Currently, I play three games: World of Tanks, Eve Online, and Lord of the Rings Online. I also have a wife and three kids. Included in that is a full time job as well as some “personal growth” things, like learning Russian (which I have neglected) and Guitar (also somewhat neglected). That doesn’t leave me a lot of time for very much else.
Including time to relax.
Now, of course, when I play video games.. the intent is to relax. When I get into my Tiger II, with its Tier 9 105mm cannon, I am fully confident that I will be blown up, and still everything will be okay. I might even survive to the end of the match, while my son sits next to me telling me various pieces of information that may or may not be helpful. He thinks its all helpful since he is a teenager, but that is besides the point. I generally have fun.. save for the few inexplicable bounces. From near point blank range. On an Arty. From the Back. So yeah, inappropriate words form sometimes, but usually they stay nice and tucked away and still for the most part I have fun.
Lord of the Rings Online gives me that nice adventure in a now all too common “fantasy” theme. Still, they did a good job, it’s free to play, and overall I really like how the game is set up. Yes, if you die, I can amazingly revive myself or retreat to safety with only some damage on my weapons and a bit of pride bitten off and subsequently being chewed by a Minion of Saruman or whoever. It can be a no-brainer, but sometimes that is a nice thing to detox yourself from the day’s/week’s/month’s events.
Then, there is Eve Online. I have played Eve for many years now, and it.. it is an interesting thing in my life. I love Eve Online. I have a blog is 95% dedicated to Eve Online events. I daily check the various sources of Eve Online news, information, devblogs, devposts, Eve Gate, other Eve Bloggers, the Eve News sites.. That love is clear, despite how poorly I do at playing it sometimes. But, it is also clear that it has far more in common with a job than it has with “fun”, and the term “relaxation” almost NEVER gets touched by Eve.
If I think about it, it boggles my mind because I feel like I “have” to continue to play Eve. I have too much invested into it. My thoughts, when dealing with Eve, revert back to “What can I blog about?”, “What fleets will be up?”, “What ships will I lose?”, “What is the impact from one ship to another?”, “Will supercap proliferation be dealt with?”, “Do I want to log in, and risk being stuck for three to four hours in fleet?”, etc. Those thoughts are constant.. and I am one who has flown with large null-sec alliances, discovered spy operations, been a part of historic battles, helped in raising a no-name corp into a well respected one, and that list goes on as well.
And Eve then becomes, well, “heavy”. Sometimes very “heavy”. It weighs on you, this game where losses are real and that your ability to PVP is tied significantly to your ability to have available isk. It is heavy when other people actually DO rely upon you to be there, to ship up, to not make too stupid of mistakes. It weighs on you writing a blog about something important and watching as your blog goes from five views to two hundred each day. It weighs because you can screw up.. and not only just in game anymore. Your reputation, your REAL reputation can be on the line. Sure, you can be a douche for a short time in Eve, just like you can be in real life without much consequence, but Eve REQUIRES us to act on who we really are and face the consequence of what can be a bad and slimy character.
So it can weigh on you. Each thing. Individually perhaps not even in the realm of awareness, but as each new responsibility starts to add up, soon you aren’t playing a video game.. you are an actual Human Resources Department, you are an actual detective. You become an actual leader or working man. All of those take a piece of you.. and maybe you have plenty of pieces to go around.
And maybe others don’t.. or if they did.. they had to give them to other things. It is a curious thing, this game of Eve Online. We still play, long after it become so heavy that it might be more akin to a burden, rather than fun. And yet, we still play… don’t we?