The Pause Button

(Note to GB users: I'm sure after reading my blogs most of you all probably hate me by now. Let me just make it clear that I am not intending to troll GB or the gaming community itself. I only wish to share some self realizations I had with everyone. I hope in the future I will be able to write some blogs that don't make me seem like an anti-video game conservative.)

A few months ago I wrote a blog called: A Virtual Lie and in this blog I discussed the dangers of becoming obsessed with video games. Many took the blog as I was attacking Video Games and people who play them in general. Though it may have came across this way it really was not my intention, and I had only wished to share a self realization that I had about myself. The main point though is that I still believe that obsession is a very dangerous thing, even if what you're obsessed with is video games. Don't get me wrong though, I love video games and I'm not saying that people should not play them, but I don't think that no one thing should take away from other parts of your life that you would like to use for something. There were times where I would become so obsessed with a particular game that I would forget about certain things.

One of the greatest video game stories ever!!!

One of my biggest aspirations in life is to achieve the ultimate potential I can as a writer. As long as I can remember I've wanted to write stories that made games like Knights of the Old Republic or Fable amazing games to play and experience. As with any craft though, if I don't practice my writing I will not get any better at it, so any thing to distract me from bettering what I really want takes away from me. In the case of Video Games, this is rather tricky for me because there have been many times that I have thought up ideas after coming across a certain event in the game. I reached a point in my gaming career though, where instead of pausing the game and writing the idea down like I once did I would just think about the idea for a moment and keep on playing and eventually I would forget the idea. I kept on going like this, and eventually the ideas quit coming, and it became hard as hell to write the fiction that I once enjoyed.

Breezehome

The final wake up call occurred though when I was late for two thanksgiving dinners because I was too busy trying to buy a house in Skyrim. I was already thirty minutes late for the second thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents when I finally managed to purchase Breezehome in Whiterun. I bought the house and I went to check it out. Now as all who have played the game know, when you first purchase Breezehome it is dark, dirty, and most important of all empty. It might sound cliche to say, but at that moment I discovered how empty what I had been doing was and how I was letting an obsession take away some of the more important things away from me.

Eric Nylund: Writer of Halo Novels

I'm not calling video games an obsession though, and I'm not telling anyone to stop playing. If people stopped playing then story would loose another format for telling amazing tales, and that is just the opposite of what I wish for. I would be thrilled to one day know that a narrative I had written for a video game brought hours of enjoyment for people all over the world just like Halo did for me a long time ago. If I let myself become completely obsessed though and only played video games for the rest of my life during all of my free time then I would never get to write that story that I want to write for the next big title.

So the point of: A Virtual Lie and this blog is simply to say don't get locked down into doing just one thing when there is something else you want to do. I'm sure there have been others like me who say you are just going to play for a little while, and then next thing you know seven hours have passed, the day is completely gone, and you don't have time for anything or anyone else. The reason I think this happens though is because at some point we all get locked into the "Just let me finish this one level" mentality, and we get scared we are going to miss something or mess something up. Thing is that time passes during the time it takes us to level up just one time, and we can't really get those moments back. So my resolution to this problem of becoming obsessed with something is that I'm not going to be afraid to hit the pause button and come back to the game later, when there is something else I really want to do.

15 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by Delphic

(Note to GB users: I'm sure after reading my blogs most of you all probably hate me by now. Let me just make it clear that I am not intending to troll GB or the gaming community itself. I only wish to share some self realizations I had with everyone. I hope in the future I will be able to write some blogs that don't make me seem like an anti-video game conservative.)

A few months ago I wrote a blog called: A Virtual Lie and in this blog I discussed the dangers of becoming obsessed with video games. Many took the blog as I was attacking Video Games and people who play them in general. Though it may have came across this way it really was not my intention, and I had only wished to share a self realization that I had about myself. The main point though is that I still believe that obsession is a very dangerous thing, even if what you're obsessed with is video games. Don't get me wrong though, I love video games and I'm not saying that people should not play them, but I don't think that no one thing should take away from other parts of your life that you would like to use for something. There were times where I would become so obsessed with a particular game that I would forget about certain things.

One of the greatest video game stories ever!!!

One of my biggest aspirations in life is to achieve the ultimate potential I can as a writer. As long as I can remember I've wanted to write stories that made games like Knights of the Old Republic or Fable amazing games to play and experience. As with any craft though, if I don't practice my writing I will not get any better at it, so any thing to distract me from bettering what I really want takes away from me. In the case of Video Games, this is rather tricky for me because there have been many times that I have thought up ideas after coming across a certain event in the game. I reached a point in my gaming career though, where instead of pausing the game and writing the idea down like I once did I would just think about the idea for a moment and keep on playing and eventually I would forget the idea. I kept on going like this, and eventually the ideas quit coming, and it became hard as hell to write the fiction that I once enjoyed.

