“Real life is boring”: Why I quit video gaming

I’ve spent a lot of time playing computer games, video games, which, when I look back on those many hours, when I was in those hours, it really seemed like the most fun thing.
I was absorbed, I was dedicated, I was immersed, I was putting all my energies into achieving some task, and then I would be rewarded when I achieved it.
But then, looking back at that time, it’s very easy to see that as being mostly a waste of time.
I don’t dismiss all entertainment and leisure activities as being entirely a waste.
There’s a value.
But when I look at the number of hours, the whole days sometimes, that I spent absorbed in some imaginary project, it really is like clouds.
It’s like building dreams on puffs of air that then disappear.
All the worlds I conquered, and the castles I built, and the the stories that I lived, and it’s all in this imaginary ether that adds nothing, or a very small amount, relative to the time it takes, it adds a very thin reward to my real life.
And this is one of the big escapist vices which I, thankfully, am no longer engaged in.
But I do sometimes feel this pull to dive back into a game, And I don’t rule it out that I will never play again.
I might go into a little dive into a little hole for a day or two, you know, at some point, and just allow myself to have that escape.
But it’s a very dangerous hole, because it just consumed so much time.
And looking back, I’m amazed that I had that much time, and now I can’t so easily find such time, and wish that, perhaps, I had used some of that time differently.
But what is it about this pull? There’s something about it that that’s calling me.
And when I think about the call to dive into a game, I think one of the things that was very attractive about the game is the way that it simplifies everything.
A game is a system of challenges and rewards which is very pleasant to engage in.
We work and struggle through the challenges and then receive the rewards.
The challenges are relatively easy, since you don’t have to leave the computer or the TV, and the rewards are similarly small.
It’s all just blinking lights, and the way the lights line up makes us happy.
But there’s something about that that is very appealing, this kind of simple, cartoonish, bright, clear, colourful.
There’s something that I find that it calls out to me.
It’s like life, real life, is so much the opposite of that, where so much in the real world is awkward, undefined, unclear, the challenges are unclear, rewards are often unclear, and especially delayed.
Whereas in a game, you can have these nice, colourful, clear buttons.
And you press some buttons, you make some choices, you move around in this coloured cartoon world, and then you get the flashing lights and the colourful badges that tell you what you have achieved.
It’s very orderly, too.
It’s a closed system, where the game is designed with only certain variables.
Only certain factors are included, and everything else is out of the picture, and I can simply focus on this limited set of clearly defined factors.
Whereas in real life, there is really no limit on all the variables that could be involved.
We can learn to focus on the core factors, but there’s still so much always noise, and there’s imperfections and variations.
And so I find that that call to simplicity and clarity seems to be part of what attracts me to that world.
So sometimes I like to think of how I can possibly apply that to real life.
Of course, real life is always going to be much more difficult to do anything than pushing buttons, and it’s never going to be as fun and exciting to do regular mundane things as it is to participate in the high dramatic action of a game, and the rewards are not “Congratulations, you have conquered the world”, it’s small gains.
But what makes all the difference is that, of course, real world, the rewards are real.
And it’s that simple fact alone that makes everything.
The video game world is a world of imaginary rewards that evaporate at the end of the day or as soon as I leave the world of the game.
But the game of the real world is a game that never ends as long as I’m here.
They may be small wins today.
It may be comparable to a very boring video game, where you slowly do mundane tasks and get unclear, delayed rewards.
But what we do get is real.

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