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How can I better distinguish between when I’m playing a game out of duty and when I’m playing because it’s fun?

Gamingtodaynews1b - How can I better distinguish between when I'm playing a game out of duty and when I'm playing because it's fun?
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I roughly divided my time over the holidays between 4 games: Destiny 2, Subnautica, Final Fantasy 7 (original, first time playing) and Doom: Eternal.

I have a strong tendency to play games which I know people love particularly if I don't expect to enjoy them, just to try to understand what they love or 'test' whether I will feel the same. And I think the crux of my problem is that I find it hard to distinguish whether I'm enjoying the game itself or enjoying the fact that I can finally understand what people like about it.

Subnautica is a game I never expected to enjoy but 20 minutes in I started to realise it was going to be a pivotal, stand out game experience for me. I was going to bed eager to wake in the morning and play more.

Destiny 2 I didn't really enjoy for about 6 hours (it just felt like a very floaty, confusing grind) but when I finally understood the systems and got my teeth into what I wanted out of it (collecting really fun weapons which change how I needed to approach each encounter) I started loving it. The environments were a slam dunk though. About 10 hours in I realised that I was playing it out of a duty to collect everything rather than simply because I was enjoying the process and I realise that can be a problem for people but for me- it's fine. I understand that feeling and know when to check out.

Doom: Eternal really clicked with me the moment the combat started feeling tough and frenetic like classic Doom, about 2 hours in.

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And then FF7. I put in about 5 hours, and constantly questioned whether I was enjoying it. The moments I felt like I was having a good time, in retrospect, were the moments I started seeing why OTHER people enjoyed it. Then I put in about 15 hours just endlessly consuming YouTube videos and Reddit posts discussing whether or not it was a good game, just to try to understand if I truly enjoyed it or not.

I don't think I did enjoy it. Honestly, I'm still not super sure (I enjoyed the atmosphere and managing my loadout (Materia) but holy heck did I feel like the game wasted a ton of my time) but I really feel like I wasted 20 hours of my time figuring it out when I could have just concentrated on games I actually purely enjoyed. But at the same time, if I hadn't put those 6 hours into Destiny 2 and 2 hours into Doom: Eternal- I'd not have been sure about those either.

It's hard to explain… I suppose I'm just hoping someone else is going through what I have and has a go to process to really confront themselves about whether they're playing a game because they love it or because they want to love it (or pathologically need to understand why other people love it).

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