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Wildermyth

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Today I took some photos of the king and queen of Sweden. The king is celebrating 50 years on the throne so he's visiting every major city, shaking hands and making speeches. I think he's grown tired of all the formal stuff at this point because he mostly looked annoyed and a bit bored. I couldn't get a single good picture of him and this was probably the best one.

I wonder if he ever thinks about just staying at home and watching Netflix. Or playing some video games perhaps...

 

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Feeling a bit down today. My mind has been occupied with some thoughts that I haven't had for some time now. They are slowly starting to come back to me due to some circumstances at work. I want to deal with it and just move on but it's hard since it's related to people that I care a lot about. I'm trying to find some strength from my friendships and family. Not all of them know the full extent of my issues but sometimes it's enough that I've opened up just a little with someone close.

Tomorrow I'm gonna finalize my home project with my photo wall and all the new furniture. I'll post some pictures when it's done!

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On 9/8/2023 at 8:20 PM, james1 said:

I'm new here. Your photos are incredible! Looking forward to seeing your photo wall and hope your day turns around 🙂

Thank you so much! That really warms my heart. And welcome to the site! I'm sure you'll find lots of support here. ☺️

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My photo wall is now finally done! I'm very satisfied with how it came out and I'm definitely gonna print some more photos in the future. It really livens up the home to have your own creations on the wall. Back up just a 6 months and this wall would've just stayed as a potential idea in my head, but thanks to my shift of focus from games to other more creative stuff things like this are starting to become reality! 🤗

 

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I also want to share my best picture so far that is the highlight of my photo wall. Unfortunately the site can't handle big file uploads so it's heavily compressed, but it still looks pretty enough. 🙂

The photo is of a lemon butterfly that is feasting on some nectar with its proboscis.

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On 9/14/2023 at 1:53 PM, Pochatok said:

WAIT WAIT are these your pictures or a well-arranged assortment of works from other artists? Either way, they're gorgeous and I'm very happy you have something so awe-inspiring on your wall!

They are all my photos that I've taken this year with my new camera. There's lots of hard work behind them so thank you so much for the nice compliments!  ☺️

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I'm closing in on 8 months gaming free now and also 1,5 month porn free! 🥳

It has really helped to get an accountability partner to rid my mind of some of these intrusive thoughts. There are lots of apps that you can connect with your accountability partner so when you have bad days and start to search for specific websites they get notified. I use an app called blockerX that puts lots of filters on my browser and the only way to get them lifted is for my partner to give me their approval.

I tried to use a setup like this with gaming with one of my friends but sadly there's no equivalent when it comes to apps that block certain content. There's only parental control on consoles which is not the same kind of thing. There's lots of limitations for kid accounts like age restriction, not being allowed to use credit cards etc. Gaming companies just count on adults to take responsibility for themselves and I really wish it was that simple. It would be so easy to just have an option in the console menu for allowed gaming hours and the only one who could change the slider would be a second party. Big apps like Youtube have these kind of features for adult accounts and I can't see why gaming can't make use of them as well.

It's kinda ironic how some gaming companies try to battle long gaming sessions with the implementation of certain mechanics or on-screen messages. MMO games for instance use rest bonuses for when you stay away from the game for too long, but that doesn't really affect your unwillingness to play - it only prolongs the first session that you have when you finally get back to the game. And all those warning notices on the startup screen that says that you should take responsibility and make pauses while gaming; they are only there as disclaimers for when the companies get into legal disputes. Everything just feels so backwards and cynical.

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I've been thinking quite a lot about games the last two weeks. I've been under the weather and haven't been able to exercise much. I've also felt a bit exhausted overall with everything going on at work. Autumn is one of those prime gaming seasons so it's not hard to understand why my mind lingers there at the moment. I'm trying to accept my feelings and not be too bothered with the lack of energy. My battle is always with my mindset and the less energy I have the more susceptible I am to intrusive thoughts. I get easily fixated with things that feel unfinished or cause too much stress and it's not easy to find strategies to deal with them. Sometimes a distraction can be the best way to go but sometimes it might be better to just let the thoughts run their course and then be done with them. It's hard to know which way to go at every turn and even getting caught up in this thought process can become exhausting.

