"There's a sense of wonder and a spark of imagination at the heart of the Super Mario Bros. games, and as children we pick up on that right away. Then, over time, most people lose that spark. School, career, social engagements, relationship drama, mortgage payments, credit card debt, medical ailments, and other things that we pick up on our way to and through adulthood weigh us down and we forget the simple pleasures of saving the princess from a turtle despot with an eye for annexing kingdoms and galaxies. Those of us who continue to play Super Mario games and who make them a part of our adult lives found a way to keep that spark alive."
A few weeks into my video games fast, I enjoyed reading this article on a 33-year-old guy wondering why he still plays Mario games. I accept that nostalgia plays a role, but this kind of feels like hand-wringing to me. I play Mario games because they're fun and they make me happy. No need to overthink it!
Oh, and since you asked, I'm doing okay without video games so far. I'd say my happiness is 3 Fygars out of a possible 5. I'm sort of stockpiling a to-do list of stuff I need to sort out once back in those pixelated virtual worlds - sell scrap metal in Fallout 3, replay Loom in hard, replay flawed PC Sword n' Sorcery RPG Silver (assuming I can get it to work - I'll probably need a proper mouse, too) which I dug out the CDs for when back visiting my parents, replay Planescape: Torment (it's been 10 years, but man I loved that game), maybe buy Fallout and Fallout 2 to play on the PC (I have been assured they are awesome, especially if you like Planescape: Torment and Fallout 3 - oh WAIT)... also I want to complete Spirit Tracks on the DS.
All this squeezed in around moving house, sorting out taking my debut solo show to the Edinburgh Fringe this year (more on that in a few weeks! Shh...), writing new material, planning the new novel, actually earning a crust gigging etc, and maintaining a social life. Okay, so maybe earning money and the social life will have to take a back seat for a while - just till I max out my Heal spell and get the twin-swords on Silver, at least...