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Posted: Aug 25th 2011 6:29PM Graill440 said

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Another "burnout" article, though from a different editor, still the third one in two years. Quite a few folks including myself commented on the misuse of the term that is burnout, I am thinking folks do not know what true burnout is and use limited experience to try and quantify statements like "i was burned out on WOW" when in reality they were simply bored with it. The term burnout is abused and wrongly used in a great many cases. In case studies some burnout can affect a person for the rest of their lives.

Methinks the editor is fine (grin)

Playing a game until your tired of it is not burnout, its called boredom and there is a huge difference. The OP states burnout but nothing they typed supported any symptoms of real burnout, textbook burnout that is. Anyone that has experience true burnout knows some dangers associated with it and the possible need for some therapy due to its severity, both physical and mental.

The simple fixes for boredom are to engage in any number of the infinite things to do in real life, MMO's are entertainment, get bored with, them go do something else, or you may have something a bit more serious and not realize it, depression, which is also serious and subtle. Some people may find without realizing it they become strangers in their own houses.

Posted: Aug 25th 2011 8:17PM Darkerson420 said

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@Graill440 If people want to call it burnout, let them. Plenty of other things to worry about besides someone saying burnout instead of boredom...
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Posted: Aug 25th 2011 7:12PM FrostPaw said

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If I can take a break from an mmo for 7 days and not miss it I know it's time to play something else.

Posted: Aug 25th 2011 7:58PM Jeromai said

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Hear hear. All good suggestions, done all of them at one time or another.

You know, Graill440's hit an important point here. I don't claim to know the textbook definition of (work-related) burnout, but I've personally experienced two different kinds of getting tired of a game.

The first has elements of real obsession and compulsion. You're totally committed to the game, your entire ego is bound up in winning, being the best at a particular activity of the game (or all of the activities in it). You put aside real life - eating/drinking, friends, truth, whatever - in favor of playing the game. You spend all your time out-of-game thinking about the game, strategizing, arguing with people/devs on forums or wherever you can speak to them because changes or lack of changes to the game have become somehow so personally threatening or offensive... Because of perceived obligation and 'other people' depending on you in-game, because your ego is so heavily invested into the game, you push yourself completely past the point of having any semblance of fun whatsoever...

When the crash comes, it comes hard. I think that's classic burnout, with games, at any rate. Often raider-types fall afoul of it.

Personally, once was enough. I never want to get anywhere close to that again. The key is to be sensitive enough to the boredom stage (as described by Justin in the article above) and never force yourself to play the game past that.

Since then, I've been plenty "bored-out" by games. The mechanics have become too familiar or repetitive, learned all I was interested to know, or got to where I wanted to go. Or just craving another kind of emotional hit or excitement that I know this particular game can't fulfill. No big deal, just switch and do/play something else. I've never as heavily invested into another game since that first time, and see them more realistically now as a cycle of however many months it will keep my interest. They can be put down, picked up again whenever.

Posted: Aug 26th 2011 1:20AM Space Cobra said

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Good article.

I try to play multiple games and also do other things in life, but yeah, when i get too much free time I tend to overdo it; I subconsciously follow the fast-levers when I know I shouldn't or I tend to get discouraged because even if I want fast levels, I am one of the slowest levers on the planet. There is a fight within me for wanting to experience all the content in my own time, getting achievements, and wanting to play catch-up. I realize that.

Also, I haven't yet found a good multi-game guild, but I haven't really looked and am a bit shy. I do have one game community at CoH, which I should jump in the game with more often. ;P

Posted: Aug 26th 2011 1:34AM (Unverified) said

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For myself I've found that maintaining varying hobbies eliminates burnout. It sounds simple but if you're working, playing guitar, working out, maintaining relationships, and squeezing in mmo time the only thing you'll have time to burn out on is work. Just find a group of folks who game somewhere similar to your schedule and that really does help.

Posted: Aug 26th 2011 6:39AM mysecretid said

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I always have two MMOs on the go. Some people see this as an "extravagant waste of money" but choice is good, and the double-game setup really works against burnout for me.

Tired of one? Play the other exclusively for a while.

I also use the "second slot" to try new MMORPGs I'm interested in, and which two MMORPGs I'm playing at any given time tends to shift.

Basically, to become one of "The Two", I have to like a new MMORPG better than one of the ones I'm currently playing.

And now, with so many MMORPGs going free-to-play, I can dip into other games (often ones I used to play) for a change of pace, without having to make a month-long financial commitment.

Good article. Thanks!

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