Category Archives: New Orleans

How to quit a video game addition

It’s been going on 6 years that I have been trying to quit video games. I imagine all the skills that I would have learned by this point and in my mind, I feels great to quit and to start honing my craft, and yet when times get low and all I want to do is huddle up in my blanket and play what I know I am good at is when I relapse back into the thing that I swore never to partake in again. This is a research paper mostly for myself but can help anyone that wants to also follow in these research footprints in order to quit video games all together.

At first I was pulled into the game because of what it allowed me to do. For a moment, I could command troops like a military general and fight in a war bigger than myself. The graphics and skill are what got me going but it was the escapism that kept me there. There have been times when I am out downtown and looking to meet other people. Sometimes I find it hard to talk with other people are that is when I have the urge to escape back into my room to find that familiar video game that I know I can perform without humiliation. It’s a place that I know I have the skill to play. It’s a place that allows me to forget about the problems of life and focus on the problems of the game.

What has happened over the years is that what challenges my mind is more fascinating in the game than it is in real life. If you remember what the key to flow chart looks like there is a sweet spot in a task when the task is challenging but not too challenging to be frustrating, but also easy but not too easy to be boring. Life has gotten frustrating and so the game solves this with new inventive challenges. The new challenge is to make life a flow sport like that game has been for so long. To do this will take time.

It would seem that I need to grow my life in order to make it easy to find flow activity in. After my life has grown a certain degree then I will be able to easily take it to the streets when I am feeling like a gamer. It’s in this first faze that would be the hardest. The best option that I can think of right off the bat would be to use as much willpower as possible. Willpower is only so strong though so the next step would be to uninstall the game. Past this point the only thing I can think of is to really get into my own head how disgusting video game playing really is.

I have missed out on so many opportunities because of gaming. If I had put my time into anything other than the game that I played I could have easily mastered it by now. If I would have played an instrument with this time I would have been able to travel to New Orleans with passions and then been able to make friends and even had sex with many more women that I did the last time that I went. If I would have spent all that time working or even looking for a job I would have had maybe 10 grand in the bank right now and probably be driving a car. If I would have spent that time reading I could have brought all my friend new information and been a much more interesting person than I am. If I would have spent all that time in the gym exercising I would be buff as shit right now. What has video gaming done for me. I was able to connect with a few friends through the game but nothing ever really came of it. Instead I zonk myself out in a chare somewhere and neglect the things that are really important in life.

Video games are a bunch of shit when played in excess. If you like them than good for you. If you like women or the outdoors or money or anything that good an important in this work then you will not play video games and instead work on bettering yourself because bettering yourself is what this is really about. Who wants to sit with the same skill set their entire lives? We all want to be good and then we all want to be great. Let’s make this life about becoming great, not about playing some bullshit until life catches up with us and we are forced to take action. Take action now. Become better at something.

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BikeTaxi

It’s been called a biketaxi, pedicab, rickshaw; call it whatever you want I don’t care much. I have been these things all over the country for the past three years. Started out in Minnesota, road in Phoenix Arizona, New Orleans, Colorado, and am currently riding in Salt Lake. This paper is about my experience and what’s different about each location with an inside look at the advantages and disadvantages that come with the scene. Biketaxies are in just about every major city and if they are not then please let me know so that I can move to that city and get things rolling for myself.

Three years ago, downtown Minneapolis; for the first time in my life I see a biketaxi roll by. I must have needed a job at the time and so I stopped the driver to ask him how one gets to do what he does. He directed me to the pedicab office downtown and within a matter of a few days I’m a rider. I remember one of the rides from the first day. These two guys hop on my bike and tell me that they are professional bikers. I tell them that its they who should be giving me a ride. They think that’s a great idea and I switch with one of them. It was impressive how much this “professional biker” struggled with the extra weight of his friend and I in the back carriage, and he was more than willing to admit to his weakness with the realization how different the pedicab is from his carbon fiber light weight bicycle he is used to. This guy ends up taking us to some deserted back parking lot and shows us through a small door in an old mill type of building. We walk through a cement hallway with pipes hanging out of the walls and in through the door at the end of this hallway. I expect to be standing in a boiler room or something but instead I find myself in a top class cocktail bar filled with men in fashionable suits, women in fancy dresses, and bartender wearing vests (Spoon and Stable- 211 North First Street, mpls). The lights were set to low and I spend my time drinking some sort of rum coconut drink (damnit I wish I remembered what it was called!) and listening to these two guys tell me about their bike ride over the weekend. Turns out they rode with Lance Armstrong’s coach and enjoy horse racing. When all was said and done I dropped them off at their destination. The one came up to me and handed me a 20 while thanking me for the ride, then his friend came up and handed me a 100 while thanking me for the ride. They call rides that earn 100 a unicorn in MN, first day magic is what I called it.

