I’m sure I’m not the only one to find that certain games take over your life and don’t let it go until you (a) completed it on ever possible difficulty setting (b) completed every little side quest and unlocked everything (c) remove it from your computer/console to prevent you ever going near it again (or for a reasonable level of time).
I think I’m somewhat fortunate in that MMORPG’s aren’t really my thing otherwise things might get rather ugly. Although that might be broken by ‘Star Trek Online’, before then though I need to move into a bigger flat so I can build myself an awesome desktop computer that will run it.
The first game this happened to for me was ‘Simon the Sorcerer’ when I was about 9/10yrs old, it was also a time when my dad was home on leave (he’s a systems engineer in the Navy… incidentally, Lt. Barclay is a systems engineer on the Enterprise) and trying to take an active interest in what his kids were doing – it failed as he soon got very bored.
A little while later I’d completed the game and moved on to a game that my uncle recommended called ‘Civilisation II’ (he even bought the ‘Ultimate’ edition for Christmas, it included the massive strategy guide, scenario’s & guide as well as a giant wall poster of the achievements tree) this one my mum (she’s a programmer) took an interest in and we spent hours together playing it. I own ‘Civilisation III’ but I don’t think I love it as much as the second one, I also have ‘Alpha Centuri’ which is fun but not as good. My mum had to do something about this game as part of her Computer Sciences degree she did whilst I was in my last few years of secondary school, not quite sure what the project was about but playing computer games with your mum is fun.
I have vivid memories of playing ‘Theme Hospital’ so much that every time I closed my eyes I saw doctors with little dollar signs above their heads! When I got my first laptop (in ’04, a rather shit refurbsed thing) I bought the game as part of one of those 3 for £10 deals… many nights staying up trying to get to that last level!
Other games that took over my life were ‘Star Trek 25th Anniversary’ (actually this still has control of my life, it’s a permanent fixture on my hard drive!), ‘Fallout 1 & 2’, ‘Starfleet Academy’ (there’s still a level I was never able to get past and sadly I no longer have the game), ‘Ripper’ (it was one of those real-actor games, starting Christopher Walken… I thought it was ace) and ‘The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Rose Tattoo’.
Currently, ‘Black’ (a FPS for the PS2… ooh, abbreviation fun) has control, each level takes between 50 – 90 minutes to complete and it’s driving me up the wall! I will defeat the game! It’s made more frustrating by the fact I’ve had to lower the difficulty setting – I like to play a lot of my games on ‘Hard’, it gives you a nice challenge and I find it’s more fun and you definitely learn strategy (ammo’ conservation and the use of cover are lessons everyone should learn in FPS’s) but this game I’m really struggling with… so it’s down to ‘Normal’ and I don’t think I’m going to be able to complete this one on ‘Hard’.
I’ve played the game so much in the last few hours that my left arm is killing me, I’m a little worried I’ve pulled the ligaments (they’re weak from a previous non-gaming related injury). That wouldn’t look good when I go back to work on Monday, “sorry guys, I can’t lift the battery for the Genie. I pulled the ligaments in my arm playing a video game.”