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Zaxxon

Life long addict taking step 1.

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Hi Game Quitter Forum,

 

My name is Zack. I’m a musician living in Pennsylvania in the USA. 

 

To say that entering into this program to quit playing video games is a big step for me is an understatement. I had a revelation this morning while watching Cam’s video “Why You Should Stop Playing Video Games” on YouTube. It was, and still is, very hard for me to admit but, I am now 40 years old and I am a lifelong video game addict. 

 

My upbringing was rough. My mom was a flight attendant and my father was a workaholic attorney. The net result of this was that I was alone much more than a young child should be. I was a latch key kid. As early as third grade, I would sometimes be left alone for days. For as long as I remember I had a video game console, starting with the first Atari. I am sure that in the beginning it was just “fun and games.” However, somewhere along the way I am also sure that being able to move pixels around on a TV screen became an escape from my not so great reality. 

 

I played on and off through high school. My grades weren’t great. But I was great at video games. My senior year of high school, I didn’t game and I recognize it as one of the best years of my life. 

 

I got a computer for college. This is back in the earliest days of the web. I started playing RPGs. I remember one time I went through a bitter break up with a girlfriend. She moved out of the country and broke it off. I was heartbroken. I literally dropped her off, went straight from the airport to a video game store and bought a Gamecube. It was how I dealt with the heavy emotions. 

 

I lived in Austin, TX for awhile. We didn’t have a TV on purpose. This was one of my most prolific times as a songwriter. But I still managed to overdue it with the original Diablo. Thus launching my love affair with Blizzard games. 

 

I got into the best music school on the planet. I had a 4.0 grade point average every semester until the last one, when I started playing WoW. I got a couple D grades. Ruined the perfect record. Beyond that, who knows what kind of networking and friendships I missed out on due to the long nights raiding in front of a glowing box. 

 

I got married. I tried to get my wife to play WoW. She didn’t. I went on to secretly play 4 - 6 hours a night. I quit when I released my second album. Also, noted as one of the best artistic times of my life. 

 

I ruptured a disc in my back L4/L5. Tried everything to fix it. Finally ended up having surgery. I was on hard core opiate pain killers for 3 years. Many, many times my routine was to pop a few pills and then play WoW. It became a double addiction. I was playing 15 hours a day on weekends. 

 

Finally, I recently went through a divorce after being married for 15 years. Many of our problems had to do with finances. I am successful. But, only just enough to keep life decent. I went out immediately when she left and bought a PS4. (See a pattern here?) I have been playing Destiny and Neverwinter like crazy. 

 

Last night I couldn’t sleep because I just knew today was the day that I was going to quit. I am so very thankful to have found this course. I took the first step. I went and deleted all of my games on the PS4. Later today, I am going to sell the console and probably the TV as well. I also deleted Pillars of Destiny from my computers. 

 

I look back on my entire life and wonder, what might my life be like today if I had gotten angry enough, frustrated enough, motivated enough to stand up and make positive change instead of being lulled into passivity by glowing screens. What songs would I have written? What career moves might I have made? You see…. that is the real killer of video game addiction. It’s the subtle easing of a person’s normal feelings into a catatonic state of false peace. There is nothing in this world more valuable than time. I refuse to let anymore be wasted on video games. 

 

I look forward to meeting all of you. I want to say thank you in advance for any help you might lend my way during this journey. I also want to extend any help I can lend to you. 

 

Thank you,

 

Zack

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Welcome Zack! 

I look back on my entire life and wonder, what might my life be like today if I had gotten angry enough, frustrated enough, motivated enough to stand up and make positive change instead of being lulled into passivity by glowing screens. What songs would I have written? What career moves might I have made? You see…. that is the real killer of video game addiction. It’s the subtle easing of a person’s normal feelings into a catatonic state of false peace. There is nothing in this world more valuable than time. I refuse to let anymore be wasted on video games. 

 

This is powerful. Although it's easy to look back and wish we made changes sooner, you won't regret making them now. Hang in there, we've got your back. 

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I look back on my entire life and wonder, what might my life be like today if I had gotten angry enough, frustrated enough, motivated enough to stand up and make positive change instead of being lulled into passivity by glowing screens. What songs would I have written? What career moves might I have made? You see…. that is the real killer of video game addiction. It’s the subtle easing of a person’s normal feelings into a catatonic state of false peace. There is nothing in this world more valuable than time. I refuse to let anymore be wasted on video games. 

Realizing how much time I wasted, for me, still is one of the hardest things to bear. (7 years). Most of the time I just tell myself that you cannot change the past and that I should take comfort in the fact that the only thing that matters is this moment. Right now, you can decide to do make decisions which support/lead to your goal!

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Greetings from Mad Pharmacist!

Finally, I recently went through a divorce after being married for 15 years. Many of our problems had to do with finances. I am successful. But, only just enough to keep life decent. I went out immediately when she left and bought a PS4. (See a pattern here?) I have been playing Destiny and Neverwinter like crazy.

All right, you're successful financially, that's awesome! But what your serenity, your inner peace? Because for me, that's the true success nowadays.

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Congratulations on this epiphany. I guarantee you your life is going to become better and you are going to gain the rest of it back. Instead of focusing on what you missed out on I suggest to think about what you would be missing out on right now if you still played right now.

I don't give a single fuck about the time I wasted besides short occasional thoughts when I am introspecting and thinking about my past. 

I was a different person and in a sense with the knowledge (or lack thereof), lack of social support and problems I had it was impossible for me to do anything else.

I believe the same goes for all of us. 

 

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Zax,

 

I am currently struggling with cutting ties to Destiny. I know the kind of grip that game can have. It's not worth it, the constant grinding, replaying levels, constant new quests or you deciding you want a new weapon or armor piece etc. Many games are kinda finite, but a game like Destiny that keeps reinventing itself in real time with balances and patches etc, is just a very clever way to keep luring people in to,playi,g this entrapping game that is essentially just stealing time in people's lives. I know how that game is man. If you need someone to talk to we can lean on each other.

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Just wanted to send a big thank you to all of you. Having your support truly means a lot to me. Evergreen Axe, I feel you about Destiny and I think the one part of your message that ring so true is that gaming can literally feel like hooking yourself up to the internet and letting it suck your life away. It feels good while you are doing it. But it's the time not spent on the things that truly matter that is the biggest loss of all. 

this entrapping game that is essentially just stealing time in people's lives.

Thanks for the welcome everyone!

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