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Ungamify me please!


9k0
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Hi y'all!

First and foremost I'd like to apologize for poor english as it's not my first language.

Nationality: Norwegian
Age: 30 (Almost 31)
Gender: Male

 

My gaming story, and how it has kept me back
I started gaming in 94-95 if I remember correctly. My older brother got a snes one day, and I fell instantly in love with Super Mario, it was all I wanted to do all day even from an early age. It was also there I first got the feeling of accomplishment as I was the "best" gamer in my class for quite some time and other can to me if they were ever stuck on a level or a boss etc. Everything was intensified by 10x when the PS1 was released and my brother got two of my all time favorite games, Final Fantasy 7 and Resident Evil. The latter of which I wasn't allowed to play as I was only 7-8 years old at the time, so I had to get creative. And by creative, I mean ditching school to play when my mother and brother wasn't home. I don't think I ever did my homework even once through primary and secondary school, and I really didn't mind as I thought I could just network my way to an awesome job when I got older as stupid as that sounds. Fast forward some year, to the release of world of warcraft to be specific. I played so much that I think I atmost got a total of 35 hours of sleep in a week, which was really bad as I now was high school. My saving grace at the time was that I had a girlfriend who kinda kept my gaming addiction check, however I found myself thinking more and more about gaming as the relationship progressed. We stayed together for 3 years, and broke it off for other reasons than gaming. The gaming at this point was so bad that I failed several 3 classes required to get higher education here in Norway.

After me and my girlfriend splitt up, and high school was finished, I got to the legal drinking age in Norway, and boy did I take advantage of that! I was always very social even outside the virtual world as well, and liked meeting new people, and it seemed like most people enjoyed speaking with me as well. But I always kept thinking of gaming even though I was enjoying myself doing other stuff. I eventually found myself a job, and I managed to do a good job even. I can proudly say that gaming has never intervened with my work. 

Fast forward again, I am now 23 years old, I meet my new girlfriend. She was gorgeous, she meant everything too me. After the first date I immediately stopped smoking cigarettes(20 a day) and weed(Did that everyday too) cold turkey and it was easy. I felt like I could accomplish anything now that I had a reason, and I did stop gaming... For a while.

Two years into the relationship, Final Fantasy 14: A real reborn was released, and I was in love again. A Final Fantasy game that is an MMO is like heroin to me. I even convinced my girlfriend to start playing, and she was as hooked as me. We started playing at a pretty high level, we even went to a international gaming convention for it (Fanfest in London) with our guild. We did this for the remainder of our relationship. Then one day, she suddenly decided to dump me, which I at the time felt like it came out of the blue. But looking back at it, I see that I took her for granted, and made gaming my priority even though I didn't feel like it at the time. This happened 4 years ago, and I still beat myself up about it, I feel like I lost the most valuable person in my life to gaming. And the break up was pretty nasty as well. But that's another story. 

However, I decided at the time that I wanted to change up my life a bit. I quit playing Final Fantasy 14, and replaced it with Muay Thai, better known as Thai Boxing here in the west. I trained for maybe two-three years, then decided it was about time to have a match, got my asskicked severely, then did it again, both parts 😂 Then sadly my local gym had to close, so I took over. I kept the classes going, and paid rent, collect membership fees etc. I worked out a lot, and got in the best shape of my life! Maybe for the first time in my life I felt accomplisment outside of gaming. 

So I decided that I needed to use this momentum. I decided to go back to high school at the tender age of 28. I finished with this time with a point average of 50 out of 60, and I got a perfect score in maths, which was a class I previously failed. I did this at night time. So at this point in life I had a fulltime job, had nightschool and ran my own muay thai gym. I had no time for gaming.

Then suddenly the place I worked at decided to outsource a lot of their production, which meant that several of my co-workers and I had to go. This turned out to be a good thing for me as I just finished high school at the same time, so I applied to college to get my engineering degree. I also decided to quit running the muay thai gym, so I could focus on school. And as you can probably guess, I didn't. How the hell can a now 30-year old dude prioritize so poorly? I thought I was ridden of my gaming addiction... But it has returned. I am now one year into my engineering degree, and I have barely studied... I have however finished Resident Evil 2 Remake, leveled two characters to max level in world of warcraft classic and finished all content with both of em, finished Final Fantasy 7 remake and a lot of dota 2 games. I have nothing to show for this last year, and now the exams are coming up... I am going to fail, because of video games. Again. And I keep beating myself up about it. I am such a fool.

 

tl;dr: I failed high school once, then finished it, now probably failing college and lost a lot of relationships over gaming. Also beating myself up over it and can't get out of this cycle that I am in.

 

Sincerely yours

9ko 

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Thank you for sharing, 9ko. I myself have wondered if, when it comes to video game addiction, people from first-world countries have it different since life's demands are very different over there in comparison to other countries like mine (Mexico); people don't have to worry as much for safety or education, they have better jobs and life quality... Life concerns might as well be merely existencial, so this could mean that people have more time to use for recreational stuff (aka gaming)... But after reading your story I really think that this problem affects us all in a very similar way. We all desire to feel like we have to accomplish something and be good at something... in my case, last year I came back to play a game called Tibia for less than a month (you might have heard of it, extremely addictive), which allowed me to escape my reality and get instant gratification whenever I leveled up, finished a quest or looted a special item. Now, I have been away from it for more that 7 months and this game really still screws me up so bad to this day, to the point where I have huge cravings every day to continue playing even for some minutes... but I know that if I come back to play it (no matter for how long I "choose" to play) it will end up with me. 

You are not alone and I believe you are brave enough to see your own fragility, and with that in mind I think you have the upper hand in this cycle that you also have already acknowledged. So gather your beaten soul, ask her to forgive you and start making amendments with it and with this beautiful gift called life that we all have the pleasure to live.

I know it's easier to say it than to do it, but there's no other option, right? There's no middle ground in this battle, there's no truce or resting point. Actually, there are a few resting points: the Game Quitters platform is one, for example... here you are you with your weaknesses and fears, and it is fine to be that way. 

I'm just glad we both found this place.

I wish you the best and I'll keep you on my prayers. 

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