December 27, 2016

One More Game

I was pretty gross today and by “pretty gross” I mean totally gross, and unfortunately my repulsive behavior felt pretty great.

I never showered and on days when I don’t shower, I always feel a certain film of yesterday that has no place on today. Woke up late, around ten again, and we were off to the park for some coffee and a croissant. (I have four more days of Vegan cheating and then 2017 will be a year of staunch militancy.)

From there I took our car to the shop to fix the AC and cabbed back home. Mairin stayed at the park with the kids for longer than we all expected, so I was home alone for much of the afternoon. I finished The One and Only Ivan and started the latest Zadie Smith book. This was the highlight of my day and the most productive I would be.

The rest of the day was all sloth and gluttony. At one point I popped a giant zit, twice, and was shocked by its contents. Too much information? Sorry about that, but you can’t tell me that you have never been grossed out by the contents of your body. Life ain’t always instagram filters- sometimes you are disgusting.

Made the kids a late lunch and we all lazed around the house for a while, before I went back and picked up the car. A lower than we expect cost had us all pretty happy.

Then Mairin took the kids to a friend’s house and I was alone again. The sun was setting and it felt fine to re-enter the world of The Division on X-box.

As a new adult gamer, I can see the lure and addiction these games have for our middle school kids. If I didn’t feel guilty or know any better, I could easily spend hours in the narratives of these games. After an hour of trying to secure the police precinct in Brooklyn, I gave up. I couldn’t seem to secure the parking lot from those four rioter, looter, zombie types.

Then I did what I have been wanting to do since 1992- I bought Madden 2017. Yup, I am a teenager again, and oh boy have the graphics changed. I went through the training camp and practice and then got killed by the Chiefs. Of course I am Derek Carr and the Raiders. Then I had a pretty resounding win against the Broncos.

So for people keeping score, my day:
  • woke up
  • ate
  • dropped off car
  • read
  • slept
  • picked up car
  • played The Division
  • played two games of Madden

Then the kids came home. Got their eyes on Madden and Kaia made some good play calls and Skye actually threw a TD to Crabtree.

Since the kids ate out, I ordered one of my final McDonald meals. The four day window is closing fast. There will be zero McDonalds in 2017, not even fries.

Playing video games and eating fast food- if this is not the American Dream, I don’t know what is. It felt great and lazy and full of sloth. But it is not something I would want to maintain, but I can see how people become obsessed and entranced by it. A steady diet of sugar and salt and a dopamine enduced escape from reality- that is a scary combination.

I’ve got big plans for 2017 in terms of productivity, so I need to come up with a structured plan for how I will contain my X-Box habit. This will have a profound effect on how the kids interact with it as well.

At the moment, it is new and shiny and exciting so we are all gorging a bit, but I am sure I will need to set some pretty strong boundaries for anyone who picks up a controller. As an educator, it has been eye-opening to jump into this world. I can’t believe I was able to stay away for so long.

For you gamers out there, how do you set boundaries? When and how often do you play?

And if you are gamer or a sports fan in Singapore when are you coming over for a Madden game?

It is 10:22pm…one more game won’t kill anyone right?

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