Modern warfare. Not that old fashioned, barbaric, actually kill people warfare. This is a game of strategic placement with who has the shortest aim down sight speed and best accuracy. Are you proud of your 28 warzone wins and your 1.42 K/D? Stop being a simp and join the party.

How It Begins

Friends told me to get the game. All they’d talk about was that clutch 3 v 1 on King when they naded the right for 1 n00b, drop shotted the next cuck, and finishing moved the final enemy FTW. How could I resist? So during the early days of quarantine I decide to join the fun and buy a PS4 with CoD MW. I download hours of software and was happy to see my internet connection over 200mbs so I wouldn’t be getting any lag. My friends, who had been playing for months at this point, would invite me to games and I was one of the crew. Except there was one problem. I was a total noob.

What people downplay is the barrier to entry for this game. Maybe if you’re an 18 year old who has played every other FPS in the industry, it’ll come quick. I’m a 36 year old who used to play Soldier of Fortune 2 back in 2002. This PlayStation controller feels foreign. Your friends will invite you to Warzone and your capabilities are walking and shooting. Drop an item. What button is that? Buy plates. Which is the buy station? Early on in my experience, I didn’t contribute to the team and knew I had to work up my ability.

I started getting more experience playing team deathmatch and refining my accuracy while learning the maps. I enjoyed the game as I expected I would. The skill based matchmaking always put me at a disadvantage playing with friends, but that was the only way I was going to get better. So even though I wasn’t much of an asset to the team, I was slowly improving.

The Human Element

At 50 hours of play I had acquired enough evidence to know that my time with video games was coming to end. I’ll elaborate with this image.

People take this game seriously i.e.) they’ll put friendships at risk over this game. I know I was the worst soldier in my circle of friends. I’m put into this digital Warzone where people are hip firing, jump shooting, and pre-firing corners and I’m accidentally exiting the helicopter 1,500 yards away from the drop point. Warzone is like any other acquired skill and it requires lots of hours to improve. People who are already seasoned, have short tolerance with noobs. It’s uncomfortable for the noob and the better players just do their best to teach you how to get better. Yet when they want to do a 2v2 gunfight and you can’t put fair teams together when it’s Shaq, Hakeem, Ewing, and Mugsey Bogues. So people tip toe around it when I frankly would rather not even bother to play with them. I have more fun playing in like competition games enjoying myself instead of camping in the corner waiting for the next speed demon with throwing knives to slice my throat. It’s not personal. But I don’t have fun bringing the team down and I’m not at a point of contributing. When there are 5 teams left, and I’m solo, and 3 people are watching you telling you what you’re not doing right, it’s weird.

So knowing that the game will require hours upon hours to improve brings me to this final point that Joe Rogan is taking flack over. Video games don’t get you anywhere. I have a few caveats to add to this opinion, but I generally agree.

Is It Worth the Squeeze?

I spent years of my life playing video games. Trying to play all 17 weeks, with all 32 teams, with Bud and his dad in Tecmo Super Bowl. Staying up late night outlining the speeds to run for the Marathon in Gold Medal Challenge ’92. Endless nights playing Blizzard’s Starcraft, Diablo 2, and Warcraft 3. I played video games throughout college and then in my early 20’s, I decided to quit. It’s not that I deemed them a waste of time, it was that I didn’t personally want to spend time that way anymore. There were no life skills that were derived from video games. So I started focusing on bettering myself and my business acumen reading books on how to successfully be a better communicator and the habits of success. Video games became a part of my past.

That was until I fired up CoD and it brought back the thrill of gaming. I was noticing 5 hours go by in an hour as I wanted to bump my K/D by .1. I kept saying, “one more map”. I’d look online for tidbits on a better load out. After my 50 hours of play, I concluded with Joe. Even though I was having fun, I wasn’t advancing.

I think in today’s society that being able to use a controller to navigate a digital menu /environment is far more useful than delivering a newspaper. If your entire society is moving towards contact less interactions, you better be good with a remote control. I can only imagine how kids who are in their teens today live their life. I remember an 8 year old was playing some FPS on his IPad as I watched realizing that I was old. This is not some fad. This is the future.

I’ll add that I think that Joe Rogan’s point was misconstrued. He said that after 3 years of taking Jiu-Jitsu, you can do something like open up your own studio. Like most points today, people take them too literally. His idea is that you have a skill that you’ve worked on for 3 years that is a discipline. You’ve acquired the means to advance. If you’ve played CoD for 3 straight years and your Twitch stream is up to 19 people, you may not have what it takes to do much else. Video games don’t improve you physically. Mentally, they are great to prepare you for a situation when you need to figure out how far 18 bullets will go among 3 enemies. So coming from a Boomer mindset, I’ll agree that the life skills achieved from video games is minimal. If I hadn’t stopped playing 15 years ago, who knows where I may have gone in my life. I tend to think it wouldn’t be the same spot. This also isn’t looking down on gamers. Your life is your life. No one should tell you the best way to live it. I would be of the opinion that learning a language or acquiring a life skill would be of further benefit. However, that’s just me.