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Svet

I'm new. Zombies? Rituals? Ceremonies?

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Are other players zombies?
Before I introduce myself, I need to understand this. I strive to understand the heart of everything. I've relapsed (learned this word from your videos, Cam! THANKS! ) in a way I haven't for a long time. I came back to an online game which soothed me in times of crisis. The game is non-violent and requires collaboration with other players. It's goal-driven, is centered around crafting and requires a lot of time investment to see results. I asked a player yesterday whether she also had a strange gut feeling that she is paying $12/mo to throw away something even more expensive - time. She replied that she once played for 36 hours straight to pass a test... My jaw almost dropped to the floor. I asked another player whether the former's experience was normal, and he said that yes, such is the norm for much in this game. I found out that one among us is a member of Mensa (the game draws intelligent crowds, I think). I'm thinking to myself, "You're a member of Mensa, and you choose to waste your brain power doing this? How sharp are you to not be able to see through the fog and the matrix?"

Why is it that I'm asking these questions, and they are not? Are they not as self-aware as we are? It really scares me... that I may be playing alongside zombies. I guess that I have a "noble" reason for playing the game - I seek to connect and unite the players; maybe build a social support guild or a guild of learning about ancient mysteries. So that we can actually walk away as better, or more enlightened people. But I've a feeling it's a lost cause.

---introduction---

I feel very grateful that there now exists support for game-quitting. I could have used such support a few years back. Now I can have a shoulder to lean on every step of the way.

I'm a 35 year old woman... (I saw that another female in her 30s posted an intro here, and it's so insanely encouraging!). My story is embarrassing to me. It goes back to when I was 13. I went through a traumatic experience, due to which I now have PTSD. The only thing available to me at the time was a computer, Super Nintendo, and Sega. All of it calmed my nerves, though I began to walk hand in hand with isolation. At 15 I discovered virtual worlds, and a love affair was born. Virtual worlds, MMORPGs, and MUDs were my friends, my creative outlet, a place to run through fields, woods and mountains, for many turbulent years of all sorts of crises, until I was 29. I left an unhealthy relationship, discovered a great social life and no longer needed the games. For the years since then, a lot happened, but I was able to enter really good therapy for four years. The therapist's constant support and guidance was what prevented me from relapsing or craving the games. Our therapy ended this year, and I found myself in-between much needed support, which I will most likely require all of my life. I've recently lost my job, become isolated again, and without social support I find the world cold and harsh (NYC often feels so), sometimes suffering panic attacks. I started to crave (love that term as well - thanks Cam) the colorful, uplifting and vibrant world of A Tale in the Desert. I wanted to be a part of a greater community and a greater cause; to run through the fields; to contribute to something. I gave in and paid for one month. But the soothing feeling is much too often replaced with a feeling of great disappointment and upset. I don't like people who see nothing wrong with wasting their time on something that doesn't exist. I make friends only with heart-smart, compassionate, awakened ones. I'm accompanied by a sense that something is wrong while I'm playing it.

I think that I have a lot going for me right now... a partner who loves me and wants the best for me (he doesn't know that I have this addiction), a course at a local college which will improve my financial outlook (my gaming has taken away from my studying), a nice roommate, a good apartment in a vibrant city, three loving critters, and a future of music and music performance which beckons to me more and more with each day. I think I will start with a Journal here. And I might also go to the Meetup this weekend.

---Question---

I wonder if other female game-quitters might benefit from a slightly different approach to this endeavor? I believe that women are very fond of rituals. I intuit that my Goodbye process would have a stronger foundation if I wrote a goodbye letter to each game that I might crave in the future. I want to write what it is that I loved about it in the past, moments of pleasure it gave me; memorable moments. And then I'd write my intention to say Goodbye, and why - going into each upset and disappointment and concern - not only for myself but also for the other players. I'm pondering what to do with the letter or what kind of a ceremony I would perform. I may even welcome grieving for something that was such a big part of my life - welcoming parting tears or anger that come up. If any other women and men here could brainstorm with me, that would be nice.

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Hey! Welcome to the forum. Happy to have you join us!

