Monday, May 2, 2011

Gaming: When Video Games Attack

A couple weeks ago I was sick. Really sick on a Monday with stomach flu and fever and chest congestion.

The bad thing about taking a sick day is there's really nothing you can do around the house. Being sick doesn't make anything easy. I tried to write, and that didn't work out. I thought about cleaning, but who wants to move when they're feeling horrible? Even reading wasn't cutting it because I couldn't focus on the story through the nausea.

On a whim, I decided to play our latest Gamefly game, "Fable: The Lost Chapters." This game was made for the original XBox but is compatible (sort of) with the 360. I'd heard alot of things about it and thought I'd give it a try. I'd started it over the weekend and wasn't sure if I was sold or not.

Apparently, I liked it better than my initial impression said I would, because I finally put down the remote ten and a half hours later.

That's right. 10 and 1/2 hours of video gaming.

I know people do this. Heck, I know that for some gamers, 10 hours is normal, a short gaming day even. It's not anything I've ever had strong opinions about either. I remember when the original Nintendo came out I'd want to be on it for hours playing Mario Bros. or Tetris. Video games are addictive....really addictive...and they can be hard to put down.

Since I started playing games on the XBox, I've been good about not getting too engrossed in playing. In hindsight, scary games like Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alan Wake, and Saw probably help by being creepy enough to where I have to take frequent breaks to do other things. Fable, on the other hand, is fairly whimsical and bright and even funny.

It's not the gaming I try to stay away from either. It's the fact that I know myself, and I get depressed if I don't do something productive. Which is likely why I had to keep telling myself yesterday not to feel guilty about taking a day to rest. The video game kept my mind engaged, so I didn't have to focus on how crappy I felt.

Yes, it's slothful, but the day after, even though I wasn't feeling physically healthy, my mind was recharged and reset and ready to work again. I was back at work being productive and blogging and getting back in the swing of writing.

It may be the game, or it may be the situation. I don't know if I could game like that all the time, but for the future, I may have to consider scheduling some alone time for me and the XBox to give my mind a rest from the real world and a healthy jolt of cyber gaming goodness.

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