Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Avnat Netzer

Avnat's Journal

Recommended Posts

2019-11-03: day 3

This is day 3 of joining game quitters and of my 90 day detox. So far I have had no serious craving to play anything in my steam library.
Nothing surprising there. It's typical for me to abstain from games for a little bit after a serious binge which was only last Sunday.
It's been made even easier since my fiance is back in town. We typically spend time together hanging out with friends or planning our upcoming wedding.
The problem for me is mostly at night. For the past few months I've been staying up late to game often ruining my sleep for the entire week.
It's a mostly manageable pattern. I hop onto my laptop after we say goodnight, open up steam, and try to promise myself I won't play past 1am.
Sometimes it works but even then I'm so wired it's tough to get my brain to quiet down.

My game of choice has been, for most of my life, the strategy game. Civ 3 to 5, a bunch of total war games, and paradox games. It's the sense of accomplishment that draws me back to them again and again. The thrill of starting off small, cracking open a larger opponent, and building an empire out of the ashes. These are usually big games that require planning and research and learning from past failures. I've tried for a while to prove to myself that these lengthy playthroughs are somehow enriching because of how much mental energy I put into them.

I know i'm supposed to not only delete these games from my laptop but also delete my entire steam account. So much money and time put into compiling my steam library. There still are games that, even last week, I've been anticipating adding to my collection and carving out time I don't have to play them. It's tough. I know I should but it would be like burning away a part of my identity.
I've kind of proudly marked myself as a gamer for so long. It's one of my traits as an active member of the geek culture I subscribe to.
I think I just need more time to think about it. A part of me hopes that after the 90 days I can come back to games as a more healthier consumer.

So far I've been fine. All of Friday was spent at work and getting ready for the weekend. Saturday was with friends and today was all about wedding planning. Tonight no craving though I'm very awake and might have trouble falling asleep. Usually this would translate to me playing until I get exhausted. Instead I'm going to read, maybe I'll draw a bit too, and hopefully days and nights like these will lead me to being healthier and free.

Goodnight

- A. N.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019-11-05: day 5

Past couple of days have been me going to work, coming home, putting together a quick dinner, and doing wedding planning stuff with my fiance.
No real craving for games but I haven't spent time on some of my other activities either aside for reading before bed.

I've managed to wake up relatively early 6.45 but it takes me a while to get out of bed. My hope is to continue working on learning a new programming language, Scala, in the mornings before the day really gets going and my mind starts to turn into jelly. So far haven't really managed to do much of it.

The break down of my day (ideally)

  • wake up 6am
    • morning routine 1hr
    • learn Scala 1.5 hr
  • leave for work 8.30am
  • come home from work 6.30pm
  • cook dinner and work on the wedding until 10.45pm

What I've done in the past is, after 10.45pm, my fiance will go to sleep and then I'm free to game until about 1 or 1.30am.
Which was manageable except that it tended to ruin my sleep and the next day my mind would constantly be thinking about the current playthrough.

How do I feel after 5 days committing to no games?
Fine. I miss my games. They're still all installed and I look at their desktop icons with a kind of faint excitement.

  • Marching armies across the battlefield in Shogun Total War
  • Building my squad of alien killers in xcom
  • Carving my dynasty's name into history in Crusader Kings 2

I love them and at the same time hate the amount of control these games have taken from me.

The original stresses in my life, the ones that led me to video games, are mostly gone now. I'm left with a lot of regret and a fear that I'm not really good enough.
The regret is easy for me to explain. I dumped 8 years into a degree that should have only taken 4 years. I Regret giving into my own anxieties and turning to games as the solution. Sometimes, when I'm alone and I start thinking again about all my time wasted in college, I think about how much I wish I could travel back in time and stop myself. I wish I could tell myself not to be afraid, that things will actually work out if I face the challenges in front of me.
The fear is harder for me to manage. It's a fear that I really lack the intelligence and charisma to succeed in my career, with family, with being part of a community.
Even with boardgames, which I love, I find that I'm typically a much weaker player than a whole lot of my peers.

