I really don’t like the hype train. I’m very patient when it comes to people and obligations. When it comes to things I get excited about or that don’t have a specific wait time, I absolutely suck at waiting. Which means I hate watching trailers for movies and video games because they get me super excited for something cool and then I have to wait four months or a year or, in Breath of the Wild’s case, three years. Last week, Nintendo announced the latest Super Smash Bros. game would come out on the Switch this year and all I can do now is wait and think about it. It probably won’t come out until the holiday shopping season, but a soft release date is not very helpful to me.
I’ve never really enjoyed the anticipation portion of anything. I like knowing when stuff is going to happen and then mostly ignoring it until it is time to do something about it. This can sometimes backfire on me, as it did with the Switch, because I missed my 12-hour window to pre-order one. I managed to get on by waiting in line for 12 hours and freezing my butt off, but my life would have been better if I’d just pre-ordered it. For the most part, though, I don’t actually lose anything by avoiding stuff until right before it comes out. I got movie tickets to see Star Wars just fine. I can just go into most book stores to grab books I want. Game stores never actually run out of games these days. Steam makes pretty much every game easily available since I don’t know if it is even possible to run out of digital copies… Heck, most “physical” games are just download codes concealed inside plastic rectangles these days.
There’s only so much planning you can do for stuff like that before it starts feeding into anxiety. I already have enough trouble properly allocating my mental energy without marketing companies doing everything they can to convince me to uselessly spend mental energy on substanceless hype. I really don’t need the encouragement since I’m already to get overly invest in pretty much anything. This means I can be susceptible to marketing because it feeds into behavior I’m already prone to, so I spend a good deal of effort to stay away from marketing geared toward my interests. Which unfortunately means I miss out on a lot of things I might enjoy until long after they’re out.
Thankfully, I’ve got plenty of friends who all advocates of the hype train, so I can ask them what is coming up and get all my gaming news without any of the hype beyond their excitement. Books are a little bit easier to follow on my own because there isn’t as much energy put into marketing them via excitement like there is for video games and movies. Most of the time, we just get news from conventions or author blogs, such as Patrick Rothfuss confirming that The Kingkiller Chronicles trilogy is actually just the beginning of the story. Which I am super excited about, because it means I was right to suspect that there was too much left unanswered at the end of Wise Man’s Fears to wrap up in one book. I love the series, so I am excited to hear there will be more books, but there is no urgency behind this. We don’t even have a release date for the book that was for-sure happening, Stone Doors, so information like this is close to news than marketing.
Honestly, even if I do miss out on things sometimes, I feel a lot better when my life isn’t full of a constant stream of advertisements, marketing promotions, and pitches for things that I probably want. It is a lot easier to focus on what I am doing and what I already have to enjoy when I’m not being bombarded by what I don’t have. Inner peace, and all that.