04/12/2017

# I get obsessed by games, I play them ad nauseum until I get bored and uninstall them from my phone.

The latest object of my obsession has been Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp but I feel that after six days (the last of which has hardly seen me play) I've just about reached saturation point.

But why does this happen?

Lao Tzu wrote in the Tao Te Ching "The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long" - a quote paraphrased by Eldon Tyrell in description of Roy Batty in Blade Runner.

Everything has a life expectancy; for some things it is longer, others shorter. Their "fuel" is finite and once extinguished cannot be replenished. The more avidly we consume it the sooner it is gone.

These games are designed to be addictive, to appeal to the obsessive nature in us. But they can only fuel that obsession for so long before we tire of them, before they exhaust their fuel, so to speak.

Extra fuel tanks can be bolted on in the form of new game content but, eventually, it will no longer burn for us.

Our appetites differ. Some can make the feast last longer while others gorge themselves uncontrollably, quickly satiating their hunger.

And then there is no going back.

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A forgotten anniversary

I had envisaged that I would write something profound on the 1st December: the one year anniversary of me not posting to Twitter.

But I didn't.

I had completely forgotten it until reading Vincent Ritter's post about micro.blog in which he also mentions "quitting Twitter" in December last year:

"In December of last year, 2016, I decided to not post to Twitter anymore. Eventually taking an archive of all tweets and then deleting them from Twitter."

Unlike Vincent I didn't take an archive, just deleted everything and marked my account as private.

Boom, done!

But I haven’t abandoned Twitter completely - I occasionally use it to conduct searches about breaking news, traffic, football matches - and still can’t bring myself to delete my account.

I thought it was because I still considered it part of my online identity, having had a presence there for almost 11 years, but that’s actually not it at all.

I realised that the only reason I keep my account is because the mobile search experience when not logged in is so poor!

Twitter makes great stock of the numbers of tweets seen by those who aren’t logged in, maybe aren’t even users, viewing them embedded elsewhere on the web. Yet when visiting their own site in a mobile browser it is almost impossible to find anything useful.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever tweet again; I’m even less likely to reinstall their app.

Still, it has it’s place and I get what I need from it, when I need it, without having to get mired in the feed.

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog