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JohnKeel

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  1. JohnKeel

    John Keel's Journal

    Hi, my real name is David and I'm a 44 years old, long time Gamer....more on my background in my introduction post. This is my journey letting go of my passion of (excessive) gaming... I started three days ago making my decision to quit gaming after stumbling over the stopgaming subreddit. Right before quitting I still played Stardew Valley until midnight... In the last years I almost never played for extreme lengths like some of you did. So I always told myself that it wasn't really a big problem... But then I decided to be honest with myself and realized, that the only reason that I didn't play for 10 hours a day, was that I simply didn't have the time between a job and caring for two little kids. But most hours that I had alone for myself I played. So on monday morning I deinstalled Steam and all others games, blocked my most viewed gaming sites and decided to detox. Since I already did some short detox breaks of 30 - 60 days over the last years the first days were not that hard. Also the last two days were really packed with work, so that helped too. But even if I had no problem with not gaming these last days, my mind always came back to question my decision to stop gaming forever...It's just that being a gamer became such an integral part of my self image that makes it hard of letting it go. It feels kind of weird, but not bad. As I mentioned in my introduction, the only exception I will probably make in the future, is that I will play some video games together with my kids. Of course I will keep an eye on them to not let them make the same mistakes as me, but I also don't want to demonize games for them. As my extensive gaming was almost only on PC and never on console, I'm positive that I will be able to handle this. But I will never play games alone anymore...Only together with my kids and in moderation. And if I realize that it has a negative impact on me, I will find another way... So what will I do with the free time i gained? Well, at first, I will take better care of my work and our household. But I realized from Cam's Posts and Talks, that I can't just replace gaming with work without setting myself on the quick path to relapse... Therefore I need another passion. I always wanted to learn to code but only ever dablled a bit here and there and quit after a few weeks or even days. I always loathed myself for spending so much time on computers (more than 30 years) without learning any real skills. That's why two hours ago I enrolled on the Harvard CS50 Online Course (Intro to computer science) and I am determined to finish it. About a year ago I already started a similar online course from MIT and really enjoyed it. But I missed the last few weeks of the course because of holidays and never picked it up again...But this time it will be different, because I won't fall back to gaming to keep me occupied... I guess thats enough for today. I will try to post regularly, but perhaps not daily...I will appreciate any feedback and will gladly try to answer any questions.... See you soon!
  2. JohnKeel

    44 year old starting over in life

    Thanks for the warm welcome! I had to work some extra hours the last two days, but I will try to get my journal going soon. Right now, everythings fine, but I will go into more detail in my journal...
  3. Hi, just fresh in from reddit where I read some inspiring posts and finally decided that something has to change. So, first some info on me. My name is David and I'm 44 years old (but often feeling like I'm still in my teens, but more on that later). I'm from Germany, so therefore I hope for your patience with my english... I've been playing video games since since the first video game consoles came out, so for nearly 40 years. It quickly became overwhelming and my number one hobby. School was hard and the games offered an easy escape, which of course only made school worse. I oftern ditched school just to sneak back into my home to keep playing or I went to a mall where I could play in a shop. Of course my grades declined, as did my social contacts (apart from 1-2 kids who where also into games). Some things changed for the better when I met my (now) wife when I was 20 (staying true to the stereotypes she was my first real girlfriend). She put some fire under my lazy ass, so that I got up and learned a job. But still I was ditching days to have time to play. And thats the way it's been the last 20 years. Some times it was better and I used games like a normal hobby for a few hours a week. Then again I got hooked, called in sick to play as many hours as possible before my wife came home... Since a few years we have 2 wonderfull kids and of course therefore I got even less time available for gaming. I guess thats the main reason why I thought that I got it under control. Most times I only played a few hours a week. I even stopped all gaming (except mobile) for a whole month now and then. So I thought "See, you can controll it, no big deal"....But then something changed and I got the chance to work from home 3 days a week. And I guess you all can imagine how my typical work day looks like when working at home... So I had to realize, that even if I didn't play as much as in my earlier years, that it was not because of my decision, but merely because I didn't have enough time... The time I got, I played...So it became standard that my wife got into bed early (because she has to get up 1-2 hours before me) and I would play untill midnight and then struggle to get up at 6am. Of course I tried playing in moderation a few times and maybe it worked for a few weeks...But in the end I always relapsed. The problem with deciding to quit forever ist that I've been playing for such a long time, that it feels like it just a part of me. I kept telling me "Hey, I'm a gamer, it's always been a big part of my life and I loved most of it, so it would be a kind of self-denial to try to erase if from my life." But I can clearly see the negative impacts it had on me. Even with two kids and in my 40s the most times I don't really feal like an adult. I have trouble making decisions and accepting responsibility for my life. Thanks to the games, my willpower is weak and I'm always on the look for the quick dopamine fix...I even realized, that thanks to mobile gaming I had trouble even finishing more complicated games...So my willpower and concentration became worse even in terms of gaming.. The games I really finished became fewer and I hopped from one game to another as the excitement of a new game wore out.. Still I have a hard time totally banning games from my live. Of course I don't want my kids to make the same mistakes as I did...But I also don't want to demonize games as hobby if played in moderation. I want to be able to play Mario with them when they get older...And even if it may seem inconsistent looking at my history, but I think after a long detox I could play in moderation (only with my kids, not alone). That's my starting point...This morning I deinstalled all my games and steam as well as all mobile games... I have not yet decided what other hobby to pursue, since the most time I spent on games I already should have done something other... But I realize, that I can't replace games with work completely or I will be prone to relapse. So beside from spending more time doing the work I get paid for and keeping better care of our household I will take on one of my longtime goals of learning to code (again). I started a few times, but always discontinued as soon as it got more complicated... I will try to keep a journal here on the forum, to get my thoughts sorted and perhaps to help others (and of course get some encouragement).... Thanks for anyone who read all of this babbling and for this community....
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