Spacing Out: For Want of A Topic

Sleepy Red Panda

I had a couple of ideas for topics for this week’s column, and even started a few different drafts of articles on a couple of different topics…but then the thought kind of petered out, like an engine running out of fuel. I mean sure, I’m tired as hell, but there was something else keeping me from really focusing on one topic:

I wanted to talk about too many things.

I’m a chatty damned person, if y’all haven’t noticed already. I love to talk, and if there’s one thing I love to talk about more than anything else, it’s video gaming, space gaming especially of course. So this week, I’m going to do a drive-by of topics to hopefully get a discussion going with y’all in the comments? Why? Because your comments are more valuable than gold, that’s why! ;) Now, let’s get started.

Specific Amounts of Energy for Specific Games

I’ve been exhausted for a couple of weeks now, and in that time, I’ve barely touched a space game. I’m not burnt out, I can tell, but lately my brain only has the energy, I feel, for other types of experiences. I think it’s because, if I load up Distant Worlds: Shadows, I’ll feel compelled to play it for the blog, and I don’t have the energy to do that above half-assing it, which y’all don’t deserve. So instead I load up Batman: Arkham City or Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, both amazing games that are less about brains, I feel, which is perfect for what I’ve been needing lately. This has got me to thinking, though…do we play specific types of games based on how much energy we have in our brains? I’m sure it’s only one factor in the equation, but it’s interesting to think about, I think. ;)

Obsessed and Addicted

I have a lot of loves in my life. My girlfriend, my friends, my cats, my car, my job, etc etc. However, no love has been more consistent, delivered more joy and been there for me more than gaming throughout my life. For many years, gaming was a part of my therapy. It helped me escaped from a horrid childhood and a depressed adulthood. Now that the escape isn’t needed, all gaming delivers is joy on a constant basis, but the addiction to it hasn’t abated. In fact, it’s gotten more intense. I’ve found if I go more than two or three days without playing game, I get shaky, irritable, headachey and so on. It’s funny, I come from a family full of addictive personalities, yet the thing I become addicted to gives me joy rather than anything else. I’m always thinking about gaming as well, such as what I’ll play next, where I’ll go to talk about gaming (I’m addicted to a few forums) and so on. That’s one of the reasons I love this site (and you guys) so much, as it creates a (I hope) healthy outlet for this addiction. :)

Scatterbrained on Gaming

Y’all may have noticed that this post, and our latest podcast, is damned all over the place. I have a very short attention span (they called it “hyperactivity” when I was a kid, now they call it ADHD ;), so I typically have a hard time focusing on one thing for any length of time that doesn’t involve a screen of some type (or a car, as I could drive for hours and hours). As much I love games, I rarely stick with them for long. This has been made “worse” through digital distribution and things like Steam sales, as hell, why not buy that awesome looking game for $2 and try it for ten minutes. If I like it. great, but if not, move on. This also leads to the issue of never finishing games. In the last ten years I’ve finished maybe five games (at least that I can think of off the top of my head). I honestly have no issue with rarely finishing games. Gaming is like a wonderful buffet, I’m there to sample a lot and savor a little. Or so I think. :)

That’s all I can come up with at the moment. Man I’m tired. Hope y’all are having a great day folks!


Author: Brian Rubin

14 thoughts on “Spacing Out: For Want of A Topic

    1. Hahahahaha, games were in my life way before she was, sadly, but I think she gets it. ;)

  1. What do you get when you put two guys with ADHD in a room full of video games? Space Game Junkie Podcast! Hey, can we ride bikes after this?

    Ya know I could make a joke about… SQUIRREL!! But uh, we did a lot of squirrel talk and it was LEGIT. Legitimate squirrels, Republican style.

  2. Hey Brian, need an easy way to receive news? Think Indie DB. Devs submit content, if the format is correct, there’s a pic, and other things are correct, all you have to do is hit ‘publish’.

    Then you only have to post your own content 1-2 times a month. There’s got to be a way to build this into SGJ easily — I can help.

    1. Receive news? I’m not following. Basically I have RSS feeds set up to check all the space game news sources I have, I flag ’em in Pocket, and then I write ’em up in a digest. I wouldn’t want to automate it. :)

  3. Starsector special feature? Ideally with a Dev interview?

    Why Starsector? Well, it’s below most people’s radar right now, and I think to the casual browser it all looks a bit impenetrable….


    It’s shaping up to be a really unique title, sitting between action/RPG/RTS/exploration – it’s got a fascinating back story and a tantalising future dev pathway…

    It’d be a real scoop!

    1. I wrote a preview of it a while back when it was still called Starfarer, but revisiting it might not be a bad idea. There hasn’t been an new version in a while though, right?

      1. Still at 0.59 – but I think that it’s had an update since the name change… but I could be wrong about that….

      2. I’ve been watching Starfarer/Starsector for quite a while now. It seemed like he made a lot of great progress and put together a really compelling tactical game — really quite fun! I’m hoping the slow updates over the last several months suggest enormous effort on the grander features he has in mind for the game.

        All in all, Starsector’s production values combined with its vision make me pretty excited.

  4. Starsector++

    For me, gaming is an outlet. Usually, I engaging in thought, and games (especially space/strategy games) give me a way to do that which doesn’t involve responsibility or real-life consequences, and offers emotional rewards. When I don’t want to use my brain (usually if I’m exhausted or stressed out), I’ll play less cerebral games, much like Brian.

    I often bounce between mental “phases”. For a couple weeks or so at a time, I’ll spend my (somewhat limited, now that I have kids) free time on a specific activity. Right now I’m in a coding phase — each evening when I have the energy, I’ll sit down and write some code for my current hobby project. Prior to that, it was a Distant Worlds phase. Not long ago, it was an Assassin’s Creed phase. The duration of one of these phases with a game is a good indicator of how enjoyable I find the game — I often refer to this as how well the game kept my attention. I’ve had games that I love that failed to keep my attention (Drox Operative, AI War, even SoaSE these days).

    Remember that there’s a distinction between addiction (where your decision making is impaired and the object of your addiction has significant negative impact on everyday life), and love for something. One is a problem, the other is healthy.

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