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April 30th 2012 10:48 am

Is anyone else experiencing a media "fallout?"

Although I haven't looked at the numbers myself, hearsay indicates that the gaming industry is really in a slump--which is only offset by the repurposing of consoles as all-encompassing home entertainment devices.

A good friend made a valid note which clarifies an argument that has never been clearly expressed by those attempting to make it: while mobile gaming isn't 1:1 competitive in quality and depth, it's scratching an itch that's never been satiated before. Such casual gaming is taking the edge off the need for an RPG or deep action adventure.

And as such, surprisingly, I've seen my love of gaming subside. The industry still interests me, the quality of the games still interests me--the development cycles and design prowess all capture my imagination. Yet my desire to play is at an all-time low.

Maybe it's "growing up." Maybe it's the aforementioned market change. Maybe it's real-life distractions. Or maybe it's the community surrounding it--of which I just don't feel a part. Whatever the reason, I'm saddened by the change, a bit.

However, in conjunction with this new attitude, I'm finding myself tiring of movies and TV as well. Even at their low cost, I've cancelled Hulu Plus and Netflix this past week because my consumption patterns didn't justify the cost.

I'm beginning to think that my personal shift from gaming is part of a larger change in becoming tired with a lot of media. On the whole, little is exciting me anymore. I'm finding myself content in my world of Spotify, podcasts and YouTube--where the distribution models and the platforms seem to be a bit more controlled and concise.

So I'm looking to gdgt to ask if anyone feels the same--if they've experienced this downturn in media interest and what their take on it is. Even if we're all likely to have a different reason, I'm just interested in the landscape.

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I too am experiencing similar fallout. Mine may not have quite reached your point yet, but I'm not far off. I find myself watching only the few most interesting movies I hear of (maybe one a month at most), playing only a couple of games that really interest me (two or three per year), and my music selection doesn't expand at the rate it once did. I'm not certain if this is just the result of getting older or not though.

The only point I disagree with you on is that casual gaming is lessening the importance of RPG's. I don't really play casual games at all, but a couple of times per year a truly great game will come out that I will play and love. In the past year we've seen the release of both Skyrim and Mass Effect 3, two absolutely astounding games in my opinion. Casual gaming, to me at least, is in an entirely different category of entertainment. Games like those listed above are deep and engaging providing a level of immersion similar to what I get out of a good book.

Which leads me to my next point that may just be showing I'm getting older. I read a lot more. Filling in the time I used to spend playing random adventure or action games I read books. Of course I'm still using my gadgets to read, switching between my iPhone, iPad, and Kindle to do so depending on the situation. Still, my consumption of media has definitely changed. It might not be long before I also decide to drop my Hulu and Netflix subscriptions, as my queues in both services seem to continually expand while I neglect to watch any of it.

This all may just be the result of a narrowing of tastes as I discover the things I truly love and are worthy of my time. Alternatively, maybe my previous enthusiasm for consuming as much as possible merely due to its availability has been replaced by a desire for a more curated experience where only the highest quality media is even presented to me. Either way, my consumption has changed and I'm curious to see if others are experiencing a similar shift in their media consumption behavior.
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Getting more discerning with age is a nice spin to put on it, Warai. It makes me feel better than just getting old, haha.

In reference to the casual gaming comment: I think it's an argument that gets misinterpreted a lot, which is why I gave my friend's explanation.

Consider: Under no circumstance is Zuma a replacement for Mass Effect 3. The two games can't even remotely be compared. But maybe, having spent my idle day hours hurling stone balls to clear lines while on public transit, by the time I come home I'm ready for a completely different type of stimulus all-together. One that doesn't require a screen, buttons, and achievements.

And what I'm feeling, less and less these days, is that participating in the game is worthwhile. It's no longer an event whose pull is enough to make me put in that extra gaming time. Who will I share the victory with? The answer, as it stands, is a bunch of people who I'm not friends with and even more who won't listen.

Even your one response, Warai, makes me relaxed, and is enough to make me think that my confusion over this is the result of introversion. With such abundance in niche, catered material in every category of entertainment, I guess I've lost sight that the people I'm watching or listening to are the most passionate and most dedicated in their field. As much as the net has allowed people of all walks to exercise their voice, I think the kind of content we're cultivating is simultaneously pushing us fringe/less dedicated players to the side.
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