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Blab

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  1. Note: These are some thoughts I wrote down during my first 24 hours without games. It's very scattered, but that's pretty indicative of how I felt at the time. 140919 Okay, putting this into words becaus eit helps my process things. I'm currently uninstalling all the games from my desktop and it hurts. It actually hurts to say goodbye to my games, to all the great stories and fascinating worlds. It's sort of like the feeling you get when you finish a great book in one sitting and return to the real world. I'm allowing myself to mourn them and be grateful to each game for the fun I've had with them. And yes, I realize how insane and overwrought that sounds. It's a bunch of ones and zeroes, not a beloved pet, but that's just how I feel right now. Also thinking about games I've installed but not played and all games coming out soon that I was looking forward to but won't play. It's giving me a lot FOMO, which is dangerous for me. I'm also starting to realize how much of my life revolves about gaming outside of playing them. __ I'm looking at buying the 90-day program guide, and for some reason I'm hum-ing and ha-ing about the price. Not because I can't afford it, but I like to consider value for money carefully when buying digital products. I also like to lie to myself. I spent €20 on a microtransaction a few hours ago and didn't think twice about it because it was "really useful" and "a great bargain." Yeah, fuck that. "I never buy microtransactions" I told myself, lying badly. "Well, except that one time. And also that other time. And those consumables and that exclusive bundle, but to be fair, it was a really cool skin! But it's okay because I'm too clever to be suckered into some freemium economy scam. I'm *so much better than that* --- It's 9:30 pm and I don't know what to do with myself. No idea. I've had some food and a shower and I'm thinking of going to bed early just because I don't know what else to do. It's not like I don't have things I could do. I have loads of books, a bunch of art supplies, chores, projects. But they don't feel like things I can just do. They've always been things I had to wind myself up for, make time for. For me, most activities outside gaming become *events*, not just things I do automatically and pick up and put down when I feel like. They're not things I can do mindlessly. They require effort. Also, I usually listen to gaming podcasts before bed. Guess I can't do that anymore. Huh. --- 150919 1007 Making breakfast and wondering what to do today. My to-do lsit is a mile long, but I'm not used to just doing chores. I put things off to the very last minute, often quite delibirately. I have this weird thing I do where I see how much gaming time I can get in b efore I absolutely, positively, urgnetly have to do a chore. It makes me feel like I'm being sneaky and winning when in reality I'm just screwing myself by not getting things done. Basically, my approach to chores hasn't changed since I was five: I still act like my mum is reminding me to do something for the 100th time and I'm still goign "pleeeeeease just five more minutes!" Also, sitting at my computer without gaming is weird. Everytime I switch windows I get the impulse to start up a game and have to remind myself that "oh right, I can't do that." I uninstalled all my games last night, which helps quite a bit, as I can't just clock a button an go. But it's weird to realise how ingrained the behaviour is. --- Just bought Respawn and am going through the first module and the four reasons why we play games. The reason that games fulfil a social need didn't resonate with me at first. I mostly play single player games, and I only play multilayer games that can be played solo, so I don't have to intereact with other players. I only really have one friend in my life and they're not into video games at all. So the social aspect of gaming doesn't apply to me, right? Wrong. I may not get social interaction from games directly, but I do from all the other gaming related media I consume like youtube, podcasts, etc. I almost always have a video running on my phone while I'm playing games, and some of the content creators are people I've followed for a decade or more, since before youtube was even a thing. And *that* is how I get my social fix from games. Through parasocial connections to people I'll never meet and who don't even know I exist. I've never bought their bath water, but I still use my imaginary friendships with these creators to plug the gaping void in my real social life. And isn't that the most pathetic thing you've read all day. So I have to quit youtube and podcasts as well. At first I thought that I could just switch to non-game related stuff, but that won't make an actual difference. If I want to get out in the real world and make real connections, I have to quit all the one-way relationships I have with internet personalities. Maybe then I'll realise how lonely my life actually is and be forced to go out and change it. Note: The whole "quitting youtube" lasted about a day and a half. I simply didn't know what else to do with my time. I'll have to quit in the future, but I have a lot more adjusting to do.
