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.