Forget the ongoing talk about video game addiction. I think we all know that 99 percent of such accusations are just garbage, issued by those who have no clue what an "addiction" actually is.

But if you're being brutally honest, can you honestly say a video game has had a negative impact on your social life?

For me, I haven't let that happen in a while; no game seems to have enough of a pull to stop me from getting out these days. However, I do remember one particularly embarrassing instance back in college…

I was dating this really cute girl and we'd been going out for maybe three months. She'd arranged to cook a meal for me at the house she was renting with roommates (all of whom had cleared out for the night), and I was supposed to show up at 8 p.m. Well, my last class for the day was done by 3 and I got home around 4, so I had a good three and a half hours to kill. I figured I'd play some Final Fantasy VIII , a game I'd already pumped close to 100 hours into.

At some point, I got it into my head that I wanted to challenge Omega Weapon. I thought I had the necessary party to do it but I needed to do a little research and figure out exactly what I'd be facing. Then I had to do some boosting for characters and all that. Well, I lost track of time and the phone rang at about 8:20 or so. Problem was, her timing was really awful because I was knee-deep in that Omega battle. I just picked up the phone, didn't let her talk and said at about a million miles a minute:

"Yeah, I can'ttalkrightnow-fightingOmegaWeapon-callyoulater-bye.

Then I hung up. But that's not really the worst part. The worst part is that after I had successfully defeated Omega Weapon (two tries and two hours later), I figured I'd still head over to her house. I mean, what the hell, right? She couldn't be that mad.

She was. And she so didn't understand my after-battle glow. 'sigh' Impossible to make her understand what I had just achieved…ah well. ūüėČ