My Changing Relationship With Gaming
For whatever reason, I felt compelled to revisit some of my Rockers Delight archive. It dates back to 2008, where I mention visits to Blockbuster and talking to friends on MSN. A different Universe considering Blockbuster is out of business and I haven’t used MSN for 4 years.
Reading the comments, somebody asked why I take (or rather, took) gaming so seriously. My reply was, “I get a lot of enjoyment out of it”.
That was a gross understatement.
It’s embarrassing to admit now, but back when I first started this blog, video games were more than just a hobby I enjoyed—they were my life. In an unhealthy way. It affected my work, it affected my relationship.
When I started this blog, I was in a completely different place—and was a totally different person—to where I am now. I was suffering from a bad anxiety disorder (panic attacks and excessive worry) and detested my job.
Playing video games was the perfect escape. It became my excuse to hide away in my house—a hobby that enabled me to neglect the outside world.
I even convinced myself this lifestyle didn’t mean I was damaging my social life, because I was hanging out on Xbox Live with other gamers. Xbox Live was my social life.
I estimate I’d have played Xbox 5-6 hours a day. I’d think about games during work and procrastinate on gaming forums. When evenings rolled around, I was a captain in a competitive clan, and come the weekend, I’d spend my spare money in Gamestation and on game-related magazines. It wasn’t the healthiest hobby.
Fast forward 5 years and I still enjoy video games, but I don’t spend anywhere near as much time playing them. Not because I was shipped off to some weird video game rehab (although I probably should have been!), but because I changed my attitude.
I began to enjoy the job I had once hated. I set myself goals that didn’t relate to Achievements or gaining XP. I took up another hobby—photography. I rebuilt my life and got over my anxiety.
In regards to gaming, so much has changed in those 5 years, yet many things remain the same.
I retired my Xbox 360 in favour of a PlayStation 4. I’m not a captain in a clan anymore, and I’m lucky if I game 5-6 hours a week. RPGs remain my favourite genre, and I still get giddy at the thought of a new Rainbow Six instalment. Trophies don’t excite me like Achievements once did, but I do still play games on the hardest difficulty.
So, there you have it. My changing relationship with gaming.
Whilst my appreciation for video games still stands, I’d like to think I approach my hobby in a healthier way.