Want to learn about narrative design and writing for the games industry? Join Edwin's Group

Video Game Detox - Day 11 of 30

It’s easier for me to detox from video games than most people. Want to know why? Because I won the ‘birth lottery’. There’s a 1 in 2000 chance of being a New Zealander and I drew the golden ticket.

Now, I’m definitely not saying kiwis are better than anyone else. We really really aren’t. What I am saying is that I have easy access to some seriously beautiful countryside which is generally free of dangerous animals, dangerous people, land mines, nasty diseases, civil war, pollution and all of the other things that people around the world have to deal with.

I went for a drive through to the mountains and lakes of the central South Island today and it was simply spectacular. I so enjoyed the sights, the great food and coffee, the fresh air and sunshine, that I completely forgot about my video game cravings.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I can do that. Even if I lived in the nastiest part of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, it’s only 1-2 hours of driving before I’m in lush forest or walking on a postcard-pretty beach. But if I lived in the middle of Jakarta or Beijing or Bangkok or London, I wouldn’t have that option. So I would explore the intoxicating wildernesses of Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. I doubt I’d be having a video game detox because I’m not sure I’d have anything to replace it with, especially since I’m not a wealthy man. If you have money, a city can be an amazing place. If you don’t, it can feel like a prison. I’ve lived in London. I know how that can feel.

Funnily enough, when I lived in London, I spent a lot of time playing Baldur’s Gate and Dungeonkeeper.

A video game detox is the best thing for me right now because I can simply reconnect with this beautiful country around me. You may not be in that position. If games were my only way to escape a stressful location, I’d have to find something to fill that void before I even considered taking a break. I'd have to be sure of what I was doing tomorrow before I gave up games today.