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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

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Skaliq

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Day 41:  Those majors that I had no idea they existed

Amidst internal assessment deadlines looming one after another, my mind is caught off in college research. Engineering schools are exorbitantly expensive, and computer science is ridiculously competitive, so I randomly picked some college majors in my target schools and made some neat discoveries! 

TIL that "actuarial science" is a field of mathematics that deals with risk management and that actuary usually forecast insurance and pension costs. It's one of few math majors where you also learn some basic economics and computer science, two of my interests. The field requires you to take multiple standardized exams, but I have a track record of attaining my target score in every standardized exam I took in high school, so I think that's okay. Moreover, I recently wrote a damn 4000-word statistics essay. I'm more than comfortable with high school and college levels of statistics. 

After some research, actuarial science major seems very appealing and worth consideration. 

EDIT: Apparently, this is the 100th entry on this topic. Yay!?

Edited by Skaliq

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Day 42: Physics

I finished the physics experiment today! I'm making pinwheels and examining the impact of the angle of the blades to the angular velocity of the pinwheel in equilibrium given all else equal. It's probably the gazillionth iteration of my experimental setup, and it still isn't perfect, but at least I'm getting usable data. 

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Day 43: Content Creation

The mindset that you approach your art as a content creator for an audience is fundamentally different to that of an individual craftsman. In visual art, the medium is the message. For my high school art magazine, the artwork has to be legible when printed in A5. This constraint brings life to 4-panel comic strips and invalidates larger, intricate works. On the other hand, I would just doodle whatever in my sketchbook. 

Deciding to adhere to a "topic of the day" style - on my first entry - was also a declaration that my journals would be content first, diaries second. 

So far, I attempted to produce entertaining, easily consumable pieces of content on a regular schedule. I thought of ideas beforehand and write them down for future reference. Editing for a streamlined reading experience is crucial. It makes journaling feel much more 'professional' and therefore obliges me to stick to it. On the other hand, this makes my journal less intimate. The tradeoff is worth it, I think. 

Edited by Skaliq

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Day 45: First Passable Weekend Day

As aforementioned, weekends always end any momentum that I've gained during the weekday. It's when my routine - go to school, work out, do homework, rest, sleep - falls down. The freedom is almost unmanageable, but I guess it's a necessary enemy to conquer before going to university. Today was okay, in the sense that I organized and made a bit of progress on the physics experiment. Most of the day was wasted, but not all. 

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Some downtime is natural and necessary. You're very well-organized. Planning leisure time is a separate challenge. I suggest you book some leisure activities for the weekend on Monday-Tuesday and leave some blanks for downtime on purpose. That way you can unwind and feel good about it too.

Edited by Vlad

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@ Vlad You're right. The problem is when I have assignments due soon or I know I'd get more enjoyment out of other leisure activities - sitting through an anime series, writing for fun, working out - but proceed to surf the web. Booking activities beforehand is an excellent idea. I'll definitely try it out next week! 

Day 46: Why I'm Still Going For It

Nobody can stop me if I really wanted to play video games. My life is looking pretty bright, with good grades and improving body physique. It makes it easier to justify gaming in moderation. So, what's stopping me? 

EGO. That damn ego. Cam once said in a video that "if you can't stop gaming for 90 days, you shouldn't be gaming." I DO NOT want to be proven wrong by Cam. I want to go to him and say, "How dare you to underestimate my abilities? I.beat.your.challenge." Protecting my ego has no direct benefits. Cam and the members of the Game Quitters forum are just strangers I happen to know through the internet. They won't stop me at the streets and ask why I quit halfway through. I simply do not want to appear like someone who's all talk and no action. 

Not to mention that magical badge in r/StopGaming subreddit. It took me an immense effort to reach level 46, I simply cannot quit now. Yes, it's just a virtual icon that has no impact IRL. Yes, there are people with high badge count that are still failing IRL by succumbing to new addictions. It's the signal of authority in a niche community that outsiders that don't care about. But I really need that virtual "rank 90" in my hands. 

It's ironic how gamification can be used to quit gaming, but we've got to reap the benefits from our experience as gamers, right? Competitive mindset is one of our greatest strengths as video game players in the first place. 

Edited by Skaliq

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While I praise your attitude at the moment I wonder if you'll keep your momentum after 90 days. I remember older entry about delegating the dicision to you future self but I don't really believe in living you life against something, not for something.

