Sunday, 2 August 2015

Why gaming is kind of like crack - Blaugust day 2!

I had a lovely Skype discussion with a friend earlier today about how World of Warcraft is kind of like a drug. Even after a long time of not playing it, it still has it's appeal and once you decide to go back you're immediatly hooked again and you find yourself once again devoted to the game for atleast a few months. And then the high fades and you quit again, telling yourself that this is the last time you picked up the game. Untill you cave in again and sub for a month or two.
Personally I'm very guilty of this pattern aswell. Although I said my goodbyes to the game a few weeks ago I've logged in again a bit (you can log in for free now, but you are limited in your actions) and I can feel the familiar pull. My raidteam fortunately has a break now so that's not tempting me in, but I wonder how long I can resist the call.

To expand on this topic I feel like gaming in general is like a drug to me. I was perfectly happy barely playing anything in Sweden on holidays, but I notice I have immediatly immersed myself back into my games when I got home. I've been leveling a new character on Guild Wars 2. I've been playing a lot of Hearthstone. I've been poking around in FFXIV. All my time goes into gaming again and it's keeping me from doing other things that I would want. The pull is just too big and right now I'm not in the mindset to resist, or so atleast I tell myself.

I think a lot of the appeal that games have to me comes from the fact that I have wanted, and still want, to escape my life at home. I've not had an easy childhood growing up and at the time World of Warcraft was my way to escape the hurt and feel more accepted online than I did in real life. After things were starting to look up in life I was already very deep into the game and it had become such a big routine in my life that it was very hard to set it aside. And essentially this is still the truth, although WoW isn't the major game anymore.
And in that way gaming doesn't really differentiate from drinking or doing drugs for me. I can say that I'm not really addicted since I have no issues going without games for an extended amount of time. If you take all my electronics away tomorrow and give me a phone with which I can only text and call I would be perfectly happy. I have other hobbies that don't involve gaming and I have a big social circle who I visit regularly so it's not that I have nothing else to do.
But the lure of gaming is very big. Ever since I got back from my holidays I have sniffed at games again. I have done the first line of the cocaïne called MMO's and I'm spending a lot of time on them. Way more than I should. Way more than I would want to. And it's getting in the way of my other goals. I'm not going outside as much as I would want to. I'm not going to the gym. I'm not doing the Hero's Journey. I'm not doing anything but eat, sleep and game. And it's something that really needs to be changed, but I don't really know how.

8 comments:

  1. Everything can have addictive qualities. When I was a kid, I used to read books ALL the time. Eventually, I had to learn that sleep was, in fact, sometimes more important or even eating meals.

    Gaming can be worse than others since it plugs into so many areas of the brain. Just have to remain vigilant against falling in too deep!

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    1. It's hard not falling in too deep. I think it's mostly the MMO's that are the issue for me. They design them in such a way that you need to invest a lot of time in them. Having nothing to do doesn't help either so I hope things get better as I get a job.

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  2. gaming is definitely my crack althoguh, like you mentioned it is a little differnet. With it's absence during times you're away you don't miss it so much and can easily doo without. Hell we didn't have electricity for a week last year and I didn't miss it at all.

    If it's their though.. you just can't help yourself so taking that to account, I would have to say it's like cake. You might eat other things but if their is cake their I can't resist.

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    1. Yup. It's not that I can't go without my games. But when they are there I just feel the compulsion to game very much.

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  3. Everything you love can become addictive, but if you can be away from it longer periods of times, are you really addicted? I mean we all dig into something, wether it be working out, drawing, watching tv. It's a hell of a lot better then all the alternatives out there. You could be a drug addict, alcoholic, obsessed with working out so you get sick, anorectic or what not.

    I think it's very a very normal thing. Some people are addicted to facebook games and sit on their phone constantly even at parties/work/school, that's when it starts to become a problem. If you can't do any other daily things, then maybe it's time to try and set up more of a schedule.

    If you feel bad about gaming, force yourself to do something more useful first and let the game be a treat afterwards, perhaps you wont feel so bad about it.

    Like you said, you don't have a job, you need to fill your time so you don't go insane. Perhaps the gaming isn't so much of an escape, but more just something to do so you don't go bored? I used to think I was addicted, because I don't work either, but in the end, I play cause I have nothing better or interesting to do, and besides I enjoy it.

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    1. Adding to Missy's comment, I think you CAN be addicted to gaming, but it's more common to have a gaming compulsion. Where you know full well you don't have to game and perhaps should do something else, but you do it anyway. Still, when you can't game, it's not quite so bad as it would be with an addiction.

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    2. Yes. I see it more as a compulsion aswell. If I would have been really addicted I wouldn't have survived a week (or longer) without.
      I guess it's also due to boredom (as Missy said) and I need to fill my time somehow. Gaming then is much more innocent than many other bad things.

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