Day 3 without games - what it's like

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tamercloud
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Day 3 without games - what it's like

Tonight is the conclusion of 3 days without playing videogames. I decided to stop playing videogames when I knew it was controlling my life and putting me in a zombie-like state, but now that I haven't been playing them, old feelings like depression, boredom, and lonelyness are seeping in, getting stronger day by day. It's harder to fall asleep. I used to be able to have elaborate fantasies based on the things I experianced while gaming, but now I'm left with nothing but a sobering reality of emptyness, watching the fan on my cieling spining in an endless cycle. I dread those times where I have to be alone lying there with nothing but empty thoughts.

I'd join a club or something, but there are no clubs in the super rural place I live, nobody I could remotely relate to. I don't even have a job to fund my would-be hobbies, so all of my time is spent alone in my room beefing up my portfolio so I don't fail yet another interview. I wonder how long I can keep going like this. If you were to put me in a prison cell with nothing but my laptop it wouldn't be much different from the life I lead now. Tommorow begins a new day for the game designer that is addicted to video games.

Polga
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Hang in there Tamercloud.

Hang in there Tamercloud. Just take it one day at a time.

I enjoy being active outdoors in the countryside; gardening, walking and watching nature.

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Andrew_Doan
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It takes 30 days unplugged

It takes 30 days unplugged before your neuroendocrine system returns to perceivable homeostasis. We see this in patients going through residential substance abuse rehab too. As your mind and body restores balance in thought, hormones and stress response, you are able to think clearly.

Andrew P. Doan, MPH, MD, PhD

My Gaming Addiction Videos on YouTube: YouTube.com/@DrAndrewDoan

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy, DHA or Department of Defense.

Silvertabby
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When we are addicted to

When we are addicted to gaming, nothing else in life seems fun or interesting compared to our games. When we quit, it takes time for our brain to rewire so that we can enjoy other things. In addition to that, we experience withdrawal, which can last anywhere from a week or two to several months. If you haven't read the list of withdrawal symptoms yet, check it out here: http://www.olganon.org/?q=game_addiction_withdrawal_symptoms

It's a long rough road to get balance back into our lives after quitting gaming, but it's worth it. Is it possible to use what you learned in game design in some other avenue? If you can, try to attend some meetings. We have one every evening at 9 pm EST. It helps to talk to others.

Hang in there!

 

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

Scott
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Hi Tamer, Getting off the

Hi Tamer,

Getting off the games definitely did not solve all my problems. It helped with a few, quite a bit. And it made it possible for me to work on the others.

If I go back to gaming, everything goes back down the tubes. As long as I stay off gaming, I can keep making little improvements day by day and moving in the right direction. It takes time. If we walk 10 miles into the woods, it's 10 miles back out. But even just a few small positive steps each day move me in the right direction. Before I know it, I look around and things look very different... I'm in a new place.

Hang in there! You're worth it.

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

bob001
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IS there any way you could

IS there any way you could get out and spend a day a week in somewhere more busy where there are clubs, librarys (to look for self-help books) and things you like to do?

Any trains or coachs going? How long would the drive be? How long can you spare to get out?

Wouldn't adventuring like that would help your boredom? Wouldn't it help your loneliness if you say hello and meet people on your travels? What ways can you help your depression to get better?

No more!

tamercloud
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Thanks for the support and

Thanks for the support and advice, guys. I'm pleasantly surprised how many people care to read what I post.

It's about a 45 minute drive in one direction if I want to get anywhere beyond a wallmart. I've already made a list of all the activities I would find intresting besides gaming, and all of them involve me spending a good deal of money I don't have. Going out and meeting people, while free, would only replace my boredom by entering a stressfull environment.

I'm looking at the list of withdrawl symptoms and I'm hitting on almost all of them. Most notibly now I'm experiancing the urge to be more snappy and have a lack of manners. I know that eventually I need to intruduce videogames at a very manageble level in my life because that's literally my job, and playing videogames do get the creative juices flowing. I've tried to use my game design degree in another field like web design, but it's a soul-crushing experiance. I strongly feel like it's what I'm meant to do. What I want is to be at the level where I use video games only as a means to have fun and relax, not as a substitute for things that are missing in my life. But right now I can't, so I am refusing to play them at all.

I spent 3 hours trying to get to sleep last night. I dread having to do that again but I have a feeling I will have the same problem tonight. I must be one of those strange people where depression actually hinders me from going to sleep.

