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Primmulla

Thinking of going back to gaming

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My detox is coming to an end, and soon the total ban on gaming would be removed, and I would be allowed to play if I want to.

After reading your confessions here on the forum, I came to the conclusion that I was not really addicted to gaming. Games was not something I grew up with, in contrast, they were (or rather, the game was, since it was primarily only one game that I used) a relatively recent addition to my life. I can imagine living without games, though I do not have to imagine it, since this is how my life looked like for the most part of it :) so the game was rather an anomaly, an aberration in my life and not the normal state of affairs, and in contrast to most people here on the forum, my default behaviour is not gaming :) I know and enjoy many hobbies and activities, most of them give me much more joy than the game. For instance, if I had to choose one activity, I would definitely prefer reading to gaming. I like gaming, but there are a lot of activities I like much more. Also, I was interested only in one particular game, and mainly for reasons not related to gaming itself (because it was set in my favourite Middle-Earth, and not because I liked getting points or killing mobs - in fact, I did not enjoy these activities). Here on the forum, many people explain that they were switching from one game to another, and if for instance their parents did not allow them to play a given game, they played another, or if they could not afford a certain game, they chose another similar to it. This is not the case with me, since I tried other MMO games, but was not interested in them at all. I also tried Dragon Age but my interest in it was abysmally low, and I played it once in a couple of months ;) Today my attitude to it is that I want to complete it one day, to know what happens to the characters, but, to quote movie!Aragorn:

It is not this day!

Before I even started the detox, I noticed a steady decline in my gaming, I played less frequently and for shorter amounts of time, and I was getting slowly bored by the repetitive nature of the quests (I particularly hated killing mobs). From the perspective of time, I can now see that the game was indeed a passing fad as I thought at the beginning. I was attracted to it so much because it was something new in my life, something I have never experienced before, and this made the game so exciting, but as the newness of it wore off, so did the excitement of gaming. I like the game, but there are some quite irritating aspects of it, such as aforementioned slaying mobs. I often could not complete the quests without reading the solution first, and in worse cases, I needed to watch someone else doing the same quest before I could attempt to do it myself. So, gaming is not something I was particularly good at; in fact, on the contrary, there were many other things I am much, much better at than gaming (all other things ;) ) Another thing I hated about the game was that it took so much time to reach a given destination. The only thing I liked about the game was the landscapes and the opportunity to "meet" and interact with some of "The Lord of the Rings" characters. The game was giving me joy, but not as much as other activities, such as reading. I may put it this way that the game's time-joy ratio was not very good, since I had to devote a lot of time to achieve something in the game, while I could get much more pleasure from other things such as reading. So now, though I still enjoy gaming, I believe it is a waste of time in comparison to other activities, since I have to invest more time into it, and I do not get as much joy and fun as from other activities.

So, I guess I am not really the target group of this forum, since I can stop playing on my own accord, and I do not need any additional "push" to do so other than being bored by the game. I can play or not, and I do not care about it either way, and the fact that I am not longer obsessed allows me to play, since when one is very passionate about gaming, it is the reason to stop playing, while when one is not interested in games, it means that they can play safely without being addicted - the so-called gaming paradox ;) So, now I had my detox, I guess it would not be the end of the world to play once in a blue moon, now I have the attitude to the game that I can play, but I would regret it if I play not because gaming is evil or something like that, but rather because the time devoted to the game could be used for activities I enjoy much more, such as reading or translating. So it is not that I am not allowed to play or I have to abstain from doing something I like for some arbitrary reason. Rather, because each of us has a limited amount of time, it is only reasonable to choose the activities we enjoy the most, and not others which give us less joy. After my detox ends, I want to play a bit, do one quest just to find out how I feel about the game, whether I still enjoy it and want to play it from time to time, or whether I am totally indifferent to it. However, these are only my reflections, and if you are really addicted to gaming, like the majority here, I do not think you should follow in my footsteps ;) 

 

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just remember you quit for a reason and if you go back the cycle that made you want to quit may return.

Edited by Fuck

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Hey Primm, I'm glad you found and joined gamequitters whatever you decide. Just be aware going into it of the signs of gaming too much/addiction. Maybe you'll come back as a relapser or maybe not. :). Gaming is not a problem for everyone, but it is for most of us who came here.

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I agree with Laney. I've had thoughts of going back to gaming for one specific game coming out soon (Dark Souls 3), but I know in the best part of me, I shouldn't, because for me, gaming is a rabbit hole. If I turn that game on, I'm going to play it for twelve hours straight when I first get into it, minimum. It's not something I can deal with in a healthy way. You on the other hand, might be able to go about it in moderation. If that's you, more power to you. But the fact you came onto this forum goes to show that part of you knew that you had a problem on some level as well. Like you, I too started gaming less and less before I decided to quit, but it was only because I knew that gaming so much had me burnt out, and given more time off of them, I'd be more energized to play them once again if given the opportunity.

