This is how you get him to stop.  This is how you make him stop wasting time, the time that he’s wasted all his life.

You have him make a mistake.  A simple mistake, based on faulty information.  You have him be curious, and you have it cost him.  You take much for him, but not all.

Then, you have him make the same mistake again.  His curiosity is tempered with caution, but he remains curious still.  He walks to the cliff’s edge and stares off it, and he sees the beauty, the beauty that he came to see.  And then, as he stands at the edge, believing himself king of the world, his caution dissipates, his curiosity is reborn, and he falls again, the same way.  And of what he has left, you take much, but still not all.

For the wreck of the wreck, he climbs from the ashes.  He brings forth the reserves of all he has left.  And you give him an impossible task, made more impossible by his lamentable condition, and you dangle the reward he so desperately wants above him.  And you watch as he grits his teeth and gives more than all that he can give.  And you watch as against all expectations, he achieves that impossible goal.

And then you destroy the reward, right in front of his face.

And you watch him.  You watch the shock and the understanding hit his face; that everything he wanted, everything he worked so hard to grasp no longer exists.  You see his body go tense, even as it shakes and sweats from the aftermath of the trials he has been through.  Rage and fear and begging and bargaining and denial and despair flash through him within seconds, fueled by his adrenaline, by the once-held joy and satisfaction of completing all the required challenges set before him.

And then he remembers, and realizes how pointless it all was; how pointless it always has been.  How he wasted his life for a prize that no longer exists, without ever truly comprehending that the prize was never worth anything to begin with.  How by losing a false prize, he may have gained the vision necessary to claim a real one.

And you see him thank the destroyer of his dreams.  You see him turn despair into joy right before your very eyes.  You watch him walk away, and make something of his life, something, that he could have never made with it before now.  He still laments the loss of his dream, of his prize.  But he now laments the effort he wasted chasing after it even more.  And the avoidance of future waste becomes its own prize, for with it brings the promise of not a dream, but a reality.



{And that was how Owen stopped being addicted to Terraria.}


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