Gameplay Blog #6 – Getting Lost in the Game

Gameplay Statistics – Week 6

Monday, October 9, 2017 – Sunday, October 15, 2017

Days of the week in which games were played: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday
Total number of video games played: 1
Total video game duration: 11 hours, 30 minutes
Communities involved: N/A

Game Platform Duration
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen PC/Steam 11 hours, 30 minutes

Total number of non-video games played: 1
Total non-video game duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes (Settlers of Catan)
Communities involved: Co-workers
Number of supplemental game or game-related activities: 0

Tags: PC, XCOM, Catan

In the Groove

This week’s gameplay was great.  I was fully in the zone and experienced prolonged periods of being in the previously mentioned flow state.  All of my gameplay for this week consisted of XCOM2: War of the Chosen.  Unfortunately, I did not finish the game, but I did have an awful lot of fun.  Early in the week, I modified one of my soldiers to reflect the real version of myself.  The game takes place somewhere in the mid-21st century, as indicated by most soldiers’ ages being between 2000 and 2010.  Accordingly, since my own birth took place in 1982, I made an old-man version of myself.  I made him the Specialist class because those are the hackers in this game and I identify primarily as a technophile.

Soldier of Myself

Soldier of Myself

I even gave him a biography.  I thought this was interesting because this enabled me to hold an additional subject position in the game beyond the Commander while this soldier was being sent on missions.  That is, even though I identified with the Commander primarily, I also identified with the soldier.  This revelation revealed that it’s possible in video games to hold multiple subject positions within the same game!

Soldier Biography

Soldier Biography

Binging on this game all week felt great, but I was concerned that, since I couldn’t complete it this week, I might not have time to binge again so much next week and therefore might lose interest.  Interest probably isn’t the right word.  Captivation is probably more apt.  This is a problem I encounter a lot playing games as an adult with many responsibilities.  If I can’t “sprint to the goal” and have to take large breaks while playing (as in days or weeks at a time), then I find it exceptionally difficult to get back into the flow state when returning to the same game.  I think this is a function of dedication and focus.  This effect doesn’t just manifest with games, but also in my work life and daily responsibilities.  The longer I leave something on the back-burner, the less likely I am to return to it in a timely manner, if at all.

Saturday Night is Alright for Board Games

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan – I’m the green pieces dominating the middle of the board

I had some colleagues from work over on Saturday night for Settlers of Catan.  I first played this game once about 15 years ago, and then did not play it again until late last year.  I recently purchased it back in May, and this was the 7th game I’ve played since starting again in 2016.  It was so much fun to have a social experience and a good exercise in being a good sportsman.  This is because I won the game!  In fact, out of the 7 games I’ve played, I’ve won 6.  So my “Catan Career” has been a really great exercise in grace and humility in victory because this game can really raise people’s temper!  Starting with the following disclaimer was a good idea, and a practice I will continue in the future: “no matter what happens during the game, let’s remember that we’re all friends here!”  It also felt really great to host the game and be able to provide the experience.  Catan is a resource-based game which has many elements now found in strategic video games (like collecting resources and upgrading cities, for example).  The game was very expensive to buy: $200 for the base game, Cities and Knights expansion, and the 5-6 player expansion packs for both.

Works Cited

Firaxis Games. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. 2K Games, 2017. Microsoft Windows. Computer Software.

Tueber, Klaus. Catan: Cities & Knights. Catan Studio, 1998. Board Game.

Tueber, Klaus. Settlers of Catan. Catan Studio, 1995. Board Game.