I've been playing video games for over half my life, starting on the PS2. I've played maybe fifteen or so videogames that I've actually enjoyed, and beaten maybe ten of them.
My library is full of games that didn't click, that I didn't enjoy, that made me bored or frustrated. The game I've spent the most time with by far is Rocket League, which I started playing on PS4 at launch. While I loved it in those first couple of years, and still do as a spectator, nowadays I play it mostly out of habit, and I never leave it happy. Every time I end up frustrated. I've consistently been well above average, but my frustration comes from my own lack of growth. I still can't execute at the level I want to, and I never feel myself get into a flow state anymore.
This problem carries over to every other game I play. The last game I loved, Hollow Knight, I had to give up on, because I got to a point near the end where I simply wasn't capable of executing the inputs the game expected, despite knowing exactly what to do. My reactions aren't fast enough, my split-second decision making isn't good enough, and my hands aren't steady enough. It was excruciating, loving a game so much and having to abandon it because I wasn't skilled enough.
Conversely, I've never enjoyed strategy or puzzle games (with the obvious exception of Portal 2). They always feel tedious and needlessly opaque, and I don't get any satisfaction from it. For me, It's the mental equivalent of doing my taxes, and I have no interest in paying money and using my time to chase that feeling.
Over the last couple of years, I've started getting into tabletop and board games. I tried getting back into TCGs, but without a ton of money to throw at it, I gave up on actually playing, and started following them more as a special interest. I started playing board games with my partner more recently, and have found one or two so far that are simple, short, and engaging enough that we both can enjoy them. As much as I'm happy to have found some games we can play together, there are still nights where I just don't have the mental energy to play even "light" board games. My partner and I have both been looking for a videogame we can play together, but with their love of more systems-based and tactical games, it seems impossible to find a multi-player game we'll both enjoy. It doesn't help that they're an exclusive steam player and I'm a ps4 player with only a laptop PC.
I love this art form, and I know it has more to offer. More ambient and experimental games like some of the stuff on itch.io seems interesting to me, but there's so much I have no idea where to start. Has anyone else dealt with this dilemma? If so, how did you get out of your slump? What are some resources I could use to find games that I might enjoy which are less skill-intensive? What are some co-op games that are accommodating to a wide range of skills that my partner and I could play together?
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