It’s my days off. I had done what I can of the chores, my room is clean. I’ve done my walk around the neighborhood, etc etc. I sat down and started my marathon run on World of Tanks.
This was around late afternoon Tuesday. It’s now Thursday.
Now there is no question to anyone’s mind that I love the Centurion, the Tier IX medium tank. I love it because, let’s face it. I imagine myself as Zvika Greengold on the Golan. I imagine myself as the Aussie tankers at Coral and Balmoral. But after a while, that love gets spoiled. Bad teams come, good teams go, and you start wondering about the numbers.
The ickle, little numbers. Things that proclaim to like-minded folk that you are to be reckoned with. Slowly and surely my love of the tank turned with love the numbers. And that’s where it all fell apart.
I stopped taking shots I couldn’t dare hope for RNG to save me, because it’ll effect my accuracy. I can’t dare be aggressive, because that’d be YOLOing and not doing the utmost best. I stopped relying on what I know I could do with this game. And what I should do. I became enslaved to the number. I assailed the weak pubs. I assailed my roommate who hogged the bandwidth (sorry Mike). I touched off on a friend because he wanted to platoon (exacerbated by the bandwidth deal), not wanting to platoon because of the ping, and the numbers.
I slept, feeling uneasy and annoyed. I needed a readjustment.
I love the Centurion Mk 7/1. I have chased after nothing like it in any other game. I’ve chased after it just as much as I’ve chased after many things in life (a book, finding the perfect peaceful spot). Just pressing the ‘w’ key to make it go, zooming in and imagining myself as the gunner to that amazing 105mm Royal Ordinance, spotting a T-54 in my sights, brings a sense of Zen I’ve not seen since driving alongside the Shenandoah when my family lived at Front Royal, or at the firing range.
And so it takes a story from Slate.com to push me back to focus.
Now, this applies to life in general. And I know my daily grind is no different from the beer drinkers. But on World of Tanks, I strive for my own happiness, measurable only for myself. I understand what Retia says, but many times I don’t. “The only important metric for me is fun!” is Retia’s biggest thing. I stopped playing when I saw that. I alttabbed and just stopped caring. Stopped with the numbers. Closed the various stats sites, tanknumbers, noobmeter, WoTLabs the whole lot. I opened up YouTube, picked out songs, and listened to them. Mr. Jones, Troubadour, Small Town Southern Man. Just easy listening country songs. Stuff I grew up to and stuff I missed.
So in that one long hour of bliss, reading through zenpencils, listening to George Strait, I came to the realization.
I wasn’t playing because I love the tank. I was playing because I embraced the numbers.
I feel dirtied.
Tenshi_Hinanai (10:26:15 AM) Hello there Lorr.
Tenshi_Hinanai (10:26:18 AM) Still free?
Lorenzo_Ruiz (11:03:52 AM) sorry, was altt abbed
Lorenzo_Ruiz (11:05:05 AM) spent the better part of the hour just readjusting
Tenshi_Hinanai (11:08:57 AM) I see
Lorenzo_Ruiz (11:09:20 AM) I’ve been playing for 18 hour straight by my reckoning, between two days.
Lorenzo_Ruiz (11:09:30 AM) I stopped loving my tank and started hating on the teams.
Lorenzo_Ruiz (11:09:33 AM) I needed a break
Tenshi_Hinanai (11:09:40 AM) I see. Yeah you gonna need it
Lorenzo_Ruiz (11:10:13 AM) So I went and read things, listened to old music I grew up to, and frankly
Lorenzo_Ruiz (11:10:19 AM) I remember why I play this game.
Lorenzo_Ruiz (11:10:36 AM) Because I love the Centurion, not because I wanna up my stats.
I’m sorry to Mark and Mike, most especially.