Recently I started playing a new LINE-backed game called Exos Heroes. It has interesting setting, game mechanics and from the onset it's quite well thought out compared to other ones in this genre. Then within a week I cleared most of the content and gained familiarity with the meta (e.g. what it takes to succeed in the game given the current rule).
What bothers me is how, just like any other mobile games I've played so far, track record wise I will stop playing them within months and probably even forget about it in another year. In the first place, the game industry profits the most from the surge of users at the beginning. Comparing this to console games, mobile games are just far more transient.
I started playing mobile gacha games in 2013 and have played it on/off before completely stopping recently. Titles like brave frontier, sinoalice, fire emblem heroes, granblue fantasy, pokemon go, sdorica, dragalia lost, ragnarok tactics, exos heroes (update: genshin impact) are no stranger to me. I played all these games enough to hit a considerable percentile within the game. But ultimately, just how much have I retained from playing this sort of games so far?
For one, I truly enjoyed most of the games initially. I like the dopamine rush from getting featured rare units. I respect the amount of care the developers put into them. I love the thrill from the creative challenges the game has devised. Essentially, these feelings mirror how I felt towards MMORPG pre-college. But similarly, they also took a lot of time and efforts to learn and master. On top of it these games don't actually build any real transferable skills despite how engaging they are (for the sake of comparison, console games have impacted me more in terms of their storytelling and perspectives they give).
So going back to the earlier question, have all these knowledge or skills acquired been meaningful?
Yes, it has been meaningful since it allows me to build connections to the people I care about in the past. But no, it has not been meaningful in terms of what I get to directly apply in my work or life. But if there is any silver lining to all of this, it embedded me with many models related to game theory that are immediately visible to me today.