Anyway,  I found a pretty nice video that made me feel strengthened in my decision. And it also gave some new perspectives on the term " game addiction":

 

 

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I feel like I'm in some kind of surreal new phase where I'm trying to shed lots of skin. I've been emotionally drained the last couple of days and I'm in this hyper sensitivite state where I feel more aware than usual; making new observations and keeping a razor sharp focus on my goals. I know I have the willpower to change a lot of things in my life by now but there are still so many circumstances that are blocking my mind when it comes to socializing. I'm slowly starting to tear these down one by one and it's both scary and a bit thrilling. Yesterday I had a long talk with a new friend about my feelings of love for a certain person and it was such a release that I almost felt like I was intoxicated afterwards.

My family is my biggest communication error and I think a lot of things stems from some hardships within my family past. I don't carry quite the same personality as before but there are still lots of things that I've not yet revealed to my family or situations where I'm not confident being myself fully.

I'm gonna call my mom this evening and have a chat about it and see where it leads. And tomorrow I've informed two of my collegues that I want to talk about my change in mood at work the last couple of months. They all know that something has been going on but I've been keeping it to myself mostly. I don't want to hide anymore or feel ashamed; If people can't take me for the person I really am I don't see the point of having them in my life. It has to be as simple as that.

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Today a Diablo IV video popped up in my Youtube feed and it's been a while since the algorithm recommended me anything gaming related. The title of the video was "Gaming's Biggest Tragedy", which made me click on it just to see how gaming once again had failed humanity. And it was the same old story with bad patches, game breaking bugs, poor communication with the fanbase, in-game economy revolving around micro-transactions and DLC etc. etc. Not wanting to play the game at all and having been away from gaming for so long now really made me feel sympathy for all the people that are still clinging onto this fragile fantasy. I've been so many times on the opposite end where I've defended the industry just to continue justify my addiction to games, but seeing it as a bystander now really gives you the full perspective.

One of the top comments of the video really brought home the essence of this lunacy: "The main problem with this game was that the end game really made you feel like you were wasting your life playing it. Most games are pretty good at masking this, Diablo 4 featured it."

You have this insight that you might be wasting your precious time, and still you hold on for your life, wishing for the next game to pull you in so hard that you forget all that anxiety that's building up inside. How have we become so delusional and destructive? It really is a tragedy.

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2 hours ago, Wildermyth said:

One of the top comments of the video really brought home the essence of this lunacy: "The main problem with this game was that the end game really made you feel like you were wasting your life playing it. Most games are pretty good at masking this, Diablo 4 featured it."

Wow, this is incredibly poignant. I've similarly had friends describe certain games to me as "a grind but you push through it, so overall it's good." All I can think is, why subject yourself to that? That sounds terrible, almost like work. I can understand on one hand if it's a story, but when you are just grinding away to level up?

It's probably because, as has been said numerous times on this site, it replaces a feeling of true progress. It's a "mask" as that person said.

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11 hours ago, Wildermyth said:

Today a Diablo IV video popped up in my Youtube feed and it's been a while since the algorithm recommended me anything gaming related. The title of the video was "Gaming's Biggest Tragedy", which made me click on it just to see how gaming once again had failed humanity. And it was the same old story with bad patches, game breaking bugs, poor communication with the fanbase, in-game economy revolving around micro-transactions and DLC etc. etc. Not wanting to play the game at all and having been away from gaming for so long now really made me feel sympathy for all the people that are still clinging onto this fragile fantasy. I've been so many times on the opposite end where I've defended the industry just to continue justify my addiction to games, but seeing it as a bystander now really gives you the full perspective.

One of the top comments of the video really brought home the essence of this lunacy: "The main problem with this game was that the end game really made you feel like you were wasting your life playing it. Most games are pretty good at masking this, Diablo 4 featured it."

You have this insight that you might be wasting your precious time, and still you hold on for your life, wishing for the next game to pull you in so hard that you forget all that anxiety that's building up inside. How have we become so delusional and destructive? It really is a tragedy.

 

Funny to see this today - I played a bit of Diablo 4 a while ago, but only got around to uninstalling it today.

I've bought so many games over the years chasing the way modded Diablo 2 made me feel (for the first hundred hours). Subjecting myself to boring campaigns in various ARPGs with the hope that the endgame might be satisfying. Even while recognising that I had stopped enjoyed myself with Diablo 2 either.

I probably bought more games when that sense of pointlessness was the highest, thinking I could outrun that feeling.

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On 9/30/2023 at 12:02 AM, Vee said:

Funny to see this today - I played a bit of Diablo 4 a while ago, but only got around to uninstalling it today.

I've bought so many games over the years chasing the way modded Diablo 2 made me feel (for the first hundred hours). Subjecting myself to boring campaigns in various ARPGs with the hope that the endgame might be satisfying. Even while recognising that I had stopped enjoyed myself with Diablo 2 either.

