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changing_smurf

A Smurf's Journal

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Note# I had quit gaming about fourteen days ago (7.28.18), but today I am finally deciding to write a journal.  So here goes nothing.

Day 14 (8.11.2018)       

How I felt today:

  •    Bad/Anxious. I felt like I wasted too much time on reddit trying to make a forum post, then responding to the people responding to my post.  I also felt like I wasted a lot of time trying to      make this journal entry, it felt awkward making a public journal entry for all to read.  I spent too much time trying to put things into words for people to read and understand.  I think I care too much about what others think to be honest...literally spent the whole day doing this.  Oops...

What I did today:

  • Browsed Reddit (majority of my day)
  • Posted on Forums (majority of my day)
  • Chores

On my mind:

My biggest struggle these two weeks have been about this game I played for most of my high school years, Mabinogi, an 3-D mmorpg.

Spoiler

mabinogi.jpg.85dcc1c6ed9fc03b1fe0d5ef320aa565.jpg

It is kind of horrifying to say, but for the most part of life, this game has been my only source of social relationship.  I did not have many friends during high school, because I suffered from some degree of "social anxiety", and for that reason I acted like a mute during high school. Mute as in a lot of hand gestures and facial exaggerations, hoping the person speaking to me could interpret my expressions. Cringe.  I'm really glad those days are over.  But yeah, anyways -->  In Mabinogi, I played to have fun at first, but eventually Mabinogi led to a knitting of close bonds with the people I met online.

So I am a bit confused, because I want to stop gaming but at the same time I am considering the "what if"

"What if I just play in moderation, like playing on the weekends for about two hours a day? Or maybe one hour a day?  If I control myself in that manner, I should be able to manage myself.  I know I messed up last time thinking that, but it will be different this time.  Think about all the things you are missing out on: the experience, the people, and the fun.  I am sure you can manage games and working on yourself."

It just seems so rational...I don't know what to think anymore.

Edited by changing_smurf
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Day (0) (8.12.18)

How I felt today:  A bit distracted and a little stressed, but manageable.

What I did today:

  • Today I reinstalled the game, and went searching for my friends online.  Sadly, none of them were online to greet.  So after a while, I just roamed the map called Tir Chronail, looking for someone to talk to.  I met a kind person (I will call her r) inside the game, and chatted with her about my predicament.  For a while, in spite of my talk about my friends online being more valued than my real life friends, I never actually embraced the whole ordeal.  Society puts a lot of pressure against having online friends due to the anonmynity of it all.  Any one can fake this and that in game, but after talking with "r", she helped me realize that the people we meet online are very real.  These people can become the "real" friends that we seek outside of gaming.  My problem is that I think a lot and get scared by a lot of things, which has prevented me from ever making that big step.  I get anxious and all jittery when attempting anything new or different.  So after a while of reflecting and for the sake of my sanity, I decided that I am going to keep on playing for a little while in this mmorpg until I am willing to make the proper adjustments to quit for good.  I should be happy and willing to leave this game, rather than beating myself up.  And in this process, I want to see if I can get in touch and see if my friends I met online (if they are ever online) are willing to befriend me outside the game when I do decide to make the steady leap towards quitting games for good.  And if they do accept me, I'm more than willing to open up as well.   These are the people I have been looking for.

So what now then?:

  • From here on, I will still continue to register daily journals on this forum, taking notes on the thoughts and feelings that well up from when I play the game.  I'm going to take notes on the experiences and reflect, and try to sort out the things I don't need in life and things I do.  I know it's a little abnormal speaking out so obnoxiously about having friends and a community, but from what I understand now, my journey isn't for me alone unlike some of the badass protagionist you see in a cool manga like "Vagabond".  I just don't think humans are cut out to be alone, there is too much suffering in that.  So until I am ready to begin the process of leaving behind games, I will leave my counter at zero.
Edited by changing_smurf
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@Cam Adair, To be honest, I am unable to give you a genuine answer, Cam.  One half of my mind loves my ties with gaming, and the other half wants to give it up for some vague reason.  So it's kind of confusing trying to give you an honest answer, it's like both minds are fighting each other.  But I'll try to give a shot at it anyways. To be straight forward, I think it's mainly a fear of becoming a victim of gaming.  Fear, because since I am still so young right now, it's easy for me to get away with a lot of things.  I can game for hours and hours for days and still get away with it, because I believe (a bit naive, :/) that the cumulative hours can be negated in some fashion when your young.  However, my fear is that eventually I might fall prey to a "siren's call" the more and more I play, where I literally immerse myself into the gaming experience, and without knowing,  pass up this "window period for opportunity" I believe in.  And with that opportunity gone, I would had been screwed over in life, because I neglected the calling by playing games in such a manner.   So yeah, that's what makes me want to quit playing gaming time after time.   Stopping myself before it's too late. 

