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NEW VIDEO: The EASIEST Way to Stop Gaming

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*I first wrote a book's worth, but decided to move that to daily journal and condense it here.

Hey all,

 I think I am at a point where I am ready to say goodbye to games. Maybe not 100% forever, but to the level that it isn't even considered a hobby, maybe just "ya, I'll play Mario Kart if it is rainy out and need to relax" or my PS4 is a glorified Blu Ray player that gets used for games every couple months. But if I can't handle that, then it is gone for good.

I started playing at the age of 4 (older siblings) back in 1989, well maybe 3 in 1988 when my family got our NES that Christmas. Playing games likes Mario Bros, Contra, Double Dragon 2, Ninja Gaiden, Dragon Warrior, etc. were great. However, what stole my heart was Zelda. From there I played Commodore64 games, and PC games (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quest for Glory, etc). Later it was N64 with Goldeneye, Ocarina of Time and Harvest Moon, and Playstation with with FF7 - FF9. In my later high school years it was GTA3, Gran Turismo 3 and Vice City, and in college I spent a lot of time playing full length 15min quarter games in NCAA Football and Madden, Dragon Quest 8, and lots of Halo/Halo2. Post college, it was exploring as Nathan Drake or fighting gods as Kratos. Lately it has been GTA5, Skyrim, etc. and now all I have left is the final Castle/Gannon in Breath of the Wild on the Switch. I think coming full cycle from Zelda nearly 30 years ago to ending on Zelda is a good time to put it down.

I have a 2.5yr old and another kid on the way in July/August, so my time to game will drop from an hour or two a day to 0 for awhile anyway, so I figured it is as good a time as any to detox. Plus, I think back on my life and the effects gaming had on me (not doing my best in high school or college, taking time way from working out, not expanding my mind, etc.), and I don't want my kids to be like that. I don't mind if they play games with friends when they get older, but I rather they be the kids who can say in college "ya, I used to play games", " I remember that game, they still make new ones?", instead of those like me who stayed up all night playing Halo with roommates instead of studying and getting a good night's rest.

I think I will start selling off my collection (spans from Atari 2600 to current), I'll start with stuff I have acquired since high school and will work my way back. Selling off my childhood N64 and NES will be hard, so I may just box them up with the games I had growing up and sell the games I have acquired since. I probably have $8k-$10k in games/consoles/memorabilia, so having the cash at hand instead of games on a shelf that I will not have the time to get to will be a good motivator. Plus, having those games I haven't played yet loom over me just adds pressure and occupies real estate in my mind. However, the thought of not playing Ocarina of Time for the 100th time is just weird... foreign, but whatever, its just a game and I had good times with it.

I need to lose weight (50-60lbs), my brain has been thirsty for expanding my knowledge, and I would like to get games and other content consumption out of my brain's real estate so I can concentrate on my work better and be more efficient so I don't have to work so much unpaid overtime to just keep up. I don't prioritize games over my family now, but there have been a few times where I would be playing a game on the couch after a long week at work, and my daughter will walk up to me and reach for my hand and say "come play with me" and my first reaction is "no, dada is playing a game" and then I immediately catch myself and think "wtf is that?" and I put it down to play with her. So while I haven't let it interfere much, I have come close.

I'm not one to play for 10hours every day and log 500 hours in a multiplayer game, but I just don't think video games are a good usage of my free time now and ready to start a new era where "gamer" isn't part of an identity anymore.

Sorry for the long length, and thanks for reading. I think I just needed to air my thoughts out to get a better grasp of what I really want.

 

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Also, if anyone has any good resources for meditation and impulse control, that would be great. As focus/impulse control is a huge component in me wanting to quit/scale back games as I think they have had an effect on my brain chemistry.

Edited by EndOfAnEra
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Thanks, will make sure to read through it. Just the first couple posts about comparing it to a break up makes sense. I haven't started my detox yet since I am at the very end of this game, but will finish it the next time I play it (tomorrow night I assume since I will be at a concert tonight), but will start my detox right after. I mean it, not just an excuse to keep playing. Figured I may as well do the final battle since I am already there and close that chapter. Start with Zelda and end with defeating Gannon once and for all.

But ya, just talking about quitting games both here and with my wife reminds me of the feeling where you have those talks with an ex-girlfriend where things are really bad, but just not really right and you both don't see it going anywhere so you are talking about breaking up. That sorrow for the past but excitement for the next chapter.

A weird feeling, and kinda pathetic feeling. I'm a 32 yr old man, not a child. Oh well, embrace it and move on. My wife is supportive (whether I quit or not), and is excited for me when I mentioned picking up BJJ/MT/boxing again.

I even mentioned taking a hiatus from gaming with a co-worker who is also a gamer. He laughed and asked if I saw the 20/20 on gaming addiction last week. I said no, but just need to do some other things. He agreed and said good luck with it. I don't see anyone being negative about it since none of my friendships stem or depend on gaming. I may get some ribbing of doubt, but nothing discouraging or bad. Will put a chip on my shoulder if anything.

I still don't see myself as "addicted" but the fact that I see it as a challenge means something. I definitely think it is an ingrained habit at the very least. Maybe more. But I am not really concerned with the label, more concerned with the results and testing my willpower. End goal: get rid of the constant fog in my head and work on concentration and focus. Hoping improved diet, exercise and some meditation will help. Work on multi-tasking less, etc.

Edited by EndOfAnEra
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I had several unplayed games on my steam account when I put it down (All gotten on sales). The "sunk cost fallacy" is real. Gaming nostalgia also hit me hard. Eventually, these things won't matter because you'll be looking somewhere where they don't belong.

Welcome in and good luck!

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