If You Poison Us, Do We Not Die [Column]
If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? – Shakespeare
I know, I know, my Shakespeare inserts within this column were always cheesy; but now they’re becoming predictable and shamefully out of context and you wish them to stop. Quite frankly I agree, this is my last one. I only chose it in feeling it most appropriate for the specific theme of today’s column. That’s because I’d like to talk about picking one’s poison, see, now the quote makes sense (if only infinitesimally). A few weeks back a fellow columnist, Caveshen, talked about balancing one’s working life, other assorted obligations and only then gaming. He outlined the negative effects a varsity life has on gaming and described a sad tale, if ever I’ve heard one. I too find myself in the later stages of a varsity degree and work has definitely ramped up from my do nothing and get A’s days of undergrad. Nevertheless, I find myself in opposition, an almost antithesis, to Caveshen’s situation; to wit, gaming is my poison, its symptoms: procrastination, guilt and shame. Ignorance must most definitely be bliss.
Down to the problem, not at hand but at gamepad. I find myself unable to start or complete any work without gaming standing in my way. Even when I’ve finally started the work (at 12pm no less) gaming still manages to convince me otherwise. I seem to find myself on the other side of the equation; I never have time for work. Well when I say I never have time, I do of course mean I never make time; but that’s really my problem. Honestly, I don’t understand how Caveshen, or any nerd frankly, has time for anything but gaming.
I don’t feel guilty all the time, I mean I love gaming and everything gaming’s about. I’ve gone so far as to dedicate myself to making all of my honours research essays about gaming. Not that I ever get down to doing those essays until the last week before they’re due. Fellow columnist, Adam, and even my girlfriend can vouch for me; I’m procrastination extraordinaire, procrastination incarnate. Actually, now that I think about it, Adam games a hell of a lot to, but at least when he’s doing his masters dissertation (on gaming subcultures in fact), even he finds the time to sit down and work. I don’t ever get the work started and even in times when I’ve successfully committed myself to working; it’s only ever after this last level of Crysis 2; or one more area of Final Fantasy XIII. Even then I feel compelled to play more and more. So to be constructive on any mental level, I usually play my brains out until 12 at night thereby rendering me able to work thereafter.
It’s ironic then that at times I find myself, struggling to start playing a game. I can’t find the energy to want to play it, feeling drained in a sense. Once I start gaming though, I never want to stop. Perhaps that’s the reason I feel so drained, my body has built up an auto-immune response to gaming, procrastination and the decline of my potential career opportunities. It serves as a sort of proclamation of my guilt and a variable safeguard for my future. What I find even more ironic though is its playing games that help me concentrate on working the most, if I can stop myself from playing that is. Without gaming, my thoughts are uncollected and unqualified. To this effect, Minecraft is perfect, so easy to start up and stop.
My only comfort is my efforts to find a career in the electronics industry, probably gaming promotion. I think starting a competitive gaming industry in South Africa is in order. Well either that or living in a rich mates garage. So here ends a story of blissful suffering and electronically derived digital guilt (digi-guilt). I accept this column is abrupt and convoluted, but what did you expect; I want to finish it up and go play games.