Tetris Effect Testimonies:

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Terracotta Soldier Man
All right, any serious gamer (and even a few not-so-serious ones) has experienced The Tetris Effect at some point or another in their lives. There's always been that one game that refuses to let go of you, sometimes even after you've already beaten it.

So what's your story?

As for mine... Well, there's several games I could probably use (due to the fact that I tend to develop fixations on things), but probably the biggest one I've ever had to date was my obsession with Civilization II. Seriously, it lasted for about three or four years.

It started out fairly innocuously; sure, I played the game a few hours each day, but I didn't think much of it, since I still played on the lowest difficulty. Well, one day I discovered a small site called the Civilization Fanatics Center. At the time (around '03) I was still a bit of an Internet newb, so the idea that an entire website could be devoted to the nuances of a single game sort of fascinated me. I absorbed most of the strategy on the site voraciously. I made printouts of some of the longer ones that I could review away from the computer. I took that knowledge and gleefully applied it to my gameplay experience, imagining that I had reached the pinnacle of my potential, the heights of pure ecstasy, the point of maximum fulfillment.

Then I found out that the site had a forum.

Once again a whole new world was opened before me. I registered and asked some stupid questions like the newbie I was, and devoured the answers eagerly to be applied later that night. My gaming sessions began to last well past midnight (when I could get away with it). As my knowledge and experience grew I began to participate more actively in the forum debates. I added a few reasons to the "List of 1000 Reasons You Play Civ2 Too Much" (which grew to contain more than 1000 reasons eventually). I began to imagine grand, sweeping stories to go along with each and every empire I created, most of which never saw the light of day.

Then, finally, there was the France Game.

It's been three years since I completed that game, and yet it still stands out in my memory. It started out as a regular game, but soon it ballooned into a massive affair with 45-minute turns that I only played one turn per day, and that only every week or so. It took me half a year to complete it, but it was well worth it. That was the true high point of my experience with that game.

After that... Well, it began to go downhill for me. It seemed as though the game had lost its magic for me, and eventually I moved on to greener pastures. However, I still sometimes look back fondly on those earlier days, when I'd waste hours in front of a computer screen trying to get that next Wonder before the Chinese did, or racing the Romans to Alpha Centauri, or capturing ten cities in one fell swoop by using the enemy's railroad lines against him...
For me, it was Throne of Darkness. (Try not to laugh too hard.) I realised I had a problem when every time I closed my eyes I saw Tengu. After that, I eased back a bit. In fact, I recently installed the game and tried it out again. Not as fun as it was six years ago. Not really fun at all.

To this day, I wonder why it was Tengu I saw, rather than any of the other enemies. Oh well, the human mind is funny like that.
Nitz the Bloody
For me, any game that combines rapid-fire button-mashing and level-grinding is a recipe for the Tetris effect. Any Action-RPG of reasonable quality can fall into this category, but the most recent one was Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PSP. In addition to finishing the 20+ hour main game and fiddling around with the side-missions, I also found myself thinking about protagonist Zack Fair quite a bit. Doodling Buster Swords in the margins of my class notes, reading Wiki entries to try and dope out Jenova's convoluted history, buying a bit of pricey import FF 7 merchandise ( most notably Crisis Core's soundtrack, which I've been playing a lot these days ), and having more than a few passing thoughts about going to a convention in SOLDIER-style cosplay, it seemed as though like Cloud before me, my own identity had become confused with Zack's.
Ruby Nation Needs Tropes!
A Mediocre Khan
I've had a similar problem with Civilization IV. Ye gods, I was dreaming about the game after only one sitting. My ongoing 'German Game' is totally insane. It's on a special Earth map (nine players- Germany, Rome, Greece, Egypt, China, India, Mongolia, Persia, and Japan-, everyone starts in the Old World). I thought it would just be a normal game, like the France Game you talked about. I've been playing the game off and on since March. It's currently in the 1850s. Rome, Greece, Persia, and India, in that order, have been wiped out. I have at least one city on every continent (plus Britain and Madagascar). The game takes at least three minutes to load now. And even now, I still dream about starting a World War against Egypt and China.
Almost every game I play does this to me. EVERY DAMN ONE. However, the worst offender is Dungeons and Dragons.