I probably bought more games when that sense of pointlessness was the highest, thinking I could outrun that feeling.

I've chased the same fantasy with numerous games. We want to relive those wondrous times when we got home from school and barely had time to eat before we booted up our favourite game. It was a less stressful time when losing yourself in the things you enjoyed felt less problematic. Sometimes we forget that we ourselves change as well as the gaming landscape. With maturity comes perspective and the sense that we might have to be more than what entertainment allows us to be. It's all about boundaries and finding that balance.

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This weekend I finally gathered the courage to speak to a person that I've been in love with for quite some time now. It has been affecting my mood dramatically these last months and I almost got burnt out. I asked for support from friends and family and listened to all of their advice, then I gathered what they said and made my own decision based on it. It ended up with me confessing all of my emotions to this person and even though I didn't get the answer I wanted it was still the best answer this person could've given me. Since our talk a HUGE weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I now feel more re-energized than ever. I'm still a bit sad of course and my mind still lingers around this person but it's easier now to change focus and feel positivity in my daily undertakings.

Most of all I feel lots of strength in trying to explore new and interesting things in life. At the moment I'm saving up for a trip to Iceland next summer and it's gonna be a blast with my new camera equipment. I'm saving up for a drone as well so I reckon the photos will be quite spectacular. 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today was a rather special day at work. Two weeks ago I was contacted by the swedish e-sports federation who were eager to promote a big gaming event at a local supermarket. They wanted us to assist them with technical stuff as well as hosting a couple of gaming activities. I was contacted specifically for this event as I have lots of experience with gaming and I also brought a collegue with me who has equal experience with games. Overall it was one of our most successful events since my beginning at the youth center and the organizers were further interested in co-operating around gaming related events. Their main goal is to build a healthy e-sports scene where e-sports teams are as natural to join as a local football team; where people can socialize, learn how to speak in a civilized manner online, and then manage their time correctly.

Of course a part of me was a bit hesitant to jump on this because of my decision to not play games myself. But I think the reality is that my competence surrounding this topic is so great that I cannot neglect it in a professional environment. The amount of contacts we made during this event is more than some of my collegues would manage over the course of a year. I also recognize that e-sports today (in Sweden at least) has a healthier perspective on gaming where focus is on eating healthy, exercising regularly, setting up boundries etc. Just like joining a real sports team where you have to look after your wellbeing in order to really excel. And this is something that I can relate to a lot to since I developed a very unhealthy gaming habit and from that experience I truly know how important it is to respect the drawing power of games and the need for balance. For the moment I'm chosing to use this as my strength when I have to engage with gaming related stuff through work. While I don't play myself I can still talk about it and inspire people to be mindful of lots of the traps with gaming.

I've written earlier in this thread that the only kind of game that might be interesting for me in the future are simulation games. Games that teach you something valuable or compliment a real life interest (like racing), invite to a healthy social environment (through e-sports for example) and where the game mechanics are geared towards a longer and more challenging learning experience, rather than conventional designs that trigger rapid dopamine releases. The reason for the latter is to grow tired of the game and see it as a form of exercice with scheduled sessions. In the context of e-sports it could be to train with your team at a location outside of the house, where everything is supervised and managed in a balanced manner.

The reason why I'm thinking about these simulation games now is because we met a local e-sports association that focuses on Formula 1, which is a real life sport that I truly love. When I owned a racing rig before I always wanted to find some kind of local community that were into those games but never thought that there were any. And as it turns out there's a pretty big community for these particular games where people seem to promote a healthy lifestyle. For the moment I just want to join them on Discord in order to talk Formula 1, but I am open to also be part of building this healthy local community and explore how we can bridge the gap between virtual and real world racing. But it has to come with some well thought out boundries of course as I don't want to be brought into the same scenario as almost a year ago now. This perspective is key if I ever decide to go forward with all of this. 

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19 hours ago, Wildermyth said:

For the moment I'm chosing to use this as my strength when I have to engage with gaming related stuff through work. While I don't play myself I can still talk about it and inspire people to be mindful of lots of the traps with gaming.

I think it's great you are looking for ways to help other people avoid the same challenges! That's what this community is all about in the end. 

