least now, Steam refunds exist to back yourself out of that poor decision.

Good stuff. I've gotten pretty bored with new games lately, so this has helped on pile building. I don't even care about my pile anymore, I'm more content to try and enjoy what I already have and wring extra enjoyment from them since the novelty of new games is wearing off after 30+ years. Lol

garion333 wrote:

Good stuff. I've gotten pretty bored with new games lately, so this has helped on pile building. I don't even care about my pile anymore, I'm more content to try and enjoy what I already have and wring extra enjoyment from them since the novelty of new games is wearing off after 30+ years. Lol

I legit dont understand this post. Is "pile building" buying games that you havent played yet? But then you say you dont care about your "pile" but are content to enjoy what you already have, so maybe a pile is games you want to buy but havent yet? Then you say youve been playing games for 30 years, wouldnt the novelty of new games be even more important after playing games so long?

Anyway I dont find a lot to agree with in the OP other than to challenge your preferences from time to time and try genres you might have overlooked/thought you didnt like. Novelty seeking is inherent in the human condition and buying new games to fill that need is fine imo, part of the overall enjoyment of the hobby.

Personally, I check the dates on the gravestone before I start digging.... oh... neophilia.. wrong thread.

AcidCat wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Good stuff. I've gotten pretty bored with new games lately, so this has helped on pile building. I don't even care about my pile anymore, I'm more content to try and enjoy what I already have and wring extra enjoyment from them since the novelty of new games is wearing off after 30+ years. Lol

I legit dont understand this post. Is "pile building" buying games that you havent played yet? But then you say you dont care about your "pile" but are content to enjoy what you already have, so maybe a pile is games you want to buy but havent yet? Then you say youve been playing games for 30 years, wouldnt the novelty of new games be even more important after playing games so long?

Anyway I dont find a lot to agree with in the OP other than to challenge your preferences from time to time and try genres you might have overlooked/thought you didnt like. Novelty seeking is inherent in the human condition and buying new games to fill that need is fine imo, part of the overall enjoyment of the hobby.

Lack of interest in new games has stopped me from buying more games that I don't end up spending time with. That's the pile, a backlog. I've long since stopped caring about its existence. Some folks are greatly disturbed by their backlog and I've definitely felt the pressure of it at points. It's weird.

I'm finding that after 30 years I've hit something of a peak with novel game experiences. The hobby is suuuuuuuper wide, but it's matured to the point that most new games are just another rpg or just another fps, a bazillion of which I've played. There's still plenty of novelty out there, for sure, but current trends like, say, games as a service leave me cold. So, instead of chasing the white dragon constantly looking for novelty I'm going deeper on the titles that I do enjoy a bit more. I'll replay them or take my time, enjoy the ride a bit more. Go deeper, not wider.

That make more sense?

So is the pile/backlog games you want to buy but havent, or games youve bought but havent played. Still not clear.

AcidCat wrote:

So is the pile/backlog games you want to buy but havent, or games youve bought but havent played. Still not clear.

The Pile is games you've bought but haven't played. Some folks get stressed out about it.

garion333 wrote:

I don't even care about my pile anymore, I'm more content to try and enjoy what I already have

So then this is what confused me, the pile IS what he already has, so this is a contradictory statement, that he both doesnt care about yet wants to enjoy the "pile" ie games he already has.

I dont have a pile for two reasons, I exclusively play on ps4 and I consume games faster than they are released. I have long since played any game available on the system that I am even remotely interested in to the point where sales and free psplus games are irrelevant.

AcidCat wrote:

I dont have a pile for two reasons, I exclusively play on ps4 and I consume games faster than they are released. I have long since played any game available on the system that I am even remotely interested in to the point where sales and free psplus games are irrelevant.

Oh to have that much spare time.

Jonman wrote:

Oh to have that much spare time.

Well its a blessing/curse situation. Ive come full circle, divorced 6 years ago, my 2 kids live with me but they are almost 17 and 22, so they spend most of their time doing their own thing, so aside from my 40 hours a week at work I have a lot of time to fill. I burn through games and shows fast and am constantly waiting on that next novelty hit.

AcidCat wrote:
garion333 wrote:

I don't even care about my pile anymore, I'm more content to try and enjoy what I already have

So then this is what confused me, the pile IS what he already has, so this is a contradictory statement, that he both doesnt care about yet wants to enjoy the "pile" ie games he already has.

I don't care that I have a pile anymore. It doesn't stress me in any way any longer.

I also don't much care about many new games.

So I'm content to spend more time, having deeper experiences, with the games I already have.

I don't think any of this is contradictory other than the perhaps confusing way I originally wrote it.

garion333 wrote:

I don't think any of this is contradictory other than the perhaps confusing way I originally wrote it.

Gotcha.