The Original Xbox Made My Friend Give Up on Video Games Forever

The original Xbox wasn’t the best console, but could it really make someone give up on games forever?

Remember the Xbox? Not the Xbox One, not the 360, but the original Xbox. It was big, and its controller (known as “the Duke”) was somehow nearly as big. The console wasn’t a hit, but Microsoft wouldn’t be the major player in the console space that it currently is without.

Some people fondly remember that first Xbox. Others, not so much. For some people, like a longtime friend of mind, it turned them away from gaming not just for a generation, but forever.

Once a Gamer…

When we were kids, my friend and I played games together all the time. I have fond memories of trying and failing to make any sort of significant progress in Battletoads for the NES. This was long after heyday of the NES, but that didn’t mean a thing.

Later on, we’d play countless hours of Mario Kart 64 and Goldeneye with other friends. After those days, our gaming interests sort of split. I bought a PS2, while he went for an Xbox. Only one of us still plays games.

…A Gamer No More

This friend is someone I still regularly hang out with, though now we’re older and have responsibilities, and he’s raising a family. Recently we were chatting in his kitchen and he began to talk about how he hadn’t really played games with any sort of regularity since that original Xbox.

That’s when he came to the realization that it was the Xbox that had killed his interest in gaming as a hobby. Part of it was that most of his friends, including me, had PlayStation 2 consoles, so there was nobody to really play with. But it was also the console itself. Games crashed, it overheated, and it just wasn’t as seamless as prior console gaming had been.

While others might have tried to love the console, he just moved on to other hobbies. Since we were young we’ve played in bands together, something we still do, so he dove deeper into music, and also took an interest in RC cars among other things.

Are You Falling Out of Love With Games?

When my friend realized that the Xbox was what caused him to quit video games, I told him I planned to write an article about it. I thought it would be funny. That said, it probably wasn’t actually the console. He was probably just falling out of love with games.

Sometimes we just stop enjoying things. I’ve definitely had my own hobbies that I was intensely interested in for a time, and some of those are long behind me. That’s fine, and it’s also just fine if you’re falling out of love with games.

While you may identify as a gamer, that’s just a word. It’s not who you are. And maybe you’re not totally done with games. Just try putting them aside for a while. Maybe you’ll realize that modern games aren’t doing it for you, but you still love retro games.

Looking for a New Nerdy Hobby?

Some people flow between different modes of focus and interest. I’m that way. As a musician, I go through periods where the only thing I want to focus on is music. At other times, I go in the opposite direction. From playing so much and focusing so hard on music, I burn out, and that’s what video games, books, and movies are for.

If you think you need to spend some time away from games, there are plenty of other options. For me, I got really into Formula 1, but for you it might be wrestling or it could even be soldering. Maybe it could be a combo of all of the above.

If you’re burning out on something, just move on to something else. You can always come back to it later.

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3 comments
  1. Nothing wrong with the original XBOX, the fact that you can have LAN parties was something the PS2 didn’t have. His heating and crashing of games is questionable. I still have an orignal Xbox and I never had any of those problems.

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