Tag Archives: addiction

Football Manager 2012: the addiction continues

One of the best things about having the job I have is that sometimes, in some places, some people pay attention to what you do and don’t like. People get reputations for being ‘the person who likes this’, or ‘the twat who won’t shut up about that’. It doesn’t happen to me much, as I’m pretty ignorable, but it has happened with something I’m happy about: I’m the Football Manager guy.

What this means is that I am personally sent early, pre-release codes to download the new Football Manager games well before they’re out, and well before you – the plebes – get to have a go at it. This: makes me very happy indeed. Why do I point this out today? Because I have been sent a preview code for FM2012, of course.

Yes, this made me so giddy at work I managed to ignore my intense hatred of the world for a couple of minutes and jiggle up and down like an excitable four-year-old made of jelly.

In fact, I’ve just entered the code now and… IT’S NOT WORKING?! Shit, I… no. I can’t handle this. Not now. Not in this frame of mind. I’ll lose it. I’ll go Unabomber on everyone’s ass. I’ll make 9/11 x 10,000 happen. PEOPLE WILL DIE BY MY HAND.

Ah, no – it’s worked. Phew!

Right, off to my wonderful life of sitting, waiting for something to download. I don’t give a shit – I fucking love Football Manager. It’s one of the best addictions I’ve ever had, and I’ve just deleted what I wrote there because even for me it was a bit extreme. I really am full of quite a lot of genuine hatred today. Brilliant!

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I’m suffering here

COULDN’T BE BOTHERED WITH AN IMAGE. IMAGINE MY FACE.

Unfortunatley I was kept away from doing a proper blog today by a most pressing issue. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the most defining events of my life so far, and a deeply affecting situation for me to be in right now. It’s been dominating my mind recently, making me lose sleep and obsess over the silliest of things that really wouldn’t – couldn’t – be important to anyone other than me. I am almost ashamed to be suffering like I am, especially after so many of you told me this would happen. You warned me not to get involved – that it would only lead to hurt. And all I can say is I’m sorry, because I didn’t listen. And now I’m paying the price physically and emotionally.

Game Dev Story is really fucking addictive.

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The end of the World… of Warcraft.

I have recently lost someone in my life to the blight that is World Of Warcraft. I have had a chequered history with this game and now, once again, it has raised its ugly head, got all up in my grill and insulted me to my fat face.

I have never played WOW – which for some reason is hard for people to believe. For one, I don’t like the thought of paying a monthly subscription for a game. As for two, well – I know damn well I’d be hopelessly addicted within a day, so I don’t want to risk it. I have Football Manager. It’s my methadone.

But I’ve known many people in my life who played WOW, and who still do. My time in CEX was littered with stories about The Horde and guilds and other shit like that, as 90 per cent of people who worked there played religiously. I didn’t give in to temptation. I made a stand. I held my nerve and managed to stay strong.

And now, many years later, Darling Sweetheart Girlfriend has taken up the Warcrack habit. I fear I have lost her forever. I attempt to start a conversation – an interesting one, naturally – and her response arrives with 12.4% less enthusiasm than it did the other day (pre-WOW). I may have to start punching to get the attention I deserve.

I mean, honestly – who gets addicted to video games? They’re for kids and nerds, right? Only losers play them, etc, etc. Ho ho, the bitter ironing.

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Addiction: I’m battling it, and I’m losing

I have a confession to make, and it’s not one I’m particularly proud of. See, I have an addiction. I’ve been keeping it at bay over the last few weeks to the best of my ability, but I often find myself unable to control urges. You must understand that it’s a diseeeeease. As such, I can only ask for your sympathy in this, my most troubling of times.

I will admit that I am lucky my addiction has not taken me down the route of alcohol – destructive to the mindtank as that is. As for drugs? Well I only use heroin once a week, recreationally, so there’s no issue there*. Gambling? All under control, as well we know. But that’s not to say my addiction is anything less on the grand scale – it dominates my mind, and while I can’t claim it actually inconveniences me in any way whatsoever, it does irk me somewhat.

I managed for a few months, actually, to stay away from it. I tried alternatives and they kept me going, but just like methadone they’re never as good as the real thing. But I kept at it and I had a minor breakthrough in that I’d almost forgotten about my once-insatiable desires.

So my brain said to me “well you’re over it now. Why not have a celebratory… you know?” And you know what I did, dear audience? I listened to my brain for the first time in 27 years. And now? Now the addiction is back. And it won’t go away.

I just can’t stop quaffing D&G Old Jamaica Ginger Beer. Seriously – I’m onto one, maybe two cans a day. It’s liquid crack. I need help. Or more cans, as I only have four left for the weekend. Care packages willingly accepted.

*Always admit where you stole a joke from. Here.

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Bingo! research part II: this time it’s blackjack

It seems that my simple foray into experimenting with online bingo has taken another step. One might say a step too far. See, I decided I would put a few spare quid I had (35 of them, to be precise. Sigh) on a certain blackjack card game offered by a certain William Hill’s online casino. I did this as I was bored and because I like gambling.

