How To Enjoy Games More

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Years ago, the rough English translation of an article written in a Russian game magazine crossed my desk. The author was Oleg Michaelovich Hazhinsky, and the article was about happiness and the art of gaming. I always meant to clean up parts of it so that everyone could enjoy this simple wisdom. After my efforts to contact the author failed, the file collected dust on my hard-drive for years until I stumbled upon it again recently. I figure something written in Russian over five years ago by someone whose name doesn't even show up in Google is fairly safe at this point, so I went ahead and cleaned it up for your edification. I've omitted about half the article and re-worked it completely for our North American sensibilities. Enjoy.

Happiness For Dummies
Inspired by Oleg Michaelovich Hazhinsky

Huge publishing houses have turned us into slaves of plastic subculture. Shall you give up and let them manipulate you or will you choose your own way? I can only show you the door, you must walk through it.

A wise man does not read gaming magazines today. If one would read everything that is written, there would be no space left in the head for independent thoughts. Magazines encumber the mind and cause heart disorders. This is why the true Way means buying the magazine, but not reading it. Every magazine must be carefully placed into the bottom of the drawer and protected from dust.

Ignorance is bliss. Knowledge removes Will. The Internet is like a basin of endless depth. Anyone who has started to drink from it cannot stop, forgetting their thirst. They read the latest news, chat with each other and search for information for information's sake. There is no need to know what a game's producer said about the game. There is no need to read four identical interviews in four foreign languages. New screenshots and demo versions will not change anything in the world order.

This is why a wise man avoids the Net.

Everything that one has to know will be revealed. Anything not revealed is not meant to be known.

If a man waits for the release date of his favorite game, his life flows away as if paused. He moves from one calendar date to another instead of enjoying today. Waiting dries the heart and takes away ability to enjoy what one has in the moment. This is why a wise man does not wait. He plays games which have been released already and knows nothing about things to come. He lives in present, feeding from the past.

Only time separates good games from bad. A man who judges games based on shiny boxes misjudge often. A man who buys games following ad campaigns cannot avoid dissatisfaction. People are hurting each other trying to get ahead in line for another blockbuster. They scream as if they have been lit on fire, not knowing that there is eternity ahead.

A wise man does not rush. Games come to stores sooner or later and he does not have to worry.

A bug in a game is like rock thrown in a pond filled with moonlight. If rocks are many, one cannot see the game behind the ripples of waves. New games are full of bugs. A man who plays games right after the release date is doomed to eternal torture. Developers will never be able to correct all of the bugs on time. Cops stuck in the walls, quests can not be completed, enemies hit for half the damage they should. Only a half year after the release date will a game take its true shape. This is why a wise man never plays a newly released game. He patiently waits until all bugs are corrected. His patience is rewarded a hundred times.

What crawls today will run tomorrow. First games for the GeForce3 are created a year after the release of accelerator. This is why a wise man does not spend the money for the latest achievements of engineering. He follows the middle road and knows no barriers.

Good games get bigger and better with every passing day. Good people all around the world gather information about weapons and quests, draw maps and write stories. Oh, what treasures can be found in endless depths of the Internet after a year!

But a wise man knows how to avoid booby-traps on the Way of Truth.

He plays without cheats or solutions, whilst using wisely treasures left by travelers before him. He bows in respect and his kung-fu accumulates the knowledge of a thousand warriors. And thus, he has become the strongest warrior in the Universe.

He who completes a game in three days and three nights must be tended to. He who does not eat and does not drink in order to reach the final boss is like a hungry pig in beautiful garden. A wise man does not play for the sake of victory. He does not rush because peace has settled in his mind.

He does not scream about his victories for he is not playing for their sake. Dragon will be replaced by Tiger, but Warcraft II and Fallout will remain where they are.

How to follow the right path?
Slow your heartbeat and empty your mind. Do not search for new releases on the far horizon, but look beneath your feet.

Open last October's issue of the magazine you stored and slowly read it from cover to cover. Learn everything about the good games from a year ago and listen to your heart. With this done, visit your poor friends and borrow the games you want to play. Log on to the Net and download every single patch, mod, map and hint.

Carefully study all that you need.

Put the magazine back into bottom drawer. Log off the Net.

Spend all year happily playing and after another twelve months, open October's magazine from this year. You have found joy.

Comments

Bookmarked for reference. I couldn't possibly put it as eloquently to others, despite my efforts in the past.

