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oldschoolgamer

25+ years later, still playing

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I have been playing a long time. One of my earliest childhood memories was playing on my NES when i was 2. Im now 28. Over the years, i have played on nearly every console, and PC going back to the Apple II.

When i was younger, i used to play every chance i got. As soon as i got home, i would flip on the NES, or N64 or old Tandy desktop. It was always by myself though. Shooters like Doom and RPGs like final fantasy. Then something changed. With the PS2, games became more social. Split screen became a thing. Killzone on PS2 and Halo on Xbox became a reason to hang out with friends. This was before there was such thing as online play. We would go to eachothers houses and play for hours on end. But then something happened. High school graduation. I was so big into shooters, i believe it influenced my decision to join the military righy out of school. I had left for boot camp, and i thought that it would be the end of my gaming. Time to be an adult. But that wasnt the case. After boot camp i spent several months in more advanced training, and even there my new comrades and i would have LAN parties. I left there when my training was done, and headed out to the fleet (i was US Navy). I figured there was no way i could manage to find time to game on a warship. I was still wrong. Without going into details, I was a launcher technician, and there were only like 4 of us on the ship that had access to that place, so i hid a xbox 360 and small tv in the bottom of this missile launcher. There i was, playing Resident Evil 5, with Tomahawk missiles just a couple feet above me. If the command had found out, i would have certainly been punished harshly, if not outright kicked out. But that didnt stop me. My addiction was stronger than the possibility of consequences. 

Fast forward several years, and here i am with a house and a wife and a corporate job. I work in the firearms industry for a very large company (again, vety much likely due to influence of my love for shooters as a kid). But having a good job and adult responsibilities still hasnt stopped me. I even brought in one of my laptops and hooked it up to one of my monitors on my desk so i could play Skyrim at work once. I could have lost my job if i got caught. 

But it finally hit me the other day. I was in my basement, playing Fallout, and just kind of had an epiphany. I have a wife and dog (no kids yet) upstairs who i am not spending any time with, i have house project thay need to be done, but i am blowing my money on gaming gear and DLCs, and i have a ton of unfinished projects getting neglected because im wasting all my time in my games. Im 28 years old, what the hell am i doing? All my friends i used to game with stopped playing a decade ago. Why can i not move on as well? I neglect my wife, and risk my job. This is a problem

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Welcome to the forum!

As an aspiring (Spanish) Navy myself I can relate a lot with your motives back then, I'm also looking to join to 'grow up' past my previous (and still kind of current) NEET-couch potato state. I'm aware there's gaming inside the military as well and if I enter I'll have to keep an eye on those lonely and boring 24 hour shifts. Thank you for your honesty, it's not so easy to admit mistakes that could harm professional reputation. It's a great sign that you do, don't lose that.

You've made a great job reflecting on the impact gaming has made in your life. It has influenced your career decisions that keep you fed and under a roof today, and by the way you write, it also gave you loads of fun, so not everything is bad. There's nothing wrong (if anything the opposite) in acknowledging that games have served a purpose and they did their job well, you shouldn't think less of yourself or compare with other people. Your friends had their own experience with gaming, you had yours.

Now, you've clearly identified your reasons to quit. If you want to leave games behind forever (I'm not saying it's the only option, but maybe it's the one you prefer), you have to think of it as a phase. Games had their place in your life and they did their part in what makes the you of today you. Thanks games. Now it's time to begin a new stage.

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I appreciate the feedback.

Best of luck with your Navy endeavors. Its a great experience. And for sure, be wary of boredom. Plenty of it to go around in the military, particularly on a ship. Not a lot of places to escape. Books are a wonderful tool, a good work of fiction can have that escape effect similar to a game

I been thinking about this, and you are right. There have been some positives. Back in the day when my friend and i all were gaming, it formed close bonds. Again this was in the days before there was such thing as online play, so we spent a lot of time at eachothers houses. They might have quit gaming a decade ago, but the crew is still very close knit. We still spend nearly every weekend together even to this day. There is also my career. I see gaming as a parallel with my interest in guns. I started a while back in one of the stores behind the counter selling guns, and now i moved to corporate a few years ago into upper management. I know i would not be where i am in a different industry, if we were selling products i had little interest in. I appreciate you giving me some insight on that

Been doing some introspection, and have found that use gaming as an escape. I have mostly been a solo gamer. Even after online play became a thing, i still prefer games like the elder scrolls series, or fallout.  Games where i am immersed in a world that is not my own. I even have a habit of playing GTA5 online, but on my own server. I dont want to deal with other people. I deal with people all day at work. Sometimes i just want to wander San Andreas or Morrowind or the post apocalyptic Mojave wasteland alone. But its much deeper than stress from work. Without going into details, i had a particularly brutal childhood, at least in a social sense. There was a point in time things were so bad at school, i didnt go to school during the day, i went after all the other kids had gone home. I had to escape. And i think thats what i need. A different form of escape. Something with a productive outlet. And i think i know what that is for me. Its my garage. Right now im not really using it as a workspace beacause its not insulated, and im in the north so it gets very cold here in the winter. I have begun to insulate it, with the intent of using the space as a workshop for other hobbies. 

