My Love-Hate Relationship with Games

The games I've played the most in my life are not the ones I've liked the most. They're the ones I've hated the most. That's because I straddle the game line between borderline-playable and addictive.

I had a roommate who once, only half-joking, declared I should see if there was such a thing as competitive Minesweeper. She felt she could be my trainer/manager, and we'd go pro. Honestly, I wasn't good enough to (current expert record sits at 47.828 seconds, my best was a measly 86s), but I did play that game compulsively. I still am at a loss as to what makes that game so addictive - it's certainly not the story or deep strategy. I ended up uninstalling it because I was literally hurting myself playing it. I played so much that I had to go to physio for arm spasms. When I got this computer before I did anything else I uninstalled Minesweeper. It was hard, even though I loathe that game.

Another game I managed to play until I despised not only it but myself every time my mouse would meander over to the bookmark for NeoPets was Kiko Match. My younger sister had a NeoPet account - I wasn't interested, but I did like the simple Memory-style game they had. I would play it a few times a day (a few ranging from 3, the maximum times you got 1000 of whatever currency they made up, to a few dozen) and was regularly on the best-times stats. That is, until the closed her account for making a bot to play Kiko Match. A Bot!? Hardly. Just a simple-game addicted sister. That must be now nearly a decade ago and I don't think she's let me use anything of hers since then.

There's also the always popular card games. My favourite was one called Forty Thieves. I played that game starting at about the age of 6, and when a concerned relative told me that I could play solitaire using I real card deck I was mortified. It would be soooo slow, and then I'd have to shuffle (which I still today do more like my very arthritic great-aunt then someone who knows what they're doing). Through my childhood I would stay up late in the night on an Apple Newton my dad no longer used playing whatever card game came with that, and also what they called Mahjong. I now practice complete card-game avoidance.

There are the games I play hundreds of hours of, but enjoy them. Oblivion, The Sims 2, Sim Theme Park, Escape Velocity. All of those were still as much fun at 400 hours as they were at 4 hours.

My latest game, long since vanquished from my Games Folder but that still gets played for hours a week, is Bejeweled 3, Diamond Mine. I hate everything about that game. I hate how satisfying the explody jewel sound is, I hate the music, I hate the awesome voice of the guy as he says "Go" and, far worse, "Game Over" (he might say something else, but there is no way I'm opening it up to find out). I hate the special effect sounds that pop up when I have only a few seconds left, and the, I don't know, adrenaline burst that comes when I "save" the game at the last second. I know it needs to go, but I just can't.

At least I come by it honestly. I sent a link to my mom yesterday - Glider Pro, a game I loved as a kid, is free for Mac OS. She sent back an email, that verbatim, said:

"I loved that game. My problem is that if I get these games, I play them. Too much."

Thanks for nothing, Mom.

I have games that I really want to play. I want to finish up The Witcher 2. There's the Archeology Guild mod for Oblivion I'm not quite done. The Sims Medieval is really entertaining, especially since I haven't played for a while. Honestly though, I'll probably end up in a Diamond Mine, wishing for a power outage. "Welcome Back", indeed.

8 Comments
8 Comments
Posted by Taefarinas

The games I've played the most in my life are not the ones I've liked the most. They're the ones I've hated the most. That's because I straddle the game line between borderline-playable and addictive.

I had a roommate who once, only half-joking, declared I should see if there was such a thing as competitive Minesweeper. She felt she could be my trainer/manager, and we'd go pro. Honestly, I wasn't good enough to (current expert record sits at 47.828 seconds, my best was a measly 86s), but I did play that game compulsively. I still am at a loss as to what makes that game so addictive - it's certainly not the story or deep strategy. I ended up uninstalling it because I was literally hurting myself playing it. I played so much that I had to go to physio for arm spasms. When I got this computer before I did anything else I uninstalled Minesweeper. It was hard, even though I loathe that game.

Another game I managed to play until I despised not only it but myself every time my mouse would meander over to the bookmark for NeoPets was Kiko Match. My younger sister had a NeoPet account - I wasn't interested, but I did like the simple Memory-style game they had. I would play it a few times a day (a few ranging from 3, the maximum times you got 1000 of whatever currency they made up, to a few dozen) and was regularly on the best-times stats. That is, until the closed her account for making a bot to play Kiko Match. A Bot!? Hardly. Just a simple-game addicted sister. That must be now nearly a decade ago and I don't think she's let me use anything of hers since then.

There's also the always popular card games. My favourite was one called Forty Thieves. I played that game starting at about the age of 6, and when a concerned relative told me that I could play solitaire using I real card deck I was mortified. It would be soooo slow, and then I'd have to shuffle (which I still today do more like my very arthritic great-aunt then someone who knows what they're doing). Through my childhood I would stay up late in the night on an Apple Newton my dad no longer used playing whatever card game came with that, and also what they called Mahjong. I now practice complete card-game avoidance.

There are the games I play hundreds of hours of, but enjoy them. Oblivion, The Sims 2, Sim Theme Park, Escape Velocity. All of those were still as much fun at 400 hours as they were at 4 hours.

My latest game, long since vanquished from my Games Folder but that still gets played for hours a week, is Bejeweled 3, Diamond Mine. I hate everything about that game. I hate how satisfying the explody jewel sound is, I hate the music, I hate the awesome voice of the guy as he says "Go" and, far worse, "Game Over" (he might say something else, but there is no way I'm opening it up to find out). I hate the special effect sounds that pop up when I have only a few seconds left, and the, I don't know, adrenaline burst that comes when I "save" the game at the last second. I know it needs to go, but I just can't.

At least I come by it honestly. I sent a link to my mom yesterday - Glider Pro, a game I loved as a kid, is free for Mac OS. She sent back an email, that verbatim, said:

"I loved that game. My problem is that if I get these games, I play them. Too much."

Thanks for nothing, Mom.

I have games that I really want to play. I want to finish up The Witcher 2. There's the Archeology Guild mod for Oblivion I'm not quite done. The Sims Medieval is really entertaining, especially since I haven't played for a while. Honestly though, I'll probably end up in a Diamond Mine, wishing for a power outage. "Welcome Back", indeed.

Posted by Still_I_Cry

You were 4 years old when Oblivion came out O_O?

Posted by mfpantst
@Still_I_Cry: Yup, wait what?
Posted by Still_I_Cry

@mfpantst: Oh I read it wrong, sorry about that.

(Offers up weak excuses for my error)

Posted by mfpantst
@Still_I_Cry: I'm still confused.  I think he said "4 games" but I see your point actually.
Still, what?
Edited by Taefarinas

@Still_I_Cry: @mfpantst: Okay, I've edited to say 4 hours.

Also, She.

Posted by Jeust

I too shared that kind of relationship. But I think it is mostly due to the amount of free time available. When people have lots of free time, and little on their mind, they squander it. But when they have time consuming activities they tend to play less and less often. There are also other factors.

Posted by Still_I_Cry

@Taefarinas: Sorry about confusing that.

I have a love-love relationship with video-games.