I am addicted to video games.
No, I’m not joking. I’m not being facetious or arch or whatever. I’ve been bonkers about video games since I discovered Zork I. There were days (long ago! I swear! I was still a kid!) when I got myself invited over to someone’s house simply because they had a game on their computer or console I wanted to play. If left unsupervised, I would probably spend 20 hours a day playing my latest favorite.
Scratch “probably”. I’ve done just that. I remember playing Wizardry: Bane of the Cosmic Forge all night long. Literally. I looked up and it was dawn. Back then, I actually had a big comfy chair to sit in so I wouldn’t be sore from not moving for hours at a time.
Today, I have more distractions, more maturity–ah, hell, let’s face it: I have a husband to feed, editing and writing contracts to handle, and a dog that whines incessantly. I will credit maturity for increased control over my addictive tendencies. It’s hard to be obliviously rude and selfish when you’re no longer oblivious.
But man, I was a freaking mess as a teenager and young adult when it came to video games. For anyone reading this who had to deal with me in those days: I’m so, so, so sorry. I was a horrid little puke. You had every right to kick my ass and I’m grateful you restrained yourself.
So I’m an adult now. I’m still playing games as often as possible. I’ve developed some restraint and boundaries, but I still see it as an addiction, based on the simple fact that I will, if left alone with no pending obligations, do nothing else but game for days on end. In a way, my entire writing career could be considered an attempt to get myself away from video gaming.
On the good side, at least I haven’t become* an alcoholic, drug addict, gambling addict–(just barely on that last, mind you–lived in Las Vegas for a few months and damn near fell down the well. Never ever going back there, and I never go into a casino without handing someone trustworthy my wallet first.) –or any of the other variations. I don’t even smoke any longer. Kicked that one about twenty years ago, and grateful for it every day.
Also on the good side, I’ve managed to corral my addiction within mostly reasonable boundaries. I make myself get up and walk around the house to handle minor tasks at least once an hour. I make sure I drink water. I keep my snacking to a minimum and try to have it be on the healthier side instead of cookies, chocolate, chips, and pretzels. I don’t yell at the dog for interrupting me; I thank him for making me look up from the screen and remember that there is a Real Life all around me.
I’ve chosen not to get involved in the sort of gaming that requires me to be at the computer on certain hours or days, or locks me into being tied to the computer for any length of time. I normally avoid raids, group dungeon runs, and group quests. I don’t play games that bring my stress level up: timed boards that run faster and faster every level, like Tetris (which I used to ADORE), make me utterly crazy these days.
My latest innovation in handling my gaming time is to write about it. Such as with this blog post, and more to follow. I’m going to talk about the games I’ve played in the past and am playing today. In fact, I’m going to go out on that fragile and frightening limb and talk about video games from a feminist perspective. Because why the fuck not.
At least it means I’m writing actual blog posts, not playing a game and thinking about how I really ought to be writing. 😀
I have lots of material lined up already, so with luck I’ll manage to keep to a weekly or biweekly posting schedule for gaming chatter. Links should post to Twitter as posts go live, so if you’re not already following me there, allow me to direct you towards @leonawisoker as a place where you can try to keep up with me.
If Twitter doesn’t suit you, please do sign up to follow my blog. I’ll warn you up front, there’s been a weird surge of registrations in the past few days and I’m now checking to be sure all registrations are coming from Real People. So if you follow the Writing of a Wisoker on the Loose blog, please be ready to answer an email confirming you as a non-bot.
Here’s to turning our addictions into useful work product! (Said with a profound amount of self-directed snark.) Read on, game on, and keep fighting for the world to be a better place. Because again: why the fuck not, amirite? 😀
* I am NOT implying that those addictions are somehow more gross than video games. Addiction fucking sucks, whether it’s tobacco, alcohol, sex, food, or what have you. Please read that line with a “tongue in cheek, eyes rolled sardonically” tone. 🙂