Edited by changing_smurf
I believe I was being a bit dishonest in my first attempt to answer your question, Cam. Sorry.
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#Note: So I decided to quit after all, and this time I feel okay in doing so.  I spent a lot of time playing and a lot of time reflecting, but it is pretty hard to put everything in just a few words.  Here's how things went:

(Day 0) (8.13.18)

What did I do?

  • Not going to lie, I pretty much binged myself on the game.   There was this crossover event with a famous anime called: "Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World."  However, instead of playing on my original character, I sort of started on a new account, which I guess was a "red flag".  I did not think much of it at the time though.  But anyways, with my new character, I started another journey for myself.  I began to prepare for the skill grinding, the events (how I was going to go about it), and how I would tackle the generations (storyline).  I bought myself skill potions (potions that multiply training experience) and made plans on what to rank first in terms of talent groups (a class system the game has).  At the same time, I did the events, which were not to great after all.  A lot of time was spent running a simulator over and over again as well as sitting around waiting for the clock to hit the milestone. 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 30 minutes, and 30 minutes was how the event went.  Spend 2 hrs and 30 minutes in the game, and that was a wrap for the day.  Away from the keyboard or not, the rewards clocked in.  But yeah, I spent the whole day settling into the groove on the gaming experience, forgetting my intentions from the start.

How did I feel at the time? I think I felt overly focused a bit, playing the game as all I had in mind.  Just the whole idea of "catching up again" was ingrained in my head.

(Day 0) (8.14.18)

What did I do?

  • Well.  I felt a little bad from yesterday.  I forgot my reason for coming back to the game, which was to meet up with the friends from before I quit.  But I'm not entirely too sure if that is true.  I think I was a bit hesitant to speak with them instead.  I was a bit skeptical wondering if it was really just my emotions putting a toll on me.  And so I began to doubt if I should really be doing this.  Like was that really a promising relationship in the first place? And was I just being overly dramatic trying to over glorify them in such a manner?  Reflecting on this, I think I might have been.  I know it sounds contradicting and a bit idiotic from my previous statements from before, but I think I might have been using them as an excuse to keep playing again.  A lee way to justify gaming, because truth be told, they never logged in.  Maybe they quit? or Maybe they stopped playing as frequently as they used to? Or maybe they started a new account? I don't know, but it did make me sour and, well, a bit loathing at the time.  The more I stumbled across other players in the game, my mind began to play little detective, going on manhunts, looking for these people.  Like is that you?  I feel like that's you!  I know it's you!  Pretty obnoxious.  But after a while of that, I sort of felt the need to just stop, I was doing more harm to myself than good.  Frankly speaking, I was just being a passive aggressive jerk to them without them there to really know it.  Very narcissistic and parasitic.  So in a way, it was a blessing that they never logged in.  I don't know what would have had happened to me if they did. 

So what then?

  • I gave up.  Not sure if it was like a message from above or anything religious, but I took it as a sign.  It just wasn't met to be.  They have their own rights and their own life.  And whatever happens from now, I guess I'm fine with it.  But of course, I couldn't really go without saying good bye.  Not sure if it was okay after my whole episode of daytime narcissist on the loose, but I sent them a farewell letter.  Some simple stuff like "thank you" and "good bye", but it put a lot of pressure off my chest. 
  • Shortly after, I uninstalled the game, not really sad or bitter...but kind of the thought of moving on.

Fast forwarding to now,

  • It's currently the morning of August 15, 2018, I'm in my room typing this up, and wow,  it seemed like a lot happened internally during the time span, but its only been four days since I last installed Mabinogi.  Talk about crazy.  I guess all the reflecting and journaling wasn't so bad after, admittedly, I kind of doubted  and was a bit frightened by the whole ordeal of writing my thoughts out, especially since it was public ( the whole time I felt like running away 😅) But in a way, that has helped me keep my thoughts more in line.
  • As for the whole conflict with needing friends and all that jazz, I think it's about time I started working on myself instead.  As much as I might feel like I need friends, befriending myself is more important for now.  

So yeah, I guess that's that.  Now I just need to start on getting myself together, which might be the biggest struggle of all.  Oof.  Also thanks for the video, @Cam Adair, it helped a lot with my decision.

(Day 1) (8.15.18)

---

Edited by changing_smurf
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