Thursday, April 29, 2010

Question Of The Week: Partners in Procrastination

By GM Staff

Wow, we are all just busy as hell this week. Annie's got a software crisis to solve, David's getting married on Saturday(!!), Dan's got his own wedding to plan and Kirk's supposed to be helping. With so many responsibilities to put off, it seems appropriate that this week's question concerns what games make the best partners in procrastination.

So, head down to the comments and let us know - what game has been your biggest procrastination aid?  Our answers, after the break...

Annie: My favorite procrastination game is We <3 Katamari, the second of the Katamari Damacy games on PS2. Especially if I can find the memory card I first used with it, which I currently cannot. Once you've played through the entire thing, you've only just begun the obsessive quest for the King's magical pink words of praise. You can get a "pass" fairly easily, but if you hit the bare minimum, all he'll say is "That's it? If it were my Katamari, I'd have made it much bigger." The blatantly sizeist attitude of the King paired with the innate human desire for approval means that you are NEVER done playing this game. You may find yourself trying to squeeze in a quick jaunt around the ocean while running a bath, or decide to roll up the sun while your code is compiling, but soon We <3 Katamari becomes the thing that keeps you from doing those other things.

Dan: They say addiction is a disease and that once you catch it, it never actually lets go; one moment of weakness is tantamount to falling off the wagon. I know that must be at least kind of true because of Sid Meier's Civilization series. After all these years and iterations, it's tempting to declare that Civ has finally released its hold on me, but that's the most diabolical thing about it - it never lets go. One minute you're booting up a new tribe - the turns are quick, the scientific achievements are rapid, and rival nations are weak and ripe for raiding. Some time later you're the first civilization to discover space flight and it dawns on you that you haven't been to work in three days. Honestly, if the Supreme Court wants to consider the dangers of videogames (also, blargh), I'd recommend they look past Grand Theft Auto and consider the danger of the "just one more turn" phenomenon. Okay, I have to go call my sponsor.

David: I would have to say some of the MMOs that I have played in the past have always been the ultimate games of procrastination. They always end up sucking up a ton of time and killing anything productive that I had planned on accomplishing. I really can't play these games in short bursts and I can't help but think that deep down I know this when I start up the game. Really, most games without well-defined stopping points becomes a time-suck. There is always something to do in an MMO! Golly, I will just do this quest and then I am done. Ok, I completed said quest, now I'd best sell some items and turn the quest in. Oh wait, a further quest you say? Mmmm, I am sooo close to leveling and then I can finally learn that skill and use that armor that I want. Very well, one more quest...

Kirk: My all-time greatest video game procrastination took place junior year of high school, just before my mid-year French final. I had recently started playing Warcraft II and that game's insane addictiveness, coupled with my general disinterest in Mr. Ritz's french class, made for a supremely potent procrastination cocktail.  I had very little knowledge of the material that would be on the test and yet I couldn't tear myself away from my computer. Days passed as I slowly worked my way through the human, then the orc campaigns. I actually think I did worse on that final than any other test I took in high school, but I walked away with the knowledge that if I wanted to survive college, I'd probably have to avoid Blizzard games. Zug-zug.

6 comments:

Daniel Bullard-Bates said...

There is a part of me that still believes that I would have been a straight A student if not for the insidious influence of two games: Diablo 2 and Neverwinter Nights. My appetite for leveling up is profound, and a certain Neverwinter Nights persistent world made me a DM for a time. It's still there if I want to go back...

No. No no no no no. I have things to do with my time!

Annie Wright said...

Ha! I am playing through Diablo 2 again as we speak. Nothing quite like scoring a bunch of gems on a cow-level to stick in your fancy new arbalest... That last sentence makes me question my own coolness a bit.

Tim Mackie said...

Last year Team Fortress 2 single-handedly lowered my calculus grade from a B+ to a C. That's not an entirely fair statement, but I stopped doing the homework right around the time I got it.

This year, however, I've been playing fewer games in general, opting instead to watch TV since I've been generally more tired. When I have been playing games, though, in recent months they've been Dragon Age: Origins and -- of all things -- fantasy baseball. This is my first year playing it and I've scared myself with the amount of time I put into it.

Jay said...

Biggest procrastination game EVAR? Fallout 3 for sure. I used to turn it on thinking I'd just tackle a simple side-mission or two... 20-30 mins later I'd be knee-deep in a swarm of mutants somewhere on the other side of the map, logging NO sort of mission progress whatsoever.

Lately, it's been MLB: the SHOW. Road to the Show mode lets you finish games in 5-15 minutes (assuming you're not a pitcher or catcher). It's easy to say "just one more" when you have 162 games to play in a season. And like TWENTY seasons to play through.

Dan the Man said...

Between the post and this comment thread, this reads like a list of every game I've played for more than six hours at a stretch since high school graduation.

Actually, we're missing Starcraft.

Oh, wait, look, I just fixed it.

Lance said...

MW2 has ability to turn Saturday into Tuesday. The online leveling has a profound way to make you play one more round to unlock the next weapon, or jump ahead on the leaderboards.