I wasn’t really sure when the latest incarnation of Diablo was being released, but I knew that the blogosphere would tell me of its arrival, and sure enough they have. From reading a few posts on various blogs it seems that it has caused various levels of anger, angst, and I-told-you-so syndrome. All very amusing for someone like me sitting on the sidelines.

Because I wouldn’t play Diablo III even if I received a free copy. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the original release of this game. I was living in a dilapidated Queenslander in the tropical wilderness of Cairns, Australia. In between bouts of marlin fishing and crocodile wrestling I would play the latest video games when I could get my hands on them. CIV II was big at the time, I vaguely recall. Anyway, we got a new flatmate; he was much older than us, he looked ancient, to tell the truth, but was probably in his mid forties. His face was weathered by years of hard drinking, loose women, dubious drug-taking, and most probably, video games.

However, he had a laptop. (He also had a 42 foot yacht, and one day he took us out and almost sank the lot of us in a gale). Now a laptop was big in those days. It was a huge deal. And he also had the brand new release of Diablo. There were six of us in that share house, and what we had to do was to wait for every person to finish playing the game in its entirety. Obviously the old dude got to go first, and he played it non stop for a week or so until he beat it, emerging from his darkened cavern of a room blinking warily at the strange sunlight. The rest of us then drew straws, and I drew the short one. So I had to wait for everyone else to finish playing the game before I so much as even got to touch it. We used to sit at our dinner table on our covered corner balcony, and I would place my hands over my ears and start yelling “nada-nada-nada”, whenever they started speaking about the game. Don’t ruin it for me, you fuckers!

Finally it was my turn. The game was mine. I still remember that feeling of booting it up, of starting out in the graveyard, of cautiously making my way into the depths of the crypt below. It consumed me. I neither ate, nor drank, nor went to work. An entire year’s sick leave was eaten up in the space of a week as I played that game to death. When I finally beat it, I too emerged from a room like a drug addict returning to the land of the living.

None of us ever touched the game again. We didn’t need to. It had given to us what it had been designed to do.

I dabbled around with Diablo II back in the day, but somehow it left me feeling flat. Hadn’t I done this before? You can’t relive the same experience again and feel the same emotions. Now Diablo III promises us a real money auction house, and other stuff I am assuming as well. A real money auction house sounds to me like work. Well, I ditch work for these games, not the other way around. So I won’t be tackling Diablo III any time soon. But I hope all of you that do have a lot of fun working … sorry! I meant playing.

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