Back into Hell Again

(Editor’s Note: I’m swear that I’m not a Meatloaf fan. The guy just writes the most obnoxiously catchy earworms int he history of pop music. Okay, I guess “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” is pretty damn good song.)

Our recent expansion of the groupnotwithstanding, I’m not not very enthusiastic about Magic. My discovery of free online Magic reignited my interest briefly, but the rise of mindless red decks make me never want to play the game again. I’ve played Cube so much that I’m sick of the cards and format and I just feel like I’m on a phenomenal cold streak in general. The game just isn’t that much fun.

It has gotten to the point that I might need to get a restraining order against this card.
It has gotten to the point that I might need to get a restraining order against this card.

Magic Duels released last week. I downloaded it on the day that it did and will write an article for next week. The problem is that one of the only reasons that I play the game is for the story and I finished that in only three days. In the past, they’ve had puzzles and other side events to keep me busy. Those don’t exist anymore, but they do have daily quests now. Given my already negative attitude, that’s just not enough for me to log into the game.

It all came to a head earlier this week in a test to Chris. It said, simply, “Why do I even play this game?” I had just gotten blown out in another Cube event by a deck that seemed to have the exact answers for my deck. I furiously closed the program and tried to walk away from the computer. Aiden and I tried to get a game of Dicemasters going to help distract me, but work, Tae Kwon Do, and swimming have prevented us from making it happen.

More recently, I texted Chris with a fairly mean spirited assessment of mono red deck players. We had a good conversation about our attitudes towards Magic. Mine, I decided, is really dark. I’ve taken a step back from where I was only a few months ago. In addition to not enjoying the game, I’m back to blaming most of my losses on bad luck. I agree with Chris. I just need to step away for a few days. Thankfully, we are going to the Cape and I will be away from the computer completely.


Because, I’ve tried playing Magic via the free client and Duels, but every time I’ve just gotten angry about the proliferation of mono red in every format, the feeling that the MtG universe is against me in any limited environment (Seriously, who has two thumbs, drafts BW enchantments in Origins and then gets mana screwed game 1 and flooded game 2? This guy, that’s who.), and the recent discovery that yet another category of cards has become unobtainable due to speculation and price gouging. The game as it is available to me just isn’t fun.

No land and no spells makes Homer...something something.
No land and no spells makes Homer…something something.

Chris, as he does whenever I text him one of my one line manifestos against the game, mentioned Diablo III again and how much fun he has playing it. My history with Diablo III is long and checkered. I started a game way back when Blizzard gave it free with some WoW promotion, lost the game when the promotion ended, tried playing coop with Chris, had fun and thought it was only fun as coop, tried again with a witch doctor character, abandoned it, tried it yet again solo, abandoned it again, and finally found a class that I enjoy playing in Demon Hunter. It felt like a whole different game. It was the fun game that I’ve heard Chris and others kept mentioning and the one that we had fun playing together.

Even so, I started back to teaching, that sucked up any and all free time for about a month. Diablo III got relegated to B-team status and I fell into the habit of playing computer games again because I was always on the stupid thing planning. That led to Hearthstone and Magic and the blow ups this week. When Chris brought up DIII again, it gave me a reason to boot up the XBox 360.

Please, Sir, won't you just pay me to play video games?  My CV is attached in the form of this web page.
Please, Sir, won’t you just pay me to play video games? My CV is attached in the form of this web page.

I played the game for the last four nights and plan on playing it again next week when I’m home on temporary bachelor status. I played too late on Tuesday and paid for it the next day at work when I had to get up early. I just had to beat the damn dungeon that I started because I was only halfway through Act I and Chris is in the middle of Act II. I’m getting too old for this crap. Oh well, I beat the dungeon, finished the act, and the students were giving presentations in class. So, it all worked out. #aginggamerproblems

Agent Murtaugh gets it.
“WTF is a hash tag? In my day, that was a pound sign and we played Tic Tac Toe on it.”

Diablo III has done what I hoped it would. Even though I’ve been on the computer watching Twitch while playing, I haven’t once logged into any Magic program. I’m having way too much fun crawling through the darkest dungeons in search of the sword that restores Tyrael’s memory. Well, that’s what I was doing two days ago instead of getting much needed beauty sleep. Now, I am on to uncharted territory in Act II.

Actually, I played through part of Act II yesterday and some of it was very familar. That means that I’ve at least played through part of it already and forgotten. Never mind what that says about the strength of the story, what of my already bruised ego as a sad old guy trying to remain relevant in a world that is rapidly becoming younger and younger. Do they have a “fade into a void of despair and nothingness” channel on Twitch? Oh wow, that just got way too existential and nihilistic.

Get off my lawn, too!  There's no room for the plants to fight the zombies.  Damn whipper snappers.
Get off my lawn, too! There’s no room for the plants to fight the zombies. Damn whipper snappers.

The only problem with the game is the problem inherent in all of these games. I can’t play it while the boys are awake because of the rating. Therefore, I find myself jumping onto the computer when I need a quick gaming fix. Even so, I think that DIII has done a good job because I don’t immediately start a game of Magic and sometimes I’ll even log in and start either game and not not play any Magic. Also, I’ll be home by myself next week while I’m working and they’re at the Cape, so I’ll have almost all day those three days to play the game and continue my treatment to try to get my inspiration and enjoyment from Magic again.

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