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NEW VIDEO: A Wasted Time (The Truth About Gaming)

Toro's Journal


Toro
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Hi GQ'ers

Nice to see this community. Games sure take a lot of time and that's what I'm trying to reclaim.
Currently I have over 80 games on Steam and another factory game on Epic which I spent 400+ hours on.
Over 4 years I've spent 1.6 hours every day playing games for a total of 2300+ hours.
Not only is it time spent of gaming but time outs due to eye strain, headaches and resulting ADD.

Initially I didn't mind some violence in games excusing it by saying I liked 3D worlds, which is true especially as most early 3D games had violence. Since then 3D games emerged that didn't have violence, specifically creative and survival games. These I really like a lot as solving problems and constructing things is so satisfying. So no need to play violent games any more.
Although I have spent 369 hours playing Rust but this was because I love the base building, and have built some huge bases. I ignored the violent players and went about creating stuff.

There is a 2 part self justification for these creative games.

  1. It feels like you're doing work
  2. You are learning things or using your mind.

Both true, which makes them more dangerous as it's easy to excuse time wasted.

So I've been making moves throughout this year to force myself to resolve issues in my life and to be a lot more productive. Without distractions I can be one of the most productive people you'll ever meet and it's a shame to see time wasted in this way over the last few years. Some things I've put in place -

  1. Regularly watching videos on work ethic and life / time management while making notes (The Atomic habits videos are great)
  2. Creating schedules and to-do lists
  3. Recently buying a Kindle so as to read and think more
  4. Keeping a diary
  5. Setting up a Wordpress site to keep track of all my projects
  6. Buying software that is helpful - Scrivener, Scapple, MindMapple
  7. Buying productive or work software instead of Games
  8. Making myself accountable for projects by telling or including others

My profession is freelance designer, developer, coder & 2D and 3D artist and I spend a lot of time on not for profit work.

I think this Journal idea is good so I'll post some entries when I remember to. I do suffer from Amnesia and am easily distracted, but hopefully I'll be regular.
Forgive me if I don't return the favour by not posting comments on your journal - I have a lot of work commitments to see to, but appreciate notes and messages.
May comment on others' posts if I get the chance.

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Post 1 - 8 July 2020

So one thing I haven't been doing lately is drawing as I've felt compelled to create new vehicles that perform certain feats in a game I'm currently addicted to. I watch some gamers on Youtube and feel I need to make things better than them, especially when they make mistakes or overlook improved functionality. 

Yesterday I watched a Korean artist in a live Youtube session and decided to draw along, so here's my first drawing in weeks.
I have some projects that require artwork so it's crucial that I get back to drawing every day.

Today I have to -

  • source images for a video compilation and process it,
  • create a 3D scene for a website,
  • do some urgent billing that I've been putting off for the last few months,
  • create some book study sheets in Corel Draw,
  • do another drawing for tomorrow's post as well as edit some old artworks
  • also need to photo and work an an art piece on my Mac - wanted to do it last week Monday
     

 

Face 1.jpg

Edited by Toro
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Thank you. I haven't actually quit yet but am in the process of throttling down.
If I did suddenly quit completely I would probably go into system shock and need urgent medical attention. ^^

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Welcome to the forums. I think you're in the right place. I am about 88 weeks without games and it's been a major improvement in my life. Take it at your own pace and just do what's best for your health.

Good luck

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3 minutes ago, BooksandTrees said:

Welcome to the forums. I think you're in the right place. I am about 88 weeks without games and it's been a major improvement in my life. Take it at your own pace and just do what's best for your health.

Good luck

88 weeks?! That's impressive!

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Welcome @Toro! Stopping games is a huge step and your brain will thank you for it. Most people like to quit cold turkey (I did) but you have to go at your own pace. If you feel like weening down is the best course then do that, the end goal is what's important. 

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9 hours ago, Tzen1 said:

Welcome @Toro! Stopping games is a huge step and your brain will thank you for it. Most people like to quit cold turkey (I did) but you have to go at your own pace. If you feel like weening down is the best course then do that, the end goal is what's important. 

Thanks Tzen1
Stopping something is a mental process so action has to result from a decision. Maybe the important thing now is to see the difference between being productive and the non-productivity that comes from gaming. Apart from output there is the difference in satisfaction. The creative games I play are really satisfying, so that aspect has to be weighed against satisfaction from non-gaming productivity. So for me I need to focus on productivity that will result in a lot of satisfaction which will clearly beat gaming satisfaction, then mentally the decision should be straightforward. But maybe I should just go for it. ^^;;

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The settings I've changed for Steam are as follows -

  1. Hidden games
    Right click on Game > Manage > Hide this game
     
  2. Made Library view on startup default
    Settings > Interface > Second Drop-down menu change to Library
     
  3. Remove Steam startup
    Settings > Interface > Uncheck Run Steam when my computer starts
     
  4. Remove Steam notifications
    Settings > Interface > Uncheck Notify me about additions or changes to my games

As I have application software installed via Steam, I cannot remove Steam. Uninstalling the games and taking the above steps is the only thing I can do.

