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Breaking a bad habit


I’ve always enjoyed video games, especially the shooting kind. It’s a nice way to get in some target practice without expending any ammunition or hurting anything living. But it’s become an addiction, and it’s caused problems with darling wife. For some reason, she expects to spend time with me, which interferes with my time playing video games.

Video games also give me sleep-seizures, or night terrors. These show up hours or days later after I play more than a couple of hours’ worth of games, and in my case, they are triggered by a buildup of neurotransmitter toxins as a result of the intense focus on the game coupled with large-muscle immobility. Most of the time I don’t remember having a seizure, but darling wife does. She finds them extremely annoying.

I’ve been on vacation for a couple of weeks. And as usual, I played some video games, and as usual, I started having seizures again. After one particularly violent one, darling wife expressed a level of frustration I haven’t seen before. So I decided to do something about it.

Breaking a habit is easy to do when you do something irrevocable to change your course. In my case, it was the act of deleting all my saved games. Those saved games represented hundreds of hours of play, perhaps thousands of hours. And they were all gone in a few clicks. Without those saved games, I couldn’t replay my favorite levels or scenes; I would have to work through an entire game again. And that wasn’t about to happen. I’m too lazy busy.

With the saved games gone, it was quite easy to list the game console and all my games on an auction site, as a package. I put a reasonable price on it, high enough to get some money out of it but not so high as to discourage bids.

The next morning it sold. The morning after that, I shipped it off. It’s out of my life, and it’s not coming back.

It’s a relief, actually. On one tentacle, I will miss cheap and easy target practice whenever I want it. On another tentacle, darling wife will appreciate my quiet sleep. On another tentacle, I will have more time to do other things, like work on my weapon collection in the real world, and actually practice with some of them. It will be more expensive and time-consuming, but it will pay better returns in the long run.

If this habit was so easy to break, I think I will focus on breaking some other habits. The coming year will be interesting.

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