Thursday, August 28, 2008

An exhaustive analysis of my gaming habits

I want a new game
One that won't make me cheat
One that won't make me throw my pad
One that is possible to beat

I want a new game
One that won't count the score
One that won't have stupid kids
Or make me feel too bored

I have this cycle where I need games I can play for a long time. I'm a voracious feeder. Some people, such as reviewers, play an average of one new game every one or two workdays, every year.

I don't have that luxury. What I do instead is feast at the buffets that some games offer until I've absorbed it into my DNA; then the pleasure decreases, and my Darwininan compulsions send me in search of new traits.

Here are the games I sunk many, many hours into. Let us analyze this pattern by looking at my feast games in roughly chronological order:

Final Fantasy

For the old 8-bit NES. As a 9-year-old with a strategy guide, this game seemed so, so long to me. I probably really only spent 20-30 hours on it, but it's the only NES game I remember consuming me.

Street Fighter II

My love for this started in the arcade. When it came out to the Super NES, I played it with my friends a lot. I made sure to see all the endings, too. Once, at an arcade, when I was 11 or 12, this guy in his 20s gave me a noogie for beating him like 10 times in a row. If only I were so Asian now!

(One time I played Marvel vs. Capcom and this little kid challenged me; he had to stand on his tip-toes just to see his power bar at the bottom. He usually beat me.)

Saturday Night Slam Masters

Another Capcom favorite, the 4-player action for this was stupendous. It was awesomely ported and me and my friends would play it for hours at a time.

Mario Kart 64

The first 4-player edition of the series. Battle mode and racing were had in abundance.


The N64 had lots of 4-player games, but THIS one we played the most. Grenade launchers in a 3 v 1 was their favorite: they hated how good I was. I have spent more time on this game more than any other game on the console. I also played the single player a lot because the unlocks made for awesome multiplayer options. The second level in under two minutes was difficult and had a random chance element to it.

Super Smash Brothers

My mom told me I couldn't use the computer and I was hardly ever on the TV anymore due to the next game on this list. So I decided to buy this one. Link had the most kills: over 1,000, I think. So much data!

Starcraft: Brood Wars

This game is the only one to negatively affect my life for more than a period of one month. I used money from my job at McDonald's to find out that we needed more RAM, to buy said RAM, and have a guy install it for us.

Eviltoasteroven had more than a thousand games, Rhymeswithloser had more than 500, and who knows how many alts I had. At the end of the day I had 54% wins. So mediocre.

Unreal Tournament

This was a beautiful game. My first college roommate was often gone because he was more social than I was, and was on the racquetball team and went on some away games. Awesome Internet connections were rare then, but I had one. This took over Starcraft; SC faded away.


Between February 2001 and March 2003 I was indisposed in ways that did not allow me to game anymore. (Haha: this is the Utahn in me. In Utah, you avoid all possible mentions of going on a mission for the LDS church unless you are at said church.) I was in Australia with the name tag being hit on by gay guys, told off by straight guys, yelled at by old guys, and ignored by women. Anyway, no games, but one time in the mall I saw the Warcraft 3 display in an Aussified version of Game Stop and I looked at the box. It was one of the few moments I yearned for home.

So anyway, I got back and got a really awesome deal on a Dell (dude, better than any offer you could get now, considering I later sold it for more than I got it) because I was going back to school and had nothing to type with. So the natural platform of choice was the PC.

I played through the campaigns, bought the Frozen Throne when it came out, and discovered that DOTA was much, much better than regular WC 3's multiplayer.


I'm really an Unreal Tournament guy more than I am a Quake guy. I played this for quite a bit when I was at school. Friday nights, I was usually doing this.

Call of Duty

This game was awesome beyond belief. I overheard mention of it somewhere in a game I was playing, so I looked it up, and bought it. I devoured the campaign and played online and in tournament play. I wasn't too bad.

