Most people know it. It’s that thing you say to yourself when it’s late and your reading a good book, browsing the inter web, or playing a video game like Skyrim, Sid Meier’s Civilization, or Minecraft. You say to yourself one more chapter, or five more minutes, or one more turn, or in the case of Minecraft one more block.
Now there’s nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned things. There all good things, however they can cut into our time if we don’t properly manage them. I am just as guilty as the next guy to giving into what gamers call the One More Turn Syndrome or OMST for short.
Now if you don’t know what Minecraft is I’ll give you a quick run down. It’s a game about surviving, exploring caves, fighting monsters, and building things like towns and castles in a Lego like block world.
Now that may not sound very exciting and if you look at a picture of Minecraft’s graphics it looks like a game from the 90s with its simple textures and block model’s. Yet, there’s something inherently fun in Minecraft and once you start playing it you realize that there a lot to of stuff to do.
However Minecraft has a hidden danger. Just like any good thing it is very easy to become addicted to it and waste time playing it when you should be doing something else. It’s very easy to say to yourself “One more block, just one more block then I will be done.” There have been days when I’ve done nothing but spent hours playing Minecraft. All of the games that you and I play have this danger of wasting hours of our time. However, big open ended games like Minecraft, Skyrim, Civilization, or any major MMO tend to suck our time more than most other games. The I reason that I think we tend to disappear into these games and play them for hours on end. Is because there is so much stuff to do and see in them. I readily admit that it’s awesome to explore the vastness of Skyrim. It’s exciting to watch your civilization grow when playing Civilization. No other game enables you to use your imagination as much as Minecraft. Each of these games brings a sense of wonder and excitement as you play them. But to much of a good thing, is to much of a good thing. It’s easy for good things to take up our time. If we are saying to our selves one more block/turn, five more minutes, or one more chapter it’s probably a good sign that we are starting to waste time. Like my mom says “you can’t have just one potato chip.”
I am as guilty as the next gamer of wasting hours playing awesome games! There’s nothing inherently wrong with gaming. But we need to ask our self’s what’s more important to us? Our games or the people around us who are effected by the long hours that we spend gaming? If gaming is getting in the way of our relationships with your family and friends. It might be time to put down the controller and power off our gaming system of choice and leaving it off for awhile. The game isn’t going anywhere, but our friends and family might be.
Video games aren’t the only things that can waste our time. Other things like TV, the internet, working out, and reading can just as easily waste our time as video games. The important thing is how we manage our time.
So my challenge to you this week is to do some self reflection and see if your spending to much time doing something, even if it’s a good thing like reading books, working out, playing video games, etc. Stop and think about how you are prioritizing your time.
“If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.” -Benjamin Franklin