Question: Why don’t I like playing video games anymore? Trick question, I love to play video games! What I meant to ask was –> why don’t I play video games as much or as often as I feel like I should? What is happening with all of the time that used to be spent in the virtual world? And make no mistake, I used to spend many hours a week playing video games. It never mattered whether or not I had worked that day or whatever else happened to be going on in life – log into one of my World of Warcraft toons and type /played, I dare you. And that’s only one of the many games that I have loved and left over the years.
Answer: Ebb and flow. I miss playing video games, I genuinely do, but it’s ceci-cela, comme ci comme ca. To paraphrase an earlier writing of mine: most dreams don’t die, they’re usually just replaced, even if not by the things you intended.
There is a beautiful concept inside the Drizzt Forgotten Realms series by R A Salvatore that I’ve been reading for the better part of two years. As a long-lived elf, Drizzt has to come to terms with what it means to have short-lived friends (humans, dwarfs, older elves.). Drizzt meets up with a lot of interesting characters in his travels, but one surface elf, Innovindil, stands out in my mind more than any of the others – more so in her words than by any other measure of a character. Innovindil teaches Drizzt that he has to learn how to live life in smaller segments rather than one long string of existence. Innovindil’s part in the novels is brief, but the importance of her message seems to have married itself to Drizzt indefinitely.
I am also married to Innovindil’s message. Forget the prerequisite of needing to be an elf, living life in pieces makes sense as a human too. No, living life in segments doesn’t just make sense as a human, we need to understand and accept that our lives are already being lived in segments. Birth to death, we watch the world build and fall apart in predictable patterns. The only unpredictable part of life is time, when the next birth will happen, which death will come first and what order will they follow in. Our lives are funny. Birth happens by chance, death happens because of birth.
There are many other segments going on in our lives that are not directly related to life and death. Friends, relationships, jobs, travel, family, all of these things come and go, whether with a bang or a whimper. This is the way the world ends. We are the same as we’ve always been, only different. I do believe that a person’s nature does not change much, probably not at all, over the years. But what does that even mean? How we act on our nature does take different forms, which can give the perception of change when surely none exists. Some of my ex-girlfriends would label me terrible based on some of the things I’ve done, and I won’t deny that those events actually transpired. Nature has nothing to do with terrible acts, nature is who you are rather than what you do. Why and how are usually trivial. I’m not going to say that I wouldn’t do the same exact thing if put in those same exact situations, because I don’t know that for sure and surely can’t know that for not.
Why did a person treat you poorly? Steal from you? Love you? Hold you while you cried for weeks on end? How many times have we found ourselves asking, “Why would she/he do such a hurtful/lovely thing?” They did what they did because that’s who they are and to ask them to be anything else is a fool’s errand. There are times when we can mislead ourselves into thinking that someone’s nature has changed simply because they haven’t acted in a certain way for what seems to be an acceptable amount of time. I promise you, I’m still a gamer, regardless of how often I’ve been playing games lately.