Something that has been bothering me for years is this little gaming addiction I have. To understand the matter, I need to explain a few things. I don’t consider my overall love of gaming and the games I play as part of this addiction. I feel like video games fill a part of my life and I’m still able to accomplish the goals I have for myself and I make time for the people that are important to me. The small gaming addiction part is where things get a little odd.
Playing games on my phone or iPad has been hit or miss over the years. The first couple games I really got for my smart phone back in the day were Plants vs Zombies and then Infinity Blade. Those were both really good games on their own and they weren’t bogged down by the modern levels of daily power, gems, and unlocking mechanics that you see today. I skipped past the Candy Crush games and never got caught in almost all other cell phone, micro-transaction style games. I’ve never paid for a micro-transaction, but I have paid ten dollars for X-Com on my iPad.
The problem I’m talking about started with the game Clash of Clans. I played this both on my iPhone and my iPad. At the time, I leveled up my base really high, all without spending a dime. Each day I would open it up, collect my daily rewards, collect my resources and slowly but surely level up my base. I’d rarely ever attack other bases and I was even a part of a guild. The issue with these games is you keep slowly grinding resources and building up a base and yet you have no real purpose or reason for playing it. If you asked me why I was playing it I think I’d just be embarrassed about being asked the question. It’s hardly even a game in my eyes. It’s more like a time sink, you just need something to do with your phone, so you open it up and fumble around for a minute or two, get some little hit of dopamine and then continue on with whatever you had to do. I was finally able to break this habit and dropped the game completely. I just checked and it’s not even installed on my devices anymore. For a bit of context, I looked it up at the time and I could have sold my account for hundreds of dollars, which is a little insane.
My issue today is a different game, this one is AC Rebellion on my iPad. It released on November 21, 2018 and I’ve been playing basically every day for over a year and a half. All my characters are maxed level, I barely have anything left to accomplish in the game. I just have 2 or 3 of the newer characters to rank up to their max, but that’s it. I keep playing it every day, opening it up, collecting my money. Doing the daily chores. I don’t even really consider it a game, it’s a weird application where you pretend it’s a game but all you’re really doing is some sort of social experiment. It’s a mind-numbing experience for me. Perhaps others get a lot of satisfaction out of the mechanics and running missions perfectly or something. In the challenges, I can and have ranked number one on multiple occasions, mostly because I didn’t care about any of my “precious” resources. The ones you’re supposed to drop real money for, which I never did.
I’ve just always felt dumb for “playing” it and I’ve always wanted to stop. I’ve wanted to stop for a while now, but I think this is the time. It’s hard to delete an app like this off of your device. It’s not because you’ve spent money on it or you feel like you’re going to lose out on something, it has to do with the huge time commitment you have invested in it. Imagine that, time. I’ve spent so much time, never in one sitting or in a day. No, this was bit by bit, day by day. Just grinding away at these odd goals, all requiring me to spend money or spend time in doing them. If I delete the game, that time is all gone and I can’t spend more time on it to eventually max out every single new character that is drip fed out.
So, I think I’m done with AC Rebellion. I feel like it’s sucked up enough of my time. While this isn’t a major addiction like some people have, or even a problem in certain people’s eyes. As someone who gets annoyed by people I’m with just mindlessly looking at their phones because they forgot how to act like a normal human, I’ve been a bit let down with myself with these types of games. Granted, I’ve only played two so far in my life (there was Fallout Shelter though, which I maxed out), but they’ve been for long stretches of time.
Don’t spend your money on these types of games, think about what you’re doing and how your time is spent playing them and try to stop. They demand so much of your time and frankly, they don’t deserve it. They are the lowest level of gaming and give so little back to you as a player. If you can stop, like I’m doing today, do something else with those bits of time you ripped back into your life, I know I’ll try.