Monday, 30 May 2011

MP Squared (Blogger Doesn't Allow Superscript in Titles Because Blogger is Hateful)

Question: What is your MP?

Me: My MP is 20,000 words of a creative (narrative?) nonfiction book about video game addiction among kids and teens.

Question: Why?

Me: Because I was a gaming addict and the topic is phat. In fact, since discovering KCRW’s Bookworm I’ve been addicted to a certain map in the war game Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. In this game you build army bases to defend yourself against enemy opponents, usually situated at opposite ends of large maps. It’s a game I’ve been playing on and off for yonks now, mainly for mindless amusement, to escape the heck that is me. The game had grown stale until I discovered a new method of playing.

On the random map generator screen, I toggle the settings so all three computer opponents and myself are scrunched up tight inside a map, thus:

This proximity of enemy bases leads to pandemonium. The fastest person to build their base, churn out soldiers and tanks, and so on, wins, and the sheer sensory overload gets me more buzzed up than four vats of Red Bull. I recruit engineers to steal the enemies’ buildings, I erect grenade turrets to tear through streams of soldiers, I steal and build and steal and build then win or lose. It’s not as though this method generates an infinite number of options: usually I repeat the same tactic over and over again.

And this is a prime example of why writers are more prone to gaming addiction than sane attractive people who like granola bars. We crave procrastinations. Quick, addictive, exhilarating games are what we need to stop us writing. So far I’ve spent a little too much time playing this instead of researching my MP and I’ve even asked Mrs Q to hide the disc. I fear a return of the sort of die-hard life-consuming mayhem I’m trying to write about.

Question: Isn’t that ironic? Dontcha think?

Me: A little too ironic?

Question: But yeah, I really do think. It’s like rayayaaaaaain on your wedding day! It’s a free ride, when ya—

Me: Shut it, Alanis.


  1. I used to have the Theme Park game on the Amiga, which was similar to this. Thankfully I've not got back into gaming- the rest of the internet has enough distractions to stop me from getting on with things. Is MP Masters Project?

  2. They call it "Major" Project, but Masters Project sounds less threatening. Less army-like.

  3. Ah yes, the distraction that is Pointless Games. *nods* And yes, Alanis, shut up.