The Cycle of the Solitary Adult Gamer

  1. Realize that it’s been a few months since you’ve played a video game and fondly look forward to playing a new one.
  2. After a few hours of research, select a game with major accolades from critics that looks inherently fun and that has been published recently.
  3. Start playing and enjoy the gameplay on a more casual basis (like a few times a week), since work and other responsibilities get in the way. Watch other players advance exponentially compared to you, but stupidly, don’t let it be a source of dissuasion for playing in the future.
  4. Eventually (i.e., months later), get to the “end-game” portion (reach the highest level, etc.) and begin playing with the other players in its multiplayer modes.
  5. Become massacred by the other players whose continuous months of playing have granted them:

    A.) better stuff through incessant farming

    B.) muscle memory in their hands that would be the envy of a trained CIA assassin

    C.) an united team who could create an unicorn startup together if they didn’t spend every waking moment playing this game
  6. After enough frustration and wanting some sort of advantage, ask fellow friends of the same age if they would like to play this game with you. Hear them curse every inch of your flesh as they change the diapers on a screaming baby and then dodge any attempts to strike you with the dirty diaper, as they yield it like a feces-covered scourge.
  7. Become depressed and curse all of mankind as you reconcile with the fact that:

    A.) all of that invested time in the game has come to a bitter, empty end

    B.) your youth is over

    C.) that simple, carefree joy of spending time with your friends has passed and

    D.) you will now forever weep without abandon whenever they play “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem at the nearby hipster coffee shop
  8. After a few months, repeat Step 1.

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

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