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I think the thing that you might not be considering here, @Primmulla, is that our brains tend to trick us into doing things. Our justifications are just that - justifications. The "lizard brain" manufactures feelings, and then we act on them - and put a narrative to it later. Our narrative has little to do with what actually happened, which is generally simpler and following a more animalistic pattern of behavior.

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After my detox was ended, I did go back to games, or rather to the Game, I do not call it relapse since quitting playing for good was never my aim. I enjoy the game moderately, less than it was at the beginning, but I also understood something about my gaming. I am not interested in gaming as such and often I find it rather difficult, I would rather watch my favourite tv series or read a book than game. I have a couple of tv series which I enjoy watching very much, such as Doctor Who (the best one for me), and recently Marvel shows such as Agents of Shield and Agent Carter (and others, mainly fantasy ones). Unfortunately, these are not easily available in Poland, so in fact I use gaming as a replacement of these tv shows, so that I would occupy my free time with something and would not think about these series and their characters, and would not be sad because I do not know what happens next and I would probably never learn it. If I could have easy access to these series, I would probably have no need of gaming whatsoever. So, after thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that I have problems rather with tv series than games, I wonder how could I get rid of the need to watch them? I do not spend all my free time watching tv series, not at all, the highest number of episodes I could watch is two on a Sunday, but I hate not knowing how a given tv series ends and what happens to the characters, it is like leaving a book unfinished before you reach the last page, maybe I am a completionist but as far as games are concerned, I used them mostly as a replacement for the tv series I cannot watch.

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I think that's awesome that you took the time to question your relationship with gaming and realized it wasn't an unhealthy one. Kudos to you and I hope you can continue to moderately enjoy gaming without ever falling into the addiction trap...I think for someone like me who has developed such an unhealthy relationship with gaming it is very different and it is probably hard for me to even remember what it felt like to have a relationship with gaming that felt good...I totally think games can be a beautiful story-telling art form that some people pour a lot of thought and creativity into, and are most definitely not evil nor is there any evil intent put behind them like it is easy to feel when one becomes addicted...I'm glad there can be people like you who can enjoy that mindfully! As for me, I've had my pleasant times with games and then the very shitty binge times so I'm staying away...for a good long while anyway, each of us just needs to be mindful of the place we are in and how everyone else's experience is different...I feel like I couldn't in good conscience advise you to quit gaming while you're ahead just out of fear you might fall into a trap, because that's just disrespecting my belief in you as a human to be able to lead a healthy, balanced life; and I think humans are quite capable when we apply ourselves, so go you and do your thing :D 

 

I disagree with you @Alkan, I think you're coming into this with the assumption that gaming is somehow inherently bad for everyone, which I think is flat out not true. And even if you think that is true, you can't go around placing your own value system on how other people are choosing to live their lives, everyone has their own system of values. Of course we justify what we do, I think that's true of all our behavior, and it's really not a terrible thing to have little guilty pleasures as part of our life, I think it's in fact perfectly normal. We can't expect ourselves to be perfect, or more than human, because we'll just invariably end up being disappointed of ourselves when we do. Of course when these "little guilty pleasures" overtake our life and we can't control them it's a different story. Our narrative about what we are doing, I think you could argue, is ultimately what we are and how we create our reality, and I think if Primmulla's narrative about his/her relationship with gaming is a positive one then that is a good indication that he's got a healthy relationship with gaming.

Edited by MmmWatermelon

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Hello guys,

I want to share my thoughts and reflections with you. As you know, I briefly returned to gaming in February, only to give it up for Lent. So, in a way I relapsed, though I do not call it "relapse" since I associate this concept with unintentional return to gaming, and I define it as starting to play again despite our wishes, and I had planned it beforehand. And now I understand this was where I made a very serious mistake. I would like to share it with you so that you could avoid making the same mistake. Though I was not particularly tempted to game during my 90-day detox, I did not uninstall the games (which would not be a problem in itself, since I was not tempted to play them as long as my detox continued), but my biggest mistake was in my mindset: I did not really intend to give up gaming for good, I considered the detox only a break in gaming, a pause after which I would be "allowed" to come back to gaming as taking such a break would "prove" that I am not addicted and hence can game. This was a huge, huge mistake.

Everyone who ever played games should strive to eliminate them from their lives, not for any period of time in particular, but forever. Even if they are not addicted in the medical sense of the word, and if gaming does not have any negative influence on their lives, because later on it may turn out to be a problem, and so it is better to cut gaming in the nip before it begins to cause problems.

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