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NEW VIDEO: Psychologist's WARNING About VIDEO GAMES

In search of bravery


Zala
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Hi all! Long time no see :D. Cam's new video caught me by surprise, since I was considering the weekend gaming

I finished 90 day detox. It's been about 140 days since my last game now. Nothing miraculous happened after 90 days or after 100 ... For me it was hard from the beginning and still is. I wouldn't say I think of gaming all the time. But I just changed gaming into sleeping more, browsing the net, watching movies, videos ... I try to look at 140 days as an achievement, but I don't think games make less sense than any other loss of time. Having coffee with friends, meditation, sports, reading might be socially more acceptable. But I tried and tried to stick to these kind of activities and I simply lack the passion. My brain seems to keeps turning into mush. Even leisure activities feel like work if I try to do them on regular basis. I haven't laughed (except at times with my bf) for weeks now. I am thinking of trying moderation this time around.

Or maybe I just wish someone would say to me: don't go there! You can't get rid of one problem (watching too many videos) by returning to an old problem (gaming). I dunno, I'm installing my old&favorite game as I am writing this.

Hey Zala! Not to read into it to much, but do you think you could be slightly depressed? Not laughing for weeks combined with not getting pleasure from enjoyable activities would both be symptoms of that. Just a thought. Your 140 days is still a great accomplishment! In some cases simply removing gaming might not enough if you have underlying depression that needs to be treated. Gaming addiction (as with any kind of addiction) will often go together with other mental health issues.

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#DuckyMcDuck "Thing about addiction is, if you try to quit (or go for moderation), it's not a decision you make once. It's a decision you'll make every day. "

That is exactly what I am afraid of. That even after a year or two years I won't be out of the woods. Because I know bad days will come. I can plan my actions in advance, but usually, when I have a really bad day, I can't take my past self seriously. I am planning on making another 90 day commitment at least. I'm counting this as a bad  and long slip-up, because I really don't want to play. I don't want to and I don't have to.

#kortheo You are probably right. Here is what I'm thinking: there is a great number of people that live in worse conditions, have bigger problems, more issues ... And they are not depressed, or are just happier. But in the back of my mind, I think, I still believe, that my depression (if it is that) is connected to my current situation. There are a lot of things that could be better and can be better. I was thinking of getting professional help. At least a few therapeutic sessions, no drugs. But the problem is, that I don't have a steady job at this moment. And if I admit to my doctor that I have a mental health issue, it will be put on record. Which means that I will have to drag this with me on every mandatory health check-up by my current or future employer. I really don't need another thing to jeopardize my future.

#Cam Would you mind explaining that? I know that you get some sort of "jackpot" things from time to time (greater number of cookies). It's just numbers changing. So silly. And still, I had to "catch" a few of the floating cookies while I was writing this post. We don't want to waste the cookies, do we? :(

 

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#Cam Would you mind explaining that? I know that you get some sort of "jackpot" things from time to time (greater number of cookies). It's just numbers changing. So silly. And still, I had to "catch" a few of the floating cookies while I was writing this post. We don't want to waste the cookies, do we? :(

Exactly. It builds investment quickly, you get a dopamine hit every time you click, you get rewards, and you have to spend more time and more time to keep getting them. 

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I think cookie-clicker is one of the best games for people to learn more about how games are designed to be addictive. ;)

I did a search for the game.  

Found it.  

Ended up wasting hours playing it.  

Thought, "What the hell am I doing? This is stupid."

Felt ashamed.

Kept playing.

When I first started, I thought this is a silly game with no point, no way I could get addicted to it.  I already knew the psychological techniques they use, didn't stop me playing it.  Fortunately you can cheat very easily, and get all the achievements and upgrades with a few clicks.

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I think cookie-clicker is one of the best games for people to learn more about how games are designed to be addictive. ;)

I did a search for the game.  

Found it.  

Ended up wasting hours playing it.  

Thought, "What the hell am I doing? This is stupid."

Felt ashamed.

Kept playing.