For once it didn’t turn out to be a complete horror show. I initially lost money, but soon enough I had made it back. Then I’d made back some other money I’d lost before. Then I’d made profit. Then I’d made double the worth of my losses in profit. Then treble. And on, and on, until – two hours later – I walked away from the space-internet-virtual table with £1,300 winnings. That’s thirteen hundred, in case you’re wondering.

I have therefore decided that I need to ban myself from all of these sites, as it would seem to be all too easy for me to lapse into the attitude of “oh, I can just win again”. When I can’t. Being lucky once doesn’t mean it will happen regularly, or ever again. Hmm… Must visit Google to find out how to block this stuff.

It’s not a problem unless you let it become one, right? Also I’m in profit, and have therefore beaten the casinos. I win. I quit. Victory is mine. Never again.

Though there is always World Series Of Poker…

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Repetition and avarice

A quick bash on Borderlands starting at around 9pm last night – an hour or so, before Match of the Day and a bit of progress for my Brick character. Or so I thought. The addition of two chums (and a few interchangeable randoms) and you have the recipe for roughly seven hours of play. Seven hours. And this is exactly why Borderlands is pretty much better than you.

It’s absolutely compulsive stuff in single-player, of that there’s no doubt. But it doesn’t really smack of any kind of genius; it’s just a well-made title that appeals to the hoarding part of the brain, for those who actually have that part of the brain. Obviously. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s almost boring – annoying, even – when you play Borderlands alone. Hours of running backwards as endless streams of irritating, snappy enemies run straight at you. It’s not so much fun as it is outright addictive.

But then you throw in a couple of mates, and you end up playing the bloody thing for about seven hours, forgetting to eat, drink, visit the toilet or talk to yo’ woman (SORRY ANNA). What changes? Well it actually adds enemies the more players you have working together, so surely that should just make it more annoying? Well, yes, on paper. But then, on paper Borderlands should be a bag of shit anyway – a game where all you do is run about killing roughly three types of enemy for dozens of hours, picking up thousands of pointless items. But just like Communism, what’s on paper doesn’t necessarily translate to the real (virtual) world. More people = more fun. You can actually use character classes as they’re meant to be used, work together as a team and – probably best of all – spend ten minutes standing in a circle throwing weapons onto the ground in the middle for the group to peruse. Sod your MMOGs, your MAGs and your OTHER UPPER CASE ACRONYMS: Borderlands, four (or three) people and a bit (lot) of spare time is all you need.

Oh, plus it helps when Rich is a big flaming prat who kills everyone for you. Makes things less irritating, at least.

Problem is, now I’ve got to remember to avoid a “quick bash” on Borderlands today, as I have work to be getting on with. Stupid time, gets in the way of everything.

(Today’s entry brought to you by: not saying everything you want to say about a game; the need to get some work done dominating your mind; really wanting a cup of tea; tiredness; hunger; AVARICE)

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Steam = crack: very moreish

It’s official (and it’s something that’s been echoed by many people I know): Steam has ruined me. What was once a pathetic-looking bank account with a few spare quid in it has turned into a barren wasteland that wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery hosting pictures of ‘the middle bit of Australia’.

It all started out so innocently – and I know this because there is a function to check your previous purchases. A couple of years ago I bought the X-Com Collection for about £3. Not bad for two of my favourite games ever made and a few more shit ones. Then some others came: the sales had indie games, World of Goo was snapped up along with a dozen or so other no-name things that I bought out of curiosity. Soon enough the snowball had picked up enough pace to wipe out an entire village with the likes of the Ubisoft package turning up in the My Games tab. All of this was before those evil, vindictive shits in charge decided to go with the massive winter sale just a few weeks ago. How on earth could I resist the Eidos package? Torchlight for a few quid? Morrowind?

Obviously, I couldn’t.

Steam has turned me back into a child; it’s taken me back to the days when I would buy a game based on what it looked like, or what its name was, or just if it was cheap enough (see: Blast Chamber on PSOne for a prime example). The problem is, back then I had a controlled income and couldn’t live beyond these means. If I didn’t have the money there was no overdraft, no credit card to act as ‘free’ money for something I just wanted. Now, obviously, it’s a different matter altogether.

I should learn to control myself and all that gumph, but sod that: I hate you Steam – you’ve ruined me.

(I don’t hate you really I love you please don’t hate me sorry)

I could go on for thousands of words on this, easily, about how it’s not even the playing of the games that gets me – it’s just buying them. Getting them cheap. Picking up a bargain. Owning another classic. But I’m not going to, as freelance won’t do itself. And you can sod off if you think I’m going to actually get deep with this.

On the plus side, this does now mean I have a shitload of great games to work through for the next (few) year(s). And what’s that you say? King’s Bounty Gold for a matter of pounds? Well, one more couldn’t hurt…

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