This fear is perfectly solved by video games. They're single player games so I never have to remember I'm inferior. If the computer starts to strangle my playthrough, I just turn it off, watch a few more guides online, and come back and try again. Nothing lost, nothing gained. My imagined opponents crumble in front of me and the map slowly turns the color of my faction.

Here's an anecdote from one of my most favorite games, Crusader Kings 2. 
If you know anything about Paradox games is that they can be fairly abstract, systems heavy, simulations. They have steep learning curves, not to the level of dwarf fortress but steep enough to scare away your typical strategy gamer. Crusader Kings 2 is an attempt to simulate controlling a medieval dynasty one character at a time. The game ends after a few centuries or when you (or you die and your heir) lose all your land.

In this playthrough my character is a Welsh lord on his way to unite the kingdom under his dynasty. He is well liked by his vassals but unfortunately dies. His less capable heir takes over and ends up having problems immediately with one of his father's strongest supporters. Turns out the old supporter is his rival because my current character, the heir (now ruler), was sleeping with his wife. The rival is now trying to form a rebellion against the current ruler.
The realm splits in two. The rival ends up murdering his own wife. My character orders his arrest and attempts have him taken to justice but the rival slips away and calls up his banners in revolt.
The two go to war. My character fights for the loss of his lover, his rival fights for the sake of his anger and jealousy.
It's medieval warfare at its most romantic and none of it was scripted.
At the end of the day it's just a bunch of numbers on a screen and a story I made up in my head.

In another game of crusader kings I was a Sicilian lord under Byzantine rule desperately trying to protect the emperor and save the empire from falling. And another game I was an anglo-saxon king fighting off viking invaders.

It's these kinds of stories I create that I miss the most.

Edited by Avnat Netzer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019-11-06: day 6

Today:

  • went to sleep late, 2am
    • read a book to help me fall asleep
  • woke up late, 7.45am
  • went to work
  • went with my fiance to see her family

Activities:

  • mostly just wedding related stuff

 

Woke up too late today mostly because I had trouble falling asleep right away and I stayed up later than I should have to write my journal entry.
Didn't get to do any of my morning routine so I didn't learn any Scala.
Work was basically fine. Not much happened other than me continuing with a project I've been holding onto for the past week, writing unit tests in Python. I'm actually pretty new to the language. Most of what I know is Java and C#. Python is fun to work with because it's much more flexible and the syntax is so much cleaner. Also I'm really enjoying mocking objects in Python. It feels like magic especially when compared to some of the other mocking frameworks I've used in Java & C#.

I found I'm having the most fun at any time when I'm learning something new. Acquiring some new skill and adding some value to myself. I only really discovered that this year.
It's also something my fiance showed me by having the confidence in me that I've seemed to lack all this time.

I used to think I hated learning. Growing up I never did particularly well in school. I used to draw a lot, especially in class. At some point my teachers were afraid I might have a learning disability but when I was assessed it turned out I actually scored above average.

The rest of my night went pretty well. We took a train to go see my fiance's family and so she could go dress shopping. I stayed behind and did a little bit of extra work. I got a free home cooked meal also!

Overall I'm feeling good which is rare and I'm trying to enjoy it. I feel a kind of extra energy and I want to put it to use somehow. It's almost like an itch and my first thought is to turn on one of the games on my laptop (they're still all installed). It's not a strong craving but I'm familiar with it. Often, on a Sunday, when I have a lot time that I want to use for something productive, instead I'll take all that energy and dump it into a 12 hour campaign marching armies across Europe.

I'd really rather take my energy and put it towards a side project. Something I really want to do right now is build a small 2d video game probably written in Java.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • take a shower
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • Cook dinner
  • Do activities
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read a book or draw

Activities:

  • wedding planning
  • Learn Scala
  • Work on video game

 

Wish me luck!

