I have a problem, however, when it comes to video games. It's called guilt. Most video games that are popular today take hours and hours to play, and have a high learning curve so that I'm not really enjoying the game until I've played for at least an hour. This is time that I do not have to spend all at once during a busy day when there is grocery shopping to get done, or laundry to do. I can certainly spend 5-10 minutes playing solitaire as a quick break, but hours? Forget it.
Then there's the competition factor. I am not a terribly skilled gamer, and my children and husband are. I really don't want to look bad in front of people when I'm playing, and since they love to play, I'm happy to let them. I become a game WATCHER, and not really a game PLAYER.
Last weekend, my husband brought home his company XBOX 360- a game system that we will own just as soon as my husband writes a game for it. There were lots of games, and the family had fun exploring all of them as a fun Friday night activity. The best of the lot, however, was a little game called Viva Pinata. It's basically a game that lets you simulate growing a garden and raising animals, but it was so well done. After a few minutes, I was hooked. I REALLY wanted to play this game. My history as a game watcher, however, kept me from playing. My kids were playing and loving it, and I had things to do- dishes, dinner, chores, all of the normal things. I offered a lot of advice, and watched them play all weekend long.
Sunday night came, and the children went to bed. There was the XBOX- just sitting there with nobody on it for the first time in days. Even THEN, I wouldn't let myself play. The kitchen was messy, the newspaper had to be taken to recycling, I had the grocery list to finish. Finally, FINALLY, I was done. Everything was quiet. I pulled up the rocking chair, and turned on the game. It was as fun as I thought it would be. I vaguely noticed that my husband had come up and laughed at me playing there. I talked to him in brief short sentences, not really wanting the distraction. He even stayed in the living room for awhile while I played. I think I noticed him a few times. Finally, he mentioned something about it being almost midnight. Almost midnight! I checked the clock. It was almost midnight! I had to be up early in the morning! I had too much to do to be working on so little sleep! What was I doing still playing this game!?!
It's still called Guilt.