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A Tale of Two Problems


Some Yahoo

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Problem One: Gaming pushes everything else aside.

Gaming consuming untold hours of your everyday life is problem one.  It makes you into a failure because you fail to pursue the normal and reasonable things you ought to be pursuing at your age in life.  Great soldiers, clergy, investors, architects, husbands, wives, businessmen: even game designers - had to take that first step into their fields and pick up the tools in untrained hands for decades before they mastered their trades.  This experience is what gamers cheat themselves out of.  In games, you start out as a superhero, a super soldier, an architect, or race driver.  You're fit and knowledgeable, you have all the dexterity and intelligence you need to excel at whatever task you might encounter.  You never see how the super soldier had to go to boot camp, work his ass off on 600 calories and 3 hours sleep a day, lug a 50 pound pack and be always ready to drop and defend his teammates.  You never see how the architect had to get through 6 years of college, then work at a firm reviewing plumbing and electrical diagrams from more experienced architects for 3 more years before being given a simple room addition to oversee.

Becoming good at something takes time, energy, it involves truly sucking at your craft for a long time before you start to get good.  You may not have the dexterity, or eyesight, or bone structure.  You may not be quick-witted enough.  You may have to start over or settle into a position where your mediocrity is useful to those who are greater than you at it.  It's hard and it DOESN'T tickle the dopamine response gamers are so desperately addicted to.

Humans are not meant to live on constant dopamine.  We are meant to have true excitement about our lives maybe once a month or less.  Games shoot you full of it every 15 seconds.  

Problem Two:  Nothing else is that exciting.

OK, you dropped gaming.  You sledgehammered the XBox.  You erased Steam.  Your next question is: that do I do with the 60-80 hours a week I had been gaming?   You have to pick something.  

I should balance my bank account and pay my bills.  Nah, that's boring.

I should take up my drawing/sketching/writing/painting hobbies again.  3 hours in, and my stuff is still so amateurish.  Eff this!  It's too much work!

Oh god, I haven't called my Dad in years.  I should renew my family relationships. Talked to Dad, that was awkward, and he's so judgmental: ended up yelling at each other.  I'm not doing THAT again.

You see, NOTHING in REAL LIFE is as constantly rewarding as games have made us.  And as much as I wish there was an easy solution, there just isn't.  We're going to have to retrain our minds to work hard for a long time to see minimal rewards.  Another thing games teach us is there are no consequences.  When you die, I mean really die, that's it!  In a game it means a 10 second time-out and respawn. When you fail to advance at your job, you're getting stuck as a barista/fry cook/janitor/minion.  It's not like being a game-obsessed mind-elsewhere lackey is ever going to get you the corner office.  THERE ARE REAL-LIFE CONSEQUENCES TO BEING A GAMER. Your head isn't in the game. 

How many times have you bailed on work or family to join a raid?  Once?  Weekly?  Daily?  There is no health bar for your real-life relationships and achievements.  You don't see that you are training your coworkers/friends/family to LIVE WITHOUT YOU.  You are erasing yourself from society.  

Where does this all lead?  I am 59 years old.  I am socially awkward.  I am hanging on to a failed business.  I have no health care.  My family have trouble relating to me.  Some days I cannot FORCE myself to work, because my mind is after the dopamine drip.  Imagine if you will: I am looking at a list of about 40 help tickets I could work on.  I opened the first one, and my mind instantly screamed at me...

  • Don't do it!  It's too hard!
  • You are gonna just break something else if you change the software!
  • This client will NEVER be happy with your work.
  • It's too hard!  You're not smart enough.
  • This program is build on 10 year old technology!  It's gonna break anyways!
  • Just watch a couple of YouTubes, until you stop freaking out.  (5 hours later...)
  • Oooh, go read the day's news.  (4 hours later...)

That, or something like it happens every time I get work.  And you want to know the stupid thing?

  • I actually like my work.
  • I'm pretty good at it.
  • Customers generally like me.

Truthfully, I do get a bit of a dopamine rush from figuring out a problem and fixing it for other people.  I actually take pride in releasing code that makes people's lives better.

BUT.  The hard part is conjuring the self-discipline to work even when your whole brain is acting like a cat when you try to give it a bath.  

It's HARD.  But it's the ONLY WAY OUT.  Don't get trapped like me.  Every day you fail brings you closer to... this.  TRUST ME. You don't want this.

 

 

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Hey there, @Some Yahoo. I understand where you are coming from. For the first couple of weeks after quitting I was hit with the feeling that nothing will be as exciting as video games. I mean you just can't do the things you do in video games in real life. Racing a car, flying a jet, battling the galaxy! It's been hard for me to accept that that kind of excitement really doesn't exist in the real world, outside of very intense occupations. I'm starting to come to terms with that but I still have trouble focusing as well. I have some hobbies picked out, things that I really want to learn. It's just that every time I sit down to do them I feel like I have to muscle through the tedium. Very frustrating. I still feel satisfaction when I do complete a goal that I set out to do, it's just I don't get the same kind of quick hit satisfaction that gaming provides. 

Unfortunately, I can also relate to "erasing myself from society". I can't tell you how many times I've missed a potentially very fun time with friends to play some vids. Now at 44, I realize that I haven't really fostered many relationships at all. I'm grateful for the few friends that stuck around but I know I pushed so many more away. I'm not saying this to made you feel any worse. I just thought you should know that I can relate. 

Hope things get a little easier for you.

 

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On 7/24/2020 at 2:34 PM, Some Yahoo said:

Problem One: Gaming pushes everything else aside.

