Dealing with the way some part of my brain deals with video games

I started playing FTL (warning: takes about an hour to get into but then is very addictive). I’ve gone through this cycle with other games: addiction followed by quick burnout. I know that I do this; it’s fine, I just make sure that I burn out quick and then get back to my regular life. At first I reasoned I just had to beat the end boss, and then I’d be done. And I was, for a few weeks.

But then I picked it up again for some reason, and this time I decided I had to unlock all the ships. This seemed fine, too, because I was unlocking them all pretty steadily, except the Crystal ship. (I used knowledge from the wiki¬†and I figured this was fine because I was still the one playing the game.) But then I looked up how to unlock the Crystal ship, and realized it was orders of magnitude harder than the other ships. It’d be hours of grinding! But I couldn’t just put the game down, not with a ship still unlocked.

Then I decided that it doesn’t require skill to get the Crystal ship, just luck. You have to get to the right planets in the right order, and sometimes they just don’t line up right. So when I found some other post where someone posted his save game file that would allow you to effectively cheat your way into the Crystal ship, I grabbed it and unlocked it.

Somehow, my brain was okay with that, even after it wasn’t okay with just cheating from the beginning. And now that I’ve unlocked all the ships, I’m effectively done with it. (I don’t have to, for example, get all the badges.) Good thing that, even though I couldn’t rationalize quitting without getting the Crystal ship, I could¬†rationalize cheating for the Crystal ship and then quitting.

What a mess to have a brain!


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Funny, I had a similar experience with a tower defense game I just downloaded for my new tablet. But the effort to install the hack was just too much, and I’m traveling anyway.

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