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When you see the need to leave video gaming and the surrounding culture behind.

-Minsc-

Member
Nov 14, 2009
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For a few months I had taken a break from GAF and gradually began vising the forums again in June. I've been reflecting on what kind of posting I'd like to contribute. Based on what has been laced within my postings the years before is a topic for those who see the need to leave gaming behind for an indeterminate amount of time. I've decided to post it directly on the gaming forum for those who need it. An example would be a person sticking to playing games even though they constantly complain about hating them.

There are many reasons to want to leave gaming behind. For me, gaming became an unhealthy escape. They were that blanket you wrapped yourself in as a kid. Some can game and lead a healthy life. Me, I'd game and let that animal get sick and die. I'd game and let my house decay around me. By the year end I'll be 40, like it or not more and more responsibilities will fall onto me. I think about being a father. Do I really want to be that person who ignores his kid because he's too busy hiding in Minecraft? While video gaming can be a way to bond with a child I'll need to look at that through the lens of the needs of my child and not as a method of medicating my neglect. Someday I may be able to game again. Today it's like drowning myself in alcohol.

Surrounding video games is the culture such as a gaming forum or video reviews and game streaming. By extension, these too have become an unhealthy escape and distract from what's more important in life.

Obviously, each person will need to reflect upon their own life and see what's beneficial and what needs to go. There's no shortage of things out there wanting to grab our attention, time and money. Where do we stay and where do we go? While I can not give another a specific answer I can say these choices are guaranteed to change as we grow older in life. Our life today is not what we imagined twenty years ago. Our life twenty years from now will not be what we imagined today.
 

poodaddy

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May 2, 2015
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If you're that addicted to it than I'd agree you should step away from it. I've got a daughter, and gaming is something we share a love of together, couldn't imagine us not having that to share. I for sure agree that the surrounding culture is bullshit and unhealthy. Thinking about taking a step back from all media surrounding gaming that isn't gaming myself, not because I'm addicted or it takes too much time, but simply because it's all horse shit nonsense. Thankfully I never cared about streaming, but I may be about done with YouTube and games journalism as well. Need to get back to simply playing them and not caring about the outside world and their take on a game. I feel like I enjoyed games as a hobby more when it was more personal, more private.
 

thief183

Member
Aug 23, 2018
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I think that gaming as hobby can be destrictive as any other hobby. Then again it depends on what you consider costructive or destructive.

I'm 38 (not far away from you), I've been gaming my whole life and recently I'm starting to have the same feeling as you do but I don't think that gaming is my problem, I can't moderate myself, I'm able to keep playing until 5 am almost all nights and it impact my ability at work and other stuff.

As you said the responsabilities are getting more and more (expecially if you have a family) but keep in mind that without a bit of escapism you are going to end up crazy or even worst you'll regret your choices.

As other said, moderation is key, playing a couple of hours is not a big deal, playing 8 hours a day is unhealthy.
 

fart town usa

Member
May 31, 2009
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Yea, moderation is key. I like not being invested whatsoever in the current landscape of gaming. I mostly play old games and just read about new things. I've said it before but I never play games if my mind isn't engaged, I only want to play videogames when I'm actively engaged and enjoying myself. I think it creates a healthy connection cause I never feel addicted to a particular game.

On a side note, videogames still have a stigma around them for some weird reason but it's OK for everyone else to binge watch netflix...at least with gaming I'm interacting with something and not just sitting there absorbing images and sound on a screen.

Also, if you feel like you're wasting time on gaming, get up and move around. I don't know what your area is like but go outside for a walk, do some hiking and experience nature. It's a great way to clear your head and find some inner peace. Also, if the house is dirty, do some chores and get things in order prior to gaming. Treat gaming as a reward. When 5pm hits and I'm done with work, I always take the dogs on a long walk, hang out with the wife. I don't start gaming till 8pm or later, gotta prioritize your family/pets/your health before gaming.
 

Humdinger

Member
Apr 21, 2010
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Yeah, I periodically take breaks from social media (including gaming forums) for this reason. I'm surprised at how much time I can waste on it, and how much better/cleaner my life feels, when I cut away. There is something addictive about it all. I mean, we know about "attention engineers" and all that.

I'm speaking more about social media in general, not gaming, but as for gaming, it seems to me that forums are more of an issue than games themselves. Unless I'm stoned, I don't play that many games. In the past, though, I've spent too much time on gaming forums and had them eat away at my clarity or peace of mind. I've found it helpful to take regular breaks from them. In one case, I checked out for what I thought would be a month, but it turned into nearly a year because I found it so beneficial (it even increased my enjoyment of games).
 

