If we define me by being musical and active and despising passive expenditures of time, then I think it’s safe to say that I went through a bit of an Anti-Me month in February.
Mostly due to video games.
Let me back up a step. In 2004 I gave up network television as a concept; it figuratively and literally doesn’t exist to me anymore, the latter because we haven’t had a vestige of television reception for going on three years.
Since 2004, 95% of the television I have watched (intentionally or not) has been Eagles games. And, because we don’t have reception of our own, most of my Eagles-watching is done with friends.
This season the group of friends happens to also be a group of depraved video-game maniacs, and when we decided to get together for one post-playoffs hurrah we did nothing but play video games.
I haven’t given up video games in the way that I gave up television, but they do make me wary … mostly because I spent a year and a half of my life doing nothing but playing City of Heroes. Sure, there are a handful of site updates and new songs to prove I was alive, and also I was apparently maintaining a relationship at the time, but I was also putting in 40+ hour weeks in at work and on the game.
Well, after our little party I decided that owning a video game system wouldn’t be the end of the world. It wouldn’t be connected to the internet, so it couldn’t suck me in the same degree as City of Heroes. And, much in the way we selectively view TVDs of good shows to replace our lack of television, I would only buy and play games that were compelling. It would be a social and intellectual pursuit.
Right. And then I bought We Love Katamari and a month of my life disappeared.
It’s not that I played video games for the entire month, so much as that video games were emblematic of my lack of energy for creative pursuits. Not lack of inspiration, mind you, but lack of energy.
Merrily, I was right – a non-networked PlayStation doesn’t have the kind of grip on my immortal soul as an internet world full of unique superheroes. This iteration of gaming in my life is merely a distraction, not an addiction.
But then I think – how much blogging could I have done while I was thumbing a joystick? How many songs could I have recorded? Et cetera, et cetera?
Who knows. Life doesn’t work like a metric conversion scale. Could I have recorded an awesome album, or did I simply not have anything to say creatively?
A retrospective answer is meaningless; it’s a question you and I need to ask ourselves each time we pick up a remote or a controller.
This week my answer is “you have plenty to say – start talking.”