Hi, my name is Jim and I am a video game junkie. (Hi Jim)
A little about me. By night, I am James C. Struck, published spirituality author, aspiring novelist, loving husband and father of three, and blogger on all things that come into my fool head. But by day I am King Geek of the Illinois River Valley, the ponytailed purveyor of mindless pixelated violence, endless side-quests, and all things that keep nerds pale, pasty, and indoors.
Translation: I’m a Store Manager for GameStop.
One of the lovely fringe benefits of retail management in the video game industry is I get a LOT of free stuff. I mean obscene amounts. Enough where my employees regularly threaten to beat me senseless for it. While this is certainly nice from a monetary point of view, it does create one problem; I am, in the immortal words of Scarface, getting high on my own supply. It’s one thing when you have to pick and choose which games to buy, because that allows you to prioritize, but when you (not joking here) get every single major video game release for free, you not only end up playing the games you were looking forward to, but also quite a few you otherwise would never have touched.
Now, were I like the average GS manager (young and single) this would not be as much of an issue, but I am, as I mentioned above, a family man. Between work, kids, wife, and a house that always seems to need something done to it, I need an addiction to video games like I need a hole in the head. But of course, it’s not just that. I am, finally after trying for nearly 7 years, a published author, and in this day and age being an author comes with certain expectations. Simply writing isn’t enough, now authors need to have a blog, and a FB page, and a Twitter account, and a Goodreads page, and keep them all up on a regular basis, interconnecting them to create a “platform” through which potential fans can reach and interact with me. And the writing thing, don’t forget that. Kinda need to write if I want to be an author.
And yet here I am, logging onto Destiny on my PS4 at 11:45pm so I can check if I have enough Strange Coins yet to buy that exotic sniper rifle from Xur. No wonder I’ve only written 11 pages in my WIP since late August.
All joking aside, everyone needs their mindless entertainments. Everyone needs to decompress. Writing, while I love it, requires a certain amount of gas in the tank to get going, and the only way to fill up that tank is to unplug every once in a while. But we live in a world where the line between entertainments and addictions is very, very blurry (perhaps deliberately so, but that’s another blog post), and crossing the line is a little too easy. I try to claim that my creative output falls off the table in autumn because of the workload at my job spiking and because I suffer from mild SAD, but I know that’s only most of it. There is that siren’s call of all those lovely new games, those new stories and experiences and achievements tugging at me, pulling me away from my priorities. And sometimes they succeed.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this. So if you’d like, tell me about your distractions, your addictions. What in your life pulls you away from your priorities a little more than is good for you? We all have them. Share. Knowing that others know the struggle will help all of us. I’d love to hear about yours.
Peace, Light, Love, everyone.