&: 11 years wasted building empires

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slowwildebeest
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&: 11 years wasted building empires

I played video games since the days of Pong in the 70s, but I was not a video game addict. Good friends and relationships, valedictorian in high school, successful in athletics, AaEU(tm)s in college and graduate school, high score on MCAT, almost perfect score on GRE, 3 college degrees aEU" games did not have an adverse impact on my life. UntilaEU|

All that changed in December1994 when I purchased Civilization as a Christmas gift. I decided I wanted to try the game out for myself aEU" but I had no idea what was about to ensue.

I adopted the goal of aEUoebeating the gameaEU -- in this case, demonstrating I could never lose to the computer under any possible condition. Unfortunately, a Civilization game, unlike those earlier games, required MANY HOURS to complete.

I eventually beat Civilization, although it required months of play. I played recreationally at first, but my recreation turned into binges, which grew longer and more intense. Toward the end of that aEUoeCivilization semesteraEU I did not show up to a class I was teaching and played Civ instead, so things were already going awry, 11 years ago.

Unrelated to Civ, I broke up with my long-time girlfriend. I learned about gambling and began taking professional gambling trips. I learned about nanotechnology and cryonics aEU" did anything really matter except having enough money to get frozen, to be re-awakened into a wonderful limitless and immortal future? Maybe being part of this real world wasn't even necessary or desirable.

I decided to purchase Master of Magic as a gift for a friend... and I decided to try it out for myself. My home computer could not handle it, so I played at the university. All-night binges, living off the candy machine and soda machine and fast food. All-day binges. After endless months, perhaps a year, I was convinced I had a strategy which could never lose, or so I thought. So I was done.

After those travails, I finally knew to stay away from computer games... until a friend sent me Civilization 2 as a gift! Well I at least had to take a look at it, since it was a gift. And off to binging again, this time worse than ever. I vanished from my PhD program without a trace, permanently. All I had to do was write a dissertation, but no. Also somewhere in there was a possible long-term relationship that I disintegrated, this time due to neglect caused by computer games.

After concluding I could always beat Civilization 2, I moved on to Civilization Call To Power. I eventually found a scenario in which losing could not be avoided, so after more thousands of hours, I was done with computer games. Again.

Incidentally, I destroyed the disks and CDs, then re-purchased them, for all these games hundreds of times -- often the same day. Quit, destroy, re-buy. Repeat. A fishbowl could be filled just from my own busted CDs.

After 5+ years of binging it was time to start life over. I had already quit computer games for a while, and I quit gambling for a living October 6 2000. The very next morning, just goofing around on the internet, I went to read about that old game, Master of Magic aEU" and someone had made a mod of it! Would I still always win in that mod? Well only a game or two would be sufficient to find out... Instantly hooked again! I could now play at home, so massive drinking accompanied my playing. Gambling resumed. And years of Master of Magic binges followed. Sometimes months at a time.

Until now. I know I could lose a game of Master of Magic, under some remote once-in-a-zillion confluences of events, and nothing can change that. I finished my final game the morning of April 26, 2006 (except for a 3 hour relapse May 2. And an 11-hour relapse May 3. And whatever I end up doing tomorrow).

This is the first time I have announced such a thing publicly, so I am hopeful it will stick. (Although the above parentheses, and my 11 year history, make that seem rather unlikely).

As for life after addiction aEU" well that is what I am thinking about a lot now. Life after gambling, life after computer games. Terrifying. Hopeless. Like always. Just like the old days. Except even more so now that I am 41 years old.

Edited by: lizwool at: 12/6/06 8:03

anonymous (not verified)
Re: 11 years wasted building empires

Hey, your story feels familiar, and I fully realize I could be the one writing these lines in a not too distant future.

I too have had my "final" game in January, only to go back and play in the beginning of April. Wasted April

I hope you and I will stick to our plans these time. As a sort of literal pun, I will stick this topic symbolically for a few days.

Max out

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What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

av
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Last seen: 11 years 6 months ago
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Joined: 03/10/2006 - 3:57pm
Re: 11 years wasted building empires

Very impressive post.. seems like all my problems are nothing compared to this. If you don't mind me giving you advice..

I think you shouldn't use computers.. for anything.. ever again. But hey, who am I to tell you that.

I also think, judging from your writing, that you can surely develop better hobbies than playing some rediculous game. I assure you, this is not a luxury many gaming addicts have.

Edited by: av at: 5/6/06 16:30

triton1978
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Re: 11 years wasted building empires

Great post.

I can recognize the obsession of solving problems / beat the computer / Finnish the project / book. It is all about closing ends getting it off my mind.

I have played loads of computer games before and normally I have maxed them all out completed within short time, depending on the length of the game.

When completed I have felt closure and never returned playing them again.

Trouble starts when completing those takes something else than beating the last boss.

A little advice could be to try to be aware when and why you play games.
What do you fell before, after and during a session?
Is there a pattern you can learn from?

I whish you the best of luck.
It will not be easy, but it will sure be worth it.

slowwildebeest
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Re: 11 years wasted building empires

Hooray! May 21 2006 I discovered in Master of Magic, that one cannot build a new city while the Meteor Storm spell is in effect. So... with an early 1404 Great Unsummoning spell, plus an early Meteor Storm spell, and an early Life Force spell, and Chaos Rift cast on one's capital city soon thereafter... one could be left with only one city and zero troops the entire game! I wish I would have known about this, say, 10 years ago. Ah, the comical-tragical absurdities of life. Anyway, now I am a free man. Too bad no one has ever made a "comeback", with my history and personality at this point of my life, in the history of the world.

anonymous (not verified)
Re: 11 years wasted building empires

Quote:Too bad no one has ever made a "comeback", with my history and personality at this point of my life, in the history of the world.

incorrect en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha

you have spent years indulging in food, drink and lasciveous women (figuratively speaking here ), so now you can don the wandering monk clothes and try the eightfold path en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nob...tfold_Path

It is never too late, do not deceive yourself into this thought even for a second, as from my experience it only leads to self pity and this in turn leads to further gaming...

Congratulations to your final game

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What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

slowwildebeest
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Last seen: 11 years 6 months ago
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Re: 11 years wasted building empires

Thank you, Calm. AND NOW for my next trick: no more boozing (at home)! The real challenge, will be listening to Chicago Cubs baseball, without some kind of sedative.

anonymous (not verified)
Re: 11 years wasted building empires

I am listening to an old concert of victor tsoy en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Tsoy

A great and marvelous thing to see him perform politically sensitive songs in front of tenths of thousands in the former soviet union in 1988 ... the concert was prematurely cut off by authorities though.

Politically rebellios rock behind the iron curtain, great stuff.

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What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

slowwildebeest
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Last seen: 11 years 6 months ago
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Joined: 05/04/2006 - 2:37am
Re: 11 years wasted building empires

Sounds way better than listening to another bottom of the ninth Cubs loss! However, Baker's antics did not drive me to the bottle! I am cured!

anonymous (not verified)
Re: 11 years wasted building empires

*smile* donA't be too overzealous in proclaiming victory.

I have lost many many games of chess, simply because I was feeling that I was winning and that nothing could be lost anymore

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What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

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