The Honorable Thing is be a Quitter
No intensive essays today. Work was a whirlwind this morning, though it tapered off some towards the afternoon.
My mind has been similarly chaotic today. This morning, an Anthony Robbins quote echoed repeatedly through my brain:
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
Well, I’ve always sat on my ass playing video games; every day.
And I’ve always hated myself for not writing; every day.
When I hear that Robbins quote, it translates into my brain like this: “You should quit WoW. You should quit WoW. You should quit WoW.”
Why don’t I quit World of Warcraft?
There are several reasons; not merely excuses, reasons.
1. I’ve quit WoW before and come back. Some call this addiction; I choose to call it “loyalty”. No, in all seriousness, it was something I enjoyed and I missed it, just as since my back was injured, I have missed playing frisbee and tennis. I fully intend to return to those also.
2. It’s not like I can write 24/7 of my free time. I enjoy writing, but it’s also exhausting. There are few moments more satisfying than when I’ve written for an hour or so, I like what I’ve written, and so I turn to a video game to relax for the rest of my evening.
3. Most other forms of recreation bore me. I won’t watch tv with commercials, and I barely watch tv without commercials. When I do, I plow through season after season of a show to evaluate it critically and then shelve it. “must-see” isn’t in my vocabulary. Similarly, although I like reading, there aren’t enough good books out there to keep me entertained if I weren’t playing video games; when I’ve gone without online gaming, I find myself trying 2 or 3 new books, being disgusted and disappointed, and then rereading old ones again.
4. One player video games are almost as boring to me as television. Co-op and party games offer a little more, but only when you have other people to play with. And they, too, stale after a time. Usually two weeks.
When I stop MMO gaming, I truly miss it.
But this weekend, I only played WoW for an hour and I still didn’t do any writing. (I was playing Spore.)
Of course the advantage to single player games is (even with a sandbox game like Spore or Simcity) there’s only so much you can do. And then, like a favorite movie or episode, after awhile you want to go revisit it.
I don’t know what the answer is. My buddy tells me “sh** or get off the pot” when he wants me to make a decision already. Part of what draws me to WoW is the social community, and I usually game with people I know in real life. Some of those have faded away from the WoW community, so that’s less of a factor, but right when that happens, I make new friends who also play. Rinse, repeat.
Will I get more writing done if I quit WoW? Probably. Will I be happier? Unlikely. Will quitting have any permanent impact on my writing career? I have no idea.
So this is what gets people talking?
I wrote a thoughtful mini-essay on the competition facing any new novelist; no comments.
Mention that I’m hooked on a video game, and everyone starts talking.
Very well; I DID install Starcraft over the weekend. What a blast from the past. The graphics are horrible! And compared to the improvements made by Warcraft 3, AOE, EE, and others, the interface is pretty bad too. I was horrified to discover you can’t give units queued commands, particularly queued build commands. I was equally horrified to discover that units won’t move out of the way if you want to build where they’re standing; the worker unit just reports “can’t build there” and gives up.
I’m extremely rusty. At the height of my SC skill, I could beat 7 computers allied against me, and did so with all three races. This weekend, I played vs. 7 computers on Free-For-All, and couldn’t beat my last remaining opponent.
If you want to take a shot at me in SC, now’s a good time. I’m about as bad as I’ve ever been. Same for Warcraft 3.
I’m a slave to my hobby, please wipe out my bank account.
This weekend, I used the phrase in a different context.
I bought a new keyboard and mouse:
Total cost: $170.
I know what you’re thinking. $170 for a keyboard and mouse? Are you out of your @)*&!@#$*@#$!@# mind?
Possibly. But I spent probably 90% of my time on my computer, where my keyboard and mouse become my virtual voice, hands and feet, legs and arms. Whether I’m gaming, writing, or just surfing, it should be as quick, ergonomic, and efficient as possible. That it’s hi-tech gadgetry doesn’t hurt much either.
Do you say it’s a waste of money? Fah. I contend that anything one enjoys is not a waste.
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