Gomoku - Five in a row

May 20, 2022
Gomoku - Five in a row
A Chinese friend told me about this game. So I downloaded an app and started playing it.
It uses a Go board and pieces (black and white stones). It’s like a bigger version of tic tac toe. The board size is 19x19 instead of 3x3. And you win by getting 5 in a row instead of 3 in a row.
What a flood of dopamine! It’s just like when I played Shogi. It gets addicting and I can’t pull myself away, even though it’s way past my intended curfew. It’s fun at first, learning the basic strategies, and seeing how others play. I start doing well and winning multiple times in a row. My rank advances. Then I face off against more challenging opponents, and start losing multiple times in a row. My brain starts tiring, and I’m playing without thinking, and making mistakes over and over, not catching the opponents strategy. So it becomes frustrating. I keep telling myself, “just one more game… I can’t end on a loss, just one more win, then I’ll stop… That’s not satisfying, I need to win twice in a row… But I keep losing after I win one…”
I uninstalled the app. I don’t have control. And it’s no longer “fun.” It’s dopamine-intensive, but it’s not fun being in that trap of frustration when losing and vicious glee when winning.