Warning: This Game Could Take Over Your Life

In recent months, I have felt increasingly excluded from the Black clan as Fionnuala and the hatchlings have sat hunched over their phones. Furiously punching keys, they have cackled and hissed in equal measure, accompanied by groans of dismay and squeals of delight. What on earth were they up to, I pondered? I decided to investigate and find out what was taking up so much of their time.

The reason? A free app game called CoinMaster. In a nutshell, you gather coins in order to build themed villages. Hawaiian Village, Medieval Village, 1950’s Village, there are hundreds of the places. The only problem is, your opponents are continually seeking to attack your village, stealing your hard earned coins and damaging your property. To prevent this, you purchase shields.

Now, normally I avoid such nonsense. I was once so addicted to a PlayStation game called Final Fantasy VII that it occupied my every waking hour. Then there was my obsession with Lara Croft. No, not the Angelina Jolie movie but the game where I would get horribly stuck on Level 17 and end up phoning premium line rates in order to work out how to progress to the next stage of the game.

I broke my self enforced gaming ban, however, to discuss what all the fuss was about regarding CoinMaster. It’s fairly easy to pick up and, before too long, I was happily minding my own business, constructing my first village. Then BANG! I received a notification I had been raided. 1,000,000 of my precious coins had been pinched from under my nose. By my twelve year old daughter, no less.

This was accompanied by evil laughter from said child’s bedroom. I’d heard of there being no honour amongst thieves but this was ridiculous. I looked to my wife for support but she only shrugged her shoulders, before proceeding to nick another 3,000,000 from me. This was outrageous. Surely a man’s home, or in this case, Candy Land Village, was his sugar coated castle?

So started a vicious, tit-for-tat, virtual guerilla war of epic proportions. Words were exchanged and thinly veiled threats of adoption and divorce thrown about. In the end an uneasy truce was declared and the various warring factions met in the living room under a white flag of parley. It was unanimously agreed that family members would no longer attack one another and such raids would be restricted to other random gamers.

An uneasy peace has since descended over chez Black but it will only take one infraction for it all to kick off again. Tensions are simmering and I now know how folk felt during the Cuban missile crisis. It’s like living along the Indian-Pakistani border. Every time I hear the dreaded CoinMaster music drifting through the house I brace myself for an unprovoked assault.

The next time Fionnuala hints at a foot rub I have no choice but to immediately comply. I’m in the middle of constructing my North Pole Village and this condo sized igloo is costing serious coinage. A raid now would set me back weeks. Thankfully I am a man of honour and would turn the other cheek if such an abomination occurred. Or at least I think I would for even I have my limits.

Has gaming fever ever gripped your life?

When did you last get involved in a family feud over a game? Board games included.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

41 thoughts on “Warning: This Game Could Take Over Your Life

  1. I once got hooked on a game called Myst, where you were on an island and had to work out what the puzzle was all about. A colleague in the office had tipped me off as to what it was about and I ended up finishing it within the week! I have to say that this game (which appears to be very popular) isn’t really teaching people the right skills is it? Stealing from others to feather your own nest, doesn’t sound like a good lesson in life. But then, I’d no doubt be hooked if I played it too. I hope your truce lasts. Good luck with the igloo – let’s hope there’s no global warming in that world! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. I’ve got an addictive personality so I do get addicted to games, and because of this I try to stay away from them. The last game I played was Life Is Strange and I went through it about five times non-stop and I lived in that game world for a long time. I also got addicted to Farmville 2 on Facebook and would check how things were going on my farm incessantly. These days I’m just limiting myself to Solitaire on my phone.

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  3. I used to love Minecraft (I built a replica of Erebor from The Hobbit), Temple Run (I had the longest streak in our household), Plants Vs Zombies (I had killed Dr. Zomboss multiple times), Candy Crush (I had beaten hundreds of levels), and who knows what else. Minecraft is still my favorite, but I never get to game anymore ๐Ÿ˜ญ

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  4. I’m not a video game person. Never have been, never will be.

