Daily Elysium : The Numbers Game

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty exciting and surprising day for us here at Gamers With Jobs (or GWJ as they're saying on the street). Settling in for our launch day, Certis and I got right down to the business of posting stories and articles that were largely intended only to amuse one another. Vaguely expecting to post a story, then ICQ one another about the article while, on some alternate physical dimension where websites have form and emotion, GamersWithJobs sat quietly hugging its knees in a dark night with only inter-dimensional crickets as company. It was our own private in-joke. Certis would post something witty. "Good one," I'd offer through ICQ, and he'd do a little virtual curtsey.

Then, something rather surprising happened...

You have to understand, I like numbers. That's not to say I like math, simply that if you present to me a piece of paper with a number like, say, 5,304,259 written on it, I will study it happily for several minutes before asking why you handed that to me. The only things I like more than numbers are numbers that change!

When I was young, I gauged how much I liked any given calculator - and yes, sadly, I did have an opinion on such matters - by adding one and one, then repeatedly pressing the + key to see if it incremented the number on screen. Some cheap calculators seemed confused by my determination to press only one key, demanding that the answer I was looking for was 2, and finally, in a mutinous fit, breaking. But, some calculators shared my passion for increasing numbers, and with each press a new, slightly larger number would appear, and together we would gallop through a steady stream of incrementally larger sums, a boy and his calculator. In a time when the Atari 800 was the pinnacle of computer technology, this was high portable entertainment, indeed.

If you wanted to rob me, the best way to do that might be to knock on my door, and hand me some kind of electronic pad with swiftly changing numbers. Say nothing else, and then proceed to take stuff out of my house while I stood and stared, beguiled, at the swirling patterns of shifting digits.

"Wow," I might say as you hoisted my stereo system onto a dolly full of electronic equipment. "It just hit 2,000. I wonder if it will get to 3,000." When you go, you should at least leave the pad.

So, when we launched our site, I demanded a stat tracking software of some kind so that I could watch numbers rise. Granted they rose very slowly. Sometimes a given number stayed static for a very long time, but I kept my faith, and before I knew it that number would increase by exactly one. Everytime that happened I felt a little flush of excitement, and then settled in for the next big jump.

This is leading somewhere, so bear with me.

Around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, after a satisfying number watching stint, my odd desire sated for the time being, I informed Certis I was off to play some Sim City 4 - a very incrementing-numbers intensive game. Before abandoning my new found toy, I checked my numbers once more. They had not only increased, but increased dramatically. Slightly confused, certain that my numbers had betrayed me, I refreshed again and now there were even more numbers, all larger than before. Something very odd was happening. Judging by what I could read, the site seemed to be attracting, what we term in the biz, as readers. And it kept going.

It was as if I'd found a way to hit the + key on my own little website counter. A child's number incrementing dream come true! So, I don't feel like I'm shouting in the wind, or feel that our inter-dimensional physical website personification is huddling in quite such a dark room, when I say, thanks for dropping by, and we hope you enjoy yourself. And if you could keep giving me numbers for my addiction, I'd appreciate it.

For those of you who read yesterday's Part 1 of the Making of Gamer's With Jobs, look for the conclusion tomorrow afternoon. A Friday treat before your weekend off.

Now get back to work!

- Elysium


Sim City 4 has taken it's place as the crack-like monkey on my back.

I'm tempted by SimCity 4, I remember having a lot of fun with the first one on my Amiga 500. I also remember when my father turned my computer off while my city was growing and I was at school. I'll never forgive him!

Oh nice article Elysium, by the way. While I can't exactly say why, I like your writing. But don't get too cocky, this comes from a french man with limited english skills.

I'd like SimCity 4 if I thought it had a point.  It's fun to build stuff and ...  then ...  nothing happens, unless you count virtual whining from the citizens. It really hasn't changed much from the early '90s, except for the graphics.