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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

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Hey all, this is my first post as a new member. I have thought about giving up gaming for a long time (over a year) and Christmas Day just happens to be Day 1. Being open about this is already difficult because I have minimized my game-playing or avoided talking about it outside of just a couple of people. This is also quite hypocritical of me because I work in the helping professions and frequently encourage others to be transparent, open, vulnerable, etc. One of the reasons I decided to go through with this is because I can't reconcile my values with my behavior. They just aren't compatible. 

I lead two lives - a public life and a private life. Publicly I am successful with work and happily married. These aren't lies either: I have meaningful where I help other people and my spouse and I love each other and consider each other friends as well. My private life is filled with video games, PMO, and secrecy. This is the life that I want to get a hold of and transform because it continues to dig its claws into me more each year. My wife knows about all of my video game playing; she doesn't know about PMO and secrecy. I'm working with a therapist related to this aspect. I feel a lot of guilt and shame related to my secret life. I just don't feel fulfilled in my life and I keep looking for a greater purpose. Video games take up a lot of my time, which is valuable. There are other pursuits and activities that I want to get into, but gaming sucks up all of my free time. It's a vicious cycle of setting goals (although they are weak with little planning), playing games with all of my spare time, then beating myself up because I didn't follow through on those goals. I feel more guilt and shame then play more games... because who wants to feel bad about themselves??

My games of choice are solo games. Grand strategy like Civilization and the Endless series of games. Solo RPG games like Skyrim, Fallout, and Pillars of Eternity. These games definitely help me escape from stress temporarily, they satisfy my imagination to a small degree, I definitely see feedback and progress, and most of all I gain a sense of purpose, challenge, and achievement. I never was much of a social gamer and have developed friendships in "real life." I don't talk much about my gaming with friends, except for those that also game. Even then, I don't let them know how many hours I have spent playing because I feel ashamed.

I feel a lot of reservations about giving up gaming. I have worked in addition and recovery for a long time and am very familiar with the phrase "one day at a time." It's different when it's my life we're talking about. It's more real. My biggest reservation is giving up Civilization, especially because another expansion drops in February. I have uninstalled every game except Civ 6 and the Endless games. I have unsubscribed from all streams and YouTube channels associated with gaming. I still have Civ and the Endless games websites bookmarked. I'm not ready to give those up yet. I haven't played today or watched streams or checked websites for updates. Day 1 is intact and, just for today, I'm not going to.

I'm here because I want to live life to the fullest. I want to activate my potential and live according to my values. Thanks for reading.

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Your story sounds very similar to mine. Like you, I'm happily married, and do well at my job, but my gaming life has been kept between me and the people I play with and it's a huge time sink. What has been working for me is replacing games with something else. I'm working on building my social skills, so I've been working on my storytelling techniques, being more engaged with my friends and family by texting and calling more often, being more present on social media, and learning to enjoy the challenge of breaking out of my shell and initiating conversations with strangers.


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