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"This is very difficult for me to say, but my name is Shona and I’m addicted to Bop It."

It started off harmlessly, it always does.

I mean it wasn’t even meant to be for me. In fact, I didn’t even like it. My dislike for it was that strong that I was reluctant to purchase the bloody thing, but I knew it would make her happy, so I did.

And you know what? It did make her happy, very happy in fact. But it wasn’t long until I decided to ‘give it a go’, to try and understand what all the fuss was about. I am a supportive mum I thought, I want to put myself in my daughter’s shoes and join in, even if it’s only for her sake.

Well, this was a mistake. As Vivian in Pretty Woman would say, “Big mistake. Big. Huge.”

via GIPHY

Because this was the beginning of the end. Now I have a serious problem.

I CANNOT stop.

This is very difficult for me to actually say but here goes, *deep breath*, I am Shona and I’m addicted to Bop It.

Bop It game addiction
Here it is. The culprit, Bop It. Image: Supplied.

Bop It, an audio game that my six-year-old would pick up and play each time we were in a department store and thus requested for her sixth birthday has driven me to this current state of what can only be described as obsession. Yep, that’s right, an audio game, a game, a toy. I am obsessed with a toy. A toy I gifted my six-year-old.

I’d love to tell you that Bop It is some sort of mind challenging game, something along the lines of Scrabble or Monopoly, even Trivial Pursuit but no it’s not. Bop It simply tells you to do things and then you have to do them. That’s it. A series of commands are told to you and you must follow them correctly in a certain time limit. These tasks include: ‘bop it’ (bop the device), ‘twist it’ (twist the crank), ‘pull it’ (pull the handle), ‘cradle it’ (cradle the Bop It like a baby), ‘golf it’ (swing it like a golf club), there is even a ‘selfie it’ (you get the drill).

The game is undoubtedly simple, irritatingly so. I think that’s a part of its appeal, the Bop It’s dangerous and alluring charm that sucks you in until you find yourself shutting yourself in a room to focus entirely on it because failing at Bop It is a new level of frustrating that I have never experienced before I picked this killer of a device up. It is something to avoid at all costs. Why?

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Because when I have done the wrong Bop It action or taken too long, or when my children have spoken to me (how dare they) and I couldn’t hear what it had said, and I found myself failing, let’s just say my reaction hasn’t been dignified, especially while in the presence of children.

It’s not just the effects of me doing the wrong action that is impacting my mental state it is the fact that once that game is over, that I must start again, yes, must.

I can’t just put the thing down, I HAVE to play again. This pursuit of ‘Bop It excellence’ has driven me not only to shut myself into rooms so I am not disrupted by my family while playing, but even to hide it under my daughter’s reader bag to smuggle it out of her bedroom when she’s going to sleep.

Yes, I just wrote that. Yes, that actually happened. Yes, I most definitely have a problem.

The thing is with Bop It, is that the addiction isn’t just mine. My husband is also addicted. Arguably, not as much as me but he’s getting there. His pursuit of Bop It success has seen him Google ‘Bop It techniques’, specifically the ‘saw it’ command which apparently requires precision flat sawing, as well as searching for ‘Bop It high scores’. Which, if you were wondering, is 250 as achieved by this 10-year-old boy and shared on You Tube by his mother (as all Bop It success stories should be).

Watch this video of boy getting highest possible Bop It score. We're a little impressed.

Video by MMC

Now although I am aware of my Bop It issue, in my research on how to cure a Bop It addiction, I found Micki, I don’t know who Micki is, but I do know that they may indeed have a case worse than mine. This was Micki’s review of Bop It left on Amazon.

“This is like a pumped-up version of Simon Says. It is the kind of game that you become angrily addicted to, 'just one more try, and then I'll stop.’ Then someone beats your high score, and you have to start all over. So, you take it everywhere- the doctor’s office, the check- out lines, your yoga class. It gets harder to concentrate. You think you hear people saying, 'twist it', 'flick it', 'spin it', 'bop it'. Anytime you honk your horn you instinctively wait for a command to do something more...it becomes too much. You check yourself into the mental hospital. Just a little recovery and all will be well. Then as you enter the floor, you start hearing a faint, 'bop it, bop it, bop it.’ You realise it's getting louder the further from the entrance you move and it's not just the voice in your head anymore. There's several voices all in unison. You aren't crazy after all, and now you are home.”

And with that knowledge I feel slightly better about myself and perhaps even, a game of Bop It.

Have you ever played Bop It? Can you relate to the Bop It addiction? Group therapy is open in the comments.

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