Definition courtesy of Dr Lemuel Pillmeister (also known as Lemmy).
Addiction – When you can give up something any time, as long as it’s next Tuesday.
This may sound familiar. I have referenced this at least once before. It is one of the late Lemmy’s contributions to Nikki Sixx’s ‘The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rockstar‘.
There are a few words that have been drained of meaning from being thrown around too flippantly. Love, hate, depression, fuck (excusable on the grounds of incomparable versatility)…. Addiction is on this little list but despite the lack of social impact the word has now, it is often misunderstood and a lot of people throw the word around without understanding what addiction really is in any form. But then again, what do I know? Apparently you can be addicted to cheese. Not just in a psychological/behavioral nature either, but like a drug.
I didn’t start typing tonight because I had a bone to pick with cheese enthusiasts. It was just a thought that bloomed into a dairy-based idea.
I’d been thinking about the idea of addiction because I seem to be living on my phone at the moment with mobile games. I really don’t need to say why, right? I can’t seem to play games like these regularly and casually. If it’s regular play, I need to see progress. In the not too distant past, progress was measured by competitive play. Now, it’s measured in new entries in the Pokedex, or power levels and weekly results in Kingdom Hearts Ux.
I first started to be concerned about a week ago when I made an active decision to put my phone away for awhile as I’d been playing for several hours in the house, and not to go out hunting Pokemon. I was lost for what to do. I couldn’t get myself together to write, I didn’t want to read or even move, and just lay on my bed for about an hour listening to music. In the end, I think I decided to catch up on Suits or something and did absolutely nothing productive in place of gaming. What was the point?
The second cause for concern was comparing medals with a friend last night. He went away for 10 days, and more or less always came out with me hunting. In the time he’d been away, I’d walked 110 kilometres, hatched 70 eggs and evolved about 60 Pokemon. He, nor any of my friends, have done nearly as much and I realised that this has become a real part of my daily routine. I don’t walk anywhere without it on!
I am trying to understand how these games are affecting my quality of life. I definitely feel healthier, and have barely noticed that I average 10k a day walking distance from doing barely anything before. However, the amount of concentrated work I do writing has suffered. I do still write (not quite daily) in one form or another, but when I look back and see how much I had done in my last sitting, it’s not as much as I’d want it to be (like I said, I’m all about progress).
I think that it has been seriously enabled by the fact all of my friends are doing it. That’s an understatement, everyone seems to be doing it. I’d say at least 40% of all the people I see in a day/night are walking around actively playing Pokemon GO at any time. I don’t think that I would have gotten so invested if it wasn’t so socially acceptable! I’m not trying to pin blame – I know what I’m like and all I needed was a little push.
So is a borderline (psychological/behavioral) addiction to mobile/video games less laughable than someone convinced their body will stop working without cheese input? (There is someone I made a habit of stealing cheese strings from: if you’re reading this and believe the above, then it definitely wasn’t Fred, and I’m not even sorry!). I don’t know. What I do know is that was enough to make me write something today. With this, my conscience has been cleared twofold.
P.S.: On the topic of Lemmy’s medical definitions, here are a couple more for your enjoyment:
Cocaine – Peruvian Marching Powder. A stimulant that has the extraordinary effect that the more you do, the more you laugh out of context.
Depression – When everything you laugh at is miserable and you can’t seem to stop.
Listening To: New Maps of Hell – Bad Religion
Image Source: Google Images, Pokemon GO (screenshot)
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