Edited by Avnat Netzer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019-11-07: day 7

Today:

  • went to sleep, 1.30am
    • read a book to help me fall asleep
  • woke up 7.53am
    • made time to learn Scala
  • worked from home

Activities:

  • tutored someone in Python
  • wedding planning stuff; we're looking up vendors

So today I woke up late which was kind of disappointing. My alarms exploded at 6.30 but I ended up drifting off anyway until close to 8. My departure time I try to set for 8.30 but today I worked from home. This means I actually did spend time diving back into the Scala course I've been neglecting past couple months.
It was nice. I'm up to the assignment of the second week of the second course on Coursera called Functional Programming Design in Scala. It's tougher than the first course.
There are a few more concepts here I'm not as familiar like Lazy evaluation and infinite streams and I'm still not fully comfortable with the way for loop expressions are done.

The assignment itself is pretty cool. I'm writing a kind of puzzle solver and I have to use infinite streams.

Despite waking up later I felt good. Like actually happy and hopeful. Most days I'm kind of tired, and anxious so I take my good mood as a good omen. Made tea, sat down in front of my laptop, turned on music and put a whole hour into the Scala assignment. Then got to work.

Work itself was fine. More time writing unit tests and learning about mocking in Python. Not much more to say except we had a meeting where I felt like I had something to contribute.

After work a friend of mine messaged me about help with his programming assignment. He's going for his masters in Data science so some of the mathy statistical stuff I was useless with but the core programming stuff I know. I walked him through some basic stuff like iterating over a double array. It felt great.
Afterwards he was super thankful and I was just glad I got the opportunity to teach someone. I know how tough some of this stuff can be starting out. I struggled for a while in the beginning learning programming and constantly doubting whether I was smart enough to really be in the field. I'll take any chance I can get to help walk someone else out of that hell.

Would definitely want to be doing more of that if I can.

After work my fiance came home and we quickly reheated something and sat down to sort out some of our next steps in the wedding planning. A lot of the heavy lifting is on us. We have a venue and now we need to source a band, photography, flowers and a bunch of other minor items that all kind of feed into to this big celebration. It's exciting, we've been building up to this time for a while now and some days I can't even believe it's happening, but also oh so stressful.

It also pretty much sucks up the rest of the evening. As far as cravings go I can't say I've had much. This afternoon, when I was feeling particularly happy with myself and nostalgic for the holidays as a kid, I had a slight urge to game. This is around the time, about 20 years ago, I got my first gaming console and dove deep into a couple of elder scrolls game. It became my obsession a long side of my love for the Lord of the Rings movies (and all of the gaming titles that spilled out from that).

Now I can't really get into fantasy like I used to. Back then I would really get lost in them. I can't tell if it's maturity or because of a kind of built up tolerance after years of trying to transport myself into other worlds.

Tomorrow is Friday so it's my work from home day. Also my roommate is hosting a murder mystery meal Friday night. It's basically where we play a kind of one shot role playing game where we have to figure out which one of us is secretly the killer. There will be 12 of us and will definitely be a lot of fun.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • take a shower
    • learn Scala
  • work from home
  • Cook
  • go to sleep by 12am (though we'll see how long the game goes)

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • prepare for the weekend
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019-11-09: day 9

Today:

  • went to sleep, 12am
    • fell asleep right away, yay!
  • woke up 8.30am
    • made time to learn Scala
  • no work, just play!

Activities:

  • Cooked coq a vin for the first time, my fiancee loved it
  • Spent most of the afternoon at a friends and we all hung out
  • Went to another friend's movie night. Watched Hero
  • Spent time there after the movie and we were all chatting

Really nice day all around. I made lunch for both me and my fiance. I'm trying to get better at cooking so that at least we can eat healthier and not have to order out all the time. Both of us are pretty much noobs in the kitchen.

Later int he afternoon we got to hang out with friends that we don't see very often since, after they got married, they moved far enough away that it's inconvenient to go and visit them by public transit. 

Pretty calm, cozy, relaxing day spent with people we care about. Mostly stayed in doors because the day itself was cold.

