Lack of Focus/Gamer ADD

A purposeless post with some random thoughts…

If you’re reading this blog then you probably already know that I fancy myself a (very) amateur game-designer.  I like to tinker with game mechanics and rulesets, more so than I like designing actual game worlds (the level of detail typical of world design tends to bore me).  However, over the last 10 years or so I’ve had a real problem focusing.  I start of with an idea I really like and do some work on a game.  But then ‘genre-creep’ tends to set in.  Or, I read a book or watch a movie or show that triggers the ‘Ooo, shiney!’ effect, and I end up abandoning one project for another.  It’s one reason I like minimalist rulesets like Microlite20 or Searchers of the Unknown so much: it’s so much easier to focus and complete a game.

For a while I thought a gonzo genre-mashup game might help alleviate this.  If I couldn’t decide on one genre/setting to pursue, I’d pursue them all (or, at least, more than one at a time).  But that, of course, makes it harder to nail down just what needs to be in the game to get the feel or effect I’m trying for.

When I was a kid I didn’t have this problem.  I’d have an idea and hammer out a quick, simple game.  Granted, they weren’t the greatest games, and none of them were exactly what you’d call original.  I ripped off Aliens, Predator, Blade Runner, DOOM and just about anything else that caught my imagination (though I never did a ripoff of Star Wars or Star Trek for some reason).  They weren’t the greatest games, but at least I was able to ‘finish’ them and when we tried them we usually had fun.

I do seem to get a lot more traction when I write material for other games, like all the class conversions I did for the Pathfinder Beginner’s Box.  However, when I do so it’s mainly for consumption on this here blog, not so much for use in my gaming group.  And, of course, I’m constrained by the limits of those games (their settings, their rulesets, etc.).

At any rate, none of the above means I’m going to stop trying.  I enjoy it too much to stop, even if most of the games I make will never actually be played (which, when I think about it, might be part of the problem:  what’s the point of writing a game you know will never be played?).  Gamer ADD is almost a cliche now; does anyone else have a problem staying on target with their campaigns and/or games?

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2 Responses to “Lack of Focus/Gamer ADD”

  1. David Jenks Says:

    I find ADD ruins much that I love: reading books, finishing projects of any type (not just RPGs), character creation, RPG genre choice, even writing. (I once wanted to be the next Stephen King, but I know that’ll never happen.)

    It takes SO MUCH simply to focus….it’s exhausting sometimes. I’ve developed coping mechanisms, but often they’re inadequate to get things done on a day-to-day basis. I’m a fairly bright guy, but I can’t even hold down a decent-paying job because of it.

    So yeah, I feel you.

    • edowar Says:

      Well, to be sure, I only have gamer ADD, which is quite a different creature from real ADD. Gamer ADD just makes gaming frustrating (sometimes); real ADD makes life even more challenging than it already is.

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