Taking a Sabatical

From video games.

About 3 weeks ago my wife and I went through a really difficult time that pushed us to our limits. Throughout this trial we grew stronger, we grew up, we grew closer to one another, and we grew closer to God. To commemorate and remember this experience, we both agreed to avoid video games for a month.

Why?

Image from The Witcher 3

A few reasons. One of our mentors recommended that we start a month-long fast. As Christians we know that fasting is a powerful way to focus your mind and remember to rely on God daily. Neither of us had fasted before, and we knew that we couldn’t fast food (heh). Video games would be difficult to give up, but it wouldn’t drive us absolutely bonkers. We hope.

Another reason was that video games have been a huge part of our relationship and are the primary way that we hangout and interact.

Image from Dear Esther

 

She’ll watch me play the Witcher 3, and help make decisions, while I will help her solve puzzles in The Room. One of our first dates was playing through Dear Esther together. We thought it might be useful for us to create new ways for us to hangout and enjoy one another.

How is it going?

It’s hard! when I come home, I do the dishes, make a sandwhich, and wander back into the living room to…do what? We don’t have cable, and binge-watching netflix is a rare occurrence for me.

Instead, I’ve had to find new ways to occupy my time. Here are a few things I’ve discovered:

  • Books disappear quickly. I love reading light fantasy/sci-fi novels. I can burn through about 100 pages a day, give or take. I’ll sit down, intending to read for an hour and before I know it its bedtime. I certainly can’t afford enough books to keep me occupied for a month!
  • I can’t play board games alone. I love games like Netrunner, The Duke, Yomi, Fury of Dracula, and Pandemic Legacy. But those all require at least two people, and I can only force my wife to play Netrunner so many times before it’s time to find something else to keep me busy.
  • I have more motivation to write. Most of the writing I do doesn’t make it to the blog. Game ideas, short little stories, think-pieces, etc. But since I have more time not playing Street Fighter, I’ve been able to queue up a bunch of posts (including this one!) AND complete a huge update to Jedi Wushu!
  • I like building models. I did not know this about myself. Iv’e been building these little Metal Earth models and loving it! Each one is cheap, about $10, and takes up 4-6 hours of my time. I also build a neat lego set, but it didn’t take as long, wasn’t as much fun, and was WAY more expensive.
  • Chores are almost fun. Not fun in a way that I look forward to, but once I get started, I’ve found that I enjoy working with my hands, accomplishing a straightforward task, and seeing the fruits of my labor. Especially since I’m not desperate to get back to Street Fighter.

Will I do it again?

Probably! As much as I miss playing Street Fighter, I can see the benefits of taking the occasional break and re-setting my habits.

I’m curious: Have you ever taken a break from something, or started a fast?