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How do you all deal with nostalgia for games?

I'm three days in to my prolonged (maybe indefinite) "detox", and find I'm struggling most with the thought that I may never see certain (artificial) places or encounter certain (fictional) characters again, or even just bask in the immersive experience of an open-world exploration game in VR.

I won't name any of them, so I don't trigger someone else's nostalgia.

It feels like a variety of grief, complicated by the knowledge that I could go back at any time. I keep slipping in and out of the "bargaining phase" of grief: "I'll be good this time! I promise! Don't make me pull the plug!" . . . except that I'm also the one pulling the plug.

I wouldn't call this an emergency, yet, and I have so far managed to bring myself back around to thinking of all the things I'll have time for in the real world without gaming.

But, still . . .

(Fun fact: 'nostalgia' means something lie 'return-pain', which can mean either 'a painful longing to return' or 'the pain of returning' - or both at once!)

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Totally understand you...The times that I didn’t relapse when that nostalgia came, I found it really helpful to journal what you’re feeling and then why you might be feeling that way. Besides VR being visually appealing, there may be another reason for wanting to delve into the world, and by recognizing one’s motivations it helps make the process more of a rational one rather than emotional. I also find setting a schedule especially during those times that I used to play (like after work or in the morning) really helpful. It both breaks the habit and fills the void.

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Thanks, Tess.

A few things fell into place, last night, regarding my motivations for playing games. I'll write more about this in my journal, but the gist of it is that I played to avoid dealing with a lot of personal upheaval in my home life, in my extended family, and even in the wider world. Games offered consistency; things there would always be the same, time after time.

Meanwhile, out here in the world, real nostalgia involves longing to return to places that have changed, often beyond recognition. Even my own household isn't what it was five years ago, and never will be again.

And that's okay. That's as it should be.

And no good can come from chasing after changelessness. Sure, in-game places will always be the same, but only because they are hollow simulations filled with cardboard cutouts of people who always say the same danged inane things (i.e., "an arrow to the knee".)

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Thanks, @James Good .

I know you're right. I think the goal is to get to the point that I may think fondly upon in-game experiences without longing to return to them. From my own experience, I know this is possible.

Another thing that helps is to think fondly on past out-of-game experiences, ones that were genuinely satisfying and led to real progress toward real goals, and to create the conditions under which I can have comparable experiences now.

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