Friday, August 4, 2017

Gaming life


Life is a single player game. You level up. Sometimes you buy coins. Sometimes you play everyday. Sometimes you don't login for weeks. Maybe you have a guild. Maybe you're in between guilds. Half of the game is not quitting. Most of the game outlasting other players. All of the game is logging in after losing all your archers in a raid last night. You go to bed defeated and broke. You've wasted so much gold and elixir you say. You'll never bounce back you think. Your guild is laughing at you. You're laughing at you. Screw it. This game sucks. It's rigged for coin-buying whales anyway. But you wake up, login again, and check your gold mine and elixir stream and say to yourself "it's not so bad"—and try to heal those wounded archers (and your bruised ego), create new archers, and go raiding again. This time smarter, you think. You tell yourself you'll level your troops up at the balcksmith. Build that wizard tower and make mages too. Yes, cavalry, archers, and (this time) mages is the winning combination. Who needs swordsman!?


The thing about MMOGs is that they are both competitive and pointless. You cannot win in everything. You rarely win in something. But you compete in bouts. Because it's fun and (literally) rewarding. The only goal of the game is the journey because there is no destination. So many players before you. Their castles abandoned. So many players after you. So young, so inexperienced you think. But you're different. You're faster than the older ones and wiser than the youngins. And you're levelling up, still. You say you're a better player now. More intentional. You don't respond to the designer's incentives. You're gaming the game. Elixir chests are for impatient losers. You understand. And then many guilds, armors, and upgrades later... one day you stop logging in. Nobody knows what happened. They remember you for a while. And then the guild moves on. The game moves on. The designers even launch some upgrades to the game's interface, how players upgrade, and they reprice the elixir chests. You wouldn't even recognise it if you saw it. But you're gone.

Note: This post was partly inspired by this piece http://thehappyphilosopher.com/single-player-game/

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