Polga
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Moderation is the 'Holy

Moderation is the 'Holy Grail' of many gamers. A true addict is unlikely to be able to moderate. The only way to find out would be to try once you had had a good breather from gaming, but then you might risk undoing all the good work you had achieved. The devious addict brain might say "you can do it now, you are better" but later the gamer might find that he was wrong to believe that. There are many stories of this happening on this website. But it would be your choice, everyone is different, and you can always learn from experiences both good and bad.

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Gettingalife
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Oh wow, Tamer, sounds like

Oh wow, Tamer, sounds like you're in a really rough position with really tough choices to make. This is where "one day at a time" saved me. I, too, could not see a path, much less a grand plan from where I sat over 2 years ago. So, I began learning to simply take care of today knowing that if I do that, tomorrow will be taken care of, too. And the Serenity Prayer applies here- Grant me the serenity to accept what I can not change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I still pray that prayer A LOT! Keeping you in my prayers.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

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You are indeed in a very bad

You are indeed in a very bad spot, tamer. You would be like an alcoholic working in a brewery. Perhaps, once you get a job in the game design field, you will be concenrating on the design aspect so much that the games won't call to you. But, if you are truly addicted, which it sounds very much like you are, spending time designing games will only be a trigger to game more. We addicts find it impossible to moderate our gaming time. It's all or nothing for us.

You said designing websites was soul crushing, but it seems to me there are other avenues that you might explore. For instance, in the film industry where computer graphics are being used more and more, or in the advertising field, making computer generated commercials. Anyway, it's some thoughts. Good luck!

 

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

Ascender
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Tamer, The skills required

Tamer,

The skills required to design and work on games, (unless you've been specifically working on something more proprietary like the Unity engine), will very easily translate to other fields. MANY other fields. C# and C++ are the core of most game engines out there, even Unity and Unreal are based on them, but these langauges also allow you to work on so much else. Application design for software developers working on educational software, healthcare industry, interactive web design, mobile management, backend for business sytems, etc.

There is such a freedom to choose from with the skills acquired through game design the only hindrance would be your perspective on how rewarding it may be. Designing games sounds fun because of the creativity behind it and the experience we've had as gamers, but in reality, you're still staring at code most of your day. You can be "creative" with anything you design.

If you're an addict, moderation does not exist. No one here can give you advice on how to moderate :-P

Goodluck,
Jesse

A wise man once told me to shutup.
\\ Free from games since 03.13.2014 //

Andrew_Doan
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Moderation is nearly

Moderation is nearly impossible. You're like an alcoholic who wants to work in a bar as a bar tender. Very difficult to do!

Andrew P. Doan, MPH, MD, PhD

My Gaming Addiction Videos on YouTube: YouTube.com/@DrAndrewDoan

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy, DHA or Department of Defense.

tamercloud
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I'm in a very tough spot in

I'm in a very tough spot in the game design field because I focus on writing and narration. I know how to do every part of designing a game to a certain degree, but programming is the hardest for me. I can't code anything with confidence outside of game design engines, which is a huge problem translating it over into other fields.

I am, however, also working in the film industry, but that's not really enough to support me right now.

The only reason I'm considering that I might be able to moderate is that I remember years ago when I had a girlfriend and felt happy, I had no desire at all to play videogames. For me, my addiction comes hand and hand with depression, so if I can fix my depression, I can fix my addiction, theoretically.

I know it's like playing with fire, but game design is just one of those things that I just know I was born to do. What do you guys think about just completly cutting games that trigger addiction? Some games I can play normally, but others it's just so easy to get addicted to. Do you think it would work if I cut those addictive games completely and for the remaining games play no more than an hour a day? I don't really have an idea what moderation in gaming would be...

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It would make sense to keep

It would make sense to keep away from games you get sucked into, as a minimum. There are no guarantees that would be enough. Be aware you could be deluding yourself. No offense intended. It's unlikely any gamer on here is going to give you any hope or recommendation about moderation. It's a risk you have to take on your own. Although you will always get support wherever you are in your process if you fall off the wagon so to speak.

If you were my son I would be telling you to travel or do some volunteer work to broaden your horizons. He never listened to me and I don't expect you to either! I hope it works out for you.

All the best.

INFO

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Help for parents of gamers here

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Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

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tamercloud
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Day 6. Today I no longer

Day 6.

