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TableTiger

I just want my other hobbies back

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One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario World on the SNES when I was probably around 3 years old. I've always played videogames, but they didn't really become an integral part of my life until I was about 19 years old. Prior to that, most of the games I played always had some kind of definitive ending. I'd save the kingdom, rescue the princess, kill the demon lord, and the game would be over. I would move on with my life and find something else to do. Videogames were something to do when I ran out of books to read, had an art block, and had already finished all of my homework. They were a fall back hobby. But, until two weeks ago, videogames became my ONLY hobby. I started playing endless timewasters. I stopped playing RPGs soo much and started playing MMOs, FPS, and the like. I used to only really play single player games unless I had friends over. Now I was primarily playing online against other people. I hated every minute of it (particularly grinding for hours), but I kept playing. All the while, I stopped doing the things I love. I have a book shelf full of unread novels, empty sketch books waiting to be filled, and a dusty guitar that desperately needs to be tuned waiting for me. I am tired of just staring at them and feeling sorry for myself. So I did a complete factory restore of my gaming laptop. If I want to play a game I have wait hours to reinstall it now. 

 

Before I nuked my computer, I had a harrowing realization. Most games don't require much skill to perfect. To be competent in most online games you need an expensive gaming rig, the right mouse and keyboard, an infallible internet connection, and endless free time. Blessings from the RNG gods also goes a long way. A lot of games now days seem to be specifically designed to suck you in as long as possible. I would always tell myself that I couldn't stop playing least I miss something or worse my skills in the game degrade. At times nothing seemed worse than being mediocre at a game. I'll blame some insecurities regarding my gender (I'll probably explore this later in journals). My biggest fear was that someone would tell me that I wasn't great at a game because I was "just a girl." I was never particularly good mind you. My PC wasn't good enough, my connection was never fast enough, I needed a better keyboard and mouse. What I had going for me was my capacity to sacrifice all of my time to the gaming gods. I would go to work/school and then immediately play something. 

 

I don't really know where this path will lead me. I would love to completely give up on online gaming in general. I have made some friends directly through gaming, but I hope they will be accepting of my current decision. I would hate to lose them. If I could go back to the early days of passively playing an RPG here or there when I ran out of things I could do, that would be perfect. As of now, I am going completely cold turkey. I don't know if I have the impulse control to mitigate my time in games. 

 

Anyhow, I wish you all luck on your respective paths!

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Hi,

What you are saying about games is right, they are easy to learn and it is really easy to be a gamer, because there are simple rules, you start with some sort of plan or scenario in which you just "pull the strings" and everything makes sense and you have progression in your deeds, which means for example, that you won't fight a endgame boss with 1 lvl character, but as you said:

I hated every minute of it (particularly grinding for hours), but I kept playing. All the while, I stopped doing the things I love.

 and at the end you said:

I don't really know where this path will lead me.

I think this path will led you to quite opposite to what you are feeling now. I think you will start doing things that you love and you will enjoy every minute of your life! I wish you all the best. And by the way, when you said "Blessings from the RNG gods" I smiled :) you have elegant way to express yourself. Is that your drawing in your profile picture? Looks very interesting.

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Hi, TableTiger! I look forward to seeing where your journey takes you.

Thanks! I also look forwards to see everyone else's respective journeys. I hope your has/will take you somewhere very nice. Maybe to a beach house in the Caribbean. 

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What you are saying about games is right, they are easy to learn and it is really easy to be a gamer, because there are simple rules, you start with some sort of plan or scenario in which you just "pull the strings" and everything makes sense and you have progression in your deeds, which means for example, that you won't fight a endgame boss with 1 lvl character, but as you said:

    Quote

I hated every minute of it (particularly grinding for hours), but I kept playing. All the while, I stopped doing the things I love.

It's sad that it took me so long to realize it. I think it was because I have a lot of talented friends and I wanted to feel special. Look! I can get my character to max level and kill a boss. That takes skill, I swear. Even strategy games aren't as challenging or mentally stimulating as they should be. I used to beat all my gaming buddies in things like Civ, but that is because I spent hours learning all the ways to exploit the game. Why spend hundred of hours trying to "perfect" a game when you can spend that time developing a more awesome skill instead?

I think this path will led you to quite opposite to what you are feeling now. I think you will start doing things that you love and you will enjoy every minute of your life! I wish you all the best. And by the way, when you said "Blessings from the RNG gods" I smiled :) you have elegant way to express yourself. Is that your drawing in your profile picture? Looks very interesting.

Well thank you very much. I hope I do as well. I will certainly be spending my time doing something more productive at least. 

Sadly I didn't draw it. It is from an old engraving/painting. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Tigerdholes.jpg

Maybe I'll draw something and put it as my profile picture eventually. That is a goal to set. 

 

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Welcome! You're experiences with trying to perfect skill level and your character goes to show when you are motivated about something, you have the capacity to dedicate the time and resources to meet that goal. Now, you can take all those awesome skills and talents that was required of you to game and apply it to other dreams and passions you have. You clearly have the insight, capability, and capacity to pursue your dreams. 

 

Best wishes. Looking forward to supporting you through your journey. 

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Congratz on your decision! Easy to say and oh so hard to do. Your making a big change in your lifestyle for all the right reasons. I fell victim to some of the same things you mentioned. The grind, the awful alluring hateful grind! It was like work and not fun but a challenge that had to be overcome to get the next upgrade or next unlock. Just one more match was the internal rationalization I used.

Consider other areas where you can change things to avoid that old pattern of life of school/work/play. And the enablers...the twitch, the YouTube subscriptions, videos, the forums, everything associated has to be quit too. Its just too hard to not play and still be exposed to all that at the same time. I had to get rid of the gaming reminders in my daily life.

I started doing other projects around the house to keep busy and avoid the boredom inducing urge to "just play a couple matches". Read those books you mentioned. That's a bit of escape from the urges right there.

TableTiger, I wish you all the best in your journey! Good on ya to make the decision!

~Strkr3

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Why spend hundred of hours trying to "perfect" a game when you can spend that time developing a more awesome skill instead?

YES. :) Actually that was my realization too after a while, that I was pretty bad in game called LIFE. And I realized that I will play my game till the end of my life (I'm the character of this super realistic RPG) so I have plenty (relatively speaking - we do not really know, how much we are going to live) of time to develop my best skills and it is said that to master certain skill you need "only" ten years, which in the span of life are not that much of a time.

I like the whole painting. In my opinion good hand-made painting cannot substitute the one which was created in photoshop. Looking forward for your drawing :) Best wishes

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