Day 90+ (98 I think?) I did it! Hooray! The past 90 days have absolutely gone by in the blink of an eye. There were easy days and there were hard days, but every single one of the 90 days were ones in which I did not play video games. I feel absolutely great about accomplishing this goal. A big thanks to Cam for setting this all up and putting the information out there in such an easy to digest package. I will wholeheartedly be recommending this to anyone I know looking to move on from video games. What are my post 90 day plans? Just continue to do what I've been. Video games aren't a thing in my life anymore. It's that simple. There are so many things I want to learn and become better at that are far more rewarding, and now I feel that I have the time to do these things and I couldn't be happier. Thanks again to everyone. For those just starting their journey, know that the effort you put into this will payout in the end. "Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are. We've been using them not because we needed them but because we had them." -Seneca
Day 60 As most of you are probably aware E3 is currently going on. I will admit that I watched some footage of the press conferences. I think I did this more as an annual habit than out of actual interest. I got pretty bored by most of what I watched, but there were some moments of 'small hype' for other things. I'm confident that none of what I saw will influence me to go back to gaming. I suppose I can check off another challenge on my journey to quitting gaming and smile upon the fact E3 2017 is the last one I'm likely to watch.
Day 53: Nothing too new to report. Still cruising along game free. I've been spending most of my free time doing outdoor activities. I think quitting games around this time of year has made it much easier than say around winter time. One major change that I have noticed is my ability to talk to friends about games. It's extremely difficult because I don't have any interest in the conversation. Before I could talk for hours about new games or patches coming out, but now I immediately want to change the subject. It'll be interesting to see how these friendships play out over time.
Day 46: I'm now halfway through my 90 day detox with Respawn! I don't want to celebrate early, but I'm start to feeling I've already kicked gaming to the curb. I have absolutely zero interest in playing, watching, reading, or talking about video games (Game Quitters being an exception). I've come to absolutely enjoy reflecting upon my own thoughts and the things around me instead of having a glowing screen suck the life and imagination out of me. I foresee smooth sailing for the next 45 days.
Day 36: Just a quick update today. I'm still going strong. My current desire to play video games is practically non-existent which makes things fairly easy. Last week I mentioned that I was likely going to reevaluate my stance on video game playing after day 90. I'm starting to doubt that will happen, and instead I'll simply just continue to not to play them without any troubles. I still probably spent too much of my free time relaxing by listening to music, reading books, and watching movies, but I'm quite alright with that at the moment. I'm much happier doing these things than I am getting stressed out over DOTA 2. I'm still working on being more productive overall which is definitely the hardest step in this entire process.
Day 30: One month in and things are going fairly smooth. I'm still 100% video game playing free and I don't see that stopping for the next 60 days. I'm starting to think I'll reevaluate whether I'm going to completely quit once the 90 days are up or not. It's unlikely that I will decide to play, but I am accepting that I'll make that decision for sure when the time comes. I've come to enjoy all this extra free time that video games used to fill!
Day 21: These last few days have been a real struggle. Recently, DOTA 2 just updated with the International 2017 Compendium. This basically adds a lot of content such as challenges, quests, and new cosmetic items to make the game feel fresh. Last year, the International 2016 Compendium is what got me back into DOTA 2 after not playing it for a few months. As mentioned before, one of the big reasons why I want to quit is because games like DOTA 2 end up being a total time sink into match after match of pure frustration, as opposed to actual fun. The frustration stems from the fact the game is team focused, but everyone plays as an individual slurring derogatory comments about every little thing you do. Recently Valve, the company that develops DOTA 2, came out with a ranked matchmaking system that requires you to link a unique phone number to your account. The idea is that this will increase the quality of matches since people can't just keep making new accounts. The new system also punishes toxic players harder, so now you will get paired up with them less frequently. On top of that, they brought banked solo matchmaking. Long story short, with the new Compendium content and Matchmaking updates that make the game less toxic, I'm SOOOOO tempted to play. So much so that I even thought about creating a new Steam account, going to Walmart to buy a burner phone to link to the new account, and download DOTA 2. In order to convince myself this was a bad idea I went to read negative DOTA 2 reviews on Steam. Here are a few lines from the reviews : "you will lose your life""worst community in video game history""don't play this game, it makes doing meth look healthy""This game is like heroin in it's addictiveness and ability to ruin your life""this game ruined my life""I regret every second I spent...I wish I could change 2300 hours gaming to real life time to live"I was quickly reminded about the exact feelings I had towards DOTA 2 and video games in general. My temptation to play subsided immediately.
