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Your Turn: Gonna have to face it...

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Choose the shape of your addiction...

Choose the shape of your addiction...

What’s with my obsession with the next quest/level/loot item?  Why is so hard to drag myself away from some games? Am I addicted or do I just love playing RPGs?

It all began when I starting playing the awesome game by Sierra - Quest for Glory “So you want to be a hero” or Hero’s Quest 1 – back then my HDDless PC would ask me to change floppy disk everytime I changed the screen. But, this tedious way of playing via disk wasn’t enough for me to stop playing and continuing to complete quests for rewards or gold!  I think I was 12 when I was playing this and there were so many arguments with my parents of either get off the computer or go to bed!  Our PC was at the other end of the house from my parents so I’d wake up and play in the night.

I didn’t know it but from then on RPG/Dungeon Crawlers would be an obsession!

Diablo, Diablo 2, NeverWinter Nights, just to name a few, had me hooked. Each time I went to finish playing it was always just one more quest or one level. Then when MMO’s came to life on a mass scale (my first being Guild Wars 1) it was even harder to stop – not only was I enjoying the game but now I was with friends. We would game to see who could stay on the longest or up the latest before having to front up to work the next day! Yes I admit there was a few sick days taken just to play these stranglehold games).

After Guild Wars some of the team moved to WoW and this was even more addictive – our guild had races on who could max out fishing or cooking the fastest etc.  It was also a race to get to level 60 then 70 and then 80. But, is it the race I was addicted to now or was it still the “just one more” scenario like back in the day?

I must have an addictive personality but my vice is computer games not drugs or gambling – (I do love a good beer every now and then though) I sometimes wonder if I could quit if I actually wanted to? I don’t want to stop playing WoW and as I stated in my last article I can’t give as much time as I used to but if I had to completely stop I wonder how I would cope?

Are there any games that you have/had trouble to stop playing? Do you think you’re addicted?

 - Ben "Lotion" Hayes

Screen Play readers can submit articles and game reviews for consideration in Your Turn and Your Review using the email address SPYourTurn@gmail.com. The best blog post published on Screen Play between 1 February and 28 February 2013, as judged by James Dominguez, will win a PS Vita handheld console from Sony Computer Entertainment. This is a wi-fi unit, and has a recommended retail price of $349. The next prize winner will be announced on Thursday 28 February. Only Australian residents are eligible and the judge's decision is final.

twitter Screen Play is on Twitter: @jamesjdominguez

14 comments so far

  • I tend to have an addictive personality when it comes to games. Thankfully the number of titles I am addicted to is few and they are often far between. My current obsession is the beta of Don't Starve, and Klei Entertainment keeps releasing new content every few weeks...

    Commenter
    Misty
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    February 22, 2013, 7:40AM
    • I definitely have an addictive personality as well, although it's usually competing with my body's needs (ie: sleep) rather than other people.
      It's that reason that I don't pick up RPGs very often anymore. I get hooked and then I end up sleepy at work, get less study done, and am generally a less agreeable person.
      I'm thankful I never got into MMO games - not because I don't think they're bad, but because if I start, I'm scared I won't be able to stop.
      That said, I also tire of things quickly - Skyrim for example, I got hooked, but over-exposed myself to the point where I realised the "go here, do this" quest system was boring, and I just stopped.

      I fear for late March when Trials Evolution comes out on PC - skill based platforming of sorts with an endless repertoire of levels...
      That said, the levels themselves are short so it shouldn't be as hard to put down. It'll be more of a "I need to no-fault this level" mentality that I can see myself getting caught up on T_T

      Commenter
      Schmole
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 22, 2013, 9:01AM
      • I fluctuate between addictions when it comes to gaming, MMO's started with WoW, moved to GW2(less now though), then to SWTOR, then back around between them all again, not to mention all the non-MMO's that fill the time between, It's a wonder I still have a job

        Commenter
        Anon
        Date and time
        February 22, 2013, 9:10AM
        • I've realised that I basically only ever buy games that I'm likely to get addicted to.... very much guilty of feeding my own habit.