I love NYC. I was just there! I think the letter idea sounds great. I definitely encourage you to do it if it feels right to you. :)

I know Joe (wookieshark) has some experience sharing his addiction with his partner after she didn't really know about it so maybe he will be able to share some insight for you on taking that step too.

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Hey, welcome to the forums. I enjoyed your post.

Isn't it interesting how we can use games to deal with negative emotions? You talk about how you started playing following a traumatic experience. I'm sure that at the time it was very helpful to get you through that. It's interesting when we realize later on that the gaming may no longer be helping us, and in fact may be hurting us.

I also like the letter idea. Sounds like it would give you a sense of closure when you part with your games, that would act as a barrier to you going back.

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Hi, welcome to the forums!

I also enjoyed your post, I find that the letter idea would be great, and I'm going to do it myself! This way I will really be able to say goodbye to my games and acknowledge what they have meant to me in the past. Games were my go-to activity for at least 10 years now, I can also relate to how it helps with negative emotions.

I hope the best for your full recovery!

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Hi Svet. Welcome, and thank you for sharing your experience with us. A worthy read.

Zombies - Absolutely. Life-lurkers. In our case, maybe we are a bit like some dude named R in the movie Warm Bodies.

Rituals - Your idea of writing goodbye letters gave me a disproportionate reaction of reject. Even just writing down the word emotions makes me uneasy. Which is why I think it's a truly excellent suggestion and I'm going to do it.

Ceremonies - As to what to do with the letter itself, I'd publish it here in a brand new section.

Edited by Tom

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I don't like people who see nothing wrong with wasting their time on something that doesn't exist. I make friends only with heart-smart, compassionate, awakened ones. I'm accompanied by a sense that something is wrong while I'm playing it.

?Reading this, I thought to myself Exactly! I remember telling my EE group that I will delete my character and leave this game, because I feel the real life is passing away. No one seemed to understand it. I guess they were still in the zombie stage, love this explanation. I have never tried to talk to anyone inside the game about playing the game. How often did you do it? I imagine some people got aggressive or at least defensive.?

Already thinking of writing the goodbye letter to my EE character. I guess it would be easier to start with this game, since it no longer exists. Are there any volunteers for the first letter? Svet go ahead :D;)

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Howdy Svet, welcome to the forums. I recently joined and I have to say, it's been a nice experience so far so hopefully it will be the same for you too :).

Hey, welcome to the forums. I enjoyed your post.

Isn't it interesting how we can use games to deal with negative emotions? You talk about how you started playing following a traumatic experience. I'm sure that at the time it was very helpful to get you through that. It's interesting when we realize later on that the gaming may no longer be helping us, and in fact may be hurting us.

I also like the letter idea. Sounds like it would give you a sense of closure when you part with your games, that would act as a barrier to you going back.

?That is something that I relate to definitely, I was using gaming as a coping mechanism throughout my life, hence my stubborness to keep playing it more and more especially in the past few years. It wasn't just gaming anymore to me, even though I still did enjoy it especially before discovering online gaming (Valve games particularly) ad also the 'horrors of Steam'. Games like Okami, Tales of Symphonia and Super Mario 64 for instance, made me glad to be a gamer regardless, just a shame so much negativity ended up taking over my favourite past-time.
Now its become a hobby which is hurting me ultimately. I really want to get it back to the time, when I just played single-player games and completed them and felt happy for it. I till had other hobbies, friends and so on, I didn't regret gaming and I actually did exercise, eat healthier too etc. Most of my life I've been addicted though and depressed and I think those have more in common, they are more 'synergised than I realised.

That letter idea is interesting by the way, I've heard of using that method to getting over past loves and I've tried it out to some degree before, it does help. I think as my mum said recently, writing things down or typing them up (heh), can help us to notice them more, to make it 'sink in' more. Thus it will have the impact you truly need and desire? It acutally sounds like a wonderful idea, especially when you mention writing about all the different moments you had with it. Wow, I may have to consider doing it myself now, its piqued my interest at least!

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I look forward to reading your journal! You write beautifully so I know it will be a great read!

