The 4th Wall: Gamer A.D.D.

If you are reading this article, chances are you’re a gamer (or a sympathetic family member).  As a gamer, you probably own at least one of the major consoles and at least one of the major handhelds.  And, as a gamer, you know how hard it is to keep up with the constant stream of games, especially during the holidays.  I have found in my gaming travels the existence of a disorder of sorts that affects gamers.  I termed this disorder: Gamer A.D.D.  Just so we’re clear, I am not making light of the actual disorder.  Gamer A.D.D. is more akin to calling a person O.C.D. when they ask you to push in your bed in your own dorm room or get rid of balloons you received for your birthday because these things bother this person.

I personally have experienced Gamer A.D.D. in a couple of situations.  The first happens when a lot of good games are released in the same general timeframe.  I have very little patience and like to buy games on day 1, especially if I’m excited for a particular game.  What happens is I usually end up with 4-6  new games and have a hard time deciding which one to play.  Committing 20-40 hours to one game when there are a number of other great games calling is difficult.  So, I’ll buy a game on release day and then a week later, I’ll put that game on hold to pick up another game on release day.  Then I end up losing where I was in the first game and have to start over.  It takes a great deal of will power to pick one game and stick to it.

Gamer A.D.D. also rears its ugly head when there aren’t any new games on the horizon.  In this situation,  it is very hard to find a game to play just to fill that void until the next highly anticipated title is released.  I’ll go from game to game, trying to find one that will hold my attention.  What happens then is I end up starting a number of games from the beginning and never getting to the end (Final Fantasy XII usually suffers the most).  Then, I’ll pick up a new release and forget about what I was playing before.  It’s a vicious cycle.

I haven’t discovered the cure for Gamer A.D.D., though there are a few things I have found that help keep me focused and keep my games’ feelings from getting hurt.  The first thing is to have one game going on a console and one on a handheld.  That way boredom doesn’t set in with one game or the other.  And, if your significant other wants to use the TV, you can easily switch to the handheld.  Another thing that my wife actually does is to keep a “bucket list” of games and tries to stick to the order.  That way, she knows what she’s finished, what she has started but not completed, and what hasn’t even been touched yet.  I tried that and it didn’t work for me.  But, hey, if it works for her and others, great.

Being a gamer is not just an expensive hobby, it is also time-consuming and full of important decisions.  Having a case of Gamer A.D.D., makes those decisions much more challenging to commit to.  It also hinders your attempts at spending your gaming time wisely.  To illustrate how exactly it feels to have Gamer A.D.D., check out this picture of a cat chasing a laser.

(Cat Chasing a Laser GIF courtesy of

-The 4th Wall is an imaginary barrier that separates a particular medium from its audience.  It is also a weekly column on born from the Just In Bailey column, written by Joey Alesia.  Each week, Joey looks at video games and the industry as a whole and works to break the 4th Wall armed with over 25 years of gaming knowledge and a twisted sense of humor.  Be sure to follow Joey on Twitter (@wrkngclsswrtr) or email him at



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Author: Joey Alesia View all posts by
Joey's adventure into the realm of video games began at 3 when Nintendo first hit the West. He grew up a Nintendo fan and ended up branching out to Playstation when FF7 hit and XBox when Oblivion hit the 360. He's not huge on first person shooters or sports games but definitely enjoys a good RPG or survival horror game. His all-time favorite series is definitely The Legend of Zelda, followed extremely closely by Metal Gear. Joey has a firm belief that games should be treated with respect when they are made and that the classics should never be overlooked.