Returning to Diablo: Life Changes and Video Games

Ah, Diablo. I spent so many hours of my life playing you back in 2000 and 2001. (And 2002. And 2003. And–you get the point). Now that the third installment is finally out, it’s been a lot of fun to go back to that world and that style of game and find that so much is still there. I’m totally loving the new version, by the way. It was everything that the beta hinted at. You click things. They die. You get multicolored loot, and then you go click more things.

Denisa wonders what in the world the appeal is. She looked at the game and said, “Yup. Looks like the last one.” (It’s a sign of how much I played the last one that she can recognize that it looks the same this much later.) I think the game’s designed much like a slot machine. Just a slot machine that takes a bit of skill to run use properly. You never know what awful baddie will blow up and give you the perfect new weapon. Or maybe it won’t be a baddie at all. Maybe it’ll be that barrel over there. Or that pile of bones there. It’s like this virtual Easter egg hunt.

Of course, as much as the game feels the same, I’ve had to confront a singular fact: I am not the same person I was twelve years ago. Back then, I’d just gotten back from my mission to Germany. I wasn’t married. I was living in an apartment with a bunch of other guys, and going to school. I could stay up until 3 in the morning any time I felt like it, and not have to worry about anyone’s schedule buy my own.

Those days are gone.

Do I miss them? Not really. When Denisa was gone with the kids in Slovakia over the summer, I hated it. (Of course, if she’d gone when Diablo 3 had just been released, maybe I would have had a better coping mechanism.) Yes, this means I don’t get to play video games until my eyes bleed. But I get to do other rewarding things like raise a family.

It’s just interesting to me that in the intervening years, I somehow got older. I don’t feel like a different person. Not really. But a 21 year old college student is one thing, and a 33 year old father of two is a very different thing.

I wonder where I’ll be when I’m 75. Still clicking things to kill them in Diablo 7? Who knows.

In the meantime, that’s enough waxing philosophical for now. There are demons to click. Or rather, first a day job to finish. Then demons to–no. Then kids to help with homework, and THEN–no. Then dinner to make and an Elder’s Quorum Presidency meeting to run, and THEN . . .

Check with the wife. Make sure she doesn’t need anything else.


Those demons are going down. :-)

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