CRACKING WISE: A gamer’s lament

 By DAVID MENDEZ

During one of our “dates,” in which we spend time together by playing different video games in different spots of the same room, my girlfriend mentioned something staggering:

“I’ve played this game for 90 hours.”

That’s 90 hours on my Xbox over the past two months. She’s spent countless hours playing the same game on a computer at her own home.

That made me curious about my own gameplay statistics.

Spoiler alert: They’re terrifying.

I’ve played nearly a day’s worth of time in “Civilization V.” I’ve spent 86 hours in “Fallout: New Vegas.” The big kicker is “Team Fortress 2.” In more than three years of ownership, I’ve played nearly 850 hours. A month and change.

This doesn’t take into account the time I’ve spent playing Xbox. I hesitate to look into my “Halo 3” and “Halo Reach” statistics, because I may throw up in disgust.

In the story of my life, an entire volume’s worth of space would be spent detailing my video gaming habits (An excerpt: “He was an awful sniper, constant sneak and unrepentant power-up thief: may God have mercy on his soul.”)

I’ve always struggled against self-labeling as a “gamer” alongside other such titles as “journalist,” “funny guy” and “perpetual community college student.”

But I think this is my limit.

I’ve had trouble quitting games at times, to the point where one could claim I was addicted. It’s a charge I’m not sure I could deny.

Based on the numbers above, I’ve spent five weeks of my life at my PC, gaming. I could have driven from San Francisco to New York City nearly seven times.

So I’m done — for a little while, at least.

No more Xbox or Nintendo DS or iPod gaming. Not for two weeks, from the publication of this column to the publication of our next issue.

We’ll see how long I can make it without caving in and playing something like “NBA Jam” or “Angry Birds.”

I’m guessing I’ll last at least 10 days before I relapse, but who knows? Maybe I’ll actually get something worthwhile done during those days without a controller.

 If you bet on how long he’ll last, Mendez hopes you will let him in on the action. He isn’t quitting gambling, after all. 

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  1. DJ says:

    Really? Really? 86 hours in “Fallout” is supposed be impressive? Look at my trophy list and then tell me you are an addict.