Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Best Time Waster

Sand Game.

I don’t know what else to say about this nominee, really. I don’t know what to say about Sand Game in the first place, let alone what else to say. All I can say is Sand Game. When it comes to wasting time, that’s the only two words that are needed.

If you know about Sand Game, then you probably agree with me. If you’re wondering what Sand Game is, read this article first: I’ve provided links to Sand Game at the end of it but if you go there now you’ll likely never come back and read this and I’m not spending all this time not playing Sand Game to have you not read the article.

I don’t know how Sand Game came about or who invented it. I know that when you start doing searches for it, you wind up on websites like this, and then you click the links and get this:

And what the heck is that all about?

So I have no idea what the real story of Sand Game is, and, frankly, I don’t care because I know that Sand Game exists and so I don’t need to know anything more about it.

Sand Game’s place at the top of the list of time wasters is remarkable, too. I am not short of things to kill time with at work – beyond work, that is. Those times that I don’t spend a little bit of time writing on one of my blogs, I have my “Favorites” folder featuring no less than five celebrity gossip websites where I can keep up with the latest antics from Britney, Paris, Lindsay, and all those people I don’t know. Beyond that, I’ve got ready access to the great articles on Slate, The Hater over at the Onion (and The Onion’s videocracy, telling me what to watch), the now-closed “Not Proud” site with its glimpse into people’s confessions, I can go check out Toothpaste for Dinner, Natalie Dee, the other comic strips I read daily, check in on my first fan’s blog, find out how my fantasy baseball team is doing (I’m in second, thanks very much!), check my two web-based emails, find out how my friends on Gather are, go to PostSecret each Monday, read what Dwight’s been writing, and even spend time on the more obscure but really really funny websites.

Let me add that those are all rare, rare occurrences. I’m really very, very busy at work.

Oh, who am I kidding? None of us are busy at work anymore, not those of us with computers.
There are probably people with real jobs who are doing real work – my carpenter brother-in-law, say – and who are responsible for keeping the economy running, and then there are those of us who mostly sit in front of a computer all day and because of that spend most of our day on the Internet doing one of those many things I’ve outlined and slowly bogging down our offices and becoming albatrosses around the neck of society, and among them I’m probably the worst case.

And I was that worse case before I found out about Sand Game. Sand Game could replace all of those time-wasters singlehandedly.

I didn’t know, the day I found it, what it was about. I still don’t know what it’s about. It’s mystifying to me. But it’s mystifying in a hypnotic way that I am powerless to resist. The first day I found this Sand game, I literally got NOTHING done the rest of the afternoon, from 3:00 on. I pretended to be doing actual work, true. But nothing got done and I kept going back and surreptitiously checking in on it, modifying my little sand sculpture picture, messing around with the buttons, creating patterns, freeing the zombies, you name it.

Since then, I’ve had to ignore, as much as possible, that link on my Favorites list because if I start up with it, like I did today, then I’m helplessly lost in Sand Game world. (Here’s an example. These usually take me about 30 minutes to write. But because I’m writing about Sand Game, I had to play Sand Game, and because of that this has been written over the course of 1 ½ hours.) It is an amazing feat of willpower each day that I go and actually bill some work to clients with all the while Sand Game sitting there just a click away.

Here’s how I can best explain the addictive qualities of this game:

Sand Game is like being God if God had subcontracted the job to Picasso.

That’s not just the best way to explain the way Sand Game sucks me in, it’s also the best way I can explain what it’s like to play it. You get to make these little abstract designs that then turn into a world and shape-shift and modify it, and so you’ve created art that keeps changing itself and getting better, worse, more full, less full.

In my life, I have accomplished (I think) some amazing things. I’ve gotten married, raised a family, bought a house, graduated from law school, established a thriving law practice, written professional articles, won jury trials, traveled to foreign countries, published short stories. I’ve made friends, had some adventures, met some famous people, and generally had a great time. I honestly think that almost none of that would have happened had Sand Game been in my life years ago.
So now, here’s your link to Sand Game. Go play Sand Game and then, when you emerge, blinking, into your real life years from now, come back here and tell me that you agree with me.

1 comment:

ReadDanceBliss said...

I agree with you. Wow.