The Adder’s Prey

Three hours until the test…. I’ll study for one, finish the level, then eat. No… I can eat while i game. And the venom sets in. I’ve been bit.

One of the most interesting aspects of gaming is the ability to take something simple,seemingly boring, and turn it into a drug. I started to play when the semester started, and was only slightly enthused about the upcoming semester of leveling my character. He had no identity to me, he was only the shelf to place time on. But strangely, my feelings started to change. I was noticing that I gravitated toward my computer, craving the monotonous slaying of goblins and boars. The simplicity of killing my enemies was somehow invigorating. I pressed 3(swift bow), 2(barbed arrow, and 5 (penetrating shot), over and over again. 3,2,5,3,2,5…the art was beautiful. Goblins cowered at those numbers. They fell one by one to my powerful bow (thanks Prof Hall). As they fell, the venom set in, and i craved more of these little successes. I realized i was living goal by goal. These small goals add up to create the over all goals. I would kill 15 boars for 12 boar haunches, to complete this quest. The quest gave me exp, and my new goal was to level. Once leveled, i needed to get better gear, and the goals started to mount once more. When i turned around 3 hours later, i said , “Woah, i accomplished so much, and so little.”

Then Monday i went to a movie and saw the exact same thing over the face of Mark Wiebe. He had so many small goals, memorizing the boards, learning how to jump the elevators, and jumping the barrels at the exact same time. I realized his methodical movements of the joystick, left right, jump, was my 3,2,5. This made the movie real to me. We both had an addiction, these collection of small goals to create a larger goal. For Wiebe, a chance to hold the top record at Donkey Kong was the apex of his gaming career. My desires were much less ambitious, only hoping to increase my dps as high as possible. But we still had the same mindset, small goals that eventually become large goals. This was an enlightening moment for me, a clue as to why these games are so addicting.

Ten minutes before the test i realized i hadn’t studied at all, shook my head, and walked down to Wilson hall with the pencil in my hand, and my elven hunter on my mind.



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