Dear Hobby.

Dear Hobby,

I want to express my gratitude for staying with me all these years, I could not, have frequently escaped from life, if I never met you. But I want to say that’s okay though, because when you were just a little hobby, nobody seemed to understand the power you could have over others over longer spans of time. Short term issues were obvious of course, even to me. Sure, parents were there to keep us away from each other when things like school-work suffered, but whenever I had a few bucks, I would skip whatever I was doing and still meet. That’s how dedicated we were to you. A trade-off. Much like a kid who traded attention for some pocket change by visiting their grandparents. You sit through the suck in order to find your friends at the end of the road waiting for you with pockets full of coins.

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These times are over now, as our grandparents have passed away, so have our little trade-offs. I have to confess I have been into emulating your property since I have owned my first PC (DX2 i386, thx bro!). And I have been in a polygamy-relationship ever since. I’m confessing to you only now because I want to tell you that you have been abused by the hungry, and marketed as a free hobby. We both know that you are not; and you probably are also the worst possible social role-model. You shouldn’t be used in anything that doesn’t explicitly state that you, as a hobby, are meant to simply distract us from reality for a simple price. Taking that away only means you are fooling people.

Don’t misunderstand me, hobby, I’m not talking about your original format, we all know you come in different flavours and sizes, sometimes even completely hidden from us what you really are. I’m talking about your social media platform, where there ARE games available, but those are just there to help disguise the real video game. You can’t hide that from me hobby, I have known you since I was able to tell pixels apart, and I think you can’t even tell us apart anymore. You have become such a whore, it’s okay for me to tell you this though, we all have been one too and now we are addicted to it.

High-scores have been replaced by post-counts, and ‘likes’ have changed some end-users into reviewers. Daily menial stuff we used to share by telling our friends directly with pleasure have now changed into statisitc-whore scented posts that needs constant likes or attention for the players to have a good day. If a noob player post a new topic, your addicted players will make sure it is turned inside out after checking if it wasn’t already posted. This has become winning, loosing is just a side-effect of a bad post. The player becomes too identified with it’s in-game character or social account, and it needs to keep ranking in the high-scores with the attached account otherwise there are chances of depression. If that was not already the instigator of playing with you online already.

We don’t ‘die’ anymore in your games online, we suffer social disinterest. Something that bugs the players and even cheats them more out of their free time (and anytime) than not being able to save that princess. Loosing a virtual battle should not induce feelings of great loss, unless you are tricked into thinking this is socially affecting you, not the player.
If no ‘feather up your bum’ comments or likes have surfaced since OP, it’s expected that that post will be reformatted into a more popular post by your ‘gamer’ friends. You can imagine, hobby, that that would be out of the question if I had started to tell you a story about my bicycle, when immediately my other friend at the table nudges me aside to talk about my bicycle too. In your game sadly, this is socially acceptable. You can understand this when I tell you, over and over that your players are not able to distinguish this anymore.

There are things that shouldn’t be mixed, hobby, like you and social platforms, savoury food and pineapple slices, Ikea and individualism and something else that the current generation will not understand.

I write to you this now, as one of my future plans is to try to complete my ever-growing backlog just before or during my seventies. And I have to make sure, humanity will not fuck it up for themselves and especially me, playing with you online, so that I’m left out game-ridden when I almost hit the diapers. Unlike other games, hobby, I have been an experienced addict, and you have spent many hours with me; while both knowing damn-well we’re both invested in a fantasy setting. But not everyone had our experience, many people who jumped on the mainstream train late, are now similarly addicted to your online ventures, as adults. Since the players do not separate fantasy from reality though your game’s visuals, it makes them vulnerable in real life. But what we also shouldn’t forget, that since the birth of the game, someone is always making a profit. We don’t get social media video games for free, you know? This has to stop, end this or make everyone who plays your game anonymous.

I have thought of three possible scenarios to spawn from this respectful request, I do hope you take the time to read my message to you carefully, as I’m deadly serious:

– Playing video games with my grandkids: but I would completely spoil it with talking about backstory too much and never skipping intros. This is the ideal future of gaming, where it’s still a (holy) hobby where everyone involved is aware of the setting.

– Playing video games with my old mates in a community home: where we reminisce about the time we could still pull of a ‘hadouken’ without dropping dentures or yourself to the floor. This was the guaranteed future of gaming before you re-appeared as social platform.

– Playing video games after an apocalyptic scenario: as to proof the existence of humans and their technology to the newly mutated race (or just monkeys) who roam the earth. This is what’s going to happen to us if you don’t stop hiding your true face, of course in this example, I survive the apocalypse.

Although they’re all still quite possible, the last one seems impossible to grasp in this time and age. But weirder things have happened, hobby, I was there dude. Beware.

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Yours sincerely,

Player 1

 

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2 thoughts on “Dear Hobby.

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