Saturday, June 13, 2015

about the nature of game addiction (6WS)

I have an addictive personality--I am also highly competitive. This is a dynamite and dangerous combination when it comes to games in which you pit yourself against opponents, obstacles, or both. When the opponents are not computer generated, there is also a sense of community that springs up among people on one 'side' vs. the other 'side'.

You may maintain your "I"ness, your persona, but it gets subverted into a kind of group mode in order to succeed in quests, adventures, or goals that are group oriented.  The "I" is there, but it's now  involved in making decisions that affect the entire group, and the more independent you are, it is both harder and easier at the same time to devote your energies to that group and that goal.

I have just finished a year long stint with a game called RailNation.  There were four separate games played,  each lasting 12 weeks, with a slight space between each one.  It was played out on a map of the United States, and you settled (with your association) in one city and 'owned' it.  It is,  frankly, maddeningly, one of the best, hardest, and most interesting games I have ever played, one of the most addictive, and it required attention on a daily/hourly basis. Unlike many games, WoW most notably,  it continued on whether you were logged on or not.  That meant you were more or less forced to show up fairly regularly in order to be productive and useful to your Association.

I loved it, and hated it by the end of the last round, which ended last week.

 I'm gone.  The new game started today,  I went over and saw that I could log in,  and I fled. Seriously.  Took down the shortcut and the references to it.

Then I went out and mowed the lawn.


  1. Good Move, JT. Always advisable to take a break. I don't even go there, for all the same reasons.

  2. Replies
    1. And making sure the door stays shut behind you. I told someone in the game that I probably wouldnt be back and he said, it's harder than giving up cigarettes, isnt it. I had to agree.

  3. It isnt the game, which is well crafted, free, and graphically stunning (littul trains on littul tracks...) as well as carefully considerate of the's the time involved in it. some games will wait for you, practically forever. But this game, like so many, relies on your direct participation on a steady basis. If you're not there, like most trains, it moves on.
    In that regard its one of the scariest things to know about yourself, and to get away from.

  4. I don't play but this game does sound interesting. (anything rather than mow the lawn :) )

  5. if you really want to get into it, type in RailNation and then select US when they ask you for what server. they have at least 8 or ten servers, some .com, some .net

    they also show you demos of what the game looks like, and for me the sight of those little trains puffing away, tooting,...well, it was just too much to ignore