My fiancee needed to work tonight at a fund raising event. Not so fun for me but that meant my night was a little freer than usual. Thought about playing a game for about a split second but I remembered I'm still on a 90 day detox. About 10% in.
Instead I went to a friend's movie night. They do it bi-weekly and I didn't go last time. It was a lot of fun. We watched an old chinese film called Hero. No not the 2002 movie with Jet Li which was amazing. This was instead a martial arts action gangster movie from 1997 and it was awful but so much fun to watch.
After the movie we hung out and talked about comics, movies, and life. Was refreshing to just be with people that shared my same taste in media.

Also I borrowed Dune from my friend's roommate. I think I'm ready for something sci-fi and weird.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 8.30am
    • morning routine
    • take a shower
    • learn Scala
  • have brunch with my fiance and her cousin
  • go to meet with a couple of vendors
  • go to sleep by 12am

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • hang out with friends/family
  • meet with at least one vendor
  • start reading dune

 

Goodnight all

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019-11-10: day 10

Today:

  • went to sleep, 3am
    • stayed up waiting for my fiance
  • woke up 9.15am
    • made time to learn Scala
  • It's Sunday!

Activities:

  • worked on learning more Scala
  • brunch with my fiancee's cousin
  • met with a vendor for the wedding
  • went to my fiancee's aunt & uncle's for dinner

Stayed up late to wait for my fiancee to come home after her fund raising event. She said I should just go to sleep but I did the sweet thing of waiting up so I could welcome her home after a hard night's work.
It definitely made me groggy the entire day which I expected.

It's late so I probably won't read anything tonight like I planned to. Dune will have to wait.
I don't have work tomorrow which is the best. I get to try and be "super productive" tomorrow which hasn't happened in a while. Most of the time I try and have a "super" productive day I usually end having just a normal (or barely) productive one. But this time I'm feeling confident.

I'm going to wake up. Have breakfast. Take some time to be thankful and indulge in a bit of prayer.
Turn on my computer. Practice some Scala. Work on a video game as my programming side project.
Walk outside for a bit.
Call a vendor for the wedding, probably the photographer, and then update our budget spread sheet.

If I can do all that I'm going to draw a big gold star on a piece of paper that say's "you're fucking awesome" and give it to myself.

It's been 10 days and it feels like forever. This isn't the longest I've gone without games before but it feels longer by how I'm counting up the days consciously fasting. It's like those days where you skip breakfast and dinner because you're too busy or mentally preoccupied. But when compared to the days where you're actively fasting, missing breakfast is the worst. 
Can't wait to get to the 90 day marker so I can put my flag in the ground and say "I made it". I'm not really sure what happens after that but I hope feelings of pride and accomplishment ensue and encourage me to continue with this transition.
Games are a big part of most of my life. They have been both the cause of my distress and also what carried me through the hardest times. And now I want to be able to confidently say "those 20 years of gaming were great but now I'm going to do things that actually make me happy".

My plan for tomorrow: ("Be SUPER productive")

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 7.00am
    • morning routine
    • take a shower
    • learn Scala
  • have a "real" breakfast
  • work on a side project
  • work on wedding stuff
  • step outside to relax
  • go to sleep by 12am

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • work on a video game
  • balance our wedding budget
  • call the photographer
  • get some fresh air
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good job my brother ! having a (to do list) written each day is awesome and promising !

everybody who is skipping his bad habit like gaming-smoking-drugs will have some over expectation about how their future days would be productive  if they use their free-gaming time perfectly .  that's why we have to lower our expectations a little bit if we wanna not feel depressed if we fail to be that perfect man who improve himself 18 hours a day and not waste a single second .

to reach that we have to  move step by step and have flexibility .

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019-11-11: day 11

Today:

  • went to sleep, 2.45am
    • stayed up for basically no reason
  • woke up 8.30am
  • Day off... except not really

Activities:

  • took a shower
  • had tea and breakfast
  • and then worked from home because stuff broke
  • went to a friends birthday party

I really got very excited to accomplish stuff last night but basically got to do none of it. I guess going to sleep as late as I did last night didn't help my chances.
It's one of my major goals now to try and sleep earlier and it almost never happens. I think one thing that happens is my fiance doesn't fall asleep until about 11.15 most nights. Until then we're doing wedding related stuff and then when she goes to sleep is when I want to take time to think, relax, and try and write this journal entry. It ends up pushing my night back by at least an hour.
Another thing I see happening is I'm replacing the extra time I have with things like youtube. I don't feel as bad since it's never game related material. I've decided it's best to stay away from that stuff since it's really just a way for me to game vicariously. I like to watch historical stuff, pop science, and maybe some fantasy stuff (D&D related channel I love a lot called zee bashew. He's great and I wish I had his job).