    When I was growing up, all we had were card games and board games. Card games were mainly something we children played in the back seat of the car, when on long drives. They also may have been played when confined to bed with a childhood illness. We probably wasted a considerable amount of the summertime holidays on board games, but where I was raised, it rains a lot in the summer. After reaching adulthood, the only board game I enjoyed playing was Scrabble, and I could go years between digging it out of the foyer closet and dusting it off. My enthusiasm for board games was probably curtailed in childhood, by the knowledge that if my younger sister lost, she would pick up the game and hurl it at my head.

    Many, many years ago, I posted the following rule for my children:

    TOYS are FUN.
    A video game is a toy.
    If playing with it is upsetting, it’s not fun.
    If it’s not fun, it’s not a toy.
    If it’s not a toy, you should not be playing with it.
    If you should not be playing with it, it will be TAKEN AWAY.

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  5. I have nothing to say about gaming, but I enjoyed your descriptions and word choices. Meeting “under a white flag of parley” doesn’t happen often in homes. Excellent writing!

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  6. We grew up playing a lot of card games and board games. Video games didn’t enter my childhood until I was around 10 or so and a neighbor had a Nintendo 64 and I attempted to rescue the princess with Mario and Luigi. Then, in high school, there was some Bond game that I attempted to play. And then I got stuck on this bejeweled game once I got a smartphone and then sudoku has always been a favorite of mine too. I just never got into video games, but games on my phone are really fun and I have found that I will play those games instead of being actively engaged in my life, so I have had to make it a point to not download them onto my phone. I just…can’t. The addiction is strong ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Our first computer could play solitaire and it had a black and gold screen. I don.t remember what kind it was. I remember typing out a report and it crashed and I hadnโ€™t saved my work so I had to retype it again, poking out the letters and watching them appear in gold on a black screen.

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  7. Seriously funny. I have not heard of this game. My husband and kids play a game called Plants vs. Zombies and Boom Beach. I’ll take my cup of tea and an episode of Call the Midwives any day. Have fun, ya’ll!

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  8. Just recently I had a game night with my mom, step-dad, and one of my nieces. She got pretty mad at me for landing on all the “Congratulations you’ve had a son/daughter/twins!” spaces. She, sadly, did not land on a single one.
    There was another moment when playing a video game with her where I had to say, “Uncle Katie has to step away because she’s getting frustrated that you won’t let her play.” We were playing Yoshi and she kept eating my character.

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  9. That’s funny! I’ve never played that one. I used to be really into online gaming with the Xbox. Our son loves his Xbox and he is really into Fortnite and Apex Legends right now. Gaming can be very addicting for sure. About 10 years ago or so I was part of an online team and we played Assassin’s Creed. It was crazy competitive, but it was fun playing with people from all over the world. Have fun with the game and remember, a good defense is the best offense! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here in America, it’s a strong defense that wins Super Bowls. God bless you all!

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      1. That’s a good one! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, we have had a few Super Bowl wins here in Denver. There were small riots on my college campus when they won back to back Super Bowls in 97 & 98 during the golden Elway years. They had to bring in the Boulder riot police who marched down the street like a Roman legion with their shields together and guys beside them on horses. It was quite a site! The Redskins did beat us in Super Bowl XXII though. By the way, how does a guy from Northern Ireland become a Redskins fan? ๐Ÿ™‚

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        1. Oh itโ€™s a long story. The NFL was shown in the U.K. from the mid 80โ€™s and I chose the Redskins as they were one of the better teams. Itโ€™s been all downhill since then although I do fondly remember our Super Bowl win over Denver.

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  10. I can’t play games on my phone, I just see how every spare minute can be spent on them and can always think of something better I could be doing! That makes me sound super old and grumpy ๐Ÿ˜‚

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  11. I’m *really careful* about the games I play, because I know they can be addicting, and I tend to get obsessive about things.

    No MMOs, no multiplayer games, games *must* have a clear ending (No Man’s Sky and Sline Rancher are my two exceptions, the game can continue after the story) no VR ever )it’s *too real* and I’m blind in one eye.) I love gaming, but I’m also really careful about it.

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