Gaming consuming untold hours of your everyday life is problem one.  It makes you into a failure because you fail to pursue the normal and reasonable things you ought to be pursuing at your age in life.  Great soldiers, clergy, investors, architects, husbands, wives, businessmen: even game designers - had to take that first step into their fields and pick up the tools in untrained hands for decades before they mastered their trades.  This experience is what gamers cheat themselves out of.  In games, you start out as a superhero, a super soldier, an architect, or race driver.  You're fit and knowledgeable, you have all the dexterity and intelligence you need to excel at whatever task you might encounter.  You never see how the super soldier had to go to boot camp, work his ass off on 600 calories and 3 hours sleep a day, lug a 50 pound pack and be always ready to drop and defend his teammates.  You never see how the architect had to get through 6 years of college, then work at a firm reviewing plumbing and electrical diagrams from more experienced architects for 3 more years before being given a simple room addition to oversee.

Becoming good at something takes time, energy, it involves truly sucking at your craft for a long time before you start to get good.  You may not have the dexterity, or eyesight, or bone structure.  You may not be quick-witted enough.  You may have to start over or settle into a position where your mediocrity is useful to those who are greater than you at it.  It's hard and it DOESN'T tickle the dopamine response gamers are so desperately addicted to.

Humans are not meant to live on constant dopamine.  We are meant to have true excitement about our lives maybe once a month or less.  Games shoot you full of it every 15 seconds.  

Problem Two:  Nothing else is that exciting.

OK, you dropped gaming.  You sledgehammered the XBox.  You erased Steam.  Your next question is: that do I do with the 60-80 hours a week I had been gaming?   You have to pick something.  

I should balance my bank account and pay my bills.  Nah, that's boring.

I should take up my drawing/sketching/writing/painting hobbies again.  3 hours in, and my stuff is still so amateurish.  Eff this!  It's too much work!

Oh god, I haven't called my Dad in years.  I should renew my family relationships. Talked to Dad, that was awkward, and he's so judgmental: ended up yelling at each other.  I'm not doing THAT again.

You see, NOTHING in REAL LIFE is as constantly rewarding as games have made us.  And as much as I wish there was an easy solution, there just isn't.  We're going to have to retrain our minds to work hard for a long time to see minimal rewards.  Another thing games teach us is there are no consequences.  When you die, I mean really die, that's it!  In a game it means a 10 second time-out and respawn. When you fail to advance at your job, you're getting stuck as a barista/fry cook/janitor/minion.  It's not like being a game-obsessed mind-elsewhere lackey is ever going to get you the corner office.  THERE ARE REAL-LIFE CONSEQUENCES TO BEING A GAMER. Your head isn't in the game. 

How many times have you bailed on work or family to join a raid?  Once?  Weekly?  Daily?  There is no health bar for your real-life relationships and achievements.  You don't see that you are training your coworkers/friends/family to LIVE WITHOUT YOU.  You are erasing yourself from society.  

Where does this all lead?  I am 59 years old.  I am socially awkward.  I am hanging on to a failed business.  I have no health care.  My family have trouble relating to me.  Some days I cannot FORCE myself to work, because my mind is after the dopamine drip.  Imagine if you will: I am looking at a list of about 40 help tickets I could work on.  I opened the first one, and my mind instantly screamed at me...

  • Don't do it!  It's too hard!
  • You are gonna just break something else if you change the software!
  • This client will NEVER be happy with your work.
  • It's too hard!  You're not smart enough.
  • This program is build on 10 year old technology!  It's gonna break anyways!
  • Just watch a couple of YouTubes, until you stop freaking out.  (5 hours later...)
  • Oooh, go read the day's news.  (4 hours later...)

That, or something like it happens every time I get work.  And you want to know the stupid thing?

  • I actually like my work.
  • I'm pretty good at it.
  • Customers generally like me.

Truthfully, I do get a bit of a dopamine rush from figuring out a problem and fixing it for other people.  I actually take pride in releasing code that makes people's lives better.

BUT.  The hard part is conjuring the self-discipline to work even when your whole brain is acting like a cat when you try to give it a bath.  

It's HARD.  But it's the ONLY WAY OUT.  Don't get trapped like me.  Every day you fail brings you closer to... this.  TRUST ME. You don't want this.

 

 

I've been about 91 weeks without games and I gotta say the first month I had extreme brain fog and lack of focus. It will come back to you. I would suggest maintaining the same sleep schedule and eating schedule. I'd also recommend physical exercise like pushups etc for your anger. There's a lot of frustration built up. Try to work through this stress.

I wouldn't recommend finding one sole thing to take your time up. I tried that for 2 years. I haven't found it. I had to slowly break things apart. I watch an hour of tv a day unless hockey is on, I read for 1 hour a day, I exercise for 1 hour a day, I talk to family or friends for 1 hour a day, I 3D model on weekends now ebcause I was too tired after work, I meal prep for an hour at dinner, etc. 

You're not going to find anything as fun as video games. Heroin addicts never find anything as exciting as heroin. It's just recognizing you appreciate life without it and can find enough activities to fulfil you. You're going to want to try and fill the day up and the days will feel meaningless. Try different hobbies, but don't fixate on one. You're going to try and be amazing at it and get pissed off because you were good at video games and not good at sculpting or something. Just be patient. Maybe put a bunch of activities in a hat and pull one out to try. I'd suggest walking and exercise when possible to work on the pent up frustration and move forward.

Good luck. Sorry for poor sentence structure here. It's just late and I'm tired.

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