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KoyoteIcarus

An open letter to myself and video games

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(Not sure if I'm posting this in the right section, apologies if not)

Firstly, dear me or dear myself even,

It has been a long, rocky journey so far, full of all sorts of extreme ups and downs. You have deal with and survived a lot, you've grown older and wiser, you have made a lot of mistakes, but a lot of them you could probably never have seen them coming without experience/hindsight in the first place. You were young, naive and inexperienced, you didn't have all the answers in the world and you never will but that's alright, that is fine. You are only human and there's literally billions of them on this planet (7 billion apparently)! You may have done wrong, you may have hurt yourself and hurt others but I don't believe you ever did them with truly ill, even evil intentions. You were lost, afraid, confused, helpless even. There were times you felt alone, trying to call out for help but it was like you were unable to at the same time. Your situation grew more and more desperate, your hopes and motivations were fading and the only true friends you had at the time were music and video games. You lost a lot when you were forced to move countries and start over and you were regarded as an outsider by so many people over here for so many years, never truly accepted as one of them. You experienced a lot of abuse especially verbal and there were people who went out of their way to make your life miserable for whatever petty reasons they had.
But you need to realise, that obsesssion, that addiction you developed to those video games, you were doing it to protect yourself. You didn't know what to do, you didn't have any answers nor any hope, you were frightened out of your life and couldn't even tell anyone nor scream. You just felt emotionally paralysed, like you were ceasing to function in some ways at least. Fear held you tightly in its grip and there was no escape at the time.

In your years of self hate, the regrets, shame and what not, you were always dwelling on the negatives in the long term. Nothing that brought you happiness ever lasted forever, the video games you loved always ended no matter how many times you replayed them and tried to stay within their worlds. The same characters you loved always died too, you couldn't change their fates, you couldn't save them. There are some things in life which can never be controlled, they can't be predicted, they can't changed nor stopped. And that's a part of reality, you became so afraid of reality, you obsessed with fantasy to shut it out completely. Over time, your performances in education did dwindle due to ever increasing conflict between the rise in the difficulty and expectations of your studies and your stubborn desires to preserve your coping mechanisms especially video gaming.
But I'm not here to bash you, you've done plenty of that to yourself for years now, enough for a lifetime surely at least and more than you ever will deserve. You were your only true best friend but you also became own your worst enemy, how tragically ironic is that? How did you deal with that? How did you cope?
You don't even realise how strong you are, remember all the things you feared? All the things you deal with and survived through? Those horrific, traumatic incidents even? With the kinds of pain that still haunt you deep down? You are a survivor even though you don't truly see it yet, you've survived so much like a lot of other people have done yet you don't even feel like telling anyone about it usually especially the world. You're not a victim no matter what you think, you're a survivor.

You did what you felt was right for yourself, you did what you needed at the time. You hated yourself, you were being bullied and dealing with all sorts of horrid, life changing even incidents and yet here you are years later, much stronger you ever were before. Remember how you used to feel, how you were convinced you had no hope to live at merely 15 years old and now 10 years later look at you? It's been 10 years! You even said back then give it at least 5 or 10 years and see how I am. 15 at most. If this isn't a huge improvement, I don't know what is! Now I'm not trying to brag or gloat, but you've really come a long way, more than you ever realised. Think about how overwhelming that one incident is, now realise you've survived a lot of them, insane isn't it? Yet you and me both know they happened and we got through them somehow, even when it seemed impossible. You could have given up like you wanted, you could have ended it all, yet you didn't. Now what your 15 year old self think to that? What would he say and think to seeing how you've become now? Maybe back then, somehow he just knew things would improve, almost like he had some crazy belief he could never explain, he literally only had to go on and he had to trust the one thing he never could trust, his own gut instinct.

Sure, video games may have taken over your life but were they truly ever at fault to begin with? Sure they can do you wrong but a tool is a tool, a weapon is a weapon, everything is how you utilise and perceive it, its all about how you interpret it and make of it. They may not be perfect but neither are you and neither is anybody in this world nor anything. We all have our flaws and isn't that what makes us beautiful in some regards? We all have our scars, our cracks, our fears and what not. Sure there may be some real evil in this world but it's definitely not you nor most of the video games in this world at least. How can you blame something that can't even think nor act for itself? Thus cannot speak for and defend itself? They were there for you when nobody else was, they were always there. They kept you company through the darkest and coldest days and nights, the worst experiences in your life, they were always there keeping you company and never trying to do you harm nor control you or anything.

