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jdevlin24t's blog

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jdevlin24t avatar 4:19 PM on 10.23.2012  (server time)
Gaming with ADD and OCD

ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder is characterized by a short attention span, impulsiveness, and in some cases hyperactivity. I suffer from a mild case of ADD with impulsiveness and a short attention span taking center stage. Everything from work, to school, to gaming is negatively affected by my ADD. I've lost count of how many classes I've failed because I could not concentrate and complete an assignment, or how many times I don't finish things at work because I'm juggling too many responsibilities that I don't need to. I can never focus on a game for very long. Sometimes I'll turn a game on and shut it off at the start screen because I simply don't want to play it anymore.

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is the persistent, intrusive, and senseless thoughts (obsessions) or compulsions to perform repetitive behaviors that interfere with normal functioning. My OCD is less of a hindrance on my everyday routine than my ADD, but makes certain routine tasks a lot more complex than necessary. Perfectionist and completionist are two terms that I associate with my condition. My obsessive need to do everything in a game turns my passion in to more of a job. I find myself passing up hundreds of great games that I own (thanks to my impulsive buying behavior) to play Viva Pinata over and over again just to comb through every detail the game has to offer. Don't get me wrong, VP was fun for the first 50 hours, but hours 50-100 were just completely tedious and unnecessary. I realize this as I'm playing, but still have this urge to continue playing until every single detail is deconstructed to its core. There are a lot of gamers who love to find everything in a game, complete every quest, find all secret items, etc. I am NOT one of those gamers, I do it because I have to. If I don't, I feel like I've failed and have to deal with this nagging reminder in my head until I complete the game. Just last week I spent 4 hours, on and off, waiting in various Rainbow Six Vegas multiplayer lobbies (a game that no one plays anymore) because I couldn't get over the fact that I didn't have the 20 point achievement for reaching Lt. rank. Meanwhile I'm listening to music, surfing the web, watching StarCraft II streams, and writing this article... AAAH!

Either one of these disorders alone makes my gaming a lot more difficult and less enjoyable than it should be, but together it becomes a frustrating task that is damn-near unplayable. To have this unwavering need to play a game to completion, yet NOT be able to concentrate on anything for more than 30 minutes at a time is extremely aggravating. I do enjoy games. I enjoy the medium and the variety of gaming options for people of all walks of life, I am a huge fan of the industry and the creative and passionate people that are involved, and I'm a huge fan of the tight-niche community of gamers that are all so different, yet share a common interest in the gaming industry that we love. I am a gamer and forever will be a gamer, it just sucks that I can't experience games the way I wish I could. There are so many games I won't get to play (I will buy them, and I have) but I'll never play them. How about it? Anything in your life that makes gaming a hassle and/or more difficult to enjoy? Read this article on Kotaku from Daemon_Gildas.

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