Flutterby™! : Gaming

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics


2006-03-10 17:09:04.066517+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Elf pointed to a a journal entry about the heartbreak of gaming. A long campaign failed because his guild fell apart at the end, and:

But then again, suppose they'd actually bothered to give a damn, and I'd gotten the Elemental Focus Band of my dreams.

Oh, look! For only 160 hours out of my life, I'll do at least 19 more damage on every spell I cast. I just got two percent better.

There is a time when the skills of the game are transferrable. Tag on the playground becomes strength usable in other places. Resource management is transferrable. Heck, even twitches become better reflexes. But at some point I had to ask myself how much of what seemed at first to be immediately enjoyable was transferrable to accomplishing the goals that really gave me long-term joy. When "cross training" turned into "throwaway skills".

It's part of the reason we don't have broadcast TV. It's why we don't watch all that many movies. It's even why my reading has fallen off quite a bit. I could be consuming the stories, or I could be telling them, and there was only so long I could feed myself the fiction that the consumption fed my abillity to create.

This doesn't mean that there's no room to play, it's just that I have to think about what's just twiddling my mind, and what's giving me more options, even if I don't know how I might use those options yet. Because almost always I can find activities that do both, where computer games just seem to feed the ab ility to, at best, play computer games better, and at worst become just learning how to play that specific game better.

[ related topics: Games Technology and Culture Movies Television Education ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-10 17:43:28.661698+00 by: other_todd [edit history]

The key point in that LJ entry, for me, is the CS Lewis quote in the comment thread (yay Screwtape Letters!)

One demon tells another, "One of my own patients said on his arrival down here, "I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I liked nor what I ought."

I realized at that point that I was getting very little in return anymore for the time I was spending gaming. There were the moments that were great - but they were becoming fewer and farther between, and there was more and more frustration involved. I've adopted the Screwtape question as my acid test of time management - Is this something that I'm enjoying? Or that I ought to do? It's amazing how much don't fit into either category.

I stopped playing World of Warcraft - ultimately, all other griping aside - because it was neither enjoyable nor something I ought to do. (The griping was because, had other factors within the game been different, it would have still been enjoyable.) I am still playing Guild Wars because it is still, to my surprise, enjoyable. It's a relatively simple test, and a very useful one.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-11 05:10:46.39711+00 by: TheSHAD0W [edit history]