I got lost on YouTube today. Ever done that? Watch a video and then click on one of the recommended next videos, etc?

Yeah, so I ran across this video from PeteDorr (a big video game YouTube guy, apparently) and he talks about "game burn out" and how he is currently (judging from the date of the video) recovering from it. Lost interest in playing games for several months and is just now getting back into them, that sort of thing.

But what really struck me about his video is that he describes certain games as the "nail in the coffin" for a specific genre. One by one, games were turning him off of gaming. And the one thing all these games had in common? They were too complex to keep his attention.

Granted this really is just "too complex to keep his attention" but I wonder if we could chop off that last bit and flat out call them "too complex" as a general rule. I found myself agreeing with him at a high level if not those specific games (I have no consoles). I think we have all run across games recently that just seem to drag on and on with the tutorials, where the first third of the game seems to be introduction to the rules.

"Now that you have learned the basics of complex weapon mods, we should go over the PvP racing mechanics."

To be fair, I am not suggesting that we all go back to the over-simplistic gameplay of '80s games, where tropes and cliches and technology held us all back, but it seems like the late '90s through maybe about the middle of the 2000's hit the right balance of complexity (with a few exceptions, of course).

One example that comes to mind - I think simply because it just bugged the heck out of me when I encountered it! - is the slight change to sword & board battle mechanics from Oblivion to Skyrim. IMHO, Skyrim is the superior game, but holy <expletives>, Batman! Skyrim's sword & board fighting drives me up the wall! In Obivion, holding down the right mouse button made your character hold up his/her shield for blocking, and then tapping the left mouse button while still holding the right mouse button made your character swing his/her main weapon and then go right back to holding up the shield for blocking. Sure, cool, easy to work with. But then Skyrim came along and all of a sudden that same mouse button dance makes your character perform a shield bash instead of swinging that main weapon thing. Ooooookaaaaaay... Adding a shield bash - ok, cool, very useful in certain circumstances. But then how do you do that thing you used to do in Oblivion with the quick jabs while still blocking constantly? Oh, you can no longer do that. Because shield bash. Coming from Oblivion, it felt like the game devs were just giving me a giant middle finger. As if that one little change in Skyrim is somehow "more elite" than what we had in Oblivion. More options = better, right? No. Sorry, Bethesda, but no. Shield bash is nice but not at the expense of blocking + jab. Shield bash should use a different freakin' mouse button or at least be able to be mapped separately from weapon jab. I am on a PC, guys! Give me the extra button mappings!

Yes, that was a jab at consoles right there! And you know what? Console gamers should be complaining EVEN MORE!! Why make games so complex that each button on a controller performs two or more different functions based on the most idiotic pixel-hunting context systems!? Remember that recent Thief game? You know, the stupid one? I watched someone play it on a console for about 30 minutes while they snuck around guards and had to reload save games twice because they opened a door when they meant to vault over a railing. Two reloads in 30 minutes!! It seems a bit extreme to me that modern gamers are reloading saves based on in-game misuses of contextual multi-function buttons rather than their own failures.

So I wonder... are games becoming so complex that they are no longer fun? For me, many of them have.