When my husband and I first got sober in 1995, we were given a gaming system console and some games (forgive me for not remembering if it was Nintendo or not, although I think it was). Plus we lived about a block from a video game rental place, and boy, oh, boy did we use that to distract ourselves mightily in those early days of recovery.
Until, well, the more challenging times of recovery (about seven months in, things get rough emotionally for some folks) and gaming for us turned into a sort of chronic argument; my husband and I loved the Aliens 3 game (we’re old, okay?) and we’d have these tense arguments while we played. “No, you have to go to the left now!” “No, no, this part you go right, THEN you go left!”
On and on, until we finally realized we had to get rid of the thing to save our marriage.
Now, though, 16 years later, we’re much more emotionally stable (I hope) and we have a six-year-old that is utterly mesmerized by our friend’s Xbox with Kinect system. And I’ll go ahead and admit it: so am I. That dance game is SO. MUCH. FUN. So I was pretty excited to be invited to give the system a try.
Ironically, though, one of the things I’m looking forward to the most is not the gaming capabilities, but the streaming capabilities. I am really looking forward to being able to stream movies to my television as well as TV shows from various sites; in fact, if we find that works as well or better than having regular television, we might even choose to eliminate cable television entirely. I’m a TV junkie, so that might not happen, but it’s worth looking at for sure.
But when it comes to the gaming, I’m looking forward to that too. One of the things I’ve done recently with my life is make some dramatic changes to my eating regimen in hopes of losing weight, and I’m counting on the Xbox 360 for helping that goal in two different ways: one, by encouraging me to exercise because I know that my daughter will challenge me to get up and dance with her. But even better, I’m counting on wanting to play games instead of being bored at the end of the night — a prime time for indiscriminate snacking. I’m even hoping that after my daughter goes to bed I can get my husband and my mom (who lives with us) into playing some of the games. I think it would be fun and entertaining, and help address some of the issues my mom has with loneliness.
Of course, I’m not an idiot; I realize a gaming system won’t completely fix my family, or my weight, or even my urge to snack. But I do think it will help us save some money, and give us something new and fun to do with the family. Really, really looking forward to it!