Jump to content

NEW PODCAST: Do Loot Boxes Lead to Problem Gambling?

Recommended Posts

Experiment #1: Virtual life in cyberspace

Status: Abandoned

Log:

2004: Subject is a promising young boy, with larger-than-average intelligence. We are inserting a computer into subject's room, we'll see how they react.
Update: Subject noticed the computer, started discovering what it is capable of. 

2005-2008: Subject treats the Internet as a source of information and entertainment. It is high time to call in the big guns. We are exposing him to online games.

Update: Subject took the bait.

2009: Subject discovered that there are other subjects caught in the World Wide Web. They started communicating and competing in the games. The subject does not yet seem aware of our presence. However, given the amount of time the subject spends infiltrating the Internet, we can assume to be discovered soon.

2010: The subject leaves his room only for school. There is no way to cut him from it, he is a remarkable student, despite gaming whole afternoons and nights.

2011: Success! Subject no longer cares about real life relationships nor social activities. Subject abandons all his friends who are trying to lure him out of his room, outside.

2012: Success! Subject rejects all family contacts. The subject's family starts complaining about the games.

Update: Subject found a job to be away from home at weekends. This minimizes the time his family has to interact with the subject.

2013: Warning: Subject discovered us. Subject seems to like us? Subject appears to be unaware of our negative impact on his real life. How astonishingly stupid human are, incredible.

2014: The subject finished high school and was granted a scholarship for remarkable studying. We must increase our efforts against him, we cannot allow such success to happen again.

2015: Warning: Subject began hostile actions against us. It appears they want to abandon virtual reality.

2016: We're holding strong, despite subject's efforts. Subject spends whole days and nights playing, does not attend even the obligatory classes.

Update: Success! Subject's studies are going average, but subject still sometimes attends classes. There is still time that can be sacrificed to us.

2017: Subject managed to force us back in desperation, but we won't give up so easily.

2018: We have returned, stronger than ever. Subject is back at gaming in his room, better than ever before.

Update: Something changed. The subject achieved the highest possible rank at his game and developed a strong sense of accomplishment. We must find new games for him.

2019: Subject managed to find powerful allies on gamequitters.com. Our demise is inevitable.

17 Jan 2019: We are forced to abandon the experiment. Subject is no longer willing to cooperate. We will continue to observe the subject carefully, ready to strike when he's weak. We are only afraid his allies might reach him before us.

Signed: We

The demons of addiction.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1:

I feel free.

Ha! Buying Respawn gamequitting guide from the money I earned by winning game tournament seems to have hit the enemy hard. It indeed was an unpredictable unfolding of events. Even I am surprised I did it.

I'm not sure if the enemy has been beaten or just flied into hiding. I'll assume the latter; better save than sorry.

The goal for today is just to sleep at night.

The goal for tomorrow is to setup future goals.

So, good night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that's one way to format your journal I guess 😂 

I definitely found it quite entertaining though. I'll be following this one for sure!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, arq. That is a very interesting and creative introduction to your journal! Keep up with combating with your addiction.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subject keeps his distance from us. We are gathering our forces to strike again when the subject gets in range.

Day 2:

I'm holding strong against the enemies, however I was so busy I had no time to even try to confront them. Today was so exhausting I'm writing shortly and going to bed. But it's good - my sleep schedule is improving. I learned that if I'm busy the urge to play doesn't appear.

Goal for tomorrow:

Stay busy. Think about long term goals.

 

Edited by arq
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subject started caring about subject's health. What a shame, with well-rested brain he will be harder to defeat.

Day 3:

Goal completed partially. I manged to stay so busy I didn't have to think about anything. I'm keeping linux running on my laptop for extra productive no trigger environment - good idea. It's the third day I'm going to bed at roughly the same time. Today I slept 12 hours yet I still feel extremely tired. Long time sleep deprivation doesn't get cured over 3 days.

Goal for tomorrow:

Stay busy. Think about long term goals. Study for Monday exam.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good work for starting a journal! Keep it up, it's a strong enemy, no doubt about it, deceiving and manipulating. But the war can be won, and it shall. Good luck my man! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subject still resists the temptations thus we needed to gain new allies. We used subject's friends to mention the topic of gaming and invite him to join in online activities. Subject refused and found an ally himself - God. Infuriating as it is, we cannot do anything against Him. However we will continue to use other people to dismay the subject until he forgets about his Ally. Subject's well-rested brain now demands a well-rested and trained body. Training will surely decrease the level of subject's strong will. Wonderfully we will gain an advantage from subject's well-being. Well played, we.

Day 4: SUCCESS! (gameless day is a success)

I studied a little bit, it hopefully will be enough. I visited my grandmother and stayed with family for the rest of the day. When I was running to catch a bus I realized how weak my body has become. I need to strengthen up a bit, but that's for the next week, when the classes end. Mentally I feel much better. I also visited a church. Thank you @Lea for inspiring me and reminding me of the faith I once had. 

