Virtuality vs. Reality

Word of Shadow has made a particularly good point about the dedication required for gaming and how it contrasts to fitness in real life. Its a nice comment and I thought I would make my own post about it.
When I was a bit younger I played basketball, indoor cricket, cricket, floorball, as well as gymnastics and boxing. I now participate in none of these, preferring to lead the quiet life of a satisfied nerd/gamer. Now, I don't really want to go into great depths about how unfit this change has made me because I will only break down and get depression. The main reason I gave up all the physical sports was because of two things; the first was because I wasn't particularly enjoying myself, my teams were either not dedicated or just not very good, or even both. I didn't really like losing and it seemed to happen an awful lot, and the fun I had actually playing and occasionally winning wasn't enough to prevent me from quitting. The second reason is the fact that I was feeling no great benefit or accomplishment from doing them. I saw no change in my physical appearance; I had no bulging biceps or a washboard stomach and so I couldn't be bothered putting in the effort anymore.

This applies to mmorpgs as well. These games are designed to play with others, and much of the enjoyment derived by playing is from interacting with other players. Guilds are the perfect solution to one's loneliness, providing a whole new world of things to do which were not possible, or just not as easy previously. However, the people in these guilds generally have to match your attitude towards the game, match your dedication and skill, for it to be fully enjoyable. If they are not then it leads to disappointment, frustration, and ultimately /gquit-ing.

And if the game does not offer the player enough flashy stuff then they will soon lose interest. When there is little noticeable reward to the player, he will lose interest and motivation to keep on grinding away.

This may not however apply to everyone, some being more resilient and patient then others will continue on doggedly, but for the most part gamers want in the game what they want in real life; visible and impressive improvements. The downside to this is that in real life you can only reach a point in which you cannot get any better, and when you have reached this point then why continue? Remind you of end-game much?


Crimson Starfire said...

I hear you dude. I used to be a super fit freak, and then there was a period of 2 years where I barely did any exercise. I gained some weight and became a hardcore gamer. Most of the friends I had were online gamers anyway, so it wasn't like I was being anti-social. For some reason, around 2 years into playing Guild Wars, I suddenly snapped and started working out again. I gave up gaming for 2 months and got most of my health back. Then I started playing WoW... boom right back where I started, except that I learnt a hugely important lesson. There will always be new games, but your health will last a life-time. So even though I was still a hardcore MMO gamer, I took time out every so often to keep my fitness up. The post Hardcore Gaming and Fitness is all about converting your gaming willpower into fitness motivation. So far its working, I recommend giving it a try.

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