I've never been terribly interested in computer games. I can't seem to do them and I won't make the time to work out how to play properly. I know that it's just another form of leisure activity like reading a novel or watching a film but somehow I can't seem to get beyond the feeling that the whole thing is a monumental waste of time.
I wasn't even much good at in my youth. I am of the Space Invaders generation. It was new and everyone was at it but I never seemed to have the spare cash to feed in to the machine. I could always think of something else I'd rather spend my money on. We even had one of those Atari games consoles at home with the flashing lines to indicate a tennis bat or what have you but it soon lost its shine for me.
So, imagine my surprise when, over the course of an ordinary 48 for period, I developed an addiction to a game. My son has had a dragon thing going on for a few weeks now and in his search for all things dragonesque he came across this app, Dragon Vale. He seemed to be spending quite a lot of time building his park and then cross breeding his various dragons to come up with a selection of cute looking hybrids. He can talk for England and so rather than just let him rattle on about his new game to an unappreciative audience, I decided to download the app so that I could have a quick look round and then have an idea about what was so catching his imagination. After all, it was free.
I'd say the first half an hour or so was fairly harmless. A friendly looking wizard chap told me what to do, suggested how I might like to spend my money and pretty soon I had a reasonable looking dragon park. And that's where I should have stopped. I didn't. Before I knew it I was hooked it. All I wanted to do was feed my dragons and collect enough coins so that I could afford to buy a breeding cave and create new dragons of my own to hatch. I could just have used the in app purchase to buy myself some extra coins but that's for suckers right? Who spends hard earned cash on virtual money?!
Day 2 and I discover that my husband had allowed an in house purchase so that my son could buy an ice dragon. I am sniffy. We have always had a blanket ban on them in the past. Then it crosses my mind that I am an adult, it's my iTunes account and if I want to spend £1.49 on some spending vouchers then who is there to stop me? Someone really should have.
This morning I began a massive reorganisation of my park to maximise footfall and consequently income. When I looked up over an hour had passed. I know I have some time on my hands now that I'm between courses and the vacuum has not yet been filled with doing everything I usually do but slower. But an hour? On a pretend dragon park.
Now all I want to do is check my park all the time. It's completely addictive. My husband called it dragon crack and I think he might be right. I am a totally lost cause. Me, who eschews all forms of electronic game. I think all I can do is indulge myself for the time being and hope that the novelty wears off and I lose interest....rather like I thought it might with Facebook!