Our Computer Game Addictions
By Melissa Minners
It started smallÖwith some Bounce Out and ZumaÖnothing I couldnít handle. Just a couple of games where you had to match bouncy balls or rocks in a snaky Aztec maze. They actually used to help me conquer my migraines (as long as I had the sound off). Then I started playing Bejeweled on the end of a flight back from Los Angeles. Matching jewels as they fell from the top of the screen was fun and often quite challenging, especially when you were trying to clear rows and create larger, more explosive jewels. Kind of reminded me of Tetris mixed with Bounce Out, but without all the maneuvering of puzzle pieces and bouncing balls. I enjoyed that game so much, I went out and bought a copy for my computer. But I could stop at any timeÖno problem. Even with the bonus types of games I found on Bejeweled 3.
But then, one day, I received a gift on social media. My cousin sent some coins I could use to play 8 Ball Pool online. I love playing pool, both real tabletop pool and computer pool, though I am waaay better at computer poolÖcanít imagine why (impish grin on my face as I type that last). I was hooked! I couldnít stop playing. You could play in tournaments. You could compliment your competition Ė real competition from all over the world, not a computer pretending to be a person. As you build up your winnings, you could play in different locales. And if you were willing to spend some dough (which I, as yet, am not) you could buy new pool cues, new table layouts, more coins, additional cute saying to try on your competition, mini-games and more. Each day, you can spin the wheel to win more coins or scratch offs used to win more coins. Every half hour, you get twenty-five free coins. And you receive awards for winning (besides the coins), potting a certain amount of balls in one shot and more. After a certain amount of balls potted, you level up. Depending on the level (bronze, gold, silver, platinum, etc) you compete weekly for prizes. So much fun! But when the free money ran out, I went on to other more important things and put the games aside.
That was until I found free slot machine games on social media! Uh oh! Now Iím in trouble! I am currently playing five different slot games. I was playing a couple of other slot games, but Iíve settled on these five: Real Casino, Vegas Grand Slots, Heart of Vegas Real Casino Slots, Casears Slots and Old Vegas Slots. Same concept with all of these Ė they are slot machine games and you get free coins to play them daily. If you want more coins, you can buy them. But there is something different to offer with each game. Real Casino has a ton of different games to choose from. They are all of the video slot variety that people have come accustomed to finding in newer casino slot sections. They also have card games for those who like video poker or blackjack. And Real Casino offers the most bonus coins of all the various slot machine games Iíve played. They also have competitions with other players to see who will win the most in a certain time span. Winning the competition means more coins for you!
Heart of Vegas Real Casino Slots has games I have actually seen in Atlantic City and Nevada, including The Walking Dead and Amazing Race. Like Real Casino, they are of the video variety and you can earn free spins and bonuses, but there is a bit if a difference here. You wonít be able to afford some of these games. Lowest bid on The Walking Dead is $75,000 and a lot of the jackpot games are that or higher. Thus, you either have to win big or gather quite a few bonus coins each day, or you can buy enough coins to play those slots. You can also win free access to new games by playing existing games and scoring big.
Vegas Grand Slots are also video slots, but you can win quite a bit with this group of machines. They have shorter competitions in which to beat other players based on how much you bet and win. Iíve won quite a few of these. But if you want games other than slots, you are out of luck here. I found Caesars Slots by accident and found it to be fun. You unlock games as you play and earn levels. These games are also mostly video slots, but there are other games like video poker, roulette, blackjack and classic slots (throwbacks to the pull the handle days). There is also a Golden Room you can unlock with access to tons more interesting video slots. And there are various competitions and challenges which can earn you tons more coins. You can buy more if you want, but I havenít had to. And I have been having a ton of fun with this one. Itís a new experience every day.
A family member introduced me to Old Vegas Slots. Here, you can find a mix of what you would see in video slot machine areas and regular slots. I found an old favorite Ė the very first slot I ever played in Atlantic City was Red White and Blue and they have it here! Thereís a VIP room, but you have to be a high roller to get in and thatís a bit of a problem. Unless you are purchasing, chances are you wonít get there. You see, Old Vegas has a very different payout rate Ė more like what you would win in a real casino. Those of you who have been out to Atlantic City will know what I am talking about. But I do like the variety of games, so I keep coming back.
Seeing how addicted I have become to online video games, I decided to ask some of my readers about their online gaming addictions. Hereís what they had to say:
Kathy: I have a serious addiction to HayDay, does that count? HAHA. It is a very silly game played on a phone or computer using an app. Most people play it as part of Facebook. You farm, plant trees, collect stuff to expand, feed animals. Silly, mostly mindless stuff really. The reason I like it is that I am playing it in a group with my sister, my daughter, and two of my nephews. You can help the others in your group so it is a very silly way to spend a few minutes each day playing with family who don't live close by.
Angela: World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Farmville 2, Overwatch, Everquest 2 - but that one is losing momentum, Skyrim, Destiny, Heroes of the Storm, Gwent, there are too many to list. Farmville was my weak spot. They were always doing special promotions or such, so there was never a good time to log.
Megan: Hmm I don't play many games anymore but I'd say on the computer it would likely be The Sims. For that game, it kind of happens in waves, where you get new expansion packs and characters and you play for days straight, then don't touch it for a while. And, of course, Minecraft for kids.
Why is minecraft so addictive? It's the whole world building of it, I think-that you can make anything you want with the right tools and the interactive element where you can see and play with other users.
Oh! Five Nights at Freddy's, too. So, it started off as an indie horror game with animatronic animals coming to life and you worked as security in a pizza shop and had to do certain things or else the animatronics will kill you/jumpscare you. So it started off as an indie horror game with animatronic animals coming to life and you worked as security in a pizza shop and had to do certain things or else the animatronics will kill you/jumpscare you. But its f@#$%#% terrifying. But then again, Iím also a wimp so.
Mandy: I have to stew on other ideas, but Stardew Valley is the first one that comes to mind. If my 300 in game hours mean anything.
Allegra: World of Warcraft and Overwatch.
Melinda: Wizard of Oz and Caesars Casino.
How different is Old Vegas from other slot games? Less payouts... more like the actual slots in a casino.
Great Ė more games to get addicted to. Thanks, folks! If you have an internet game you just canít seem to get enough of, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, discus it at the G-POP.net discussion board or hit us up at our Facebook page! Inquiring gaming minds want to know!