When I first started, I thought this is a silly game with no point, no way I could get addicted to it.  I already knew the psychological techniques they use, didn't stop me playing it.  Fortunately you can cheat very easily, and get all the achievements and upgrades with a few clicks.

It's the one game Elon Musk won't let his kids play because it's "a stupid fucking game."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can't even get a good start this time around. Deleted progress in game. Stopped playing for a couple of days. But now I'm back at it.  Because now I know how to do it better and faster. To what goal? To more changing numbers? I could use a calculator for that. I just don't know. And of course now I feel guilty and bad and you know how it goes. Guess what comforts me. I watched your new video Cam and I just felt completely lost afterwards. I don't want to struggle and continue this cycle for the rest of my life. And there will always be new, better games. Better equipped to get me hooked up again. I will probably think that I'm ok at some point, but it will never end, not until I die and that is just the most awful thing ever.

I will read some more of other people's journals in a couple of hours. Maybe I find ... something, I don't even know what. Take care guys, hope you are doing great.

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Can't even get a good start this time around. Deleted progress in game. Stopped playing for a couple of days. But now I'm back at it.  Because now I know how to do it better and faster. To what goal? To more changing numbers? I could use a calculator for that. I just don't know. And of course now I feel guilty and bad and you know how it goes. Guess what comforts me. I watched your new video Cam and I just felt completely lost afterwards. I don't want to struggle and continue this cycle for the rest of my life. And there will always be new, better games. Better equipped to get me hooked up again. I will probably think that I'm ok at some point, but it will never end, not until I die and that is just the most awful thing ever.

I will read some more of other people's journals in a couple of hours. Maybe I find ... something, I don't even know what. Take care guys, hope you are doing great.

Happy you're back with us Zala! Keep posting even just a little bit, use that as the beginning of your new foundation of success!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello, it’s me again. My new resolution (right after going for another 90 days) is to post at least 3 times a week. Even if it is just a sentence or two. Language&grammar are still an issue, I am sorry, I am working on it ;).

I don't want to jinx it but here it goes: 14 days since I played any kind of computer/mobile game.

I had an interesting conversation the other day. My boyfriend’s mom is old school type of gal and she asked us if we own a computer. Yes, of course, we said.  You can’t be without a computer nowadays. We actually have two laptops. And then she asked us, why do we need to have a computer. And I tried to explain that I use it for communication with friends, work related stuff, watching videos, listening to music, looking at old photographs, checking news, playing games … As I kept going, I felt more and more stupid. Do I really need a computer? I sit in front of it most of the day and this is all I do? My fear grew as my bf’s mom said: ‘So … basically you use it for work and waste of time. I like to go for a walk instead.” And that got me thinking. I could probably do most of the work and communication things when I am actually at work. I used to think that my boss and co-workers expect me to check my email even when I am not at work. But when I think of it, if there is an emergency, they can always call me and they usually do, if I don't respond right away. If it is not an emergency, it can wait for a couple of days. I usually have a couple of minutes to spare to check the daily news when I'm at work. And once again if there really is something important going on, someone will be happy to tell me, or I will hear about it on my way to work. And lastly, I have seen enough movies and series to last me a lifetime.

 

So maybe, just maybe I don’t really NEED a computer. That sound liberating and scary at the same time.

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Thank you Cam, I really appreciate it!

#hycniejsy I'm not saying it's not a good idea to have a computer. For example my bf uses it for work most of the time. Most of my friends use it for an hour or so and get bored quickly. I'm just saying it might not be the best thing for me at the moment. I'm too afraid to even try it out for a week or so. Of course at work I will have to use it, but with coworkers I manage to keep things under control. At work the biggest transgression I make is checking the news for 5 minutes or so. But at home there is a whole other story. Can't even imagine a week without a computer. Agh. I'm afraid everything might come back extra strong with gaming cravings and all.

