I’ve played Overwatch for over 200 hours. This is the most I’ve ever played any game. Ever. (Aside from chess, but that’s not a video game, so w/e.) Looking back, there are some things that I genuinely loved about it, while other parts that I detested.
I started playing it on my free time shortly after launch, but I quickly realized that this is a game that I really wanted to take seriously. It was competitive, so it can keep my interests. However, it’s also a team game, so I can blame my teammates if I’m having a bad day. And this would happen alot with Overwatch. I’m garbage at hitscan (properly clicking on enemies), so my soldier would have off days. After a while, I decided to primarily be a tank, so that I can just control the pace of the game. That seemed to be my calling. I enjoy talking on comms quite a bit, so being a tank or support let’s me try to control the pace of the game.
That was the first step towards addiction. Next, I have a wife who I simply can’t start ignoring. (We haven’t been married for a full year yet, so I can’t start ignoring her for a few months.) Now, keep in mind, Alva isn’t a gamer, and she’s never played a game in her life. (Phone games don’t count.) I thought about showing her something easy, like games against AI. She loved it so much, she immediately started playing against hard AI. Within a week, she wanted to start playing against real people. Again, keep in mind that she’s never played a game before, so it was rough in the beginning. (I saw the immediate win records, and we were at a 30 percent win rate… feelsbadman.) This is when she noticed ranked play, and she was immediately interested. At the time, I was a bit douchey, and I didn’t want my ranked profile affected so bad, so I said I didn’t want to play ranked. It was dumb, but I’ve never taken a game so seriously, and I simply didn’t want to drop. I relaxed at the end of season 1 (end of August), and I was able to do ranked play with her at the start of season 2. It was beyond rough in the beginning. Quickplay is just another beast altogether. No one is really trying. However, everyone is trying in ranked play, even people down in 1500, which is where we were at one point. We quickly started climbing out of the hole, and that was the second step of the addiction. We started winning. I never realized how much more addicting a game gets when you really have someone next to you trying just as hard, but we weren’t able to put it down. I noticed that it started affecting me when I would start bad mouthing teammates to my wife, and she would do the same. Within the first 30 seconds of a game, we would be shit talking a Hanzo main. I’d never type, or even say anything in the comms. I’d just complain about it to Alva, and she would do the same.
Now, there’s an argument to be made that having a wife who likes games and plays ranked game with you would be a good thing. However, one of the problems is that we’re not checking each other if we’re both playing until 4 o’clock in the fucking morning. We needed to tell each other to stop playing, but we were both far too deep in the zone.
The third stage of addiction, arguably the worst, is when I realized that it was affecting my life. I’d be thinking of strategies for the game all day: at work, at times while I’m having sex (as embarrassing as that is to admit), and sometimes, even in my dreams. (Alva told me an embarrassing story.) Every time I’d be out with friends, I’d feel like I’m wasting time if I’m not talking about Overwatch. Time spent idle felt like wasted time. Since Alva was addicted too, she would reciprocate the feelings, so we’d be on Overwatch within minutes. We never got that good at the game (my all time high for season 2 is 2700), but this is definitely the most addicted I’ve ever been to a game.
And it feels bad. I realized one night when we were playing at 3 AM (and losing), that not only am I not having fun, but that I’m in a spot in my life where I don’t want to be. I like having hobbies that yield really good results. I wanted to create this website to give an outlet to gamers, and to learn more about servers. (I’m a programmer by day.) On top of that, we can constantly build on this site, and really take it anywhere we want. Nothing was going to come from playing more Overwatch, except further frustration. So, I’ve decided to drop Overwatch (at least tryharding), and focus on this site.
I’ll keep playing it on occasion, probably when I feel really romantic and want to surprise my wife with an evening session :^)