I absolutely loved this. You've got to level with me here, because it's killing me; did you really come upon these words of wisdom written by a mysterious Russian guru lost to the sands of time and unmolested by the long, probing tendrils of the internet, or was that to get us in the mood?

These are wise words.

I'm definitely one of those gamers who is in agony while waiting for a release date. I scour the net for as much new info as I can find and the anticipation reaches a ridiculous level.

This guy's like Confucius soaked in Vodka

Sounds like a rip-off of The Art of Peace.

I really loathe when d-bags like this decide what is Wise and what Isn't. He says I should avoid information if I want to be truly Wise. Well, I'm addicted to information--that doesn't make me unwise, though I obviously am for other reasons. Whoever wrote that isn't an info addict and that's cool, but for all I know he could be an alcoholic or a nymphomaniac.

What's even more pretentious is the labeling of his Luddite philosophy as "The Way". No points for originality there.

Nice

outoffeelinsobad wrote:

Sounds like a rip-off of The Art of Peace.

I really loathe when d-bags like this decide what is Wise and what Isn't. He says I should avoid information if I want to be truly Wise. Well, I'm addicted to information--that doesn't make me unwise, though I obviously am for other reasons. Whoever wrote that isn't an info addict and that's cool, but for all I know he could be an alcoholic or a nymphomaniac.

What's even more pretentious is the labeling of his Luddite philosophy as "The Way". No points for originality there.

Yes, your way has clearly led to happiness and contentment.

*Legion* wrote:
outoffeelinsobad wrote:

Sounds like a rip-off of The Art of Peace.

I really loathe when d-bags like this decide what is Wise and what Isn't. He says I should avoid information if I want to be truly Wise. Well, I'm addicted to information--that doesn't make me unwise, though I obviously am for other reasons. Whoever wrote that isn't an info addict and that's cool, but for all I know he could be an alcoholic or a nymphomaniac.

What's even more pretentious is the labeling of his Luddite philosophy as "The Way". No points for originality there.

Yes, your way has clearly led to happiness and contentment.

Contentment is not something I look for. A lack of desire is a lack of life. How's that for wisdom?

Jaunty wrote:

I absolutely loved this. You've got to level with me here, because it's killing me; did you really come upon these words of wisdom written by a mysterious Russian guru lost to the sands of time and unmolested by the long, probing tendrils of the internet, or was that to get us in the mood?

I can honestly say I don't remember who translated it and passed it on, nor can I pinpoint when and where it was first published in Russian. I'll admit I had to edit it pretty heavily in spots, but none of the ideas or concepts were changed.

Hey, someone wrote down my philosophy. He forgot one of the most important bits, though, so we'll add to it:

Depreciation is not degradation. A wise man will find that the best games mentioned in the October magazine from the previous year can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of the games currently being whored by marketing departments.

Such a man will surely collect a pile of games to play on his desk. The financial outlay for said pile will be less than one full-priced new game.

Such a man will not only gain the enjoyment that comes from immersing himself in a feast of electronic enjoyment, but will also gain the adulation and gratefulness of a spouse who recognises sensible frugality. This leads, inexorably, to sexual congress.

outoffeelinsobad wrote:

What's even more pretentious is the labeling of his Luddite philosophy as "The Way". No points for originality there.

The sound you hear is the whole article flying right over your head.

If you say the words are unwise, I will frag you 30 times. If you say the words are wise, I will frag you 30 times. SHAZBOT! Jibs fall, a bird builds his nest in the spring.

Actually, you definitely see his influence as it pertains to the Tao. I find it funny that someone has overlayed the Tao teachings with gaming. Something to be learned there, I suppose.

souldaddy wrote:
outoffeelinsobad wrote:

What's even more pretentious is the labeling of his Luddite philosophy as "The Way". No points for originality there.

The sound you hear is the whole article flying right over your head.

If you say the words are unwise, I will frag you 30 times. If you say the words are wise, I will frag you 30 times. SHAZBOT! Jibs fall, a bird builds his nest in the spring.

Souldaddy is Roy Campbell?

Hmm... Seems like I'm on the right path! Bookmarked because I love it.

outoffeelinsobad wrote:

Contentment is not something I look for. A lack of desire is a lack of life. How's that for wisdom?

Very reminiscent of the uber-dorks in high school who fantasized themselves as wandering heroes.

So whens the preload for HL2 Ep 2 starting?

Oh.

