Ask The Readers: Fighting Gamer ADD

distracted Currently I am having a bad case of gamer ADD again. I start a gaming project, scrap it, think about running a game using system A, then I switch to system B while returning to the first project, scrap it again…

For some reason I can’t just focus on one campaign and one system. Dozens of ideas are floating around in my head and every time I think I am on to something I want to pursue further, I get distracted by something new and shiny!

Of course it’s not always that bad. Sometimes I can be very focused, working concentrated on one single project only. That’s why I am currently so glad that I can play again. A friend of mine is running Deathwatch for us, so that I don’t have to worry to get something done for next week’s game.

If you have been following my blog for the last years now, you’ll have noticed that it’s full of unfinished ideas and announced but never finished projects. I am now asking myself if this is a common problem of GMs, wannabe game designers and bloggers? Or is it just me. And what have others done to cope with that issue?

11 thoughts on “Ask The Readers: Fighting Gamer ADD”

  1. I do have a similar problem as there are loads of projects I want to finish. When I have a good idea that isn't part of a project I've already got, I tend to write it down somewhere (on a forum is a good way). For those projects I do have, I prioritise and then throw myself into one. I make a plan, set a goal and then hit it. For example, for Icar, I have my forum to do list ( http://www.1km1kt.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=34&am… ) that I keep updated. When I finish a task (like an image or a bit of text) then I move onto another item in the list. Only things in the list.

    I also discuss what I'm doing with others (which you do too) and that helps get things finished. If you have nice people on the internet demanding you finish something, it's a lot easier to do!

  2. I tend to try to stick to three of four projects maximum. So the blog, CyberGen, one here, one there and don't start a new one until one of them is finished. I'm not particularly good at it, but it at least keeps me honest.

    I figure when the muse strikes me I'll spend the energy to write the idea down, before I forget, but ultimately it's the ability to say "I'm going to write this down, but then I'm not going to do anything with it" that helps me get stuff done-ish.

  3. I fully recognize this. My general strategy is to remember any new ideas in my head until I finally write them down (and when I do that, they're fully developed). If I forget it, it probably wasn't a good idea anyway, and I'll never know!

  4. I have struggled with this all my life. There isn't a lot I can do about it as it is just part of my mental illness. I have found that if a part of a "team" or have a group to discuss it with or at least one other person pushing me, I can accomplish a project.

  5. Totally know what you mean. I think the internet has furthered this problem, as I have access to many more systems (and cool ideas, and cool figures, and cool everything) than I otherwise would. I find myself having Genre ADD, where I’ll hugely be into post apocalyptic weaponized cars for four months, then switch to sci-fi spaceship battles soon after.
    I think having a set gaming group or event helps negate this. For example I take part in the weekly D&D Encounters, and feel semi-obligated to go. It’s always a fun time, and fills my itch for fantasy RPGs. If I could get a similar event going for whatever flavor of the month I’m into, I think I’d be a lot more content.

  6. Totally know what you mean. I think the internet has furthered this problem, as I have access to many more systems (and cool ideas, and cool figures, and cool everything) than I otherwise would. I find myself having Genre ADD, where I'll hugely be into post apocalyptic weaponized cars for four months, then switch to sci-fi spaceship battles soon after.
    I think having a set gaming group or event helps negate this. For example I take part in the weekly D&D Encounters, and feel semi-obligated to go. It's always a fun time, and fills my itch for fantasy RPGs. If I could get a similar event going for whatever flavor of the month I'm into, I think I'd be a lot more content.

  7. I recently started a blog (www.digitalorc.blogspot.com) and I find that it helps me stay on track somewhat. I also started designing all my adventures digitally through Google Documents, so it has become far easier to keep track of my projects and not let it get too overwhelming.

    On the other hand, starting a blog has also brought in more input and more ideas for me to manage. Also, my online gamer folder in Google Document is quickly filling up. At least I can tag and organize them efficiently.

    Oddly enough, my game master has also recently started a Deathwatch game for us.

    Thanks for the post.

  8. Familiar for me too. I recently got into Savage Worlds and availability of fan-based or official setting rules has made it even worse. For example, I just bough Solomon Kane to adapt it's magic rules – and now I want to GM it too!

    What I'm trying to do now is to GM one-shots or mini-campaigns of some 3-8 sessions, that way I might be able to satisfy my need to GM everything.

  9. I have this issue as well. I think it's just a by-product of the hobby. One of the great things about gaming is the freedom to pursue random bits of creativity at leisure for as long as one wants (unless gaming is also your job, in which case you have to manage projects better). I just try to write everything down somewhere where it can be found and referenced when and if I feel like coming back to it.

    I used to get stressed about this, but I've got enough work at, you know, *work* so I do my best not to get stressed about gaming.

  10. I have this issue as well. I think it’s just a by-product of the hobby. One of the great things about gaming is the freedom to pursue random bits of creativity at leisure for as long as one wants (unless gaming is also your job, in which case you have to manage projects better). I just try to write everything down somewhere where it can be found and referenced when and if I feel like coming back to it.

    I used to get stressed about this, but I’ve got enough work at, you know, *work* so I do my best not to get stressed about gaming.

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