I Have a Guilty Secret—Part 1

The title would imply I have many. I will not correct that assumption. Let’s dive in. I spend an inordinate amount of time playing games on my electronics. I’m sure everyone has, though. Or not? After previously declaring my thoughts about everyone eventually landing on the shrink’s couch, a friend corrected me and said that was just not true. Whatever, Dale. Don’t come to me to unpack your problems. So now that you’ve made me qualify my sweeping statement I’ll move on.

Toy Blast. Toon Blast. Anyone else have a problem with these games? I was thrilled the other day when I got on a plane and I stole a glance at my seatmate’s phone. She was playing Toy Blast.

“Oh My God, I play that game too!”

She looked over, bleary-eyed and distracted. “I just got a crown and a prize for four free hours. I can play all the way to Dallas.”

I nodded knowingly and turned away. I would not interrupt further. Just like so many other games, it’s a sickeningly addictive. I started playing it on my phone, but that wasn’t enough; I also loaded it onto my iPad. I’m on two teams now. No, wait, I’m also on two teams on Toon Blast—an entirely different game—sort of. Toy Blast was not enough for me. It was a gateway game. Toon Blast is also on my phone and iPad—so that makes four opportunities for gaming every day. I’m the leader of my team on Toon Blast on my phone. That means I’m ahead of everyone else. Some guy named Adam is fast on my heels though, so I need to remain diligent. On my iPad, some chick named Sabah always keeps a 250-game distance, blocking me from attaining the number one spot. Are you a chick or a dude, Sabah? One night I lost my mind and played for maybe six hours while occasionally glancing at the TV playing re-runs of the Big Bang Theory. I closed the distance between Sabah and myself by one hundred levels and went to bed smugly confident, but with a migraine. The next evening, I pulled it up only to find that Sabah was out there, back in her cocky position, holding the distance between us at 250. She is toying with me.

Sadly, I have to quiz myself with my own questions on mental health since I’m not currently seeing a shrink.

“Are you having fun with this activity?”

“I am. I think.”

“Have you ever tried to stop playing the game but found yourself unsuccessful?”


“Do you have trouble getting through the week without using your game?”

“See answer above.”

“Do you feel guilt or shame after playing the game?”

“I think you’d need to define guilt.”

“Have you skipped out of responsibilities because of the game?”

“Does ignoring everyone and forgetting to pay the mortgage on time count?”

“Has your family ever mentioned a problem with your game usage.”

“No! George is totally cool with it. I can’t speak to him when I’m playing.”

“Have you ever experienced medical issues due to your gaming?”

“Ah. Do migraines and occasional shooting nerve pain in my hand and wrist count?”

“Have you ever gotten into a fight over the gaming?”

“Only with Sabah. That bitch is going down.”

“Are you becoming apathetic about previous interests?”

“You mean playing Mahjong? Yes. I suppose I have neglected that.”

“Are you interested in seeking help for your issue?”

“I resent the use of your word issue. You’re the one with the issue. You’ve obviously never played the game. Sabah’s the one with the problem!”

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