So, I decided to stop it. I had my medicine, I knew what I had to do, and I decided to concentrate on ending the speculative thinking. Worse case scenarios are just that, and life is filled with them. Worrying about what might happen in 40, 20 or even five years is sort of a waste of time. Yes, you must be prepared and need to make plans to cover any possibilities, but thinking about all those possibilities can cause stresses of their own, making the situation worse.
I had enough of it pretty quickly. I'm not a down person most of the time. I wanted to forget about it for a while, so I sat down and loaded up a game that I had been missing lately.
Click past the cut and see what I discovered.
So despite the fact that my diagnosis was, luckily, not nearly as bad as some have received, it bothered me. I had to deal with the situation and had to make sure that I was honest with myself. I had gathered information, decided what I needed to do, and wrote it all down.
Then I wanted to rest. I wanted to escape a bit. So I loaded up Wurm Online.
"I immediately laid out a tiny shack and fence to keep myself safe, gathered together some tinder, and made myself a warm fire as the sun went down."
When I logged in this weekend, it was as though I hadn't seen the village since I first landed. Perhaps my recent in-and-out play sessions didn't allow me to take it all in, but the village has grown. We not only have dozens of buildings but many members as well. I can log in at almost any hour and there is usually someone on, banging away at a fence or anvil.
Normally I frown on players who take a little too much out of their game. Of course, I am often talking about hardcore players who approach these games as work or as a second job. They seem locked into the rhythms of the game just as they would be locked into the rhythms of the office. There are rules they follow and "proper" ways to play. I've always been bothered by this, simply because I never understood the point of clocking out from a job you hate just to clock into a job you hate set within a fantasy world.
"Retirees often feel sick or down when because they miss the rhythms of the workplace, and I imagine that for some players the game represents a continuation of that rhythm."
I've also met many players who are disabled in one way or another, to varying degrees. I know people who literally have a hard time leaving their beds much less their houses. For them, the game is a way of life -- no, it is a life. I have never had an issue with players like this simply because I cannot fathom being in that situation. If my current diagnosis is any indication, I would be curled up into a proper ball in the corner if I had received a far worse one. I guess it bothers me when players just take it much too seriously and forget to get any pleasure out of it at all.
A free game can provide some of this much-needed escape. While paying $1,100 was not a lot of fun, consider someone who might have to pay tens of thousands of dollars per year in expenses. Imagine being a gamer who no longer had the ability to pay his rent, much less pay for a boxed game.
I already appreciated the ability to play games for free before my trip to the doctor, and I had already spoken out on the need for free or very cheap and accessible games for those who might be disabled or very poor. Gaming should be for everyone. After my trip to the doctor, however, I have grown to absolutely love the idea of a free, virtual Garden of Eden for those who might need a break.
Sometimes, it's just nice to hear the sound of virtual water lapping the shore.
Each week, Free for All brings you ideas, news, and reviews from the world of free-to-play, indie, and import games -- a world that is often overlooked by gamers. Leave it to Beau Hindman to talk about the games you didn't know you wanted! Have an idea for a subject or a killer new game that no one has heard of? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!