It’s confession time. I’m a closet obsessive computer game nerd. I generally don’t play a lot of games because I know if I start a game, I’ll be obsessive about it until I finish it – which means time has no meaning and I forget to do a lot of things.
I first noticed this issue in the late 90s when we got a PC version of Dune. Dune is a real time strategy (RTS) game where you basically need to build and defend your civilisation against enemies. You have a certain amount of time to build your defences before the enemy attacks. When you’ve beaten them, you move on to the next map. I could spend hours at the computer harvesting crops, building defences and setting up my civilisation.
I then moved to Age of Empires – again a RTS game but this time set in different ancient civilisation settings. Trebuchets and catapults were part of your defences which I loved.
My husband (then boyfriend) next introduced me to the world of Final Fantasy XIII. This is a role playing game with a story and you have to fight evil doers while also progressing on your quest. I spent a whole university break playing this game – doing side quests, gathering magic and such – over 60 hours of game play. Then my husband so casually mentions one of his memory cards got corrupted – yep, my whole game gone in an instant – and I hadn’t finished it! Which of course meant we had to play through again, together. This time 100 hours before it was finished.
Can you see why I avoid computer games as much as possible these days? I’d never get any writing done!
I have played the odd puzzle platform game since then, but these generally have a short game-play life-span (which I confirm with my husband before I start playing).
So what has this got to do with today? Well, I’ve been introduced to Minecraft. Minecraft is a world-building game with simple block graphics and truly should not be interesting. There are zombies and other enemies that come out at night that you have to defend against, but if you play on safe mode all you really do is build your house, mine minerals and develop crops.
But OMG it’s addictive. I limit myself to playing only at night, after dinner and only until a certain time. There’s always that compulsion to just finish this one bit… and before you know it another two hours has gone by. Just last night I built an epic tree house on the top of the tallest tree in the jungle next to our farm. The view across the land was spectacular and highlighted a few areas I want to go and explore. Then I had to build an easy path to the tree house, through the thick jungle. With that done I decided I really should build a railway or a boardwalk from our farm to the treehouse because then it would be much clearer how to get there. Oh, and look I can decorate my new treehouse with carpets. But I need wool and dye for carpets which means I need sheep to shear. Then suddenly I’m breeding a heap of sheep so I can get enough wool for what I need.
A complete time void!
So anyway, enough of my computer game addictions. It’s time I made dinner… and can I hear the digging sounds to say my husband is already playing Minecraft..? 🙂
What are you totally addicted to?