Breezehome

The final wake up call occurred though when I was late for two thanksgiving dinners because I was too busy trying to buy a house in Skyrim. I was already thirty minutes late for the second thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents when I finally managed to purchase Breezehome in Whiterun. I bought the house and I went to check it out. Now as all who have played the game know, when you first purchase Breezehome it is dark, dirty, and most important of all empty. It might sound cliche to say, but at that moment I discovered how empty what I had been doing was and how I was letting an obsession take away some of the more important things away from me.

Eric Nylund: Writer of Halo Novels

I'm not calling video games an obsession though, and I'm not telling anyone to stop playing. If people stopped playing then story would loose another format for telling amazing tales, and that is just the opposite of what I wish for. I would be thrilled to one day know that a narrative I had written for a video game brought hours of enjoyment for people all over the world just like Halo did for me a long time ago. If I let myself become completely obsessed though and only played video games for the rest of my life during all of my free time then I would never get to write that story that I want to write for the next big title.

So the point of: A Virtual Lie and this blog is simply to say don't get locked down into doing just one thing when there is something else you want to do. I'm sure there have been others like me who say you are just going to play for a little while, and then next thing you know seven hours have passed, the day is completely gone, and you don't have time for anything or anyone else. The reason I think this happens though is because at some point we all get locked into the "Just let me finish this one level" mentality, and we get scared we are going to miss something or mess something up. Thing is that time passes during the time it takes us to level up just one time, and we can't really get those moments back. So my resolution to this problem of becoming obsessed with something is that I'm not going to be afraid to hit the pause button and come back to the game later, when there is something else I really want to do.

Posted by MasturbatingestBear

I have no clue what point you are trying to get across simply by skimming.

Posted by Claude

If I didn't play so many video games, my alcoholism would be through the roof.

Online
Posted by MasturbatingestBear

I went into the small room in Breezehome and simply dropped like 50 books at once in there and close the door.

Posted by Winternet

@Claude said:

If I didn't play so many video games, my alcoholism would be through the roof.

Word.

Edited by IkariNoTekken

For me its not a problem of having a "I'll just finish this" mentality, instead I just lose track of time. I get drawn into the experience and hours go past without me noticing, so I typically only play when I can afford to do that. You won't see me playing a game before a thanksgiving meal, because well... I'm English not American, but that's not the point. The point is that I won't play when I have something important to do, I'll wait until later.

Posted by Delphic

@IkariNoTekken: That's good logic to have, and I technically think that is also part of my problem, because when you have the "just finish this" going on you tend to loose track of time which I do. It also sort of comes down to prioritizing your activities.

Posted by McGhee

Starting your post with an apology is always the wrong thing to do, especially with this community.

Posted by Delphic

@McGhee: Thanks I'll be sure to keep that in mind in the future.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@McGhee said:

Starting your post with an apology is always the wrong thing to do, especially with this community.

@Delphic:

Thats not really good advice either, I would suggest write however you like, and let the others deal with it.

Posted by cstrang

This sounds like it's about YOUR personal struggle with YOUR gaming habits, not necessarily those of others. Anything can be addictive or habit-forming, it's all just a matter of personal control. Gaming is certainly no exception.

Posted by Delphic

@cstrang: That has really been the point the entire time. I'm only talking about my personal struggles and how I deal with them and then sharing them with others. I'm not intending to point out that others have the same problems, but maybe there might be those who have similar issues and might be able to take something away from my experience. Also as you say anything can become an obsession if you let it, and like you say it's a matter of personal control. Every once in a while though, some like myself tend to let obsession take control instead of actually being in control of the activities we enjoy doing. In my case I had let gaming take away from my writing and time with my family. So I'm not really complaining, because I've already taken steps into fixing the issue. Since that day my blog count has increased and I've returned to working on fiction. I also read more now, as many writers suggest doing. I'm sometimes still late for family gatherings, but that's another issue. I still make time for games though, but I prioritize my time and pick and choose what is more important to me in the long run. So like you said, the entire blog is about me, but who knows maybe there are others who can relate.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@cstrang said:

This sounds like it's about YOUR personal struggle with YOUR gaming habits, not necessarily those of others. Anything can be addictive or habit-forming, it's all just a matter of personal control. Gaming is certainly no exception.

This is sort of what a blog is about anyway, a blog is not just a technical manual, blogs are supposed to reflect the opinion of the author. They are essentially commentaries. If you want an example, look me up on Comic Vine

Posted by cstrang

@RazzaTazz said:

@cstrang said:

This sounds like it's about YOUR personal struggle with YOUR gaming habits, not necessarily those of others. Anything can be addictive or habit-forming, it's all just a matter of personal control. Gaming is certainly no exception.

This is sort of what a blog is about anyway, a blog is not just a technical manual, blogs are supposed to reflect the opinion of the author. They are essentially commentaries. If you want an example, look me up on Comic Vine

No, yeah, I understand that blogs are supposed to be personal. It sounds like the OP got blasted in the past because people were associating what he was saying with themselves instead of him. My original post was more as a clarification point to the users that would return here to blast him again, not an accusatory statement or anything discounting what he has said.

Posted by Nasar7

The key word is moderation and, needless to say, human beings figured this out many thousands of years ago. Still, congrats in coming to this realization yourself, it's a turning point in maturity in every person's life.