Monday, August 29, 2005

Addiction to Stupid Games: Part 1

I'm going to begin a series of entries chronically my addiction to various stupid computer and video games. Since mid-highschool I've gone through numerous stretches where I get completely addicted to a game and become amazingly awesome at it. I don't mean just really good, I mean better than anyone else I've ever heard of and possibly one of the best in the world. You will notice 3 themes with every one of these games. 1) They are readily available, either a popular N64, PS2, microsoft, or internet game. 2) They are very simple, meaning a single game from start to finish will only be a matter of minutes. None of these multiple level, ultra involved games. 3) They are quantitative, meaning the game keeps statistics so you can concretely compare yourself to others. Simple, quick, available, and statistical.

So stupid game addiction #1 (these are mostly in chronological order): The New Tetris for N64. Addiction timeframe: Fall 2000

The New Tetris is an awesome game that you can only get for N64. What makes it different than all the other tetris games is that you get bonus lines for making 4X4 boxes amidst the standard goal of getting a bunch of regular lines. If you make a 4X4 box using 4 of the same pieces (4 boxes, or 4 straight pieces, or 4 L shaped pieces...etc.) it turns into a gold 4X4 box and when you eliminate one of those lines you get lots of bonus lines. Anyway, there are multiple types of games in the New Tetris; sprint, marathon, and I think a level version. Well of course I got addicted to sprint version. In this version you have 3 minutes to get as many lines (and bonus points) as possible. The game caught on bigtime on my floor at Calvin and about 20 guys regularly played it. My friend really liked it and bought the game himself, which we kept in my room. Within a couple of weeks I had surpassed everyone on my floor except for a few guys. Over the months of October and November the addiction continued to grow exponentially until I was playing 3+ hours a day.

If it means anything to anyone I was averaging 400-500 lines per sprint and looking to crack 700 for my all time record. On the internet I found a site that had the highest all time scores and the record was 705. Finally, I told myself that when I cracked 700 I would quit cold turkey because the addiction was too much. I was wasting way too much time on it and I couldn't close my eyes without seeing the tetris pieces falling in my mind. Finally, in late November I hit 700 on the nose. I was definately the best player of all the guys I knew, but holding true to my word I quit and didn't even play one more game. (Over Christmas break the guy I competed with most took the game home and played it until he beat my record, but I think that is skewed because I didn't have access to the game)

Since then I've played the game on 2 occasions. A neighbor owned the game the next year when I lived in the apartments and I borrowed it for a week, quickly getting back my form. Then last summer I went to California to stand in a friend's wedding and his family had the game. His mom was quite into the game but she played marathon so it was a totally different can of worms.

If anyone owns the game and wants to play, I'd be all for it. I always said once I graduated from college I'd buy an old N64 and The New Tetris for myself but now I don't think that would be a healthy idea as I've fought through other stupid game addictions and I know I would just get right back into it.

Come back next week for Studid Game Addiction #2: SSX


Blogger Duby said...

oh the tetris. I haven't played that in forever. Although the tetris game that came out for X-Box has the box option.

3:39 PM  

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