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A friendly introduction

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Hi everyone! My name is Wayland, named after the master blacksmith of Germanic mythology. I'm currently 21 years old and living in Australia. My relationship with gaming over the past few years has become what I see as an unhealthy binge-diet cycle. I'm ready to put an end on this for good and move on. 

A brief history until now

  • My first contact with gaming was through watching my friend play Mario on his Game Boy Colour. I knew I had to get my hands on one, but my father was somewhat adamant.
  • Soon after, the Game Boy Advance was released and I miraculously persuaded my parents to buy me one. I think it was for my 7th birthday. 
  • In the later years of primary school, my friends were escaping to the library whenever they had the chance to play this computer game called Age Of Empires. Everybody would compete for a turn, and having a reserved nature, I mostly just watched. Inside I was burning to play.
  • Later that year my parents surprised me with a copy of Age Of Empires so I could play at home. They probably thought I would learn some history from playing through the campaigns. I learnt more about strategy and how to cheat.
  • Then came Runescape, my first experience of a game with community. I loved that I could talk to people with much more ease than at school. Talking obviously wasn't the best part though, because I stayed away from messaging services. At this point I would only be able to play at my father's office because we didn't have a computer at home. 
  • Until I got hooked on something better - Kongregate. This, along with the genre of strategy MMORPG's has been my number one sticking point. The site itself was the game to me, filled with hundreds of badges that consumed me and my inner perfectionist. It reminded me of my early Pokemon days as I attempted to "catch them all." I stopped playing games for their enjoyment, and instead lost myself in crossing off achievements. The second I had that badge I was moving on to the next. 
  • In high school my best friend got me hooked on Maple Story around the same time we finally got a computer at home. Hello sleepless nights. My parents began to show their dislike for me spending so much time gaming, so I was forced to work around them and hide my habits. This continued until my computer bugged out and we replaced it with a Mac. I said goodbye to good computer games. No more Maple Story.
  • My other friend at school was avid about strategy games like chess, and together we stumbled on Dofus. This is where I first realised a game was consuming me, about 2009. My father somehow could work out when I was gaming instead of sleeping, so I needed to change tactics. I would sleep early and wake at 4am to get a few hours of gaming in before school. Then in the evenings I would game while pretending to do school work. I remember the game routinely recommending I take a break because of the hours I spent on it.
  • In my last year of high school I knew gaming had to go, so I tried a detox. It worked, until exam stress ate me alive and spat me out the other side with the worst gaming binge I had experienced. School was over, and for the first time, I was waking up consistently after noon. I struggled with trying to shake its grip, detoxing for a few days only to binge even harder. Luckily I had an escape locked in.
  • In 2014 I took a giant leap and went on exchange to Japan. In doing so I gave myself an ultimatum. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to go all out. A new life, a new person. I left my laptop at home and pushed through the year game-free. Success!
  • Obviously it doesn't end there, or I'd be in the wrong forum. Coming back from exchange I've lost almost all my friends. It's a tricky period transitioning out of high school, and I hadn't kept much contact during my gap year. No problem, I was motivated and ready to kick ass. Entering my first year of university I did just that. I kept up a long distance relationship, did well in classes, and made a lot of friends. The school year ended, and I was absolutely burnt out. Enter huge massive relapse from gaming hell. The worst part? I couldn't find a single game that would satisfy the void inside me. What was I after?
  • I couldn't do another year of that, so I deferred my study and took the year off working. Gaming slowly slipped back into my routine as I was working from home. The flexibility that was so great ended up being a curse in disguise. I began to fall in love with mobile gaming, as I couldn't seem to get any satisfaction from computer games any more.
  • Then we arrive at today. Things have fallen through with work just as life has dropped some pretty big boulders on top of me. Splat. I've observed myself slip more and more into depression, where it gets difficult to leave the house at times. I will absorb myself in a new game I find completely, until it offers me less than no satisfaction - rather disgust that I've been so consumed - so I delete the game. Rinse and repeat. 

Why I'm here

I have become desensitised to gaming. It now feels like a perverse addiction. Today, something made me type "stop playing games" in Google. That's when I found my opportunity in what Cam described. It rang true to me, to what I've experienced when most alive and to where I want to be. I've never bought anything so fast and with so little research. I know I have to invest in myself. Ultimately that's why I'm here, to become a better person, and because I want to spend my life making other people happier, not myself more depressed. 

