Thursday, August 12, 2010

Starcraft's Wasted Years

I was 22 years old and was graduating in 2 months from Michigan State. My grade point average was respectable. I needed to keep up with my work ethic through the next month and finals. I already had a job, but I'd like to secure a 3.25 graduating grade point.
April Fool's Day, the game Starcraft comes out.
I graduate with a 2.96 GPA overall, which I round to 3 for the rest of my life.
Starcraft accounts for at least a .5 drop in my grades across the board, doing that sort of damage in 2 months.
Starcraft is: you and another player start on opposite sides of a map with some workers and a building that makes more workers. Your workers can build other buildings that make offensive troops, and you build an army to destroy the other player's stuff.
You balance military, economy, and research all while fighting an opponent doing the same.
The catch is, everything happens in real time. So things spin out of control quickly and the question isn't what should you do next, but more "what should I stop from falling to pieces next" because

It's chess on crystal meth.

I played it like a second job - 5 PM - 11 PM every night and all day on weekends. Didn't meet anyone my first year in New York, eventually got sick of it and found myself alone and fat.

Fast forward 12 years to NOW - Starcraft 2 is out.
And this time I won't be alone - there's a friends list right in the game!

The excess of my early twenties can't be repeated, not because I'm opposed, but my spouse is. She leaves on a trip tomorrow, and I'm salivating at the thought of living off cereal, pizza, and beer all weekend, never leaving the house but to take the trash out or get more booze, and racking up the games of Starcraft 2.

I expect my rating to initially rise as I become stronger at the game, then plummet dramatically as I wreck game after game with my drunkenness.

That's the only downside to the new game: you only get one name online. Gone are the days of being KingCrimson (my main ego) and Yossarian (for when I was blitzed).
In fact, I didn't even know the name you picked WAS permanent when I picked mine, so now I'm stuck with Lichypoo.
At least it sounds french.