Edit: I suspect that you are right that women and different age groups may need to have a slightly different approach. I love NYC, but I'm not sure how I would do if I lived there.

Edited by wookieshark88

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?I hope this Multi-Quote works. Thanks for the Welcome, Cam, and for having this glorious site! It's also nice to see people post mainly using their real names and real avatars (haha), instead of having to hide behind a game account name... adds a powerful kick to the rebirth. Thanks for the suggestion, too, but my SO is already helping me with so many other issues, I can't risk burdening him more or tipping the scales any futher : -)

?Hi kortheo, Thank you :) Yes, it's interesting, the way the homo sapien brain works. Wasn't there a study recently made, which revealed that under stress humans revert back to old habits? That's our default... but it doesn't have to be, not when we consider all the creative possibilities out there. Right!

The letter ritual will be powerful; I think so too. I didn't mean to single out men from it, it's just that I've been reading female empowerment books lately and maybe I forgot that men are also fond of rituals as much as women.

Hi Alex, thanks and nice to meet you. I hope the best for your recovery, too. I'm thinking that first writing the letter on paper will solidify the effect (a separate letter for each game), and then I can refer back to the letters ?when I'm craving the games again. Afterwards I might do a cleansing ceremony with sage. And then I'll share the letters here. What do you think?

?Hi Tom. Thank you. Haven't seen Warm Bodies. What do you mean by "reaction of reject"? You got me curious!

?Hi Zala. Can't wait to read yours and others' journals and other posts. Not familiar with EE (sorry!), but I can imagine your disappointment and disillusionment when not one of them could understand... that real life is precious... it's scary. I tried asking the other gamers in ATITD only this time, and the reaction was just a little bit defensive. I wasn't too aggressive with my question.

I'll share my letters once I've written them down on paper

?Hi Koyotelcarus. Thank you. I'll be reading your journal as soon as I get some sleep :D

?Thank you wookieshark, nice to meet you :)

?Three kitties. And you?

I'm bad at replying in forums. Trying my best

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I'm bad at replying in forums. Trying my best

?I used to read everything on here, and respond if I had something good to say, but the site is growing too much for me to be able to do it these days! It's probably the best kind of problem for the site.

You are doing good at replying! The formatting didn't hide the intent of what you wanted to say!

I have two pure white kitties. Boris and Yuri. They are absurd which is great because I am a fan of the absurd. I made them a feeding clock so house sitters would know when to feed them!

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?I used to read everything on here, and respond if I had something good to say, but the site is growing too much for me to be able to do it these days! It's probably the best kind of problem for the site.

You are doing good at replying! The formatting didn't hide the intent of what you wanted to say!

I have two pure white kitties. Boris and Yuri. They are absurd which is great because I am a fan of the absurd. I made them a feeding clock so house sitters would know when to feed them!

?Hehe, thank you. Why the funny Russian names for the kitties? :) Mine are all females.

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I'm bad at replying in forums. Trying my best

?Hi Svet, I'd be interested to see your letter(s) and I hope they have worked! I currently have only written to one of my games, but I'm bound to write to more when the nostalgia and cravings kick in. It would be a great idea to share your letters online, Koyotelcarus shared his own in the main forum, it was a very good example (just don't forget to mention the need to move on!). Once I write some new letters, I'll make sure to post them too, we'll see how it goes!

In the busy western world I find we often think we don't have time for rituals or time to reflect, but in the short experiences I've had with those types of experiences, I found that taking this time out helps to change my state of mind. If you have some ritual ideas that you think would help in this situation and not too hard to perform, I'd be very intrigued to hear them!

Keep up the intuitive new ideas! It really helps the community :)

Kitties? We have two adult cats, one with grey and white stripes who we call 'Tigey' who doesn't like to be cuddled, and another that is mostly black and has tiny brown/orange patches called 'Spidey', since she likes to cling to us when we hold her up, and likes to be cuddled. What I've noticed is that having opposite attitudes makes it all the more easier to appreciate them.

Good luck for your recovery!

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?Hi Tom. Thank you. Haven't seen Warm Bodies. What do you mean by "reaction of reject"? You got me curious!

