Quote of the Moment: Escaping from the escape

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Escaping Keyboard Key"I think the triumph comes more in the act of doing, in the sheer decadence of spending real time on fake food. I play [Cafe World] mostly in my apartment, by far the nicest one I've had-ten-foot ceilings, stainless steel refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, everything new, never before lived in. I'm in a newish career, no longer living the nightmare of an adjunct English instructor, grading papers all the time, all the time. My dishes are washed for me by a machine and I don't have to drive to and from a Laundromat.

"Still, the time I use to cook digital meat is stolen time, time I could and should be using for working on my novel, reading, cleaning, maintaining my real space as much as the digital retail space, etc. But these things are choices, not life or death-as humans we've collectively progressed to the point of being able to use our time not to hunt and gather and sew our own clothing but to squander as shamelessly as we choose to.

"I guess that's a bit sarcastic, a backhanded point-and yet it really does feel-there is a true sense of relief in it, a visceral sense that if you're spending your time worrying about whether or not your digital chicken pot pie will run out overnight, your life must not be that bad. ...

"And then there's spiritual death. Soul crush. Waking up on a weekend morning, grabbing some coffee and reclining in bed with a laptop, serving what's been cooked overnight, harvesting in Farmville, feeding in Fishville, finishing contracts in Social City. Need to shower, need to have breakfast, need to leave the apartment. But really need to get tonight's dinner service on the stoves. Of course one is going to feel a sense of I'm a loser, is this really my life? I can't believe I'm doing this. It plunks down on you with each click of the mouse. I'm planting fake grapes. Why am I planting fake grapes? Why am I deciding between different fake floorings for my café? When is an escape from reality something from which you need to escape?

"I haven't farmed in a couple of months -- I've quit all these games except Café World, which I was recently away from for a couple of weeks of great productivity with my novel. I don't know if I'll ever fully get back into it. Anything in moderation, I guess. In moderation is neither triumph nor spiritual death."

- OpenSalon blogger Jeff Maehre reflects on the benefits and drawbacks of his personal social gaming obsession.
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