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Pokemon gambling addictions

March 5, 2012

And I don’t mean the game corner!

My favourite blogger, Shamus, talked about the sneaky gambling mechanics snuck into Borderlands recently over here. The gist of it is that you never know when the next loot you find will be a super fancy big gun so you feel the urge to keep playing.

Well, this happened to me with pokemon. I’m in sort of an awkward transitionary phase in pokemon where I am definitely not competitive and yet I understand too many of the mechanics to really feel like a casual player anymore. Darn! I get all the IV and EV nonsense but I only want to  use my favourites and make all one type teams.

I was busy trying to make a team of all normal types. Not even mixed types. We’re talking all pure normal types here! I love pure normal pokemon so I don’t care if it is a terrible basis for a team competitively. Snorlax, Slaking, Dunsparce, Bouffalant, Porygon-Z, and Lickilicky! I was spending a lot of time on this but I was justifying it but doing multiple things at once. Pokemon and Adventure time. Pokemon and The Daily Show. Pokemon and random youtube videos. It was the perfect plan! I could watch stuff but ride my bike back and forth to get eggs and hope for one with good nature/IVs etc. But sometimes it takes a while for a pokemon with great stats to come along and since I could do a lot of stuff at the same time as pokemon, pokemon was suddenly always on. It was an addiction. You never know when that perfect egg is going to come along just like that perfect gun in Borderlands. Addictions are scary!

So that sorta snuck up on me but thankfully I was still doing other stuff so I don’t feel like I wasted a few days, really. But I decided that enough was enough and just stopped playing. Now I’m back on track playing games that are actually entertaining and reading cool books instead of riding a virtual bike back and forth while half-watching videos. I’m playing Psychonauts and reading The Diamond Age so I should have plenty to blog about soon.

It’s incredible how relieved I felt to just stop. This is what scares me about the social gaming fad propagated by zynga and others. The games never end and they just feed off of addictive behaviours. It saddens me to think that this is the sole gaming experience for many.

I do like the game corner music, though!

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