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Markus's Journal


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Hi all,

This will be my journal that I'll be writing once in a while. Probably it's not going to be daily in the long run but in the beginning I'll be writing a bit more often to let my future self see what was going on in the past.

I've been contemplating quitting gaming for a long time and I wrote a bit more about myself in my introduction post. As the November started looming, I thought that this is the perfect time to finally quit video gaming, or at least reduce it significantly. The only two "video games" I allow myself to play are Ring Fit Adventure (RFA) and Just Dance, as I have only used them for exercise and for dancing with my girlfriend locally. I also allow playing board games online with my girlfriend since we're in a LDR for a couple of months due to unseen circumstances.

I plan to quit consuming pornographic material at the same time, as I've noticed it's not healthy and I tend to have this balancing act between porn and gaming. Yup, I'll be doing the No Nut November too. I've done it in the past for I believe 60+ days and I believe I can do it again.

To start this all, I want to write down why I am doing this in case I my future self needs to see my thoughts.


1. I've noticed games are not as fun anymore. Almost all games feel the same or too similar.

2. I've started feeling that I have to play when my friend sends me a message in format "[insert abbreviation of a game]?". We're friends IRL but mostly spend time together online.

3. Sitting at my computer or playing games has became my default way of using my free time and it has been so for years. I feel sick of it.

4. Gaming takes a lot of time in comparison to what I gain from it in the long run. I'd rather learn new skills than climb a ladder in Dota 2 and then have all that be in vein once they release a next big update or the next big title.

5. I sometimes visualize myself from the perspective from another person, as a person who just sits at computer all day long, playing video games and trolling people every now and then. I pity myself when I visualize that.

6. I don't like what gaming has become as an industry during the last 10 years. Games have become a lifestyle and video games are not treated as digital toys anymore, but instead as a product to milk money with.


Day 1 (1.11.22)

Wow, what a nice date to quit all that super stimulating gaming and porn.

Pretty easy day overall. I removed Battle.net and removed the password from my password manager to make it harder to log in.

Went outside for a walk while listening to a podcast. It was energizing after a long day of sitting at my computer doing work. After that I did some exercise with the help of RFA.

Went to sleep a bit earlier than usual, started reading a book called "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts".


Day 2 (2.11.22)

Struggling. Knowing that it is a new month I recalled that Hearthstone has a new season starting (each month is one season) and it made me tempted to see what my rewards were. I noticed my thoughts going around why it'd be ok to just check the rewards and then just close the game. That way I "wouldn't lose anything".  So, I downloaded the game on my phone and booted it. I see the login screen and realize that I don't remember the password and it's not on my password manager. Became too lazy to figure it out and gave up on the idea.     Big victory!

Now that I think about it later on, I see that my brains just tried to justify why it would be ok to "only do this" since it wasn't part of the core gameplay. "I wouldn't be playing the actual game" my thoughts said and to me it seemed like a fair deal.

I've always been a fan of tech and I like to follow all the news of new CPUs and GPUs. Now that I'm not gaming anymore, I realized that following these news makes no practical sense at all. It never had. I've had this consumer mindset all the time, just wanting to know what's the best stuff in case I need to get new gear... I feel conflicted with my mind. I'll still probably check the show tomorrow out of curiosity since I enjoy analyzing their presentations.

Edited by Markus
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  • Markus changed the title to Markus's Journal

Day 3 - 4

Recent days have been rather chill since I've used more time on cooking and baking. I cooked my lunch during a lunch break that I usually don't do. Usually I just eat something premade and browse internet. I also baked some chocolate chip cookies and have been eating them for a couple of days now. The most difficult times have been the evenings since I just don't have many activities I'm interested in doing.

On 4th I started reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for entertainment and it felt good to continue reading the series after a few months break.

I've watched some Twitch, but quickly found it quite boring. I didn't really enjoy watching any of the gaming content there so I decided to watch a little bit of Youtube instead and then just had some proper rest.

