It's always one more level.
Or maybe it's "I need to find a good save spot." Or "I just need to finish this mission" or "I just need to sell this plunder." Or maybe it's even, "I can't stop now, I'm THIS CLOSE."
Whatever. They're all excuses. I have no discipline whatsoever.
I promised myself I'd be in bed by 12:30 last night. I was tired. I'd had an hour or so of the new Prince of Persia (pretty, but not sure if I'd call it "good") when I glanced down at my watch. I knew in my head that the logical thing to do would be to turn off the Xbox and head to bed.
But as I was repeatedly (and repeatedly and repeatedly) falling to my death I kept thinking about how I'd rather be playing Fable II, and how I might be able to squeeze in a quest before bed if I just could just hurry up and finish. I do the same thing at movies...even if I'm not having a great time I just can't bring myself to leave.
Some people (i.e. people with self-control) would look at the time and, realizing it was too late, would take their medicine, resigned to their fate.
Instead, I decided I HAD to find all the "light seeds" on a particular map in Prince of Persia, which basically involves your basic swinging/jumping/plunging to my death platforming but with the added benefit of being completely redundant. In PoP, you basically clear a level, then redo the entire level to pick up all the "light seeds" you need to power up. There's a word for that.
I manage to finish this up around 12:15. Again SOME people would say, "No point in doing anything else now. I cut it too close. I should just go to bed since my daughter is going to climb onto my head in six hours and I could use 15 more minutes of sleep."
No, I stand up, pop the game out, and drop Fable II into the system.
In retrospect, I'm not sure. I felt I'd left it in a bad place last time. I wanted to check out the new town I was walking into. You know, just so that next time I'd be prepared. Because that's what I do...I think about where my characters are in my games when I'm not playing them. (More on this in an upcoming post)
So now it's 1:45. I walked down a road, fought off fifty bandits, and banged my wife (yes, you do that in Fable II). I found myself walking around the main town looking for gargoyles to shoot when I realized I was doing it. Again.
Just one more. It will only take a second. Just let me see if there's a chest in here.
I climbed into bed and my wife, bleary-eyed but still visibly disappointed in me, said, "You make me sad. You can't control yourself." I began to protest but knew she was right.
Is this common? Do all gamers get like this? Am I just an obsessive problem solver who can't rest until I finish something, even if "finishing" takes 14 hours? Or is this a curse I share with my peeps out there...the ones with the bloodshot eyes and callouses on their thumbs?