          It was all over the day that I played my first Bethesda (Morrowind) and Bioware (KOTOR) games...

          Commenter
          Swordfactor
          Date and time
          February 22, 2013, 9:19AM
          • Personality type is a real key to addictive behaviour. In addition, someone who is on the low end of the Aspergers/Autism scale (i.e. able to function easily enough in everyday life) will regularly have obsession problems with anything they are interested in, often to the detriment of anything else.

            Obsessions with the latest game often strike me, but not as badly as they used to when I was younger. I was a big Diablo 2 and Quake 3 player for a while, but the advent of MMOs hit me in particular where it hurts. EQ was my first obsession in that area and I spent way too many hours per day playing that game over 3 years or so – MMOs being brand new at that stage really gave me a feeling of being on the ground floor of something exotic, heightening my involvement. For a while it was essentially a 2nd job – to the detriment of my social life – and wasn’t really sustainable. Took a few goes but eventually I got the hook out of the mouth. I’ve gone back to several MMOs since, but always keeping a tight leash on myself, never allowing it to tick over to that “2nd job” status. It has helped that the genre is not new anymore and the shine is off the apple, so to speak. Whack-a-mole questing is only tolerable for a short while if the gameplay isn’t there.

            Commenter
            azzski
            Date and time
            February 22, 2013, 9:33AM
            • Whack-A-Mole questing, you're so right! I was sucked into Runescape back in the day (please be kind...)

              I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours standing around clicking regenerating stuff so that I could sell it to some baron and eventually buy a santa hat or something. What was I doing? Why wasn't I mastering a language or becoming a flute virtuoso? I'm the first to argue that gaming is a valuable passtime but I cannot find any utility in those hours. I was pavlov's dog :-/

              Commenter
              TBomb
              Date and time
              February 22, 2013, 2:16PM
          • I am a kind of 'binary' gamer in that I am either playing a game non-stop or I'm not gaming at all. It's not very healthy. When I downloaded Pocket Planes for iOs I lost nearly a whole week of my life, and when I wasn't playing it I was kind of agitated and nervous.A similar thing happened when I discovered Harvest Moon on the 3DS. Usually a concerned word from Mr Bomb snaps me out of it and I embark on a gaming detox. I haven't touched Pocket Planes since that fateful week, I know I just can't play it without it ruining the household. Isn't that sad?

            Commenter
            TBomb
            Date and time
            February 22, 2013, 9:35AM
            • I've actually found I have a limited attention span when it comes to games which exhausts whether I'm playing it or not. The moment when I make a decision that I am going to play a game, whether I own it yet or not, whether it's releasing in a week's time or has been out for years, an internal clock starts ticking and I have about 2-3 months tops before, whether I've played the game or not, I just can't bring myself to care about it anymore. I think this is because I tend to get cravings for different genres all the time. Once a year I want to devour a 4x. Occasionally I want a driving game (usually rally), I fall prey to JRPGS now and again, and I love a solid platformer.

              So I earmark titles in different genres that I'd be interested in so next time I get a craving for a specific type of game, I can pick out one to "decide to play next". I rarely have more than 1 or 2 games on the go at any one point, and my completion rate is probably only in the single figures, percentage wise, because if I haven't finished the game before that timer goes off, I just drop the game and probably won't come back to it till I have another craving, at which point I'm liable to pick up a new game rather than one I played but got tired of.

              Commenter
              Lucid Fugue
              Location
              Melbourne
              Date and time
              February 22, 2013, 9:49AM
              • Monster Hunter Tri and Skyrim are the only 2 I can think of that I've had a fair addiction to in recent years.

                Commenter
                Tiger
                Location
                Work
                Date and time
                February 22, 2013, 10:22AM
                • Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim are all directly responsible for large black holes of time in my life, but then levelling Khajiit to wear heavy armour and swing warhammers whilst drinking skooma will do that... Good times

                  Commenter
                  munky_punch
                  Date and time
                  February 22, 2013, 1:02PM

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