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  1. I've looked into respawn. That said, due to some colossal screw up from myself and my bank combined, I can't use my card online for a bit, so even if I wanted to, I can't get respawn! Happy to chat about gamedev at any point to any of you, since it's a completely different and healthy mindset to playing, so feel free to ask away! I'm on the discord a fair bit, but I'll try and be on the forums more often too!
  2. Hi all! This journal is starting 4 days into my detox, so I'll sum those up a bit. From the get go, I want to be forward with you people: I've been very lucky to find this community before things got too bad. I'll probably have a much easier time of this process, because it hasn't gotten too bad yet. I guess I can mostly thank my job for that (which I got by getting my act together for 2 months of my university degree, right before the end, to job hunt. Also by making games from time to time). Anyway, tl;dr, things should hopefully not be too difficult for me. I've always gotten a bit frustrated at that kid in class who would get "only" 90% of the total mark, and say they felt like such an idiot, so to be absolutely clear with you all: I've read through the journals a bit. I've spoken to some of you. I have such an immeasurable amount of respect for what you guys are doing here. You've all inspired me to better my life, by dealing with a problem before it becomes a major problem. You as a collective have my unending gratitude. Anyway, hopefully this journal will document me turning from someone who can't do anything but relax in his evenings, into someone who works passionately at their job at day, comes home, and does the game dev they truly love to do. I know this person exists, because I used to be like that, so here's to a good recovery! Day 1 I could claim I chose an excellent day to start this detox, but really that was sheer dumb luck. On my first day, I had to travel to my cousin's wedding in France. Worked all morning, travelled all afternoon, hung out with my family all evening. Even if I hadn't started the detox, I wouldn't have had a moment to play any games. I guess that made my first small victory a bit free. Which was handy, because the real challenge for me was always going to be coming to terms with my gaming problem, or rather acknowledging it as a problem. To start a detox, you have to accept that what you were doing was wrong. And the huge reason that's difficult for me is just how much good has come out of gaming (which I went over extensively in my introductory post). I guess in the end, what helped me see the thornbush for the thorns, rather than the rose, was my latest addiction, Overwatch. Thank goodness they have a total playtime on your player profile, because that sure was a kick to the teeth. I haven't had the game for long at all. I don't get much time in the evenings. The fact I'd even had 80 hours of spare time since I bought the game came as a surprise to me (goes to show just how much the game ate into my sleeping time). And what do I have for it? Well I got a really sweet Play of the Game as McCree that one time in a game full of much better players than I. And I've had some great times with one friend. Now, how many good times and memories would I have if I'd spent that time making games instead? 80 hours is enough time to turn a non-programmer into a game dev with at least 10 small games finished. It's a lot of time. Anyway, I was filled with anxiety most of the day, fear of how well the detox was going to go. Afraid of the person I could have been, and how much worse I am than them. Ashamed of how well I'd hidden this problem from everyone else, how everyone thought everything was so OK. I told a close friend of mine, as well as my partner of 5 years (well, almost 5!) about it. I wasn't sure what to expect. Their reactions were both a tad underwhelming, which contributes to my belief that people didn't know how bad things were. I don't know if I should tell them, or leave that to be forgotten... Either way, the day ended with me worried, but part of this community. Which is a huge step forwards from the day before, and hey, Rome wasn't built in a day. Day 2 Once more, very little spare time. I got a bit, and used it to write my intro post, but this was the actual wedding day. And what a beautiful day it was. It was lovely to meet all my family again, to see my cousin so incredibly happy, to spend time with the wonderful man she's married. The only time I got to even think about gaming on this exhausting day was after breakfast and before I went to the wedding itself, which I managed to fill up with writing my intro post. Day 3 While the morning was full of recovering from last night, and the afternoon with travel, here's where my first real challenge appeared. All my travel was filled with horrible delays. Delays of the type London public transport has waaayyy too often, so the fact it's not the first time these kind of delays have happened ground at my patience even more. Then, when I got home, housemate A decided to confront me about all the mess housemate B left just after I headed off. Housemate A tends to use me as an intermediary to communicate to B, because I know B better. We're a wonderful house of three people who all have social anxiety in some way shape or form, so this kind of roundabout communication doesn't work for any of us, but happens anyway. On top of that, after the stressful trip, all I wanted was a nice horrible unhealthy greasy meal from the local Fish and Chips place, but they were closed because of sunday trading laws. So I had to go on an adventure to find a shop still open. All in all, I came back hideously stressed. So I spoke to B, my housemate who's just overcome a long lasting with depression (as described in my intro post), the guy who initially inspired me to fix my gaming problem, and told him about my new commitment to stop gaming. That helped mount the pressure against gaming. But then I was highly stressed, with no exhaust. Tried playing guitar, watching videos, but neither of those worked. Eventually, my social anxiety kept me afraid enough of A talking to me anymore that I turned off all the lights and lay in bed, to pretend to sleep, and hopefully eventually sleep. This was at 9pm, about 4 hours off what my body clock would normally let me do. But then the wedding saved me again. I was pretty physically worn out from the dance that I just drifted off at some point. Thank goodness for the wedding. Day 4 Once more managed to keep away from gaming, but this was mostly by browsing reddit, watching 2 hours of animated cartoons on youtube, doing a bit of gamedev, then going to bed super early again. Sleep wasn't so easy this time, but I managed to keep myself glued to bed, rather than playing games. I swear my hatred of "casual" mobile games, and my lack of knowing any non casual mobile games I like is a lifesaver here. Got a bit of gamedev done, specifically I did some animation, which I hate. So doing a bit of what you hate is quite a big victory here. Proud of that. More of that to come tomorrow.
