Can’t sleep. Can’t sleep.
Why can’t I sleep? Because there are things undone. Clothes are lying on the couch, I haven’t processed my inbox in two days, haven’t written in two days. I haven’t met deadlines that I set myself. I’ve been doing the bare minimum of everything.
Except, of course, FFXI.
The game is addicting. Everything takes time, long stretches of time; it rewards you for staying for long stretches of time. There’s not much you can accomplish in just a half hour, or even an hour. Just a little longer, you want to stay on, just long enough to finish this one last thing. Four hours later, you’re still playing.
There’s also the added goad that it’s actual people that you’re playing. You’re trying to impress your friends on the game, your fiance; the real reward of the game is the recognition you get from other players. That’s addictive. That feels like belonging. And while they are real people, there’s still something unhealthy about it. About this, and other MMO’s, because EVE was the same way when I was playing it. It takes up so much time it becomes your life, and it even gives the rewards of a community that adores you if you’re good enough.
But what are you good at? You’re good at a game. You can’t make money at the game. You aren’t contributing anything to society by being good at the game. You aren’t getting anywhere in real life by being good at the game. In fact, the game is drawing you away from real life, giving you easy rewards, easier rewards than real life gives you, for ignoring real life.
And yet I still like playing it. I don’t know if I can, though. It seems to be an all-or-nothing deal, for me, at least. I have an addictive personality, especially with this sort of thing because I want to be the best. And being the best at this sort of thing requires a lot of time. It’s hard. And that’s why it almost feels like it’s ok to do it. And that’s why I can’t seem to just play a little.
It would be hard to quit, though, because my fiance won’t. He doesn’t see how unhealthy it is. He comes home and sits on the game while I make him dinner. He wakes up in the morning and plays before leaving for work. That’s not healthy.
I know this isn’t healthy. I won’t be playing tomorrow. I’ll process my inbox before work, write on the train to work, and read. I’ll make it a point to go to the library on my walk home, get Infidel by Kameron Hurley. I’ll come home, and while Dave is managing his midnight launch, I’ll do some rewriting, and finish off my to-do list, maybe.