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I feel like the social aspect is what makes it so addictive for me

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That hurts so much just to think about it but i think that this is it.

When I played games, most of the times I played for the games, sure, but I mainly played it for the social aspect of it, to be able to showcase my "skills" to the world on internet, to show others how "I was better" and indeed I got this recognition, but I also realized that gaming is not good for my life for a myriad of other reasons.

You would think that single player games would be immune from this and while it may have been true for days way before the internet, I find this point moot, because it isn't hard to find leaderboards and the likes on the internet related to your game and we are back to square one again.

But at the very least, it taught me one important thing: be careful who your "friends" are, because they can easily drag you down, without even realizing it.
Social pressure is a strong thing.
In theory, saying "no" is very easy on paper and is "an easy fix" for this, but it doesn't quite work that way and that easily in real life.
One simple example: with some real life friends, we talk about video games, we compare each other to ourselves etc. If I wanted to, I could in theory say "no" and quit this game for say... one week. But in the meanwhile, I will be out of the loop for the latest jokes, tricks and other things going on. I don't think that not spending a few mins "to stay up to date" is worth losing friends and that was the problem. If I don't play, my skills risk to degrade, they will beat me skill-wise and I will have less respect and recognition. I am basically in a dilemma and loop where the optimal behavior (on the short term) is to continue playing games and breaking the loop isn't easy.
The thing is that leaving just a few friends is already a hard thing to swallow for me, I don't even want to think about say... Youtubers or other personas with 10k views and the like.

The sad and scary thing is that it doesn't only apply to gaming, but to everything else as well.
I know a few people who do questionable behavior on social media. If they do enjoy it and it is not harming them all good for them. However, If I were in their shoes and I would want to quit this behavior, I don't want to imagine what a nightmare it would be to potentially lose half of their friends like that in an eye blink.

It can apply to say... friends who are fans of some tv show or anime. Stop watching it and you will be out of the loop with some of your friends.

I think that I could enter in some of these circles and try to say "no", when I don't feel like it, but honestly I prefer to not enter nor having to choose between these dilemmas.

I am however grateful for one thing: that it also works the other way in a positive matter. For example, I have noticed to be more productive working in a room full of productive people, less likely to procrastinate or slack when I am surrounded by people who hate this. More likely to go to the gym, if I am surrounded by people doing so and I am sure that there are plenty of other examples.

My post is very long but I hope that it gets the point.

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On 3/17/2021 at 3:16 PM, Carya said:

But at the very least, it taught me one important thing: be careful who your "friends" are, because they can easily drag you down, without even realizing it.

It is dangerous to think that way in my oppineon. I know tons of people and was on and off with gaming for over 20 years.
In my experience social skills who you learn in a gaming community can not be applied to interactions in person.
There is one exception, though, it's if you run your own Guild or Clan or whatever. Simple speaking, becouse you learn to manage people.

On 3/17/2021 at 3:16 PM, Carya said:

But in the meanwhile, I will be out of the loop for the latest jokes, tricks and other things going on.

I give you another example: I stopped gaming. I started repairing electronics, what is a real skill that gives even other peoples real advantages.
I got to know tons of people throught repairing electronics, people still call me today.
I got to know more people in one month than i got to know people in gaming since 20 years.

My point is, if you learn a real social skill you will have a much bigger value for your gaming friends than just being good at some games.
Suppose you learn the social skill motivator. You suck at the game but if you are with your friends you win every round.
It will be hard and take longer to get there but it is possible and your live quality is beyond measurement by then becouse you do not limit yourselve only to gaming.

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