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Mike805

Mike’s Journal

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Ok been 3 days no gaming. I read the Respawn book. I’ve been gaming for at least 25 years, going back to text based mmo’s on my Apple II.  I’ve quit before for years at a time but always relapse.

Latest game of choice was an MMO on my phone. It sounds so stupid to be addicted to a game on your phone, but there you go. 

My first dilemma is, he says in Respawn to delete the games, so I deleted the app. But I havent deleted my characters. I’m tempted to try to sell them. But to do that I’d have to get on a game chat site, which I’m afraid would pull me back into the game. I pretty much know what I have to do, but deleting the characters is very hard for me. I’ve literally put thousands of hours and thousands of dollars into them (Yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds) and identify very strongly with them. I know if they’re still available to me eventually I’ll start playing them again. All I have to do is reinstall the app and sign in. But I would like to get some of the money I’ve wasted on them back. And in a weird way I want to know that they’re living on. This is how far gone I’ve gotten in this, I think of them as real people. Anyhow, I am struggling with the idea of deleting them.

Otherwise, I feel really jittery and have a bad headache. I also don’t have any energy. Today I made myself do some long neglected housework, and seeing the tangible results of that has helped some. My mentally challenging activity is going to be learning the guitar, which I’m going to start on today. It’s an activity I dropped for gaming, along with exercise and eating right, so I’ve gained 80 lbs. I feel pretty disgusted with myself for falling into this hole again and it seems like such a long way back, but you have to start somewhere. 

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I know it hard for you to delete it since you played it for a while. You are not the only one that share the same thought. Meditation can help you with the energy. It is may not work for you but it is WORTH to try. Good Luck :6_smile:.

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I understand very well your struggle about your account. I sent a mail to delete mine, and felt the very smell of freedom, but then I “changed my mind” and I didn’t complete the request. But I see that everyone who has deleted it is happy about it. I thought about selling the account too, but I was never convinced. Is 100€ (or whatever sum) really worth deprieving me (or you) from the pleasure of saying the catharthic “yes, we had a good time together, but now it’s time to say goodbye forever”...?

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Day 4.  Still haven't deleted characters.  I did contact one player in the game to see if he wanted to buy them, but he didn't.  The game is still taking up space in my head, probably will until I make a clean break with it.  

On the positive side, I started playing the guitar again today.  Funny thing is, I still remember how to play some things.  I guess if you spend your time learning real things instead of how to kill virtual dragons there is actually some benefit to it.  I'm a retired 63 year old grandfather, so I'm an outlier here for sure.  My wife and I recently got guardianship of our 3 year old grandson, so that's a real motivator to get my head out of mmo's and into reality.  I want to be there for him, and I also don't want him seeing me spending all my time on my phone or iPad and thinking that's normal.  

Info-gatherer - it's the goodby forever part that I'm struggling with.  I know I have to make a clean break and completely leave the game behind, but I would like to get some of the money I wasted on it back.  My view is that the game is not evil and there are people that can play it and not get addicted, just like with drinking or weed or whatever, but for whatever reason, I can't do that.  This last time I went back to it, it was with the idea that I'd moderate my playing and just play for fun.  But before I knew it, I was back in full blown obsession mode.  If my wife was talking to me, I wasn't listening, because I was thinking about the game.  If my grandson wanted to play, I had him watch TV while I played the game.  I'd stay up til midnight, then get up at 3 am to kill a certain mob.  Lack of sleep made me irritable and grouchy.  I resented anything that interfered with my game time.  

I guess I'm saying this to help convince myself that I NEED to just delete the characters and forget about recouping any of the time and money I wasted on it.  

 

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Day 6. Going pretty well, no gaming. I had an obsessive thought about selling stuff (my old iPhone I was using for multi boxing on the game and my old laptop) to buy a 12 string guitar. Which is just dumb seeing that I’ve been back to playing guitar for exactly one day. 

It’s like with gaming- I get totally obsessed and fixated on something to the exclusion of everything else. It’s like a feedback loop in my head. Anyhow, I told my wife about my idea (another part of this detox for me is being honest and transparent and present with her) and she let me know what she thought about it.  

As far as the game goes, I still haven’t deleted my characters. There are a couple of items I could sell for several hundred dollars, so my plan now is sell that, give other stuff away, then delete characters. I can’t do it til next week because I’m busy til then. 

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Guitar is a good replacement. Glad to hear that you're discovering how much fun it is. And the 12 string would be sick.

