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Staying Away From Addictive Games
I like to waste time. In fact, I can usually be described as a lazy, unmotivated procrastinator. It might seem a bit self-deprecating, but it’s true. It is clearly evident in my lack of a consistent posting schedule, among many other things.
One recurring problem in this grand lack of productivity, I have noticed, is addictive games. Not all games are bad, mind you – for example, I don’t feel compelled to play Black Ops every day, nonetheless every hour that I’m not doing something else. Some games, though, just have a knack for sucking you in, and sucking you dry.
I’ve written before about my market-manipulating exploits in World of Warcraft as well as EVE Online. In both of those cases, my success in the game depended on being able to frequently check the markets for new opportunities. When I say frequently, I mean several times per day – right when I wake up, right before I go to work, right after I get home from work, and umpteen times thereafter until bed. The “right before work” part was probably the most destructive.
While those two were essentially one and the same, a new, different beast came along. It appeared quite innocent at first. I thought at first glance that surely, I’ll only spend a few minutes a day playing this game. It’s so simple, so cute, how could I possibly spend too long playing it?
That beast’s name is CityVille. Yes. Seriously. THAT CityVille. At first, my initial assumptions were correct, and I only played for a few minutes at a time, once or twice a day. Once or twice turned in to every hour. A few minutes grew to 15. Soon enough, I was one with the borg. I had let my guard down.
My previous experiences, though, became quite valuable. Just as quickly as I got sucked in, I was able to *recognize* what had happened. I didn’t immediately take steps to action, because hey – I’m still having fun, right? It was only when I began to look for solutions to my unproductive ways, and actually added up all the time I was wasting on a stupid FaceBook game, that I said “enough is enough.”
The amazing thing, to me, was that it turned out to be quite easy to quit cold turkey. I didn’t even have to take the stupid thing off of my FaceBook page, I just… stopped playing it. This isn’t an article about addiction, though, this is an article about wasting time. That one, simple game ended up costing me around 2 hours a day. Wasted time.
That’s not to say that I’m using that time any better, now that I have it back, but it certainly brings opportunity.
So now, the super-magical-awesome question of the day: Have you ever found yourself stuck in a game or other activity, that you ended up wasting your life away with, for minimal satisfaction (jobs don’t count!)? What opened your eyes, and what did you do about it?
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