Two weeks and two days in. No shaking. No cold sweats. Only one creepy dream. I think I'm going to be ok. All signs point to me not actually being physically addicted to video games, which is good, since I don't have the money for any kind of rehab.
Some of you out there may be wondering - what's stopping me from sneaking in a game whenever I want? Sure, I may claim to have a moral obligation to not playing games - this is a self-imposed restriction after all. I could tell everyone I just got sauced one night when I came up with the idea, and was clearly talking bollocks. And if I ever did drop the ball I could simply call mulligan and go about my merry way without anyone calling shenanigans.*
But no! Thanks to my friends, that is no longer an option. For you see, I am actually now contractually obligated to my cause. A few of my friends recently decided to quit smoking, and they decided that in order to stick to it, and in order for them to feel like they are all truly united in their cause, they composed an actual contract that binds them all together in their respective nicotine deprivation. Once they heard about my plans to give up games for a year, they were very eager to get me in on their contract. They wanted me to suffer as much as they were going to, and since not smoking wasn't really an issue for me, this was the perfect solution:
So if Party D (hereafter referred to as: "me, myself or I") or anyone else involved in the contract ever violates the terms of the arrangement, then they are penalized $10 per infraction. An 'infraction' for the rest of the boys involving taking a puff of a single cigarette, whereas for me playing a video game of any kind (including, I discovered, "scrabulous") would get me in trouble. The contract states that since 24 hour surveillance is, of course, impossible that we are essentially working on an honor system, and that all of our respective credibilities were on the line. If anyone was caught cheating then they would forever be marked.
Now, in a showing of confidence in how I didn't need games anymore, I actually lent* away my three favorite systems (DS, 360, & Wii) to my friends, who in turn have been enjoying them immensely. They've been sure to remind me on a regular basis how much fun they're having. In hindsight, my decision might have been a bit hasty. I may have to just suck it up and start smoking cigarettes in front of them now, just to balance things out.*
There's one other game-related document that I carry around with me at all times. It's something I started close to a year ago, when I was working 6 days a week and found myself for the first time falling behind on my gaming. Granted, this was when I was working at NYCLAN, and my job was essentially to play games with people all day - but still - my time alone with my own personal games was suffering, and I knew I had to keep track of what I was missing for that one day when I would come back to everything.
So I made a list. A list of all the games that I owned, that were out, or that were coming out soon that I wanted to play. I listed the title, the system they were on, whether or not I owned them (this was important, as theoretically I shouldn't be purchasing new games until I finished the ones I owned), and finally the "D.T.P.I." or the Desire To Play Index.*
I was making some real headway on my list until this month. I had finally gotten back to beating Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (a game I purchased due to lack of available titles back at the Wii Launch - although I will say, the earlier titles are super fun), as well as the Gears of War campaign (finally) and I was making headway in God of War II and Twilight Princess. But alas. Only games that are fully completed get crossed off the list.
And now, with this year off, it's only going to get longer. Some games may even have to get bumped. I'm looking at you, Stuntman Ignition. A year from now the list is probably going to be twice as long. You know, you'd think with all the troubles in the world this list would be the furthest thing from my mind. But no, you'd be wrong. 'Cause see, this is a list I can finish. And probably even before Earl finishes his.
I'm just trying to see what life's like
without video games for a year...
My Name Is Matt Shafeek
Yeah, but I'd still rather be playing: Burnout Paradise. Just came out today. God I love crashing cars. 'Nuff said.
*Special shout out to urbandictionary.com's "word of the day" emails. I'm still looking for a way to incorporate 'DILLIGAF' into a conversation without having to explain it.
*Let's be clear everyone - I am going to be taking them back at some point.
*They say once you get past the age of 25, there's a less than 1% chance that you'll start to smoke. Don't you tell me how to live my life, statistics!!!
*Patent Pending. (TM) Or copyright (c) Matt Shafeek. (R) All rights reserved. You get the idea.
1 = I've completely lost interest in this game. 10 = I worship this game as I would a god.