Less surviv.io, more work

September 9, 2019 — by Alan Zu

I had the same routine every lunch. I grabbed food from the cafeteria and entered the J-room, greeted by the usual site of my friends lined up in front of the computers, rapidly clicking away and firing at enemies in the online game surviv.io. Quickly wolfing down the last chunk of my meatless chimichanga, I pulled up a chair and joined my friends, annihilating all other teams who dared to oppose us.

The simplicity of the game made it addicting, and I became hooked after playing a couple of matches with my friends last year. The game seemed simple enough: a player would navigate around a circle, firing at enemies or looting colorful weapons. The goal, like any other battle royale game, was to be the last player or squad to survive.

As the year progressed, however, I enjoyed playing the game less and less. I became frustrated when I was never the leader in the 50v50 mode, or when I constantly got the worst spawn location. 

In a game of 100 players in 50v50 mode, half would be the red team, while the other half would be the blue team. In order to win, one team had to obliterate all members of the other team. However, one member per team is randomly chosen to become the leader, who is given greatly increased stats.

I also became frustrated at how the game was designed. Instead of focusing on skill, the game was more chance based. For several games, I spawned in one of the least desirable locations, meaning I had essentially no chance of winning. And by constantly introducing more and more powerful weapons, the developers have changed the game so that once a person gets powerful loot, they automatically win the game.

Even though I used to relapse every time my friends started playing, this year I’m going to at least try to wean myself off the game. 

It comes with the burdens of junior year. I need to get my act together to make time for time-sapping pursuits such as water polo, newspaper and school. 

Rather than gaming all day, I need to focus on keeping my head afloat during junior year, which I’ve heard is a feat in and of itself.

So I guess I won’t know until June whether I can survive without surviv.io.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.

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