Tuesday, October 3, 2006
"Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of." ~ Benjamin Franklin
A little over two hours ago this evening, I sat down in front of the computer with the intent and purpose of writing something for this blog but instead I got sucked into a computer game that I used to play several years ago. In the Spring of 2003 I discovered a PopCap Game called Bookworm and, because I was unemployed and depressed, I played the game for hours on end.
For those not familiar with this rather addictive computer game, the object is to link the tile letters together to make words and score points. To make it more interesting there are also bonus words to look for and "burning" red tiles that, if they reach the bottom, will burn your library up and end the game. With each score you get rated as a scribe, assistant librarian, etc. The higher your score the more important your title.
I spent many, many, many hours in front of the computer playing Bookworm, so much so that my hand would ache from the constant manipulation of the mouse but I was sucked in and would play until the wee hours of the morning trying to better my score with each game. I don't remember exactly what my final high score was but it was 4 million plus and there was no one in the house that could touch my score! Pretty pathetic, eh?
But I guess I can credit a simple game with helping me to keep my sanity during a period of my life when I thought that I was truly going to lose my mind. As I have mentioned in previous posts, 2003 was probably one of the worst years of my life, if not the worse. I'm not sure what I would have been doing were I not linking tile letters together for hours on end because it kept my mind from thinking about other things that I didn't want to think about.
Having learned first-hand that time - even if it doesn't actually heal all wounds - does a pretty good job of scabbing them over, I knew that I just needed something to do to get me through to a point when everything didn't hurt anymore, when I felt like my life had some worth again, when I felt like I could walk out of the house without someone I knew seeing me and asking "what the heck happened to you?!?". Like some sort of hermit I hid in the house and played Bookworm ... over and over and over again.
I had forgotten that period in my life. The time when the computer was my constant companion and friend. When Lex, the cartoon caricature of a bookworm, ate the tiles of my words while racking up a ridiculous amount of points. When the most important thing in my life was how high of a score I could get. I had forgotten all of that until I stumbled upon the game yesterday and then it all came flooding back to me. Funny how we can forget something like that - how something that took up such a big chunk of our time and lives can be so easily relegated to the back rooms of our brains and promptly forgotten about until something happens that brings it back out into the light.
Obviously I still enjoy playing Bookworm or I would have had this entry written hours ago but it's nice to know that now it's just a game and not an addiction or a crutch. The game will always remind of a less-than-stellar time of my life but that's okay because I made it through with only a few small scars to show for the wounds I suffered in 2003.
As for the hours and hours spent playing that game, I don't think it was time squandered as it was like therapy for me - only much cheaper! And it had the added benefit of increasing my vocabulary!