Why, indeed. Once in awhile – not too often – I ponder the attraction games have for me. What is it about them that has such a powerful hold?

Adventure games are easy. I’ve always been a puzzle-person (well, some kinds; don’t ask me to do math problems!), and adventures are all about solving puzzles. As you know from In The Beginning, the first four games I played were all adventures.

So the lure of adventure games, combining puzzle-solving with prancing around in exotic locations, is easily understood.

I no longer recall the first CRPG (for shame, for shame!). It may have been Temple Of Apshai. Regardless of whichever one it was, it was typical for that early time: mucking around in dungeons, chopping critters, grabbing goodies, and fragging Foozle at the end (except Apshai, which had no particular goal).

Since then, CRPGs have come a long way in terms of graphics, gameplay, and story. Still, as I pointed out in Old Wine In New Bottles, the major activities haven’t changed. We still do “chop, grab, and frag” most of the time.

Yet I keep playing these games, knowing that likely the latest one will be more of the same as all the others before it. Is it the combat that’s so attractive?

In that case, I ought to be playing a lot of shooters, but I only dabble in them at most. For example, I tried going back to Doom 3 (having nothing else to play), but rapidly became bored and gave it up. I can’t even get up enough desire to play Diablo 2, and that’s pretty straighforward as fantasy shooters go.

Perhaps it’s the goodies? Well, it’s always nice to come across that “+50 Sword Of Instant Death” ;). Finding Neat Items does have its delights; still, I can’t see spending all this time just to come across virtual items. Especially as, from game to game, they tend to become rather similar.

“Saving the world” is so old-hat I only mention it in passing. “Fragging Foozle” is part of that, so I’ll just waltz right on by him, too.

Okay, if it’s not any one of them, perhaps it’s the combination of all? Maybe. Maybe not. Because if that’s true, then I ought to have become tired of CRPGs a long time ago, as I tire of shooters.

Having swept all that away, what’s left? All I can think of is…addiction. Could this be the real answer? That years of playing have developed a powerful habit that has to be fed constantly? Hmmm….miniscorp