Thursday, May 28, 2009

old habits die hard

if i meditate on this lovely lightbulb & peeling paint long enough & allow it to create a strong enough story, i shall be absolved from the need to revisit blizzard's diablo III release page. this junkie gamer come filmmaker has other fish to fry. some obsessions die hard [and slow].

i successfully gave up cigarette smoking almost six years ago by going cold turkey. in the end though it wasn't the physical addiction which theatened to undo all my harnessed willpower & hard work, it was the all pervasive psychological associations. i no longer drink ristrettos. for a long time after quitting i embraced social death because going out was just not feasible. temptation was everywhere. a glass of wine in the hand meant a burning glow stick in the other...

it is said that smoking is a two-headed beast which offers physical & psychological addiction & overall is harder to give up than crack or heroin. in the end giving up smoking was easy, it was just a matter of training the mind in an orwellian reversion.

in order to cease smoking i had to learn to hate it to ensure i would never suck back on one of those cancer sticks which offered all the promise of a marlene dietrich fantasy. it started with the repugnance of being enslaved to tobacco companies & ended with a disdain for the habit & others who indulge. self-loathing transference. it helped that it fucks your health & smells bad but that couldn't be the primary reason: it's just not strong enough, or at least it wasn't at the time. smokers are often the worst anti-smokers. it's certainly true for me. i couldn't date anyone who smokes which provides an interesting conundrum when falling onto the love slippery slide.

i have a chequered history in gaming addiction. sometimes when i need to hide from the world & my hermit mode kicks in, i have been known to disappear into the video game abyss. i am not immune to the seductive charms, having commenced the relationship when i used to edit one particular internet magazine way back when it was still called the information super highway. this is before web 2.0 kids.

it all started with the launch of playstation & that enormous sony TV in my office and those first few old school pioneer games: wipeout, demolition derby, tekken etc that sony kindly dumped on my lap for review...

my pixelated vehicle of escapism choice for many years since however is diablo. i've been through all the previous versions/expansions/patches & had a 18-24 hour a day habit 7 days a week for almost 2 years. i was a respected hardcore ladder player in asia & US west. people knew my name, revered my characters, bought uber items from me. it was my metaverse: a concept our inner cyber punks are increasingly lured into. technically that makes me a loser in certain realities ie IRL. i don't generally do things by halves. my intense all consuming passion forbids it. dilution shits me.

depression and mania manifest themselves in strange ways & sometimes treatment goes outside of the square or right deep down into the very soul of the cyber-bits of it. these days my daughter gets nervous when my eyes shine and i talk about my sorceress, randomly discuss a necromancer spell or utter some inane phrase in multiple dialects [barbarian, necromancer, assassin, amazon, sorceress, druid]: " a gift for you", or even just "thank you". she knows... so i do what any addict does: i hide, i justify, i lie.

there should really be a new standard or comparable addiction scale which rates blizzard games at the top. because i know when i saw that world of warcraft booth & clare asked me if i'd ever have used one the answer was an absolute resounding yes. although my virtual walls are so impenetrable once jacked into the realm that nothing else exists. bodily functions are secondary to the need to fight PKs, slay monsters, collect treasure and gather points without allowing your precious hardcore character to die. who needs to eat, sleep or urinate when there's a uber 8 player tristrum run about to go down with the potential of exponential experience points and the opportunity for booty & respect?

i played on bnet asia realm [the servers are based in korea] the day that two seoul kids allegedly shot themselves when their hardcore characters died. i felt... empathy, before quickly logging back into a room to mule my items.

i don't think that smoking has ever elicited the same kind of obsession. its mortal danger fades in comparison to the craftmanship of undoing which is the brilliance of

maybe i can kiss you after all [just this once].


  1. More synchronicity. We were just (an hour or so ago) at work looking at the Diablo 3 web site (we saw a release date of 25th Dec mentioned somewhere by the way) and of course I had to tell them the stories of playing online with my virtual web mistress. I am surprised you didn't mention Pokemon too.

    And funny you mention addictions. My non drinking is going well. I am finding it easier than I thought. The hardest part si not automatically walking in, going straight to the bar and ordering a beer. Was out with a couple of girls last night and one of them did say to me 'but if you're sober and everyone else is drunk won't little things about your friend start annoying you'? I told her it was OK. My friends annoy all the time anyway!

    Also wasn't it the information super highway?

  2. simon, dementia is my friend. a mere oversight. i blame the fervour which seized me this morning whilst

    *kicks self & re-edits blog*

  3. ...whilst considering reigniting antiquated obsessions. but i owe too many people including myself the commitment to pursuing my unbridled passion to some other theoretically more valuable end.

    *switches back off*

  4. Well, when Diablo 3 does come out I hope you are free for a little bit of a run around in it?

  5. Here is a game for you to get addicted to my dear:

    Look it up on Wikipedia :)