Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

Recommended Posts

I've struggled with developmental challenges since infancy. During my childhood, my parents gave me some educational PC games. In the nineties, the notion of gaming addiction was mostly non-existent. These educational PC games likely helped me learn to read and perform arithmetic, but opened me to a plethora of virtual escapes. When I was twelve, I developed an interest in non-educational genres of games, and I became a casual gamer. In my early teens, I struggled for acceptance at school, and I faced increasing social isolation. When you develop a reputation for being a r***** because you are verbally challenged, few people make any effort to befriend or play with you. My casual gaming became a full-time leisure obsession and I began coasting through life.

I'm a federal service brat, so I've had the extraordinary opportunity to live in a couple different countries and visit countless others. I was born abroad in the UK. When I was fifteen, my family returned to the UK. I attended an American high school after spending a significant amount of time in a foreign one. Adjusting to American culture and curriculum was rough. Additionally, the school did not recognize my hidden disability. I created a Steam account and replaced homework assignments with achievements. I became chronically sleep deprived, but I managed to coast through high school to my diploma in 2011.

Stateside, I was a legal resident of Pennsylvania, where I spent a few years of my early childhood. I selected a university there for in-state tuition, failed to get any scholarships and shipped off for my home country; as alien to me as any other. I gamed much through high school, but I decided I needed to prioritize my college experience, so I swore off games when my freshman semester began. I did well the first half of the semester, but I became alienated by my peers and roommate. I failed a class and marginally passed the semester while gaming. I didn't want to go back to college, but my parents prudently offered me few alternatives. Three weeks into my second semester, I felt so alienated by my peers, my alleged countrymen, that I submerged into gaming and failed the semester. I dropped out of college, and after a few years of squandering my time and money, moved back in with my parents in the UK.

In 2014, my family moved back stateside, to the Midwest, and I enrolled in community college. I aced my first semester, but life is a cycle, and I stopped attending after failing my second semester. I gamed and bounced between retail jobs, getting fired for my lack of reliability and divergent emotional states. I returned to community college in 2016, and passed enough classes to reach junior standing. I took my first programming class in 2018 and decided that computer science is the best direction for me. For whatever reason, I took to programming like a fish to water. I've never been able to learn a skill so effortlessly, and I don't know why. I guess it's how my brain works, or something. I was doing so well, I gave up gaming entirely in the autumn of 2018 and stayed off games for almost one year.

I transitioned to a public, commuter university in fall 2019. A large, public institution was a challenging, socially overwhelming experience. I registered with the access center and joined a small program run by a communications professor to help me adjust. I struggled during my first semester because I began casually gaming again to escape from my social discomforts. I did pass all my classes and enrolled in classes for this spring. I had a somewhat productive winter break, practicing my coding skills, reading books and watching movies. I gamed, but it didn't fill my time like it used to. I felt in control.

This semester began as usual. I was doing well and keeping my game time in check. In the middle of March, the week before midterm exams, my university suddenly transitioned online and I found myself cutoff from the accommodations and supportive community I was relying on. Video games trended like never before, so I played copiously through spring break, and I didn't stop until this past Friday. I decided to withdrawal from my courses because I haven't logged in for over a month. Fortunately, the withdrawal dates changed, so I am able to avoid failing the semester. I am upset that I wasted so much time.

The word addiction has come to mind in the past, but I mostly shook it off until now. I have first-hand experience with the likes of alcoholism among relatives, so I had much skepticism of video gaming addiction. Recent experience has changed my mind. I never want to game again. I was able to detox once, but I know I will need support to replace gaming with other activities.

I am reading A Song of Ice And Fire and binge-watching Game of Thrones. I feel an avolition to productivity, but I know that the hardest part is the beginning. I want to start programming again by contributing to free open source software with Git. I did some game programming in the past, but it's best I don't play with fire, so I plan to focus on non-game projects.

I would like to start exercising again, prepare for an entry-level developer job, and finish my bachelors degree. I believe my best chance to break into a programming profession is to focus on web development. I learned some HTML, CSS and JavaScript last year, thanks to freecodecamp.org. I hope I can get a job as a front-end developer. I also plan to investigate independent living options and the possibility of supplemental security income during the meantime. Right now, I should uninstall some software to remove temptations.

Edited by ArcaneCoder
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ArcaneCoder and welcome to the forum. 

There is so much I can relate here and I am sure many others can. Gaming is such a perfect escape to reality and the brutality of the primitive human behaviors. I feel like you have a good approach to think that you have to replace gaming with other activities.

One step at a time, I trust that you will get there.

Good luck !

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, ArcaneCoder said:

For whatever reason, I took to programming like a fish to water. I've never been able to learn a skill so effortlessly, and I don't know why. I guess it's how my brain works, or something. 

I would like to start exercising again, prepare for an entry-level developer job, and finish my bachelors degree. I believe my best chance to break into a programming profession is to focus on web development. I learned some HTML, CSS and JavaScript last year, thanks to freecodecamp.org. I hope I can get a job as a front-end developer. I also plan to investigate independent living options and the possibility of supplemental security income during the meantime. Right now, I should uninstall some software to remove temptations.

Welcome to the forum @ArcaneCoder!

You can do it! How about as a back-end developer, what are your thoughts about it? 😁

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.