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Unplug and Get Clean

Tim Eisen Posted:
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Companies spend millions trying to figure out how to keep us addicted to their games but what about the other side of the bitcoin? Moderation is the balance that keeps the circle of life growing but how good are you at walking away? Many of the people I’ve spoken with didn’t decide to take a break from their MMO. The thought never crossed their minds. They were going about their routine when something caused a break, a fracture that was never mended. Before they knew it their relationship had crumbled.

A vacation, a long weekend of partying, a date night (ok less likely), an emergency, I could go on but the trigger isn’t as relevant as the result. A withdrawal free unconscious quit! There is great money in that product if you can harness it. Uh WTF are you talking about, its called boredom or burn out, its normal. You say that with such confidence but when was the last time you really took a break from gaming? I hope you don’t think quitting a game and moving to another counts. If you walked away from a game did you walk away from social media? Forums? The internet? How about that little blank box where you tell an algorithm your deepest darkest secrets in a never-ending search for answers?

What the rest of society is just beginning to realize we’ve known for years because we’ve seen it all before within our genre. Social media apps are as much MMORPG’s as MUDs, if not more. The story lines, the fictional drama, the chaos the PVP! It’s all there. Hell my yoga app has a UI ripped right from a game complete progress points, XP, unlocks and a friends list! Your purchase history, your search history, your forum history, your game history?

You might think you got clean but did you? Can anyone anymore? Our lives are so interwoven with the internet and all of its glories we can’t imagine living without a hot connection piped straight into our veins. So let me ask you again, when is the last time you really walked away from the games? When was the last time you went outside for a breath of fresh air without checking your phone every few minutes? Still a master quitter?

Raph Koster was one of the first to speak about it in his porch and shotgun speech at GDC. This isn’t just entertainment anymore. Every day millions of tiny battles are taking place in comment sections across the vast expanse of the net. In our pockets, through our doors and into our homes our genre has, through the social net, become reality now and it’s reshaping our world. Being most equipet to deal with it, how can we? Does understanding it obligate us to take the reins by speaking about it? Should we let the masses crawl around in the dark or should provide them with a guiding light by showing them how to unplug and get clean...or at the very least tell them about the early days of Ultima Online!

We are living in the fact vs feel era. Every fact can be contested, every result debated, every search query showing you-specifically, exactly what you want to see. Real or fake it makes no difference as long as it gets the click. The only truth we take now is dopamine one click at a time. It makes us feel right so we must be. But are we? Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to like, share and kneel!


Tim Eisen

I roleplay a wordsmith that writes about the technological and social evolution within the game industry