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To Do's

  • source images for a video compilation and process it DONE
  • do another drawing for tomorrow's post as well as edit some old artworks DONE

Been up since 3:30pm yesterday - it's now 10:30am

Feeling a lot more positive about being productive. Uninstalled my 2 biggest time wasting games. On the way there.

Gaming Kid.jpg

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Better sleep schedule will be so beneficial. I think once you quit games and modify your fix with them you get like a mini "flu" where you feel sick and out of it. You're doing a good job with phasing things. That art is nice. How often do you work on it? I've been learning Blender and enjoying it for the past 2 months.

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On 7/9/2020 at 8:28 PM, BooksandTrees said:

Better sleep schedule will be so beneficial. I think once you quit games and modify your fix with them you get like a mini "flu" where you feel sick and out of it. You're doing a good job with phasing things. That art is nice. How often do you work on it? I've been learning Blender and enjoying it for the past 2 months.

The above artwork took about 20 minutes. I try to work on art about an hour a week. My aim is to draw 3 hours every day, but addiction has prevented me.

At my peak I was drawing about 4-5 hours a day, that was between 1990 and 2001. Then I didn't draw for 10 years - I think the combo of 911, me breaking up with an e-mail girlfriend and a load of business work caused deep depression and it took a long while to get over it. It was only when I employed someone for my studio and they said they wouldn't take my advice as I wasn't an active artist, that I thought 'well that's easily solved' - and so started drawing again.

One commission since then was doing 21 A3 inked drawings in 5 days. My hand felt like an SUV had driven over it multiple times, literally, and my back was in pain - but to finish a demanding commission was so fulfilling ..... and it paid well. ^^

My future projects that require artwork are -

  • A series of videos for children
  • A series of YouTube videos on the Bible that uses both animations and painted works
  • An online 3D exhibition
  • A website that is about the Bible and has illustrations throughout
  • A comic called AmioZio - a fantasy sci-fi story
  • An artbook - collection of artworks
  • A Pose reference book for artists

So games have been a major roadblock to making this a reality, but I think it's possible with the right support.

I use Cinema4D, but am starting to learn Blender. I have Andrew's Cheat-sheet but am busy converting it into a single page as it isn't that usable in its current multi-page format.

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This is my number 1 favourite album for being busy. Even when you are feeling out of energy or lazy, this music will get you going.

 

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  • 1 year later...

Hi

Updating everyone on my current situation. So since I last logged in I accumulated hundreds more hours of gaming. I won't mention the game names but here is an approximate list-

Game A - 654 hours
Game B - 587 hours
Game C - 259 hours

Not only was I hooked on a few games but my library reached 185 games with me spending a huge amount of time finding unusual games.
Together with YouTube video watching and other digital pursuits, things were getting out of hand, so I did something MAJOR.

I sold my iPad Pro and my main PC.
The iPad Pro is one of the best content consumption devices ever. I found myself lying on my bed and watching videos which I didn't really need to watch.
My main PC was a very powerful laptop which allowed me to enjoy any game as there was no lag and everything worked great.

As I have ADHD, there is no way I could give up gaming by having these machines. These were the large barriers between me and a productive and happier life, so they had to go - in fact I listed them for sale on Gumtree and became impatient with every passing day, knocking off a proportion of the value each day until buyers felt compelled to buy them as they were good value for money.

BUT not only did I sell my main PC but I also sold my XBox 360 game controller and my whole Steam library. As I had never added 2 factor verification or saved a payment method, transferring my account was as simple as changing the email address and giving the login details to the buyer.

My brother bought me an 11th Generation i3 MSI Modern laptop, which I love. No dedicated graphics means it can only run 2D games and maybe others but at a low resolution. But as I have sold my Steam library I have no urge to resume any gaming activity, although I still watch Scrapman ,Broughy1322 and Failrace's channels from time to time.

These drastic steps actually left me dazed and shell shocked. I couldn't quite believe what I had done, but I'm so happy I did it. Meeting work and other assignment seem possible now. Before I was extremely unreliable - anyone with ADHD is like this anyway, but I was chronically so.

My recommendation to anyone who wants to change their life is to take these exact steps. Downgrade your hardware and sell your game accounts.
Current i3 laptops are very snappy and capable but not enough for gaming satisfaction, so work-wise this is a good step.

If you're into 3D then this might not be possible as you need a dedicated 3D card, and giving up gaming may not be possible unless you use a different strategy.

If you have your back against the wall and are failing every day at giving up then maybe you need to do something major like above. For me these steps have worked, hopefully some people might do the same and find happiness again.

Edited by Toro
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