The Importance of Boredom

Video games are my drugs. (Sleep deprivation is my alcohol, but that’s another story for another time)

What I mean when I say that video games are my drugs is in reference to one of the negative things that drugs do. Addiction is a complicated topic, but I’m not talking about addiction here. I’m talking about how drugs make you comfortable with boredom. What else could make you feel great about sitting around doing nothing important for hours on end?

I say this as having most often been the sober person in a room of people drinking or doing drugs. It’s incredibly boring. All those deep-seeming thoughts you have while on pot? They’re not deep. They’re stupid. Sorry.

But what happens is you become comfortable with what would normally be boring, and boredom is important. Boredom is discomfort with doing nothing. It is a basic motivation to go and do something with your time in this world. Otherwise, most of us wouln’t go do the interesting things we end up doing. We wouldn’t try, if not trying was comfortable.

Video games function this way for me. I have a recent example: I uninstalled Civilization V from my laptop about a week ago, and since then I’ve written a couple thousand words in a setting and campaign guide I’m working on for 5E D&D. I did this because I play a LOT of Civ V, but when I made myself stop, I was suddenly productive because when I sit there and feel some boredom, I do a little work on something I enjoy. Next thing I know, I’m a thousand words in and feeling a bit better about myself.

It’s something to think about, if you are creative, or trying to be productive – what in your life makes you OK with being bored? If you can remove that thing from your life, what more might you be able to accomplish?

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