It’s starting to get to me.
I spent the vast majority of my last 24 hours playying Skyrim. That is what my life is now. Skyrim is my default mode. When I am not writing, sleeping, or socializing with my freinds, I am playing Skyrim.
And that covers an awful lot of hours.
It’s not that I am not enjoying myself. If it was that simple, I would simply quit playing it and go find a better game.
No, the problem is that as I am happily engrossed in the ham, there’s a restless and dicontented voices screaming in an airless closet somewhere in my soul.
It’s both a very fun way to spend time and a kind oif addiction, and I don’t feel like I am fully in control of my life.
I’m way better off than when I felt into the deep dark hole at the beginning of my experience with Skyrm Remember that? When I stopped doing almost anything else but playing and tinkering with Skyrim/.
And that including some surprisingly optional things like eating, sleeping, drinking water, showering, and putting on pants.
IAnd I have to wonder what put me in such a sensitive and vulnerable state to begin with. What made this game different than all the others I have enjoyed but did not feel compelled to play for 12 hours plus a day.
It’s gotten so bad that I have to constantly remind mysef that my life is not supposed to be about maximizing my Skyrim time. That’s what I have been doing,. I am a natural born optimizer and that coupled with this hole I am still digging myself out of makes for a very unhealthy kind of efficiency exercise.
But the thing is, while I am playing, I am happy. Or at the very least, not unhappy. The game keeps me mentally occupied, stimulated, and entertained with surprising reliability. As long as I am doing my Skyrim thing, the hours slide by effortlessly and I am getting through life wuith a minimum of friction and pain, and I am not anxious, depressed, scared, sad, confused, or in pain.
It’s the perfect drug.
At the samne time, there is a growing discontent that gnaws at me from the inside and makes me feel like I am going yo explode. Playing the game suppresses the voice but by no means kills it. So while the vast majority of my concscious mind is busy and happy and engrossed, a sma;ll but very potent part of my psyche is in terrible pain and wants to stop and do anything else.
PReferably something involving a lot of physical activity so I could reduce my stress and bodily tensionlevels.
But my depression weighs me down and makes me stay there in that seat, playing that game. because it doesn’t want to go back to having to figure out what to do with all my free time and energy.
So I hide in the game while my life passes me by.
I’m not sure what makes Skyrim all that different from the hndreds of other video games I have played, There’s tons of very good games that did not have this effect on me. Games that I loved to pieces but nevertheless would only play for a couple of hours, get tired of it, and quit to take a nap or read for a while or switch to my other mode, which was doing stuff on the Web while chatting with the fuzzies.
Nothng has sucked up my free time like Skyrim does.
Partly it’s the game itself. Theamount of content in it is staggering. I have played for hundreds of hours and I am still finding new stuff that I had no idea existed.
Also, there’s so many ways to play. I have mentioned builds before. You can play is a ninja. Or a big beefy warrior. Or a sly and powerful mage. Or a dark and treachorous necromancer. Or a cunning archer who strikes from the shadows. The possibilities are endless, and which each incarnation, even the very familiar quests becomne fresh and new. as you solve the same prob;lems via different abilities.
For example, my current character is a necromancer. By myself, he is not all that strong. He has good combat magic but that is it. If I were to charge into battle like I did (and enjoyed) when I was a big beefy Orc, I would be slaughtered.
Instead. I summon dead’y and powerful creature and let THEM do the fighting while I stay on the sidelines lobbing the occasional spell into the fray.
Well, at least that’s the idea. SOmetimes I have to lob spells at the things which is trying to eat me and ergo it’s a very short lob.
Plus there’s the massive amount of free content for Skyrim.
But I also think that it came along at a point in my life when I was particularly vulnerable. I had lost all the forward momentum I has after graduation and I was adrift. A big void had opened up in my life, and this amazing game was there to fill it.
And now, I have experimented. successfully, with refusing to judge myself for my current polarized lifestyle. I’m spending my time doing something I enjoy. I spend my days mostly happy. So what’s wrong with that?
But I have moved past that now and I am left with this feeling that I want more. That I am increasingly discontent with how my life is going but too scared of the xistential void of infinite possibilities to acknowledge and act upon this disconent.
The discontent grows, though, and eventuially it will overwhelm the fear and spur me into action. I can hasten his by doing what I can to act on my impulses more often and rearrange my life around my desires, not my limitations.
I am a grand and powerful person and I deserve a chance to flourish and bloom in the full and wholesome light of day.
I just have a lot of fertilizer to get through first.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.