Electronic Addiction

I haven’t blogged that much this week.  Instead of sopping up my free time with the perusal of obscure 19th century texts or picking at the 3,000 pages of my currently reading list, I indulged in the escapist splendor of another J. Stapley electronic persona.  My nephew left his KOTOR disks at my house and en lieu of sharpening my skills as a Mormon Thinker, I squeezed more time than I thought possible (even as a resolute blogger) to sharpen my skills as a Jedi.

KOTOR or Knights of the Old Republic is a game that won critical acclaim back in 2003.  I went off video games cold turkey when I started writing my thesis about the same time.  The game was pure heroin in the vein, quickening the pleasure center in my brain and coolly wrapping me with its tentacular embrace.

When I first started blogging, my wife wasn’t too keen on loosing me to the electronic mistress.  With time, she grew to appreciate it as my coping mechanism and vain attempt to retain the inner academic.  Even though she reads my posts, she has proven resilient to the siren’s song.  She has grown to respect the blogger, but has yet to partake.

She also hasn’t said a word about my hours gaining experience and mastering such life essentials as the Power Thrust, the Throw Lightsaber, and the Heal.  If she did confront me, I would have no recourse but confession.  Unlike blogging, after three hours of battling the Dark Side, I have nothing but the lingering endorphins that course through my veins demanding more.

I don’t know if I am yet free from my experimentation.  However, as I have walked along this dark road, my belief is reaffirmed that blogging, at least in its Mormon incarnation, is not a waste of time.


  1. I can relate to your addiction. I don’t game often, but when I do, everything else in my life tends to shut down. But if you are playing an exceptional game it provides a similar experience such as reading a very good novel, despite the difference in form. So, go forward Jedi and save the universe.

  2. Well, I don’t buy the thesis (and haven’t read the book), but you can always give your wife this book to make her feel better about your KOTOR jag.

  3. Wow, that book can justify just about anything…sweet.

  4. J,

    When you decide to channel that energy to Halo 2, let me know.

  5. i must admit KOTOR is addicting. i must have spent 50+ hours to finish it off. now my friend is offering to lend me KOTOR II…not sure how the old lady will feel about that one.

  6. Aaron Brown says:

    “She has grown to respect the blogger, but has yet to partake.”

    Whereas, my wife not only doesn’t partake, but thinks all us bloggers (me, especially) are complete and total DORKS. I am made fun of by her quite often. But when it gets really bad, at least I can exercise my priesthood prerogative and order her to remain silent. :)

    Despite my addiction to blogging (though I’m clearly not addicted enough to actually blog more than once a month, it seems), I must have been born on a different planet than everybody else, because I absolutely LOATHE video games. Really, I do. There have been some exceptions over time (Space Invaders, Centipede, Galaga (the only one I really enjoy), and Nintendo’s “Contra”), so I do know first hand what it’s like to waste time with a video game, but for the most part, I can’t stand any of the stuff. This has been particularly true since arcade games started looking like cartoons many years ago. I have played a few computer games over the years — usually because everyone else around me was doing the same — and I became BORED to death instantaneously. I simply won’t allow myself to get into video games, and it isn’t even an intentional thing. Perhaps I just don’t have the patience, or I sub-consciously recognize that it sucks up infinite amounts of time, or perhaps it’s that I’m just spending every moment of my free time memorizing everything Bruce R. McConkie ever put in print? I just don’t know.

    But I do know that it gives me the opportunity to be more spiritual than the rest of you, and for that, I am truly grateful.

    Aaron B

  7. I tried to get into Knights of the Old Republic, but ended up giving it away to my son-in-law who loved it. I myself strongly prefer Star Wars Galaxies and more recently, Worlds of Warcraft. I have “wasted” immense amounts of time playing both games. However, this blogging seems to have temporarily knocked online gaming out of my life. I haven’t played anything since the middle of April.

    I think that ultimately blogging is a more constructive use of time as long as we do the required gospel research to blog intelligently. However, when we fail to bear our testimonies, or engage in endless controversies over fine points of doctrinal speculation or Church history, I think we might just as well be playing video games. It is probably a more productive use of time.

    I agree with Aaron that studying McConkie is a much better use of time than either computer gaming or blogging. I wish that I could discipline myself to do more of it. In actual practice I seem to be more a dabbler in McConkie than a serious student.

  8. Aaron Brown says:

    Um, John, I was totally kidding about McConkie. I actually think that blogging is probably a better use of one’s time, and that it’s a toss up between Bruce R. and videogames. Not that McConkie doesn’t have anything of value to say, mind you, but his tone and his presumptuous claims to define what is “doctrine” for the Church have been, IMO, quite damaging.

    Aaron B

  9. I prefer Pocket Humanity.

  10. I have to steer clear of video games. Whenever I find a really good one, I’ll play it for hours and sometimes days non-stop. I prefer simulation and strategy games. I love all the Sim series games. I feel very god like looking down and creating worlds. My freshman year of college I spent two days without leaving my computer playing Call to Power 2. I also got locked into Age of Empires. My gradepoint suffered greatly. It was during that time that I recored my only C and D in my academic carrer.

  11. One of the first questions I asked my DH back when we were dating was if he enjoyed video games. When he said no, I knew he had potential. Two of my brothers wasted countless hours of their lives on video games – and still do. They don’t have time to finish their education and go back to school, but they have plenty of time for gaming – and these are brilliant, brilliant guys. Guys in their ward have video game slumber parties – these are married guys with kids! It’s all a little strange, in my opinion.

    I have no problem with people who game occasionally for a hobby or entertainment – maybe 1/2 hour to an hour a day – but for most men I know who participate, it seems to become an unhealthy time wasting obsession quite quickly.

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