Game Overload

How do I start this? Well I have been keeping a secret, something not that many people know about. I have been having this on and off over a time period of lets see..3 years. It takes me by storm and I get so winded up in it, and then I get fed up and I ignore it and then it will wrap me up in its arm again. I am having an affair.

Well -  don't get your hopes high.

I have formed a very unnatural bonding with my iPad over a game called Sims Freeplay. I installed it 3 years ago and like all well meaning friendships, we started off small and well. For those who don't know what its about,  its a game. You just build city and people in it and earn virtual money to build more houses and buildings. That kind of stuff. It was interesting at first, I build the city little by little, earning money to build more houses and more Sims ( that's the name of the people in that game). I was intrigued that I can make things happen. ( I know it sounds silly).

I was able to create few more Sims, and houses and build the town here and there. I worked on it every day, sometimes couple of times a day. I was getting more and more into the game. Then I discovered the cheat codes and used it to earn more money to build more houses. When I did that -  poof went out my excitement. It was like -  finding out the love of your life turned out to be a cheat and coward. I stopped playing it. After that -  I think Raihaan tried to play it, but he couldn't understand the objective of the game ( it was real time based -  Raihaan was not patient).

Well -  when you have the motivation to build stuffs like a mansion in the city and you know you need money -  you can either get the Sims to work, garden or bake and the system will churn you the money after a particular period of real time ( patience). Or if you want money real quick -  you buy virtual money with real ones in your bank. So far -I only pay for games that are car based and we all play it as a family, but not for Sims. So it took 2 plus years to build it. Once the cheat codes were discovered, I didn't have the interest to play it again. It was that simple to cheat the system and earn the virtual money -  I didn't feel like working on it anymore. That was the end of it -  or so I thought.

Recently - like a couple of months back -  when I was cleaning, I noticed the iPad at the study table. It was being charged for the day. I had time, so I switched the game back on. I was caught on again. I was somewhere in level 30 and the town was like 4 million worth. The excitement grew. I brought it with me to the holidays in Scandinavia and worked on it wherever there was Wifi. Hubby's eyes were on me. He didn't say much, but he did ask to show him what the hype was all about. In the end, he didn't get it.
In the short few months of trysts with the game -  I created a few more sims, (25 in total) was in level 34, earned a million dollars and was this close of getting the 2 storied mansion ( worth 1.2 million in virtual money of course).

I tell you - I was addicted. Like clock work I knew how many Sims I had to get to work, bake and garden. I will be on the watch trying to earn money. I would be doing this at work, at home and in the kitchen. I would have played this in the bus too if there was Wifi.  I was monitoring it day and night. When I can't get to sleep -  I will log on  and work on the game again till I was sleepy. You can say it was getting to a very unhealthy habit. I would come home after picking Raihaan from school and then slump in my couch with the iPad to get it working. Raihaan would be playing with his toys or watch TV and I would be there for a solid hour working in it. When I have the Sims out  to work, I will get back to reality and start to make dinner or work on the house. I was losing actual time playing this game.

My hubby all the while -  kept a watchful eye on me. He was growing irritated that I was showing interest to virtual people. Not to say that I did not look over my family, but he noted the lag.  I would rush to catch up on the lost hour and he noticed it. Its always the people closest to you who will notice the slightest change in you. That's why, I am not good at having affairs. Today -  my hubby ended it all.

Usually in the mornings, I have to send a couple of the virtual people to work ( just click on the work button) along with the real people to work and school. My kid wanted to watch me to do it, but he was already late. So I told him to get dressed first. I was still holding the iPad and working on it. When he came back from the room after completing his morning ritual of brushing his teeth and washing his face, he forgot to wipe his face clean with his towel. When I reminded him, he kept telling me that he wanted to see the game. When I said no -  he became so cranky -  he refused to listen to this Dad calling him. I knew there and then -  I was caught.

His father called him, but he refused to acknowledge. He refused to talk and answer any of the questions his father asked. 10 minutes later -  only when his dad said that he will give the iPad away to his colleague- did he say that he was angry because I didn't let him play with the Sims.  Then his dad gave some advise blah and blah and went on about his routine to leave work. And then he packed the iPad in his bag!

When we got out of the house and waited for cab -  I asked him why he was packing it when he knew I was working on it - he started with the blahs again.

Well actually it is mean if I called them the "blahs" -  but I understood it anyways. I got caught up with something that brought me away from the reality of my life. And I was supposed to be the adult. Raihaan is looking up to me. If  I am coming home and doing nothing but play with a useless game - what am I teaching our son? Its ok if its once in a while -  but every day? He told me to straighten my things and be an adult. I felt like a kid -  I m so old and had to go through this as if I am a teenager.

I was like pouting all the way and like a child -  I blamed it on Raihaan. I was like -  "its all because of you" to Raihaan and he looked at me and said sorry.

I am back home and nothing to play with or take my mind away with anything. I miss it. Like all mindless affairs -  my addiction to this game costed me nothing but my bloody iPad. I actually have the same app in my mobile -  but I will have to build the city all over again - not interested. So there -  my so called shameful secret out.

I am not perfect. I am learning things here and there too. I wish I was good at managing my expenses and managing my time. I slip and fall, but I learn to forgive my mistakes and move on to learn more stuffs. This Sims game was like that too. Just cos I m 35, that does not mean I cannot have fun anymore. I can still find ways to make me happy (currently only credit card is giving me that option), but not at the expense of the comfort of my family. I am aware that I don't have passion for anything. I am not passionate at anything at all. For some its cooking, cleaning, and children or something. I will not call Raihaan and child rearing a passion - its a part of my life. Raihaan is not my passion - hes my life.  I don't know if its too late to still find a passion in my life -  but till then -  I am still exploring, finding and experimenting.  It is true that you need to have a balance in everything you do. Had I balanced my time in games -  I would still have the tablet with me. If I could have learnt the balance in food -  I would not be this obese. I am still waiting for the poof to happen to my eating habits.  I seem to be escaping something. Food seems to be my escape and the games happen to be my escape. But what am I running away from? I read somewhere that a woman started on organizing her stuffs at home and lost 35 kg in the process. Wasn't it good food and exercise or something?  Maybe I should start small and organize my study table. Lets see if I can shed 0.5 kg first. ( ROFL)

So wonder what else in life can be addictive and disturbing?

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