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    2011 - 08.26

    I always feel vaguely guilty when I send out a Facebook request for yet another one of their games.  I try very hard to only send it to people who already play those kinds of games so as not to completely spam my friends list, but when they accept and then start playing, I can’t help but feel responsible for the absolute waste of a time suck these games are.  I currently really only play two games, but they are gigantic black holes.  One of them was down for a couple of days and I managed to write several thousand words, edit several thousand more and send a couple of stories into the world to be looked at (one was rejected, but has subsequently been tossed back into the cold toward a different editor).

    I feel guilty when I play them, but they’re so freaking addictive. In some ways it’s really like a heroin addict. When they see the paraphrenalia of their addiction, it sets up a massive craving in their system until they succumb to the craving and use the drug.  When I see advertisements for my FB games, or their icons in my sidebar, or when their names come up in my browser history, or I see someone playing them, I get the massive craving.  Even sitting down at my computer will cause it unless I manage to sidetrack myself by going into email or if I’ve got a story already open on my desktop.

    Avoidance helps. Last summer I deleted all of my games and went completely cold turkey for nearly six months before starting “just one game” over Christmas break.  Setting up routines helps.  Email, Facebook and Twitter on my phone (because it doesn’t run Flash) then straight to Ralan or a word processer instead of a web browser.

    Wow, writing all of this really drives home the fact that this is a form of addiction.  I’m familiar with 12 Step programs…pretty sure that this is a -holic type of thing…I’m just not sure if I’m ready to seek help yet.

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    One Response to “Time Eaters”

    1. David says:

      There’s probably some religious joke which could be made about guilt for playing video games, but I won’t make it.

      I don’t know if the games on Facebook are any worse than other things, and by that I mean other video games, or non-productive activities which predate them. It’s not as though BF (Before Facebook) you didn’t play video games, it’s just you didn’t have an itemized history of all of the times you did those things.

      That said, as soon as you consider it an actual problem, we’ll be here to help (e.g. not send you more game requests…).

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