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Just One More Level!

I don’t generally play video games.  It’s not because we don’t own a gaming system.  It’s not because I don’t like them.  It’s not because my kids play 24 hours a day, not giving me a chance to try it out.  It’s because, well um, it’s because I may have a major addiction little, small, almost nonexistent problem with self control when it comes to video games.

I can’t help it.  I try.  I really do.  But when I start playing, I get sucked into the game.  It’s like Tron and I’m IN the game.  I’m no longer sitting on the couch with a controller in my hand, oh no.  I’m not controlling the little guy on the screen, making him move, jump, and shoot bad guys.  My blood pressure goes up, I hyperventilate, and my palms sweat because, clearly, jumping out of the way of balls of boiling hot lava is a matter of life or death.  Not my little video game guy’s life or death, but my life or death.  Running away from guys who are shooting at me, maneuvering my hovercraft around crates of explosives, and balancing on floating rocks perched above a bottomless pit freak me out to the point of cold sweats. 

My kids make fun of me because apparently normal people don’t get so worked up when playing video games.  They like to tell me things like, “Mom, why do you keep lifting the controller up? You know it doesn’t help when you move it like that”, “Mom, it doesn’t help when you hit the buttons that hard”, “Mom, calm down, the vein in your head is bulging out.”

After playing games for hours a short time, I got behind the wheel of my car to go to the doctor. I found myself punching the accelerator while weaving in and out of traffic, looking for tokens on the side of the road to collect. It’s a good thing I wasn’t pulled over for that little jaunt. I don’t know how I would’ve explained that to the police.

I may not know when to quit either. When it’s 3:00 in the morning, my limbs are numb, and I’m half-blind, instead of going to bed, I have a tendency to say in a maniacal voice, “Just one. more. level!”

Starting the same mission for the twentieth time because I keep getting shot sometimes makes me turn into a raving psychoa little frustrated. Yesterday, while I was playing, I got a little upset after dying a million times in a row.  I may have said something along the lines of, “Ohmygosh, I hate this stupid freaking stupid stupid game!”

Brooklyn stopped what she was doing and stared at me in horror looked at me.  “Mom, it’s just a game,” she said in that parental tone reserved for calming a child in the midst of a tantrum.

I’d like to say that I stopped what I was doing, realized how foolish I’d been acting, thanked Brooklyn, and calmed down.  However, I think I told her to shut up as my eyes glazed over and I gripped the controller even tighter.  I’m not sure though.  It’s all a giant blur.

This is why I don’t play.

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