Monday, August 18, 2014

Secret of the Magic Crystals - 20/20 hours

I now face a moral test the likes of which I have never before encountered. How I resolve this dilemma will speak to the core of my character and reveal my most fundamental values and priorities. I have a rare opportunity to look into the mirror of fate and learn the answer to the question - what sort of man am I?

Do I stick it out and finish Secret of the Magic Crystals?

I've played this game for twenty hours now, and I would characterize the experience as "mostly pretty painless." That does, necessarily, imply that there was some pain involved in playing this game (though, to be fair, the same could be said of every game I've played so far), and there were stretches where doing the same thing over and over again got to be more than I could stand, but most of the time, it was just this sort of numbing routine, where time was divided into manageable little chunks and by worrying only about the task in front of me, I could turn the bulk of my attention to other matters and just veg out.

Combined with the game's regular schedule of (admittedly very, very, very minor) rewards, the whole experience had a potential to be quite addictive - as evinced by the fact that I played more than an hour more than I needed to, because I was so close to getting my level 5 horse, that it seemed a shame to quit right on the cusp.

And now, I'm brought to the Abyss. I have only two more level 5 horses to go before I discover the secret of the magic crystals, and join the elusive 0.7% who have finished the game. I've done the math. That is only 120 more times playing the stupid arrow-matching minigame. There is literally nothing else to do. I own all the buildings, I've unlocked the best equipment (that I no longer need because I've won all the races).

A hundred and twenty times is bearable. It's three to four hours, tops. I could put on a tv show and coast through that while barely noticing the passage of time. And the game would be complete. I'll probably never get that close again, so if I walk away now, it will always sit there, almost, but not quite finished.

To do something perfectly, even something otherwise unremarkable, there is a nobility to that. It speaks of diligence and care, and taking life, and other people (because, do not the makers of Secret of the Magic Crystal deserve to have their work experienced in its entirety) seriously.

On the other hand, it is a colossal waste of time. I don't exactly pride myself on my arrow-matching ability, nor do I expect to learn anything worthwhile or experience any particular emotional high or low. Is life not short enough as it is? If there is nobility in perfection, is there not also nobility in rational efficiency? In the spareness of indulging only what is necessary?

So, what kind of man am I? What is really, truly important to me? Secret of the Magic Crystals has exposed my core today, but even I do not yet know what I'll find.

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