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NEW VIDEO: I Replaced Gaming With Real Life (Nicco Transformation)

I'm Sidsel


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I'm a woman of 38.

My first experience on being hooked on a game, was Nethack in around 1999/2000.

Then I found Facebook; Farmville, Frontierville, etc.

Minor strategy games on FB that I can't even recall anymore - I think Dragons of Atlantis may have been one of them.

Someone suggested Runescape and I was genuinely hooked - the ability to move around in the game? Wow! But it never was compatible with my Linux machine, so onwards, onwards.

Still on Fb, I found Call of Gods. The storyline and complexity was absolutely entrancing. The graphics may not be the most sleek, and the google translate style english occasionally hillarious, but I enjoyed it.

Then there was Wartune.

And the high skill card game Rise of Mythos.

And the superbly sleek and shiny League of Angels - which had no strategy or skill at all, but knew exactly how to keep a person playing day after day after day.

And the latest in the line Mythborne.

And I'd cycle between my 'shinies' (Cog, W, RoM, LoA, Mb) every 4-8 weeks or so. Start a new server, race to the top, resent my family obligations for taking away my game time so I couldn't keep up with you youngsters, fall behind the power curve, get snippy and upset, start a new server and let the cycle go again and again and again.

In the beginning of Wartune I'd be on my high horse, despising the 'cashers' for 'cheating' their way to the top. I'd claim I wasn't addicted since I spent no money on games.

Well, 6 bucks for vip and instant buildings isn't much. I can do that.

And the wings were cool. I can pay for that.

10 for vip in LoA? I can do that.

And I'd keep promising myself I wouldn't spend anything, and I'd still do so. Just a little here, just a little there. Done for this month. But oh, new server, must pay here too.

Wednesday night last week I'd just jumped on the latest Mythborne server. I was doing great, top of the battle rating list for that first day. Some guy wants ingame marriage - fine, just a stat bonus. And he wants to upgrade it from standard to diamond. I'm vaguely considering it...

But then I realize I'm getting into an argument with a complete stranger on the internet about how much and often I should be cashing out for a game.

Some bigger casher knocks me off my arena first place perch in the evening, and I spend hours perfecting my gear to get my spot back. I'm not in bed until 00:30 in the morning, it's a school day the next day and I'm home alone with the kids so it's all up to me. I fail at getting my arena place back, thankfully - the euphoria of a win would probably have kept me coming back.

I stumble into bed with the thought that 'I need help'.

Thursday morning I collect my game rewards - then remember last nights thought and reinstall Leechblock on all my Flashgame 'shinies'. 24/7 lockdown, I'd have to go to the config file to unlock it. I have an informatics degree from 15 years ago, but the games kept me from developing any passion in that area, and I'm not sure how to go about unlocking. Thankfully, I guess. Then I made an account on the OLGA (online gamer addicts anonymous) forum.

I don't have a job. When I left university, the IT bubble had just burst and companies were only hiring peeps with experience. I came, newly educated, to job interviews with a large pregnant belly - and, antidiscrimination laws aside, it probably didn't help my case. Depression bloomed with every rejection, and after my second child was a year old, I got work in a grocery store instead. 3 years of that (which both I, my game addiction, and my family, hated), and I switched to a temp cleaning job instead. I've gotten little work there lately, so I'm 'just' at home now. Two kids, age 14 and 8, a cat, a house and a garden. I don't know how I found time for gaming, but I would spend 12-14 hours per day easily. I'd eat breakfast and lunch by my laptop (which always annoys my husband - who works with computers) and game. While nagging about homework, I'd be gaming. When asking the kids to do their chores, I'd be gaming. When the cat was curling up under my hand for cuddles, I'd be gaming. While cooking, I'd take my laptop to the kitchen so I could continue just one more arena match, just one more level, just one more daily quest. I started the Flylady program to get the house under control - but I couldn't take 15 minutes to do some chore and then reward myself with games... because I'd skip the chore and go straight to gaming.

When my daughter wants to decorate, I've always tried to explain that we declutter first, then decorate - or we're just going to still see the clutter and mess. Well, I tried to decorate my mind and time with the great Flylady routines - without decluttering the biggest mess of all, the games. I'd try to work around them - and it didn't work.

I've never been guilty of actual neglect - my kids and animals have gotten food and clothes and good night kisses. I may have killed a few of my precious plants, though, and I've probably not been the most accessible mother. My husband admits to being a workaholic, and our eldest mixes ADHD, autism spectrum and general computer addiction. Computers are everywhere in this house.

But I have now gone almost 5 full days with no games. Not even the single player Nethack, despite the download being only a button click away.

Edited by sidsel
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Hi Sidsel! Thanks for sharing your story and joining us here! We're happy you're a part of our community.

Congrats on 5 days without games. Even though 5 days can seem small, it's a meaningful accomplishment and you should feel proud.

You want to focus on getting to 90 days to allow your brain chemistry to rewire back to normal dopamine levels. We're here for you, let us know if we can help! :)

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  • 3 months later...

HI Sidsel, and welcome. Another parent and father of two here, at the end of my 6th day game free.

Gaming can really distort the way you live family life. Sadly I can relate to you resenting family obligations because they take your precious time away from gaming. That's actually been a major trigger for me to kick gaming away once and for all.

It's good that we are all coming together to support one another. Looking forward to your daily journal!

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