I just got back from the drugstore where I purchased a small vial of Dramamine for motion sickness. I’m not going on a flight or a long sailing voyage; I’m going to try to play Destiny on my XBox One. You see, I have always had trouble playing games from a first person perspective. The most common type of video game for this perspective is the first person shooter or FPS. From the time I first played Wolfenstein 3D up to the present I have always had trouble with motion sickness and first person shooters. This prevents me from enjoying a large percentage of games that are out there!
There have been exceptions to my problem. For example, my son and I once played all the way through the original Halo on the Xbox with a split screen. Recently we played Borderlands 2 through system link and I did not have a problem with it. In both of those situations I was in the same room with my co-player and we were playing cooperatively – not trying to shoot each other. I found that if I had someone to follow that it was a fun experience for me and I didn’t get sick to my stomach.
Enter Destiny. I downloaded the game onto my Xbox One. It took FOREVER! Almost 20 Gig of game software. Once the game was ready I played through the tutorial alone. I made it through that part without an issue. Then my friend and I connected online and we started to play together. It was FUN playing this game! I had a buddy to follow around and every once in a while I was even helpful to him. We played through several missions and we were having a blast.
Then the motion sickness started to affect me. It was right at the point in the game in which you ride on these “air scooters”. We were zipping around together and I was feeling like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars – and then I felt a sourness in my stomach and I knew I was going to have to quit soon. I was kind of bummed because I was having a good time, but my body/brain was unable to enjoy it.
Apparently I am not the only one who experiences such issues, and I was told that I can try ginger ale, ginger gum, or even medication. I went to the store today and looked for the gum. I couldn’t find it. I completely spaced and forgot about the ginger ale, but I did remember to buy a small travel size pack of the motion sickness medication called Dramamine. I’m going to give it a try this afternoon.
All of this leads to the question in the title, “When is playing a game too important?”. Why am I even considering taking medicine just so I can play a video game? Perhaps the reason is that I am invested in the game. I spent $60.00 on this game and I spent another 4 hours waiting for it to download. Perhaps another reason is that I’ve always heard so much about how much fun it is to play online and yet I can never seem to find the right game. I picked Destiny because it is a fairly new game and other players won’t be too far ahead of me. I have had experiences in the past of playing an online game in which everyone else is level 50 and I’m just getting started. It made me feel either like a victim in player vs. player, or made me feel like a liability in a co-op game. I thought to myself, “at last I will be experiencing new things in Destiny at the same time as most of the other players”. I also wanted to hang out with my friend in this game world, and talk and laugh as we completed missions together. Perhaps I bought the medicine because I think I can “get over it” and maybe teach my body how to play these games without getting sick.
Have you ever had a similar experience? It doesn’t have to be Destiny or even a video game for that matter. I am interested in hearing other perspectives other than my own. Is it wasting time? Is it not wasting time?
“Always remember your end and do not forget that lost time never returns” – Thomas a’ Kempis, The Imitation of Christ