Recently, I hopped back into Maplestory. It’s a game I played since childhood and I continued on for several years since.
5 years. That’s how long since I stopped playing Maplestory at a hardcore level. Not since my stay in the Maple Private Server AuraSEA. It was due to a heavily aggressive marketing campaign from Asiasoft that I even got back into the Official servers in the first place.
It goes without saying, jumping back in was quite a task. I wasn’t expecting to be hit by such a wave. The familiar music, annoying sounds and the outdated graphics.
It didn’t take long for the game to hook me back in. Especially since there were way too many new features and content to explore. Gone were the days where you had to grind on popular maps for days on end in order to level up.
Nexon did a good job addressing several of the problems that plagued their game in the past. However, perhaps these moves were a little too late. While the servers are still populated, it can be agreed upon that MapleSEA has seen better days.
But I digress. With each level up and with each quest completed, I wanted to do more. I was accomplishing things and being rewarded for it. It was great!
Even now, I have a plethora of quests that I can clear to obtain rewards and level up. I had to pull myself away from the game in order to post this.
In time, I found myself forgetting to eat, forgetting to sleep. Forgetting my entire life as I continued questing on. I had to run to the restroom and back after holding it in for hours on end.
As the amount of garbage around my computer grew, so did my need to keep playing.
There’s a strange feeling of satisfaction to be rewarded even via virtual means for doing something. And it seems to stem from a life of not being rewarded for putting in effort.
People run to MMORPGs because it helps give them their much needed sense of reward after putting in so much effort into something.
Life isn’t as fair as a video game. Sometimes you never get rewards for quests. Worse still, sometimes you get stabbed in the back for being helpful. It’s a tough life out there. And it’s so much easier to escape it all by plunging into a video game.
However, I’ve learned the hard way last year that you cannot escape life forever. Life isn’t fair. But you can only make things better by learning and improving. As they say “Fake it till you make it”.
Confidence doesn’t grow on trees. And it most certainly doesn’t come from a level 171 Kinesis in Maplestory.