League of Legends: bachelor’s paradise

, | Game diaries

Dear game diary,

Sorry for the slow start. I know how excited you get when I write in you; in that respect, as with hotkeys, you’re just like a woman.

After the jump, a confessional

It’s been a while since a game has destroyed my life quite like League of Legends. Kind of a surprising candidate, actually, since I never gave two shits for its linear forebear Defense of the Ancients. But DotA didn’t involve unlocking new champions. I need tangible proof of my progress or I lose interest. Once I’ve reached the latest level cap in WoW, I’m pretty much done regardless of how many unexplored zones remain. I can only play my one warlock character; starting all over as a new class sounds depressing to me. Recovering your youth only sounds appealing if you get to keep your hard-learned middle-aged wisdom along with it (not that I’m not still interested). Maybe it’s the writer in me. A page filled with words is proof I put in a day’s work (although getting paid for it’s another matter).

LoL’s like writing in other respects. Mark Twain wrote that “[t]he difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Every syllable counts, rhythms are all. One false note and you’re fucked. In LoL, the difference between getting off a perfectly timed, aimed stun and scoring a near miss in the heat of a frenzied scrap will haunt you for weeks. Almost every friend I have had a baby last year. Apparently this gives them carte blanche to deposit their stupefied infants on my lap (I thought only girls were fair game for this brand of torture) and take pictures while the kid cries, or as I call it bad parenting. They (the parents, in this instance) talk about playing games in a different key now from when we were young and ourselves crying and shitting constantly as opposed to weekly.

I ask one longtime game studio confederate if he’d checked out LoL and he said yeah, months ago. “But it was too much work,” he complained. “You need to execute these complex maneuvers with split-second timing,” he said, in a tone that suggested he didn’t miss such considerations much now that his genes had been passed on for at least one more generation. “I just don’t have that kind of time or mental stamina anymore.” I watched his three year old daughter canoodling expertly with her index finger on an iPad screen and thought, “She has good fingers for Sona.” I think I need therapy. But weed’s faster.

Tomorrow: hell is other people, pt. 2
Click here for the previous League of Legends game diary.