  2. Oh right, the journal thing. Two weeks free of gaming already. I've actually thought about making this journal every day since I started my detox, but apparently didn't get around to it until now. I've never been good at keeping a journal. I love doing it; I'm just terrible at keeping a consistent schedule about anything. But doing it badly is better than not doing it at all, so here we go. First post done. Can't wait to see where it'll go from here!
  3. Huh. You just made me realize that maybe Duolingo isn't such a great thing for me. I've spent a lot of time on it lately and I do go for the medals to the point of pulling all-nighters if I'm behind. I just thought it was good fun, but I think you're very right that the thrill of the "ding" is no different than video games. Thank you for your post. 😀 You've made me realize I have to be a lot more vigilant about my activities so I don't just replace my gaming addiction with pseudo-gaming.
  4. Hi everyone. I'm Blab and I'm not here because I want to quit gaming. I really, really don't. The idea of never playing video games again gives me anxiety and makes me feel like throwing up. And that's exactly why I have to quit. I closed down three clicker games before I started writing this post. Three! All boring and worthless, but the compulsion of watching the numbers go up and the fear of losing "progress" has me trapped. I came across Gamequitters after Jim Sterling's video on the WHO definition of video game addiction. I looked at the 90 day program and immediately my brain went into negotiation mode: "I don't have to quit, I can just cut down a bit" "I'll start soon, I juuuust have to play through this new content patch" "12 hours of gaming is *so much better* than 12 hours of netflix. InTeRacTiVE StoRyTELliNg!" "But I'll miss out on so many good games" "I'll just play this and that and try out new one and *then* I'll be ready to quit forever" That's the brain of an addict talking. Just one more drink, just one more pill, just one more level. I can stop any time I want! But I haven't stopped. I started playing too much at around 12 years old and never, ever stopped. I'm now, my home is filthy, my body is unhealthy, I haven't seen my friends in weeks, and I have spent my entire Saturday playing video games. Literally from the moment I woke up. My PC is next to my bed, the monitor and keyboard are ON my bed. I haven't emptied the trashcan or washed the dishes in over a week and I can't remember the last time I vacuumed. This is what almost every day has been like for the past ten years. And I've only just begun to realize it. Gaming is an objectively negative influence in my life, so why does the thought of quitting terrify me? I tried to look inwards and be honest with myself for a bit, and these are some of the reasons: I feel so much shame and embarrassment that I've gotten to this point I have to face the fact that video games are not just an escape from my problems; they *are* the problem. I have to take responsibility for the fact that my gaming addiction is the main why I'm not where I want to be in life I have to confront the sorrow and anger I feel over the time and opportunities I have wasted. So much of my time is devoted to games and gaming related media that I struggle to imagine what my life would be like without it It's a part of my identity and has been since childhood. The thought of leaving all the "progress" behind makes me feel guilty and stressed. I don't have a lot I'm proud of in real life; nearly all my feelings of progress and accomplishment come from games. I'm terrified of confronting the fact that all my "progress" is illusory and ultimately worthless. While I'm being honest with myself, I've realized a few things: None of my happy memories are related to playing games. A few are related to people I met through games, but never the games themselves. There are large parts of my life (months and years) I genuinely don't remember a single thing about. I don't remember what my life was like, what events I experienced, what people I met. (Spoiler alert: I was sitting at home with the curtains closed, playing games. All. The. Time. But I can't even recall which games I played.) I don't enjoy games that much. I start playing because I don't know what else to do, and I often force myself to keep playing to reach the next bit of progress My excessive gaming may have started as an escape from other problems, but then they became a crutch, then an excuse, then the whole problem itself. Gaming is an objectively negative influence in my life. I need to quit to save myself and I need to do it now. And yet, my brain is telling me to load up a game and play as much as possible before midnight so I can start my 90 days tomorrow and still call it a fresh start. But my 90 days start right now. And typing that made me cry.
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