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Some Kind of Shift

October 8, 2014

Dear Reader,

I’ve recently undergone some kind of shift in my playing.  I’m not certain I know what it is, but I have a theory.  I said in Illinois when I was teaching college that I had moved on the Bartle’s axes (that’s the plural of axis, there, reader, not the sharp-edged weapon) a little more towards socializer than I had been in the past.  I said at one point, in fact, that I didn’t see any reason to buy a game if it didn’t have a co-op feature that I could play with my wife or buddy.

Well, something’s slid that needle back to the other side, now.  A lot of the Humble Bundle games I’ve purchased were not co-op.  Now, admittedly, I bought packages of games, so I didn’t have full control over what I’d bought, but really, none of them were co-op.  I have again become perfectly satisfied with playing by myself.

A lot of my recent game time has been by myself, in fact.  Now, I don’t want it to seem I’m trying to isolate myself; I’ve been playing Civ games with my buddy Balkoth and Wildstar with my wife, so it’s not that I’ve become a loner, but I’ve just become more willing to sit alone and play games – like I used to be.

I suspect that this is related to my teaching.  I hypothesized before that I had become dissatisfied with hardcore WoW play and become more social in games because I was less satisfied with my job in Illinois.  I said then that the relationship with my students was different and less fulfilling than it had been in New York, where I taught 8th grade.  Now that I’m back in a public school, it may be that I’m getting my socialization in during the day the way I used to and don’t need it from games anymore.

It’s a working theory, at any rate.  We’ll see if I go through another rotation in the next few months.

In other news, I’ve been really enjoying Long Live the Queen.  It’s essentially a game where you groom a princess into becoming a queen by having her learn various skills and navigate social or political situations.  My buddy teased me about it, asking why I was “just now” buying this game since it’s “so perfectly suited for me,” but teasing aside, I’ve enjoyed it a lot.  I have no idea what the “end game” state is like, so right now I’m just doing what I think is best, as a real person in such a situation would have to.  If you haven’t heard of it, check it out; it’s definitely a little weird, but that doesn’t have to be a negative thing!

One of the best features for me is that it can sit on the sidelines while I’m doing other things, then be there, ready for action (or the lack thereof in most cases), when I need something to do.  I spoke about other games like this – microsession games – not too long ago.  You can just take a turn when you can and ignore it otherwise.  The other games I’d mentioned were Candy Box and A Dark Room.  These are perfect games to have up in the background when you’re writing, playing a turn- or round-based game, or playing an MMO with someone else.  When it’s time to take a short break, there’s your next turn, ready to go.

So if you need a sideline game, that’s one to give a try.


Stubborn (and solo)

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