I have a funny story for your character dilemma. Years ago my dad and I shared a character on an old MMO called Runescape. We gathered so much money that he could affect the in game economy by buying and selling massive quantities of items on the in-game marketplace. One day he bought a rare item that was worth almost all of our gold with the intention of flipping it for more, but accidentally casted a low level alchemy spell turning it into a handful of coins instead. He was upset for a moment, then told me and we both laughed about it. I'd already quit and he hadn't looked back since. The emotional impact of trashing your own character definitely helps in not going back, but I can't argue with making money off of it either if it doesn't consume you.

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Day 7. No gaming. Been really busy getting ready for grandson’s birthday party tomorrow. Got back into Guitar course I used to do. Found out there’s a problem with my acoustic guitar that I have to get fixed  

I had an insight on why (or one reason) gaming is so easy to slip into. It’s an environment where there are no real risks. If you die, you just resurrect and keep on going. It really is just a way to hide from reality. 

Gratitude - my family, good health, 

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Day 8. Gratitude - beautiful day after rain yesterday, family

getting ready for grandson/wife’s birthday party. Keeping busy irl is a great way not to think about gaming. 

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Day 10.  No gaming, but I did check chat.  Not deleting my characters is really keeping my head in the game, in a way.  My idea was to sell some of the gear that I've accumulated, but that would take a lot of interaction on chat, going back into game, and keep me thinking about the game.  I am about 90% of the way to convincing myself to just deleting characters.  It just seems so final.  

If I have them to go back to, I know when I'm down or bored or whatever, it will be too easy to go back into the game and play some more.  

OK, I deleted the chat program.  

I tried to delete characters but couldn't do it.  

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Be compassionate with yourself. You're going through the process. It's embracing the idea of impermanence in your life and letting go of the past. You've got this!

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Hey Mike welcome to the forums,

great job on stepping out of the sunk cost fallacy. It is hard to say goodbye to something you invested energy and money into. You become attached to it. But that doesn't mean it is still a good iea to keep it around.

I remember when I came to a similar decision as I failed over and over again to play Lol in moderation. Other people can do it, I can't. So I gave my account away to the little brother of a friend and let him change the password. Because I have no direct contact to him this worked well. And I never regretted it (but I made the same errors on other games later).

We are both in very different spot of our life: a retired 63 year old grandfather and a 28 year old young father just out of college trying to make sense of his life. But I am sure that stoping uncontrolled behaviour and escapism is beneficial for everyone who dares to quit his old ways and start new positive habits.

My life became incredible busy lately with starting to work fulltime and taking care of my new family but I find this way to life harder and way more rewarding then my previous lifestyle(waiting for my wife to leave to work / pretending to study and actually bingeplaying 50-100% of the time she was away). I think beeing busy with fullfilling activities like family and improving yourself (in what area you like) is a great way to life your life. In my experience if you stop gaming your problems doesn't end but you trade up the sort of problems you have.

From:

how to supress my bad self-esteem because of my non-existing achievements and self deceit

to

How am I able to work efficiently enough that I can justify going home earlier to see my son and play with him.

I think with your action to delete this characters and staying game-free for almost two weeks you did a great step in the right direction. Just remember that it takes time to build new habits and change your own behaviour. It is definitely possible to change substantially but it happens over time when you put the effort in and not in one quantum leap.

If you have any questions or need some input of any sort just ask (feel free to send me a pm or ask here in the journal) and we will be happy to help you, because everyone here can emphatize with your struggles and want to see you succeed.

Best of luck!

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Day 11. I really appreciate all the feedback!  The sunk cost fallacy was exactly what I was struggling with. Thinking that hey I’ve got so much invested in this, how can I just give it up?

Gotten back into learning the guitar, cooking, bbqing (made brisket and ribs for birthday party last Saturday), reading.  Had fun playing with grandson yesterday. There’s a lot more to life than playing a stupid game.  

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Day 13. No gaming. Pretty busy which keeps mind off gaming. I’m really glad I deleted everything. Set a goal for myself that if I get through session 8 on the Guitar course I’m doing, I’ll buy a new guitar. Mine has worn down frets and it’s not worth getting fixed. Getting a new Guitar is a lot better than getting a new virtual ax or whatever in the game. 

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Day 18. No gaming. Really the turning point for me was deleting the characters, app, and chat program last week. I’ve been playing the guitar, reading, going to church, being involved with family - in other words, living my real life.   Even started eating more healthy. 

 

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