Allow me to paint a picture of my day-to-day life up to a few weeks ago; perhaps a few Dtoiders may recognize themselves...well, maybe more than a few. I had a steady job in an unmentioned bank doing internal IT, a simple 9-to-5 cube farm kind of thing. The daily grind wore me down steadily, yet it gave me a semi-decent paycheck and provided me with ample time to safely peruse RSS feeds and indulge in interoffice nerd rage. ("OF COURSE BACK TO THE FUTURE'S PLOT HAS HOLES, THEY'RE PUNCHING CANNON HOLES IN SPACE-TIME!!!") After punching out for the day and winding my way slowly but surely home, I looked forward to the time I could spend with my consoles and uncomfortable yet charming broken-in IKEA couch.
As like most of you, I've been playing games for as long as I could hold a controller, and I found the mixture of escapism, nostalgia, and sheer entertainment provided by games to be the cure to the ills of life. Not only that, but I have the kind of personality that could unabashedly invest in a 7-hour-long odyssey into something like Culdcept Saga or Fallout 3 or Insert Game Here without blinking an eye. I couldn't tell you about how many times over the years I called in sick to play the latest release (though I did legitmately take a few days off for GTA IV without harm). Often, I'd find myself at 3 AM, with a shift starting at 8 the next day, and I'd shake myself out of the trance long enough to turn shit off and fall asleep. More often than not, I would end up sleeping past my alarm and rolling into work just a little later than was officially acceptable.
Now, one IP i'm a whore for more than anything is Batman. One late night, I discovered the Arkham Asylum demo was available for download. Hark! I would be a FOOL to pass up the ability to download it and play it now as opposed to getting good sleep and waiting until tomorrow to check it out. So I played it, more than a demo should be played, went to bed, and I woke up late. And came in late to work again. And then I was asked for my badge by my manager as escorted to the exit.
For the next few days afterwards, I felt sheer hatred for my favorite past-time. Didn't turn on anything or even dink around with excellent browser-based games. Even sold a few really valuable gems I was holding onto for...whatever reason just to make rent for the next month. I held a weirdly nebulous yet heavy grudge against video games, and the mass tragedy to my personal life it had dealt me in this hand. It was less of a rage of The Hulk getting mugged in the alley, and more of a spurned lover crying in his beer while staring at the engagement ring he was saving.
After a week or so of applications, resumes, and cover letters being fired off like a Super Hadoken, Arkham Asylum came out. Since I had the intuition of paying the game off completely when reserving it, I grabbed it. Begrudgingly, I put it in after blowing the dust off the disc tray (yes, I like exaggeration). And hollllyyyy shit, it was everything I thought it was going to be and more. Finally, a game that lives up to the pre-release hype AND has a fucking bio for Prometheus that's unlockable (!!!!!!). In one playthrough, I not only regained my love of games and then some, but I learned a valuable life lesson.
Games weren't the reason I lost my job. I lost my job because I had/have poor time management, poor self-discipline, and I fucking love sleeping in my comfy bed along with too-quiet alarm clocks. If it weren't video games, it would've been some other hobby or past-time that would've led me to the point that I'm at now. And yes, I'm only 23, so this is something young'ins should have ground into them at some point or another, or I should've known better so please don't comment something like "NO SHIT ASSHOLE". (would anyone on DToid actually say that? And how old do you have to be to be inspired to go there? Whatever, I'm just being defensive.)
In retrospect, I should've seen the signs long ago working for a corporation that demands such adult responsibilties as coming into work on time while being a 20-something stoner who really, really enjoys being in a band and playing games. Maybe somewhere down the road I'll find A. the self control to go to sleep and wake up in a way that makes me function in a modern society or B. a job that doesn't sweat being 10 minutes late as much as before. Regardless, I figured there's a good number of you on Destructoid who share the same set of social variables as myself. So consider this a warning. Don't make the same mistakes I did and let the grand majesty of video games (zero sarcasm) get in the way of what's important IRL. Keep your shit in check, otherwise you'll be selling a chunk of your childhood memories to pay for food and rent.
On a sidenote, is anyone hiring a smooth-talkin code monkey? :D