Allow me to share with you my list of activities for the last five days:
Is this obsessive behavior?
(A brief aside for any readers who are also gamers:
SWTOR just released its first expansion last month and this past week was the first opportunity my boyfriend and I had to take our avatars from level 50 up to the new high level of 55. If any of you out there play SWTOR, let me know what you think of the new content. I was not pleased.
Sim City does not deserve the negative hype it has received – I have had no troubles playing and the ‘traffic problem’ is not a problem if you lay out your city properly. It is an amazing game. I think because of my programming background I have a better understanding of how the ‘sims’ move and act. I don’t expect them to behave like individuals. They are simply code. Sophisticated code, yes, but in the end, they are just 1s and 0s. If you treat them as such, you won’t be disappointed when they don’t act they way you would in a real-life situation. There are patterns to their behavior, and once you determine the pattern you can successfully manipulate it, and earn your simulated city millions of simulated dollars.)
You can call my five-day, almost non-stop gaming obsessive if you like. And in a way it is. But I wasn’t really neglecting anything. I worked on a large project two weeks ago and I have another two weeks of work starting soon. My boyfriend is applying to every single graphic artist job he can find out there. So what is the harm?
I’ll tell you. The harm is that, while I am sleeping, I am dreaming of the games. Even when I am doing other things, buying groceries, cooking a meal, taking a shower, I am always thinking about the games. In my mind I am constantly strategizing, running ‘what if’ scenarios, and planning my next move. I can’t wait to finish up the things I have to do in order to get back to the games.
After a while it starts to hurt. My mind churns and spins and focuses on this one thing for so long, it physically starts to ache. Not like a headache, more like a strained muscle.
Thankfully, I am a strong-willed person. When this sort of mind-ache starts I know what I have to do. I have to stop playing so much. I set an alarm clock up across the room to limit my playing time. I call people on the phone and have long conversations about anything other than the game. I find a good book and go into the other room, the one without a computer in it, to read. And eventually, I will lose interest.
Next week I will be off somewhere working, and this will all fade away. But for now, I am ending this post because my boyfriend and I need to kill an absurdly difficult droid thingy. I dreamed last night of a new way to try it… wish us luck!
SWTOR – Star Wars,The Old Republic