Dwarf Fortress

March 26, 2011 1:15:49 AM CDT

When it comes to computer games, I tend to be old school. I mean, really old school.. as in zork and nethack.

I like text-based games because they rise and fall on the quality of the game itself. You don't end up with reviews saying a game is more fun to watch than to play. Most of the development effort goes into the parts you actually play, and not to improving the jiggle physics.

Admittedly, such games tend to have a steep learning curve. You might have to play a dozen times just to learn enough basic commands to survive, and still be learning new options after your hundredth time through.

If that strikes you as less fun than a week of dentist's appointments, I can't really argue with you. It's all a question of personal taste. I happen to dislike first-person shooters, but universe simulators with massive and obscure lists of commands are like catnip to me.

So when I discovered this productivity killer last week, it was addiction at first sight. I don't even begin to understand it yet, but that hasn't stopped me from getting sucked in for hours at a time.

I've finally gotten to a point where I can shut the thing off and get back to the rest of my life, though.