Hi, my name is Adam, and I’m an addict. No, I’m not addicted to drugs or alcohol; I don’t touch that shit. My addiction is much less detrimental to my health, but completely stifles my productivity. It’s been hard to come to terms with it, but in order to get better, I need to come clean. I’m addicted to sports games, and they’ve sucked up too much of my time over the past few years.
The older I get, the more I realize that time is a precious, valuable commodity. Between work, friends, and family, there is only so much time we have to pursue our dreams and enjoy our hobbies. Because of that, I have decided to cut sports games out of my life. Yes, they’re a ton of fun. I love creating a player that is a complete scrub and building them into a legend of the sport. It’s incredibly gratifying to see and take part in that progression, but at the end of the day, sports games don’t offer much but cheap thrills.
Unlike other games that offer narratives or puzzles that actually challenge my brain, sports games just provide me with a quick, mindless adrenaline rush. They give me extreme, but shallow, highs and lows, such as the excitement of executing a game-winning drive or the soul-crushing agony of losing the World Series on a strikeout. But when all is said and done, they’re not mentally stimulating, and that’s coming from someone whom strategically calls plays, sets lineups, and chooses which pitch to throw.
When I look back at all of the games I completed this year, the list runs short because I wasted too many hours cranking homers in MLB: The Show, popping 3 pointers in NBA 2K, and throwing TDs in Madden. Here are some crucial releases from 2017 that I have yet to start because I was too fixated on sports games:
- The Evil Within 2
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
- Nier: Automata
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole
- Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
More often than not, I only have a half hour or an hour at a time to get in a quick gaming fix, and in those situations, sports games are an easy choice because I can get through an entire match in that time frame. Instead of worrying about getting to a save spot or reaching a good stopping point, I can finish what I start right then and there. It’s more predictable to determine how long I will be playing for, therefore, there is less risk to play past my allotted time and be late for whatever I need to do.
But it doesn’t always stop at a half hour or an hour, unfortunately. Like I said, this is an addiction, and with most addictions, you can’t just stop at one. Many times, I finish one game and immediately boot up another. In those situations where I have somewhere to go, I leave my console in rest mode and pick up where I left off when I get home.
No matter what I do, I always find an excuse to play a second game. Whether I lose the first match and want to end with a win, or have a bad game with my created player and want to finish with a stronger stat line, I find some ridiculous reason to keep going. Then, once I get past a certain amount of time, I pull the old “I’ve already spent x amount of time playing, so what will another x amount of time hurt?” rationalization. When all is said and done, 30 minutes turns into two hours of valuable time that could have been spent more wisely.
It’s not just better games that this addiction has taken me away from, but my other hobbies as well. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I could contribute much more frequently to this blog, but I choose to waste time virtually living my childhood dreams of being a sports superstar instead. Likewise, I could finish the story I have been working on the past two years, but alternatively I choose to unwisely spend that time virtually playing sports that I spend too much time watching and playing in real life.
So instead of vowing to write more, take more trips, or stop drinking soda, I’m going to go cold turkey on sports games. That means no Madden, no Fifa, and most certainly no NBA 2K. In doing so, I hope to accomplish more in 2018 than I did in 2017. With that extra time, I hope to finally finish that story I’ve been working on, write more blogs, and play more games worth playing. With that being said, here’s to a 2018 that is (hopefully) full of accomplishments and void of wasted time. Wish me luck!
Do any of you have New Year’s resolutions centered on gaming? If yes, what are they? If no, what are your other resolutions? Sound off in the comments below!