MastaKiiLA

Member
Jun 11, 2020
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Gaming is a passtime, it doesn't consume my life. I have one of those idle&merge games running on one of my two phones constantly, but I don't have to look at it al the time. Just periodically to do some manual stuff. I've gone over a year without playing any games. It all depends on what's going on in my life at the time.

Right now, I'm waiting for a PS5, but it's not bothering me having to wait. My PS+ account collects free games in the meantime, and when I get a PS5, I'll have a healthy backlog to work through at my leisure. I'm pretty much married at this point, so I spend far more time doing group things with my fiance, like going out, or watching movies. I've spent way more time watching movies than playing games. I'll go through spells where I dump 10+ hours into something like Horizon, Monster Hunter, or NBA2k on my laptop in a single week, but then I'll go months without picking up the controller. I don't think much about it.

Compare that to uni, where I spent hours per day on my PS1 or PS2. Or when I dumped 400+ hours into Destiny on my PS4, shortly after it came out. Single life differs from married life, and just the process of getting older means more responsibilities and newfound interests. Video games will always have a place in my annual routine, at least until arthritis puts that to an end. However, it'll never be the major time-eater that it once was for me. It's just not that important anymore, and I now like to make someone else happy, other than myself.
 
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Miles708

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Sep 11, 2019
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It's cool that you recognized a problem and VERY COOL that you have taken the decision to address it. I wish you the best of luck.
 
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nkarafo

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Nov 30, 2012
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Social media has ruined pretty much everything IMO. Video Games more than most because games also depend/run on the same technology/devices Social Media applications run.
 

TLZ

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Oct 20, 2015
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I think about being a father. Do I really want to be that person who ignores his kid because he's too busy hiding in Minecraft? While video gaming can be a way to bond with a child I'll need to look at that through the lens of the needs of my child and not as a method of medicating my neglect.
I totally respect what you're saying here. It's great that you're not being selfish and thinking of others around you. Tells a lot about you. Even if you weren't like this before, the fact you're thinking of it and willing to act on it is great. That's mature thinking and very responsible.

Others need you and in the case of your children, they look up to you. They'll need you in their lives and will be a great memory for them when they grow older.

Maybe with time you can try and nurture the gaming part to be a fun, joint exercise between you and your kids.
 
Mar 28, 2021
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i find myself drifting away from gaming too. i've cut back a lot and think i might be about to give it up for good. i just can't enjoy games any more and even when i do play them i feel like i'm wasting my time and could be doing better things with my time.
 

PropellerEar

Member
Dec 8, 2018
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Getting older, becoming a father, my "career" taking off I have less and less time for gaming, but what I do now is I only cherry-pick the games I really want to play. I don't play MP anymore which is a huge time sink, I quit games early if they're not giving me anything.
 
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Spaceman292

Member
Mar 11, 2019
2,331
4,002
435
For a few months I had taken a break from GAF and gradually began vising the forums again in June. I've been reflecting on what kind of posting I'd like to contribute. Based on what has been laced within my postings the years before is a topic for those who see the need to leave gaming behind for an indeterminate amount of time. I've decided to post it directly on the gaming forum for those who need it. An example would be a person sticking to playing games even though they constantly complain about hating them.

There are many reasons to want to leave gaming behind. For me, gaming became an unhealthy escape. They were that blanket you wrapped yourself in as a kid. Some can game and lead a healthy life. Me, I'd game and let that animal get sick and die. I'd game and let my house decay around me. By the year end I'll be 40, like it or not more and more responsibilities will fall onto me. I think about being a father. Do I really want to be that person who ignores his kid because he's too busy hiding in Minecraft? While video gaming can be a way to bond with a child I'll need to look at that through the lens of the needs of my child and not as a method of medicating my neglect. Someday I may be able to game again. Today it's like drowning myself in alcohol.

Surrounding video games is the culture such as a gaming forum or video reviews and game streaming. By extension, these too have become an unhealthy escape and distract from what's more important in life.

Obviously, each person will need to reflect upon their own life and see what's beneficial and what needs to go. There's no shortage of things out there wanting to grab our attention, time and money. Where do we stay and where do we go? While I can not give another a specific answer I can say these choices are guaranteed to change as we grow older in life. Our life today is not what we imagined twenty years ago. Our life twenty years from now will not be what we imagined today.
If you can write that much bullshit about it then yeah you find something else to do.
 

