September 15, 2015

How “Gaming” Suppressed My Appetite

A few weeks ago, Amazon had a day where they offered lots of apps for free. I ended up downloading a bunch of apps for my Kindle, including a few games. And the one I’ve been playing the most? Sonic The Hedgehog 2, of course.

I loved Sonic when I was a kid, probably because I didn’t own a Sega and so I could only play it at my friends’ houses. Getting to play it anytime I want? Outstanding. (Though I do usually restrain myself from playing in public places.) I got pretty stuck on the “Sky Chase” zone for a little while and now my new sticking point is at the final-final boss… but that means I am pretty close to beating the game, which I have never done with a video game before. WOO! Adam is already referring to me as “his gamer girlfriend,” in case you were wondering.

So close, yet so far. See how I have zero rings? That’s because they take away all your rings when you start this final boss level and you can’t mess up even once when you’re trying to kill this massive robot or else you die. And you can only hit him in one specific spot on his belly at one specific time, or else you die. Didn’t anyone ever teach these game designers that perfection is overrated?!

Daily Burn just did a great article on distractions called How to Stop Food Cravings. It gives you different ways to stop your craving depending on how long you have. You can smell candles, use acupressure, or play with clay. Or, if you have three minutes of time, you can play a video game like Tetris. Turns out that games that require you to concentrate force you to lose the visual of whatever food you’re craving… so you forget about them. (Furthermore, I’d guess there’s something about video games being “junk food for the mind” and that wasting time playing them feels just as indulgent as eating a cookie.) Yay, science!

Of course, my mind immediately went to the fact that I’ve been losing weight and also having a much smaller appetite than usual lately (with the exception of football this Sunday… yummy snacks and beer). So, the reason I’ve been losing weight lately is thanks to my addiction to one spiky-haired hedgehog? That sounds like a pretty good weight loss regimen to me πŸ˜‰

While I’m not turning this into a full-on Apps I Love post, I will note that I have also really been enjoying Cubistry and Mind Games Pro. Those are both a bit more cerebral than Sonic, if you’re not into playing a game meant for pre-teens. (And Mind Games Pro lets you train your brain in all sorts of dimensions, resulting in improved mental health as well as physical.) Happy gaming with those as well.

Finally, this morning I also came across an interesting article on addictions and what causes them – and it turns out that most “addictive” things lose their power when the potential addict has strong human connections. So maybe don’t shut yourself off and play those games too much, or you might be looking at a whole new problem.


4 thoughts on “How “Gaming” Suppressed My Appetite”

  1. I see how this can work to my advantage. I’m a new fun video game away from hours and hours of mindless football watching!!! Off to the app store to try to find something that you’ll like!

    In all seriousness, I remember when I was in high school (the only time I was actually into gaming) and totally forgetting to eat. It is amazing how those things suck you in.

    1. What was your high school game of choice? Please tell me Oregon Trail, you hardcore gamer you.

      PS – my high school favorite was Slingo on AOL. Classic, I tell you!

    2. Welllll, my games were a lot more violent than that game. πŸ™‚ Basically any game where you held a gun and shot bad guys / good guys / aliens was outstanding.

      Wait, OREGON TRAIL IN HIGH SCHOOL!!? How old do you think I am!? I remember playing that on an Apple IIe in like 3rd grade. I didn’t let any of my people wear clothes and thought it was HILARIOUS.

    3. Re: not letting your people wear clothes: there is also the childish game of naming all the people with the names of your enemies and then setting food rations to “meager” and pace to “grueling” and seeing who succumbed to dysentery first πŸ˜‰

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