On my thoughts/feelings side I've noticed that I do a lot of things in order to get acceptance. I've accepted gaming invitations in the past to feel more accepted as a person. On logical level I know that I'm acceptable and deserve love etc, but still feel that I want to become more accepted/understood. Perhaps I'm just not very confident as who I really am?

Day 5 (5.11.22)

Today I handled some shopping I've had on my todo list. I found almost everything I was looking for and it made me feel accomplished. With all the time I've had today (Saturday) because I don't game, I could have the city trip with a more laidback attitude and not rush home that I usually do. I had lunch at Subway and tried a new flavor I hadn't tried before and had sparkling water as drink.

I think this weekend is going to be the biggest difficulty I'm going to have since I'm so used to gaming a lot or some pr0n during the weekends to kill some time. I'm still not sure what I want to do tomorrow, but I'll probably watch a movie and cook a nice lunch for myself.

I've started to feel that I want to be more productive on my free time, even on Saturday, which I find a bit weird. In past I found Saturdays to be my recharging days, but it feels like I'm already well-rested. Maybe it's because I've done more frequent occasional light walks etc and spend less time just hunching at my PC?

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Been a while since last update, but I won't let it bother too much 🙂

Day 7 (7.11)

Had a bit anxious morning, but it got better after talking to my therapist. I found out that there are some needs that I try to fulfill by my compulsive behaviors. Acceptance and being understood seem to be the top reasons for me to start or not starting to do things, and for example inviting gaming invites even thought I don't feel like it is one of them. I also realized that the memories of old experiences may not reflect the kind of experience I'll get from the same thing in a good and bad way.

After the talk I went to have a lunch in a restaurant. I enjoyed it mindfully and instead of just watching videos or listening to the music at the same time I just got immersed with my surroundings, which felt great and soothing. I also got some groceries and a footbag for cheap, since I've wanted to try it for a while.

I cooked food for the week and it made me feel accomplished 🙂

In the evening I ended up watching some Twitch since my friend was streaming, though I didn't enjoy it that much. I noticed that one streamer I used to watch was playing a released version of a game I had played a demo of (Soulstone Survivors) and ended up with FOMO while watching it since the streamer had a great run going on. I continued watching the stream longer than what was planned originally. After watching the stream I felt a bit exhausted, since I had been sitting at my computer so long...


Day 8 (Triggers for people fighting with porn)

NNN got too hard to me as it started to interfere with my work. I couldn't think about anything else than masturbating and did it. How it happened? My brains first wanted to do masturbating and maybe even gaming, but then once I had fought enough, it just wanted one of them and I gave in.

And then did it twice again with porn, which broke my porn-free streak. A couple of days ago we had a conversation with my gf about porn and what we think about it inside our relationship and to her it's ok to consume it if it doesn't get in between us, which made me relieved. I don't think we had had the conversation before and because of that I had felt this shame about watching porn. The fact that I assumed porn was unaccepted in our relationship made me feel unaccepted, but now it isn't an issue on that side anymore. I need to do some thinking on what kind of value I want to set for porn in the future. I want to accept it as an occasional part of my life as long as I don't consume it when my gf is able to fulfill my needs.

Because I ended up watching porn, I started considering installing Skyrim with a bunch of lewd mods, because I don't want to watch unethically created real porn. I recovered Skyrim to my Steam library, downloaded it but didn't get any mods or launch it, because I started noticing a downward spiral that would lose all my progress on quitting gaming too.

Learning: All in all I think I'm good with NNN for now. For now I learned what I needed to learn, which is to not feel shameful of my urges and personal "needs". In past I've been able to keep porn consumption in moderation and am confident that I'm able to do that in the future too. I'll get back to quitting it altogether if I find moderating it too difficult.

I watched some Twitch, but it made me wonder why am I just watching games when I could play some? Sure, it makes sense to play since that's more fun, but I noticed the trap I was creating to myself when watching Twitch. I should not watch Twitch anymore as it's just waste of my time. I need to find some things to use my free time on.

