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Everything posted by Zeno

  1. That's good of you to say, @Theresa. Thanks. I've had a very good week, since last I posted to this journal. I kept to my new habit of writing for at least two hours every morning on weekdays, the result of which was a complete draft of a journal article I've been meaning to write for over a year. It's actually the revision of a shorter paper I presented at a conference in The Time Before the Plague, but I still needed steady focus and an ongoing effort to coax it into something like a final form. I've also done more to clean/organize/reclaim my household, and had long conversations
  2. Welcome! Could you tell us a little more about your situation, your history with gaming, and your hopes for the future? That will help everyone who is active on the forum figure out how best to support you through the difficult first steps of quitting. Also, keeping a regular journal for a while can help you to get some perspective on yourself and where you'd like to be going.
  3. It's not just our own minds or habits that account for this, but the technological and economic systems in which we are entangled. In my lifetime (just over half a century) the number of things in my surroundings designed to draw my attention and reward my distraction with a hit of dopamine has increased exponentially. Television and radio laid the foundation, but the Internet and smart phones have made distraction-junkies of us all. Even when we look for "news" or try to learn about something online, we are only skimming for information, for little particles of "fact" that may be gathere
  4. Okay, I'm going to out myself a little here: I teach at a university. If you want a draining, time-consuming, often tedious and frustrating task, try grading a stack of papers from students. Hyped up on gaming, as I had been until recently, the task - maybe the most important thing I could be doing as part of my job - became nearly intolerable to me. I would so much rather be playing . . . I would do it anyway, because I'm a dutiful sort of person, but it would hurt . . . and that couldn't have been doing my students any good! Now that I've been off gaming for a few weeks, I can
  5. I've been on the site for about two weeks now. Gaming mostly seems to be part of a long-ago past, at this point, something I used to do in an entirely different era. I do occasionally snap through the frame into gamer-world, but it seems so much less appealing, now; it barely amounts to a temptation. It does help that I got rid of my graphics card, so that I didn't revert to gaming when the pull of gamer-world was stronger; I have not one shred of regret for doing that. I'm wondering, though, whether I'm at the limits of what I can do with this journal, other than to check in once in
  6. Spring Cleaning One thing I didn't say about yesterday's housework is that my initial intention was just to wash the bedding. But then I got annoyed by the ugly piece of wood sticking out from the side of the bed, and noticed the dust along the baseboards, and fell into just over two hours of steady work until the room was in order and clean. I even vacuumed the blades of the ceiling fan. Today, I intended to clear my desk and sort some papers, mostly in preparation for building and setting up my new desktop PC, I hope by next weekend. I ended up working for about five hours str
  7. I'm not sure when last I listened to music while working around the house. It's been a few years, a good habit lost in the frenzy of bad habits. I've started deep-cleaning my home office, and this is the sort of thing I've had playing in the background: Darol Anger is a phenomenally gifted post-bluegrass fiddler; I was lucky to be able to take a week-long workshop with him, a few years ago. For this recording, he invited four talented young musicians over to his house to jam and record. "Farewell to Trion" is an old-time tune by a fiddler from Alabama; he wrote after being
  8. My new trophy display: On the top shelf are books I've finished reading since I quit gaming; on the lower shelf are books I have lined up to read, not including books I'll be reading for my ongoing research projects (for work). Not shown are three books I'm currently reading: Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Phenomenology of Dance (for research), Isaiah Berlin, Liberty (for my side-interest in political philosophy), and Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand, and Stars (for the adventure of it). My goal is to fill the top shelf by the end of summer. I don't think that will be a problem.
  9. I haven't used it myself, so I don't know how well it works, but I've heard of an app called "Cold Turkey". Apparently, the only way to circumvent it once you've set a restriction is to reinstall Windows. But, again, this is only second hand. You should probably verify for yourself that the app 1) exists and 2) is safe to use.
  10. You might take steps to make it impossible to play. What platform is it on? PC? Console? (I have to confess I'm not sure what "d2" is!) Sell off/get rid of whatever it is you need to play the game, if you can do so without messing up other parts of your life. I sold off the good graphics card from my desktop PC, so now I can't play the open-world RPGs and sandbox/survival/adventure games that devoured my time, but my computer can still do all the other things I need it to do. It may also be a matter of deleting an account or, again on PC, installing an app that permanently block
  11. Sometimes it's good to find out you were wrong about something. In particular, I've discovered that the CPU I ordered was not, in fact, crossing the Pacific by ship. Rather, it had been delayed in a shipping facility in Asia until it could be flown across. It seems to have arrived on this continent, now, so I may have some hope of seeing it this week!
  12. Quick update: I now have the case, motherboard, and memory for my computer downgrade, but the CPU is still somewhere out on the Pacific and will likely not get here for another couple of weeks. That's all right, though, as I'm getting by with the ancient graphics card I found in the closet. Meanwhile, I received the money from the sale of my RTX 2080Ti graphics card, which does just about cover the cost of the downgrade. I'm also making arrangements to sell off some other old hardware that's sitting around, which can only help my budget. I spent a couple of hours today cleaning
  13. Zeno