You are responsible for your own actions but they are not necessarily your fault. The depression is not your fault not the addictions but you are somewhat your responsibility at least. You are responsible for taking care of yourself wherever possible and not letting them beat you, others have lost to them permanently including people youve known and loved. It almost has happened to you countless times now. You used to love video games as well as some other things in life so much, you were the happiest, most passionate, kindest, friendliest, compassionate person you knew, I still see shades of it in you to this day whether you like that or not. You can't deny who you are, you can't deny what happened but you can change your present and you can change your future as a result if you want to, you can be happier, you can be the person you always wanted to be but never realised you already were.
You speak a lot of bad about yourself, you claim a lot but your actions prove you wrong, the excitement when you see animals and the happiness you get from helping and feeding them, the feeling you get from helping anyone actually, the way you instinctively try to help and rush to anyone's aid if you detect danger at all, Animals and children adore you and yet you still refuse to believe that they might have good reasons to.

No matter how much you regret it, the past is the past. You're not a time traveller, you can't change it. Even if you did, it would change so much, it would change you too, it would erase everything you've been through since then, would it really satisfy you? Is that what you really want, is it? You wouldn't be who you are right now if you didn't make the mistakes you did, the decisions that you chose. For better or/and for worse, whether you like it or not you are who you are. There was a time you and one of your best friends should have died, but who was the one who seemed to have prevented it happening in the first place? Oh yeah, you forgot about that huh? Funny that. I'm not trying to stroke your ego, I'm trying to invoke narcissism here but you need to stop beating yourself up, you've suffered enough as it is!

And now finally, I'll speak to the games:

Super Mario 64, you were my first true friend and one of my favourites. I remember spending hours completely bedazzled in your colourful, vibrant, joyful worlds completely lost in that original 'Nintendo magic', having so much fun. You induced such wonderful memories in me, the music was so beautiful and enjoyable, I remember crying when I first completed the game and the overwhelming fulfillment when I collected all 120 stars and met the secret Yoshi. I finally got to feel like a hero like I always wanted to, you were so awesome Mario, I wanted to be just like you.

Banjo Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Jet Force Gemini, the Rare classics...I don't even know where to begin. Rare producing games for Nintendo was a truly beautiful harmony, I love you 4 as much as I loved Super Mario 64. Banjo and DK64 were similar to Mario 64 but so different, memorable and fun for their own awesome reasons. DKR, you were such a fun racing game with one of the catchiest, most entertaining soundtracks ever! Jet Force Gemini, you were the more mature game that definitely had it's impact on me emotionally especially. You made me laugh too and made me feel like a hero, you made me feel awesome and you had such fun and crazy weapons!

Tales of Symphonia, remember how many times I've completed you now? Youre one of the few games I couldn't stop playing after I completed them I think, but you, I lost count of how times I replayed the story! I hardly got to play that many games, but games like you never made it a problem and many things couldn't compare to you for me. There was so much emotional depth, maturity, complexity and so on, you just kept on delivering and delivering. You were a lot more mature than I first thought and you hid a lot beneath that cheerful exterior much like myself, plus you had such awesome combat!

Okami, wow, ok, where do I begin? You were basically Capcoms equivalent of Zelda but oh you were so much more and then some! The Japanese mythology, the quirkiness and cheekiness, the charisma and beauty, you had it all in buckets. You were loaded with emotional moments, maturity, epicness and so on, a soundtrack that took your breath away especially towards the end! You took around 60 hours to complete just like Tales of Symphonia and that was just the story!
You stirred such powerful emotions in me, there were many games I loved and you were one of them. Remember how I wrote a case study on you for my gaming course at college revealing how passionate how I was about you? You brought me to tears for all the right reasons.

There are quite a few other games that I could probably include on this, there are some I'm sure I can talk about yet due to not knowing what I really think of them yet but I think this is enough for now maybe?

Finally, I just want to conclude this immensely lengthy post by saying, I refuse to regret my gaming addiction and experiences anymore. I may have missed out on my life, but it kept me from sucide literally and if it hadn't, I'd certainly have missed out on literally everything since then! I can blame you as much as I want, but it was never really your fault, I was just projecting and looking for someone to blame. I'm really so sorry, nobody and nothing is perfect and we all make mistakes, but I want to thank you for everything. You were so good to me in hindsight and I don't know if I can ever truly repay you but it does explain a lot about my behaviour on Steam in the last few years! You pretty much saved my life up to this point, you never gave up on me when others did, you were always there for me no matter how I was and behaved, you never let me down. And no matter what, I can never thank you enough nor repay you for what you've done.

