Friday, March 18, 2011

My Name is Debbie, and I'm a Compulsive Gamer.

Ever feel like you have to reach the highest level ? Collect all the trophies ? Have the most mind-blowing score ? Me too. But my "want" has turned into an "need" and its time for me a turn it down a notch.

As previously discussed several times before, I have an addiction to crappy social games like Mafia Wars and My Tribe. Even though I had stopped having fun almost immediately, the urge to push forward took over. I had to level up. I had to harvest my cotton farms. There were totally fictional wars to be fought every single day. It got to the point where I was getting up 30 minutes early every morning just so I could do maintenance on my games before work. I use the word "maintenance" because it clearly was not "playing" anymore.

I finally broke the habit but it was painful to walk away. Every once in awhile I think about my little tribe members. Are they okay ? Have they starved to death ? Maybe they need more moonberries. But its time to move on. They aren't real and it isn't fun to stress and worry about a game.

Then the game Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood came along. On my quest for multi-player achievements, I realized "this just isn't fun". But I kept going. The servers for that game are usually pretty empty so I would have to dig through online forums to find people that were on the game or willing to play. Then we would spend hours and hours playing in order to try to reach the next level. Even though it seemed impossible and was well beyond fun, my obsession kept me from quitting.

Finally, I peaked when I spent no less than four hours on XBL discussing the best strategy for assigning skill spheres and other abilities in Final Fantasy X and other games in the series. We looked up notes on our laptops and downloaded pictures of the the skill grids. One only person in the four man discussion was even playing a Final Fantasy game.

So with that in mind, I don't think there is much I can do about my compulsion. I can only hope that my friends will step forward when they see me getting sucked into a truly worthless campaign. When I begin to ramble on about strategy, I pray that they will walk away and not encourage my ridiculous behavior. And those that don't endorse the game playing at all, well i keep my fingers crossed that they will see the light or fade away.

1 comment:

Linz said...

I am in the same boat, Debbie. I'm aware of me needs, but I am trying to mainline my addiction into more "worthy games" - and have stepped away from the Facebook games of the world. I'm even having guilt pangs about wanting to go back to PvZ every night. EVERY NIGHT.

We will get through this, together.