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This is not about gaming - Journal

Reno F

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It is about living the life you want.

First of all, it is great to be part of this awesome community!

My name is Reno, born in Brazil but been living in Japan for the past 3 years and a half. I'm 34 now and my issue with gaming follows me since the 8bit era. To be honest with you, things weren't an issue until I moved here.

Despite considering myself a game addict since my teens, this addiction has never gotten out of control. I have never said no to any other activity to keep playing video games instead (except, maybe, doing my school homework, ha). School was fine, I used to be in the top 10 of the class, I often played soccer with my friends, tabletop rpg, guitar, go to the movies, travel, meeting with people I'd only met on the internet (good old Irc) and I still had plenty of time to game on my Mega Drive (Genesis in the US, I guess) and play on my 486Mhz PC.

At Uni, things got busier and I eventually stopped playing video games completely at the age of 21. I also joined a music school and studied classical guitar. I had a punk band and also studied English on a regular basis (funny fact, gaming is the main reason I got interested in English, as there were no games in Portuguese at that time.). I was too busy to game and I didn't miss it at all. Playing games sounded very silly at that time.

To keep things short, I got married to a Japanese national and came to live here in 2012. I spent the 1st year studying Japanese only and working part time in a Italian Bar. It is not hard to see where it would lead: back to school, lots of free time, no connections outside school, not a lot of money, and much time to kill. On the last two months I had on average 25-30 hours per week wasted on games. Now, as I mentioned in the title, I was very far from living the life I wanted, and that made me very unhappy for over one year.

Because of games, I found Game Quitters and a reason to move on; and for that, I'm very grateful. I hope to be part of this positive flow; together we are strong!


Game Detox Project - Day4/90


Edited by Reno F
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Hi Reno!

Welcome to the Gamequitters.

I think you did a lot if you were playing on average up to 30 hours a months.

That's on average 1 hour a day!

However, you can always control that sphere of life better, and this is the place when you can easily gain this skill.

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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One of the first things I could relate on all of the great advices I read on Game Quitters is that, after you quit you must have a plan to fill in the now-empty spaces on your daily schedule.

My biggest struggle on my history with games was to quit the-game-that-I-do-not-dare-to-mention. When I finally had the willpower to quit it, I saw myself one week later spending the same amount of time surfing mindlessly on the internet and scrolling down my facebook timeline. "The problem was not the-game-that-I-do-not-dare-to-mention" - I thought. And I was right. So, I reinstalled it and started playing it again (facepalm emoticon).

This time, I had a plan. I have read about quitting while playing. I have watched videos, seen who's been through it. Two years ago, I had built up a productivity system on the guidelines of "Getting Things Done" by David Allen (excellent book for those who want to be organized, reduce stress and for system-crazy maniacs). I stopped feeding the system with new activities a few weeks later after I had build it, because "all I had to do" was study Japanese. I opened it up recently and, on the category "To work on one day", I've found some good material to start with the Detox:

  • Build up a body I would admire - I've been skinny all my life and I have some sort of admiration for the male body, one that maybe Michaelangelo might have had. From that, Project Conan was created.
  • Learn Guitar Improvisation - This is an old one. It is an unconcluded dream. I had to buy new equipment, but I did it with joy and excitement.
  • Tabletop RPG - To work on my creativity and to keep in touch with the folks in my home country.
  • Learn Proper Japanese - This one wasn't on the list. As much as I dislike Japanese language, I realize that it is necessary to be proficient on it if I want develop connections in the country.

These are the main things I'm filling the time I got free. Not the ideal list in terms of what I want to be, but everything in there (except for Japanese) is something I'm passionate about.

I've also installed RescueTime on my devices. The idea that there is "someone watching" my activities on the computer is great against procrastination.

Detox Project, Day 5/90


Edited by Reno F
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Thanks Reno!! Love Rescue time!!! How did you even find out about that app? Great post and stay strong brother!!

Guess where? On this same forum! If I'm not mistaken, I saw Username for World Peace mention it on his journal.

Hey welcome Reno! If you want to train your body with bodyweight I found this routine  and enjoy it very much.

Thank for dropping by, mate. I borrowed some advice from the routine you posted. I read somewhere that the tough guys from the army build their body mainly with their bodyweight. I've had these dumbbells for quite a while and I built up a workout routine with them. Yet, I work leg muscles without additional weight (kind of a weak knee).

Now to the journal



I think I felt it the day before yesterday. It is hard to describe the feeling, as it was something completely new to me. A mix of anxiety, helplessness and perhaps lack of energy as if I were about to get sick. Now, it was especially weird, because, in spite of thinking about the times I used to kill time gaming (last week, ha), I didn't feel any urge to play them. I didn't feel the need to play them. Not at all (well, maybe once, but it was a social need, more than a 'play' need). Yet, I felt it was somehow related to the abrupt change of habits. I wonder if that's how drug addicts experience when they go through a rehab routine.

Maybe I was lucky enough that I felt it near my bedtime, and it didn't disturb my sleep (I woke up at 3:30am, though, and couldn't sleep again until the next night). But my reaction to it was to be aware and experience its effects to the fullest. By understanding it, I can take some lessons from it and be prepared if there would be a next time.

Something that I've always thought cool was carrying a pen and a notepad in your pocket and take notes from whatever you found interesting or useful during your day. I always pictured Sherlock Homes with a notepad writing clues at the crime scene, a scientist taking notes from his observations, also Jonathan Harker from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Then I came across the commonplace book concept with one of the members from here. "Wow, this is real", I thought and quickly created a new notepad on the Onenote app. As much as I want to carry a paper notepad, saving notes on the "cloud" is more accessible and reliable.