How beautifully ironic that this song should be playing for me whilst typing this last part out? How bittersweet even, hahaha.
(Wow. This really did it[s number on me! I genuinely was tearing up writing this out, I don't even know what to say, except I think I really needed to do this. I don't know if it did it 'right' or 'enough' or what not, but I do definitely feel like its helped somehow!)

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Howdy partner, you really hit the bullseye there!

I feel just like Tom said, speechless and deeply moved. I need to keep a straight face to write this out, it resonated so much within me that you took the time to express your feelings towards games like I did, except you did it so much better! I'm inspired by your honest piece, it obviously came from the heart. Soon I will make sure to write my own online letter to say goodbye to not one, but all my games!

Now that I'm not so full of emotions, I'll give some feedback. I'm certain that your letter covered all I could think of, apart from expressing the need to move on.

I'm so glad you've written this, this is the stuff that drives the community! I hope you can keep up your resilience and let nothing get in your way to improving your life!

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I am speechless, and deeply moved. Thank you.

?You're very welcome haha, thank you very much too, I'm flattered to be honest! I wasn't sure what to make of this myself, I even considered deleting it all but I think it needed to be done. I was definitely feeling pretty emotional at the time whilst writing this, wasn't expecting it to affect me so much but in hindsight it makes sense that it did.

Howdy partner, you really hit the bullseye there!

I feel just like Tom said, speechless and deeply moved. I need to keep a straight face to write this out, it resonated so much within me that you took the time to express your feelings towards games like I did, except you did it so much better! I'm inspired by your honest piece, it obviously came from the heart. Soon I will make sure to write my own online letter to say goodbye to not one, but all my games!

Now that I'm not so full of emotions, I'll give some feedback. I'm certain that your letter covered all I could think of, apart from expressing the need to move on.

I'm so glad you've written this, this is the stuff that drives the community! I hope you can keep up your resilience and let nothing get in your way to improving your life!

?Howdy partner :D thank you very much!

Hahaha, I can relate to that, I had a hard time trying to keep a straight face when I wrote it and also writing this response now for different reasons though :P.

I think it needed to be done, for my own good and maybe for others including yourselves given your apparent reactions, I think it's somehow helped both of you out as well? I'm glad to hear that and thank you very much again! I'm sure doing a letter yourself will benefit you too, I can certainly speak from experience now on that regard haha.

Yes, that's a good point for sure. I knew something was missing at least and that was it, bah haha. Oh well, at least I got most of it down though, I think I needed to try and make peace with my past, with what I did and who I was etc, even though I don't think I'm at inner peace yet still, I definitely feel on the way to it and closer it to for sure.

Thank you yet again, these responses have made my day to be honest! I wasn't sure how my post would be perceived but I'm certainly more than just relieved now haha. I will definitely try to make sure that I don't let anything prevent me from improving my life, I've suffered enough and I want to start living and enjoying my life again. Even if I have to quit gaming completely, I am prepared to do that ultimately as difficult as it may be. \

I actually uninstalled Steam and now I'm sat here wondering what to do. I'm experiencing that void that Cam has talked about before in his videos and what not, that sudden emptiness that comes due to the amount of free time and freedom I now have, it's kinda like starting an open-world game and wondering what to do. Some people stick to doing the main story, some go through all the sidequests and/or explore the world, some start role-playing or/and trying different builds and what not. That kinda applies to real life, figuring out who you are and what you want to do.

All I've ever known for most of my life is video games, to suddenly stop that, to stop it all and thus change everything, to change my life pretty much, is very overwhelming. I did use to have other hobbies but they competed for my attention and thus time, hence they ultimately become part of my past as I 'sacrificed' them to give myself less 'stress' and more time to play video games instead. I basically 'simplified' my life by focusing on video games purely.

The worst part is, I have no attention span now almost. I find it difficult to even watch TV shows especially ones over 30 minutes in length due to 'losing interest'. I can't even sit through commercials now! It's also the driving force to having Ad-Block installed on my PC to think of it...Wow. It all comes back down to instant gratification and thus dopamine addiction. I need results instantly instead of waiting for them, I was watching a video of Cam's where he talked about delayed gratification (this one to be exact), and I related to and resonated with what he said, I'm sure you both can probably relate to this as well.

