Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why I Don't Play Computer Games

Like every hot-blooded American child, I played Nintendo games.  When we got our first PC in 1992, I spent my fair share of time playing Jones in the Fast Lane, Sleuth, Oregon Trail, and Commander Keen. But as I grew into adolescence, I lost interest.  And for years I hardly thought about computer games at all, except for an occasional late-night Tetris binge.    

And then I got married and my relationship with computer games quickly became antagonistic.  Those of you non-gamers who are married to gamers will know exactly what I'm talking about.  

Anyway, Abe decided recently that I needed to spend some time playing his latest computer game love, Skyrim, so I could see how fun it was.  I've always resisted his attempts to drag me into his games, contending that I have way better ways to spend my spare time, but he looked so cute and eager that I couldn't resist.     

Well.  It was not fun.  It was stressful.  Just navigating the guy around the screen required massive amounts of concentration.  There were arrow keys and letter keys that did stuff and then mouse movement and all those mouse buttons I didn't even know existed.  And the whole time I was worried about bad stuff happening.  What if someone tried to hurt me?  What if I fell off the cliff?  What if I got lost?  What if I did something bad and got in trouble?    

Finally, I got stuck in the basement of some creepy building in a village and begged Abe to let me quit.  The thought of having to expend problem-solving energy towards problems that didn't actually exist was exhausting to me.

And I guess that's the clincher.  I spend enough time in my real life solving problems.  I don't feel the need to invent more to solve.  


heidi said...

I'm not sure what to say. I'm not much into computer games, either--although I liked that one with the falling shapes, the last time I played it... Tetris. (Not sure how you spell it.) But there ARE two kinds of imaginary/invented problems I LOVE spending time solving (at least, based on the time I spend solving them). One kind is the word, space, and math-related problems that Scrabble presents. The other kind of invented problem I immerse myself in on a regular basis is--how could the world change to better suit me?

Kate said...

Ditto, ditto, and ditto!! (Commander Keen!)

Except my hubby has mostly given up video games. He sold his xbox a few years after I gave it to him for his bday. (2004?) And now at work when most guys play video games to unwind, he says he plays ping pong or something. I'm not sure what brought about the change.

He has been saying recently that we need to get some kind of system for our kids--thinks it's good for them to develop the skills/awareness that comes from video games. I think he might have a point: in this increasingly technological world they might be at a disadvantage to grow up without playing some kind if video game.

But I have so many other things I'd like to do if I had the spare time. And all the other reasons you gave...:)

blakecgriffin said...

This is hilarious.

Scott said...

I kept going with video games a bit longer into my teen years, but by the time I got into college, they stopped appealing to me as much. I have a few simple games on my phone, and I still go back and play the golden oldies from NES and Super NES occasionally. I even follow gaming sites from time to time. But something about the complexity and time investment required by modern games always turns me off. I guess I'm a simpleton who just likes a 2 dimensional game with a directional pad and 2 buttons. Beyond that and I get the same feeling you do - why am I working when I'm supposed to be playing?

Natalya said...


Natalya said...

That last comment is said in a fiendishly delighted tone, if that makes any sense. I'm talking to my brother.
Re: Scott's comment. Think DIGDUG. Oh, how I'd love another shot at that--maybe I could finally see the 6th or7th level, whichever one we couldn't get to. We had one intriguing one called Janitor Joe--it had a bug so we never saw past the 2nd level.
But I got bored, too, even though I sometimes still played on family computer nights because I just felt I should like it and there was something wrong with me if I didn't. Peer pressure happens even in your family.
I looked up video game addiction on Wikipedia (thinking about my 4 little boys here and what I should do about them) and got pretty scared. I think one or two of them have the addiction tendencies.


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