Letting Go


Sometimes, a form of entertainment, or some means of passing the time, can become more like an obsession. And sometimes, that obsession can become an addiction.

People who know me know I love video games, but it’s time I gave them up. For the most part, anyway. The fact is that lately they’ve been more of a requirement to my brain, and I need to get that to stop. They sap my time and I don’t get the fulfillment that I used to get out of them.

I’ve mentioned Linda Barsi, AKA OpenEllbey, in a previous post. That was before I’d seen the rest of her videos, which are pretty awesome. But it was her first video that inspired me so much. She used to pretty much go on a date every week. She used dating as an escape, or just whenever she felt depressed. She found herself relying on connecting with men to feel normal, and then she had to come home to find herself, and she was never happy with having to face that.

As a result, she decided to swear off dating for a year, and devoted herself to a once-a-week video blog series designed to help out new writers. She, herself, is a screenwriter, and she found that getting over her addiction to dating made her feel better about herself and also helped her focus more of her attention on a script she’d been working on.

Okay, she never said it was an addiction outright, but I think it’s understandable to say that it pretty much was.

So what does this have to do with me? Well, like I said, I was inspired by what she had to say (but I have no designs to start a new video blog). It made me realize that if she can do it, I can do it. She also got me to reevaluate what was important to me, and decide that I could give up gaming almost completely.

I’m gonna get a little more specific, though. About a month or so ago, I had these feelings already forming. Only instead of “I should get rid of my games!” I decided that I should beat the games I’d had lying around collecting dust first. Sort of like a video game bucket list.

After a week or two, I realized that this was a mistake. It only delayed my release from such things. I’m not saying that everyone should follow me here, either. I’d never want to demonize something that’s been so good to me. It’s just that, for me, it became a problem.

Because in addition to the bucket list idea, I also tended to replay games a lot. I just wouldn’t let them go. Granted, they were some of my favorite games, but there’s no need. And I’ve played some of them so many times that I get bored of knowing what’s coming next.

So I’m going to box up a bunch of games, including two consoles and a handheld, and march on over to a place called The Exchange, which sells games as far back at least as the Nintendo Entertainment System.

I am keeping my Wii and Wii U. This is largely to do with the fact that I have several multiplayer games on those (as well as some GameCube games I’m not ready to part with) and I also use the Wii U for Netflix and Hulu. I mean, I guess I could just get Chromecast, but I decided that I would keep any game that serves as a social game. Things like Mario Party.

Also, when I do get back to gaming, I’m going to rely more on RedBox or GameFly or something like that. Any multiplayer social games (Mario Kart 8, for instance?) I will probably still add to my game cache, though.

In addition, I’m keeping my Zelda games (except for the original Wind Waker because I also have the HD version) and I have friends with whom I play Mechwarrior Online on Fridays. This is social time with my old roommates, and it fits the bill of the exception for me.

As for the Zelda games, well, if you’re still wondering about the Zelda Eternity link on the side of the page then you’ve clearly never clicked on it and checked out the Site Staff. I’m in charge of writing the Ocarina of Time guide, so I’m still going to continue that work for the site.

I thought about doing a write-up discussing each of the games I was getting rid of, but I decided that that would just add more sentimentality to the whole thing and I just don’t want to make this any harder than it already is. God, I make it sound like I’m breaking up with someone.

Instead, I’ll leave you with a picture of the things I’m selling…

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…and what I have left.

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May I also mention the irony that I’m going to use the money I get for selling these games at a video game convention? But it’s all for the social aspect, I swear.


About David Shank

David T. Shank is a writer, runner, and musician, in that order. His blog is hopefully an oasis among the vast ocean of negativity that is the Internet. He lives in Cleveland studying how to write good.

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