Play You To 100

This is a story about a videogame. A videogame called Dota 2.

I’ve always known I am a videogame addict. One of my earliest memories is of my mother dragging me out of an arcade, me in tears not because I was in trouble, but because I was loosing a life on Super Bomberman. But I’ve been an introvert addict, playing against the computer, man vs machine.

Dota is different. Dota is the first game that I’ve spent significant time playing where the objective is not to defeat the machine. In Dota, you play on a team of 4 other real humans against an opposing team of 5 other addicted, introvert olympians. It’s chess, ping pong or basketball with sentient opponents but a virtual court.

My addiction runs long and deep. From early days playing Donkey Kong on a C64 and being hypnotised by the mystery of the original Mario to recent conquests with Nico Belic, Commander Sheppard and the Dragonborn, I’m a completionist gamer who often shies away from clearing the last level for fear that the game would be over.

In spite of my addiction, I’d always managed to resist the heroin of videogaming, the MMORPG. The huge universe and thousands of other real people – and the stories of those people who spent lifetimes playing – appealed to my desire in a way I could see was dangerous. Down here lies the path to madness…

Since I started playing Dota, I’ve risen through the ranks from complete noob to someone who sometimes thinks he knows what he’s doing, even if he doesn’t always pull it off. During the 170 games I’ve played so far (each game lasts approx. 45 minutes although, as Laia will tell you, there always seems to be “five more minutes…”), I’ve lost 89 and won 81.

If I’m serious about the challenge of playing with, and against, real live people … and if there’s no way to actually “complete” the game … then perhaps the score needs to be kept in a meaningful way.

So here’s my challenge: Get to 100 wins before 100 losses