I consider myself a hybrid gamer. I can go for months without playing anything more than a flash game here and there. I may go to a friends house for a bit of Wii action but that is about the extent of my game playing. During these times, I will spend the evening working on a project and generally trying to be productive.
Unfortunately, I'm currently in the other mode of game playing, addiction. Gaming isn't a horrible addition, but I do let it get the better of me occasionally. I've learned to let these fazes have their way, knowing they will pass. The current phase started with the purchase of NBA 2K9 last week. Since then I've played 11 games in franchise mode. I've drastically cut down on my gym time and have barely attempted to write a blog post. I've been going to bed late and having to force myself to get up and go to work. Granted I'm still productive at work but outside of work productivity is non existent.
Sadly, I know it's only going to get worse. Today marks the release date for Fallout 3. The developers claim this game could contain 100+ hours of game play. I'm trying to convince myself not to purchase it, but as I've been following its development for over a year, I'm not sure I can. This game is going to make my current gaming obsession worse.
Let me be clear that I don't hate my gaming habits. I prefer playing video games to watching TV or movies. With gaming, I'm actively involved in the experience as opposed to TV where I just sit and absorb the entertainment. Unfortunately, this is why being a gamer can be so dangerous. A game for me can be incredibly addicting. I wait in anticipation to go home at the end of the day, go home and fire up the computer.
Luckily I'm old enough that my social life isn't impacted by my addition. If I have a social engagement to go to I will put down the controller to get ready and hang out with real people. I don't have a lot of social engagements during the week though, so I spend almost every evening playing games. I do have to say that I'm never bored during these stretches, but I definitely do not improve a single marketable skill set.
This isn't a cry for help, it is an acknowledgement of a habit. I've learned to enjoy these times because once this phase passes I won't touch a video game for months. In fact, even if I'm bored and want to play a game I will not be able to. I'll start it up and then quit ten minutes later as I just can't get engaged no matter how great the game is. So bear with me for the next few weeks, I'll soon be back to writing again.