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Weaponized FOMO and how it almost ruined gaming for me


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Special Agent

Special Agent


FOMO, a simple abbreviation but one that can ruin a gamers experience in a matter of weeks. If you aren't familiar with the phrase it means "Fear Of Missing Out" and it is a problem that plagues so many games and gamers today. Essentially FOMO is when a person (gamer in this case) has a fear of missing out on something and feels obligated to participate in events because they feel they will miss out. Now at first this may not seem that bad because it keeps you motivated but eventually if left unchecked this can ruin your experience gaming because you feel obligated to do things because you don't want to miss out.

This happens to a lot of gamers. With so much content being put out and so much of it being limited time it weaponizes FOMO and makes gamers feel like they have to play and let me tell you from personal experience it can ruin gaming for you. Just about a year or two ago I was mostly playing lots of different games because I wanted to expand my library of games and at first it felt amazing. I had so much variety to play and all the games I didn't like I just wouldn't play and uninstall them. (I had game pass so I felt ok with uninstalling games.) But then FOMO hit me and things went downhill. 

Destiney 2 was so demanding asking me to hurry up and finish my battle pass and complete all the weekly activities to stay up with the meta, Fortnite was releasing all of these in game challenges for free rewards, and COD was making me finish the battle pass before the season ending in a week and eventually it became to much. All of these games had all of this content and I couldn't get to all of it and then I would just end up grinding a those games and having no fun at all.

Every game session became a grind just to do all that new content and get all the rewards and I wasn't having any fun. One time I sat there for 30 minutes one time deciding on what to play because each game was asking for something to do. Then I found the game Outer Worlds. It was a simple open world game that didn't have any aspects of FOMO and I could play it again and again and I kept having fun. Focusing on a game I could just put down and it wouldn't matter, made gaming fun again. 

Now when I play alone instead of grinding games I don't like I play games I truly enjoy that don't require a grind I have to complete or I'll miss out. The biggest tip I can give too gamers is just play to have fun. Gaming is meant as a past time (unless your professional or play competitive modes/games of course) and it was made to be enjoyed. Get on with some friends and have fun or maybe play a single player game and just relax. Sometimes the best thing to do is quit the game you feel obligated to play for a while and move a little out of your comfort zone and try something new. I never thought I would like some of the games I play now but now I play them all the time. 

Sorry for the long rant but this really is a big issue with games and gamers that if not fixed can really ruin a gaming and really gaming as a whole for the devs and players alike.

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I can't react to this agreeing with it but in addition to FOMO I simply cannot get back into games if I am not playing regularly. Especially games like Destiny 2 where now not having played the last year it gets harder to jump back into because I missed previous metas, weeklies and rewards that others enjoy and flaunt. Its made gaming inaccessible in ways they really did not think through. What really sucks is that we have to suffer this for the industry to realize and come up with better ways for long term player retention. By the time I really set down a controller for good they would figure it out for the next generation and my blood boils just knowing they get to relish in new built great systems. 

In todays world if you don't like something and a major content creator isn't voicing it on whatever platform they use you have to uninstall and not play the game. Its not something I want to have to do but quickly becomes the only option for me. 

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