Kicking the Habit…take that Candy Crush!

THE ART OF ANNOYANCE…

I am a compulsive obsessive creature that tip-taps tattoos with my fingernails on any surface.  I count the holes in my Crocs (there are 13,)   I like having ten of anything, be it beads, cookies, peas…and always try to sort anything that comes in multiple numbers into groups of five.   Actually groups of three and seven  are also satisfying, and nine…not so much.  I like having a central object in a group, with even numbers on each side…such as five candles, one in the center, two on each side.   The thing about the nine is that there is a central with four on each side, but the best arrangement would be a group of three in the center and three on each side.

By now readers, if any, are either be nodding  in understanding…or shaking their heads and saying “what a nut!”

Now a word or so about Noise.  Aside from the tip-taps of fingernails, and occasional drum solos from a pen tip, noise can be produced by rocking a wine glass or coffee cup back and forth.  Sound effects can be comforting, soothing, annoying–even maddening, depending on the situation.  Some people like having a steady beat of time rhythm, and others, well…don’t.

IS THERE A POINT TO THIS?

The point to this writing is to discuss the problem of  addiction to electronic games.

It occurs to me that games such as Candy Crush, and the numerous varieties of Bubble Busting games, are designed to invade the human mind in order to replace creative thinking with mindless repetitive preoccupations that have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

That may be harsh.  I admit that my bubble-shooting skills have greatly improved.   The goal, which is apparently to build up to a rush of excitement and sense of achievement when the next highest level is reached.  Or, a more probable goal is to cause such frustration that players are so committed that the purchase of more bubbles or more coins becomes a pressing need, born out of desperation to get to the next level.

Here comes the point! 🙂

It is not only unhealthy to sit around playing games for hours, it is,  for lack of a better word–stupid.  Spending three or four hours shooting bubbles–even if watching CNN at the same time–is unproductive.  If I had spent as much time crocheting scarves for holiday gifts, or beading bracelets, or even surfing the net in pursuit of higher education, as playing games, I would at least have something to show for the time.

The single most convincing nudge for me was when I started seeing racks of bubbles arranged in various patterns and colors IN MY DREAMS, it became obvious that it was time to stop it.  Do something else with my Kindle Fire like reading the Washington Post, and working on my blog.

So, with this declaration of stopping wasting time on computer games I’ll go back to my other pursuits.  I intend to delete all of the games from my tablet–today.

It won’t be the first time I’ve made a resolution that I’m proud of–I quit smoking cigarettes on my fortieth birthday after twenty-one years of lighting up.   All my friends still smoked at the time, but believe it or not it was not all that difficult to quite cold turkey.   I had three or four FULL PACKS of Salems in the downstairs fridge when I quit..  That was forty years ago.

Ah yes, there was a down-side: I gained thirty pounds within a year or two.  Sigh, I still never regretted that I stopped smoking.

11 Comments

  1. So far, I have resisted all those games. I get invitations all the time to play candy crush and other such games but I ignore the invitations. I just have too many other things to do online. I know that if I get started, I will probably end up with no time at all for anything else.

    As far as cigs are concerned, I quit years ago also. I always thought that older ladies looked silly lighting up and smoking; and I had planned on stopping by the time I was 50. I did!

    1. Thanks for commenting. Nowadays many of the die-hard smokers ARE old women. After I quit smoking at 40 I used to say I would smoke again when I turned 60….but I never did. Now I’m 80 and couldn’t afford cigarettes even if I wanted them. 🙂

  2. I love this post. I never started playing those games but I get tons of invites on Facebook and see many posts concerning people who have reached one goal or another. Frankly, I might have started if I had assurance that things wouldn’t get posted on Facebook because I would not want everyone to know how much I might play. I quit smoking when I was pregnant after 17 years of smoking. I also never regretted it.

  3. Good post. There are too many “time waster” games out there. What are your thoughts on ‘mind exercising games’? I love to work Sudoku puzzles because they cause me to think. I use strategy to solve the puzzle. Or when I want a break from that, I hit Luminosity. I like that the series of puzzles measure my minds speed, memory, attention, flexibility and problem solving abilities.

  4. i got a feeling you were no spring chicken. I’m 60 myself. I have an addictive personality and get addicted to anything I do so I have to be careful what I start. I have had computer games I spent months in, they were more the computer adventure game. I just recently quit cold turkey a game I had been playing for about 15 months sometimes 6-8 hours a day. It was nuts. First thing in the morning and last thing before bed. When I started my book, InsideOut, which you can find several links to on the front page on my blog to a few chapters, http://mynameisjamie.net, I didn’t have the time to just sit and play games any more. So I just quit. It was hard, with all the friends I had made, but I know sometimes when you quit you have to just quit. So now I am just all OCD about my writing, but at least this is something with a purpose and a good cause to boot. And since it is freezing cold outside and I don’t like to leave the house, it has all worked quite well.

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