With all my current writing obligations you’d think I’d keep my fingers on the keyboard and toss out distractions as unwanted wastes of time. Nope. Not even close.
I used to play console video games daily. At first my occasional vertigo caused serious motion sickness problems for me. I doped myself with motion sickness pills chased with Monster energy drinks to power through my first few gaming sessions. Soon I was able to play the games without any problem and spent hours at a time racing through Renaissance Rome with Ezio or fighting the Locusts with Delta Squad. It sounds ridiculous that I needed pills to play games, and yeah it kinda was, but I wanted to try something I’d never really done before.
About two years ago as NaNoWriMo approached, I spent a couple hours chasing bad guys in Gotham and when I was done, I felt like I developed a horrible hangover because of my motion sickness and had to lay in bed for hours after playing the game. That was it. I stopped cold turkey. Like an addict faced with a life altering decision, I chose to leave gaming behind. Besides, I had a month of writing ahead and I needed my time for that.
Sometimes I miss playing games late into the night with my friends, but the steps I need to go through just to play isn’t worth it.
Now that’s not to say I don’t still play any games. I’ve gone to mobile gaming, leaving the ranks of the “hardcore” gamer to join “social gaming” on my phone and iPad. I’m hooked on “Marvel’s Contest of Champions,” “Temple Run 2” (which I’ve played every day for 417 straight days) and “Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.” I can spend way too much time playing these games when I could be writing or interacting with the human race.
I don’t mind playing the games when in moderation. Like most things, the games aren’t bad as long as they don’t consume all your time and resources. But when they suck all your life because you gotta get that crystal or daily award or whatever enticement they throw at you, then there’s a problem.There’s huge money in gaming whether it’s console games or mobile games, money is the goal for most developers.
In all fairness and disclosure, I was fortunate to write missions for a PC game last year that will hopefully release some time in the next couple years. The team behind the game had a deep love for games and decided to put their energies into something they have a strong fondness for. I was thrilled to be part of the team and see the process from the other side.
Games are fun yet powerful forces that can get out of control if not careful. What games do you play? What takes up your time? Leave a comment and share with the rest of us. Maybe we can help each other break free and use our time for other things.
Now if you don’t mind, there’s a quest I need to finish.