I have recently begun to explore the incredibly vast world of Dota 2. It's massive.
So huge in fact, that's it's making me wonder whether it wouldn't be more constructive to get a university degree.
You might think I am being frivolous with my comparison, but the depth of knowledge required to even get beyond being a beginner is just mind-blowing.
Sure, it's fun to start learning about last kills and denies, but what comes next, and after that..? The view from the bottom of the hill is so daunting that I wonder whether it's worth beginning this epic journey.
So it got me thinking, I read about a guy who has played 6000 hours and still considers himself a beginner. I don't know, maybe he is just being humble, but that's nearly a year in playing time. That doesn't even take into account all the guides, tutorials and videos he would have had to consume to get to this point. And he is still a beginner...
And then there is the addiction. There are three recommended guides on the steam platform to get you started, and coincidentally, each is a joke about getting addicted and warns against ever starting to learn. Tongue in cheek of course. Maybe?
There is a theory that 10 000 hours of practicing anything, will make you an expert in whatever it is that you are doing.
So that begs the question, should I become a professional in some other arena that will take me further. Golfer or Pro poker player? 🃏♣️ At least there is the possibility of making some money... or losing it all...
When you finally reach a reasonable level, then you begin to compare yourself to these young school kids who play 12 hours a day professionally and I guess it's like being a little bit good at golf. You begin to wonder whether you couldn't be a pro golfer. Maybe you could if you put in the hours. But what about the opportunity cost you have lost. What skills do you take with you when you decide that the competition is just too great or your wrist gives in? Can you use those skills in another field?
So the question for me is, "What will I get out of learning Dota 2?". Would it be more useful to do something more beneficial?
I probably will never be a professional, but I might get the satisfaction of playing a good game with a team of people that think like me. Doing something well has its appeal.
Improved hand-eye coordination? Not sure that that's a life skill to base all this time on by itself.
Compared to something like golf. Real people, real physical skill. There is also the same problem with golf where the elite professionals are so much more skilled than even the best amateurs, that the argument becomes similar. Trying to become a professional in any discipline is extremely hard.
But Dota 2 also requires real skill, just in a different arena, and a seriously quick set of reflexes and really in-depth thought and knowledge in order to play well.
Versus, "What would I lose by learning Dota 2?"
I think the real question is about becoming a professional at anything. Writing, programming, anything. Perhaps it's about the margin for people to make money. Where it becomes a job. Otherwise, its wizard marketing on behalf of the elite out there making us all want to be paid for doing something we love.
Perhaps the best idea is just to play the game and have fun learning it. I do enjoy Dota 2. I will let you know how I am getting on soon.