I have decided to try the 90 day detox. I know im not ready just quite yet though. I recently downloaded some DLC, and i know it will nagat me if i dont finish it first. I did pay for it afterall. Wifes out of town this weekend, so im commiting to wrapping up the DLC this weekend, and giving the detox a go on Monday. 

@Cam,
Saw your video with Stephan Molyneaux, great stuff

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Welcome to the forums mate!

You have had a similar epiphany to me, though mine was getting annoyed when my son needed attention and it would annoy me because I was mid game. Why was this annoying me? I should be enjoying him needing my help! I was blown away by how many projects I got completed during the detox, I kept thinking to myself, why didn't I do this ages ago? Who allows all these chores to be neglected? It kept reminding me of the scene from Limitless (I think the movie was called), where he takes that pill and his mind expanded, he looks around his apartment that is a mess and says "Who lives like this?". Amazing change.

I look forward to seeing your progress!

Edited by giblets

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Thanks for the advice!

Escape is a human need, and it would be completely fine if you just liked to take a walk or something equally "non-productive" (per se). Identify your needs and look for the solution that works best for you, no need to "be productive" just because. Unless that's what you want of course ;)

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@giblets man thats crazy. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I have had the exact same deal with my wife. She would come down and pester me while playing and would be annoying at minimum, particularly if it was during a cutscene or something. But its like wha the hell am i doing? Got a woman upstairs who wants to spend time with me, and this is what i do instead. What a waste of time

Sidenote, Australia huh? Beautiful place. Made a port call to Perth once, spent about a week down there. One of my favorite places i been

 

@Hitaru i do need to do something constructive. Im a midwestern farm boy, was just how i was raised. If i dont do something constructive, i just feel lazy. I can sit and game all day, but man i just feel guilty for being lazy. That and i would be a able to keep up with my friends lol. The crew i run with, they are crazy high energy. One time i went over to my friends house on a Wednesday after work. Another friend comes over, we all start drinking beer and help work on his truck, then at like 11:00, he says, "i got to go home. Need to start canning beets". I was like lol wtf, its 11:00, were half in the bag, and he wants to start a 3-4 project, and we all have to work the next morning. They do thay kind of thing all the time. Im not talking that crazy, but i definitely do envy their ambition sometimes

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I can totally second what giblets said about the detox. When I went through my detox, I was overwhelmed by how much time I have and how I spend it all of the sudden. So many projects I worked on. After my relapse, I still had a lot of the structure I build up during the detox, which was great, but nearly no real project got finished. Once you realize how much time and energy gaming actually consumes, it is world shifting.

Also, the fact that you see yourself and ask "why do I neglect the important things in my life" shows that your mind already changed. The rest simply has to catch up.

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@Hitaru i do need to do something constructive. Im a midwestern farm boy, was just how i was raised. If i dont do something constructive, i just feel lazy. I can sit and game all day, but man i just feel guilty for being lazy. That and i would be a able to keep up with my friends lol. The crew i run with, they are crazy high energy. One time i went over to my friends house on a Wednesday after work. Another friend comes over, we all start drinking beer and help work on his truck, then at like 11:00, he says, "i got to go home. Need to start canning beets". I was like lol wtf, its 11:00, were half in the bag, and he wants to start a 3-4 project, and we all have to work the next morning. They do thay kind of thing all the time. Im not talking that crazy, but i definitely do envy their ambition sometimes

Awesome to hear that! I have the impression your friends have the potential to help you a lot in this journey. The culture I was raised is all about getting by two or four months of menial work and then lazy around the rest of the year in festivals and the beach. Really sad. Surround yourself with people who empower you.

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@Hitaru i do need to do something constructive. Im a midwestern farm boy, was just how i was raised. If i dont do something constructive, i just feel lazy. I can sit and game all day, but man i just feel guilty for being lazy. That and i would be a able to keep up with my friends lol. The crew i run with, they are crazy high energy. One time i went over to my friends house on a Wednesday after work. Another friend comes over, we all start drinking beer and help work on his truck, then at like 11:00, he says, "i got to go home. Need to start canning beets". I was like lol wtf, its 11:00, were half in the bag, and he wants to start a 3-4 project, and we all have to work the next morning. They do thay kind of thing all the time. Im not talking that crazy, but i definitely do envy their ambition sometimes

Awesome to hear that! I have the impression your friends have the potential to help you a lot in this journey. The culture I was raised is all about getting by two or four months of menial work and then lazy around the rest of the year in festivals and the beach. Really sad. Surround yourself with people who empower you.

not sure i understand that culture,  but i can see that being frustrating. Also seems like an opportunity to excel. Work hard, and you would be a big fish in a little pond 

I do my best to surround myself with people who are a positive influence. Did a bit of a purge of the negative and toxic people in my life a while back. Has made a big difference today. Now just need to work on myself and my habits. I can tell this community is just full good people. The support and advice i have already gotten here has been great. Its very much appreciated

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Sidenote, Australia huh? Beautiful place. Made a port call to Perth once, spent about a week down there. One of my favorite places i been

You've seen nothing yet if the only place you have been to is to a city, and the most remote city in the world at that! Very appreciative of our country, so many great places to visit and camp without having to worry about stuff like going to a crazy place that encourages tipping, doesn't include taxes in their advertised prices, drives on the wrong side of the road and allows everyone to carry guns.....

Welcome to come back anytime!

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