So I just read an article about how Piranha Games started offering founders packages for MechWarrior Online. Naturally I started drooling in true Pavlovian fashion at the prospect of Operation Inception. I had got as far as reaching for my debit card before common sense grabbed me by the throat and slapped me back to reality.
Now MechWarrior Online looks totally awesome. Furthermore, my brand loyalty to this franchise, coupled with the insanely unrealistic expectations nearly succeeded in getting me to spend money on yet another game I know I haven’t got time to play. Furthermore, I have now realised that this compulsion to pre-order new games before they are even released, goes beyond the usual “grass is greener syndrome. It is simply just a a variation of getting a shopping high and is therefore in itself a bad habit.
For some, pursuing a shopping high is just a bit of fun. Retail therapy and all that. But for others, it’s a real problem and can be very harmful. Irrespective of what end of the spectrum you are, buying a game that you’ll never really play or get full value from is pointless. It’s good news for the developer, but not for your bank balance. These spur of the moment purchases all add up, be they £40 for a new premium product or £5 for a budget title on Steam. They bloat out your hard drive, taking up space while being ignored, usually for something else that will meet a similar fate. The more you think about this habit, the dumber it gets.
Furthermore, this need to consume and not to miss out on what everyone else has got or talking about, spills out into other hobbies and pastimes. For example, I have whole seasons of TV shows queued up on my DVR or PC, waiting to be watched. Also movies screeners, Blu-ray boxsets and DVDs, all neatly stacked in date order, oblivious to the fact that they’ll never be watched. Don’tget me started on my reading to do list. I have been quite good of sticking to my policy of reading a new book every fortnight, but my pile of essential reading is simply getting out of control. It teeters precariously on the shelves, a constant reminder of my unrealistic ambitions and leisure time deficit.
So I’m drawing a very public line, here and now and “I am unanimous in that”, as Mrs Slocombe would say.
It is time to finally embrace wholeheartedly the concept that you cannot do everything. I know it’s unfair, but hey, that’s life.
I was up last night to some ridiculous hour watching Phantasm II and III. These aren’t even new movies, so it’s not as if there is some pressing need to review them immediately. From now on I am only going to do as much as I can do. At least that way I can maintain some sort of quality. Better to do a few things well than a lot of things poorly. From now on I will pick the shows that I watch as carefully as I can. I will prioritise my choice of movies between the needs of the site and my own personal tastes. No more burning the midnight oil unnecessarily. As for gaming I think I may simply have to pick a title or two and stick with them. A return to MMO monogamy. Look at it this way, I shall be quids in.
I took some time off from writing last week and spent the day in London. I went to the AGM of a charitable institution, had lunch in one of my favourite restaurants, did some window shopping and spent some time in a pub with some quality company. I finished the day off by watching the BBC Radio 4 show “Tonight” being recorded at the Shaw Theatre. It was a welcome break from the daily routine and a pertinent reminder that escaping from your PC and office is a healthy and desirable thing to do. It should be remembered that bloggers are not professional writers (or though some aspire to be or may also be freelancers) and are therefore not under any obligation to be at the cutting edge of the news, chasing an exclusive story 24/7. We are not Woodward and Bernstein, but lesser mortals who need to occasionally govern our virtual passions and remember to stop and smell the proverbial roses.
So sorry MechWarrior Online, I shall not be spending money on you. The same goes for you to, Max Payne 3 and the Hell on Wheels boxset. There is only so much I can do for the economy and at present and it is the UK’s declining pub industry that needs the benefit of my capital investment. Especially on hot days.