Why I Return To Frustrating Video Games

Since last week, I’ve been reflecting on why I continue to play video games that frustrate me. I was pretty tired when I wrote last week’s post, so it did not initially occur to me that one of the main elements of video games is to present challenges to overcome and while failing to overcome a challenge can be frustrating, video games are usually set up to give you additional opportunities to attempt challenges you’ve failed. As someone who plays video games with a desire for a challenge, a certain amount of frustration goes hand-in-hand with attempting a challenge that actually feels like a challenge. Still, when I think about the moments of frustration in a game that cause me to set it aside, most of the time it has nothing to do with the challenge the game presents and everything to do with my experience as someone attempting to enjoy themselves. Last week’s post included examples of games I’m playing and frustrations that caused me to put the game aside, so I’m going to expand on those for simplicity’s sake.

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Video Games: The Only Entertainment I’ll Let Frustrate Me Repeatedly

I’ve been getting back into a few games I started earlier this spring and thenfell off of either when new games came out or I hit intense periods of stress that drove me from new experiences to old comforts. I’ve never finished Pokémon Legends: Arceus or Horizon: Forbidden West, for example. I hit a point with both games, stopped playing, and never quite got around to playing either game again despite having enjoyed my time with them. The same is true of the new Pokémon Snap game. I got a ways into that, a new game came out, and I set it aside because it wasn’t a game that I could fall asleep to. That and getting up to change games in my Switch a whole bunch has never been fun when I’m trying to calm down for the evening.

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