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I had a meeting at work today with the swedish e-sports federation where we brainstormed a lot of interesting ideas for the upcoming future. I've yet to present our full working plan to management but I think we can do a pretty good pitch by now. The idea is to target young people in the ages of 13-23 that have a hard time leaving their home because of less desirable gaming habits. We want to provide a safe space for them where gaming is used in a positive manner; where they understand that balance and planning is benefitial to their long-term enjoyment in games. What e-sports provides is the ability to host supervised gaming sessions with trained coaches that have the participants' health in main focus. The goal is to bring out the qualities in each participant that will further help them in real life; like taking responsibilty for your language, working with others towards a common goal, structure your time, eat healthy and exercise. A lot of this also involves notions of masculinity and how we as males approach the online space in a friendly and welcoming manner.

All this work with gaming positivity and e-sports have made me join a local e-sports association (tied to our project) and invest in a racing simulator. When I decided to take a step away from gaming I said that simulation games would be the exception if they could manage to teach me something of value or bring me into a healthy social environment. It seems like this opportunity has now come to me and I'm willing to explore it. Working with a healthy attitude towards e-sports makes me feel more responsible and confident somehow. I'm reinforced in my decision to find a good balance when I also continously have to motivate that balance to inspire others

So far I've been invited to a Discord group with some adult e-sports players who like Formula 1 and we will host some training sessions together to begin with. During this process I will also have people on stand-by if things take a turn for the worse. I've listened to the wise words of some friends and family before making this decision as I don't feel alone in this struggle anymore. I also have so many new wonderful interests like photography and skiiing that I'm eager to continue pursuing. Racing will be for those days where everything else has been checked off, and if that cannot be achieved I'll have to review this one more time before heading any further.

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Had a really great talk with friends and family now who are all supporting me in my decision and promise to be on standby and help me if need be. I will not officially start my racing-sim sessions until the beginning of next week so there's still time to organize this in the best way possible.

I'll also start uploading some of my best photos to Redbubble soon in order to see if I can make some small money on them. If just a single person finds enjoyment in decorating their walls with them I would be immensely satisfied. But time will tell I guess. I'm crossing my fingers!

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So I've installed my racing rig now and tried it out a couple of times. It feels a bit strange to be in a virtual environment again. I hesitated a lot before starting up the F1 sim and I think it's gonna take a while to get used to this new commitment. I'm currently under the weather (the flu I think) so I've mostly stayed at home these last couple of days. It has presented a lot of opportunity to lose myself in the sim but I've mostly stayed out of it. So far it doesn't really have a strong drawing power and I think that's a positive thing. It is fun, but it's not everything.

I am hoping that we can find a place for our sim racing club so I can move the equipment there. It takes up lots of space in my tiny apartment and I kind of want it to feel like I'm exercising whenever I decide to improve myself on the sim. Maybe an opportunity will open up itself with the e-sports work I'm currently undertaking. Time will tell!

On a sidenote I'm a bit bummed out that the site is so restrictive with file sizes. I have to crop the hell out of my photos and even then I can't post that many on one page. I want to post a lot of new stuff but can't really until I reach a new page. 😕

 

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First snow has now fallen in my home town and I'm getting excited to go skiiing for the first time this year. I'm not sure if I'm gonna visit my family down south this christmas or perhaps go skiing with my sister before she moves. Currently she's living near one of the most beautiful mountain regions in Sweden with a great ski resort close by. The best thing is that I don't need to rent a cabin or pay for a ski card, as she's got all of that covered.

On the gaming side I'm still treading a bit carefully. Friends have asked me how I'm feeling about my decision which is great and some of them also have access to my Steam profile so they can supervise my habits. I'll probably set a mark around new year and then do a summary of the experience. Hopefully it will turn out well! 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm gonna visit my sister soon to go skiiing for the first time this season. We're also gonna spend some time planning our trip to Iceland this summer. I've been checking some travel forums already and can really feel the excitement building up. It's been about 6 years since I last traveled and being stuck in gaming routines I never allowed myself to fully plan new adventures really. But now I feel I have a steady platform to stand on with a job that is going well, an income that is constantly flowing, and lots of energy to do new and exciting stuff. Also a better balance when it comes to gaming of course. I don't feel the need anymore to make time to progress in video games and check off achivements which is a huge relief. I hope it will continue to stay like this even though I've allowed myself to play racing sims now. I'm holding my thumbs!

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It's been a long time since I've travelled, as well. One of the important flavors of life that gaming can take away from us. I've always found excuses for why I'm not going on vacation anywhere but it was really just gaming.

I'm also holding my thumbs! Hope you've found a good balance for yourself.

 

Edited by Captain_Pilz
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