I’ll never stop playing

It is not over. It is never over. In the end, I always return to the console, and somehow, I always have at least a little bit of fun, that is enough to bring me back, holding the controller like my baby. During the last week, I even played just by myself. Twice! What is going on? Especially just after I said, that it is over. That I don’t want to play games anymore?

Right now, I can think of two reasons. First, the circumstances of being bombarded with things to do for my university: I play as a compensation for all the work that has to be done, as a compensation for my duties. And second, because I am used to play in so many different ways: If I hear, that my roomates are playing, I get overwhelmed by the willingness to play with them. If I come home after a long day, I walk through the living room, and there it is, the video game console covered in a bright and shiny light. Or just before I go to sleep, come on, just one or two rounds.

Addiction has many reasons. And video games are all about addiction. If I don’t get addicted to a video game in any way, I won’t get the “rules” of the game, I won’t become better, I maybe even get frustrated during a singleplayer story mode, if my addiction level is lower than the basic expectations of the gameplay itself.

If I look back, I ever been addicted to video games. It all started 1998, when my dad bought me the first Playstation. The fascination never stopped since then. One more reason is, that I am a native of “modern” 3D video games and I was always part of the evolution. Not only from Playstation 1 to Playstation 4, but also a part of the evolution of graphics, storytelling, gameplay and so on. Every new generation of consoles and video games showed me and the world new things or features, that were so fascinating, that I never really had the chance to stop playing at all.

Having a look from an outer perspective, this all seems complex and weird. Video games are closed units, separated from the concerns of the real world: They don’t bring me closer to any of my goals. Which maybe means, that they are a waste of time. But is joy, the core intend of every single video game, really a waste of time? I had probably one thousand hours of gameplay in my favorite game back then, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and so did my friends. What do I feel when I look back? Was it a waste of time?

A second before that magic “beep”.

Absolutely not. I consider this time as a good time. Most importantly, an “easy” time: We had no problems. We were friends, and we played together. That was what mattered. Marks in school? Didn’t matter. Problems at home? Didn’t matter. Achievements in real life? Didn’t matter. Isn’t this, what youth is all about?

Sometimes I caught myself saying, that I could have done so many more important things during my youth instead of playing video games. Playing the piano for example, or writing a book, or learning for school to get better grades, which in the end prevented me from attending the university of my first choice.

But somehow, I managed it. All my teachers were wrong! They said, no, you’ll get lost, you won’t get a good apprenticeship or whatsoever. I proved them wrong  and I somehow surprised myself a little bit with this. I attended a good university and got a great co-op apprenticeship at a big company. And it even got better: My addiction to video games started to pay off in the form of a Youtube channel. And this is probably another reason, why I am confident to say that I didn’t waste my time back then.

And at last, surely, times will never be that easy as it was in my youth. But this is the reason, why this was a good time. I lived it as a fulfillment of my perception of what I would call joy. And besides all other reasons, joy at the end of the day is what keeps me playing video games.

Once a gamer, forever a gamer.

Thank you for reading my GamePlay blog. I had a blast.



You’ll never be the best again

Five years ago, nobody online could beat me in Call of Duty. Surely, a few people did, but that was rare and I accepted it. But in general, I had a great time playing this game, because I was so good at it, and the feeling of being way better than most of the other players online was one of the reasons that made me get addicted to it.

This time is over. I have played Call of Duty: WWII now for two weeks and I can’t see any progress. I get killed all over again. All over again. And this is too frustrating. Especially, because I know, this has been used to be my game. The realization, that it is not my game anymore, well, hurts. A little bit. But its definitely frustrating. I can’t keep up with the many players online like I used to. Most of the times I can’t even get more kills than deaths, and wow, that was a long time the absolute minimum within a game. Now it is usual and it lowers my addiction to the game significantly. When I see my roomates playing, I still want to play a match or two, but shortly after that I again realize, that it is not my game anymore. And at the same time, the physical impairment of feeling a little bit dizzy after getting killed all over again is making me loose interest in playing this game. I stand up and leave my roomates.

Maybe, I am too old now to actually want to be best in this game. Maybe I realized, that there are other things in my life, in which I want to be best at. In writing for example, I want to write a bestseller. Or in playing piano, well, I am still at the beginning to learn it, but there is progress, and progress is a key factor of staying motivated at doing something. In Call of Duty, I can’t see any progress within the first two weeks, when I normally had a significant progress and success within the first two or three days. It’s over. And other things are more important.