MiguelItUp

Member
Feb 24, 2015
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I think noticing that you have a "problem" is not incredibly important. Honestly, it's really huge. So kudos to you across the board. Moderation is beyond important, but addiction is real and exists in many forms for different people. I'd like to think that if gaming brings you happiness that there'd be a way that you could partake in it without getting lost in it.

But, figuring that out is entirely up to you. If it's certainly something that you're unable to control, then maybe there's something else out there that can be just as fulfilling!

I'll be honest, as I slowly approach 38 I feel like current game culture is more toxic than ever. I mean, there are so many things about it that are just.... so incredibly negative. I don't really know what to blame for it, but it's definitely gone downhill overtime in a variety of ways. I remember by the time PS4/XB1 dropped, I wouldn't even use VOIP because almost all the time people would be screaming or yelling slurs. Children, teens, adults. Some thinking it was funny, some actually raging. Regardless it was never funny, it was always sad, and fucking annoying. To this day I don't use public VOIP, I wouldn't even dare.

Then to top it all off I feel like there's this trend of folks just loving to hate. It feels like nothing is good enough anymore, lmao. A game hasn't even been out for a week and folks are asking for a sequel or more content. Graphics look good or great by today's standards but then everyone says it looks like shit, etc. Have an opinion? Wtf is that? "Your opinion sucks and you're a retard!" Yeah, it's been a mess.

But I totally get it OP, and I wish you all the best. Just find what's best and most fulfilling for you that also allows you to live a happy and healthy life. Because something else I've learned getting older, is being alive is a gift, so try and make the most out of it however you can cause time flies.
 
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synchronicity

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Dec 16, 2011
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Sounds like you've got the perspective/maturity to do what's best for you.

Never try to model your own actions/outlook on those of others. Tune into yourself, and you'll know the right path. Godspeed brother.
 

small_law

Member
Nov 30, 2017
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As much as I love video games, whenever I stop playing them entirely for for a while, I end up being better at my job, hitting the gym a lot, and spending way more time with friends and family. In other words, normal human shit.

don’t get caught up in fucking Internet drama, especially about gaming. I’ve been around long enough to see generational changes in video game culture. What you care about now won’t even be in the general consciousness a few years from now, let alone a decade. It’s really easy to get passionate about video games, but things change too fast for you to be too emotionally invested.

just walk away for a few months or weeks. You’re not gonna miss anything.
 

poodaddy

Member
May 2, 2015
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To add a bit to what I said earlier in this thread: You may need an additional hobby other than gaming that perhaps "feels" healthier than gaming. This can help a lot with both moderating your game time and improving your recognition of your hobbies as worthy and healthy, particularly so if one of your hobbies actually do improve physical health as a result of practicing it.

For an example, (a perhaps controversial one but still notable), I've been pretty big into weight lifting for years now, as a lot of gamers are these days. I don't mean bodybuilding stuff though, more powerlifting, but I started on the bodybuilding stuff. Regardless, it's a hobby that I've put a lot of time and effort into, not to mention cost. I've spent far more money and man hours building my ideal home gym than I ever did with gaming, but it makes me happy and gives me a reason to be proud of myself. It's also a fun, healthy hobby I can share with my whole family, (my wife's getting quite proficient with some of her lifts and I think she has a very real chance at being a competitive life time natural powerlifter, and I couldn't be prouder), so in a way, though this sounds a bit pathetic when I say it out loud but it is what it is, when I sit down to play a game after I've trained hard, or if I'm recovering from some tough training session, I know that I've "earned" that gaming time. Does that make sense?

Now I'm not saying to get into weight lifting; it's not for everyone, it takes a lot of discipline, it isn't the safest hobby in the world, and there's a literally endless amount of learning that ensues when you get into it deep which can be quite time consuming, (though that's what I love about it, but I digress.) What I am saying though, is that you can kind of....vindicate, or justify your gaming time in your mind, and moderate it as well, through your physically taxing hobby. For example, I try to always make sure I get at least six to eight hours of sleep every night, not because I think humans need that to function optimally, (that's honestly horse shit), but because not sleeping enough starts to really fuck with recovery of bones, joints, and muscles from hard training sessions, which could push out your next training day further than I want it pushed out. I'm very meticulous about how I schedule and coordinate my training blocks, so my recovery is extremely important. I also eat specifically to facilitate said recovery, which means I really only eat nutritionally dense, (does not mean low calorie), foods, as I want my selection of food to always facilitate that next PR. Any physical hobby will have this follow through to your life in general though, it doesn't have to be weight lifting. Let's say you got really into skating, like a friend of mine is. He's pretty big on wrist, knees, ankles, hands, feet, shoulder, and joint care as a result, because he wants to get faster with his tricks and decrease the chance of injury when he misses. Same areas will be important to a bicyclist, a gymnast, a dancer, hell even a drummer. Drumming's a great one by the way, I was a drummer for years and I'll tell ya that it makes you feel amazing, fun as hell too, but I digress again.