The no gaming part is still going great. I try to keep it simple: work, exercise, socializing, housework, reading. Videos/movies are still taking up too much of my time :|. I try to spend more time outside and read for at least two hours every day. I would love to take on a new bigger project, but I don't even know where to start. I am thinking of keeping a diary of daily activities, just to get an idea of how much time I'm spending on, let's call them, "undesirable activities". - Such as mindlessly browsing through random web pages, looking at cute dog pictures, watching videos and series that I can't even remember a few hours later. I swear I've seen this horror movie the other day and only in the last 15 minutes I realized that I have seen it before. And that I didn't like it the first time! Of course this has happened to me before. It might help me get the bigger picture. My friend was trying to lose some weight and she kept a diary of what she ate in a week. She said that for the first time, she saw that she really had a problem. And was also able to figure out what her weak spots and triggers were.

Edited by Zala
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Still going. I'm writing down my screen time for the week. Doesn't look too awful at the moment. Probably because it's sunny and I have a part time job at the moment.

I try to go for a run at least 2, 3 times per week. I went for a run on a Sunday and I think I overdid it because my leg hurt. Even walking was painful so I'm back to swimming for a couple of days.

I'm reading Campbell's plan by Thomas Campbell. It is an interesting book. Different from all protein&fat obsession that most of people get curious about. Well at least where I live.

My bf and I are moving to another country in two months. I'm still trying to get a hang of it. Official language is German and I can barely grasp all the changes that are right around the corner. But language will be a bigger issue from the start since I don't speak German and I can barely understand more than a couple of words. The first priority at the moment is finding an apartment. I try not to worry beyond that.

Now I have extra motivation for getting my gaming under control. New environment, new people, new language, no friends&no family, no job it's a perfect set up for a major failure. Everything is possible, new start and all that ... But on the other hand a stressful event that can put me back into my old bad habits.

Edited by Zala
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Hey Zala congrats on still beeing gamefree! If you need someone to practice your german on just message me and we could make a skypecall. This way I could improve my spoken english and I could give you prononciation tipps(it is my native language).

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My bf and I are moving to another country in two months. I'm still trying to get a hang of it. Official language is German and I can barely grasp all the changes that are right around the corner. But language will be a bigger issue from the start since I don't speak German and I can barely understand more than a couple of words. The first priority at the moment is finding an apartment. I try not to worry beyond that.

Now I have extra motivation for getting my gaming under control. New environment, new people, new language, no friends&no family, no job it's a perfect set up for a major failure. Everything is possible, new start and all that ... But on the other hand a stressful event that can put me back into my old bad habits.

New adventure!

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I might take you up on that WorkInProgress (love the name btw) thank you! I'm afraid we wouldn't have much to talk about at the moment. I learned some German in high school, but I'm afraid it's all gone. And my teacher was awful, 4 years of torture, made me hate the language. Things will probably get better once I have those memories replaced with new experiences and information. I have some sort of beginners audio program at home, I will finish with that and then I will probably have some idea of where I'm at.

I'm a bit of a worrier by nature. I can almost hear my friends going "No s*** Sherlock!" :) But in this situation there are so many things to worry about that my brain just shuts down from time to time. I go on an infinite loop of apartment, language, money, people, anxiety, apartment, job ... and then something just clicks and I have to go "F* it ... We will see how it goes". The adventure part will begin once we find the apartment, I hope. I feel stupid telling people about where exactly I'm going, since I don't really know yet. It just feels weird talking about it at this moment, not sure why. I'm afraid without an apartment even going to work will be impossible. We are going on a hunt next week. I hope it goes well. I will definitely post when I come back if not sooner.

Oh and Mad Pharmacist: currently I'm at 7-10k at a time. Once again I'm following this 0-10k app. I'm trying to focus on time and not distance, but I keep record of both. Are you a runner? I've read some of your posts but it seems I have to reread it. And as far as conversation goes ... once again I just might accept this kind offer :) .

