|This is me.|
Eventually, I decided that there were far more good things in my life that I should focus on - my wife, my friends, learning things and creating things of value. They all contributed to a lasting feeling of happiness.
Naturally, there was always a big rush to use this amazing machine.
Every time I visited, I would spend most of my time in front of this computer, waiting for several minutes in the hope that the tape would work and load the game properly this time. As time went on, the tape based computer was replaced by an Atari ST with floppy discs and a wider range of games with better graphics and more addictive gameplay.
Then came the day that they upgraded to an Apple Mac. And I got the Atari.
My uncle had collected all of the ST format magazines which I had read cover to cover before, but then I also got to play every game from the cover discs. I played them all, spending thousands of hours perfecting my game playing skills. Many school holidays would fly by in front of the little green desktop. Sometimes, I would have a platform game day and sometimes I would have an RPG day. I have a bit of an obsessive nature where I want to explore everything to its fullest extent and this made me a sucker for most computer games like the roguelike game Moria.
This computer only had a couple of games, but that's when there were plenty of games on the internet. I played a game called Archmage and a cute little RPG called Dragon Court. I was definitely showing signs of addictive behaviour. I never had the internet in my home, so I would spend half an hour walking into town, just to use a library or internet cafe computer to play Dragon Court. Then I would have to walk back. I wasted money on an internet cafe if I couldn't book a free library computer just so I could get access to my game accounts.
It never got to the stage where I missed lectures or never came out of my room for days on end, but I could have done a lot better in all fields if I hadn't been playing computer games.
|NWN: 10% action, |
90% trudging back and forth
It was not until I moved in with my girlfriend (now my wife) and I was teaching as a job, that I realised that I had to prioritise my time. I couldn't do my job well if I was playing Neverwinter Nights for two hours a night, mostly involving level grinding and getting an item in one far corner of the city and transporting it to another far corner of the city in order to get to the next stage.
|She didn't mind the gaming but it|
he went too far when he started
doing a poo at the console.
Computer games did nothing for me and I had other, more fulfilling things in my life. After a few weeks without computer games, I felt much better and I've not wanted to go back.
|I put hours of effort into |
getting a picture on a screen.
For the most part, I don't remember feeling much satisfaction, I just felt a compulsion to 'get through it'.
However, there was always another level (and if the game had a level editor then I would be on that for hours too), another way of winning, another challenge I could set myself and there were an infinite number of other games to play.
The only way that I would get out of this gaming habit was that if I just said no.
Originally, I intended this post to be an introduction to how certain computer games have given me material for gamebooks, but instead, it was an account of all the hours I wasted playing them when because I couldn't get away from them. However, I am glad that I wrote about it.
In future posts, I will write about specific computer games and what they have added to my gamebook writing and why gamebooks are better for me than computer games.