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Michael Bitton: What's Your Escape Game?

Columns By Michael Bitton on August 09, 2017

What's Your Escape Game?

The Civilization series has often been my escape game of choice. It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine why a game series known for its addictiveness (just. one. more. turn.) would be a great candidate to escape into, but it really is where I go to when I need to just disconnect and burn some hours away. Civ games can be as long or short as you want them to be. The series is turn-based, so you can stop whenever you feel like it and pick it back up just as quickly. There’s enough variety in every game to want to come back to it over and over. Exploring a new map is almost half the fun of playing.

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And there are mods to extend the experience. Interesting mods, mods that do simple things to improve the quality of life, and of course, weird mods, like mods that add WALL-E as a world leader. Personally, I’ve never thought to myself, “How would WALL-E do as a leader on the world stage?” but maybe you have, and more power to you.

Gaming is a great hobby to have when things are going well in life. It can be a great way to socialize, adventure, or even take part in friendly competition. But it’s also a great hobby to have when things are tough. It can be easy to escape into things that probably aren’t so good for you, but games can offer challenges that keep you engaged or even lead to new friendships you’d never have expected to develop. Heck, I remember joining up with a Battlefield 2 clan back in 2005 when I was dealing with some not so fun stuff and it was a great help to be able to connect with other gamers and work together as a team towards a common goal in competition with others.

MMOs, of course, are the probably the best method of video game escapism if you’re already actively playing one. For me, I’m not always playing an MMO, which means I then need to think about which one I want to play, consider whether it’s worth re-subscribing if it’s not an F2P game, and maybe even have to concern myself with how far behind I am, depending on when I decide to pick up a certain game again. It’s for this reason I prefer simple standbys such as Civilization. I’ve always got Civ installed and if something hits me out of nowhere, it’s pretty easy to just boot it up and play without a commitment.

Do you lean on video games as an escape? If so, what’s your escape game of choice? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site''s Community Manager.