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Let's Go Waaaay Back.

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Hello All, 

I'm in my mid 40s. I was a gamer for as long as I can remember. It all started with the Atari. Back then, it was PitFall, Congo, Asteroids, Atari Pinball, Football, Basketball, etc. Then it was Nintendo. Then, when I was in college it was Sega. I can still remember playing Madden for hours. We even had bets on that game. I stopped playing for a bit. For a few years actually. I had other things going on, and I wasn't really into gaming at that time. Then, in 1999 I got my first PC. OMG. Half Life, UT, AoE, Quake, Madden. Modding! Tactical Ops! I was into building PCs at that time. I had a PC tricked out with the side window, and the flashing lights. I went back to college, and some how managed a 40 hour work week, college and 4-6 hours a day as a gamer. This was early 2000s. I was going to college to be a special needs teacher. This is when gaming started to interfere with my life. I failed student teaching 2X. I blame myself, but gaming had a huge part in my demise. I'd miss assignments. Go to school tired. Fall asleep in class. I was working midnights as a security officer, and this gave me time to game at work. I bought a laptop at that time. i played a ton of strategy games. When I gratuated I took a job as a teacher assistant. I bought an Xbox 360, PS3, and a PS Go. I also got heavily involved with smartphone gaming. My mom died 2011, and I sold everything and went to go teach in South Korea. But, I made the mistake of buying a gaming laptop. Instead of going out with my new friends, I stayed at my apartment and gamed heavily. Mostly single player RPGs like Skyrim. I got home, sold my gaming laptop and bought a work laptop. No gaming card. I thought I was good, but those urges always got to me. I'd play games like AOE 3, and watch Twitch all day. Last year, I broke down and bought the ACER predator 300. Awesome machine. I would play Skyrim all day, and I'd download mods to my hearts content. Just last week I deleted all of my games and Steam. 

The one thing I noticed about me is that I would always try to rationalize that gaming is good. That we all need hobbies. That I was going to keep my gaming under control. And, I would have people who would try to convince me to not give up gaming. I tried the moderate approach. It doesn't work for me. An hour of gaming turns into 10 hours of bing gaming. Everytime. I know it's bad, but like an alcholic or drug addict I can't stop. Gaming today is so intense. When I started way back in the 80s gaming was very simple. We didn't have huge complex worlds to explore. Sure, playing PacMan is fun but I could never see myself playing that game for hours on end. But, a game like Skyrim? Or, The Witcher? Or even a FPS? I'd play that game for hours. Many hours. And that is where the danger lies. I can totally understand why gaming today is so addictive. Compared to real life, gaming is damn fun. Real life is hard. Anyway, thanks for reading.  

Edited by Guest

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On 1/3/2019 at 2:48 AM, Cam Adair said:

Hey Ben, welcome to the forums. I relate to you not being able to moderate. It turns into a binge for me every time too. 

Hey Cam. Thanks for replying. Yea, I've tried many times to moderate. Even as I type this I want to download Steam, and my games. It has been very difficult for me. My sister whose a computer programmer is a huge gamer as well, and she's able to manage her gaming time with work. I don't know how she does it. She works mostly at home, so it takes a ton of willpower. That is something that I have had a difficult time with for most of my life. The willpower to do what I need to do to succeed. Thanks again. 

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Hi Ben, welcome to the forums! I played Skyrim and The Witcher games for waaaay too many hours too. I'm in my mid-30s and remember playing old Atari games too. The immersion of present-day games is astounding when they are compared side-by-side with games from the 80s and 90s. I look forward to connecting with you via journals!

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On 1/5/2019 at 12:48 PM, Brian said:

Hi Ben, welcome to the forums! I played Skyrim and The Witcher games for waaaay too many hours too. I'm in my mid-30s and remember playing old Atari games too. The immersion of present-day games is astounding when they are compared side-by-side with games from the 80s and 90s. I look forward to connecting with you via journals!

Hey Brian, 

So have you stopped gaming altogether? Or, do you play occassionally? Gaming today is nothing like it was 20 years ago. Wait until VR gets better, and is more accepted by more players. That is going to be nuts. In a bad way. I don't know if you remember Congo. I played the hell out of that game way back in the early 80s. Same with Pitfall. But again, I didn't have an issue because you knew that what you were playing was a cheap looking game. Forget about it today though. SkyrimSe modded out is like crack to me. I can play that for hours and hours on end. I'll be sure to check out your journals. Maybe I should journal as well. 

Edited by Guest

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Hi Ben, I can relate to your story. I'm 43 and made the mistake of buying a gaming laptop recently, an Acer too! The thrill of playing a single player RPG (like Deus Ex or Mass Effect) with great graphics is overpowering. With my headphones on it's like a Star Trek holodeck. Even limiting myself with a timer felt more like trying to bottle nuclear energy. And when I stopped, I itched to get back as soon as possible. I'm glad you're here. I've played games since the days of Atari and Texas Instruments. 

Edited by Mettermrck

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@Ben72, I have quit gaming for now. I'm re-evaluating my relationship with video games and am working on establishing new habits. This doesn't mean I'll never play again, but if I do I'll hopefully have more awareness about the needs/cravings I'm fulfilling through gaming. 

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