In the late evening I went for a walk outside and listened to some game quitters videos. It was pleasantly silent and cool outside. Before going inside I sat on a bench and finished listening one video about philosophy there, enjoying the darkness. It was the best moment of my day.


Day 9

Today has been a pretty normal day. No urges to game. I'll be doing some exercises and will do some plans for what to eat tomorrow and the day after.

I've been learning to do tricks with footbag evert time I go to the living room or feel bored. It's been fun and I'm starting to feel some progress. Feels great!

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  • 3 months later...

Hi all, I'm back. 

I haven't been updating for a while since I relapsed at around 4 weeks mark and for a while thought that gaming is an ok hobby for me. I also quit porn again.

New things I learned about gaming

  1. At the end of the year I got a "year review" of what I had played on Steam and seeing all the hours in Bloons TD, Dota 2 and Elden Ring made me think about was it really worth it. It really wasn't. All in all during the year I had played 376 "sessions" and based on my calculations I played a total of 520+ hours only last year. That's over 40 days if I was to play 12 hours each day! It's insane!
  2. I used a lot of time thinking about games, Dota strategies, how to make gaming more fun (because I didn't find it as much fun anymore) and when a "next big game I want to play" is going to get released. 
  3. I just don't find gaming as fun anymore. Once I have gotten past the initial dopamine rush of playing a new game (or patch), playing the game feels like a chore because all the games use similar repetitive patterns to keep you playing more and more. This time it was with Hogwarts Legacy, which I played for around three/four days, after which I realized that I just don't enjoy playing it. The game became a way to pass time and I started feeling anxious about "giving up" that game. I felt like I would be some sort of failure if I gave the game up, which I found weird and kind of toxic tbh. I guess it has something to do with my completionist mindset.
  4. Playing new games and finding new strategies or ways to play has been a way for me to seek novelty. No wonder I want to seek novelty when I mostly use my free time to just game 😂
  5. It's very expensive nowadays. I currently own just a Switch and PC with old hardware if I was to play any new games. Being in EU, a new GPU would cost me around 400 euros if I wanted to have something that lasts for some time and if I want to play new games on medium settings. If I was to get a PS5 instead, it'd cost me 600 euros plus the games (around 60/70e each!).
    When I started playing Hogwarts Legacy, I naturally started to look for a better GPU to make the game run better, even though it ran 60fps on Low. It felt like a huge trap that I want to avoid. Perhaps new hardware is also a way to seek novelty. Playable Switch games also cost way too much for what I get in return (50-60 euros each).

Going forward

As of 16th of February I have quitted gaming again. I uninstalled Steam and all the games from my PC.
My goal is to not game, unless it's one of the two fitness games I have on Switch: Just Dance or Ring Fit Adventure, or if it's with somebody else locally. This way I may play a game with my gf or a friend once in a while. It must be their suggestion though.

The biggest threat to my plan is the Bethesda's upcoming game: Starfield. However, the game would probably require me to get a better GPU that would make the whole thing very costly. It's for the good I'd say, as I've started to put more money towards my savings and buying a new GPU would sabotage that plan.

Update on quitting porn
I quit porn again before the new year and I've been off porn for 52 days now. I feel great about it and I feel like I'm in a better mood overall. 
I didn't really track days. I just have a days counter on my phone's home screen but I rarely check it.
Quitting gaming might make me want to look porn again so I need to thread carefully, as in the past I've noticed myself moving from one dopamine activity to another. 

I feel hopeful about quitting gaming this time since I already gained a moderate success quitting porn.
I've also learned to express myself better and given myself a chance to try new activities, thanks to going to therapy.

I can do this 🙂

Edited by Markus
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Welcome back.

45 minutes ago, Markus said:

I just don't find gaming as fun anymore.

