I have been gaming for just about as long as I can remember... and I am old, so that is a really long time, you damn kids. My fear as it relates to gaming has nothing to do with any specific genre of games, or different elements in games, or any one game... its much more personal.
When I was a kid one of the things video games gave me was a way to escape my life. I wasn't beaten by my parents or in fear of loosing my life, but I was physically and mentally abused by my so called "peers". During these critical times in my life my dad was not around, and my mom... well she did the best she could. Video games basically filled in the rest for me. I would get home from school all alone, and I would pop in Link or Mario or any number of Awesome NES games and retreat into this wondrous world of 8-bit graphics. This trend carried on until after high school.
Going into college was a real life saver. I was able to find more friends with similar tastes and hobbies to myself. However, the damage had been done... while playing video games is awesome, I learned some very bad habits from my earlier lessons in life. I would get so involved with a game that I would completely ignore school work and my job to play it. Now this isn't that huge of a deal to someone that is riding on mommy's and daddy's money, but when you are paying for things yourself, and supposed to be working fulltime to pay for college, this is disastrous.
I was working on campus in the computer labs, and doing pretty good, or so I thought... I did not know it at the time (since I was completely lost in games like X-COM, Jagged Alliance, and Warcraft), but I was almost fired, which would have been a sever blow to me being able to afford college. I guess my work had started to slip and my boss was thinking of firing me. The thing that saved me was my new girlfriend. She really got me motivated and I started busting ass both at my job, and with my school work.
Lucky for me, I went on to marry her, and we now have two awesome kids. We have had our ups and downs, and most of the downs are based around something (usually video games) sucking the life out of me. I just get so focused on playing games that it can cause me to forget everything else around me. When the first Animal Crossing came out on the GameCube, it happened... I spent more time taking care of that stupid village and trying to pay off Tom Nook than I did with my wife. This is also one of the reasons I have avoided MMO's. I fear that if I were to play WOW I would be like a crack addict, knowing that it was the worst thing for me, but unable to stop. When I was a kid it was a defense mechanism for dealing with my crappy life. This defense mechanism has carried into adulthood, and I now have a whole family relying on me.
My greatest fear is that I am going to be like my Dad. He's a nice man that could not handle my mother, my brothers, or me, and he took off to escape his life. I am not saying that I am going to leave my family by any means, however, my greatest fear is that I will get so focused on video games that I will forget what is most important: the comfort of my wife's arms while watching a good romantic comedy, watching our one year old figure out how to run to me when I get home from work, singing a lullaby to our 3 year old at night.
If I remember these things, then I don't mind the fact that I haven't had time to finish Mega Man 9. If I remember my family first, I do not mind not having the money or time for a 360 or PS3. But sometimes I fall off the wagon, and I get hooked onto a game, and it will cause pain for both me and my family. This is my fear, and it is always there. So this blog is more for me than anyone else... it will serve as a reminder to take things in moderation and of whats really important in life.
Because my family is Awesome.