As I slowly got into gaming, I started exhibiting what I call the symptoms of a gamer. My gamer friends have warned me that I will, and sure enough I have. Here’s the three I have experienced. Maybe there are others I haven’t experienced or I’m missing, but these three stick out in my mind the most.
Symptom #1: You curse out the television screen after you die from an incredibly hard boss fight. Also known as gamer frustration. This may include the urge to throw your controller at the screen or actually throwing it somewhere across the room. This also applies to playing a game on a portable system.
When I used to watch my friends play and they die from a fight, I was both surprised and amused when they got so violently passionate over it. Seeing them swear and bang their controller on their lap was something I didn’t quite understand at the time. Yes, I saw they lost the game but you just try again. You will get it eventually.
It made sense later when I got my own consoles and portables. I found myself doing the same things they did. I would use colorful words to describe how much I hated the fictional video game villains who bested my hero in a fight. I even understand how damn frustrating it can be to almost get the upper hand in a battle only to die by a super powered attack your enemy throws out of no where. Instant KO. Never mind the fact that your boss was nearly at 1% health. Once he/she breaks out the attack, you are done for without even knowing it. Gamer frustration is not fun. I don’t find it amusing anymore.
Symptom #2: You find the one video game that you cannot stop playing. When you aren’t playing it, it calls out to you when you sleep, eat, and work. It pervades your every thought. This video game is your new game crack. You can’t get enough no matter how hard you try. Then again, would you want to resist?
I’ll admit it, my new and first ever game crack is Bioware’s Dragon Age Origins for the Xbox 360. In all the times I have played video games I have never encountered a game quite like Dragon Age Origins. This game is the only game where I actually feel the incessant itch to play. When I don’t play it or don’t have time to play, this game is gnawing at the back of my brain. It‘s almost as if it were saying, “Play me. You know you want to. You know you miss me.” I can’t see how this is normal at all. I guess gamers have abnormal behavior? Maybe we’re just plain weird.
Symptom #3: If you aren’t currently playing your very own game crack, then you must or could be the short attention span gamer. You own too many games. Ones you have bought yourself or ones you have received as gifts. You are eager to play every single game in your room, but you want to finish the one you are currently playing. Instead of waiting until you finish your current game, you cave and start another game against your better judgement. Before you know it, you have lots of games that are half-finished or you started maybe five or ten minutes of one until you get bored and move onto another game.
I don’t know if I’m the only one who has done #3, but I do get eager to want to play everything. It could also be me not knowing what to play at any given day so I just choose the game I haven’t opened yet. Maybe there are gamers out there much more faithful to finishing the game they started than start a new one. I know one of the main reasons I become the short attention span gamer is because I get stuck in a game. Whether it’s a really hard boss fight or not knowing where to go to next in a game, I end up putting it aside until I’m ready to go back to it again. Over time, I find myself with a stack of games that are in different stages of progress. I don’t know what I get myself into sometimes.
Are there any other symptoms I’m missing? Does anyone relate to what I have mentioned?