Impact X Archives

Impact X – Burnout in Gaming

This post has been archived with permission from the Impact X blog.


“A Million Voices Cried Out, and Were Suddenly Silenced”

Dealing with Burnout in Gaming

There comes a time in every gamers career where they burn out on a game. It is inevitable and it isn’t always the end, or even a bad thing. In Star Wars Legion that is something that I am dealing with personally right now, so I want to take a short article to talk about some of the causes that can lead to burning out on a game as well as some ways to avoid and remedy burnout.

Causes of Burnout:

In my experience there are two major contributors to burnout in gaming… and to make things even worse they are opposed to each other meaning that you have to balance them and find your personal center; Stagnation and Overload.

Stagnation can be caused by playing the same list over an over, and this is often the cause of burnout for competitive players because to build the competence and muscle memory you will need a lot of repetition using the same list. Stagnation can also be caused by a lack of new content delivered, but fortunately we don’t have that problem in Legion. Stagnation causes you to become bored or to no longer derive joy from your hobby and escape.

Overload on the other hand is caused by too much all at once. This can be caused by a flood of new content, which some would argue is a current issue in Legion, with several new units per month that can drastically change the game meta meaning that players need to constantly evaluate and adjust. Overload can also be caused by frequency of games though which is also a cause for burnout in competitive players. Playing several times a week for an extended period of time will eventually become draining and overload the player to the point they no longer derive the same joy from their hobby and escape.

How to Deal with Burnout:

Luckily there are some easy ways to handle burnout. Below we will discuss some common ways to handle burnout from least disruptive to most disruptive. You can also use these strategies preventatively if you begin to feel burnout coming.

1) Change Things Up:

The least disruptive change you can make to remedy burnout is to change what you are playing to breathe new life into your game experiences. Changing things up can be as extreme as switching factions or as mundane as just playing something fun and non-competitive. Changing things up is a great way to deal with stagnation especially.

2) Hobby, Hobby, Hobby:

The next least disruptive change you can make is to turn your focus from playing games to hobbying the game. Catch up on painting your minis and build some terrain. This will allow you to stay active in the game community and also help add some pride and satisfaction to the table when you do return to the game. This can also help alleviate some of the burnout caused by overload and the pressure you feel when behind on painting.

3) Try Another Game:

If after the previous two you are still feeling burnout, you can change things up more by dipping your toes into another game. This could be as extreme as picking up a more simple miniatures game such as X Wing or Kill Team. This allows you to get a small escape and pallet cleanse before returning to you main game. This is a strategy I often use, I refer them to as “car games” which is essentially a small game I can keep in my car and have ready to play at all times. A less extreme change in this strategy is to pallet cleanse with a self-contained game. Starting a friends and family board game night for example. This is an easy but more costly way to bring fresh life to your gaming hobby.

4) Take a Break:

The final resort to curing burnout is to step away and take a break. Sometimes this is necessary, get out, enjoy the outdoors, spend time with family, do something different. This is the ultimate pallet cleanse, but don’t forget to keep in touch with your game friends and come back to the game when you feel ready.

Hopefully these tips can help you overcome your burnout and find your way back to enjoying your hobby and game time again. But remember that you have to be proactive about fighting burnout and not just reactive.

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