21 July, 2009

Scrapping the Scrabbling

This could be called "Pursuing Our Passions: Part 1.5" but I thought that would be boring.

I vowed on Facebook the other day that I will stop playing online Scrabble. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, it's an obsession. Second, it's a waste of time that could be spent doing something more useful, such as pursuing a concrete goal in the real world. It might be true that I can note, among my accomplishments, the fact that I played BRAINIER for 140 points. But that, and $3.75, will not get me a 2% Vanilla Latte at the corner coffee shop.

The Scrabble is like a bucket into which I am dumping life. Hours that could be spent exercising, working, sleeping, hanging out with people, working on songwriting, practicing guitar, pursuing a new hobby, watching a movie. Instead, I am sitting and placing letters on a board. It's no different from World of Warcraft, which I previously swore off. In the end, it is simply this: "Sitting alone, and clicking buttons, while watching pixels change color on a screen". It may be true that I am learning some new words. But I am not, or rarely, bothering to learn the meaning of those words! I just learn the words! It's like when I went to Hebrew School and they taught us how to pray, but never taught us what the prayers meant! Sure, I am developing a type of skill. I am developing the oh-so-valuable life skill that is called "Playing Online Scrabble". It's not even the same skill as playing real Scrabble, because you don't have to know the words. You can just keep guessing until you find something that passes their dictionary.

These are the hours of my life.

I once spent them playing Moria, a D&D-based computer game. Then I spent them playing Diablo. Then I spent them playing Diablo II. Then I spent them playing Morrowind. And then, damn the creators, I spent them playing World of Warcraft. If WoW is heroin then, certainly, Scrabble is no more than Tylenol with Codeine. But ask Rush Limbaugh if that's a big deal or not. Plus, Tylenol will kill your liver. Seriously.

For some reason or another, I am always looking for a new psychological addiction to eat up my hours, and keep me from facing any of the stuff that's real. Is it stress relief? Do I really have that much stress that I require massive periods of disconnection to cope? Or is it just avoidance? Whatever the case, I am, as you have read in previous posts, questioning the meaning of my life, and questioning how I spend my time. And I am once again at a crossroads where I am looking for meaning.

The problem right with stopping Scrabble is that I have so many games going with people, I feel like I need to finish them, to be polite, but just not start any new ones. The truth is, I don't really need to finish them. I could forfeit all of them right now, and be done with it. Or I could not forefeit them, and still be done with it. To keep playing them to completion is like saying, "I am going to stop drinking, as soon as everything in the liquor cabinet is gone". It's a little different because it's more like each bottle of liquor is also being shared with another person, who may or may not wish to quit drinking, or may not even have a drinking problem. And this metaphor is falling apart really quickly.

I need to stop. I deleted the Scrabble application from my iPhone, which is sort of like removing the cocaine from your 8-ball and thinking you've kicked the addiction. But then I added it back again, because I thought I would be able to get through all those games more quickly if I could make moves when I was away from a computer.

There's really too much thought being put into this. I realize. And, on the one hand, ironically, it's throwing more money down the well, instead of doing meaningful things. But, on the other hand, if one of those meaningful things I was planning on doing is writing and self-reflection, then I guess it's all good.

1 comment:

  1. I'm getting beaten so badly on our games, I'd appreciate it if you'd forfeit immediately. Thanks! =)