I wanted to write something about meditation, a topic that got on my mark on the last couple of days, but all I did was check some apps on my mobile. Does having an app really helps on that? I'm kind of inclined to the #betterwithoutapp movement.

Before I forget: It's been f***ing 1 week, f*** yeah!

Detox Challenge, Day 7/90

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Commonplace book is a concept! Cool.

The first time I read about was in Dale Carnegie´s Public Speaking book.

He recommended writting your ideas down in pieces of paper and sorting them in letter envelopes for different categories. That was of course before IT boom lol.

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7 days have passed since the commitment to the detox challenge and I'd like to leave a record of some of the changes I've got from it so far. However, I also want to note that I wasn't easy to commit to it. It took me many months to fully commit to change habits and pursue the lifestyle I'd like to live on, and many other years of reading about success and overcoming. I had lived in a different pace before, and slowing down here in JPN led me to a trap that I wasn't aware of. In spite of the drawbacks and wasted time, I feel I got out of it stronger and better prepared.

  1. I don't feel like playing games anymore. I can't recall feeling this good about myself in the past 6 months and my main thoughts are now on how to keep this hype going on for the next, uh, 50 years. I still think about games, eventually. and I think that's ok.
  2. I started using a calendar actively and put my life in order. Never missed and appointment. Created value for my time.
  3. Increased my dumbbells on 2,5kg. I commited to get in shape a month ago. It's about time that I became able to excercise with anything heavier than 5kg.
  4. Bought a guitar and started studying music again. Now I wonder why I ever stopped.
  5. Joined a Language Exchange group. Meet new people, practice language, develop social skills, can this be any better?

To conclude this post: Yesterday I shared my achievement (1 week without game) with my group of friends over an IM app. Of course there were a lot of questions, like "Why did you stop?", or "Did you quit forever or it is only for those 90 days?", but there was maybe two of them who were salty and provided negative feedback. My instant reaction wasto bash them on their weaknesses but as soon as I started typing my answer, something stopped me immediately. "Fuck, I'm too well for this" - I thought, and replied: "I love you too, mate. Whenever you need, I'll be there! (heart emoticon)".

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Thank you all for the comments! This time I also feel I'm on the right path!

I have started several other journals to record my progress on different areas of life, such as health, social, enterpreunership, etc.

Right now I'm coming across invaluable information for personal growth and in order to solidify the content on my brain, I have to put it into practice as soon as possible. Otherwise it will be stored in the depths of my memory, unnaccessible by regular means. So, I started a notebook to take notes and write resumes on the books I read. I have paid a debt from my adolescence by finishing "Sophie's World" and now I am rereading the 7 habits - this time taking notes and trying to put immediately to action what I learn from it.

Writing, reading and exercising feel like a habit now.

It feels good to be alive.

Detox Challenge, Day 11/90


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This was a quite productive week.

Had a great time with the language exchange group last sunday. It takes place in an Irish pub in Kyoto and there were several tables with about 40 participants. On my table I was the only foreigner so I felt kind of privileged to have 5 Japanese native speakers to chat with.

I've also found motivation to keep a routine on Japanese, so I took the dust out of my textbooks and also started studying with a flashcard deck. My goal for next week is to make it a habit.

I'm also more aware of what I eat everyday. I'm trying to put on weight, something I could never do in my entire life, even with the help of junk food. Trying to put my money on healthy stuff, which fotunately for me, it is not very hard to do in Japan.

Regardless of everything, I still need a long term goal. I've wrote down a list of things I'd like to do and I'm giving some though on it. I have this belief that eventually, something will come up, but I want to give my luck a little push.

And before I forget:


2 weeks!

Edited by Reno F
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Quick post so I can get out some stuff from my head.

On saturday I joined my first ever Toastmasters meeting. What a great event! Most of the club members are Japanese, yet, they make speech in English, which is very inspiring for me, as a Japanese student. I feel very fortunate to have a club in Kyoto that has support for both English and Japanese. Definitely joining them next time.

Sunday was quite an unproductive day because I spent lots of time on the internet watching some comedy and reading news. But I also went on a 2-hour hiking in a mountain not very far from here and exercised upper body as well, So I guess it wasn't that bad. I just slowed down a bit, well, it was sunday anyway.

I also tried some meditation and I just realized that I had done it before, I just didn't know that that was called meditation.

I'm in a hurry now to attend a job fair in the afternoon.

90 day challenge, day 17/90


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Something that I've always thought cool was carrying a pen and a notepad in your pocket and take notes from whatever you found interesting or useful during your day. I always pictured Sherlock Homes with a notepad writing clues at the crime scene, a scientist taking notes from his observations, also Jonathan Harker from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Then I came across the commonplace book concept with one of the members from here. "Wow, this is real", I thought and quickly created a new notepad on the Onenote app. As much as I want to carry a paper notepad, saving notes on the "cloud" is more accessible and reliable.

 How funny that you mention this. The first time I met @Cam Adair, he had a notebook that he carried everywhere with him. He took notes of a few things I said and it felt as if he were paying real attention to my thoughts. Much more personal than taking out your phone while talking to someone.

So now after meeting Cam I have since bought my own notebook! It's not that large, can fit in your pocket. I know the phone notebook is useful--and even I use one for lists and thoughts--but for people I always use a physical notebook now. I highly encourage it :D

Sorry to hear about your friends.  You'll discover those who understand and encourage you, and those who will tempt you back as well. Some people can't fathom quitting, nor could even I a year ago.  It's painful to receive such negative reactions from people you care about, but you are more important and deeper than what they imagine for you. 


2016-08-02 14.40.37-1.jpg

Edited by Laney
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