Practice and Patience in Civilization V

Civilization V

There are just a handful of places in my life where I’m willing to invest actual, valuable man-hours in order to return some kind of benefit. Writing, for one, is a hobby that I’ve managed to turn into a career of some sorts, and I hope to take it even further than I have in the future, through continual practice and repetition. Parenting, for obvious reasons, is another area in which I gladly invest my time. But there are plenty of other “grown up” things that I can’t seem to give the time of day — learning to be handy, taking care of my yard, dressing better.

Videogames have always been different. Every now and then a certain game will come along that captivates me to the point where I want to plumb its depths and learn everything I can about it. Of course, this comes with mixed results (such as StarCraft II), but every now and then, the process of practicing skills and memorizing stats and build orders actually increases my enjoyment of a game.

Enter Sid Meier’s Civilization V.

After owning the game for at least a year (from last Steam’s Summer Sale), I had only put just a handful of hours into Civ V since purchasing it. But in the last couple of weeks, I’ve suddenly dumped a ton of time into it. And not just playing it, mind you, but researching build orders, learning about strategies, reading tips on subreddits and forums — and then trying these things out on other human players.

For some reason, certain games just grab me that way, where it changes from something mindless I do after work and when the kiddo is in bed into a study of its own, something I’m putting mindshare into and trying to cultivate. I did the same thing with Halo Wars back in the day, with Halo 2 when it first released, and in certain RPGs when I’m trying to figure out the best build possible for a character.

Does this ever happen to you guys? Where a game crosses over from hobby into something else? What’s the last game that you spent time researching or obsessing about away from your TV or monitor? The last game that you practiced in to get better? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

4 thoughts on “Practice and Patience in Civilization V”

  1. I recently go into Dota 2 because of a friend and now im a little obsessed. Even though the online environment is one of the harshest, it’s also one of the most rewarding and i can’t stop coming back to try and get better.

    Also any game that has stats/stat-maxing etc. So basically any RPG or hybrid.

  2. Vanilla Bear, as a League player I hate your guts! Grr!
    Joking aside, League is the closest thing I can think of to the hobby->something else. I play it pretty much every day. I play it with friends. I play it without friends (though that’s rare since a lot of my friends play it). When I’m not playing it, I’m thinking about playing it. When I’m playing another games, my second monitor is allowing me to watch it (so many streams…). I also spend too much money on it. Damn skins.

    Just something of note: “The last game that you practiced in to get better?” Well, I’ve been playing League for a year and a half now, and I am still shit (Bronze II, baby!). Does this count? 😉

  3. I’ve been thinking about trying Dota out, but I dunno…I don’t want to lose too much time to it haha.

    I think for practicing games, it would definitely be StarCraft 2 a couple years ago. I never got past top ten Bronze, though.

  4. @Petyr

    Hahaha 😛 I didn’t even know about the whole League/Dota thing until after i started playing :s


    I thought that too, but then during the steam summer sale i realized it was free and thought what the heck. But yeah it does suck up the hours.

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