Follow-up to this post.
The previous post was at the end of last year, and my end of year reflection post kind of build on what I was already thinking in that post. In the last few months, where gaming was and where it should be is something I’ve been continuing to think about.
The main catalyst beyond the posts was in January. I had a conversation happen that was very much not what I’d hoped, and made me doubt everything, and feel pretty bad. This was right in the middle of January, while a few of my assignments were due. I let feeling bad about it take over, and dealt with everything by isolating myself from people and gaming instead of doing my uni work. For one of my essays, I didn’t put anywhere near as much effort into it as I could have, and ended up submitting it late. That meant the highest mark I could possibly get was the minimum pass mark- made more annoying by finding out later that it would have received a Merit.
In the last post, I said that
The third argument is “It’s not having any negative effect”. Well, maybe right now its not. But the biggest marker for gaming becoming a negative thing is how often its used to escape and to put off what you don’t want to face.
There goes the maybe. This week is the first time that there’s been a completely unambiguous link. That week, I spent so much time gaming that I screwed up real life. And I don’t want to ever do that again, because if there is a next time, the stakes will be higher.
Since then, I haven’t been playing as much- usually just some solo Rock Band or Guitar Hero if I’m playing at all. The last two months have had their highs and lows, and I’ve had a lot of different things to do with uni. Aside from that, here’s my thoughts so far;
- There are a lot of other things I want to do. Getting out of the work-induced weirdness from last year, and around people who are open about their ideas, means I care about things again. I have ideas for projects I want to do, and things I want to learn, and I actually have the motivation to try doing them. I want to take advantage of that.
- I was taking out my frustration with myself on the group in party chat, winding people up and annoying myself. Mostly thanks to Destiny raids and my own insecurities,about being the worst player and the reason for some of our failures, getting the better of me. Now that I’m coming online less, and going off chat when I feel like it, I don’t do this.
- I’m not sure whether any of this is down to gaming less, or all thanks to uni and point #1, but I’ve made some progress on the attention span front too. I don’t reflexively go to play something when I’m stuck on uni work, which is helpful.
- Gaming less won’t be beneficial if I spend that “saved” time doing nothing. I may game less, but I’m still just as good at procrastinating in other ways.
- The main way I talk to some of my friends is virtually- I don’t want to communicate what I’m doing wrong and lose time with people I value. However, I do have ways to reduce this, such as texting and facebook chats. Mainly, Xbox chat is easy because there isn’t a barrier to entry- if someone’s online and you want to talk, it’s natural to jump in to the conversation. When I’m particularly anxious/ overthinking everything, having a way of talking to people that I don’t need to think through makes keeping in contact easier.
- I have no idea to what extent me switching off from gaming stuff will affect my relationship. This is where I’m the most stuck, and probably the only reason that I couldn’t stop playing anything entirely even if I stopped caring about gaming.
I expect I’ll have a lot more to add to this in a few months more; it’ll be interesting to see what happens.