During this time when a lot of people are indoors, playing games via computer or phone is a great way to pass the hours.
Not for me. I recognize and accept that I become addicted. I don’t use that word lightly. I would play one game for hours, days, months, until I wasn’t doing anything else. Eventually I would realize that I wasn’t even enjoying the game, but I couldn’t get myself to stop. Then I’d delete it. And then another game would grab my attention. I’d convince myself that this time it would be different. I’d play just a little each day and not let it rule my life.
It would get to the point where I played a game before even getting out of bed in the morning. And play for hours until it was time to sleep.
The last game did me a favor when it began running ads I felt were horrifying. I contacted them and their response was, “Well, we use an ad agency and have no control over the ads.” I suggested they use another ad agency and they replied, “All ad agencies are the same.” Since I have friends playing games from different companies who have never seen the ads I described, I highly doubted that, but further communication with the game company showed me that they had no intention of changing. (Game companies, take note: Political ads driving lies and fear have no business popping up in the middle of a game.)
Still, they did me a favor. Their actions made it easier to delete the app. I knew I’d lose all those thousands of play time rewards (that I earned, dammit!) but did it anyway.
Within days, I completed a short story for an anthology. A story that had lain dead in the water for months because I had no brain cells left for it. I felt happier. It’s true that for a couple of weeks I kept flipping screens on my phone looking for “something.” That’s when I realized the habit I formed.
I’m okay with listening to friends enjoying their games. My writing is the best game I can play, and in turn, my friends listen to my voice rise with excitement after getting through a difficult scene.