A World Without Players

A World Without…Games?

I decided today to click on “So Many Games. So Little Time.” in a blogroll sidebar. I was curious to see which games would be mentioned in the post as I’ve developed a sudden interest in trying out unfamiliar titles that go beyond the standard thematic and mechanical fare offered by my historical standbys. I didn’t see anything particularly relevant to my interests given that I’m not much of a console player and WoW is out of the picture now that Blizzard has finally followed through on my request to delete my Battle.net account. What caught my eye and prompted me to write this short post was actually a comment left by an individual named Baa Baa Black Sheep:

I had a really odd thing happen to me in the last year or so. I basically quit playing all multi and single player games after decades of non stop playing in all my spare time after work. I’m still reading because in my mind I’ve only stopped for a little while. Perhaps I’ll find a game tomorrow and dive right back in. And I’d miss this blog so I stick with it.

But because I used to spend all my time either leveling or thinking about leveling in games, it was kind of dull there for a while. So I started leveling at work instead. And the results have just been ridiculously good and stunning. Two promotions. Etc.

I’m only posting here cause who the heck else would I tell? I’m not even suggesting you try it, but I sort of wish I had 10 years ago.

This got me to thinking: what would I actually do if my default free time activity were not “playing MMOs”? What would happen if I were to suddenly just stop playing all the things? What would a gaming world without Player 1 look like?

I already know the answer. It’s what happens whenever I work for long periods with only short breaks (or no breaks) between shifts and end up doing things like reading or cleaning up after the kids during my downtime: I would…(wait for it)…stop playing games and eventually the background hum of their collected essence would fade away. I’m already tanking Real Life reasonably well (or so I think), so I suppose I’d probably start leveling up my Domestic Warrior. It’s only when I finally have a couple of consecutive hours to myself and consciously jump back into games that I start craving them and thinking about them again.

Somewhat tautological, I know. It did bend my brain a little bit, though. A world in which I don’t play games? How utterly unthinkable and yet entirely plausible.

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4 thoughts on “A World Without…Games?

  1. I’m always struggling with the gaming dilemma. Games have such a high opportunity cost in terms of time that the question of whether to play or not to play is always nagging away at me in the back of my mind. But in an alternate universe where I don’t game on computers I suspect that I would be either a recovering alcoholic from going out way too much and drinking myself into the ground, or my passion for games would find expression in the tabletop variant. There’s an idealised version of this alternate universe where the other me would be ridiculously fit, have multiple black belts in several martial art disciplines, be a wildly successful entrepreneur and have my personal relationships in good order. It’s just a mirage though, because if I really were capable of doing those things then the real me in this universe would have found a way to do them already.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I struggle with the want to be great and the desire to enjoy where I am at now. Without video games, maybe I’d be more successful and better off, but I am not certain I would be any happier. My passions thus far have led me to some great experiences, have given me the will to write about them, and introduced me to so many awesome people too.

    I may make more money, but would I be truly better? I don’t know and I am still happy not knowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d read more, write more and draw more art for sure. Probably get myself in better shape with more workout time. Maybe actually finish some of those hobby projects I never do (cross stitch that cool dragon kit that’s been sitting in my room for years untouched). Being a creative person, I always have something to fill the lull in activities. I’m rarely ever bored, with or without games.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d sleep more, read more, and watch more TV. Oh, and write substantially more (including stuff that will veer suspiciously into solo roleplaying territory… Is it gaming if I roll dice?) and paint miniatures. Maybe cook and eat more too.

    Liked by 1 person

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