Yes, Dungeons and Dragons.


Because every time I see something, meet someone, perform an action, my brain somehow relates it to Dn D. What I'm doing right now? It's probably a DC 10 "Make Fora Post" check (a skill which I have dumped too many skillpoints into). Iron Man is clearly a 20th level renegade House Cannith artificer. Duh. My brother is training to be a Swordsage; my mother has one level of Bard and a few of Warblade with the feat that lets her scale Perform checks (acting, in her case). My dad might actually be a druid, becuase the weather obeys him and animals love him. Or maybe he's just a ranger.

And I've just failed my will save vs TV tropes AGAIN. The DC is hideously high anyway...

  • edit* Another particularly egregious example: While I was in Japan and in the throes of depression, I thought it was a good idea to play massive amounts of System Shock 2. I'm not sure why I thought this was a good plan, but I played it for about two hours every damn night.

One day I'm walking from the train station to school, and I notice a security camera. INSTANTLY, I panic and reach for my pistol, praying that I still have enough ammo to take it out oh god oh god oh... and then I realized that it was broad daylight in Chiba City, not a space station, and that I neither have a pistol, nor a wrench, nor cybernetic implants.
I've got this burnin like my veins are filled with WHITE HOT FEMINIST RAGE
Currently, it's two things: The World Ends With You, which is a game, and Teletraan I, which isn't.

Oh, and obviously TV Tropes wiki.
It happens with pretty much every game I get. (Besides Mario Kart Wii, because The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard.)

Probably the most intense I've had recently would be my obsession with the Ace Attorney series. I ususally beat all the games within 2 days of nonstop playing, but I kept on playing it in my head at school and everything. I've even gotten into the habit of yelling "OBJECTION!" and "HOLD IT!" and "TAKE THAT!" whenever and wherever possible.

Thankfully, all of my friends like Pheonix Wright too (thanks to me lending it out all the time.) so it doesn't really matter. Right now, I'm pretty much obsessed with three games: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time, Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem 10. I thought playing PMD for an entire weekend would get me off of it, but I can't stop playing it.
I really friggin' love Pokemon.
the Desert Troper
Please don't leave! The Drones need you! They look up to you!

On that note, I gotta go install Alien Crossfire.
Andy Waltfeld wrote:
"Please don't leave! The Drones need you! They look up to you!

On that note, I gotta go install Alien Crossfire.

Rock the Hell on, sir. Rock the Hell on.
Currently I have two games intertwingled in my head, Return To Wonderland and Chromatron. How many times I see a "pure geometry" level in Chromatron and want to convert it to Wonderland... then realise there're not even diagonal reflectors in RTW, let alone splitters and such, and prisms don't work the same way. But really it has happened with so much games that I've lost count. Sucks to be me.
The most blantant example for me would be Elite Beat Agents. I have been known to see beat maps in my head whan listening to music.

Also there is Pokemon, where I thought there were Swellow in the Simpsons movie.
I used to have dreams about being stuck on Myst Island and not being able to guess how anything worked.

Nowadays, I'll run (rarely) across odd bits of architecture that, for no reason, remind me of the Myst series and cause me to flash back to those dreams.
The Good Troper
I never had the original Tetris effect, but I do have a story about it. I didn't own a game boy, so I played it on a friend's system. I was better at the game than him until he started practicing at night, then HE got the effect really hard. Said he would project the game onto every surface he looked at and couldn't concentrate on anything. I didn't notice any difference. Later, he started playing Kirby (I think it was Kirby, that might have been later), and I never got to play his Game Boy again. Well, hardly ever.

I remember singing the Portal song for days after beating the whole game, but that's a whole different trope really.
Mathematics Is A Language.
14 ccoa3rd Jul 2008 11:42:05 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Nippon Ichi's tactical RP Gs do this to me every single time. I just can't stop playing! 100-level dungeon, died on the 99th level. Better start again. Oh, wait, is it time to go to work again? Spend all day mentally combining weapons to find the optimal combination. Go home, rinse and repeat.

