Beyond Bossfights 21 – Does Gaming Affect Your Real Life?

In this episode, Draculetta joins me to talk about how video gaming has impacted our lives, how our lives impact the way we game, and the good and bad effects gaming can have on individuals. We also discuss obscure topics such as Judas Priest and the unfortunate heavy metal smear campaigns of the 1980’s. Sound weird? It is, a little.


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Show notes:

Definitive Gaming History

Main Topic – How Has Gaming Affected your Real Life?

Questions/Topics for discussion:

  • How are some of the ways the hobby of gaming has changed/affected your life?
  • What would you say is the most positive way gaming has changed/affected your life and why?
  • Have there been any negative effects on your real life?
  • Let’s reverse the question: How are some ways your real life has affected your gaming life?
  • The BBC recently posted an article called “Do Video Games Make You Violent?” What is your take on this? Is this akin to the “heavy metal music” and Dungeons and Dragons scares of the 80’s, or is there something to the actual desensitization to violence with repeated exposure?
  • On the flip side, I found an article in The Guardian written by Keith Stewart, who has an autistic son who has found a way to interact with others through Minecraft.

What Have I Been Up to?





I originally enjoyed LOTRO’s F2P implementation. They stuck to their five Cs of selling content, consumables, cosmetics, concierge services, and convenience. However, as the years went by, it seemed like the developers were constantly pushed towards engineering more inconveniences into the game.

Gameplay systems that previously featured reasonable goals were expanded into unreasonable grinds. The design of the game made these systems increasingly inscrutable to newcomers, but obvious buttons to click and pay to progress through them were always front-and-center.

The thing that really drove me crazy was the addition of Hobbit Presents, which is basically a slot machine to take your real money and maybe if you’re lucky give you back something you can actually use. This seemed so disrespectful to the world Tolkien created. No self-respecting hobbit would give you a random gift on his or her birthday, then turn around and offer you the chance to buy another.

I don’t consider myself a LOTRO player anymore. I do still log in once or twice a week just to enjoy the game world and connect with friends, so I’m glad Turbine continues to operate the game.


Thinking about it, I’m not sure LOTRO grind is really a function of F2P at all. The grindiest slayer deeds were in Angmar and Moria, and as far as I know they were there before F2P ever came along. Not that I was around then.

I suspect the grinding is more a function of old-fashoned game design. By all accounts sub-only MMOs back in the day weren’t short of grind, nor other game mechanics that would tax a modern player’s patience. (Waiting ages for a mob to respawn, long treks to get to the start of an instance, etc etc.)

If anything LOTRO has been trimming the numbers of mobs needed for deeds in the time that I’ve been around, not increasing it.


In a sense, I think there are two levels of “quitting” an MMO (or any game really). There is the “this game sucks and I’m out!” /uninstall level; and the “I was playing Game A, now I’m playing Game B” level. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so upset that I quit/uninstalled a game because it was that bad.

Furthermore, I don’t think you really “quit” a great game – it sort of just fades to the background as a new great game takes it place. I can recite a ton of games (including LOTRO), where I thought, “This is so awesome, I’m going to play this forever!” As I look back, I don’t recall “quitting” any of them, they just sort of got replaced by the next latest and greatest.


Quitting MMOs is a thing, but then not a thing for me. For instance, I quit EQ2 after playing it for several years, but have started up playing it again multiple times, so like you I think I just take a hiatus here and there. The only game that has been constant for me for the past 4-5 years is League of Legends, which doesn’t really constitute as an MMO, but surely holds my interest.


Great perspectives – Draven03

Really interesting topics, well discussed and presented. I always look forward to the next episode and soon I’ve finished one.

Need more Beyond Bossfights – Cray Ambler

Well organized, light-hearted, and interesting. I look forward to this podcast showing up as “new” each month.

You can send your feedback to and I’ll read it on the podcast. Reminder that Beyond Bossfights is on iTunes and would appreciate your ratings and reviews!

Beyond Bossfights is also on stitcher, AND Player FM so add it to your playlists!

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 Voiceover by Alexa Rubinov

5 thoughts on “Beyond Bossfights 21 – Does Gaming Affect Your Real Life?

  1. I really enjoyed your last episode, but then I am a fan of you and Draculetta. I do have a . . . complaint . . . or is it more of an observation or question. When the question of “Do games cause/influence antisocial behavior” came up, the standard gamer reaction came up. I was fine with that. While I’m not as in that camp as I used to be, I can go there.

    But shortly after a question along the lines of “Do games have a positive effect on the lives of their players” came up, and there were praises of how helpful they can be. And I was struck and miffed because I started thinking — ‘So games have no negative effect (aside from the stray and rare person with mental issues) but games do promote virtues. Hmm.’ That just seems to be a bit . . . convenient.

    Personally, I think games Can promote vices and virtues . . . like most other things in life imo. (I dunno, maybe this stance is a result of organized assaults upon our hobby by powerful forces and this leads to defensiveness.)

    Anyways, I really did enjoy this episode! Thanks for your efforts in the gaming world.


    1. Certainly not the intention to miff, but I do understand that you might have been frustrated by the lack of depth of those particular answers, especially when juxtaposed against an overly optimistic question. I actually do think that gaming can have some serious negative consequences (see my post “Prioritizing Gaming”). I mentioned that post in the show, but didn’t want to dwell on it for a couple of reasons – 1. I’d already blogged about it and didn’t want to completely rehash the entire point of the post. 2. I didn’t want to further ‘single out’ or ‘pile on’ the hosts of the other podcast who I used as examples.

      The answers in that segment of the show were influenced by Drac and my personal experiences, which fortunately do not include extremely negative consequences from having gaming as a hobby. I suppose I could have pushed a little harder for a bit more depth, but having a guest on your show is always a balancing act between springing the “hard hitting” questions and putting your guest in an uncomfortable position. I will always err on the side of treating my guest well, even if it doesn’t make for as thrilling of a podcast. Hope that makes sense?

      Thanks for being a listener! I do appreciate the feedback


    2. Ya, I tried and tried to think of something “Negative” in the aspect of how gaming has affected me, and I really honestly could not think of anything at all..

      Hope you enjoyed the rest of the podcast though, as I had a blast being on!


      1. How about the fact that gaming has likely worsened your RNG? Are you ever able to purchase a carton of milk that isn’t DoA? Are your parking spots constantly being swiped just as you are pulling in?

        As someone probably in the oxymoronic “obsessive casual” parade of gamers, I will admit that gaming in marathon or odd hours has not had the best impact on my lifestyle. But then again, that’s probably a fault of the gamer, not the game itself, just as Drac was pointing out.

        When it comes to how a game can have an effect on your real life, it kind of does just boil down to someone being able to step back from the virtual world and realize it is just that – an escape. The game itself is a means to be someone else for a couple of hours, and tromp around in an alternate world. I think sometimes I really just don’t want that escape to end, leading to some longer sessions than is probably responsible for a young adult.

        But yeh, I have met some awesome people along the way. While I am not orally as social as several of them (such as the fine people who podcast as a hobby), it’s still interesting to be on a somewhat familiar wavelength with the type of people I’d likely have never talked to if I was passing them in a supermarket aisle or down the street. Gaming is a fantastic bridge to allow all sorts of people from different walks of life to cross, meet, and converse in familiar territory.


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