So day one of the “Do I have an addiction issue?” experiment went by. And I’m sorry to say that it was a reasonably painful day. I’m going to go out there and say that if I’m not a addict, I’m borderline at the least. Let me put it this way: I took an afternoon nap to pass the time and had dreams (yes! Plural!) that I was playing a video game (Sonic the Hedgehog, I think!)
Console I missed the most? My trusty little go-anywhere DS. During the day my fingers kept itching to pick up a controller and get on with Gears of War 2 or Oblivion, or to try and obtain the last few gold medals on Rhythm Heaven DS (Seriously, one of the best games I’d ever played in my life….but I’m not allowed to think about it right now except in parentheses or as part of the experiment!) More than that, however, I found myself actively thinking about the games I was involved with, and how to get around the challenges I was facing at the moment (damn you, Oblivion!) and once on that sort of trail of thought, it’s difficult to find something else to think about…mostly because I haven’t actually had to think about much else before.
What this seems to tell me, I think, is that if not addicted, I’m at least heavily dependent on games to entertain me and keep my mind occupied. The sad thing is that I’ve not read a decent book in MONTHS, and I used to be a really avid reader (the other UtterInsanity authors can testify to the size of my personal library). I also seem to dimly recall that I might have once had an artistic streak about as wide as the Pacific Ocean. I may have even created a few paintings, written a few poems, drawn a few sketches, composed bits of music, and I have it on good authority that the half-finished book sitting in a dusty directory on my computer is actually mine.
I haven’t picked up the guitar to play in…ages. I haven’t plinked on a piano in at least twice as long. I haven’t written a poem in at least a year. My books, which I had such grandiose dreams of finishing and publishing, lie forgotten. And let’s not get started on the drawings. So these activities that used to be a big part of who I am have been lost in in all the gaming that I do. So I think I plan on revisiting those activities that I once used to find so much enjoyment in, above and beyond the games I’ve been playing since I was six.
You might find, as I did, this story about a woman dealing with addiction in her kids very interesting and amusing. It sounds very…familiar. I wasn’t playing under the covers at night when no one is around, but I’m going to admit that there were times I’d be playing something until lights-out. Which I’m very sure didn’t make the Darling Wife too happy…hence the challenges I have coming up. More on that as the week goes by.
I seem to have touched an interesting nerve with my first post about gaming addiction: had a lot of people weigh in their opinions on the matter, and whether or not gaming as a social device counts or not. Meeting online once or twice a week for a few hours to play a few games together? Not an issue. It’s when you’re playing more than 20 to 40 hours a week that you can start saying that there’s a problem. Guess why I didn’t pick up World of Warcraft?
So the first challenge happens today. Will let you know more about what happens, and how it all went down in tomorrow’s update.