24 May Why I quit playing Boom Beach. Why you should quit too.
You need to know about my two-year addiction to boom beach and why I decided to delete it.
I downloaded Boom Beach on my phone. I was at home bored and browsing for something to play on in front of the TV. It was free to download, and I quickly got into playing it.
The idea behind Boom beach is a simple. You have an island which you need to protect from other online players. You get various weapons to defend yourself with which can all upgraded to cause more damage when the opposition attacks. If the opponent destroys your base, they steal some of your resources.
You also get an army which you can use to attack other players bases too. Your army can be upgraded to have units such as tanks, rocket launchers and grenadiers. If you attack and destroy the enemy’s base, you steal their resources.
Everything in Boom Beach depends on resources. You need them to upgrade every part of your base. As you progress through the game your level goes up, your opponents become stronger. You need to keep improving your defences to protect your base. It’s a vicious cycle. The further you go, the more you upgrade, the harder the opponents become.
Boom Beach is a freemium model which is popular within apps. The game itself is free to play, but you can buy gems to fill your resource gaps or bring down the time it takes to upgrade a particular section.
Supercell, the company behind these types of games, owns several versions of these games. The other games are Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and Hay Day.
I never paid for anything on Boom Beach over a 2-year game. I was never motivated to spend money on something when I could just wait. A fear of explaining my Boom Beach spending habits to my wife made me think twice about doing so.
Optimising my priorities
I never have enough time to complete everything, so I was looking at ways to maximise my use of time to achieve more. When I was looking at the means to reduce my distractions, I removed all of the notifications from my phone. Strangely, I didn’t see Boom Beach as a distraction in this process.
The reality is that Boom Beach was a major distraction for me. Boom Beach distracted me from the work I wanted to achieve. I also wasted precious thinking time on it. I would think about which way to set up my defences or what I needed to do to get the resources for my next upgrade.
If I want to accomplish more in the things I care about, I need to think about irrelevant things less. Boom Beach isn’t going to help me achieve the things that matter to me. Therefore, it is an obstacle and needs to go.
The Boom Beach Time Debt
I didn’t reflect on the time debt cost of playing Boom Beach. I used to play about 15 to 30 minutes a day without any thought as to the time value over the long term.
Then I worked out the time I had put into Boom Beach over a two year period. What I realised:
20 minutes a day x 365 days x 2 years = 233 hours. I spent a solid week and a half of my life playing Boom Beach!
Who was I to complain about a lack of time when I a had lost about a month of working 8 hours a day playing this game. I thought I was good with time, yet this had completely caught me off guard.
After a moment of disbelief and despair, I deleted the app and two years of my gaming data disappeared. Feeling guilty about what I had done, the only silver lining was that when I realised the error in my ways, I stopped.
Don’t fall into the mobile gaming debt trap
If you are playing games on your mobile which take up small allocations of time, think about the long-term cost of doing so. You could argue that playing Boom Beach was not time wasted as I had fun. I believe there are much better uses of the time I have.
Also, I don’t have the right to complain about a lack of available time when I am inefficient with the time I do have. I now understand why people advocate working smarter, rather than longer.
Next time I think about downloading something to entertain myself, I will think twice. These games may look fun, but they come at a cost. Understand what you are taking on before you get stuck into playing one.