While this GamePlay blog comes to an end, such a realization is probably what I was searching for when I first started to write it. I had my ups and downs, and more or less motivation to play games each week or each day. But right now it feels like this is over and I don’t want to play video games anymore. Maybe the motivation to play video games comes back when I meet my friends at home, and we sit next to each other and play a round of FIFA, I guess that this never gets old. But playing FIFA online, I think, I would see the same lack of progress and I probably would need a couple of months to become better again.

But I don’t want to. No, I think it’s over.



It gets me

The same procedure than every year. It’s November, a new Call of Duty gets released, I buy it. It’s like having a favorite game, and in each year a new version is produced of it. Because that is it, a new Version. Everything is the same, the gameplay, the rules, the controls, even the graphics, just the setting changes. Is a changed setting worth sixty bucks?

I wouldn’t say so. It’s just, I mean, I have been addicted to this game in earlier years. Although I don’t even have time anymore to play it that often, I want to have it. It has done something with me, or in my head, that repeats the habit to buy it every single year. My real life setting is independent from this habit, if I have time or not, it doesn’t matter. I still want it. And my friends? They already have it.

So I came back from Alaska, stepping in my dorm, and my roomates were playing Call of Duty: WWII (Activision, 2017), the newest version of the franchise. I would lie if I would say that I wouldn’t have hoped for that. Actually, I wanted to see this. I was excited for this game. Alaska? Far away in my head. What a shame.

I came back and had no time to realize, what I just did. Walking into the nature, purely and vast, and nothing else. I was just on me, alone, thinking about me and life. And then I came back and jumped into my normal day to day life during my semester abroad like nothing special happened. And a new Call of Duty confirmed this, it confirmed a habit, that I have been used to, for many years. Again, what a shame.

Argh. I want to do more out of this situation, I want to achieve more with the thoughts I gained through my Alaskan adventure. But at the same time I want to play this games with my friends. Well, maybe this is a discovery. I don’t want to play it alone. I would not sit down for myself and play it for myself with anyone around. What a difference to my previous adventure, completely alone in the wilderness! And what a confusing discovery…

Lets find out more about this 🙂



A real game

This week I did not a play a real video game. Some sort of, the game I played this week was too real to be a video game, it was a game in real life. A traveled to Alaska. I was dreaming about Alaska for ten years, and now the challenge in that sort of game was to find out, whether Alaska fulfills me the way I expected. Moreover, other challenges were completing different tasks like various flights I had to take, buses and rental cars, hiking mountains, hiking through the snow, staying alive in the wilderness. Being at the airport right now to get the last flight back to university, I have to say, that I completed all challenges. Yet the question of personal fulfillment in Alaska cannot be answered.

While I was staying in a rustic lodge in Northern Alaska, being the only tourist over there, I was thinking of life right now. Do I complete the challenges, life gives me each day? Do I not only complete,  but rather be good at completing all those tasks in everyday’s life? I was thinking, and thinking, and thinking. The life game was very hard to answer.

I do my best. That’s for sure. But giving my best does not mean I never fail. There is no respawn in real life, so I have to stay alive, no matter what. But staying alive can be seen from different angles. Either to just stay alive, going through life by accepting all given circumstances. Or to stay alive the best possible way, enhancing the experience of life every single day and trying to not only complete all required tasks, but also all optional fun tasks, that enriches life.

Such like traveling to Alaska. This travel game enriches my life, and I had to do it. Otherwise I never could have find out, if Alaska is the same as it is in my dreams. Its the same like a playing a video game. You only can find out if the game is as you expected it to be by playing it. Some things in life can just be conquered by going or playing through it.

Now, every game has it’s positive and negative aspects. For example in a game, that gives you options instead of being linear, forcing you to weigh up options and then to decide for a certain path, you might choose a path, which makes you wonder, if the other path probably would have been the better choice. But at the end both, real life and a video game, give you the freedom to also explore the other path afterwards. So what I am thinking of is, that going alone, just by myself, to Alaska, into this vast infinite beauty of wilderness, might been the path, that I should not have gone alone. Maybe I should have selected the multiplayer mode for that real life game, so I could have said afterwards, that Alaska was better than expected. But for now, the vast beauty of Alaska amazed me in a way, that I have expected. But not more.

Isn’t that always the case? The multiplayer mode is much more addictive. I’ll keep that in mind for my next travels.

Until next time,