Which is a mistake. For I am a recovering addict when it comes to video games. I was a pioneer, at the forefront. I spent my student grant on Asteroids. I once lost a long weekend playing Premiership Manager. Anne left me on Friday to see her parents and returned Sunday evening to see me slumped sleepless against the PC, pizza boxes and empty bottles piled all around me. Although to be fair, I had just taken Woking from the Conference League to the Champions League final, where a young footballing genius called Twinkletoes Twynam had just scored a hat-trick. Possibly one of the greatest moments of my life.
Where was I? Ah, yes. Sim City was my game of choice through the gambling years, bar a short-lived but exquisite affair with Age of Empires. Both of them secret - fallen off the wagon – hidden scarfing when Anne wasn't around.
But then I stopped, weaned myself off such things, could almost kid myself I was clean and grown-up. At least a decade of cutting edge graphics and imagination has passed me by. Grand Theft Auto What.
Candy Crush seemed a silly little thing. I've flirted with these before. Nothing to take seriously. Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja are simple mobile phone dalliances. Tetris with wings, nothing to worry about. Methadone.
But Candy Crush took me by surprise. I got to level 50 before working out to how to make wrapped candy. For fuck's sake. This is either genius for getting so far accidentally or, more probably, why tests tell me I have the ability of a 9 year old when it comes to visual spatials. Still, I was sucked in.
I haven't slept much. I ran out of lives at 2 a.m. and lay in bed, in between sleep and waking, seeing candy patterns in my head. Level 56 seems impossible. At 69p for 5 lives the streets beckon. Or to call on Harry Hill's insight, “heroin, it's very more-ish apparently...”