Whilst growing up I was lucky enough to have one of the first Game Boys and Tetris was the game to play. Roll on a few years and I now play Angry Birds on the IPhone, which while a bit more colourful, is a simple game at heart but with hugely addictive appeal, like Tetris. And that is the problem I find with computer games – they make time fly. In a world where every second counts and years pass quicker and quicker why would you want to hurry up time further?
When I got my first PC about sixteen years ago (good old Windows 3.1) my primary purpose was to play computer games such as Command & Conquer and SimCity – much to my parents’ annoyance. But as I got older I realised how much time I could spend at the computer and literally days would pass as I would pointlessly build city after city (probably helped with my later business skills!). It got to such a point that when I started working for myself I had to literally stop playing completely. Cold turkey if you will. And it worked. Where I used to spend a good 3 – 4 hours a day, go to bed late and do all manner of procrastination to play, I now had time to spend on setting up a business. Which I can say today has been a darn sight more useful than all the virtual cities I could have built.
So why mention it now? Well unfortunately well meaning colleagues have reintroduced me into the dark world of gaming and once again I can feel the itch to play returning. Apparently Panorama ran a piece yesterday on addictive computer games and I can quite believe the problem. From my perspective I could see the damage it could do and through sheer perseverance I weaned myself off, but for some it is much more serious. The problem for me now is to keep a healthy balance so I have strict rules. Only while travelling or when home for the weekend.
Roll on Christmas when the new Golden Eye for the Wii will get an airing and maybe see you in 2011…
Love C&C! Still got it for when I need to zone out.
There was also a study about how games aren’t good for you because they don’t actually help you relax; zone out, yes, but not unwind/slow your thoughts/brain activity.
SimCity 2000 ended my social life for at least a whole year and it’s still the best today because I use it on my Windows Mobile phone even now 🙂 . In summer I don’t game much but in the Winter it probably helps to save a lot of money and health problems because you’re inside playing instead of outside in the cold.
Red Alert 2 is my current favourite. Shame it no longer supports networking (as Windows 7 doesn’t do IPX apparently) but super fast on a modern machine…