    This reminds me that I have an ice cream maker around here somewhere . . .
  14. Zeno


    Especially if it's a batch of ice cream you make yourself. Hobby idea?
  15. One more thought: We're all in the world more or less by accident, and we are never in complete control of what happens to us and around us while we're here. But you are not entirely helpless, you are not alone, and you can give your life meaning by what you choose and what you work toward.
  16. What @Pochatok said! Give yourself a chance to find out what may be out there in the world for you! Life may be difficult, sometimes, and full of risks. The things you need to do are not always immediately satisfying. But day by day, year by year, you can learn how to make your own life and the lives of others better, even in small ways. You can find a purpose for yourself in that, and with it a kind of satisfaction that is far deeper and more powerful than the momentary pleasures you might get playing a game.
  17. One more thought, in addition to the previous entry. There's a sense in which my gaming habit was a symptom of a deeper disorder more than it was a disorder in its own right. This has led me to wonder if, once the jam has cleared and I am well established in a new kind of life, I might be able to play some games without relapsing. The answer right now is: I don't know, and it's far too soon to be making that call. I have to become well established in new habits, first! Actually, I'm quite skeptical that such a thing would be possible, and I hope I would by then also have other,
  18. The Key Log More than a century ago, lumberjacks in the Great North Woods of the upper Midwest in the United States, would cut down huge pine trees, strip them of their branches, and send them floating down rivers in huge "timber rafts" to lumber mills downstream. (This is the context in which the legends of Paul Bunyan arose, the giant woodsman with his trusty giant blue ox, Babe.) Once in a while, logs would get snagged on some obstacle, more logs would get snagged on them, and so on. Without swift action by the log drivers (or "river pigs"), logs would continue to snag until the r
  19. Well, reviewing my purchasing history on Steam - which doesn't include my purchases on EA, Ubisoft, and Epic Games - was good and bad. It was good in that I was able to reconstruct more of my history with gaming, part of my current effort to reconstruct and come to terms with the entire history of my marriage and the earlier trajectory of my career. That's really been helping me a lot, and has bolstered my resolve to recapture the promise of the early years of my professional life. It was bad in that it reminded me of all the games I'd played, and how and why I had enjoyed them, how
  20. A post elsewhere on the forum got me curious about my own recent history of gaming. So, I downloaded the Steam app to my phone, logged in, and checked out my store history. On that basis, I think I can reconstruct a timeline of my descent. ~2007-2013 - dabbled in games here and there, nothing very serious or engrossing; just little diversions I would turn to now and again to pass some time. I gave a lot more of my time over to learning to play fiddle; I'd stopped playing violin sometime around 1991. 2013 - Opened a Steam account. Marriage already getting . . . tense . . . for reasons
  21. I don't think I really want to know how much money I spent on Steam and all those other platforms. I would be interested to know the total number of hours I wasted in said games, though, and also to reconstruct the history of my descent after I downloaded steam, lo these many long years ago.
  22. Drift Another idea I've come across helps me to make sense of my experience over the last decade or so. This one comes from one of the pioneers of systems modeling, Donella Meadows, from her posthumous book, Thinking in Systems. (If any of you are looking for something interesting to read, I have to recommend this book. It's an accessible, nontechnical introduction to systems analysis in general, with lots of interesting and provocative examples.) The thing about systems is that they exhibit emergent behaviors (they are more than the sum of their parts), and if you want to chang
  23. Yeah, relapsing can really suck. Not a lot of good can come from kicking yourself too hard, though: you may convince yourself that you're not worth saving! I've struggled with the pandemic/home office thing, and I've helped myself a lot by rearranging some things in my household, supporting discipline with structure. I know from experience it can be harder with a family, and it really depends on the size and layout of your dwelling. Still, is your home office a separate room? Would it be possible to set up a spot outside your home office for other kinds of activities, like reading? T
  24. It's good that you have an honest friend, and an organized support group. It can be a strange and difficult adjustment, leaving gamer-world, but it's worth doing anyway.