Sunday, April 17, 2011


They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Hi, my name is Liz, and I am an online gamer.

I have tried to break the habit. I've tried to say "no." But there's nothing quite like the thrill I feel after waiting two and a half hours for the files to download (thanks to my wonderful internet connection), as the file names zip past and install on the computer I spent four or five paychecks building. There's nothing like scouring the forums for information while I anxiously wait for the game to finish patching. I do the research, pick the job, the race, and when I get to the New Character screen, I stop to take in the moment; then spend the next twenty minutes trying to find a character name that someone else in the world hasn't already used.

I have a problem. I have spent days, months, even years of my life a slave to online gaming. I shape the characters, give them the equipment they need, and then take them on quests through mystical worlds of fantasy.

Ironically, I do the exact same thing when I'm writing.

I've spent a considerable amount of my young life dividing my spare time between online gaming and writing. Once upon a time, I thought I was sacrificing one for the other. But today, after several game-free months, I logged back on. And when I did, I realized something: I name all of my in-game characters after characters in my novels. I frequently talk about my manuscripts with people I've met online. And when I'm on these long, drawn out virtual quests, I think about the strange things I could make my characters do.

So, I'm not going to feel guilty about online gaming.

It's an escape that's still close to home.

How can I go wrong with that?



  1. This sounds like a dangerously slippery slope, which is one reason why I steer well clear of online games. I already have way too many claims on my time!

  2. This is very true. I will say something for online gaming though, when I couldn't write, but needed an escape, it was always an option. And when I was out of work for a while and wallowing in self-pity, it kept me socially active.

    So, it's good for some things :)