An Open Mind

**I've decided to re-do some of my old favourites, starting them completely anew in the digital realm. This is the first of such posts.**

I used to be a PC gamer in my youth, and I remember many joyful hours spent with games like Starcraft, Warcraft and Counter-strike.

We as consumers are always looking for the latest and greatest, and in gaming back then, we were all talking about great graphics and great gameplay balance. I still remember how awesome starcraft looked on my 800MHz processor. Then came battlefield, and then the major breakthough with the Valve Source Engine.

Now that games no longer exist on my computer, I can look back with greater clarity. I've taken away two main lessons.

First, playing games is an all-consuming experience. Just like school is an all-consuming experience. Just like falling in love is an all-consuming experience. And just like those 5 minutes of public speaking is an all-consuming experience. When you're living through these sorts of things, it's very hard to focus on pretty much anything else.

The danger occurs when you get stuck perpetuating negative feedback loops; the gamer loses his social life. When that occurs, the only way to break out of the loop is to resolve to do it, and do it in one fell swoop. Once you're out, comtemplate the possibilites and courses of action.

In a sense, such activities reduce the richness of your life experience. But they also open your mind in ways you never thought possible.

Talking to people who remember the days of the gameboy, then further back to dungeons and dragons, and then way back to tetris and pong, one can hear the same reminiscent tone of "the good old days". Those were the good old days because when they were with their games, their mind was permitted to move in ways that can only be experienced by re-visiting their consoles.

In other words, the mind is responsible for its own experience. And those 8-bit video games somehow showed it a novel path.

Perhaps somehow we can find that middle ground: to be satisfied with a weekly taste of good games, just like the palette is satisfied with a weekly taste of good food.

And that is why Starcraft 2 (released on 27th July 2010) is seriously tempting me.

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