At the moment it’s been almost two years since I’ve passed my last exam. I have been ignoring my university this whole time, while my parents paid for everything, only doing so because I lied about passing my exams. All I did was go out to drink or game, and now my life is a mess.
Recently they found out about my lying behaviour and have told me they will stop paying for anything for me ever. I am on my own, and I won’t be able to afford my next year of university. This has forced me to only play more and more to escape the reality of all this and I feel like there is no way out. I’m pretty scared.
One day early in my junior year of high school, I got home from school and instantly went into my room to load up my games on my Xbox. Out of almost 300 hundred games, I couldn’t find one I wanted to play. I just wasn’t in the mood… and figured I would pick it up again tomorrow. The next day I still didn’t want to play, and I haven’t since. I just don’t see myself having fun playing games anymore.
The real kicker is that I have had time to think about it. Not only do I just not find them fun, I have many reasons to not like video games. I could make a very long list of why, but one comes to mind more than any. Not the industry being trash, and moving in a direction that hurts gamers wallets. Not micro-transactions. Not the toxic community. Not the fake of all the companies. The big kicker…
I had been dealing with the death of my father in November 2017. It had been suggested to me to use video games as a stop gap between me and being totally consumed by this trouble. I decided to use gaming to provide a relief from the grief that had been plaguing me for the month after.
Up until then I had gaming pretty well managed and had it down to short evening single player sessions. But in my mourning I got into multiplayer gaming with Overwatch and Hearthstone. I had abused it for most of December before I hit that rock bottom in January.
I set a goal to make it 90 days without gaming, and I also included not watching Twitch for a detox. Today marks the 90th day. Here are ten lessons I learned along my journey that I hope inspire you on yours.
I’m a 23 year old skinny bloke hailing from the tropical island of England. My main pull to gaming was the escapism, I didn’t feel like I had to escape from anyone or anything, but myself and my own thoughts. I would play immersive and heavily story driven semi-believable fantasy rpg’s and mmo’s which I could set goals in, for e.g: “to obtain a level up before coming off” for about 12-16 hours a day. Often pulling all nighters.
On the 5th of January I realized that actually as ironic as it is, what had helped me to stay sane and somewhat functional for all these years was now actually my big problem.