The Obsession

I am currently obsessed with my husband’s Blackberry. It is his work phone and meant to be used strictly for work. It has the standard applications like email, a calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, an MP3 player, and an actual working cellular telephone. It was also outfitted with a game called Brick Breaker.

The object of Brick Breaker is to break bricks using a paddle and a ball. You can scroll the curser to move the paddle and you click the curser to launch the ball. The game has 32 levels of increasing difficulty with the addition of blocks in various patterns, but I’ve been unable to pass level 10 for the past week.

My husband plays it on the bus on the way home from work and he’s managed to complete level 14. He likes to remind me of this, so I want to make it to level 15 before he does. It is friendly competition of course, and there is never any wagering involved. It is about bragging rights, and that does go along way in our house.

When my husband walks in the door from work and says, “Honey, I’m home” I like to kiss him on the cheek while gently sliding his Blackberry from his coat pocket. I then make my way to the couch, and settle in for a lengthy tournament.

Just to be clear: Brick Breaker is a pointless game that only rivals the Atari game system’s Pong in its rudimentary gaming qualities. It is also a painfully slow game where each brick must be hit by the ball several times before it breaks. And even though I know this, it does not deter me from wanting to play it.

This has happened to me before. If I’m being honest this has happened many times before. I’ve become obsessed with hand-held games numerous times over the course of my life. They have gotten me through some rough times.

There was electronic Yahtzee in 2008. There was hand-held Sudoku in 2009. There was even Wheel of Fortune on my cell phone in the latter half of 2009. I downloaded a free version on my cell phone and played the same puzzles over and over again.

I never thought I would be one of them. I never thought I would or could become obsessed with a game system. I’ve seen it happen before of course. I’ve seen marriages collapse because of an obsession with video games, and the husband or wife’s unwillingness to part with the fantasy. Men who refuse to help with the household chores in order to play their Xbox. Women who refuse their husband’s advances in order to play their wii fit.

But not us, the competition keeps our marriage alive and well. Honey, he’s home. Gotta go break some bricks.

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