A few days ago I uninstalled StarCraft until after exams, because I think that having it as something I pressure myself to improve it—it’s no fun otherwise—isn’t something that’s good to have on my mind during exams. It’s not a question of wasting too much time playing SC2; not a problem I’ve ever had. Just one of not overloading myself with mental burdens.

Though, it did make me wonder about whether it’s actually worth playing this game at all. I’m not sure I have willingness to dedicate the time needed to actually become good, yet as I say, it’s only through improving that it’s fun. It’s not as if I have to make a decision or anything on whether to play it again after exams so this isn’t important.

This, by the way, is completely separate from watching professional StarCraft II play. Still doing this from time to time with friends.

Back to the topic at hand: this morning I had a strange experience in that I found myself really wanting to play a video game, any video game. I looked through my Steam library. I even had a quick browse of the Steam store. There was a definite sense of wanting to fill a hole that only video games can fill but I don’t know what sort of experience I was after at all. It seems then that without me realising it StarCraft was, as well as being an interesting hobby, also filling a desire for playing video games.

This desire is distinct from both an interest in StarCraft as a hard game to get better at, as described, but also from getting lost in immersion games. For example next week it’s the end of term and in the evenings after a day of revision I am planning to play Mass Effect, then Mass Effect 2, and if I like them, I’ll follow that with Mass Effect 3. Quite different.

Is this desire for general video games a good one? I don’t think so. I’m not sure I want video games to be a part of my life aside from spending a series of days/weeks playing through a big one.