One | It’s time to delete an app that has been taking up way, way, way too much of my time for longer than I care to remember. And I’m not talking about an hour or so a day on Fruit Ninja or something similar while you’re on the train to work. I’m talking about a war game, one in which you build up several cities over time and join an alliance and constantly wage war on some random guy playing in South Carolina and all the rest of it. I’ve been playing this game on and off ever since it was first released in September 2012. During that time I’ve played on several different servers, met many people I’ve liked (and quite a few I’ve disliked), and I guess during that time I got to be pretty good at it. Unfortunately it’s just too repetitive, and though that’s part of the enjoyment for some people I’ve finally had enough myself. The game requires the constant training of troops, and I find that I’m doing this several times a day out of habit, spending a hell of a lot of time gathering resources in order to keep the training going, or chatting to people in-game that I know. I made the decision a few days ago to quit and delete the app (I left once before, a year ago, but went back after a six month hiatus), and it feels extremely liberating now that I’m certain I want to quit again today … for good this time. I’ll probably get about two hours of my time back each day which I can spend reading on the train, or watching a film, or talking more with people I know and love. It’s amazing how addictive mobile games can be.
Two | One of my favourite websites of this or any other year is the recently-launched Philosopher’s Mail, a spoof of the Daily Mail’s website that uses a philosophical approach when reporting on the same trivial and important news stories that are covered by the traditional press. Launched partly to promote Alain de Botton’s new book News, it makes me smile every time I visit. I really need to check in on it more often. Daily, in fact.
Three | Michael Haneke’s Amour, which I watched yesterday evening for the first time, is a beautiful film about life, love and death – touching but unsentimental, weighty, graceful and intelligent. The two central performances are excellent, and it’s no wonder the film, Haneke and lead Emmanuelle Riva picked up so many awards in 2012 and 2013.
Four | Having said that above about the free time I’ll soon have as a result of not playing that damned iPhone game, I should add that my best friend gave me his unwanted Playstation 3 at the weekend (he’s bought a new PS4). Although I’ve been a long-time gamer since the early-80s I gave up my console lifestyle (aside from the smartphone…cough) about six years ago when I met the woman who has since become my wife. She has never been a gamer and never will be, so I’ve promised her I’ll only play it when she isn’t around; tonight she’s out with a friend for a few hours, so I’ll get to try out a couple of games my friend gave me for free. I’m looking forward to playing The Last Of Us, for one, even though it’s a real time sucker from what I’ve read. Maybe I’d be better off downloading something like Manic Miner instead.
Five | Work is slow today. My boss is away the rest of this week and I’m getting a few of her queries to deal with, but otherwise it’s a bit quiet. Should pick up tomorrow, though. Otherwise I might have to download a new game on my iPhone…