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@Mettermrck @ HappyCat Yeah, I honestly don't know if I can hold after 90 days. One of the reasons why I'm still keeping up is the promise that if I desperately wanted to, I can always play games in moderation after 90 days after I've "reset the addiction," so to speak. 

Day 47: On Workout

Today was an okay day. Assignments that were bombarded onto my path is just the reality of senior year in the IB diploma that it doesn't merit further elaboration. 

Over time I've become a gym evangelist of sorts, and have somehow managed to convince four of my friends to hit the gym as well. It's not like I'm one of those insanely shredded gym rats or anything. My body physique is plain, though just a tad bit healthier than my previous skinny-fat self and able to do just a few more push-ups and pull-ups in a set. What I like most about frequent workouts (5+ days a week) is that it reinvigorates me after a tiring morning, allowing me to stay energized during the afternoon. It's almost like a "rest day" is the day in which I feel the worst, though having one or two rest days a week is beneficial. 

For the curious, here is my weekly workout routine: 

Mon/Wed/Fri: 3-day-split weight training. Chest + triceps, back + biceps, legs + shoulders. I use the pyramid method and tend do put in quite a bit of volume with lighter weights. 

Tue: HIIT cardio training + core

Thu and/or Sat: Yoga/Pilates + core + light machine cardio

Sun: Rest day

Edited by Skaliq

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@Mettermrck @ HappyCat Yeah, I honestly don't know if I can hold after 90 days. One of the reasons why I'm still keeping up is the promise that if I desperately wanted to, I can always play games in moderation after 90 days after I've "reset the addiction," so to speak. 

 

What are your reasons for quitting gaming? What do you want to achieve by that?

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Day 48: Answering the Question

@Vlad Really though, I started the detox out of necessity. The choice was to quit gaming, or fail my high school diploma. And then I had a few goals, such as catching up academics, scheduling, working out, eating healthy, and dressing better. Now that I'm doing all of them, it's easy to justify gaming.

You see, this has a lot to do with my mentality back when I could game moderately and still get 4.0 GPA. My mindset was to do just enough of what is required in the most efficient manner possible so that I could game ~2 hours a day. I never aimed for a 4.0 GPA, though I ended up getting it. I never aimed to do well in extracurriculars or sports. I did barely enough work to be a decent student and called it a day. 

Is it asking too much from life to want to just get a decent job with decent pay and do decently in my careers? Probably. Am I a naive highschooler who doesn't know the realities of the job market? Almost certainly.

But I can't just create a lofty goal out of nowhere...my goal was to be okay at fitness, above-average in style, and 3.9+ GPA in academics. Nothing more. Now that I'm getting those things, the cravings are returning. 

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Yup, I've just got to wait it out until day 90 and then see. 

Day 49: It happened

It happened guys. Finally, I ran out of ideas and will have to resort to logging the events of the day. It's dull. School. Workout. Homework. Back to home. Finish homework. Entertainment. Sleep. Rince and repeat. 

Edited by Skaliq

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Yup, I've just got to wait it out until day 90 and then see. 

Day 49: It happened

It happened guys. Finally, I ran out of ideas and will have to resort to logging the events of the day. It's dull. School. Workout. Homework. Back to home. Finish homework. Entertainment. Sleep. Rince and repeat. 

If you like challenge, try to learn the game of go. Or pick up simple musical instrument like melodica. Of course I am biased, but why not)

Yeah, listen to these guys Skaliq, you'll drive yourself insane if you do the same thing over and over everyday.

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Day 50: Activities

Given the assessment that I should be doing something more interesting other than following the routine,  I remembered that I was interested in cardistry some time ago, and bought a deck of cards. Although I liked the intellectual challenge of collectible card games, they're a dozen times easier than go or chess, as you only have to deal with limited information. Furthermore, brain-taxing activities are the things I want to do the least after a long school day. 

Long story short, that's why I practiced cardistry instead of learning poker with the deck of cards. I learned a few basic grips and some shuffling methods. I'll try this for a few days and see how interesting it gets. 

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Hey, @Skaliq how did your cardistry go? It is a good real world skill that engages people.

Just a quick question, regarding Overwatch if that is ok. Does Overwatch have a random reward programmed into it? From what I understand League of legends randomise you into different teams. Are there random items given after each match?

Thanks for your help!

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