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NEW VIDEO: The EASIEST Way to Stop Gaming

Hi all! Game dev doing too much game and not enough dev.


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Hi all! I'm a 22 year old programmer, currently working at a company which uses Minecraft to teach kids to code. I work there as a game dev. In my spare time I'm an indie dev.

I'm one of those people who on the surface seems to have everything sorted already. I have a steady career doing something I enjoy, and something that society generally seems to value (education). I've been in a steady (long distance) relationship with an incredible person for almost 5 years. I'm a healthy weight, if I may say so I cook pretty good food. I play an instrument, do art, and of course make games.

If you look a bit deeper, that's where the cracks start to show. I always have bags under my eyes. I often complain about a job I enjoy. When I have time for myself, I often just disappear from the online radar (which, because long distance, means my partner won't hear from me), and come back miserable. I can spend all day talking about the incredible plans I have for my games, only to come into work the next day feeling horrible.

Gaming hasn't ruined my life. My family, partner, and close friends have all supported me in small ways that have kept me away from it. So in that sense, I seem to be extremely lucky.

Gaming is to thank for a lot of the good in my life

Gaming has brought me a great many things in my life. It introduced me to game dev, which is an incredible hobby and passion of mine. This passion brought me to do the degree I did, which landed me my current career. It's introduced me to a whole collection of wonderful people I call my friends, people who would thankfully value me regardless of whether I game or not, but I would not have met for gaming. My involvement in competitive fighting games taught me so many valuable lessons about good sportsmanship, discipline, and how to improve the self. Somewhat ironically, that same discipline is what I'm going to be applying to hopefully get over my habits.

So why am I stopping?

I work on games professionally. If I cut gaming out of my life, the goal is to replace it with game dev. If that doesn't sound like it makes a lot of sense, I can respect that.

There are two completely different mindsets behind game dev and gaming. You're all probably uncomfortably familiar with the stagnant lifeless way in which you game, where hours fly by, promises of "just one more game" ignored again and again.

Game dev is nothing like that for me. Testing my games, even the games of my fellow devs, you're not playing a game, in the same way as a teacher looking over an exam isn't doing it for the sake of learning the answers. The feeling of game dev is the same feeling as I get from making art, from writing music. And it's a feeling that gaming is completely robbing me of.

I work in London. Commutes in that city are long. I have to leave my house at 7:30am, returning at 7:30pm, each day. I know that I can come home, make some food, eat, and make games all evening. I know that this will get me to bed at a healthy time, feeling happy with myself, having progressed on my work, and gotten that one step closer to the lifelong dream of full time indie.

But then it's so much easier to get home, say "Ugh, 12 hour days are long, I just need a quick game to relax". One quick game later, it's 1am, I haven't eaten well, my room is a mess, my girlfriend has been ignored, and I'm no closer to launching a game. I feel like trash.

I don't particularly enjoy the feeling of thinking I'm a waste of space, just doing the daily grind each day and going home to stagnate in front of Overwatch for an evening again. Games have brought me so much good in my life, but times change. I don't have the impulse control I used to have. So many relationships start out wonderful, and end in a break up.

I'm sorry gaming. You're holding me down from the amazing things I know I used to be able to do. We had some good times, but I think we both need to move on.

It's not you, it's me.

...dang that was word-ier than I expected. Feels good to get this off my chest.

Hi all! I've chatted to some people in the Discord already. I've browsed the posts here. I have huge amounts of respect for the challenges you're undertaking. Most of the best things I've done in my life were thanks to inspiring people like yourselves doing amazing things. So thanks for all the help you've already provided. It's scary saying goodbye to a part of me I identify with so strongly, but here's to the me I might be able to become through your help!

Thank you all so much!

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I've looked into respawn.

That said, due to some colossal screw up from myself and my bank combined, I can't use my card online for a bit, so even if I wanted to, I can't get respawn!

Happy to chat about gamedev at any point to any of you, since it's a completely different and healthy mindset to playing, so feel free to ask away! I'm on the discord a fair bit, but I'll try and be on the forums more often too!

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