One thing that I kinda/sorta lament as I have grown up is how ALL games, free-to-play, freemium, premium, pay-to-win, demo w/ full-game unlock, you name it I've likely played it, ALL feel like empty shells of mechanics with a pretty graphics wrapping paper. I see how their mechanics work to get a player into a game and keep them there for a long, LONG time. Sometimes the intent is innocent: the devs may just want to give quality entertainment, so the more quality entertainment that exists in their game, then the more good feels you'll get out of the game (Terraria, Minecraft). Sometimes the intent is laser-focused: there's something specific the devs wanted to convey in their game, often at the expense of entertainment value or player perception (Papers Please, Neverending Nightmares, Five Nights at Freddy's). Sometimes the intent is to encourage folks to drop money on the game so that "bad feels" don't happen, and that the "good feels" prod them along through a game mechanics treadmill (Hearthstone, Candy Crush Saga). There are all sorts of variations of these three general categories that all games fall under (and possibly others that I haven't experienced), but the effect is the same: players spend tons of hours invested in these games, and for what purpose? Joy? I personally do not derive happiness from games, I get satisfaction from games; "getting my time's/money's worth" is why I play, so that I can get the satisfaction of doing SOMETHING other than whatever is going on in my life right now. The thing is, my life is great! Sure, it isn't perfect, but whatever flaws my life has does NOT justify the amount of time I spend gaming. So I end up empty; satisfied, but empty. And that sucks; then again, that empty feeling may be the stick that pokes me to something fresh, some hobby that I haven't committed to yet now that games in general do very little for me. Anyway, I point this all out to show that nobody experiences games in the same way that you do. Everyone has a unique life, which creates a unique perspective that will not line up exactly with anyone else's perspective. I urge you all to keep that in mind as you comment on articles and post in forums: after all, what is the "Herald of the Mobile Gaming Apocalypse" from your eyes could be something entirely different from another's eyes... and yet, both interpretations may be legit interpretations based on factual data, like a painting with a completely different painting on the back of its frame. You can only see one painting at a time with your own eyes, and have to use a separate tool or a recording device (or two or thirteen recording devices depending on how extreme you want to push it) to see both paintings at the same point in time. It is the same thing with life experiences: unless you make an effort to go the extra mile to truly understand the perspectives of those who comment, you won't "get" why they enjoy something you hate, or vice versa. We all have capacity for empathy and understanding, and we all have the imagination to "put ourselves in their shoes", but manifesting that capacity is a matter up to each individual. I have seen people refuse to engage this side of themselves for numerous reasons that could be found under the sun to use the expression, and while that upsets me because I do at least make SOME attempt at understanding them, the lack of reciprocity (and the resulting lack of respect if I am to be honest with how I feel about this) stings. Hard. And yet, I try anyway, because the capacity is there, waiting to show itself, even in the worst examples of human behavior. What are your experiences with gaming? Why do you game? What do you think about games in general? What was your experience communicating with other gamers? I have been falling away from games in general for quite some time now, and I make this post as a way to see what other gamers answers to these questions are, partly for my own curiosity, and partly to get some discussion on these issues started for those who may have wanted to talk about it, but never had the chance. At the end of the day, make of my words and ramblings whatever you will, and I would appreciate it if you shared what you think. Sincerely, Mr. Album P.S. Made some minor edits to clarify and expand a couple of things.