Today I no longer feel like a zombie. Depression is at an all time high for this year. Today I realized why one of my friends hasn't been talking to me anymore. He used to be a heavy gamer addict, and I was a bad influence, always talking about games or youtube nonstop. I'm all alone here with no friends to hang out with. Only endless work.

I guess the bright side is that my cravings to play video games have gone down. I'm trying to monitor my time on youtube, but one addiction at a time. What do I enjoy that doesn't involve a computer? No wonder nobody likes me. I have no real hobbies!

I spend a lot more time tending to the gardens outside. Pulling weeds gives me an excuse for being away from the computer.

You guys can probably tell my depression gets worse at night. I hate myself for not getting more done during the day. I hate this isolated place I live in. I hate that my parents are always berating me to suck up my pride and take a dead-end job at a fast food place in hickville.

To be honest, I probably wouldn't have made it this far without support from people on this site. I really have no one else to turn to.

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Congratulations on 6

Congratulations on 6 days.

If the friend that you lost touch with, because of his trying to get better from games, knows that you are now in recovery for games do you think that he would like your company now?

The gardening sounds like a great activity to get away from the screen. Can you think of any others that might work for you? Going for a walk, a bike ride, even driving to and sitting in a nice nature setting.

Keep coming back Tamer!

Gettingalife
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Then keep coming back! :)

Then keep coming back! :) Tamer, I saw some bit of a not great movie recently - can't even tell you the name of it or who was in it - where a guy said to his girl something that resonated with me - "Give yourself and the human race a break." His tone was tender and caring, not harsh or demanding. Give yourself a break today. As often as you need to, remind yourself that today you are taking first steps toward better days and those better days will come as you walk toward them. Yeah, that sounds like a platitude, but in my experience it's the truth. With time and continued practice, your focus is going to shift, and you really will be able to see possibilities you just can't see at the moment. Big hug. And I like pulling weeds, too.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

tamercloud
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Day 7 Almost relapsed. I

Day 7

Almost relapsed. I finished a decent amount of work today and it set the perfect scenerio to play a computer game. Just a bit. I ended up starting the game, but I easn't into it. I felt I was letting everybody down, so I exited the game. After a hard week of work I felt an overwelming need to reward myself with videogames but I didn't. It feels like I'm nearing my limit. Not as depressed as last night, just mentally tired.

I made plans to invite my friend over tommorow. It's one of those rare times he has enough time off work to hang out.

Gettingalife
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Congrats for getting past

Congrats for getting past the temptation, Tamer. We need rewards and ways to relax. Just stay open to new, healthy ones. You'll find them.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

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tamer, that's quite a

tamer, that's quite a combination of challenges you got going on in your life. I will pray for your healthy journey through all this. How are you doing now?

I want to highlight that being in the game-design work environment is definitely not going to help you overcome this addiction. It's a big brick-wall. With the famous "marshmellow willpower test" done on children at Stanford (I give you one marshmallow now but you can get two if you wait a little bit), the ones with the greatest ability to hold off temptations seemed to have used "intentional distractions" --> a whole variety of activities to prevent themselves from looking at the marshmallows. But the kids who tried to distract themselves but kept looking at the marshmallows, didn't fare very well. So "visual stimulus" is a huge element when it comes to willpower. Once you "see" your cravings, bottom-up brain circuitry can often take-over and hijack your brain to where you break all your past promises. In your case, in game design industry, where you have to "see" videogames all day, everyday, I really can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to stay away.

In my small opinion, perhaps it makes sense to stay away from the game-design industry while you develop your willpower muscles to the point where you can fight video-gaming addicton at will, and then return to it later if you still believe it to be your calling. In the meantime, skill-building and collecting inspirations from other areas can only expand yourself as an individual and even a better game-designer in the long-run.

But all my hearts and prayers to you whatever happens. Keep strong, tamer ... other tips:

1) Depression-prone people (I am among them, somewhat genetic in my family), researchers have found, have a big problem with ruminating and negative self-talk. Try to give yourself lots of love, acknowledgements and compliments. Optimal ratio is 3~4 positive self-talk for every negative one.

2) Meditations can do wonders for your willpower. I suggest reading the book "Focus" by Daniel Goleman. He goes into how meditations can literally rewire your brain to decrease rumination, depression and increase impulse control, emotional control and basically transform your neural activity.

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HI Tamer I resonate with a

HI Tamer I resonate with a lot of what you ahve been saying in these posts and I hope you are still doing well.

