On gaming, growing up, and changing by not changing

Hi my name is Shaun and I’m an addict

I think about it constantly, the thoughts entering my mind when I’m at work, sleeping, eating or whatever. Its an inevitable craving I just cannot stop until I get the chance to indulge. I’m addicted to video games.

Maybe it’s the rush of beating a game, maybe it’s the visuals but I love video games and always have since I picked up a NES controller in 1986. I’ve never really been able to stop, though my addiction goes dormant from time to time.

Recently my addiction has resurfaced with a game I swore off  3 years ago: World of Warcraft.

I was taking a walk with my wife around our apartment complex. A flock of something was flying overhead and she commented ” I think those are bats” My mind’s reaction: Bats, fighting bats, Bat pets, I wonder what Hunters are link in the new WoW expansion. I should play again. And that was it. That night I re-subscribed and started playing again.

Now, 5 or 10 years ago this would be a normal occurrence  I would focus on the game non-stop shirking social events, food shopping and just about everything else but, being older and married, this can cause a bit of a problem. Despite my disbelief that I am actually typing these words, I know that there are certain things that inevitably, and irrevocably have to take a priority in my life now.

I guess what happens now is I have to find a balance. Take the things I used to love to do and merge them with the things I love to do now. Maybe that means I can put a gaming PC in the kitchen so I can level while I’m cooking dinner. Or finally break down and grab that gaming laptop (2 hour battery life FTW).  Whatever the case may be, I do know I’m not going the route of most of my friends went and gave up gaming.

I look back over pictures and see so many friends who I used to game with. Ultra late night Quake matches, and when Unreal Tournament came out… I don’t think I slept for a week. I still remember going to Molten Core for the first time and going crazy when I won Earthfury Spaulders. Now most of them have jobs or other excuses that keeps them from gaming, and while I’m not talking about blowing off my job to go level my monk, I am terrified about what would happen if I stopped gaming alltogether.

So it might be 2 a.m. and I might be way more tired than I used to after it but I’ll still be here breaking high scores, still hunting around Flea Markets for old carts, still cracking up when I crit with a Chaos Bolt for 200K damage (WoW is all about big numbers now a days). Maybe instead of thinking about it as a change I can think about it as more of an expansion. I’m taking what I have done and just added more stuff to it.

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