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Let's hope this works. - Game Dev


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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone,

Looking to start my journey to quitting games. I'm in my early 30s and have interacted with games my whole life, ever since I was a kid. I've not actually tried to quit games before, but I do play them a lot (every day, multiple hours after work) and there's much more in life I'd like to do but am either afraid to, or am too tired when I get home and games are an easy out. I feel like I'm not progressing in areas of life like I would want to, and playing too many games are a core reason for that.

The really tricky part however, is the fact that I work in the games industry. And I actually really enjoy the place that I work because of the people and the process of actually creating things for games, and have been happy there for years. I'm not sure if it's feasible for me to quit consuming games while being surrounded by them for my profession. My main goal is to get to a point where I enjoy the process of making games / creation more than the idea of consumption of games. I've known people who operate this way and hope to be more like them, though that was a few years ago and we've since gone out of touch.

But at the same I realize the extra risk it puts on my journey. Wish me luck.

 

Edit: I've not actually tried to quit games PROPERLY before I should say. They've always been sort of half hearted attempts.

Edited by Finchalot
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  • Finchalot changed the title to Let's hope this works. - Game Dev
Posted (edited)

Welcome to the forum!

2 hours ago, Finchalot said:

 My main goal is to get to a point where I enjoy the process of making games / creation more than the idea of consumption of games. I've known people who operate this way and hope to be more like them, though that was a few years ago and we've since gone out of touch.

Any way to get back in touch with them?

There must be others working in the games industry who have the same struggle, maybe even people you work with every day. I'm not sure how you'd find them, but it might be worth asking around, discreetly.

I'm just thinking it might be easier to find your way toward balance if you knew you weren't the only one, and if you could talk and compare strategies with others in the same situation.

Edited by Zeno
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Thanks to both of you. I think your suggestion is really valid Zeno. Getting back in touch with them might not be feasible but I'm sure there will be people in a similar boat to myself at my workplace. One thing I have noticed is that there's lots of people there with very healthy social and physical lives (lots of groups for different sports and hobbies outside of games), so I'm looking into joining those. 🙂

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Welcome to the forums! I wish you luck on your journey for a gaming free life whilst trying to keep your job. Doesn't sound like an easy task

Best 

Jason

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Thanks Jason!

Day 01 without games:

Wasn't too bad. There were a few times where I was out with my partner and my mind wandered to "I want to go home soon to play some games - " before redirecting to "But I've closed my Steam account and don't have any games to play." It was frustrating going through that mental loop a few times, but I think the extra step of just removing games as a viable option has helped a lot. What also helped was talking to my partner and we had filled up the day with other things - doing groceries, getting coffee and then catching up with a friend for dinner. So it kept my mind off things. But there were definitely moments where I start starting to feel antsy and wanted to game.

I'd normally kill downtime at a café by playing a game on my phone, but removed those too. Instead I've started to brainstorm ideas for fun projects to work on on a notes app on my phone, as that was one of the ideas I had for the "Fill the Void" exercise. I realized a lot of the times I tried to quit games in the past became failed attempts was because I didn't really have anything for the social side of it. That was the hardest area to brainstorm things for. I've found that exercise really helpful and have some good options now.

It's about 8pm here as I type this and I'm not sure what to do with myself after this post. I was thinking of taking up a Typography class sometime next week, but tonight I might just watch a movie.

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Thanks!

Day 02

Was at work for most of today, I uninstalled Steam on my work PC (as I usually spent all lunch playing games). Today for lunch I decided to take a walk and listen to an audiobook. It was nice. Work was too busy to really have my mind wander toward playing games but I've never had cravings to play games during shift anyway. Guess the brain just compartmentalizes that time as no-game-time.

Got home, was very tired so I slept, watched a movie when I woke up. I actually bought a typography course that I'm making a start on now. It's at the point where I'm really seeing just how much there is to learn and am quite excited for it. So yeah, today went quite well. But it always felt like the first week or so was smooth sailing before the urges to game really start to creep in. I haven't had any super stressful days yet which is usually the breaking point for me, so am not letting guard down just yet.

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Hi Finchalot I recently read celia hodents book "gamers brain" 

do you work for a big gam dev company or is it like indie?

I'm interested to know if you know of people in the industry actively trying to addict players or "go whaling"?

Celia actually argued with me today about how I should prove that games are addicting and explain this clearly for her. was really quite laughable actually.

good luck mate, I'll keep an eye out for your detox. we are detoxing around the same time

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On 5/4/2021 at 1:26 AM, CG EYE said:

Hi Finchalot I recently read celia hodents book "gamers brain" 

do you work for a big gam dev company or is it like indie?

I'm interested to know if you know of people in the industry actively trying to addict players or "go whaling"?