TL;DR: Find a secondary hobby, make sure it's a physically taxing and rewarding one that includes a positive feedback loop that is somewhat similar to gaming, to ensure that you'll latch onto it, i.e., numbers going up. If it's a type of training program, be sure that progression is a focus of the program or you're absolutely assured to burn out and find it boring eventually. That means going up in weight, speed, flexibility, reducing time, increasing reps in a period, whatever, just don't "exercise for the sake of exercise" as it's going to get old quick and it won't keep you engaged. Get physical, get engaged, get into it, learn it, love it, live it, and game happier knowing that you've earned that time with a game to recover and unwind. I honestly, truly hope this helps man. For what it's worth, I stopped gaming when I was in the Army, and I hated that I did when I got back to it. Games are great man, it's a fun, interesting hobby, but the turds surrounding and permeating the culture of it can certainly sour things when you get too much into it, such is why you need another hobby to involve yourself in beyond gaming; for when you just have to shake your head and laugh at how fucking stupid it all is and go move heavy shit to be reminded how fucking rad it is to be a human in an age where we have tiny computers at our finger tips that allow us to amuse ourselves with our hands, and how it's odd that we have the gall to just sit around and bitch about it all day.
 
Jul 23, 2018
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I don't think the problem is gaming because if you didn't have gaming you would probably be addicted to something else.

When we reflect on our life we always want to point the finger to something to blame for where we are in that moment without giving deep introspection to the emotional and subconscious reasons to why we made the decisions that got us to where we are.

You said it yourself OP -Minsc- -Minsc- , "gaming was an escape" . Why did you feel the need to escape in the first place? Why did you specifically chose gaming as your escape?". These are the hard questions you have to ask yourself.

With a plan and vison for your life you can create purpose for yourself and with disciple you can create a schedule for yourself that would give you the time to play the video games and still be able to work on other areas of your life. So the problem imo always comes down to a lack of direction, planning and disciple. You got to figure out what is really blocking you from doing those three things.

For me personally, I schedule about 1-2 hours a day to play games to relax. Some days if I don't feel like gaming, I don't play at all and use the time for something else. But as I have gotten older I can't and don't really want to dedicate hours to playing video games per day like I did when I was younger because I have other responsibilities and hobbies that I want to invest more time in.

I think people have this extreme mindset that they have to quit or give something up completely to do other things when simply just creating a schedule and having the discipline to execute that schedule would allow you to get most of what you want done plus still continue to do what you enjoy.
 
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MachRc

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Mar 19, 2021
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My life



Thanks to xbox remote play and cloud gaming,
i get about 40 minutes in and currently been playing Fallout 76 at work or on Sundays 5am-7am.
It doesnt have to be so serious.



 

MastaKiiLA

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Jun 11, 2020
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Getting older, becoming a father, my "career" taking off I have less and less time for gaming, but what I do now is I only cherry-pick the games I really want to play. I don't play MP anymore which is a huge time sink, I quit games early if they're not giving me anything.
I hear that. After the time-sink that was Destiny, I've sworn to never buy another MP-centric game again. That was a fun ride, but it also became like a second job. I felt obligated to help my clan on raids, and dailies and shit. I don't want a game that feels like a commitment. So while I see some MP games that look fun, I've made an active decision to never purchase them. I need to be able to get in and out of a game at my own leisure.
 
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Fbh

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Dec 6, 2013
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Like with a lot of other activities, I think it's good you are taking steps when noticing that it's shifting from a hobby to an addiction.
I still love games but as I get older I have cut back a lot on my gaming hours. Partially because of less free time, but also because these days after like and an hour (2 or so on weekends) of gaming I feel like I've "had my fill" and then go on to dedicate time to other stuff.

These days unless it's a new FROM game I can't picture myself playing for like 2-3 hours every day.