My Life Away
If I were smart, I would stop playing Call of Duty. I would sell the discs and never go near any CoD game ever again.
Today was a good day. I got lots of papers graded, had some good discussions with students and colleagues, and generally felt great when I got home. “I know!” I said, like a fool. “I’ll go on COD and pwn some n00bz!” Two hours and seven infuriating TDM rounds later (in which I did not once have a positive K/D ratio) I am angry and hostile and gnashing my teeth in frustration.
It always goes like this: The thrill of CoD multiplayer is addictive. I expect to enjoy the thrill of getting kills and maybe (if I’m really lucky) a napalm strike or two. But — like a gambling addict wasting his life at a slot machine — the hideous negatives vastly outweigh the positive thrills, and I win just barely enough to keep me coming back for more ludicrously masochistic punishment. And then I lose and lose and die and lose, and heaven help me if I have a really bad round right before bedtime.
It just goes to show that I’m a really stupid and short-sighted person sometimes. I bet a heroin high is really thrilling too! And yet somehow I’m smart enough to recognize that the drawbacks to heroin use far outweigh the positives. So why can’t I stay away from CoD?
It’s that reptile brain appealed to by sex adverts and Rambo movies — a Pavlovian catering to the silliest, most self-delusional sectors of my imagination. My idiot CoD brain decorates the bedroom of my gaming memory with all the euphoric delights of awesome killstreaks and 23-6 rounds. And the much, much larger cache of agonizing fury that comes from the much, much more common 6-23 rounds are shoved into a tiny footlocker under the bed.
So as much as my rational mind recognizes that this is a ridiculous cycle from which I really should escape, I know that in two days (if I’m lucky), I’ll be back in the CoDiverse, cursing at the TV and getting mad for no good reason.