Goal for tomorrow:

Plan this week to finish all the appointments at the university by friday and have a winter break.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The subject tries to find distractions, which stole a couple of hours from his sleep. Now the subject is more vulnerable. We shall start tempting the subject more.

Day 5: SUCCESS!

I stayed up too long chatting with people... My alarm clock was set at 7:00, so it should be still dark outside at this time of the year. To my suprise when I opened my eyes I saw bright daylight and my alarm "shut down after 10 minutes of ringing". Apparently that's what alarm clocks do... Not wake you up but then lie about having rung. Luckily it was 10 and the test I had at 12, so I managed not to be late. Unluckily I didn't have time to review my notes so I forgot one formula. The test didn't go too well but I need 0 points to pass so I'll manage. It was just important to be present. Then I came home and made lunch. Then I hanged out with my sister, then she left so I hanged out with my parents. Meanwhile I was reading a book. Then I planned all the appointments for the university. Then I watched some series and decided to write a post in my diary and go to bed. Then I opened online chat and woke up 3 hours later...

Goal for tomorrow:

Setup training routine. Dust off the guitar. Isn't it too much?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What freaks me out is I don't know what THEY did today. I'm having a lot of flashbacks from the past. Like way past, at the beginning of my gaming disaster. And also from the end of it. In my mind I see how I changed. Also how I progressed as a player. I started at the very bottom of the ladder and crawled my way up to the 0.000001% or so of the players. Despite getting so good at this, I never wanted to become pro, nor did I even want to play. It was meant to be a past time, and I haven't realised that I was addicted. The problem lied, paradoxically, in school. I was always among the best students of every school I went to.  And I did so effortlessly. I did cheat a little bit, but mostly I just remembered everything that was said in class. The time I spend studying at home could be measured in minutes per week. 

Meanwhile I also became a much worse person. I even had one account permanently banned for offensive, vulgar language.  But then the community evolved and got used to such behavior. The punishment became negligible. So most of the players took the offense for granted. I took it even further and spilled the rudeness on people in real life, including (if not mostly) my closest relatives and friends. What shocked me was that they thought of me so highly, they did not make any complaints to me.

After all these years, how do I redefine myself when they expect me to behave in the same way? All the nice gestures I make are commented "are you feeling all right man?"...

Day 6: SUCCESS!

Sleeping time: 02:00-09:30 (7,5h)

Today I had trouble with my alarm clock again. This time I heard it ring, but it was me who wasn't ready to get out of bed, because of staying up too long. I had to go though, to an appointment I made yesterday at the Uni. Luckily the time slot was open from 10-12, so I manged to get there at 11:30 and get everything done. 

Then I was drinking a coffee in the cafeteria, waiting for my classes at 13.

The classes were ok, but I hate some of the fellow students. The lesson had the length of 1 hour and many people came late, disturbing everybody, including the teacher. One guy literally went in 50 mins late without any explanation, which the teacher made a joke about: "Nice that you came, now the best part is coming!".  I didn't eat breakfast so I bought some food on the way. I cooked delicious ketchup (sounds weird but it was SO GOOD). Then a friend of my called inviting me for a pool game to celebrate passing the first exams. I agreed, even though I'm bad at this sport and he used to train it semi-professionally. Somehow I managed to beat him 3-1. He had new glasses, with very expensive thinned lens. I'm afraid his eyesight is worsened again, he couldn't hit any long shots. Then we grabbed some Chinese food and went home. I'm proud that I socialized somehow, even though it was not my initiative.

Afterwards I spend the whole evening watching series with my sister. I was even nice to my parents, yay.

I didn't do any of the goals from tomorrow, but it's okay since I replaced them with some unexpected events like the pool game.

Goal for tomorrow:

I'll have free time from 12 till 22, that's 10 hours. I need to plan that to avoid relapse.

1,5h - shopping and cooking

1h - dusting off the guitar

3h - watching series

2h - manage my notes & clean my room

the remaining time - do some things from my do when bored list

Fix the freaking alarm clock. I have an app which starts the alarm and only stops it after a qr code has been scanned, and I put the code in the kitchen.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, arq said:

how do I redefine myself when they expect me to behave in the same way? 

You will be upfront about it by admitting to them that what you did until now was wrong. It could be a humorous retort like, hey just cause I was an asshole before doesn't mean I can't be nice now, or even straight up direct and serious admission that you don't like how you were before etc. But you need to state something, cause people really won't get it until months after otherwise and it might discourage you.

