I've gone over two weeks without videogames. Sort of. Played a little *God of War* at work, I mean, how could I not? And then there's the DDR. Even still, there are cravings. I keep habitually going to Gamerankings and checking out the new games. It looks like the PSP has some killer apps. I've still got Halo 2 waiting to be played, and whatever was last shipped from Gamefly. Haven't opened it yet. Tom Forsyth pointed out a modern Windows-port of Elite I want to check out. And then there's this text MMO that sounds interesting.
Reading *Rules of Play* I just finished the chapter on Gaming-As-Pleasure. An intriguing chapter that I wish went deeper. My favorite games seem to hit that pleasure thing right on. This is probably more due to my particular tastes than to a unified theory of game pleasure, though. Anyhow, the chapter ends discussing gaming-as-addiction, and they basically brush the idea off as stupid. It reminded me of something I blogged about a long time ago. Stevie Case and Mark Surfas brushed off the addiction idea as stupid, also. I'm not sure that's the tack to take - as I said before, let's admit that it is an addiction. But a fairly harmless one. Like caffeine.
(On the violence thing in that old article, I now know more than I knew then. Motor vehicles and firearms kill way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way more people than videogames.)
Taking the past couple weeks to detox has actually been good for me - I've gotten some reading done, I've invented a card game designed to lead to emergent stories (it needs a *lot* of work, but it shows some promise), and I've started submitting short fiction to Zoetrope, an online writer's workshop thingy.
And then, today, I realized: Zoetrope is a computer game. You turn in your short story, and then people review it. The goal is to get better review scores. It's a hard game. High variance. Tough to tell what the rules are; and the rules are constantly changing. You can't just copy the best story up there and expect to get the same score they got. And it's part diplomacy; you can butter up the reviewers when you review their stories, and increase your points. I'd forgotten how addictive it is. I'm sublimating. One game addiction for another.