Is this the real life?

That’s Litmanen there, looking a bit furtive in his latest WE9LE appearance. He’s still only 18 in my ML ‘world’, and a long way from being the player he will become. In his so-called real life he peaked in his late 20s, I seem to recall. That’s a very long time away.

I doubt I’ll still be playing this career in 10 seasons’ time, but you never know. It all really depends on PES2012. If PES2012 goes wrong—and let’s not kid ourselves that it’s impossible for PES2012 to go wrong—anything could still happen.

There’s a new, better patch for WE9LE due later this year. I’ll be very interested to see what it does for the single-player game.

Also in my WE9LE midfield is Aaron Lennon, who could be said to have peaked in his real-life late teens. He’s probably my most valuable player, consistently, from match to match. I have the most shots on goal with him, and even score one or two as well.

WE9LE’s impressive shooting model continues to fascinate me. Long-range goals are so rare that they’re a truly precious commodity. Creating a good enough opening just to attempt one in WE9LE is almost an achievement in itself. I played a match of PES5 for comparison and was able to fire off the shots almost at will.

It’s still only season 3. Progress has been very stop-start, not least because of a PES2011 side-project, and certain other projects too.

I passed the 10K words mark for the book yesterday. I think I’ll aim for 40-50K as a first draft. I’d like it to be a relatively short, intense read. Nowadays I love books that can be read in several hours spread over a day or two, not weeks. It’ll still be a (hopefully) good book-length read, but not a major George R.R. Martin-type of commitment. (Another thing to distract me, there. I’m a fifth of the way through the 1000+ pages of A Dance With Dragons.)

Truth be told, there is at least 1 day per week now where I don’t play any football game at all. Sometimes 2 or 3 days. This would have been unthinkable just a year ago.

Does this signal a permanent change in my behaviour? I don’t think the urge to play football games will ever leave me, but you never know. What if something else comes to take its place?

I’m still playing the mighty Dwarf Fortress with a kind of passionate obsession I haven’t known since discovering Civilization II more than a decade ago. I’m putting in 5-hour stints on the game on my days off work. I care about my thriving dwarf fortress more than any of my football games right now, and that’s the truth.

And just now, while procrastinating over the writing of this post, I was having a look at Football Manager 2011 on Steam. Thinking: should I? I want, I want… etc. With everything else currently happening, there’s no way I’d want to play FM2011 for more than 20 minutes or so, so what am I thinking?

Where does it come from, this greed for games we’ll never be able to play properly? I think it’s a peculiarly recent phenomenon. I don’t remember being afflicted by it until around 2009 or so. Before then, I got one game and played it and finished it, and then moved onto the next thing. But things are not like that any more, as the dozens of unplayed and barely-played games on my phone will also testify. Curious.


  1. “There’s a new, better patch for WE9LE due later this year.”

    Yes it is 🙂

    Lets all pray we’ll finish it 😉

    cheers guys, and I’m happy you still are fascinated by the we9le Greg. I play this game for almost 5 years, and it still is not boring me. I hope you will get as long time with it as well 😉

  2. Not-Greg Your greed for games comment is so true, I find myself searching around for ‘interesting’ looking games when I still have the last however many ‘interesting’ games gathering dust, I have so many games that I have played for one day and then never touched again even though I liked the game…

  3. Luk—well, unless next-gen PES finally delivers something substantial, I can see myself at least regularly touching base with WE9LE for a long time to come. As you’ve seen, though, I am 99.9999% a single-player player, however inconceivable that may be to some nowadays. It’s still eminently playable in ML even now so I have high hopes for a new patch.

  4. Pete—I regularly drop in on several games sites and forums, and it’s guaranteed that at least twice a week they’ll feature a game that I want to get, despite never having time to play them. The ones I do at least take a look at and love never get played either, because I’m already playing others and reading, going to work, watching TV, etc… I’ll say it again: if I ever win the Lottery, I’ll postpone moving to Vegas for a year or two while I work through my backlog of games.

  5. Trying to finish Red Dead Redemption at the moment before PES tempts me back never to return… as you’ve said before not-Greg, you can’t keep chopping and changing these games as you lose the innate trigger-finger skills you build up and lose track of the story etc which means the only way I’m working through my back-catalogue is to play a season of PES, then play another game to completion, then back to PES for a season. At times it seems like deprevation which says a lot about my current addiction to PES 2011 ML!

  6. Chris—this is a definite midsummer dip in football gaming for me. Looking back over the PES years, I’ve always had it to some extent. Come mid-to-late August things should pick up for all of us again as the nights start drawing in and the pace of the pre-release hype quickens. Until then, I’m thinking, yep. time to show some other games some love and attention. I’ve still got Red Dead on my to-play pile—but Bioshock 2 is above it.

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