TL;DR One big take away I've gotten is that in THAT MOMENT that you realize you need to quit gaming and decide to make the commitment, it's quite easy to do so. As these strong emotions slowly dissipate over the course of days and weeks though, it becomes so much more difficult to believe quitting is the right thing. Especially because in my case I used gaming as a thing to avoid responsibilities, challenging tasks, and necessary but stressful circumstances. Now I'm using other distracting mediums to avoid these things. I'm starting to learn that my own self control is the underlying issue, and that gaming is simply the easiest form of hour-after-hour avoidance.
Hey Moe, and welcome. Much like you I've spent about a decade realizing I needed to quit and thought I could just do it but never succeeded. Isn't it amazing the power of control of video games can have over you? And the how they can completely alter your life course? Don't feel bad about any of this. What is important is that you've recognized the issue and are taking action.
Hey thanks that was a good video! I did my due diligence on Day 1 by installing Cold Turkey and blocking access to all the main gaming sites that I use to frequent (including Twitch). Unfortunately I don't have strong enough willpower to prevent myself from googling about the games and clicking to a site that I don't have blocked by Cold Turkey. The good news is that I didn't cave in!
DAY 18: Wow day 18 already? That seems crazy when I type it out. Well today I'm having a hard time with urges. The reason they are so strong is that I've wrapped up a major project and now have a bit more free time. I've gotten caught up in some of the CS GO Dreamhack Austin and DOTA 2 Kiev Major tournament news and it has caused me to start thinking about these games a lot. I'm not going to lie, I REALLY want to play. Even though I got rid of access to my Steam account it is just so easy to make a new one and play DOTA 2 being that it is free. **BLEH** The worst thing is I know that game will do nothing but frustrate me because the community is so horrible, and on top of that I'll feel so bad for caving in.
WEEK 2 PROGRESS: Still video game freeA few moments of desire to play gamesBriefly (about 5 minutes) looked up some info about Dreamhack Austin CS GOFailed to work on my daily scheduleReread through RespawnOverall the past week wasn't too bad. I didn't get around to fixing and following my daily schedule, but I was so busy over the past week and completed a major project anyways. I'm sure I wasn't 100% efficient with my time, even though there was a noticeable increase in my productivity. One of the most important things I've come to realize is that I don't have a desire to play new games or learn of new games that are coming out. My desire is to play old games that brought me joy and happiness years ago such as Team Fortress 2. This explains a lot about my gaming actions in the past few years. I simply was hoping to experience the joy they used to bring me, but often ended hour sessions in frustration or a state of *blah*. There is still a part of my mind that believes playing those old games will bring that youthful joy, yet the logical part of me knows that from historical experience this won't be the case. Here's to another game free week and continuing to squash out those thoughts.
I had an inkling that was the case. It seems like it will be the anchor to keep me from floating adrift in the empty space that is unused time. What are your thoughts on keeping a log of what you do each hour and then reflect on it at the end of the day?
WEEK 1 PROGRESS: Last week I started Respawn and thus my 90 days of zero gaming. Below are the bullet points of my past week. Sold and removed access to all my video gamesHad a few moments where I desired to play video games but suppressed themFound myself wasting time in other ways such as mindless internet browsingFound myself sitting bored instead of actively doing thingsFailed to follow the daily schedule I setupThe past week taught me that I mostly relied on video games to avoid responsibilities. Video games allowed mind numbing entertainment for hours so I wouldn't get bored AND it made me mentally block out those things I needed to and should have been doing instead. Without video games to distract me I spent a lot of time sitting around feeling guilty about not being productive. I didn't expect the removal of video games to suddenly increase internal motivation and external productivity, but I'm definitely aware that it will require more work than I anticipated. This week I plan on reading through Respawn and work on following my daily schedule more diligently.