I quit gaming twice once I lasted ninee days the second about the same. I was depressed and lonely bored and doing nothing really save pushing myself to look for work and doing other things that normally get neglected by me. Being alone wiht our thoughts seems to be one of the hardest times when the urge ot give in is the worst, but this community is here to support us.

I get the impresson that you are a writer for game design inventing storys dialogue and such. Could you not parlay your crative side into another career? I myself like to think of myself as a writer thoug hI"ve never publsihed a setence I have realized thoug hthat gaming has not only killed my desire to write but stymied my creativity.

I haven't officially quit thogh i think it's been 24 hours now i'm planning to quit when i wil lbe away from here with family on the farm away from my computer.

Oh I almost forgot what else I wanted to say. I don't know about you but for me you tube makes me want to play so much more. Assuming when you watch you tube ure watching gaming you tubers like gopher and whoever not internet cats or whatnot.

For myself I attended a meeting last night on here got off andp roceded to cue up a lets play ep that had been posted, thankfully i got upset with myself turned it off and went to bed.

tamercloud
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Hi guys, it's been a while

Hi guys, it's been a while since I last posted. I've gone about 2 weeks without playing videogames, but that's not really good news. Although I resisted the temtation to play videogames, it only gave way to me going on youtube and posting in forums more often.

Like Jay73, I have been watching letsplay videos on youtube. Granted, most are of story-based videogames, but they are of videogames nonetheless. It's just so hard to get motivated! It's like a constant uphill battle to not be lazy. The guilt really hits me hard at night. Today I hardly got anything accomplished and my data for the internet ran out for the month so videos on youtube will not load. Guess I have no choice to work now, for better or worse.

After two weeks I'm starting to wonder if I'm not addicted to videogames, but addicted to procrastination. It's just that constantly searching for jobs and not getting any replies creates so much negitivity for me that I hate it. Preparing for interviews, marketing myself to people...I can't think of anything I hate more.

I'll try to take the advice of complementing myself. Maybe I'll try and think of one compliment a day. In fact, I'll go ahead and post one now. I'm happy with the amount of facial hair I can grow.

Wow, that was harder than I thought. Maybe with some practice I can fish out something else.

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After I quit gaming, I felt

After I quit gaming, I felt the same way that you are feeling. I thought that since I had quit, everything should go back to the way it was before I started gaming and I should want to do all the things I used to enjoy doing. But that wasn't the case. It takes a long time.....months for our brains to rewire after quitting gaming. And if gaming was all you ever did in your free time, then it may take even longer. Watching videos of gaming will only feed the addiction, too, so it will be worse.

I would encourage you to search out new hobbies to replace gaming. It really helps to find something else that you enjoy to fill in the time. Get out of the house and do something different. I've always had a problem with procrastination too, and there's even a procrastinators anonymous. So we're not alone in that. Hang in there. You're doing great.

 

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

tamercloud
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Well guys, I'm going to have

Well guys, I'm going to have to admit that I went only two weeks without playing video games. Last night the perfect scenerio happened that I could not resist playing a game. First of all, it was late at night, and a huge storm hit knocking out the internet. The only other activity I could possibly do other than play videogames was read. I chose instead to play a story-based videogame for an hour. I don't know how I feel about it. It didn't feel that I NEEDED to play, just that I felt like playing since there was nothing better to do.

Even if this were the case and it wasn't that big of a deal, it still broke my streak. I know it might be bad to say but I do plan on finishing up another videogame I have once I get some extended spare time. The reason being I want to finish the story and see what happens. It's like opening a book and then closing it halfway through the story. Even though I have failed to stop playing games entirely, I have greatly reduced my time playing. I need to do what my friend did and quit those "danger games" that involve a grind and can be severely addicting. Games that have no end are definately on my banned list. I need to find a job quickly though. All the physical activities I would like to do (like kendo) require an active subscription which costs money.

Here is a summary I found that helped me and might help people wanting to quit. I don't know how great advice this is but it workes for me:

Games that have no end (mmos, etc.): stop playing these games first. These games are like poison to game addicts. Also avoid games that have any kind of grind. Try first replacing those games with games that have a definate end.

Watch people play games instead of playing them yourself: Starting out, it's hard to not play a new game that is coming out. There are plenty of letsplay videos on youtube. By watching somebody play the game, you can avoid grinding pitfalls a lot of games have and still enjoy watching the content.

