Computer Games

Why do you play computer games so often?

I enjoy them.

Then why this soul-searching conversation about them?

That’s good, very good. I sit for long portions of hours playing, thinking I’ve set aside only minutes. I’ve given these games time I should devote to work—should not in the puritanical sense but in the sense that the work needs to be done.

Why not simply stop?

The great addiction question. It’s not easy. I am drawn to the quickly changing bright graphics as well as to the strategic challenge.

Chess with a sensory reward?

Yes. I am a smart pigeon. I peck at the games. I think winning is the goal, but color and movement are my constant rewards. I am endlessly rewarded, endlessly victorious whether I have won or not.

Sounds like heaven. Why not indulge!?

I feel myself in a daze, a slightly uncomfortable state of mind. I come away glassy eyed, irritable, wanting more, having wasted precious time and, more important, thought and feeling.

Sounds like hell. Why not give it up!?

I repeat (endlessly): I need the motion and color. I must have them. They shine for me!

Oh really? For you alone?

It’s physiological.

Isn’t everything?

That doesn’t help.

Am I a better distraction?

Why must we always be distracted? Why do we demand distraction?

I ask the questions, right?

Yes, you are a better distraction.

From?

I don’t know. I’m distracted. Eternally, it seems. So distracted by distraction I no longer have any idea what I’m distracted from.

So you and I are a dog chasing its tail?

Dogs are good. (Deep breath.) Thank you.

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