Very well done on making plans with time you know will be free. This is how you get out of the addiction successfully.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiding was a wonderful idea. Subject fell pray to our sneak attack.  The subject deleted browsing history but we managed to setup a trap with session restoring. The subject logged on another computer and boom 20tabs of gaming content flooded him. Foolish was he not to close them immediately. The subject got so drawn in that he finished the main quest of the game. Then he shut down the computer. Partial victory we'd say. We ambushed the subject, he got beaten down, but he stood up and ran away fast enough, before we were able to drag him back into our loving arms of addiction.

Day 7: Not a Success, but not a total failure either

This damned alarm clock is killing me, mentally. I opened my eyes and, terrified by the sunlight, checked the hour. It was 8:30 and I was supposed to be at the University at 8:00. I felt so defeated. I went back to sleep. I woke up again way before the planned time slots. I went to the kitchen and saw the mess my family left after breakfast. In the fridge there were no raw products for me to cook. I felt depressed because of the mess and the fact that I felt sick (stuffy nose, sore throat, head ache, high temperature). I took medicine for breakfast and done my default "I'm feeling sick" activity - I turned on the PC. The medicine helped, the PC did not. Web browser sprang at me with tens of tabs I opened the last time I used the PC (so before I decided quit gaming). I started closing them 1 by 1, thinking maybe there would be something interesting. But it just brought my mind on the tracks of gaming again. Having nothing else to do, I installed and launched a game and completed it in around 10 hours. Then I did the standard evening ritual of watching series with my sister and writing a post in my journal and I'm off to sleep.

I'm not proud of myself but at the same time I feel complete. Leaving the game in the middle was really bugging me for the last couple of days. I could have reacted to that before, If I realized that earlier. Still I was able to regain control, which is a plus. I could have played the whole night.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, arq said:

I could have reacted to that before, If I realized that earlier. Still I was able to regain control, which is a plus. I could have played the whole night.

I feel bad for what had happened to you, but it's great that you are regaining control over the urge to pull an all-nighter in gaming. As for cravings, I think it is better for you to delete all of the web browsers you used before, as it can cause them to appear and can potentially cause a relapse. I hope that you are doing well and that your sickness will go away soon.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subject broke free again. We must prepare another ambush, involve more of his friends.

Day 8: SUCCESS

Today was similar to yesterday in the sense that I woke up and didn't have any purpose. This time, however, I mindfully decided to do manual labor (tidy up the apartment) instead of launching games.

Then I watched a volleyball match, ate breakfast and even, impressively, performed some basic physical exercises. I'm feeling like a rusty robot, everything hurts when I move.

Apart from that, I'm feeling better - the medicine helps a lot.

I stuck to the evening ritual, time to develop a morning one.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We realized our plan.  We located a girl that the subject showed affection towards and made her send some error message to the subject, asking for help. Subject hesitated but helped and solved the problem successfully. Afterwards the subject told her that games were bad. She told the subject he should get fucking real. That hit him hard, but bounced off his armor... We must find another way...

Day 9: SUCCESS

It's actually so good to feel the time flowing once more. It's been only 9 days, but it already feels like months. 

Today was a good day overall.

I woke up (second alarm clock worked.... luckily) and I had an appointment at the Uni. I got surprised by my mother - she stayed home because she feels sick now (I'm feeling better at least... :)). Then I went to the appointment and luckily arrived 4 mins before the time due. Too bad that I'll have to arrange another appointment to finish this task... I hate going to the Uni now, since it started snowing again and there is no door mat there so the floor gets so messy. I hate the cold as well. Anyway, I went shopping on my way back home. Then, together with my mom, we began cooking lunch: we put various vegetables and fish into an ovenproof glass container and put it into the oven at 200C. After 1 hour I opened the oven and checked the food, it was not yet ready so I put it back inside. Shortly after the container shattered... I called my mum and we got rid of the glass... mostly. So not only did we have fishbones but glass "bones" also. The only glass bone we found during eating was in my plate and I, unfortunately, bit onto it. It was so small that part of it got stuck in my tongue but I managed to get it out later. Then I watched series with my sister, even though it wasn't evening yet, but she was going to leave for a party. Then I studied for another exam upcoming on Wednesday. Good night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, arq said:

Afterwards the subject told her that games were bad. She told the subject he should get fucking real. That hit him hard, but bounced off his armor.

That must have been really tough. Well done though.

Some of us don't like to share we're abstaining from games for the flak we know we will receive if we do. It makes the process more painful, distances us from our addicted gamer friends even more and all in all doesn't achieve anything when you don't look for people to approve and support you through this hardship. Apart from sharing stories and struggles here, which for me is an alternative to meetings of addicts IRL, I don't think people can help me with the process very much, since it's all about our individual choices. And I know my gamer friends really won't ever help me get away from games, since their priorities are warped just like mine were in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...