So I retired from work, that is, retired from sitting at a desk all day staring at computer screens and started to find myself at home, sitting at the computer all day, playing games such as World of Warcraft, Eve-online and others. I got hooked, and found myself playing from first thing till bedtime.
With time on my hands, I was able to invest 10 hours, 14 hours and sometimes 16 hours a day fighting bad guys, planting turnips and pvp’ing my way to oblivion. It’s a strange thought, but I had to tell myself that most of the players were way younger than my sixty odd years.
Many of the other players I interacted with were quite possibly, from the way they used grammar, diction and communicative skills, five years shy of their fifteenth birthday. For some, the image of a sixty year old player was too much to comprehend and they demonstrated this with vile communications, un-civil manners and stupidity that would earn then them more than a slap if their parents were watching.
I have been a communications technician since I joined the Royal Air Force in 1967, I have built and owned computers since they first became available, and one, a kit called the UK101, had a whopping 1k of memory, one thousand and twenty four bits, smaller than many cookies in this day and age. Yet other players assumed I was stupid, uneducated, prepubescent and or worse, a target for their own filth and venomous attacks.
I have learned playing on-line games requires a considerably thick skin, the ability to effectively remove yourself socially and the need to ignore anything that interacts with you that you find distasteful. If I had children, I would unplug them and send them outside to play, in the fresh air, with physical, not pixel, toys.
The very best aid to surviving on-line games, is the ability to switch off the ‘game’ and do something else, anything at all, but to tear yourself away from doing whatever it is you are doing at the time.
Some of the things I do, is write blogs, grab the camera and shoot at something, work on the engineering tasks I have in the shed, grab the piano keyboard and wind up the headphone volume, write my php for my text tasks, grab the iPad and sit somewhere nice and chill watching youtube rubbish, even grab the flight simulator and fly my aeroplane across the Rockies to San Luis Obispo.
It does not matter what I do, as long as I severe that connection with rude, childish and ignorant people I found on the web playing games.
The more I stop playing World of Warcraft, Eve-online, Aion, Star Wars et al, the better I feel in myself and the more I enjoy my days.