I've decided to give up video games for a year starting on my 29th birthday (delayed by a day to allow myself a nice "send-off weekend"), and this blog will chronicle my time spent away from them. Or...my complete and utter failure to resist their seductive lure.
Video games and I have a long, tumultuous history:
- I've owned just about every major system that's ever been released since the Atari 2600 (excluding the ones that no one else wanted - sorry, Jaguar)
- I've played - to completion - well over 300* games, and dabbled in hundreds more. The average video game takes approximately 15-20 hours to complete. The average video game also costs approximately $50. That's 5,250 hours and $15,000 if you are a fan of calculating general numbers - like I clearly am.
- I competed in the Nintendo World Championships when I was 11, though I did not advance very far. I was not very good, apparently, at Rad Racer.
- In 2004 I started my own video game company, GameChoice, which rented games out through the mail, a la Netflix. Due to intense competition, a restrictive wholesale market, major shipping issues, and the fact that I chose to play my many, many games over learning how to solve the aforementioned problems led to it's eventual failure. Despite my lack of business acumen, I did manage to win the hearts of some people.
- I stood in line for 16 hours on a cold, wet, November night waiting for an Xbox 360.
- I took a job when I was 27 working for approximately $8/hr. at a "modern-day arcade" called NYCLAN, where my job was literally to set up and then play video games with people all day long. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I was making less than I was 10 years ago when I was working at Wendy's*, and I was once again living at home with my mother. I decided maybe the dream life I thought up when I was 12 wasn't quite what it was cracked up to be. So I quit. To be fair though, this was probably the greatest job I've ever had.
- I wrote and starred in a one man show last year called "Multiplayer" which was a video game-themed piece that gave the audience a window into the lives of four neurotic, narcissistic, emotional gamers whose passion for playing left them socially inept in the real world. It was essentially a thinly-veiled autobiography.
To prove a point? That I can put the controller down at any time?
To finally have something unique and interesting to blog about? (My previous attempt at blogging - 'bLOgST: A Dedicated Fan's "Lost" Blog,' has, to date, garnered very little attention)
To see what I do with all that extra free time I have on my hands?
The answer is yes, no*, yes. I'm going to see what a man can do when is freed from the shackles of highly entertaining interactive media, and he opens his eyes to a non-virtual world.
This year I plan to accomplish the following:
- Write more/start a blog [Check!]
- Join a gym and run a half marathon
- Read at least 5 books (this may sound low to you, but really, that's just you being a dick)
- Learn how to cook at least 5 new meals
- Travel to 5 places I've never been before*
So here's to the first day of the rest of my life! Until my 30th birthday, when I can finally retire back to my beloved games...
364 days to go.
Yeah, but I'd still rather be playing: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Amazing game that for some reason I put down, and kept getting distracted from getting back to it. The first and only true Zelda title that I haven't beaten. I am going to get back to this game if it's the last thing I do. Although, if that was the last thing I did, how sad would that be?
*I'm going to find the list I made a while ago, or just remake it and post this at some point, I promise. Because I know how badly you want to read it.
*I only lasted 2 weeks here, but man did I get my fill of Spicy Chicken Sandwiches!
*P.S.: I still have faith in bLOgST. This year I'm adding some Hurly 'off-island' fan-fiction!
*This was loosely worded intentionally. I may never leave my neighborhood, so I want to make sure "Popeye's on Nostrand Ave" counts, just in case.