It wasn’t long ago that an 18-year-old Taiwanese man, known only as Chang, died from playing too much Diablo III. Reportedly, he had played the game for 40 hours straight, without sleeping or eating, in an internet café.

Although I’ve always at least taken breaks for eating, I’ve experienced and understand the allure of a gaming marathon. There’s a great sense of accomplishment if you do something difficult in one sitting. Not only that, but getting ahead of your friends in an MMORPG could give you both bragging rights and real benefits, making the experience of playing with them easier as you have better equipment, more funds, know what to expect, etc.

But what about a game that gives you benefits for not playing it? Such is the case with Dragon Quest X, the latest instalment of the legendary RPG which will take itself to the MMO world (like everyone else is doing).

There are three ways the game will reward you for putting down the controller and doing something productive with your life: “Support Comrades,” “Vitality Balls,” and “Support Gold.”

“Support Comrades” makes it possible for other players to take over your character for you while you’re away and use him/her in their party. This way, even while not playing, you can still gain experience and gold. If somebody else wants to do my level-grinding for me, I’m all for it! Your character can gain “Vitality Balls” if you remain logged out for a set period of time. Vitality Balls allow you to earn double experience for a short amount of time. And lastly, “Support Gold” is awarded to players who reach a certain point in the game within a week, without going further.

So there are lots of reasons to not play constantly. Then again, there are still lots more reasons to play nonstop. It’s just nice to know that, when life finally drags me out into the sunlight, my game isn’t really on pause. Expect Dragon Quest X to be released in Japan this August, with no word yet on a North American release, for the Wii and Wii U. Yes, this MMO will be on a Nintendo console. And you can bet I’ll be playing it.

As expected from the series, the game has beautiful artwork.


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