Archive for May, 2006

Pressing the self-destruct button

May 11, 2006

I’ve been thinking lately about some of the self-destructive behaviours that I engage in, with a view to perhaps ending them if I can. 

My first focus has been on my seemingly mindless computer gaming addiction, which formed when I was in my early teens, but was at that time subject to a certain amount of regulation from my parents.  These days I’m allegedly an adult and responsible for my own problems, so if I’m going to stop wasting time on the laptop on these games then I really need to step up to the plate myself and stop waiting for Mum to stride sternly into the room and tell me, finger wagging tensely, that it’s time for bed.

I often complain about my propensity to waste serious quantities of my limited spare time on stupid games, and I’ve taken to viewing the whole thing quite negatively.  But then someone asked me why I enjoy them, why I continue, why I started, and it took me a while to see my way through the fog of cons surrounding the issue for me. 

I’ve realised that a lot of the games I play are quite creative.  They’re about establishing something – a garden, a city, a diner.  And thinking about my previous political activities that was something I was drawn to as well – starting things up, getting them going, building. 

So perhaps the games aren’t entirely self-destructive.  Perhaps they are a way for me to express some creativity (albeit within limited boundaries) and do it in a safe way with little consequences.  In the end I have no responsibility for the citizens of the city I build on the laptop, and I can turn off or walk away whenever I want to.  But I still get to follow my urge to create new things, to respect and express my drive to do something, vaguely visionary (for want of a better word).

Which is not nearly as negative as I had thought.  Recognising what the games do for me might help me to channel the energy I spend on them into a more healthy expression, like planning and creating an actual real life garden. 

But before I start that, I just need to have one more turn…