Fraser MacInnes is having a Total Gaming Crisis
Too much to enjoy?
He's now working for Danke Games, a gaming start-up based in the heart of the Black Forest in Germany.
For the past few weeks, I've barely looked at a mobile game.
Indeed, aside from a brief and unsatisfying float through Bioshock Infinite's opening act (which is initially captivating and then marred by egregiously jarring ultra-violence), I've scarcely put in any gaming time at all.
There are loads of good reasons for this.
I have a wife and baby daughter, a position at a very busy, early-stage start-up with some demanding projects on its drawing board, and a growing doughiness about the middle that won't burn itself.
Yeah I know what you're thinking - suck it up old man.
But that's not it. For the first time since I can remember, I'm worried that I might be falling out of love with games.
Let's be clear, I love the medium and will continue to so long as there are people working hard to make creative and entertaining use of it. The problem is that I'm spoiled.
Too many games
You see, there are just far too many games out there - far too much content - and it takes far too much time to consume any slice of it that could be deemed meaningful to someone working in the industry.
It doesn't feel conquerable as a hobby anymore either. It doesn't feel like something I can reasonably put enough time into to get out of it what I used to.
For all the triple-A 40+ hour blockbusters I miss, there are another 100 amazing indie gems on mobile that I don't even have the time to find out about.
Even simple succinct studies in arcade fun that only take minutes to consume in nugget form feel beyond the scope of my free time. I feel as if the overabundance of content is directly proportionate to my waning lust for extracting fun out of the medium.
It's partly to do with the feeling that no amount of experiencing multiple products will lead to the sort of passionate patronage that games used to inspire in me, because I'm ambiently always on the look-out for the next thing to add to my home screen.
It's demotivating as a player to always feel as though one's precious gaming time could and probably should be spent on any product other than the one you are playing right now.
Games come too easily to the consumer these days and as a result they are disposed of too readily.
The other day I was chatting to someone about how great it would be to see titles like Braid and From Dust come to the iPad.
Shortly after I thought to myself, 'Why? You didn't even manage to finish those games on Xbox."
It's easy to feel adrift in this industry. It moves quickly and things change dramatically without warning. An 'expert' only remains so by staying on top of a Herculean quantity of industry news and the unknowns, unexpected outcomes and uncertainties stack up by the day.
While having the staggering sales figures of a dreadful, joylessly-born mobile strategy game (which I guarantee, even the majority of readers here haven't heard of) recounted to me by an industry friend, I found myself thinking - 'I don't understand this industry anymore'.
Who's playing this? When there are far too many good titles out there to even begin to cover, who has the time and money to sink into less than amazing games?
Solace in a classic
I think what I need is one week, an RSS-free room, a copy of Doom II and probably some hot sweet tea to get my mojo back.
Now there is a gaming thrill that has endured. Admit it, at the mere mention of Doom you heard at least one of its timeless sound effects echo through your mind.
But that's me showing my age again. Maybe the plucky young gaming scamps of today will feel the same way about Clash of Clans years from now. I hope so.
You can follow Fraser's industry commentary via Twitter.