Saturday, June 20, 2009
On Back to Reality:
Video Games are a curious thing. Despite all things to the contrary (your life all around you), you eventually fall into the fantasy of it and become one with the game. This has been helping me get through my exercise program.
When I play with my Sims I become one of them for the moment. There are neighbors I like and others I dislike and I treat them accordingly. I befriend or avoid with abandon.
As I play with my other adventure games, becoming each character in turn, I battle the monsters within, I learn the landscape. My body twists and contorts in my seat to help move my avatar self through the grueling fight. My other real world recedes into the background.
Don’t ask me a question, I may not answer. And if I do, I won’t remember the conversation later. I am only here in body. My mind has melded with the character on the screen. I am willing, for a short time, to give up my real self to try to become the victor in this plight in the game.
As I started to play the Wii Exercise Games I felt less like that avatar on the screen and more like another person in the exercise class. Dressed in my exer-clothing, exer-sneakers on my feet, with my exer-gear, just like all the others on the screen. I was ‘just me’ in a group, even if one of the others I was looking at was supposed to be me.
This held true even with the sports games. I’d stand in the middle of the room, feeling a little silly, copying a cartoon me. Arms flailing, legs pumping, breath gasping, sweat pouring. But still having fun getting stronger and more healthy by loosing weight in a more engaging way.
Day after day, the days moved into weeks. I was handling this exercise program well. No strained muscles, although they were sore. No injuries. I was going at this with a level head and not over doing it.
That of course was until I got competitive and needed to beat my last score. I was playing bowling. No heavy ball to worry about to help give me an injury. No one around to distract or bump into me. I flung my arm sooo hard at the screen trying to get that sixth strike in a row. I pulled a muscle in my back yesterday playing bowling with a control stick that only weighted a few ounces. My arm is in a sling. No two handed projects for a while. My reality is reading and watching movies.
But, I just may start to march to the rhythm of the exercise instructor’s music in a few days. I can’t let a back pull slow me down. I’ll have gone days without a video game in my hands.