Can relate to that, this is a very nasty stage. Like you wanna game and have fun, but you’ve already set your mind to gaming=bad mentality. So you don’t enjoy gaming as much, it feels wrong, but you still do it. So you are in between two worlds: one is gaming, and one is your ideal life. And you can’t stick to either if them, just bouncing back and forth. 

I am not here to give you advice, in fact I don’t have any. Just want to say that you are not alone in this. 

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14 hours ago, Max said:

So you don’t enjoy gaming as much, it feels wrong, but you still do it. So you are in between two worlds: one is gaming, and one is your ideal life. And you can’t stick to either if them, just bouncing back and forth. 

You're 100% right. It really feels like I'm between two worlds: gaming and my ideal life. 

I started reading a book "Things that matter" by Joshua Becker and just after reading the first chapter I feel that it's going to help me to define my ideal life if I just put in the work that's required from me to do so.

At the moment I feel a bit lost since my life has always ran around video games and losing that one stable thing from life really breaks the solidity of my perspective of what life really is. It's really eye opening how much removing one thing from life can affect a person.

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On 2/21/2023 at 12:57 PM, Markus said:

You're 100% right. It really feels like I'm between two worlds: gaming and my ideal life. 

I started reading a book "Things that matter" by Joshua Becker and just after reading the first chapter I feel that it's going to help me to define my ideal life if I just put in the work that's required from me to do so.

At the moment I feel a bit lost since my life has always ran around video games and losing that one stable thing from life really breaks the solidity of my perspective of what life really is. It's really eye opening how much removing one thing from life can affect a person.

The positive thing is that you have the ability to find immense enjoyment in your interests, so even if gaming is out of the picture there's a big chance that you might fall in love with something new. I've fallen in love with skiiing and there's not a day that goes by when I don't think about it or plan something related to it. Can highly recommend it if you live in a snowy area. 🙂

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Sigh, I relapsed today.
On another note, I made it through a week! Now I can do it again for sure 🙂

I ended up playing modded Elden Ring with my friends. I originally thought that hey maybe it could be fun to play some even though the game had become a chore in the past.
I had seen my friends play it the past 2 days and it seemed interesting. In the morning I googled the mod's wiki a bit (big mistake, it just made me want to play it more) and told one of my friends that the mod seemed interesting. I felt like I had made a promise with my friend when I showed my interest, as in our group we're very welcoming of others joining.

After my workday I was fighting with my PC to get the mods work for 60 minutes. I was about to give up on it but then on the last try I got it to work.
We played for 2 hours and for the whole time I felt agitated and stressed because others wanted us to just go quickly from one place to another.

I felt frustrated and like I was lacking freedom while playing but I continued with hope of the game becoming more fun if I just gave it a chance. It never started to be fun. 
After those 2 hours, I told my friends that I've played enough and I was getting tired so we stopped playing.

After that I tried one Final Fantasy rhythm game demo on Switch, as we're about to play it with my friend locally in a couple of weeks. I'm happy that I've managed to set up a face-to-face meeting with him.
The game was ok but once I had played some songs that I didn't enjoy and I had to play through them to get a chance to unlock a song I like, I started to question that do I need to play the game to enjoy the music of Final Fantasy series? The answer was no. I could just listen to the music without playing the rhythm game or the FF series.

I searched YouTube to check how long some of the Final Fantasy games are in "movie format" and I was surprised that even many of the old ones were over 6 hours (newer ones are longer). And that's without all the grinding! I could watch several movies with the time I would play through one game.

Why did I relapse?
I have a couple of things that are my biggest guesses:

  1. I went sleep way later than usual and felt a bit bad about it.
  2. I let myself indulge in browsing a game wiki.
  3. I watched my friends' gaming stream and it made me more interested in the game even though I originally knew I don't enjoy playing anymore.
  4. Weekend is starting. Weekends are always my biggest weakness since I see how much time there is to spend. My thoughts tell me that gaming is an easy way to kill time and have "fun", even thought it isn't. I also sort of want to escape weekend since I see it as an opportunity of change and I'm afraid of missing that opportunity. Therefore I escape the fear of failure to gaming.

