Thursday, July 01, 2010

Analyse Me

I share many conversations with CyberKev about personality disorders - those that we have, those that we're trying to avoid, and those that we aspire to. After due consideration, I've decided I probably do have a personality disorder, but I don't know what it might be called. Please help, Wise Readers.

When I find a new thing I'm interested in, I become obsessed with it. For example, board gaming. I acquired 300 games in 3 years, played many more than that, started a web site about it, travelled inter-state to pursue the hobby.

Then board-gaming went out (not completely, but look at the posts on this blog), and was replaced by anime (which didn't last long), Mafia Wars on Facebook (about 6 months, way too long) and now learning French. Interestingly, learning French takes about as much time as Mafia Wars did and is more useful in the short, medium and long terms. Before board games there was stamp collecting, Neverwinter Nights (18 months), and I forget what else. I'm very old, I've had a lot of obsessions.

The characteristics of these obsessions are that I spend horrendous amounts of time researching the topic, I spend unnecessary amounts of money on it, I tend to become moderately expert, and often I drop it suddenly. Of course board gaming can't be dropped suddenly, as that's how I met all of my friends and I still have a room full of games, but there's no doubt it has waned. Neverwinter Nights, Mafia Wars and stamp collecting were all dumped overnight. I still have the stamp collection, and I might get back to it one day.

Am I the only victim of Serial Obsession Syndrome? No, I'm not, I found another person who blogs about it. However, I do think it's a mystery to my wives, all 3 of whom have suffered through these obsessions. If only there was a name for it, I could explain it up front :-). My beautiful Dr Scrabblette is very tolerant, though, and the learning French obsession is at least compatible with her interests. (Also, she can't criticise, she has 6 degrees.)

I did an on-line personality test which suggested I might be Narcissistic or Paranoid, but since both of them require me to care what other people think, they're obviously not right. I've done many many OCD tests, to try to make my little sister happy, but I've failed every one. Not enough Asperger's, not enough anything. Am I Normal? Tell me!

On the other hand, I'm not sure I trust you guys. You board game geeks are generally pretty weird.



Jason said...

Whatever it is, I have it (if to a lesser degree) too. Completely obsessed with Comic Books, Magic:The Gathering, Warhammer 40k, then Star Wars, Lego, Website Design, Board Gaming, Photography, and now Graphic Design. Oh and Travian hit in there two different times as well. Now I'm possibly headed back down in the Lego building thing, which is a huge time and money sink.

jwalduck said...

Me too.

My story includes theater sports, live action roleplaying, boardgaming, and creating various websites, each one a project in itself. All seem to follow the same pattern of obsession followed by dismissal, usually when the next bright and shiny thing comes along.

I also recognise the same thing in some of my old friends, people I have known long enough to see them go through the cycle.

I think it is a male thing. Obsessive focus is kind of the opposite of multi-tasking. However if we did not eventually drop the target of our obsession to take up another we would all be stuck on the first thing we focused on...

Violet said...

Hey there. Thanks for visiting my blog. The fact that I'm female possibly puts a massive hole into jwalduck's theory. But having said that, I once did a quiz in an Alan Pease book ("Why men don't listen and why women can't read maps" or something) which suggested that my mind was slightly more male than female - but not enough to make me gay, but that'd be tmi. My obsessions typically last 2 years and tend to end just after I've committed myself financially to it.

Friendless said...

I sometimes wonder whether my hobbies are really the thing I'm doing, or shopping for the thing I'm doing. Certainly board games and learning French involve a lot of shopping. Mafia Wars didn't. Maybe the shopping is just a fun side-effect. I have many more board games than I can reasonably play (hence my new hobby of getting rid of board games) and I have many more French novels than I have time to read. Of course, the real problem is that I spend so much time at work, where it's acceptable to surf Amazon but not acceptable to set up a game of Antike.

Scrabblette said...

Haha! I have an alphabetically serial obsession with men and you are only my J :)

Fattyboombas said...

Maybe you have OCA - obsessive compulsive aspergers. Do some other personality tests. I'll see if I can find you some.

~*~Sandie~*~ said...

I think you sound pretty normal. Which is odd, considering I know for a fact that you are not.