The Eco Mode

I keep saying that whatever I know about life and things, I learnt it all at MDI. Take, Eco Mode for example. I define Eco mode as a time when you stop splurging and live on base essentials. Ofcourse none of the academic courses taught us the Eco mode. I learnt it while I was playing Counter Strike for 7 hours on the trot, night after night, for two years.

So Counter Strike is a simple first person shooter team game where you are part of either a terrorist team or a counter terrorist squad. If you are a T, your objective is to keep a guard on hostages or blow up a designated site with a C4. If you are a CT, you need to rescue the hostages or prevent the bombing. Each team can have as many players but the game is best enjoyed as a team of 5. The game is played in rounds where each round is a mission and you need to complete a designated number of missions to win the game. Each game requires you to buy weapons that come in all shapes, sizes and costs. Often, the kind of weapon you are carrying makes a big impact on the game play. And to make things more interesting, you have certain amount of money when you start and you warn money if you kill opponents, achieve objectives etc. A very common strategy used by teams is to not buy anything at all for a few rounds so that they may save up for important rounds later on. This mode, is commonly called the Eco Mode by the gamers.

When I played counter strike, most of the times, I loved playing as a frontrunner where I get a shotgun or a rifle and blast through enemy defenses. There were a few times however when I played as a Sniper. And that meant buying the most expensive gun. That in turn meant that I had to go Eco for multiple rounds before I could buy the Magnum, the gun of choice.

So, the decision to go Eco was preceded by expectation of a big round where you had to perform well to have a better long term impact on the game. Compare this with life. When you are expecting that the next few month/years would decide how you end in life, the wisdom from CS tells you that you need to go Eco. Eco in real life would mean stop spending on things that you are not required to survive. For example, all the expenses on fancy gadgets, expensive clothes, magnanimous hobbies, things to show off and pieces of comfort need to be completely stopped.

And that’s where I am. I got into the Eco Mode on 1 Aug 2012 and it shall remain enforced till I save enough to last me 18 months. If I was to put a number, I think it will be about 30K a month for next 18 months. About 5 lakhs. If I could stay in the Eco mode, I think it would take about 18 months to reach this goal. There we are. Eco for 18 months. Looks unlikely since I have to anyways make some capital expenses every six months, on things like clothes, computers etc.

Back then, when I played Counter Strike, somehow Eco Mode always worked out. A couple of us would go to the Eco Mode and save enough to get ourselves Magnums. And then once we had the fancy guns, we would shoot better and get more points. It would become a positive feedback loop that allowed us to do more with more and spiral into awesomeness.

So let’s see if this Eco mode lasts the 18 months and if the lessons that I learnt with Counter Strike hold true in real life!

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