Friday, October 15, 2010

When Gaming is Dangerous

In addition to crafting and cooking, I have another time consuming addiction. Games. It really doesn’t matter what type of game it is either. If it can be played and won, I will pretty much love it. When I was young, I couldn’t get enough of the board games: Life, Monopoly, Sorry!, Parcheesi, and Chinese Checkers. As I got older my gaming became slightly more sophisticated: Scrabble, backgammon, and the occasional game of Chess. Now a-days I still play loads of games but mostly on line, on my DS Lite or on the iPhone. When I am playing a game, I lose all sense of time and reality. I go completely into the game zone, which has it’s pros and cons. I can kill time in an airport better than anyone I know (and I spend approximately 5-7% of my life in an airport or on a plane). My logic and patience meter can be off the charts when I need it to and I really do think a lot of that comes from games. Many of the cons of loving games a little too much might be obvious: competitiveness, time killer, seeing the world as though they were jewels or coloured square blocks (thank you bejewelled and tetris), but it is the not so obvious cons that I feel compelled to share with you.

Just yesterday I boarded the 29A, climbed upstairs (all the buses in Dublin are double decker), and sat down in the front row next to a woman with several shopping bags (this detail will be very important in the coming minutes). I pulled out the iPhone and pulled up Angry Birds (*if you have a gaming addiction, I do not recommend this simple in theory, difficult in execution, time vacuum). For those who know the game, I want 3 stars on every level. For those who don’t, consider yourself lucky.

I started to play away thinking in the back of my head, this bus driver must be late for dinner, he is really putting the pedal to the metal. Next thing I know we are taking a curve at a speed not conducive to perching on the edge of a seat (mostly consumed with aforementioned woman’s shopping bags) and I realise I have a choice. I can either throw the iPhone, lose my game of Angry Birds, and catch myself or I can fall flat on my back in front of 35-40 people. The true gamer that I am, I saved the game and with it threw my pride out the window. As I was lying flat in the aisle of the 29A with my backpack slung around my face and my arms unable to free themselves, I wasn’t thinking about what the other patrons of the bus thought of me, I wasn’t thinking of how quickly I could get up and pretend this wasn’t happening - I could only think…I really hope I fell after I won that level (which of course I didn’t, but that is so beside the point).

Consider yourself warned: physical injuries from video games are a lot more common that you might think. :)

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