A few months later I had moved out of Minnesota and was living in New Orleans and actively seeking employment with one of the pedicab companies there in the city, Redcab with Sal is who I ended up working for. Tid-bit about the NOLA pedicab scene- There are three companies that have monopolized the biketaxi industry in NOLA, so there are no independent riders. This has to do with the corrupt business practices that take place throughout the entire city. There are also many more people that have the desire to become rickshaw drivers, and thus the competition is high, and thus it’s harder to make an honest buck. All of that can be ignored with these next two words: Festival Season. If you are one of the top riders and you want to work your ass off during things like Martigras, Blues and Jazz Fest, Decadence, ect, then you for sure can make your money down in New Orleans.

Back in 2015 I got an offer from my old company in MN to come work the super bowl in Phoenix AZ, so I jumped on the fastest CL rideshare I could find (A trucker named Dave) and shipped my ass out to Phoenix. It was fun, competitive, and easily to most money I have ever made in my life. It was the day before the super bowl in Scottsdale where Drake was putting on a small hotel rooftop show where tickets where 1k a pop. I would jump from one ride to the next without a break. My customers where dressed to the hilt in suites and dresses with actually diamonds hanging from their ears. I ended up earning many unicorns and by the end of the night I counted out 1080 dollars. Not bad for 5 and ½ hours of work. After the super bowl I stayed in Phoenix for about a month and kept riding, but for a different company (Billy O). In less than a week I went from making the most money I have ever made in my life to making the least. The crowds clear out after the big game is over and I would spend entire days on the hot desert streets of Phoenix making 10 bucks for an entire shift. I stayed in the Desert, but not for the money. There is some magic coming from the artsy side of that city, but that’s for a different post.

A few states later I find myself in Colorado and once again, perusing a license so that I can ride the streets of Denver. There are a couple thing I will say about Colorado pedicabing- The rent is low. I don’t know why but the owner of the cabs in Denver don’t make you pay that much to rent them. There are also plenty of tourists to make weekend riding more than worth your time, so that as far as your average weekend earnings go, Denver might be the best place to ride. In the summer there are Broncos games too where there might be more than 200 caber riding in a day. Anyone riding is making more than 500 on those days too. It gets to the point of bumper to bumper (or wheel to bumper) traffic between riders, and the trains, and the hills, and the people, and competition, and the hotdogs… it’s something to witness.

Currently I am in Salt Lake riding for Luis. What they got going on here is that all the cabs are upgraded to the max. Personally, I have never ridden a cab with an electric motor assist, or a cab with a speaker built under the seat, or hardly even a cab with a neon light setup. Here in Salt Lake every single cab comes with all of these things stock. To be honest, it pissed me off when I saw this and I even went so far as to call the riders here no better than Uber drivers (the worst insult you can call pedicab driver). They didn’t even understand the severity of my comment of course because motor assist is all they know. The more I ride with the people of Salt Lake the more persuaded I am of the Salt Lake style of riding; and it’s not because of the motor assist. I am still working on getting my license which means I am limited in what I can ride. I take out something called “The Spider” which is a seven seater (I know, not eight) where everyone peddles while facing the middle. There are only two Spiders ever made and thus there are no regulations for them, at least not yet. The money in Salt Lake is great and so are the people. Time and again I am surprised with how easy it is to form meaningful relationships here. Last night when I road back to the garage to turn in my cab and pay my rent and I find the rest of the shop drinking beer and playing dice. I lost 53 bucks my first three rounds and vowed never to roll again.

Riding bikes like this has been my career for most of the past three years. It does not matter what kind of mood I am in when I go out for the night, by the time I come back in I am feeling great. The exercise is great, the pay is comparable to a bartender, and I get to make my own schedule. One day I would like to ride in India where they might take home 10 bucks a day, but that’s a long ways away from now and there are many more strokes of the peddle between here and there. Thanks for reading folks. Hope that we get to speak again.