Any conservative activist or concerned parent will tell you that video games are dangerously addictive, leading children down a dark path just as destructive as alcohol, drugs or junk food.
That is, of course, ridiculous hyperbole, but there is a nugget of truth in there; some games are ridiculously hard to put down. You spend all day at work watching the clock, just waiting for that moment when you can go home and get back on with the game.
Once you do sit down in front of your TV or PC, time loses all meaning, and before you know it, it's 2am and you need to grab that four hours of sleep before you go back to work and spend your shift waiting to get back to the game.
Maybe it's the gameplay, or the near infinite possibilities, or just the very nature of the game that makes it so easy to lose hours on. Either way, some games just eat up your days, and you're not even mad at them, because they're just that damn good.
Open world games are easy to sink hours into. With so much to explore and so much to do, you often find yourself getting distracted from the main story by pointless (but oddly compelling) side quests, or battling wolves, or running for twenty minutes to see if you can actually reach that mountain in the distance.
Skyrim, Bethesda's epic fifth entry in the Elder Scrolls series, is one of the worst offenders. Or should that be best?
The main storyline, which involves your character discovering they are the Dragonborn, a mystic warrior who can literally shout people to death, is engaging enough, but as soon as you are given free reign, you're likely to forget about that in favour of one of the hundred side stories, collecting singing flowers, battling giants and bandits, or buying property so you can fill a room with wheels of cheese.
There are bigger game worlds, but Skyrim has one of the most detailed and most beautiful. While there's plenty of open countryside, there's always something to do, and even after sinking solid weeks into the game, you will still be discovering new things to do. DLC packs like Dawnguard and Hearthfire only make the game richer, with the possibility to build your own house and adopt children offering even more distractions from finally going and killing Alduin.