For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to bounce off something MOP’s Chris tweeted a few weeks back. “I can tell a game’s hooks are sinking in when I start bookmarking resource guides and specific websites,” he said.
I feel so seen by this! This is absolutely one of the ways I know I’m falling hard for a game, whether it’s new or old. I suddenly realize I’m adding sites left and right to my bookmark tab page and contemplating giving a game its own whole page.
I’m kicking it to the team now: How – and when – do you know you’ve fallen hard for an MMO?
Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): For me, it’s when I’m deep in a guild/clan/other social group. It’s one thing to make a group with my friends or join some random group for chat so I can get a feel for a community, but it’s another when I host an event, link guides, or have leads ask me to explain something to fellow guildies before/during/after a raid or PvP thing.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Sure, one of the ways is bookmarking like a madwoman, but I have more! If I stop playing to build a spreadsheet? That’s a key way I know this game is about to take over my life. If I go to sleep thinking about the game and sit through work – where I’m writing about games! – just itching to get back to whatever that game is? That’s another. If I catch myself reading Reddit, especially on my phone on car trips (hey remember car trips?) – that one too. But probably the spreadsheets are my biggest giveaway.
Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): In addition to the aforementioned resource guides and website collection, I also know a game is hooking me when it rents space in my head. I think about what to do next, or characters I want to create, or builds or classes to try.
I also tend to feel like joining a game’s community outside of its world in things like Discord is a surefire sign that I’m being drawn in.
MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): The hardest I have ever fallen was Star Wars: Galaxies. And I know this because the stories and exploits from in game were the source of many conversations outside of game! I’d share antics with my family all the time. For me, I am hooked when the world and stories come alive to me and live beyond the logged in time. I’d write stories, share stories, and give the game a big comfy space in my head. I’d look forward to playing and be sad when I had to log off. Hooked comes close to addicted, but not quite. I also know a game has hooked me when I can’t really leave it; even when everyone else I know is gone, I stay or continually wander back. The game stays in my headspace, even if the game is no more.
Perhaps one of the biggest litmus tests is if I get lost in an activity in the game and lose track of time. This is especially prevalent when it comes to building and decorating! If I can decorate for hours and still come back for more, I am hooked. For the truly special game, I get lost in enjoying an activity I never had enjoyed or really cared about before (see combat and counting headshots in Warframe).
Of course then there are games like Starborne that totally pull me in. I’m keeping tabs open, I have spreadsheets and formulas configured, and then I’m setting alarms to wake me up for scheduling my fleets.
I think it all comes down to brain time in and especially out of the game. If I’m spending some of that precious head space on an MMO out of game, then it’s got me hooked!