Greetings NAG Online readership, and welcome back from your various vacations. Hopefully you all had holidays which were excellent at best, and mediocre at worst. Mine was spectacular – I just thought you should know that.
Perhaps surprisingly, part of my time away was being separated from both my computer and my internet connection – a tough ask for an addict such as myself. But let me let you in on a secret: I didn’t miss it at all.
And here’s why.
Whiny Children with Headsets
Right before I left, I got a little taste of daytime gaming during the school holidays, and let me tell you, it’s a warzone out there.
It’s like sometime in December the entire online gaming community undergoes a kind of apocalypse, but instead of zombies we get pre-pubescent gamers with anger issues and a Fisher-Price microphone.
Granted online games are generally riddled with sociopathic miscreants at the best of times, but at least during the school year it doesn’t feel like you’re having your gameplay interrogated by a toddler.
Which segways smoothly into my own, er, self-control issues.
I would describe myself as a pretty chill person – ask the podcast guys, they’ll back me up (maybe).
But put me behind a keyboard with a group of functional morons on my team, and you may just awaken the flaming ragemonkey that lurks behind this calm exterior.
I may lose several minutes of consciousness, only to return to myself and find several paragraphs of profanity on screen. Nothing can ruin your day quite like losing a series of ranked games, and I didn’t miss that feeling of utter despair when you’ve just spent several hours losing, and not very much time actually having fun.
The rage-lapses only last a few minutes, but those aren’t the ones I’m talking about here. I’m talking about that feeling – one you can all relate to, I’m sure – when you decide to load up a morning game at 8am or so, only to glance at the clock again a short while later to find that it’s 4pm and you haven’t eaten and all those things you planned to do today remain undone.
I rather enjoyed having entire days back, days which were filled with more than one activity and hours that didn’t feel like minutes.
Honestly, it’s rather incredible how much you can fit into a 12 hour day when you don’t have the luxury of spending it gaming.
So that’s what I think I’ll do this year (not that I have entire days to game anymore, anyway). I could take up hiking, go out with friends, learn a new language or get into a new hobby. Sure I could.
Just after I play one more game…
2 Hours Sleep
This fits in rather neatly with the time lapses, but I must admit – sleeping on holiday is glorious. There’s no dimly lit screen calling you out of bed for just one more game, no steam notifications blasting you with uncontrollable FOMO every few minutes.
There’s just bed, and glorious sleep. Sure part of that is not having to wake up and go to work in the morning, but I can’t begin to count the number of times I got an irresponsible amount of sleep due to the “one more game” mantra keeping me up far later than I should have been.
Take it from me – the bleary eyes, pounding head and general misery in the morning just are not worth it.
League of Legends
I think… I think I’m cured. Every preceding item on this list can be fit quite snugly under the League of Legends banner – this game, like DotA before it, takes a firm grip of your soul and doesn’t let go easily.
Still, not being able to play it for several weeks, I have to say – I didn’t miss it. At some point it had become too much like hard work, and the line between having fun and ranking up became blurred.
Like I said, when you spent the last 45 minutes swearing at Polish teens, can you truthfully tell yourself had a good time?
Still, the icon sits on my desktop even now, taunting me. And I worry it may only be a matter of time.