Call of Duty 2

Between March of 2004 and September of 2005, I didn't play games much. I sold my PC, got a laptop, and got a life. I got engaged and unengaged. I had some seriously crazy college happenings afterward, enough in a year that I could write a book about it. I literally gave up games and got a life. It was pretty cool. Almost a year after the engagement broke off, I realized it was okay to like video games, and that they weren't the source of my problems.

My timing was good: Call of Duty 2 came out a month or so after I ordered a new rig after I sold my laptop. I played on a team that was in a tournament for money and we played very hard. One time on a Saturday we practiced for 6 hours and got pissy with each other just because we were starting to feel like family to each other. Our coach / team leader managed to calm us down and effectively dismiss us from practice. I wish I'd written more about what it was like. They were fun times.

World of Warcraft

In December 2005, I had to replace my car engine. That coupled with a new landlord who booted me out forced me to live with my mother (oh, the cliches!), but not in a basement, thank God, just the room I had uh, grown up in since the age of 10.

One of my best friends from elementary school and beyond had also moved back in with his family, apparently because they missed him (I don't know, they were kind of weird about it). I had coincidentally run into him at an FHE in Salt Lake when I was buying something for someone, before I'd moved back. He was always the first to suggest we stop playing and actually go outside, so I was surprised when I found out he had purchased a PC and played WoW; I was still in the mentality that subscription fees sucked.

Like all people who play WoW, someone else got me in. At my mom's house, I started playing WoW. Good gravy. I moved out in only 4 months, which was a shorter stay than anyone had anticipated. I got married 4 months later and deleted my level 55 character. My friend pressured me again, so I asked the wife if I could play again. She said yes, and soon after she asked if she could have a character. I couldn't get my homework done (she had graduated, I had not) and her character was level 30-something, so I bought her a computer. Now, we have two of them next to each other.

A month ago, I got tired of it. It stopped being fun. I try to enjoy it, but I really only play when Muschie asks me to. My friend isn't on that often anymore and Muschie and I rolled Alliance to 70 just for him. She's rolling some Horde again. I'm considering Warhammer. I have a review copy coming my way.

Team Fortress 2

This is something I had an eye on for a long time. I made the mistake of buying a gold LIVE account instead of this. Big mistake. I had to wait for it.
Just this last week or two, I've gotten a little tired of it. Only 328 hours! Nothing on Goldeneye or Starcraft. It has more time left, though.

My brother, a 30-year-old doctor, got a computer because they didn't have one, but mainly so he could play this. Sometimes we play.


I got a DS on Friday for our anniversary. It gives me an enormous sense of security. Not even contentment, just security. It's like I'm packing heat, only more fun and without the anxiety or precautions.

Maybe it's because there's a huge inexpensive library of RPGs, strategy games, and few other decent games, but in reality, they will only be the equivalent of ONE of these games; and it's more expensive. LIVE arcade has a few coming too. GTA IV couldn't do it for me. I finished the main storyline of Mass Effect in 26 hours. Bioshock and Portal were snacks.

Here's hoping on Warhammer, Spore, Streetfighter IV, or Starcraft II get it for me.

I guess I see patterns now. I'm still competitive and need that to feed me. I have nothing against single-player, but I chew those up.

Maybe I should try to be a reviewer.


Blogger Franklin said...

Nice post, Etelmik. I've certainly spent a lot of time playing a lot of those games too (to this day I still play Mario Kart 64's Battle mode with some friends). What you said about the DS providing security is hilarious, but so true. I get the same feeling. It's like you know you won't be able to get bored.

Do you have a PS3 too? There are some killer RPGs coming out for it soon, like Valkyria Chronicles and Rise of the Argonauts. If you don't have one yet, you should take a look at this contest from Stacker 2 that's going on where you can win one. There are less than 250 entrants as of now too, so the odds seem pretty decent... All you need to do to enter is design a 6 Hour Power t-shirt (which is surprisingly easy to do online). For contest details, go here:

I work with 6HP so let me know if you have any questions about the 6HP drink or the contest. I hope you don't mind me commenting on your post by the way. If you decide to enter, let me know and I'll vote for your design. Good luck.

Franklin Keane

12:51 PM  

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