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...