After playing those 2 games for a total of maybe 3 hours, I went for a walk. Bought some groceries and on the way thought about my gaming problem.
I realized that I was slightly afraid of letting my friends down if I quit playing Elden Ring now. In the end when I got home I immediately told my friends that I don't enjoy playing ER and that they should continue without me. Another friend of mine who has a problem enjoying games nowadays was agreeing with me on my issue of not getting any enjoyment from games anymore and I felt supported.

Next steps
I already uninstalled Elden Ring. I also uninstalled the FF rhythm game demo.
I need to come up with something to do during the weekend. I'll learn more about fitness as I noticed how my core strength isn't on the level I'd like it to be.  I work on computer for my daily job and therefore it's especially important to take care of my body on my free time.
I'll explore my fear of not getting things done during the weekend and let myself to not do much with my free time. I don't want to have too much pressure on my free time. It's my free time after all.

Edited by Markus
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On 2/22/2023 at 7:06 PM, Wildermyth said:

The positive thing is that you have the ability to find immense enjoyment in your interests, so even if gaming is out of the picture there's a big chance that you might fall in love with something new. I've fallen in love with skiiing and there's not a day that goes by when I don't think about it or plan something related to it. Can highly recommend it if you live in a snowy area. 🙂

Indeed, for me it'll still take some time to get used to more mundane activities, but I believe that if I can push my desire forward enough, passion will follow.
As for skiing, it's a possibility here since it's very snowy but the landscape mostly allows cross-country skiing that isn't my thing. My feet get way too cold with that😅

I'm happy that you've found a thing you love however, it makes me hopeful that I'll find something similar 🙂

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Quick update:

During the weekend I went to a nearby library and spent an hour there reading a book about minimalism. I borrowed that and two other books to read at home later. 

Yesterday I had a tough day. In the evening I started feeling down for some reason, don't know why. My gf called me and it cheered me up. 

Today I worked quite late and I didn't even feel that tired afterwards. Perhaps going for a walk outside and reading more books recently has something to do with it? 

I also had an urge to buy something online. I wanted to get a otomatone instrument ("just 30 euros!!") but I realized that I already have a melodica that I hadn't used for a while. On my lunch break I played it and was surprised how well I could play it after a while even though I played piano for just a year/two in past. 

Good day overall. Happy about how "normal" my life feels now. I feel no urges to play any PC games. 

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This week

Had a good work week. I didn't feel like my energy levels went low at any point of the week. 

Spent some time with co-workers playing table flippers and it was fun even though I was terrible at it. Got to talk with new people there too. At first I thought I would've wanted to go home early and just relax at home but I ended up staying and enjoyed my time. 

Today I made some pancakes in the morning and then visited my friend for the whole day. It was a lot of fun to meet him! 


Dream future me and letting go

I've had this sort of an obsession towards drawing and wanting to become good at it for years now. Yesterday I started thinking whether it's not good for me to think about drawing and wanting to become great at it.

I have had it for a long time and have seen it as a goal, though I never seem to want to actually reach it. I feel like it has been a coping mechanism of sorts as I have seen that dream self as a "back-up plan" in case my current career f's up, even though I have very stable work atm. Whenever I drew, it was mostly to get acceptance from others or to challenge myself. Not purely for fun. For example I drew for other people and was sort of waiting for a praise or them showing thankfulness after receiving a drawing. 

I think I've had a toxic relationship with my drawing hobby as I don't really want to do it but it sort of makes me feel hopeful, but also regretful because I don't draw as much as I "should". 

I want to let go of expectations on drawing. If I draw, I want it to be for fun, not because I have at some point set this path for myself to become a great artist.

I don't even know why I want to become great at drawing anymore. I don't even know what I would like to draw well... I feel like I have just built this goal just because I want to have some goal, to have something to live for. 

Giving up and letting go of this dream version of myself is very scary though. It feels like I am denying success from myself and that I am saying no to the great future I would have. But I know that the future has not happened so it's not true. It's a dream version of myself and it's not true. 

