23 July 2007

Recovered Addict

I read in the newspaper recently that the American Psychological Association wanted to add video games to the list of addictions. While I have been one of those addicts (one summer, I stayed up until 3 every night playing Tony Hawk, even though my thumb got a permanent red mark on it and the alien that said "No, no, no" in the Roswell, New Mexico level creeped me out), I don't think people understand that almost anything can be an addiction.

Probably ten years ago, I was introduced to the computer game of Solitaire in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. I thought it was so cool that I went home and played it every day. I even asked for and received a hand-held Solitaire game. Once I discovered Free Cell, it was all over. I was head-over-heels in love. I didn't think I had a problem compared to my mom, who, as an insomniac, worked through the Free Cell games in ascending numerical order every sleepless night. What finally got me to admit I had a problem was when I went to bed at night and saw cards in my mind that had to be stacked with opposite colors.

I gave up Solitaire and Free Cell, cold turkey, and have not gone back since I was fourteen or fifteen, as I'm afraid I would enjoy it just as much as I did then.

I did go through my Tetris stage during sophomore year of high school, but that was more of a stress-reliever when I was on the bench for a few minutes during volleyball, or when I had done way too much chemistry studying (which wasn't hard to do).

Maybe, instead of making a list of all possible addictions, the APA should make a list of all things that probably shouldn't take up as much of our time as they do, such as driving, and playing Mario Kart for more than a few hours a day, and trying to find chocolate in the house, and waiting for dial-up internet to open an email . . .

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