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Moderating, and changing the types of games I played (success)


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My name is Josef, and about three years ago I participated in the 9 month detox from gaming. I am 28 years old, and have a job I am very happy with, a great marriage, and enjoy a lot of outdoor activities. Throughout my life however (especially childhood), I chose gaming over almost all activities. Although I was able to control my gaming to a decent degree as an adult, I still found myself strategizing around my life in order to maximize my gaming time. It started to create a rift between me and my wife, and I realized something had to change.

After my successful 9 month detox, I ran into the issue where a lot of my friends were still gaming, and I began to feel left out (and in the height of COVID as well). I wanted to be able to casually game with my friends, but was worried about being dragged in to the deep end once again.

The answer I came to was to change the types of games I was playing. This meant no more MMOs or any type of game that required me to put in hours in order to fully enjoy the game. No more games with weekly challenges, special one-time opportunity item drops, or any type of serious competitive play.

After discussing this with some of my gaming friends I was able to convince a couple of them to join me in this effort, and it has been a totally different world since (for the better). We now only play on free weekend nights (if no other plans outside of gaming), for just a couple of hours, and we have been enjoying ourselves far more than before.

It's my firm belief now that video games should not ask for anything more than what you decide to put into them, and I feel my dedicated switch to this philosophy has very positively influenced my relationship with gaming and is something I can still enjoy with my friends who live far away without any strings attached.

Curious if anybody else has thoughts on this or has had a similar experience with gaming. I've listed the gaming activities I now participate in with others.

Edit: I think moderation can be really really hard for some, and obviously for those who have serious struggles with gaming need more than just somebody saying "oh just moderate your gaming," because I know personally it takes much more than that when you are in a bad place.

- Halo story modes (sometimes online if just for fun)

- Monster Hunter

- Lego Star Wars

- Nintendo Switch games with my wife (Mario Golf, Mario Kart, etc.)

- Golf with Friends (a really fun, super casual game)


Edited by Joesulc
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  • Joesulc changed the title to Moderating, and changing the types of games I played (success)

Married. That will do it right there. And I'm not just talking about video games. My best friend recently got married. Even though we never played video games together, it was for lack of better words, game over for him. I eventually stopped asking him to events, because it had to be approved by the wife. No thanks. 

Hanging out with the boys for me was just card games, darts, and watching sports, but for you it was multi-player video games. I see both, as the same. They are both social events. No different than if you and your fiends met at the park daily or weekly to play sports together. Or watched sports together. Or went to the movies... Or went to a bar... Or went out to eat.

I never was into multi-player games, for me, video games were an escape from people. Single player, story rich. Now, I too am Moderating, and changing the types of games I play. Just for different reasons. Glad to hear about your success! 

Edited by Sysop
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  • 4 months later...

This subject got my attention because I wanted to know: Are fun, relaxing activities totally programmable? What is it that makes a certain activity arouse interest and others not?

At a Gaming convention event I once saw a middle aged man given a chance to play a beta version of an upcoming triple A rating video game. He spent a few minutes at the computer and left. On his face I could tell he was absolutely not immersed. So what was it in this man’s experience that didn’t excite him? I think he grew up in a setting where values were so different and so he was wired differently, the experience didn't produce any interest.

Which brings me to the issue of setting yourself up in youth to like things which are not sustainable. Whatever the stage in life, don't set up  friendships and habits about harmful things.

This sunk cost fallacy that Cameron talks about isn’t just about an expensive rig or “game library”. It is about memorable events from childhood that set up such a trap. The transition can be very lengthy. Cam even mentions that his attachment became so strong he even has nostalgia as he thinks about gaming days.

But, the time invested into forming new habits soon stars forming new connections in your brain and hence new values and allows you to be content without harmful activities.

I discussed the similarity between shooter games and paintball and there is a lot of overlap. The only thing is paintball cannot be abused. As I played non-stop for over 4 hours, the physical strain is a controlling element that disallows the kind of harmful relationship that one can have with games. And so I need a week to recover from the match until the next game.

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