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Computer games: Taking obession right up to highest level

Which computer games are impossible to stop playing no matter what the consequences may be? CLAIRE PULPHER finds out

Oxford Mail: Survivor: Pokemon Survivor: Pokemon

We’re all guilty of it. Putting off doing tasks because you’ve found something much better to do.

For example, leaving the washing up because Jeremy Kyle is about to announce the DNA results or not doing the ironing because it would be rude not to treat yourself to a cup of tea and a sit down on your day off. As a full-time geek, procrastination for me tends to revolve around gaming. “I simply can’t tidy up today because I’m nearly at level 70!” The gaming industry will always be responsible for late deadlines and abandoned girlfriends (or in my case, boyfriend) but I’m going to have a little look at what are the biggest culprits for obsessions and game addictions...

Online MMO/MMORPG (Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)

These are the bane of my life. Well known MMORPGs are online multiplayers such as World of Warcraft or RuneScape. Many involve paying for the games and then evolving them by joining strangers or friends online with exceptions of games like RuneScape where they are free to begin with but you have to pay to expand them. The general theme for games like these are fantasy, period style and space. The games usually involve completing quests and forming clans with strangers or friends and there is generally no completion – the game can go in any direction for any amount of time; which is why they can be dangerously addictive.

Other games of this style are FPS games (First Person Shooters) like Call of Duty or Gears of War. Although you can play these games in career modes where you follow objectives to complete the story, the game is infinite through online multiplayers where you can play in many different styles of battle such as ‘last man standing’ or working as a team. When Black Ops: 2 was released last year, a hugely successful FPS, many people were seen queuing up in electronics shops to buy a copy, followed by their partners who were complaining that they’d lost their other half for the next few weeks.

Due to the feeling of being invincible and living in an alternate reality these games can be an effective teleport out of the hustle and bustle of real life but if you’re going to explore one and try it out for yourself, please be prepared to wave goodbye to your social life and buy your partner something very pretty before you tell them you’re going to sell your soul to the internet.

Pokemon

I am genuinely stunned at how this series is still going strong today. I remember growing up as a youngster in the playground trading Pokemon cards and collecting the rare shiny ones. I also remember getting Pokemon Red for my GameBoy colour and connecting it with a Nintendo link cable to trade Pokemon from friends who had the Pokemon Blue game. How times have changed and yet the game has only improved with age. It’s actually quite touching how kids today are getting the same joy that I got when I was their age. There aren’t a lot of things we can say that about these days. I remember when Cadbury Freddo bars were only 5p...

What started as 151 Pokemon and two GameBoy games (Red and Blue) has now developed into over 650 Pokemon, 54 games with two more on the way (Pokemon X and Y for Nintendo 3DS, due out in October this year) 15 feature length films, 10 original music albums and four TV programmes that have been airing for over 15 years.

The great thing about Pokemon is that it’s so unique. It is considered a role playing game as you play the role of a Pokemon trainer, setting out on an adventure to catch as many Pocket Monsters as you can and become the master. Although it is possible to complete it and collect them all, this takes a long time to do so it’s very popular as a ‘pick-up-put-down’ game to play on your lunch break or in bed.

Strategy and Adventure

These types of games are my weakness. They include anything that involves some sort of strategic thinking or puzzle-solving as well as a storyline. These include Uncharted for the PS3, Monkey Island for PC or Portal for Xbox, PS3 and PC. When I discovered Portal, I was consumed for about a week. Nothing got done. And I mean nothing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, Portal and Portal 2 are groundbreaking FPS puzzle games that combine strategy and shooting with an interesting weave of comedy dialogue that puts it in its own category in the world of gaming. Originally released as part of a three-part game called the Orange Box that also featured the classic FPS Half Life, its success saw its long awaited sequel on its own release a couple of years ago, which topped the gaming charts and is now a modern classic.

Portal is a game that has to be played to be believed but trust in me when I say that you can’t just play it for five minutes.



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