Sunday, January 08, 2006

Mind Games

I've been taking a hiatus from working for about a month, and I've noticed that I'm not into playing computer games nearly as much as I was when I was working.

I liked a couple games in particular (Civ III/IV and Battlefield 2). When I had a ton of work to do during the week, I tried to find the time to play these in the evening. Sometimes this would involve foregoing that chore called sleeping (In case you've never played either, they both can require a fairly sizable time investment). I always thought "if I take some time off work, one of the things I can do is play these games all I want!"

Now that I'm not working, I find I'm just not that interested. I still spend some time behind the computer, but mostly reading and researching topics of interest.

I figure that the games were a mental break from thinking about work. The software business can be hard to leave behind when you go home for the evening - the mind keeps churning on the problems of the day. The games were a way of breaking out of the obsessing about work problems.

They weren't mindless games (particularly Civ), so it isn't "mindless entertainment" that my brain seeks when stressed. I suppose it is just a variation in the routine that I seek when trying to get a break.

And now that my routine is anything but, and consists mostly of things that are fun and interesting, the compulsion to break free with an intense game just isn't as strong.

I'm looking forward to a Star Trek future, where inexhaustible sources of energy and nanotechnology mean that anyone can have anything for next to nothing. Those that have something to contribute to society, still will. Those who don't, won't. But at least you won't have to deal with them behind the speaker at the fast food resturant.


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