Listing Life Dangerously – Three Games I Need to Stop Buying Every Year

Infuriating as it is, I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact that, like everyone else, I’m getting older. The most troubling problem, aside from how to spend the unimaginable wealth that I’ve of course accrued by this pivotal stage in my life, is that everything seems to take me twice as long to do as it used to. For example, before I put trousers on, I have to first brace my knees, ankles, hips, back, neck, and the building I’m putting my trousers on in.

It's especially difficult at weekends.
It’s especially difficult at weekends.

Coupled with my new-found sloth is the constant insistence of other people that I do things. As such, the amount of free time I now have in my life can be expressed in the simple formula below, where t is time, h is how many Haribo I can currently stuff in my mouth, l is the differential of the cosine, c is the speed of light and 5 is five.

I always forget to carry the 1.
I always forget to carry the 1.

Here are three games that I really should stop buying now that I have so little time left on my beloved mortal coil.

3. Call of Duty

"Remember - no rushing. We don't want anyone to fall over and get hurt."
“Remember – no rushing. We don’t want anyone to fall over and get hurt.”

The first couple of Call of Duty games were quite nice really, and did what they said on the tin. They were largely about duty, and then I suppose sometimes you called your friends to tell them about it. Then the dicey third one came out and everyone was like “Whoa!”, and then the brilliant fourth one came out and everyone was like “WHOA!”. Games writing.

Since then there have been more Call of Duty games then there have been actual wars in the whole of history. So they ran out and started making up wars. Like when you’re a kid and you’re arguing with your friends in the playground about which wrestler would win in a fight, Call of Duty started theorising over which country would triumph in a worldwide Royal Rumble. Except the answer is always “America” instead of “Hulk Hogan“. They’re pretty much the same thing anyway.

The point is, I buy each of the bloody Call of Duty games year after year after year after year after year after year in the vague hope that that one great moment will happen again. You know the moment I mean, in the first Modern Warfare, with the nuking and the dying and the “Actually that was quite upsetting.”

I feel like Jack from Lost, endlessly flying back and forth between Sydney and LA, yearning to experience that little bit of meaning and worth one last time. It won’t happen again though. Plus, I’m now too mature for Call of Duty anyway.



2. Football Manager

"All these are options are just splendid, but where is the button that makes you all do a goal constantly?"
“All these are options are just splendid, but where is the button that makes you all do a goal constantly?”

I’ve been playing football management games for nearly 20 years now. Just like bending over to pick things up, I was quite good at them when I was a kid. Less so now. The trouble is that like so many things these games were so much simpler back in the nineties. It didn’t take much effort to rise to the top of the league in Sensible World of Soccer and Championship Manager 95/96 – all you had to do was figure out a formation that worked, put the players in the right positions and then wait for the money, power and women to roll in.

Playing the gold standard these days, Football Manager, shatters that illusion. It is monstrously complex. Even small portions of the simulation take me hours to configure, and those best laid plans never work out the way I was expecting. Chairmen might as well appoint a small lemon in my place. Nope, that’s it, I’m out. It’s all someone else’s dream now.

"So I says to him, I says 'Youse better learn some respect, or I'll spurt mae juice in yer eye'"
“So I says to him, I says ‘Youse better learn some respect, or I’ll spurt mae juice in yer eye’”


1. World of Warcraft

Pictured: This.
Pictured: This.

At some point every year I re-activate my WoW account and jump back in. I play for an hour or two, usually until I loot a nice enough belt for my character that I can go to sleep satisfied that at least one person in my life has a nice belt. About two weeks later I realise that I haven’t played WoW since I got that nice belt, then get distracted and head onto the Diesel website to browse and consider buying myself a nice belt in real life (if you’re reading this and work for Diesel then please send me a nice belt). I never go back to the game and my account eventually lapses.

The heart of the problem is that I really rather like WoW, but it doesn’t feel like it’s mine to like. I love hearing veteran players discuss it, and it’s pretty clear how rewarding the game can be. However, hearing their tales also reminds me that the WoW bandwagon rolled past me years ago.

It’s time that I accept that I’m never going to fully take the plunge with WoW. To put enough time in to fully commit to it I’d have to miss out on new games and the fresh and exciting experiences they offer, e.g. smashing fungus people over the head with bricks. I’m not prepared to give that stuff up. Besides, if I’m not playing the freshest and most exciting games, then people won’t think I’m cool.

No one can think that.
No one can think that.

You can follow Simon (@MrCuddleswick) on Twitter here and also slowly by car if you want.

Last time on Star Trek: Listing Life Dangerously we learned all about the four most irritating enemies in gaming…



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