I can't accept that quitting games includes saying goodbye to Pokemon.

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Rian Lliams
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I can't accept that quitting games includes saying goodbye to Pokemon.

I'm in the second day process. I've been here before, but before I wasn't an OLGA member, I wasn't receiving any outside help. I have better hopes for this attempt. Anyway, the second day process is the day after I decide to quit. That process itself can take several days of denial and inner tantrums.

Once that's over, I can get to deleting the games from my hard drives and clearing them off my shelves. There is some satisfaction to it, but I also feel stabs of regret, thinking of all the money I wasted on the best equipment to better aid sitting in front of a screen all day, dead to the world. I could have gone on courses, or gone out and had experiences with that money.

I can handle all that. I was handling it fine, but for a waver where I wouldn't delete Flight Simulator, because, I reasoned, it's not really a game. It's a program like pilots use for learning to fly. I'm not sure how much I believe that justification, but the likelihood of me getting properly into the devilishly tricky Flight Simulator is at least low.

The likelihood of me getting back into Pokemon, however, is high. Far too high, because just now I looked my shelves with all my Pokemon games and realised that I couldn't just discard them like yesterday's fish. They have been too big a part of my life. I started with Pokemon, aged 8. The last console I bought, I got specifically so I could play the latest Pokemon game – I never bought another game for it. I long prided myself on my comprehensive and ever growing knowledge of the complexities and mathematical concepts of this series. It's not quite a whole world to me, but it's certainly much more than a game; it's a significant proportion of my general knowledge and skill set.

I know how sad that is. I know I can't put that on my resume. I know it does nothing for me. Even if I wanted a job in games, I would be expected to dip in and out of all the new releases, not obsessively play my favourites from 1998. I started a blog just to talk about my favourite games, to vindicate the amount of time I spent on them. The blog is not popular. No one cares. It isn't interesting. There is no vindication to be found. I wasted my time, pure and simple.

Yet those Pokemon games sit pride of place up on my shelves, shrines the sheer amount of effort and dedication they brought out of me. I have never applied myself to anything in my entire life to the extent that I applied myself to those games. I often wonder where I would be if I did. Where is that drive and ambition when I'm seeking a career? Why am I 26 years old, unemployed and still living with my parents?

I want to say goodbye to Pokemon. I just can't think of a good enough send off. It is, after all, my fault that I can't keep control. It is not Pokemon's fault. I still think of it as a beautiful, artistic franchise. But it is a beautiful, artistic franchise that I can never touch again. I could shed tears just thinking about that. It's like saying goodbye to a loyal dog, or an old friend whom you love, but who keeps letting you down.

Of all the games I have culled over the years during the purging stage, the lucid moments where I realised I had to let go of the games, I never got rid of Pokemon. I never even thought of it. Such a thing has always been unconscionable.

I am still in control, I am not playing games, but I am not ready to cut my ties with Pokemon. I keep telling myself that if I can't play them, they are just boxes on a shelf. They are just tokens. But they feel like items of deep sentimental value, even though they ought to remind me of all the things I became that I never wanted to be – lazy, inattentive, underachieving.

It is the ambivalence of video game addiction that makes it hard for me. We know they destroy us, and yet still a deep part of us loves them, for the times they were consistently there.

Control is about day to day, active choice.

wazzapp
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Thank you for sharing, i can

Thank you for sharing, i can relate a lot to what you are writing. I'm also 26 years old and had to accept the fact that a lot of my "game knowledge" that i accumulated over the years is completely useless in the outside world. But there is hope, you can channel that drive into something more productive, keep coming back :)

See u!

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

Polga
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Welcome Rian !

Welcome Rian !

A couple of suggestions about how you could deal with your shrine of Pokemon;

You could box it all up and get someone to store it for you well away from where you live so it's not easy to access. And when you are sure you can get by without it,  arrange to have it disposed or given away ...

Or you could give it a ceremonial cremation . I heard of this done to relics of sentimental value that are past their best or no longer of use to anyone, but still have strong emotional meaning and connection to the past. It's a more dignified thing to do then putting stuff into the trash. The symbolic and final nature of this act may be a meaningful tangible expression of moving forward away from the past, being released from their hold, and into a new future. Stay safe though.

 

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Rian Lliams
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I couldn't burn them!

After a couple of days contemplation, I have faith in my strength to avoid playing the Pokemon games and think of them more as nostalgic tokens. I was at a friends house the other day, and she had the whole set of retro Pokemons laid out with a classic Game Boy Color! Such a thing is unbelievably temping to someone like me.

But I didn't play, and I didn't feel any regret about not playing. I just felt very fond of them, lying there faithfully, working as perfectly as the day they were created, all those years ago. You have to admire those old cartridges for their longevity.

A love of video games includes a love of both artistry and technology. Destroying art and working technology is not something I could ever do.

I know of people who merely collect old games and hardware in mint condition as collector's items. They never play them – that would defeat the object. This also appeals to me. I have always enjoyed seeing, and just holding, old technology – including old games I have no interest in playing (the platformers and shooters).

Indeed, it's always been one of my major problems with games – the magpie collection element. If I collected in real life as I do in games, I'd be on one of those TV programs about obsessive hoarders!

It helps to think of games as artefacts rather than games; to be admired for what they were, rather than what they can still be. I remind myself that the nostalgia of them is worth more to me than the experience of replaying it, which is always a hollow experience of chasing something that can never be properly reclaimed.

It's about lucidity, the clarity of understanding that "love" for a game is largely an illusion. The illusion itself can be beautiful, if it doesn't run away with you. The reality is not.

Control is about day to day, active choice.

Silvertabby
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Hi Rian and welcome to Olga.

Hi Rian and welcome to Olga.  I can understand where you're coming from.  Pokemon was my first game and I was hooked the first time my kids introduced it to me.  I loved that game.  I hung on to my Game Boy and games for a long time after quitting gaming, but eventually sold them on Ebay.  For me, the draw would have been too great.  I know having them around would have eventually caused me to relapse. It's ok to hang on to them if you don't think they'll cause you to want to game again.   Each of us has to decide for ourselves just what we need to do to keep ourselves from going back to gaming.  

Best of luck to you.

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

PilgrimDave
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Hi there

Hello Rian. I understand what you're going through. I was pulled in the whole pokemon thing when I was around 6-7 years. Around that time it was released the first pokemon sticker album and I became instantly addicted to collect them. After my parents told me many times that I have to get rid of the monsters because that's what they where, I decided to destroy them but the evil seed didn't die. After a couple of years while I was in elementary school I discovered the cursed pokemon games.
And that took me more than 10 years of my life. I completed most of the games released and some of them multiple times and I tried to quit hundreds of times just to start over the next day. I tell you, I this stuff is dangerous. If only they wouldn't release something new email dry year, a new game, a new TV series, a new generation that wouldn't be so addictive but they want us keep coming back. It's very difficult to let go of everything but it's worth it. Life is more important than ever a thing that doesn't even exist in reality. You can do this. I did it so you can do it too. I believe in you.

All the best,
Dave

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