Reflections of a New Gamer

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By Andrew Schmaltz

Something happened recently, something I never would have expected to bring me joy or a sense of accomplishment.  Something totally intangible but still completely weighted with the power of time spent and skill achieved.

This thing that happened that made me feel so good?  I leveled my Titan to 30 light in “Destiny”.

I am not a gamer, in the strictest sense of the word.  I have an Xbox 360.  I pay the yearly subscription for an Xbox Live Gold Membership.  I am a fan of the Halo franchise in that I buy the game and play the campaign.  But I don’t clamor for the new Call of Duty. (Honestly I find those who play endless hours of PVP deeply annoying).  I don’t even really like The Batman Arkham series.  And I love Batman is almost all his forms.

So why has Destiny affected me so?  It is not a perfect game, far from it. Level 30 isn’t even the level -cap so it’s not like I “beat the game”.   Games like “Destiny” aren’t beaten, only played.  And I have not developed a community of players to share the gaming with.  The Brothers Geek don’t play together all that regularly (mostly a function of our differing schedules).   And I wouldn’t even say I am that GOOD at the game.   I don’t score the most “kills” when the Brothers Geek do play together.  I die consistently more than my brothers.  I don’t have the best armor in the game or the best weapons.  I have never even been inside the Raids.

Is this addiction?  Is it merely compulsion?  I can’t just be that.  I don’t get a dopamine hit every time I play.  Is this why people play golf?  No one will ever be as good as Tiger was, likely ever again.  No golfer can honestly think they will be.  But they still do it.  They find joy in the attempt to push themselves to swing just a little bit better.   So that might be it.  I have had just enough success to keep me coming back. I have enough good swings to make the next round worth it.  The next round, I’ll hit further and I won’t just par the hole, I’ll birdie it.

Or I just gave up and needed to contribute to the Podcast more.

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