I've only had 2 weeks of experiance not playing games, but I believe these two tips could help anyone wanting to try a step-down approach. It won't work for everyone, but maybe by following the above two tips you can put yourself in a position to quit entirely.

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Well, in my honest opinion

Well, in my honest opinion from what I've seen people go through on here, it really isn't the best idea to keep them in your life at all. Everyone goes through that phase where they are determined to quit, then they start justifying reasons for moderating the amount of time they will allow themselves. 1 or 2 hours of a single player game (mine was Final Fantasy when I relapsed) easily turns into 3 or 4 hours. Then when you feel like the story of the game is boring you, another game comes into the mix because hey, you need to stay entertained, right? Then that involves you balancing just that original game with the new game which will end up increasing your hours spent per day again, and so forth...

Most people end up back here. We welcome them with acceptance because we all know how difficult it is and we've all been through it before.

The part I hate most is that your worst enemy lies within yourself, providing the rationalization for why you can moderate. Why you can be the only one who would be successful in a society of gaming addicts where games are designed to make you play for hours. The justification and arguments with yourself are the worst.

It's time to make up for lost time!

Game free since May 20, 2013.

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So sorry to hear,

So sorry to hear, tamercloud, that you have given up so soon. Two weeks off the games is a good start, though, so I hope you'll try again after you finish up the games you want to finish. And yes, like Chris said, cutting down on gaming does not work for addicts. We just can't do it. It's all for nothing for us addicts. I wish I could just play a certain kind of game, but any electronic games just feeds the addiction. I know that from experience. And watching others play is a great trigger. I feel like.....if they can play I want to also.

It's overcoming those cravings to game that gives the victory. The addict brain will tell us all kinds of things to get us to go back to gaming. Eventually we learn to recognize the lies of the addict brain and not start that first game, despite how our thoughts are leading us. Anyway, I hope you finally succeed in overcoming. 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

tamercloud
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The biggest demon on my back

The biggest demon on my back is the fact that I'm in the gaming industry. I poured all my inheritance money into my game design degree because I'm passionate about designing video games. More than any other field I feel the pressure to play. Watching videos of gameplay on youtube has been my way of getting around this. I get a feel of how the game plays without ever touching it myself.

I watch letsplay videos of story-based games, not heavily addictive fps shooters or mmos. Watching videos of those are bad for me. I wish I could have clarified that in my previous post because I didn't realize that with the type of gameplay vids I watch. I don't feel much like playing the games I watch afterwards because I already have experianced the story second-hand.

At the very least I can say I haven't gamed since last I posted, and it wasn't even that difficult to resist. I've just gotten used to doing other things. By no means is the feeling going away, but I think I'm in a better position I was two weeks ago. I can relate what I'm going to like drugs. I'm swearing off the hard stuff like fps gaming and mmos. But I would be lieing if I said story-based games haven't directly helped my creativity when designing games. It's my muse and my demon. I guess when I look at it that way I can understand why a lot of rock stars found it so hard to quit drugs.

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tamercloud, there are sober

tamercloud, there are sober alcoholics that work as bartenders. It is possible you can work as a gamedesigner and remain abstinent from games. I understand where you are coming from, I found games extremely interesting when I was in active addiction in-part because of the creative world they had. Most of my early writing was based off of the different games I had or the narrative they provided and it was easy to produce.

However, there are other ways to work on that same creative function without resorting to games. Books and comics are a time-honored and effective method, we addicts simply have the trouble imagining the scenes in the stories because it's such an alien format. That does not mean it is impossible, just difficult.

It's important you take the time to determine whether or not you want to stay sober and what you are willing to do to get it. This is a daily process: would you trust someone else to help you or a even a power greater than yourself? These are questions only you can answer, not I. I hope at some point you start reading the massive amounts of programatic text available. Just remember it's a day at a time.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to be realistic about the challenge I'm facing and to take good care of myself. If you need help PM me! I will gladly offer you whatever aid I can.

ChrisMix26
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Joined: 09/24/2012 - 6:19pm
Tamer, if you are a true

Tamer, if you are a true addict, game design might not be the best option, though it is not entirely impossible. I consider my best friend to be a game addict as well, but he does artwork for tablet games now. He spends so much time dedicated toward his deadlines and generating new ideas for potential games, he hardly has time to game anymore. For a lot of us, though, we just need to be able to walk away entirely and not have them anywhere in our lives.

It's time to make up for lost time!

Game free since May 20, 2013.

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