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Fagus Detox No. 2


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Hi, I'm Fagus from Germany and this is my second 90-day-detox. I did one in August 2016 but had a long relapse since. I'm doing this, because of an email I got from Cam today:


The reason it's hard to pursue your goals AND play video games on the side is because video games warp your perception of effort, value, and reward. Games are designed to give you instant gratification. Your score flashes across the screen. You have a leaderboard. You get to see yourself 'level up'. Games provide easy progress and a false sense of achievement.

Real life doesn't work like that.

To accomplish anything meaningful takes consistent effort and delayed gratification. It might take months for you to "see" your progress... even though it was happening all along. That's why you will procrastinate on your homework, or avoid applying for a job. Why would you have motivation for those when you could get all the stimulation you need by turning on a video game? That's why we find ourselves in a crisis. We aren't so much addicted to gaming as we are addicted to instant gratification. And instant gratification makes us weak. It makes us reactive instead of proactive. It hurts our development and reduces our resilience. If you are trying to 'limit' your time or play in 'moderation'... yet you find yourself still procrastinating on your goals, this is a major reason why. The version of yourself inside who sees your true potential is in a battle with the version of yourself who only cares about surface level stimulation. Which is why we recommend a 90 day detox from games. You need to reset the dopamine expectation your brain has. If your brain expects to be constantly stimulated with instant gratification, you'll never put in the effort necessary to pursue anything you truly desire. You'll always relapse back into quick and easy -> video games.

Games provide entertainment. Real life provides fulfillment.

Although quitting isn't easy, it's worth it. It gives you the opportunity to truly live your life, and experience the incredible rewards that come with it.

This really struck me. Whenever bigger problems or obstacles arise, I fall back to gaming. That is why I never improve and any challenge immediatly stops my progress. I'm living a shallow life where I only do the most important tasks in real life and then seek instant gratification in gaming. Though this is enough to make my life function and not fall apart, it is certainly not the best version of my life. Not at all.

As I said, I already did a detox some years ago. But back then, while I stopped gaming for over 90 days, I did not stop seeking and relying on instant gratification.
So I just uninstalled all games. This time however, I will make sure, that I don't fall back on youtube, netflix or any smartphone activity.

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I was here in past too. I'm thinking a lot about why we struggle with life and addictions. Problem is in our attitude and dedication. If you dont go on 100% you never stop gaming, drinking, lurking on internet etc. It's that simple. I already have problem to admit that I want stop gaming completely. I dont want spend my time in front of the screen but inside me that little voice whisper that I should game in future is good to play games etc. You now exactly what I mean.

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Glad to see you here, and welcome back. However I think you are right, just not game is no solution. You have to change your whole "dopamin system" you cant do things which give you instantely dopamin. Well there are things like sport etc. this is of course something good. But not netflix youtube etc.

so yea, i am looking forward to your succesful detox

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Hi Fagus! I remember getting that email from Cam yesterday and I was like "Wow, that's exactly what I was struggling with during the fall that led me to the decision to quit gaming again" (i had quit back in 2013 but been on and off since 2014) He hit it right on the money, every time I tried to be productive and play video games in moderation, i always ended up playing video games too much to be productive. As you said, gaming is such an easy thing to fall back on when big obstacles arise.  The point Cam made about it may take months to see progress reminded me of The Slight Edge, a book he recommends reading. It has been great in helping me fight the instant gratification mindset, and while i still have a ways to go, I am much happier knowing that the day to day work i am putting in right now will pay off. 

And I know it'll pay off for you too, best of luck on your 90-day detox,!


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@katsudo19 I hear that little voice inside me too. But maybe it will go away, if I can find other things to do than gaming.

@Samon Thanks for your kind words and encouragement.

@WarrickB Thanks for your word. Maybe I will check out this book you recommended. And good luck with your detox as well.

Day 1

This is the first day completely without gaming.

I'm a student and also working at university. At the moment, I have to study for my exams in february and meanwhile work on a paper about blockchain. But when I sit down to work, I feel very uncomfortable. I can't sit at my desk and concentrate on my work. I then walk though the appartment, into the kitchen, eat something or browse the internet. I realized, that I have a very high energy level. Usually, I would begin the day with gaming and do breaks for eating, studying and housework. This way I never get rid of excessive energy. So instead of studying, I decluttered our storage room in the basement. I put all the garbage that had gathered over the years into our car and drove it to the collection station. Then I went for a walk. I feel much better now and can actually concentrate on my work. This shows to me, that I need to better manage my energy. I think about joining a fitness club and start the day with some exercises to get a calm start into the day.

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You're welcome! Hopefully you'll find a lot of value in the book. What are you studying at university? Blockchain sounds like an intensive subject. 

Congrats on the 1st day and big kudos to moment of realization about energy management. Best wishes with the new activities for the morning!

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