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When I started my writing career in the mid-1990s, my mentor Gary shared with me some tips for being more productive. Among them, I was interested to discover, was a reward system: when he finished some writing milestone---a chapter in a book, perhaps, or a lesson plan for school---he would switch over to a favorite videogame to detune from work. He specifically mentioned playing Wolfenstein 3D in the year or two before I had arrived and explained how he had obsessed over finding all of the secrets in the game, playing levels over and over again.

This was fascinating to me at the time. As a member of the first generation to grow up with videogames---my first computer was the Entertainment Computer System (ECS) for the Mattel Intellivision, so I win most “first computer” contests---I was still quite active playing games, had just switched over to the PC from the Amiga, and was then eating up early DOS titles like Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM.

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