?Heh, what a stupid idea. That's what I thought. In my experience that's a clear marker that there's something for me to learn. In my mind I always judge stuff as it works/it doesn't work for me, I like/dislike it, and so on, because I believe you can only judge people or ideas in relation to your own mental schemes. So whenever I feel contempt I know that the way I see the world is being challenged. And that's my favorite way to grow, so I wrote my first letter right away and voila, it was not your idea that was stupid. It was my prejudice.

Makes sense?

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I felt this way about some online friends before I quit. Some of them had put thousands of dollars (as individuals, seriously) into a Korean MMO that from all accounts was absolutely terrible in my opinion, they themselves even admitted that, I played for a few days and stopped. It blew my mind that they could spend so much time and money into a game like that. Eventually they would join me in playing League of Legends, and they would spend even more money buying skins, and paying for people to play ranked for them and all this stuff. I would eventually stop playing league after that too.

I think they nudged me, their actions made me question them and subconsciously I think it affected me and my actions. If I thought their actions were ridiculous, somewhere inside me I knew I wasn't far off from them.

I really like your letter idea, I think I will also do that!

A late welcome!

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---Question---

I wonder if other female game-quitters might benefit from a slightly different approach to this endeavor? I believe that women are very fond of rituals. I intuit that my Goodbye process would have a stronger foundation if I wrote a goodbye letter to each game that I might crave in the future. I want to write what it is that I loved about it in the past, moments of pleasure it gave me; memorable moments. And then I'd write my intention to say Goodbye, and why - going into each upset and disappointment and concern - not only for myself but also for the other players. I'm pondering what to do with the letter or what kind of a ceremony I would perform. I may even welcome grieving for something that was such a big part of my life - welcoming parting tears or anger that come up. If any other women and men here could brainstorm with me, that would be nice.

Hello :) Nice to see another woman on the forum :)

As I have mentioned in my introduction post, I am addicted (or I think I am) to the game LotRO, now after having stopped playing since November, I believe I was attracted to this game exclusively because of its setting in Tolkien's Middle-Earth of which I am a fan since my late twenties. I have tried several other games but quickly got bored by them, and to tell the truth, I am not fond of typically gaming elements in LotRO, such as having to defeat bosses to follow with the story, I wish I could just admire the landscape and go sight-seeing in Middle-Earth. I enjoyed the game because of its setting, but I believe that I should stop playing it because the game is designed in such a way that it is hard to play it in moderation, for example, when you are playing in an instance, you have to complete it and defeat all the bosses in one go, because if you make a break and log out of the game, all the progress in the instance is lost and you have to begin killing all the bosses anew. I hated this mechanics, and I guess it is done purposefully to make players game without any breaks. I also hate doing the same quests again and again, in the game LotRO there are festivals with special quests, and I participated in all of them during the one year I played the game. This time, I took part in the autumn festival as it was held late October, but I was quickly bored because the festival quests were just the same as the ones I did a year before. It was when I decided to take a break from the game (I am still not sure if I want to stop playing forever as it did not affect my life in a particularly negative way). I like your idea of writing a letter to the game, and I agree that women react to games a bit differently than men (in my case, the problem is I am emotionally attached to my characters and the game's world), but I also have another idea. I was thinking about writing fanfiction set in the game, describing my characters' death so that it would help me to say a permanent goodbye to the game and explain to myself why I am not and will not be playing anymore. But I wonder if writing such a text would not be some kind of a trigger since I would have to check some facts in the game encyclopaedia to get it right in my story (I am also a perfectionist).

And as to your post, another thing caught my attention and made me thinking, namely what you wrote about people being engaged in something what does not exist, the gaming worlds. As I wrote above, I love fantasy literature, especially Tolkien, I read his books a lot as well as academic works analysing Tolkien's writings. But isn't Middle-Earth (and other fantasy worlds) guilty of the same charge as games, namely, not existing? So what is the difference between being engrossed in a fictional fantasy world in literature and similar (or the same as in my case) world in games? Should I give up fantasy in general, not only in gaming? 

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