This post is a revelation of an addicted gamer with 4k hours in Dota 2 and 1k hours/600$+ spent in Hearthstone. Half of the time it is needed to become a master chef, or a music producer, or a good fiction writer, if you believe in a 10k hour rule. But apparently not enough time to become even a half-decent player, since I never broke through the 3800 MMR ceiling in Dota 2. Addiction had a chance to break my family and I regret the lost time, so I wrote this as a warning to other gamers.
There are plot-based video games, which inevitably end after a playthrough (with some exceptions). Then there are open-world video games, into which you can log in and out at any time without losing progress. Then there are session-based video games, where you play a game/round/session, it ends and then you’re done, or you can repeat. Think Civilization, Tetris, roguelikes like Binding of Isaac, etc. And then there are multiplayer session-based video games (MSBVGs), where you compete against other players, like Apex Legends, Dota 2 and Hearthstone. And these last ones are kind of a malignant force.
The covert malignacy this type of games has is their addictiveness (duh!). But not the usual kind of addictiveness that people imagine in the context of video games. Not the WoW kind. The evil corruption that multiplayer session-based video games bestow upon you is their competitiveness. It is a subtle, but persistent power, that over time made me, a grown man with a 40-hour work week, believe that I can and should compete with professional players and streamers and become a streamer myself. All this because of a number.