All I can say is that I’m glad that personal computers weren’t around when I was a kid. If they had been, I’d weigh 500 lbs, have coke bottle glasses and have no friends that weren’t virtual.
I have a problem. I am addicted to online computer games. Currently, it’s Mahjong II – apparently Mahjong I was so popular they decided to improve it. But that’s the current phase. Before that? Spider, Solitaire, Text Twist, Collapse, Glinx and the list goes on and on. It was innocent enough at first, ‘oh looky here, what’s this. this might be fun.’ Hours later, bleary-eyed, full-bladdered, starving and exhausted I wondered what it was I actually got on the computer to do. Beats me.
There’s a little hook in all of these games or at least the ones I’ve played. The trick is, there is always one screen or level that you can’t quite win. You tell yourself, “If I could just get through this level, I’m done.” Right. They know you can’t get through the level because there is no trick or pattern, it’s random, it’s a bunch of mathematical equations, buzzing through cyberspace at a bagillion bite thingies a second. And the longer you try to get through that level, the more tired you become and less alert and of course now that your brain is fried you won’t ever be able to do it. Or…maybe occasionally, you actually do hit pay dirt. The win is so anti-climatic that you now have to see if you can do it two times in a row. Has anybody got an Advil?
I’ve resolved a bagillion times to just stop. Cold turkey. Stupid video games, I have much better things to do with my time. My brain was meant for bigger challenges. I have a life to live, places to go, people to meet. But then the little whiney computer addict voice chimes in “It relaxes you. Just do it to wind down for a few minutes. Half hour tops.” The next thing you know it’s one o’clock in the morning and even your dog has gone to bed. So, what is a slightly OCD’d writer to do? How can I stop? Where and how will I ever get that lost time back?
Maybe I should take up Yoga or Tai Chi. I should walk the dog. Blow up my computer. Become a vegetarian? I don’t know but I’ve got to stop. Cocaine was never this tough. What do you do? I know you all have the same problem maybe not as bad as mine, but admit it – you too get on the mindless computer game train. It passes the time. You don’t have to think or worry or solve problems, beyond getting to that next level. It’s your secret addictive behavior that you don’t admit to. It’s your little luxury of brainlessness that you don’t want to give up either. But I’m telling you friends, that we must revolt! We must just say no and walk away. We must not look into the light or watch the scoreboard. We must get clean and straight and work on those novels, poems, posts, school play costumes and dinner!
Are you with me? 😉