Sunday, January 12, 2014

Why I'm Weird and Don't Like Games

This morning's sunrise, via my phone's panorama function that I didn't know I had!

Good to learn something new before the sun is even up.

This "random words for topics" theme this year will prove interesting. Especially when we have contrary Word Whores who chose words like this week's: Adz.

Kristine chose it apparently because it's great for word games. Which is really quite typical of her. She and her family like to play games of all sorts. My family? Not so much. Aside from a brief love-affair with Trivial Pursuit back in the 80s, we just never played that many games. Unless you count extended dinner debates as a game, which it virtually was for us - with a convoluted and equally debatable point system.

Thus, whether by nature or nurture, possibly a combination of both - I've never really liked playing games. Of any kind. Not board games, not video games, not role-playing games. I've never once played Angry Birds. They always feel kind of like a waste of time to me.

The one time I recall being interested in a video game was Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, which a friend of friends had on his computer and no one knew how to play. (Note that this was also in the late 80s.) Oddly, I don't remember it being funny. I became obsessed with solving the mystery of it and played it non-stop for a weekend until I finished it. Then I was done and I had no desire to start anything else.

Something that makes me a strange creature to my friends.

The thing is - I didn't really enjoy being that obsessed. I felt drawn in to the point that I had to solve the game, but once I finished, I experienced a rush of relief at being free of the damn thing. (And possibly at being able to escape the friend of friends' house, who'd mistaken my fascination with the game with interest in him.) Afterwards, I felt empty and incomplete, too. No great satisfaction in accomplishment, just nothingness where the obsession had been.

Maybe it's not much that I don't like games, but that I resent the way they can hijack my attention. Especially when they deliver so little in the way of lasting satisfaction for me. In fact, they often leave me with the restless sensation that I need to find another game to fill that hole.

I probably experience the same arc with books, both in reading and writing them, but without that empty sense of having wasted the time.

All of this leaves me feeling like the odd-woman out, in a world of people who love games of all types. Alas.


  1. I will confess being addicted to games almost as much as to books. Especially the tabletop rpgs (when played with the right people) and computer games like Mass Effect come really close to the feeling I get when reading a really good book.
    I can understand people not liking games though. I will confess I hate things like Scrabble or Canasta

    1. I know so many cool people who like rpgs, like you! And yet... blerf.

    2. As I said: you need the right people, the right setting, and in my case I'm better at being the one leading the game than being one of the participants. I can easily see how you don't like rpgs if one of those things wasn't right for you when you tried it.

    3. Um... I think the last time I "tried it" was the episode Kev refers to below. It was sad.

    4. If I ever do visit you, I might have to let you try 'The Call of Cthulhu' rpg if you're up to trying again. No long trips through the forest, or dungeon crawling, but suspenseful horror. My favorite! And added bonus: I'm too friendly to let people die unless they really do stupid things ;-)

  2. Replies
    1. I was totally thinking about that, Kev, but it felt like it would take too long to explain. But yes - I tried and I died!

  3. I used to enjoy a bit of Scrabble with my daughter, but since she left... meh. I did the D&D thing in college but that's meh for me now, too. The only game I play with any regularity is WordForge online (like once a week, maybe), but I do that when I need a break from thinking or I'm between tasks without the urge to start something else. It makes my brain work without having to make my brain work - if that makes any sense. Each round gives two minutes to make as many words as you can from a given bunch of letters and earn enough points to make it to the next round. I usually blow about 10 minutes doing that before it's game over and I muster the energy to do something necessary.

    1. that sounds like a great brain exercise, B.E.!