Celia actually argued with me today about how I should prove that games are addicting and explain this clearly for her. was really quite laughable actually.

good luck mate, I'll keep an eye out for your detox. we are detoxing around the same time

Thanks! I work at a smaller company. Only thing I can really say regarding the addictiveness is that there's a known crossover between manipulative gambling tactics and gameplay feedback. Lots of visual and audio stimuli that can be used in many different ways to be compelling. I can't remember where the study is but there was a confirmation that for things like slot machines and gambling, it wasn't a requirement for the person to win money in order for them to get the adrenaline and endorphin rush that kept them going (even going so far as to suggest that winning was annoying, because it disrupted the flow of stimuli). When you consider that, then consider how games are designed, it is very reasonable to assume games can be addictive. 

But there's also a couple other things to consider, not all games are addictive in equal measure, some are just trying to be fun or compelling. Then there is the psychology of the individual playing it: some people are susceptible to the way loot boxes are presented and some are just not. It's a very broad spectrum and there are both good and bad players in that overall space, and different studios conduct themselves in different ways.

 

Day 03 & 04

I forgot to submit an entry yesterday, but it was a pretty uneventful day. I watched The Mitchell's Vs The Machines and really enjoyed it.

Today was much better though. I'm really starting to get into Typography and the history of the western alphabet, I didn't realize just how much there was to learn and it is very exciting.

Have noticed I'm starting to eat more junk food though to get that comfortable sugar buzz. I really need to watch that as it's the next biggest problem area for me, I don't want that bad habit to fill the hole now that I'm not getting instant gratification from games. Has anyone else had something similar to this?

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Couldn't get into my account for a few days.

Days 05 - 08

Starting to see signs of things getting harder now. I keep wanting to fill the time with games or something with instant gratification. I've noticed I've been watching Youtube and Netflix a lot more now. I'm still being productive, still learning new things and socializing a lot more. But there's temptations to set up a console and game again. I want the 30 day cancellation period of my Steam account deletion to just hurry up already. So playing those games will just not be an option.

I'm still going with my Typography course and I'm really enjoying it. I'm learning a lot each day and it's really giving me a lot to think deeply about. I'm going to do a little more after this.

Still struggling with food which was my next biggest risk for instant gratification - still having a lot more sugar and caffeine than I was before, and not exercising as much as I would like to. I really need to figure out how to improve there.

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I've been a bit lax on this journal to say the least!

Days 09-12

I've been offline mostly because my PC is in the studio, the coldest part of the house at night during autumn/winter (lower hemisphere). I haven't been gaming though! I've actually been reading, still going with my Typography and trying to fight the urge to eat food that's bad for me. I've been lax on physical exercise too and really want to get back into it.

I did have a tough time a few days ago saying no to games, seems like everyone was asking me on the same day if I wanted to play a game with them. Had to grit my teeth, eventually had to tell people I was "trying to game less". Which received some puzzled looks. I have started giving away / selling some of my gaming peripherals.

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Thanks. 

I wish it was easy, but I hit a bump in the road last night. Had a bit too much to drink and was a bit stupid. I didn't go back to playing games or anything but I was resorting to alcohol to get a bit of excitement, social fulfillment, stress relief etc. It's not a substance I want to turn to in future. 

My partner was very supportive. Pretty stern but fair. I'm going to try work on myself in this area of my life too. I think anxiety is the underlying problem for me that has me avoid social situations, unfamiliar situations, etc. And games, alcohol, things of that help me switch my brain off. I am not sure how to deal with the underlying anxiousness I feel often.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Over the last week I've been working hard on being more mindful of my escapism tendencies. I stayed after work on Friday without having any alcohol (which is rare), then I got up early on the weekend (also rare) and went for a walk. Filled my day with more non-screen events.

Still doing my course for Typography and am really enjoying it, I'm starting to see all the possibilities on what you can make now. I also finished my second library book since quitting games and ordered some more to read. Me and my partner did some garden work and I actually enjoyed it: usually that stuff felt like a chore that was getting in the way of my games, I'm finding myself beginning to enjoy more things now.

I had a reminder on my phone go off yesterday saying that I have 10 days left before my Steam account is deleted for good. And oddly enough I felt... absolutely nothing. I don't mind running the clock out and having that account erased. 🙂 In fact, almost in an attempt to double down on that decision, I've just auctioned off all of my other gaming equipment... Consoles, peripherals, games, all of it. I feel "lighter". Everything except the Nintendo Switch, because my partner wants it. I don't really have an impulse to play anything on that now so that's alright. 

So yeah, pretty good week all in all.

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Congrats, this description of cutting of steam and selling your equipment was epic. "lighter" is a great feeling. Must be how minimalists feel when they first start decluttering!

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