I’ve been playing Mobile Legends for more than two years now, and by far, it’s the longest that stayed in my phone. That alone is already an achievement. I thought it was just some kind of bandwagon ride, of boredom – that I’ll get over and delete soon. But looking at it right now, maybe it stayed that long for a reason.
We all have our own preconceived notions of online games – of how addictive and damaging it could be. Of how it could ruin a person’s life. But doesn’t it goes to all? That too much of everything concept. What if I tell you that it could go otherwise? That in the years I’ve spent playing online, not only ML, I’ve gained insights that are at the same time valuable in getting through life. There’s so much to gaming than what meets the eye.
Life doesn’t come with a detailed manual
Exploring around any gaming app means tapping here, there, and everywhere. While there are some friends who’ll be kind enough to help you navigate around, at the end of the day, you’ll only have you. You’ll discover that some commands will lead you to one thing or bring you back to another. Trial and error. Fear and excitement both at the same time. Isn’t that how we experiment with life?
Learn to adjust
We take so many personas in Mobile Legends – I could be a mage, tank, marksman, or an assassin depending on what is needed. Rising through ranks means learning what characters to use in order to create a synergy with the team. It’s frustrating but at times you have to accept that someone’s always better than you – even if you ranked number one in your district. It takes humility to win. There are times when we don’t want to listen to those above or below us thinking that we know better than them. But in order to own our victories, we have to bring back our feet to the ground.
Working with professionals, I get to deal formally with people. But Mobile Legends doesn’t bow to any status. There you’ll meet a student who’s venting his frustrations by trashtalking his teammates. A brother who’s been recently scolded by his parents and keeps feeding himself to the enemies. A girlfriend trying to work things out with her boyfriend and steals your buffs and kills. Or someone anonymous who will just leave in the middle of the game to attend to a more important thing. People of all sorts. But they are not limited in those online games alone. You’ll have to meet more annoying, ill-tempered, and crazy individuals in real life.
Work at your own pace
Competitive as we naturally are, it gets frustrating to see people achieving more in life than us. But this is what I learned in Mobile Legends: some heroes become more powerful in the later part of the game. Assassins and mages can be very strong at the beginning but the tables can turn when physical heroes and marksmen are able to complete their items – they’ll easily come up and wipe out all enemies in one blow. Take your time. Maybe you’re just a late game hero.
There’s always an epic come back
Yesterday, a dear friend of mine failed to pass her longtime goal of passing the bar exam. We know by heart how much it mean to her. And how much it hurts. But guess what, early morning today she messaged us of our doubts of contacting her in this trying times. She acknowledged her pains and encouraged us to reserve our congratulations by the following year. Verbatim: I’m not okay, but I will be. Such courage and humility to accept the universe’s plans. Dues ex machima. This reminds me of the many times the team almost got defeated. Score gap of more than ten. Our base almost totally wrecked. But in such unexpected time, the odds suddenly played in our favor.
One of my freelance projects last year was to help edit a raw video of a Cebuano DotA player, Ninjaboogie, who brought home almost 20M after playing The International – an amount I’ll never earn in a lifetime of my current salary grade. But more than the money, what I learned from this guy is how much there is to online game than how we see it – passion, dreams, fears, and… life.
Sure it gets a little disheartening when things don’t go our way. But maybe we’re just the late game heroes. Let’s wait for our epic come back. For now, let’s complete our items and ‘party’?
Read other Quarantine Reflections here:
- I cried in transit to Mantayupan Falls
- When Narra trees bloom…
- Mercury was right, Fortune favors the Bold
- Life beyond the Playfield
- When the trail runs dry: An Abbreviated Journey of Losing Passion for Traveling
- The Hyphen between two dates
- Exes Baggage and the many times I’ve failed with Light Packing