Wowzers.. I know this is not the first time I've come back and apologized for extended radio silence on our end. My husband deployed out, so I was away for a few months to be with family. That put me in a position to be more sane throughout my days - but without internet and therefore no Xbox Live. Trust me when I say that I was still getting my game on to the best of my ability.
I finally entered the world of smart phone owners, which just means that while I was away I could regularly play the "With Friends" games. I am awesome at Scramble, and totally suck at Hanging with Friends. Go figure. But it keeps me busy. We also have an iPod so I got totally addicted to Tiny Tower. I rounded out my gaming with the 3DS, and, as always, Mario is my bestie.
All of these game types got me thinking though, and in the end I realized I was getting used to what I came to think of as no-risk gaming. Obviously the only danger in losing in the "with friends" games is just the shame of losing to your friends (in some cases over and over...) But my fascination with Tiny Tower really got to me. There was absolutely no way to lose in that game. There are no consequences for not checking in, not clicking your building, not stocking the shelves. It's a bonafide time waster.. And I still kind of love it.
And then there's Mario. I love Mario. He's been around a long time, and he continues to be fun and interesting. But, again, there is no punishment for dying. You don't lose progress. You don't lose coins. You just have to start again at the beginning or middle of the level. Even if you kill off all of your lives you continue without any cause for distress. Not that I'm complaining. I never could get through the original NES Mario Bros. Wayyyyy too frustrating to die and have to start at the beginning. Now those were the dark ages.
I'm not lamenting no-risk gaming, or hating on it. It is great for a more fun session, and perfect for the little ones. And now that I'm back on my beloved Xbox and playing Borderlands almost non-stop, I get so furious when I die and lose money. It's a small setback, but it is motivation to keep myself alive! And sometimes it is motivation to turn off the Xbox, check on my Tiny Tower, and maybe read a book for a while.