Hmm... that guy is like a father I never had. I already follow the rules about ignoring hype, not waiting for release dates, not rushing through games, and appreciating what I have today, because yesterday people were waiting for it with baited breath.

Its amazing how much a date stamp on product changes people's perception of it. If its new, it must be had ! Now ! Two weeks later its old and busted and people will wait for another 2 years for a new toy.
Such is not the way.

A bug in a game is like rock thrown in a pond filled with moonlight. If rocks are many, one cannot see the game behind the ripples of waves. New games are full of bugs. A man who plays games right after the release date is doomed to eternal torture. Developers will never be able to correct all of the bugs on time. Cops stuck in the walls, quests can not be completed, enemies hit for half the damage they should. Only a half year after the release date will a game take its true shape. This is why a wise man never plays a newly released game. He patiently waits until all bugs are corrected. His patience is rewarded a hundred times.

If just 50% of all gamers followed this single rule game developers would spend much more time on Beta and fixing game bugs before release than they do now. When a game is released and achieves half the revenues that is should have simply because this rule is followed suddenly the gaming industry is hurt in the pocket book and oddly enough they seem to find the ability to fix the issue even though before it was difficult or claimed to be impossible. Amazing what slow sales will do to money hungry corps.

A bug in a game is like rock thrown in a pond filled with moonlight. If rocks are many, one cannot see the game behind the ripples of waves. New games are full of bugs. A man who plays games right after the release date is doomed to eternal torture. Developers will never be able to correct all of the bugs on time. Cops stuck in the walls, quests can not be completed, enemies hit for half the damage they should. Only a half year after the release date will a game take its true shape. This is why a wise man never plays a newly released game. He patiently waits until all bugs are corrected. His patience is rewarded a hundred times.

A similar rule exists for Operating Systems.

souldaddy wrote:

If you say the words are unwise, I will frag you 30 times. If you say the words are wise, I will frag you 30 times... Jibs fall, a bird builds his nest in the spring.

There is no wisdom here.

Sigged.
(Sorry, J.)

I follow a few of these rules, but not all of them.

I do get my share of news and previews. I think it's silly to ignore all news, this will get you out of sync with current gaming developments, which will have you missing out on some great ideas. I do ignore all release dates, they tend to be pushed back anyway.

I do play current games. The author makes it look like playing recent games is always a pain in the ass. Team Fortress 2 says otherwise. I do play some of the older games now and then, and he is right, that most of the time it is a blast.

I do not read or buy any gaming magazine, the little information I want is on the internet.

Magazines encumber the mind and cause heart disorders.

And yet, they also feed my children. I beg you. Buy the Magazine. For the children.

shihonage wrote:

Its amazing how much a date stamp on product changes people's perception of it. If its new, it must be had ! Now ! Two weeks later its old and busted and people will wait for another 2 years for a new toy.
Such is not the way.

Don't forget the games with 2008 in the title, you're getting next year's game today! Must buy now!

Hence why I picked up Battalion Wars and Geist for $10 each new a month ago. Average games, but very enjoyable for that price. Same goes for hardware. Opteron 165 just arrived in the mail for $90 dollars.

rabbit wrote:
Magazines encumber the mind and cause heart disorders.

And yet, they also feed my children. I beg you. Buy the Magazine. For the children.

The prophet has you and your 401k covered. Don't worry, Rabbit.

This is why the true Way means buying the magazine, but not reading it. Every magazine must be carefully placed into the bottom of the drawer and protected from dust.

The internet as a "basin of endless depth" strikes a chord with me since I've been trying to get past that for the past few years.

Lao Tzu for gamers.

I definitely subscribe to this philosophy, but feel the need to point out that it doesn't work as well for multiplayer games. If you want multiplayer, the pressure to buy now goes way up.

Really dig this. I just bought Half-Life 2 some 2 weeks ago. Runs flawlessly on my modern mid-grade hardware = wise.
Not researching enough to know that The Orange Box was right around the corner = unwise.

outoffeelinsobad wrote:

I really loathe when d-bags like this decide what is Wise and what Isn't.

outoffeelinsobad wrote:

Contentment is not something I look for. A lack of desire is a lack of life. How's that for wisdom?

Hmmm. Auto-checkmate?

Equating desire and living; isn't this the entire goal of capitalism? Sounds like our Overlords have won this soul...
I don't loathe that philosophy, but I do pity those subscribing to it.