Yesterday, a little after noon, I walked down to the Game Stop and bought a used copy of Crackdown. What with Crackdown 2 nigh on top of us, I thought maybe I should get around to playing the first one so I could compare and contrast. (Assuming I get around to playing the sequel before three years pass.)
Today, at a little before noon, I have the game 2/3 completed. I’d estimate I spent 16 of the last 24 hours playing Crackdown. Also, I played D&D for about 4 hours in there. Zero of those hours were spent in sleep, or in gainful employment.
As I looked over my shoulder at 8:00 a.m. and noticed that full-on daytime had arrived without even texting, I realized that electronic games are my “alcohol.”
I don’t really care for alcohol. I was raised in a tee-totalling house, so it was never around, never discussed. Happily, no particular guilt or religious spectre haunts my post-prohibition life. But in my formative years, I just never learned to like alcohol, or think it was cool.
As an adult, I have learned to participate in drinking it. It’s like the way you play volleyball at picnics. You don’t expect to be good at it, or even try, really. You just go out on the lawn and be a good sport for 20 minutes.
Part of my issue with recreational alcohol is that I can’t think straight. I am fond of thinking, and after a couple of beers, it gets hard to concentrate. I like concentrating! So instead of getting tight to loosen up, it instead has a reflexive effect. I fight the fog to regain equilibrium. I’m a good sport for 20 minutes, though.
I’ve been drunk, for like, an hour. Then I sober up. The End. That’s how I do it. I’ve never had a hangover. Never had a DUI. Never had one of those stories where I did something I’d regret later.
But this morning, I had the godawful, “What did I do?” experience that everyone who overindulges feels.
I’m bleary and sluggish. Can’t think straight. Ghostly agility orbs rush toward my face. Listen, Crackdown is a fun game. A distilled, little bitty superhero sandbox game. And it’s probably even better in moderation.
“Sir, please step out of the Agency SUV.”
Every time I do this, I tell myself, “I can’t pull this crap any more. This was a terrible idea. This is going to kill my body rhythm for two days. I’m not doing this again.”
And then next time I get a decent game, I do it again. Like the old black rum.
Maybe… maybe I will wait on Crackdown 2.