  3. Hi all! I'm a 22 year old programmer, currently working at a company which uses Minecraft to teach kids to code. I work there as a game dev. In my spare time I'm an indie dev. I'm one of those people who on the surface seems to have everything sorted already. I have a steady career doing something I enjoy, and something that society generally seems to value (education). I've been in a steady (long distance) relationship with an incredible person for almost 5 years. I'm a healthy weight, if I may say so I cook pretty good food. I play an instrument, do art, and of course make games. If you look a bit deeper, that's where the cracks start to show. I always have bags under my eyes. I often complain about a job I enjoy. When I have time for myself, I often just disappear from the online radar (which, because long distance, means my partner won't hear from me), and come back miserable. I can spend all day talking about the incredible plans I have for my games, only to come into work the next day feeling horrible. Gaming hasn't ruined my life. My family, partner, and close friends have all supported me in small ways that have kept me away from it. So in that sense, I seem to be extremely lucky. Gaming is to thank for a lot of the good in my life Gaming has brought me a great many things in my life. It introduced me to game dev, which is an incredible hobby and passion of mine. This passion brought me to do the degree I did, which landed me my current career. It's introduced me to a whole collection of wonderful people I call my friends, people who would thankfully value me regardless of whether I game or not, but I would not have met for gaming. My involvement in competitive fighting games taught me so many valuable lessons about good sportsmanship, discipline, and how to improve the self. Somewhat ironically, that same discipline is what I'm going to be applying to hopefully get over my habits. So why am I stopping? I work on games professionally. If I cut gaming out of my life, the goal is to replace it with game dev. If that doesn't sound like it makes a lot of sense, I can respect that. There are two completely different mindsets behind game dev and gaming. You're all probably uncomfortably familiar with the stagnant lifeless way in which you game, where hours fly by, promises of "just one more game" ignored again and again. Game dev is nothing like that for me. Testing my games, even the games of my fellow devs, you're not playing a game, in the same way as a teacher looking over an exam isn't doing it for the sake of learning the answers. The feeling of game dev is the same feeling as I get from making art, from writing music. And it's a feeling that gaming is completely robbing me of. I work in London. Commutes in that city are long. I have to leave my house at 7:30am, returning at 7:30pm, each day. I know that I can come home, make some food, eat, and make games all evening. I know that this will get me to bed at a healthy time, feeling happy with myself, having progressed on my work, and gotten that one step closer to the lifelong dream of full time indie. But then it's so much easier to get home, say "Ugh, 12 hour days are long, I just need a quick game to relax". One quick game later, it's 1am, I haven't eaten well, my room is a mess, my girlfriend has been ignored, and I'm no closer to launching a game. I feel like trash. I don't particularly enjoy the feeling of thinking I'm a waste of space, just doing the daily grind each day and going home to stagnate in front of Overwatch for an evening again. Games have brought me so much good in my life, but times change. I don't have the impulse control I used to have. So many relationships start out wonderful, and end in a break up. I'm sorry gaming. You're holding me down from the amazing things I know I used to be able to do. We had some good times, but I think we both need to move on. It's not you, it's me. ...dang that was word-ier than I expected. Feels good to get this off my chest. Hi all! I've chatted to some people in the Discord already. I've browsed the posts here. I have huge amounts of respect for the challenges you're undertaking. Most of the best things I've done in my life were thanks to inspiring people like yourselves doing amazing things. So thanks for all the help you've already provided. It's scary saying goodbye to a part of me I identify with so strongly, but here's to the me I might be able to become through your help! Thank you all so much!