Edited by Zala
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Don't worry about anything sounding stupid dude, this is your journey and your doing great. Always love reading over your pages

Zala is a dudette. :P hehe

P.S. Hi Zala :)

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I'm back. Soooo ... we are definitely moving. We had a bit of a difficulty finding the apartment in the beginning. The first apartment we saw 30 other people came to see it. I was a bit in a shock. But then the second one 60 people came in the first 20 minutesO.o, we left after 20 minutes but I could see that there were more people coming as we were driving away. You get this forms and you are supposed to show the agency that you love the apartment and that you are a perfect person for it. Of course only one person (couple/family) can get it. And we also found out that my bf can't get work permit without a contract for the apartment. No hotels, part-time stays no nothing. Not even for the first month or so. You either find a place or you can't work there. The situation is quite different in Slovenia. I would say that there are more people looking for tenants then there are people looking for apartments. I'm not sure about our visa/work situation.

Anyway after a few panicky days of looking at apartments and counting our odds, we upped the budget for the rent and went a bit more toward rural areas. There was a bit of luck involved, but we got the place in time. We have loads of paperwork, insurance stuff etc to deal with, but at least my bf will be able to work there.

I left my laptop at home last week. Which was a perfect idea since even in the stressful times I couldn't go back to gaming. I did some browsing on my phone and kept saying to myself over and over "Do not install any gaming apps ... just don't!". I also kept in mind that I have to be supportive, helpful and that I simply can't close myself into another world and leave my bf to deal with all of this. Now I'm back, with a bit of extra time. And you know what I used to do to celebrate right? Nothing beats running through the pixelated world. I even cleaned the table, dimmed the window, prepared my gaming mouse and still somehow didn't figure out that I'm following a certain routine. I decided to post this instead. I planned the whole day for tomorrow. Work, meeting1, shower, meeting 2, my bf. Just in case.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Totally into packing. Had a bit of a crisis today ... I hope it gets better.

 

Cam you should definitely come! It would fit perfectly into your youtube contributions: great message and we could provide another beautiful scenery  :). We have so many lovely places, from seashore to different lakes, forest, mountains ...

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Hey guys. I' m very confused. My brain feels fuzzy and blurry. I could once again really use some help or at least a new perspective. I've installed Pokemon go last Sunday. I just have some sort of a bad feeling about it. If I try to organize my thoughts.

1 Positive: it got me to go outside more. I don't even need a friend, the weather doesn't have to be perfect. I sprained my ankle on a Friday and I can't run. So I've walked about 20 km in the last two days. Exercise is good. Fresh air and some sunshine is good. There is also one more thing: I am always afraid of what random people are thinking of me. I sometimes desperately try not to seem weird or out of place. This game can put you in an awkward position but I'm on some sort of a mission. I will catch this pokemon, even if that means being laughed/stared/gawked at. And that actually hasn't happened yet. I think I can learn in time, that I'm not really that different and that people don't really care what I do at least most of the time. And if they do comment in some way, I won't break down or turn into a puddle of sweat and despair.

2 Neutral: I haven't become more social. I am an introvert and I feel good about it. Also I am a bit embarrassed about playing, I think I am 10-15 years older than an average player. At least at the pokestops I visit. Plus there is so much negative propaganda, people walking into the lakes, on the road, crashing their cars etc. It somehow feels wrong. Reading a book by the pokestop on the other hand does not feel wrong. I go for more of the grinding kind of approach (hatching eggs, catching random pokemons on my fixed route, I never just run around to find a pokemon that is supposedly close by), I don't play during social gatherings or at work and I don't feel the need to do so. I plan on staying away from the battle arenas. I don't find them that interesting. I just want to collect all of the pokemon. By myself. In time.

3 Negative: as I have said, I feel kind of in a daze, fuzzy, blurry, definitely not in here&now. Today I went for a walk and took extra battery for my phone. Then I tried to figure out how can I plug it in and keep it close at hand at the same time. And I felt silly. I find going to the store or taking an extra book to work so sooo hard sometimes. Yet this last couple of days I've been rearranging my schedule, getting up earlier, postponing meeting people, doing my housework in time ... Just to have more time for this game.

 

Basically I'm awfully angry!! Why can't I get motivated by something that could actually become my daily job? Or that would at least benefit me if not bring in money? Why can't I spend this much time, energy and focus on productive things that matter to other people? Why do I never feel so alive and good about myself even when I do something right/good/perfect at work?

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