Posting this here mostly because the Steam thread seems to have the oldest, most jaded members of CAG as regular posters ... so clearly it’s the most relatable place for me ... anyway ...
Is anyone else having issues actually playing games as they get older ... Case in point, I recently “acquired” Trails of Cold Steel I and II because I’ve heard you really have to play them to appreciate the story in III and IV. Tried playing the first game and was immediately bored. Couldn’t even play for 10 minutes before I just shut it off. Maybe it’s just JRPGs ... but I just couldn’t care about the slow moving plot and what seemed like way too many characters. I also had issues with Kingdom Hearts 3, which felt plodding and just awkwardly paced.
Is it just me? Is this what getting old is? It just seems like it takes way more to actually hook me on a game these days ... and it’s easier to just buy games than actually play them. I’m considering a moratorium on new games and forcing myself to Marie Kondo my game collection where I just sell it if it doesn’t bring me joy ... shame that won’t work in a Steam library .
It's not just you. I think there are a couple key elements to this, at least in my case.
First, I just find it harder to be immersed in something for an extended period of time or otherwise block out everything else and just enjoy a gaming session for 30+ minutes. Other things on my mind creep back to the forefront then I feel like I should be doing something else. That ties to my earlier post about how I just find it easier to jump into classic Doom or something similar - I can enjoy the game and even relieve some stress in short bursts without needing to be too invested.
Related to that, I tend to not really care about story all that much (depending on the game - for action it's less important than RPG or adventure). It's funny that as a kid cutscenes were such an exciting reward for making progress. Now I just view them as mostly a hindrance to what I really want to be doing - playing the game. That's more of an issue with modern AAA larger games, very few of which I've even played - marketing and trailers these days focus much more on story than they did 20+ years ago.
On the other hand a good story might be the motivation I need to finish a game, after I feel like I've experienced most or all that the gameplay has to offer. Plus great storytelling is one of the reasons point-and-click adventures became my favorite type of games when I was younger.
Maybe John Carmack was right. "Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important."
tl;dr - this is me watching a cinematic or having to read through dialogue: