Why I Don’t Play Video Games

23 Feb


Jennifer’s been playing this game in bed on her tablet. She slides her finger around, mumbles, and becomes agitated and more vocal as a timer nears zero. One night I asked what she was playing.


I’ve had my tablet for two months and I’ve yet to download any games. We’ve had a Playstation 3 for years and I don’t think I’ve played video games on it for more than a couple of hours . . . total.

I think I’m scared of becoming addicted. I played the hell out of Atari as a child. I played the hell out of Nintendo as a teenager. I played the hell out of a baseball simulator in my twenties. I don’t have time to become addicted to a video game in my forties. 

Last night in bed as I sipped on hot Sleepytime Herbal tea and read a New York Times op-ed, she urged me to try a game of Dropwords as we waited for the girls to finish a movie downstairs, so we could watch one of our own. It looked kind of fun and I noticed a bunch of good words she was overlooking, so I downloaded it onto my own tablet to quickly blow up her high score. I wedged my mug of tea between my legs.

I leaned over to see her high score was 1950.

I scored 175 on my first try.

“What the hell!”

I played again and again and again, scoring 350, 205, 250.


The girls came upstairs, brushed their teeth, went to bed. I played again (275). And again (300). I adjusted the pillows, leaned back, and got more comfortable. The cat climbed onto my crotch and curled into a ball as she so often does. I barely noticed.

I scored under 300 again . . . and again.

“How are you getting such high scores!” I roared.

]Then I learned the value of using the darkened tiles that score more points and awards extra time. My scores began to improve. She stopped playing and mentioned the movie. 

“One more!”

“Are you ready to go downstairs?”

“One more!”


“One more!”

In the middle of my best game, I noticed wetness under my butt.

“Why I am feeling a wet spot; did I just pee my pants?” I asked.

Yes, for a second I thought I had become so engrossed in Dropwords that I had unknowingly urinated in my pants.

But I kept going because–like I said–I was in the middle of a game. “Did Kitty pee on me . . . what’s going on down there?”

Jennifer sat up to investigate and–ha, ha, ha, it’s so funny!–started laughing as she picked up the now-empty mug that I had forgotten about. My game ended. I had scored over a thousand points, which is the important thing, but by then the girls had been called into the room to laugh at me and my giant wet spot, the mark that anyone would recognize as someone who had just peed in their pants. (A circular wet pattern emanating from the “crotchal” area, visible from the front and back.)

And that’s why I don’t play video games. 

Not me, I swear.

Not me, I swear.

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