I've been recently enjoying Dino's Game Log, a series of posts where he documents his video game sessions. Reading these posts come at a time for me when gaming has turned into a frustrating hobby. That frustration comes from the competitive nature of a team-based multiplayer game I play – Overwatch. Win-loss ratios swing wildly from session to session. Sometimes you'll lose five games straight before winning one. Those lows can be particularly brutal. Why do I choose to spend my free time playing a game that makes me do anything but relax? But I know it's not the game – it's me. My competitiveness sucks any joy from the experience.
And that's where Dino's Game Log came in. There's an awareness in them that serves as a refreshing contrast to my own toxic attachment to the game's outcomes. I only cared about my win-loss ratio during each session. Nothing else. But here was Dino making observations about mechanics and highlighting moments in the games he played. Reading his posts felt like seeing what I should focus on when I play. Not what's out of my control but what's within it – the little wins, fascinating patterns, subtle mechanics. Those are within the power of observation. All I need to do is be intentional about writing them down, about thinking them through like I would anything else. There's a power to writing things down. If it can work with certain facets of our inner and outer life, why not with video games?
I intend to write about each gaming session in my paper journal. It will be an interesting experiment to see if knowing I will write about the session will attune my mind to focus on things other than the win-loss ration. Maybe then gaming will be what it was suppose to be all along – leisure.