The ages of 18 to your mid-20s are a very dangerous time in a gamer's life, because you're basically on your own for the first time, with no parents or teachers around to tell you to stop playing videogames all the time. Since you're on your own, this becomes a formative time in your life, as you try to figure out who you are and what your place in the world is. But the problem with this is that you're forming a lot of habits for yourself at a time when you've basically got all the time in the goddamn world. And, if you're like me, this brought you to a very dangerous place...

Single-player RPGs.

1. RPGs are basically Time Vampires


Before you know it, you'll have some combination of a career, family, friends, pets, and kids. All of these can be rewarding, meaningful things that will fulfill you on a level that almost nothing else can. They're also all enormous timesucks, and all of your free time will evaporate before your very eyes. And that's why getting SUPER into RPGs in your early 20s is a mistake.

Whether it's JRPGs or CRPGs or...well, basically ANY RPG, the game represents a thing that is just gonna steal 60-100 hours of your life like it was nothing. When you've GOT that kind of time to burn, it's great - you can get lost in the world and immerse yourself in this fun, weird adventure, because you're only taking 12 credits this semester and don't even have class two days a week.

When you've got a job/spouse/kids/[any other kind of adult obligation]? It's a problem. A big problem. A new RPG coming out is like knowing you have a major project due at work soon, and it's gonna take a ton of time and effort to finish up. It's something you HAVE to do, not something you GET to do.

Basically - say so long to sleeping more than 4 hours a night for the next few weeks, since midnight to 3am is the only time you have available to yourself to play your fantasy-world RPG.


2. You have literally nothing to show for it, except a bunch of knowledge about a fake thing that means nothing to anyone


via okiir

When you finish other major tasks in life, you'll usually have something to show for it - projects at work are things you can bring up to your boss when you want a raise, projects at home result in a spiffy new shelf or some home improvement (that ended up being a lot harder than The Sims would have you believe). But an RPG? Well, I can tell you LOADS about the Daedra in Tamriel, but the problem is not a goddamn person in the world gives a shit.

I have more accumulated worthless knowledge from a variety of fantasy worlds than actual knowledge about the real world - and even people who've also played the games I've played usually don't wanna hear about it (seriously, go ask someone who just played Skyrim if they'd like to discuss the downfall of the Dwemer).

All that knowledge, all those journals you've read, all those stats you memorized...totally worthless (except for editing wikias, which is another thing you should probably keep to yourself).


3. You are completely withdrawing from society for those 60-100 hours


It's hard to say which is worse for a person, socially-speaking - a single-player or online RPG. With single-player RPGs, you are forced to COMPLETELY withdraw from social interactions if you want to play (and most are NOT the types of games you can pick up for a few minutes here and there between commercials - nope, most are the types of games you'll want to sit down for 3-5 hour chunks). That means no going out at night or on weekends, and barely seeing/interacting the people you LIVE WITH.

On the other hand, there are online RPGs, which teach you a form of social interaction that's pretty much the opposite of how you should interact with people in the real world.

4. You'll spend (at least) an additional 5 hours in forums and on sites, trying to figure out the best ways to play, how to do certain things, and master a billion skills that are meaningless in the real world


The number on your save file, which supposedly represents the time you've spent playing a game, is a goddamn lie. It's only telling you one part of the story, because there's an entirely separate aspect it's ignoring: the time you spend online, researching the game you're already playing.

What's the ideal build for your Priest character? What bugs should I be aware of? What other characters would make for the best party? Who should be your tank? How do I get the "good" ending? How should I complete this quest line? WHERE IS EVERY SINGLE WEAPON IN THE ENTIRE GAME?


5. If you're a completionist, RPGs are Hell


This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the previous entry, but RPGs - more than any other game genre - are packed to the gills with STUFF. Secrets, quests, side missions, weapons, minigames, achievements, lore, dialogue, and a billion other things. The playtime it takes to get through the main story and most of the sidequests sometimes barely scratches the surface of the game's total content (it is nearly 4 years later and I'm STILL playing Skyrim).

For people who like to "do everything" in a game, this is a nightmare. And we're not talking Chrono Trigger "gotta get all the endings" nightmare. We're talking multiple playthroughs of 60+ hours on different difficulty settings to make sure you play as every character, with every good/evil morality choice, going through every possible questline option, just to see that sweet sweet 100% (not counting games like Symphony of the Night, which fuck up that simple pleasure by making the cap 200.6%).

And then there are games like Pillars of Eternity, that do THIS SHIT (I was not a Kickstarter backer, and now I'm forever doomed to live in incompletion, the achievement total mocking me constantly):


In summary, I've played a lot of single player RPGs, and they're addictive and amazing.

And they're ruining my life.

Go videogames!