How time flies

Watching the timeThis Penny Arcade comic made me feel kinda sad, reason being, after spending an inordinate amount of time getting every single coin in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I’m playing Super Mario Galaxy again after discovering that having achieved 120 stars with Mario, doing it all over again with Luigi will earn me the opportunity to play a secret 121st level. Then on the PC, I’m playing through Prince of Persia a second time even though I recently finished it. My excuse is that I wanted to give my new graphics card a good run, but really, I’m trying to collect all 900 “light seeds” to unlock bonus material (character costumes).

I always feel guilty for not making better use of my time – what exactly have I achieved in my obsessive-compulsive pursuit of the above goals? Was I truly more entertained in having achieved everything, or am I only doing it so that I can brag about it on Facebook? Instead, I could / should be writing, increasing my proficiency in cello/violin/piano through practise, learning the skills required to turn my ideas into reality, etc. It may just be that gaming creates the delusion of achieving something because of its interactive nature.

I never wanted us to be one of those couples that do nothing but sit and watch TV every night. Yet by denying myself, I end up sitting around angsting over what to do instead – and achieving just as little – probably less – than if I’d just let myself watch Top Gear or something. (On the other hand, Jenny’s perfectly fine because she’s busy studying for her Master of Counselling degree.)

Let me put the question out there: what do you do to pass the time, and do you ever feel the need to justify it?