So today I got up. Took sometime to think and pray, be thankful for the world around me and try and visualize a serene and productive day. Instead I got a bunch of notifications on my phone. One of my work's cloud providers went down and it broke some stuff on our pipeline. I'm on "guard" duty basically and today was my last day. One day later and I wouldn't have to bother. The rest of the morning and the entire afternoon was spent tracking down error messages and trying to decipher their meaning.
Was a mess and it meant I accomplished almost nothing on my list from last night.

I did manage to call the photographer and get a price quote as well as a list of videographers we could work with. I also made a basic budget sheet from a template and added a couple of colorful graphs. Color is a great way to enhance mundane things.

Basically no gold star. I'm disappointed but I don't feel guilty about it.

The rest of the night was spent getting to a friends birthday party. Her boy friend worked really hard to surprise her and did a great job. We had dinner and painting. A professional came and guided us through a painting session. Another friend had the good sense to bring a bottle of wine. Best thing when waving around a paint brush is to be holding a glass of alcohol.
It was so much fun and I really enjoyed mixing the paints into different colors. Something I did a while ago when I took some basic painting classes back in college. Also just putting the brush to canvas and just not caring about the result is nice and freeing.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 7.00am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • cook
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read a book (currently Lord of the Rings)

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • cook
  • more wedding planning.
    • Probably talk to more vendors
Edited by Avnat Netzer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2019-11-12: day 12

Today:

  • went to sleep ~1.30am
    • read a book (Lord of the Rings)
  • woke up 7.45am
  • Day off (this time for real)

Activities:

  • had tea and breakfast
  • prayed
  • watched a lot of youtube
  • practiced Scala
  • worked a little bit on Video Game
  • wedding planning
    • spoke to another vendor (photographer)
    • left a message with a florist
    • tweaked the guest list

So today was actually my day off. I asked my boss if I could take the day since yesterday was kind of a bust for me and I actually wanted to accomplish some personal items. He said yes which was great. I stayed home. Most of the morning was cold and rainy. I was really drowsy the whole day. Went to sleep latish last night again and it was tough to wake up in the morning.

I didn't end up having as much motivation today as yesterday. Ended up sitting on youtube a while watching world war 2 videos about the eastern front. Very dramatic stuff and I love watching videos on military tactics and troop deployments. It's similar to watching replay of a strategy game except these are events that actually happened.

The day kind of went by like a thick soup. No particular moments stand out and the rest I just remember with a sort of blurry fatigue. I did manage to work on Scala for the afternoon.
I finished the assignment for this week of the course. It was a puzzle solver performing state transitions but with immutable data and pure functions. Cool stuff. Not sure how I would use that in my actual job but it's fascinating.
I really enjoy functional programming and it makes me feel cool. I'm all about feeling cool.

Also took some time to work a bit on a video game. Want to make a 2d hex grid as a map. Following this guide --> https://www.redblobgames.com/grids/hexagons/ . It's super comprehensive and even has a basic blue print for how to design the grid in code.

My fiance came home from work a little on the later side (7pm) and she was fuming. We got straight to working on wedding planning but she was aggravated and I got aggravated also. The planning itself is tough and she has a demanding job and I'm also anxious about doing well at my job. All in all we didn't get as much done.
We had leftovers for dinner and just sat and relaxed on the couch for a bit. I felt very tired.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • cook
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read a book (currently Lord of the Rings)

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • cook
  • more wedding planning.
    • Probably talk to more vendors
    • get people's emails for a save the date

GN fellow game quitters...

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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...