The Year of No Gaming… Day 001…

The Year of No Gaming… Day 001… after the break…

The Year of No Gaming… Day 001…

I have decided to stop playing computer games for one year, starting today (June 1st). Nada. Zip. Zilch. No gaming. At all. Not even a smidgeon.

Why the prohibition, you ask? Well, there are many factors –

  • Can you even find a brick-and-mortar retailer that sells actual PC games anymore? No, Gamespot and their “Oh, please, buy our download titles!” does not count. The few physical PC titles they do sell are either MMORPGs or Steam-disabled or otherwise Internet-disabled garbage. Walmart does not count. Target’s is slightly better than Walmart but the lesser of two evils is still evil, not “good” by default.
  • I’m getting older. The buzz simply has worn off. Every time I play computer games, I feel as though that I am wasting my time. Even when I play good computer games, I feel as though that I am wasting my time.
  • The sad truth is that I have few hours per week to play computer games, regardless. Yes, “You have to make time.” Sure, I could “make time” but for what? Crappy console ports that need third-party patches to fully utilize the power of the PC? Older legitimate PC games that need third-party patches just to play them on Windows 7 & above? Older legitimate PC games that need third-party patches just to play them with my play style and limited game play time? Crappy Indie PC games with developer’s graphics, their ex-girlfriend’s voice talents and a soundtrack from their next-door neighbor’s 1980s keyboard synthesizer?

So, is this truly a challenge when the bar is set as low as it has? I am not a gaming “addict.” For me, it still is a challenge. A lot of my spare time, what little that I have, is still sunk into gaming. The truth is, during this prohibition, I will still be buying PC games wherever available. Tag sales, flea markets, consignment shops… Watch out. I’ll still be on the prowl.

Yet, instead of playing PC games (or, for that matter, any game on any electronic medium), I will be attempting to be productive. Finding a new job. Completing personal projects. Picking up around the house. Augmenting my social schedule. “None of the above” and “Other.”

Is there a danger of substituting one bad habit for another? You betcha. Maybe this move will re-ignite my passion for movies… Even bad movies. I haven’t written a bona fide movie review in what feels like ages. Yet even writing a movie review for a truly awful movie is still more productive then playing games.

I have already spent a full week without gaming just to test myself. The results were startling – I didn’t feel any withdrawals at all.

There’s no real “reward” at the end of all of this. June 1, 2014, will be the first day that I get back to gaming but, if I succeed in not playing games for an entire year, will I even bother to go back? Maybe the joys of being productive will be too tempting to draw away from.

It’s an interesting experiment. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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