Katie Lee writes...Gird your loins, ladies, I'm going to write about gaming. It's a dangerous thing to do on Shiny Shiny, but luckily I'm slowly becoming immune to the misogynistic flamings that occur whenever any of us feeble minded Shiny women has the audacity to proffer an opinion on man's business (just where do those fanboys appear from, that's what I want to know - it's like the internet sends them a text message every time someone types 'PlayStation'). But the fact is, I felt compelled to get this off my chest. You see, while the rest of the gaming community has been squabbling over whether the PS3 is any good or not, I've been happily playing with my newly obsolete PS2. Yes, Final Fantasy has made its usual claim on my life, which means that I can kiss goodbye to any plans of doing something useful or self-improving in my free time. Instead of learning a new language or reading enlightening books about the troubles in the Gulf, I've been riding Chocobos and slaying wolves for Gil.
But the problem is, it's just not as much fun as it used to be. Buying the latest Nintendo or Sony console (Zelda and Final Fantasy means I'm doomed to buy both for all eternity), feeling scandalised at the cost of all the extras, and finding ways to justify the fact that I just spent a good chunk of my student loan on something that was unlikely to help get that Marxist theory essay written - they were all part of the fun of the purchase (now I just say 'I earned this money, I deserve a nice treat'). But the problem isn't just that it's no longer a guilty pleasure: it's that now I'm a proper grown up, I can't just shut the curtains on the sunshine, arm myself with junk food and spend a week of my life fighting gods and monsters.
Now, there are all kinds of things that get in the way with a good gaming marathon. Work commitments, shopping for food, house cleaning, and all those other boring things we saddle ourselves with once we've left the safe, slothful confines of full-time education. Plus, being grown up means that people now expect me to be a responsible adult (paf) and so taking a week off work to sit in my pyjamas staring at a TV screen just doesn't seem acceptable. There's simply no way I could bring myself to say to friends, work colleagues and family that I'm not going away on holiday, I'm sitting on the floor at home playing games.
The only feasible solution I can see is that the government is going to have to start giving half-term holidays to all adults so that we can have an extra week off during which time we can behave like slovenly teenagers without feeling obliged to do some DIY or book some kind of a grown up holiday. That way I can slouch about in my slippers, eating biscuits and drinking tea whilst I wander the desert plains, fighting wolves and searching for magical treasures.