There’s a picture of me from college where I’m playing guitar while watching Big East basketball and I’ve got Diablo 2 on the computer behind me.
That was pretty much life, ya know? Instead of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, it was sports, video games, and rock and roll.
Although I guess Diablo 2 could have been labeled a “drug” back then, since I put days of my life into it. I was addicted. And that’s apparently the case with an NHL prospect who can’t seem to shake it.
The story was told by NHL reporter Jeff Marek on a SportsNet podcast called “31 thoughts” –
“On video games—and I’m not going to say the player’s name. I really doubt he’s going to make it to the NHL, and it’s because of a video game addiction, to the point where his junior general manager told me that they’ve had him go to counseling over it, because he’ll play until all hours of the night and into the morning and then he’ll have no energy the next day. Like, he’ll be a write-off. And it is that bad. He has this compulsion for playing video games until all hours. I swore that I wouldn’t say the player’s name, but it’s unfortunate. He’s a recent first-round draft pick for a very, very prominent NHL team, will probably never play in the NHL because of a video game addiction.”
Marek says the story dates back a few months, so apparently this guy has been addicted for some time.
Canadian sleuths think they’ve identified the player or narrowed it down, so if you wanna sleuth further, click that link.
But on a serious note, I can relate to this kid. I remember 6 or 7 hour bangers where I’d look up at the clock and it would be 3 in the morning and I’d still be trudging through “The Worldstone Keep, level 3,” just fucking obliterating skeletons and minotaurs, just putting my polygon foot right up their ass. Usually I’d walk over to the sink and splash water on my face and think, “what the fuck am I doing?” Then I’d pass out and wake up at noon the next day, eat “breakfast,” and guilt myself into a gym visit.
I’ve been there before, only I was never an NHL prospect, so I feel for this guy. And it makes me wonder about what other athletes are doing. Ben Simmons is a PUBG player and a bunch of dudes are into Fortnite:
Josh Hart recently detailed his Fortnite experiences on the Dan Patrick show:
“There was one time Larry Nance (Jr.) came over before we played the Cavaliers,” Hart told Dan Patrick, “and we literally had four TVs set up in my living room, we all had our own PS4s, and we ran like a whole ‘Fortnite’ squad for, like, 10 hours that day.”
The common thought is that everybody has some kind of vice, right? Booze, cigarettes, weed, hookers, trashy reality TV. Video game addiction always sort of flies under the radar because you aren’t really damaging anything. It’s not like you’re destroying your lungs or your liver or your bank account. But that’s why it’s sneaky dangerous, because you don’t even realize how much time you’re wasting until you look at the clock, then you feel shitty about yourself and say, “man, I should have went to that house party instead.”
So what happens to this NHL prospect? Maybe the Canadian hockey people ‘out’ this kid, he gets the addiction under control, and goes on to make a lot of money over a long and successful career. Is that the best case scenario?
If it’s not, let’s get him on the phone with the Philadelphia Fusion.