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.
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.
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?
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.