Moving forward

I tend to overdo things and burn my matches from both ends, which I'm going to be cautious of while progressing with this. Slow and steady wins the race as they say. This will be my primary goal, to patiently and consistently follow through with this rather than allowing it to fall through like previous attempts. I'm going to have to trust the process.

Thanks for having me here everyone, and Cam for the work you've put in to make this possible. Deep breath. Here goes nothing.

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Amazing to have you join us here, Wayland. Where in Australia are you? I'm coming there for November and December. I'll be in Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sydney, and Perth, before heading to Adelaide. :D

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@Cam Adair Thanks Cam! I'm from Sydney. What brings you to the land down under?

@giblets Thank you for the welcome! I was actually just skimming through your journal for inspiration to start mine, so I was pleasantly surprised when you popped up here. Let's see to it that I don't waste that potential then.

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MCing my buddy Adam Roa (check out his episodes on our podcast)'a show, Permission to Think Freely. 

We will be in Sydney Nov 14. Love to meet and for you to join us: http://events.eventzilla.net/e/permission-to-think-freely-2138928919

@giblets you too!

Just listened to his podcast where the dates were mentioned so it's in my calendar!

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Just listened to his podcast where the dates were mentioned so it's in my calendar!

YESSS!!!!

Ticket purchased! No pressure or anything but I heard the MC is going to be on point ^_^

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I remember playing a bunch of flash games around the mid-oughts. It was Jay Is Games, Newgrounds, and Kongregate. I fell off Kongregate before they added achievements, but I went there constantly for a little bit.

How was Japan, though? I've always wanted to go, if nothing else than to check out all the great underground and punk music coming out of it. People always think about the bustling cities, but apparently the countryside is really nice, too.

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@Parkreiner - Japan was amazing! Better than anything I could have dreamed of. In my opinion the country side is the best bit, especially all the small mountain villages. Part of me wished I could've lived in one of those villages instead of the bustling Nagoya. Definitely go if you have the chance.

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I remember playing a bunch of flash games around the mid-oughts. It was Jay Is Games, Newgrounds, and Kongregate. I fell off Kongregate before they added achievements, but I went there constantly for a little bit.

How was Japan, though? I've always wanted to go, if nothing else than to check out all the great underground and punk music coming out of it. People always think about the bustling cities, but apparently the countryside is really nice, too.

Wow, Newgrounds! I used to watch so much nonsense on there as a kid.

Japan is right up there on my bucket list. I romanticise about it a lot. Sometimes I picture myself just chilling in a tiny but cosy appartment in downtown Tokyo. I look out of the window, dense electric wires, neon lights and everything, hit the bong and jam to the tunes. Maybe I'll spend some time on the japanese countryside, space out on a tatami mat next to a crystal clear pool of lotus leaves and drown in the richness of life. I might retrace the journey of certain characters from a certain anime I know and love. I want to see the country's greatest art and climb it's highest peak.

I only recently rediscovered how to dream

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@Parkreiner - Japan was amazing! Better than anything I could have dreamed of. In my opinion the country side is the best bit, especially all the small mountain villages. Part of me wished I could've lived in one of those villages instead of the bustling Nagoya. Definitely go if you have the chance.

Yeah, I definitely want to make it out there eventually, if nothing else than to see a bunch of punk and underground bands. Maybe for the 2020 Olympics.

 

Wow, Newgrounds! I used to watch so much nonsense on there as a kid.

Japan is right up there on my bucket list. I romanticise about it a lot. Sometimes I picture myself just chilling in a tiny but cosy appartment in downtown Tokyo. I look out of the window, dense electric wires, neon lights and everything, hit the bong and jam to the tunes. Maybe I'll spend some time on the japanese countryside, space out on a tatami mat next to a crystal clear pool of lotus leaves and drown in the richness of life. I might retrace the journey of certain characters from a certain anime I know and love. I want to see the country's greatest art and climb it's highest peak.

I only recently rediscovered how to dream

Man, I don't watch that much anime anymore, but Champloo is like my number 2. That soundtrack.

But apparently Japan's super strict on drugs. I've seen a few stories of people getting jailed for crazy amounts of time just for having a little bit of pretty benign stuff.

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@thehondasc00py I should've guessed you were into the same down-tempo lo-fi hiphop chill beats as me! I was picking something up in your music but it didn't click. Turn the dream into a reality one day man. That sounds radical!

@Parkreiner I'm planning on visiting for the 2020 olympics myself, if I don't find my way there sooner! There's so much more to see than just the music scene. Don't sell your experience short!

Edited by SlackRamen
Didn't see Parkreiner's post! Replying here.

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