There’s no worse feeling than missing out on the big game all your pals are playing, and it’s only gonna get worse with how many amazing games are coming in 2024

I open my eyes in the morning and check my phone. Hundreds of Discord notifications. It happened again. A late-night decision to try out a new game, one which took place while I was soundly asleep—I need my eight hours or I will wither and die—and now I have the daunting task of trying to play catch-up.

Except I have a busy few days ahead of me: I’ve got some neat games to write about for this site, some social plans and gym classes to hit up in the evening. By the time I get around to the Hot New Game of my Discord server, it’s too late. I am the third animal trying to get on Noah’s Ark, Troy Barnes in the darkest timeline. As quickly as my pals latch onto one game, another one comes and snatches their attention away before I even realise what’s happened. The meta shifts, and I start all over again.

(Image credit: Sega)

Okay, I’m being a little dramatic, but I’ve been a victim of FOMO on more than one occasion in the last few months. There have been a lot of really cool multiplayer games that have hit PC lately: Lethal Company, Party Animals, Palworld, Helldivers 2, Tekken 8, I could go on! They’re games that are best played in a Discord call with your friends, sometimes with the addition of a few beers and webcams switched on to really enhance the experience. 

The problem is, if your primary Discord servers are anything like mine, things move fast. I’ve disappeared from voice chat for a few hours only to come back and discover that everyone has impulsively decided that we all absolutely must play some random party game that’s on sale for a couple of dollars. Sometimes I am that impulsive decider! But when your finger isn’t always on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not in the server, that’s when the FOMO sets in and you’re watching the ship sail away while standing on the shore.

Last one’s the rotten egg

The first offender in recent months was Lethal Company. It was a total left-field hit, sweeping away several of the Discord servers I usually hang out in. Every time I would peep at what people were up to while I was working, they were almost certainly playing Lethal Company. Its virality came at a time where I wasn’t really in a game-playing mood—I was off playing in fighting game tournaments and gearing up to take some much-needed time away from writing over the winter break. By the time there was a lull in my schedule and I was ready to dive in, most of my friends knew the game inside and out.

Bless them, they tried to walk me through how the whole thing worked. But it’s never quite the same being hastily caught up as it is getting to know a game’s quirks and spooks together. I was aimless as everyone else confidently dispersed to meet quota, repeatedly dying for my own lack of knowledge and—while they’d never admit it—hindering them. Of course they had their fun with me, sending me into death traps here and there, but when it came down to actually trying I was really feeling that playtime gap.

(Image credit: Zeekerss)

The second offender was Palworld, yet another hit that surpassed expectations. The life cycle of Palworld in my friend group was mere days, maybe a week at most. I was approximately two or three days late to the party, by which point everyone was so far ahead that I was better off tottering around by myself and figuring things out solo. Even then, friends of mine who were mere hours or a day late to join in ended up branching off to do their own thing because our most tryhard (affectionate) of pals had barreled ahead in the blink of an eye.

I don’t blame ’em for being so hot on the button. When there are so many fantastic games coming out—even in the wake of mass layoffs and an increasingly volatile industry—you gotta jump in and get your hours before the next thing demands your attention. I’m too dang slow with these things, pussyfooting around committing my time and money to things despite my self-awareness around my severe FOMO.

Like I said, I don’t miss out everytime. Hell, sometimes I’m the ringleader, marching ahead before my friends even know what’s going on. It’s always going to be hard to coordinate a large group of buddies to jump on the same thing at the same time, and in a way it’s kind of neat. Seeing a game spread rapidly, and often quite organically, throughout the friend group over a matter of hours or days never gets old. All it takes is for one person to stream their game on a random Tuesday evening, and by Wednesday morning the whole crew is rolling up to play.

I’ll still always be a little annoyed with myself for missing the boat on some of the prime contenders. But hey, there’s always the next one. Nightingale, anybody?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post Open world Terminator survival game set for full reveal at Nacon’s Connect event later this month
Next post Experience NVIDIA cuOpt Accelerated Optimization to Boost Operational Efficiency