I'm trying to go without gaming completely due to the aforementioned issues above as well as some others possibly, but it is difficult, it is overwhelming. But I'd like to think that it does get easier and it will seriously improve my life especially given the feedback I've seen from others who have managed to quit for at least a week or two but usually 90 days minimum, the feedback being on comments on Cam's videos particularly.

What is making things more difficult for me currenly is I'm going to be home alone tomorrow, so not sure I'm going to pass the time and resist gaming too. I still have some issues with social anxiety and paranoia about my safety, but I need to find some way of occuping myself on Fridays especially if I want to be able to quit gaming. I'm considering trying to do exercise on fridays with meditation too possibly, I'd be cooking twice in the day as well ideally and maybe relaxing as much as possible. I was meant to be seeing my gifrlend who I started dating last month but I recently broke up with her due to her to put a long story short, she was basically dragging me down and making me feel miserable. She only ever truly cared about herself and I felt like I was being used, just another 'disposable boyfriend' to her, I'm pretty sure she's narcisstic in all honesty. She needs a lot of help and she's not the kind of person I or anyone should really be dating anytime soon. I might post about her in the Relationships section as there are some things I'd like to talk about regarding relationships in general.

I've really waffled on here a lot again, bit of a bad habit at least! I guess it's helping me though and potentially others as my letter seemed to have helped you both out?

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I can definitely agree with that. I do feel a lot more 'liberated' (if that's the right word) when I leave the house to be honest. I went out to my support group today despite being hesistant to do so and I enjoyed it and felt good for doing so. I'd been off for over a week from it due to illness but I'm glad I went in today instead of having more time off.

I do tend to feel pretty 'awesome' after I go out, but the hardest part usually is getting myself to go out in the first place and not to get overwhelmed. It's a case of just even pushing myself to do it and dwelling on it as little as possible, as the more I do, the more difficult it becomes for me to go out. I'm going to the cinema on saturday so I'm looking forward to that, I have a lot of paranoia and anxiety going on and that holds me back from doing a lot more with myself to be honest. Although I do tend to underestimate how capable I can be and also quick-witted/adapative at times. Instinct can be a wonderful thing haha.

Watching some of your videos now Cam like I should have been doing, I think that will help a lot :).

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Sounds like you're on the right track Koyotelcarus! If expressing how you feel by writing is what helps you recognise your thoughts, don't hold back!

Not only did I uninstall my steam account, I'm trying to sell it! That way it'll be gone for good.

I also feel 'enlightened' after staying outside, particularly having a morning run, I just need to keep up my good habits with the slight edge!

I know going without games on home alone days will be hard, but if you get back into your other hobbies, surely your time will become well spent. If you haven't started already, I'd reccommend you get on with the Respawn guide to start with an organised approach to quitting games.

I hope to hear from you again!

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Thanks very much again!

I remember going for brief walks in the morning and they did me some good back in the day, if I could just deal with my paranoia it would definitely make it easier for me though.

Yeah thats possible, but its going to be hard due to how messed up my concentration is right now. Although, I'm sure if I do truly will it, I will find a way to recover my shortened attention span to being more 'natural' and also get myself into some new or even former hobbies again.

Thank you yet again, I will look into Respawn, I was curious about getting it and I probably will do so soon as well. I'll be around here still, I've thought about journaling so that may happen too. Especially noticing some people journaling about good things that happened each day as it has been suggested on here to me and by others before too.

Edited by KoyoteIcarus
Forgot to mention something.

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You're welcome! That's what this community is for.

I'm just using the sample of Respawn at the moment, but I will buy the full one soon. It sounds like you could really benefit from using it, its structure and mission layout is sure to get you to do many of the things suggested such as starting a journal. If you want to get started for free, here is a link to a sample, I think it goes up to the first 10 days or so out of 30: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bmzvf5sy06uoye9/GQCsample.pdf?dl=0

As long as you know why you're quitting games, stay committed, and accept your past as a gamer, I'm sure a short attention span will be no problem for you, especially since you wrote such a wonderful letter. Not many have the willpower and commitment to do all that! You've got the stuff man.

I look forward to seeing your journal!

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