For this reason, Disgaea, La Pucelle, and Phantom Brave get locked up except when the husband and kids are out of town.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
Practically anything can do this to me. At the moment, I'm being kept awake by FFTA 2; before that, it was Pokemon Emerald, and before that, it was all of the English Fire Emblem games. All of them. In a row. When I play video games, I really get into them. Why do you think one of my goals is to write and direct games?
Accept no substitutes.
The first time I played GTA: Vice City, I don't think I left the room for three days. When I finally did, I found myself gravitating toward unlocked cars, envisioning crosshairs over everything, and briefly considering jumping on top of cars at red lights to get a free ride.
Advance wars.

Jesus Christ advance wars...

Every military movie I've seen since I got addicted to them has acted out as a game of AW:DS in my head. I have an addiction to custom maps as well...

Oh and KOTOR. Probably the first long RPG I completed while still remembering why and how the game started. That and I had about 20 different save files as I played separate games as 'dark side' and 'light side' 'grey towards dark side' and 'grey towards light' 'light in doing actions but dark towards comrades' and vice versa and so on. Endlessly mixing stuff.
18 Pacific14th Jul 2008 10:56:00 AM from da beach house
Oh Yeah?
I remember this happening to me on Jak x. wierd thing is- I kinda got bored of that series after I finished Jak II- Jak 3 was annoying and didn't really have a very good plot- and Jak x's writing is so terrible I eventually just turned the sound down and skipped the cutscenes- strangely enough- I still play it every so often as the rule of fun seems to be the only thing still carrying that game.

I used to spend almost whole days playing Mario 64, galaxy, and Kingdom of loathing.
Pokemon. That is all.

But the first game to do that to me was Legend of Zelda: Waking the Windfish (or whatever the name is) I was so obsessed with that game. Eventually I got to one part where I just couldn't figure out what the hell to do, so I gave up in frustration for a few years. I went back to it, though. Yes I did. And had the most wonderful feeling of something just clicking when I figured out how to get past that part. (I think it was near the end of it. It's been a while.) Finishing that, of course, led me to go out and get the Zelda games made for the Gameboy Color. Hacked and slashed my little heart out.
Uncle George
Cell phone solitaire.



Yeah, it was just something I liked doing at my old job when I wasn't supervised. I just played it really fast, and racked up some >9000 points (the counter just resets after 999). After I stopped working there, I just stopped playing it.
This love so bold goes undeclared/a joy unseen, a world unknown/a love that dare not speak its name/hidden treasure, precious stone
21 blakyoshi717th Jul 2008 11:47:32 PM from the Bone Dragon Pit
I'm a secret character!
JethroQWalrustitty wrote:
" >9000 points (the counter just resets after 999).

Do I really need to say it?
Grabbing is where you must begin

Shaking for treasure from within

Throwing far is how to win!
For me it was the game Civilization 3. The obsessive urge to conquer the world by force instead of diplomacy had this troper at his computer for an entire spring break, leaving only for essentials and one family gathering. And then I failed. Needless to say, my scream was heard for blocks.
the Desert Troper
Funny, Civilization Revolution (the DS version) is doing that to me right now.

Also, X-COM: UFO Defense, despite me having a Yoshiyuki Tomino-esque body count on Beginner.
Left Eye
Pretty much any RPG that's good: currently FFTA 2 and Persona 3: FES
Let's see, once it was Civilization (I was obsessed with taking the Byzantine Empire into the Information Age...yeah, I know), but the WORST offender was Neverwinter Nights (original). I lost a lot of sleep thanks to that sucker, and that's not on just the main storyline, the expansion packs OR fan-made modules: I'd also waste bucketloads of time on the toolset while trying to create crazy things like all of a Castlevania story arc (Lament of Innocence, I think...I'd even made custom armor so that Leon Belmont could have his Badass White Coat).

Currently, it's...TV Tropes wiki. I'll open it up with just one mission statement ("Hmm, I wonder if they have thingy X or Y"), and suddenly find that I've wasted a full 5 hours zooming around the wiki, reading related threads and non-related threads, watching pages and adding additions until I've somehow gone from reading about Magical Girl Tropes to Waist High Fence.

So, I blame you, TV Tropes Wiki, for me constantly staying awake until 3 in the freaking ams, on a regular basis. You damned addicting bastard.

  • Reads some more, sneakily going on AT WORK*

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