Video Games and The Return of an Addiction!

My blog posts have been a bit more sporadic lately than I’d like them to be, not because I can’t get to my PC but because I’m using that PC to play video games and more importantly Blizzard video games!  It’s not the worst addiction in the world I could have but its been an on again off again addiction for as long as I can remember.  It started innocently enough when I first bought my Sega Master System and continues today mostly via games like World of Warcraft.

The last few years my video games addiction has waned a bit mostly because as I get older I get much worse at video games.  However the other addiction that I actually did recently kick was my desire to collect things (mostly toys), an addiction that was made easy to kick because I started collecting more things in, yep you guessed it, video games.

video gamesAbout two years ago I built my gaming PC and the first game I loaded on it was a game that is now over 10 years old, World of Warcraft.  Anyone who plays World of Warcraft or any video games knows that Blizzard has mastered the “carrot on a stick” ability to keep you playing games by constantly keeping new things like gear, achievements, cosmetic items and more just within reach and adding collections tabs to see what you’re missing.  Another thing Blizzard has masterfully done recently is cross game rewards.  Cross game rewards work simple enough, get to X level in game A and receive new item in game B or buy game A and get rewards in games B, C, and D or play game A for x amount of time and receive item in game B and on and on.  Recent rewards included a mount in World of Warcraft for playing Hearthstone, a mount for Heroes of the Storm for playing Diablo 3 and the one I am still working on which is a pet for Warcraft for playing Heroes of the Storm.

The concept of the cross game rewards worked masterfully and I recently loaded up Diablo 3 (a game I hadn’t played in forever) and each night for the past week or two I played for a few hours leveling my Demon Hunter to level 70 and completing Season 4 Chapter 4 (which I did yesterday, see below).  That’s what really brought the addiction rushing back.  As I was trying to complete the last objective for Chapter 4 (a timed event) I literally told both my son and my wife “not right now I have to finish this” much like the cat in the photo.

Thankfully my biggest worry of my addiction rubbing off on my son has not come to fruition, although he does play games he would much rather be outside playing baseball or just doing something else.  He does watch a lot of stuff on YouTube but most of what he watches he’s actually learning from and expanding his interests.  While we both enjoy spending time at the baseball field much more we do enjoy some father/ son time broadcasting video games on Twitch which we try to do each Saturday night.

Although this recent addiction did bring back flashbacks of days gone by these days it’s much more limited, mostly by work.  Today while playing I enjoy making the occasional video game videos and learning to broadcast on Twitch which also connects to my new work role in social media.  I’m using my exploits in video games to practice my social media skills, pretty smart right.

When I think about the difference of games today as opposed to when I began playing it’s crazy.  As much as we played games on our now ancient consoles trying for high scores and game finishes I couldn’t imagine also having MMORPGs like WoW and video game broadcasting thrown into the mix.

Of course the first step to kicking an addiction is admitting you have one and that’s what this blog post is about.  Understanding that for the past two weeks I’ve been all about Diablo and that last night I had a dream about Wildstar mean that I know there is an issue.

Now if you’ll excuse me my PC calls.