It is hard but I have to let go of this it and if I want to pursue drawing, I need to rebuild my expectations from the ground up. 

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The last couple of days have been ok for me. 

My sister visited me on Monday and we had fun eating outside and walking in some malls. I was happy that I was able to provide her a place to sleep for one night. 

Today I didn't have a productive time at work, as I kept browsing the internet and chatting with my friends. I even checked PlayDate console's game catalog even though I don't have one nor I really want one. 

This was my today's success: In the evening I felt bad about my workday and my work ethics. I was on a brink of just going to YouTube and dull my internal pain but decided to do the responsible thing and worked for 30 minutes in order to pay back my lost time during the work day. It really paid off as I managed to finish fixing the bug I was really confused about the whole day. Getting it done and following my values of being a honest worker made me feel great! 

I have recently used some of my free time to sell stuff I don't use anymore on the local Craigslist and I've so far made 80+ euros by selling my old drawing tablet, a boardgame and a computer mouse. Feels good to finally get rid of those things that have been lying around for years. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven't updated for a while. Was visiting my parents and felt sort of freed out of all responsibilities, even though I worked from home. 

Being with my parents and sister did good to me and allowed me to recharge without my brains getting too obsessed about productivity. 

I was off Discord and internet for most of that time and it felt good. Having less screen time is good for me. 


Unfortunately I also relapsed on watching porn and had to reset my over 90 days counter. I'm very happy that I made it that far and believe that I can do it again. 

My relapse was rather slow process as in the beginning I was just reading some furry comics with no sexual themes, but I happened stumble upon some nude stuff. I thought it was ok since it wasn't sexualized and I still do think so. The problem is not seeing naked bodies, but instead seeing images that has a porn-like focus. 

I rationalized that seeing that content was ok for "research purposes". I know, it sounds funny af but as a person who likes to draw and want to improve in anatomy it makes sense. Then I started seeing actual porn images on DeviantArt, which is really weird to me that they allow so overly sexualized stuff there. 

In the end I relapsed to videos and now after a second day of watching P I want to keep it in control, to stop watching it again. 

I felt that I started watching more often on the second day and I don't want it to get out of hand again so it's wise that I just stop watching. 

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Well, I relapsed to porn once again. Time to reset my counter. 

On the other parts of my life things have been great. I have noticed that I have started to have a longer attention span and it's easier to focus on my work and notice when I need a small break. In past I used to go to reddit or browse some other site whenever I couldn't focus anymore. Now I just take a small walking break and it's enough 🙂

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Time to reset my gaming detox counter. 

It started going downhill when my co-workers started talking about one idle game. Working at the game industry makes detoxing harder since I have to test and play games for research purposes. 

So, I started playing the game on Thursday during working hours since it was work and I was in control. Then when the working hours ended, I had this urge to keep going with the game.

Damn idle clickers have always been a weak spot for me since you can do more and more to optimize your future gains. If you don't upgrade, then the future upgrades are going to take a looong time. 

So, I played for the weekend until I got to the stage where you reset the game to get some passive bonuses so you can do it all again but faster. Then I started to wonder why in hell am I even playing the game. I played it only to fulfill this feeling of frenzy, similar to what you get when watching porn. 

I uninstalled the game and ended up playing another game. It wasn't fun. 

Today when I was walking to a grocery store I started to think about dota and how nice it could be to try it again, but I quickly said no since I'm past that soul-sucking game.

I played an MMO for a couple of hours today and watched some South Park at the same time. I never thought that I would do that. It felt like I was in the far end again, perhaps even further since I have never gone as far as to play a video game and watch a tv series at the same time. 

That was it. I don't want this to continue. I don't want to keep making this mental image of myself sitting at the computer every day for 10h+ a reality. It sounds pathetic, and I have to admit that it is. I want to change. 

Time to start from 0 days again, let's go. 


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