China Does Not Mean What Tyria Used To - A Civilization V Story
Four weeks ago I was convinced to buy the game Civilization V. I've played about one hundred hours since then. That may seem like a lot to you or it may seem like very little depending on your experiences with gaming, but it's been a long time since I played a game that passionately. When my father asked if he should try it I responded, "only if you want no life," because three hours a day in my current life situation is a lot to spare. I have a job, classes, a romantic relationship, family, friends, and other miscellaneous responsibilities to juggle plus my commitment to my intention of getting my daily achievements in Guild Wars 2. The time I spent playing Civ was a big deal. It was a grand show of my passion for the game.
There was a time in which I would have called four hours of gaming in a day pitiful. I would have laughed at myself for thinking that was a lot. When I was sick and dying of heart failure, playing games twelve hours was completely normal. If you ever need proof that games are not murder simulators, but rather they are about heroic empowerment then my story of marathoning Guild Wars day after day is the quintessential example. Back then, I didn't play Guild Wars just because I thought it was fun or I felt obligated to keep up with the content, but because I really needed it. When the doctors stuck IVs in both of my hands I cried not because it hurt, but rather because I couldn't play my game. When my main cardiologist asked me what it would take to convince me to stay in the hospital I said, "a better internet connection." I really needed that game to feel strong enough to continue my miserable existence.
Now, playing twelve hours makes me dizzy. Now my four hours of Civ seems like a waste because there is no void it fills in my life. It is still nice to feel epic for an hour, but I don't need it because in my everyday existence I get enough positive feedback about what I'm doing that I reach a state of achievement without logging on anywhere. I hope I never need games as much as I did in 2009. But I hope, if I ever do need games like that again, there will be great games waiting for my return.