Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gaming FOMO

I was recently introduced to the notion of FOMO by my wonderful coworkers at Wistia. FOMO, if you are not familiar and need to be told (like I was) means Fear of Missing Out. It's something that most people are familiar with, but is a phrase bandied about at Wistia more often than probably anywhere else (mind you, I'm biased because I first heard it there and have only heard it there since). Given that it was a new acronym that I could relate to, I swiftly adopted it and made it my own—hence I have begun thinking about and defining my gaming "FOMO."

An example: the other night I was getting ready to go sit in my bedroom and continue reading Going Clear, a dense book about the history of Scientology that I have been meaning to read for-ev-er. A boop sounded in my headphones—Walt and Sean seeing if I wanted to play a game. While part of me said "No, you said you wanted to read more! The book is really interesting!" the other part of me said "What if Walt gets a pentakill as Attack Speed Lulu?" and swayed the decision.

Given the fact that I've already posted about not having enough time to do the things that I want to, it goes without saying that my FOMO runs strong. I constantly fear missing out on the next big thing—I get a feed of everything IGN posts just so that I can know what is happening in Call of Duty even though I don't really give a shit, nor will I probably ever pick up the game. When gaming is one of your only social activities, it becomes important to share in the triumphs of others, see those great things happen or at least know about them so that when someone else talks about it you can say "oh, yeah. That thing. I know that thing." No one wants to be the nerdiest nerd is, I think, what it comes down to.

Now that I've realized it though, I think that FOMO can be a strong positive motivator, despite the fact that it probably indicates a fragile, lonely psyche. If I did not have the intense anxiety about missing out on the "big things" happening in my life, which are mostly (at this point) my friends' exciting draws at Magic Drafts, accidentally killing Mewtwo in Pokemon X without saving, or an epic holy-shit-Lux-laser moment in an ARAM, I would probably just be sitting in my room. Alone. Maybe with Jerry, but probably playing something alone on my DS and moaning about how I hate that one peacock in my Animal Crossing town for always being such a passive aggressive bitch in her letters to me.

All thing considered, really, my FOMO going strong is the only thing keeping me, my hobbies, and my friendships going strong. Thanks, Anxiety. You're the best. And thank you, my friends, for constantly trying to drag my ass out to do things. You're even better.


  1. You should follow Giant Bomb instead, and Jim Sterling is a pretty great reviewer (on Destructoid until yesterday) and video maker (on the Escapist - check out the Jimquisition). IGN (I Give it Nine) isn't exactly the best place to get honest opinions about AAA games.

    1. That is a great point! I am always looking for new stuff to read, and IGN floods my feed with stuff that I barely ever care about. Though, it is cool to sometimes see things about games that I wouldn't normally hear about, and their free iOS game of the month is a pretty sweet feature. Thanks for the recommendation! If you have any others, I'd be pumped to hear them!