I would wager that just about everyone has some form of escapism that they engage in on the daily. A fraction of these people recognize the opportunities that are missed because of the time that is spent on something that is not in direct attainment of life’s goals. For me, its most obvious in the urge to play video games comes because I have shortcomings in other parts of my life. In order to change my focus to something that I am competent in, I turn to video games to get a sense of gratification that I am not getting in the real world. It can be extremely challenging to keep from turning to these types of escapism when faced with overwhelming obstacles. In order to get at the root of escapism I have a few penetrating questions. Where do these negative emotions come from? Why is it that I am unable to control myself when confronted with these emotions? What could be some possible solutions for living a better life?
Firstly, defining what constitutes a negative emotion that then turns me to escapism. From the position that I sit in now it seems entirely irrational to do anything but build myself to overcome in the face of adversity, but this is not the case. One instance of a source of these negative emotions comes from going out at night in order to have fun and meet new people. Not all the time but often enough these events can cascade downward so that when I am leaving the bar I feel alone in that I was unable to make a solid connection with anyone that I met that night. This does not happen often but when it does it can be hard to deal with. Other things that can be hard to deal with are things like shortcomings at work, run-ins with the bad side of the law, and arguments between friends. These are the type of things that cause negative emotions and thus give rise to the will to escape from it all.
The ideal version of myself grows stronger when faced with adversity and at times I have experienced such a thing. A willpower arise that detaches emotionally in order to achieve the desired outcome. Other times a weakness that desires to neglect the reality of the situation in favor of something lazy and shameful wins. I can only understand the ebb and flow of these two internal drives as a necessity of life and therefor I must prepare for both.
Building a life that is full of positive emotions so that one would never even be tempted by escapism sounds disagreeable. This is not to say that I would do anything but pursue my dream of dreams, it’s just that I feel that anything worth doing should be challenging and therefore will include trying situations. For me, it’s not about finding the path free of road bumps but more so about strengthening the self in order to handle any road bump that might occur; and so I turn my attention to the weakest version of myself and ask: What’s wrong? Why are you unable to do what you know to be right? Is it a lack of courage or maybe you just don’t want it bad enough? From the heightened perspective of where I sit now I can offer few words that might help. Remember that life is short and that greatness can only be achieved by those who work for it. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, so take your time and start small. Just remember to keep moving forward. Like the butterfly that created the hurricane, a small step in the right direction could be the first step to shift the minds of millions. Without the first step, there is nothing.
So yeah. Writing is where I do my most precise introspective work and by publishing this online I hope that it may help anyone that stumbles upon my work. If you thought about anything at all while reading please leave a comment. I love to hear other perspectives and to build a community is some of the greatest thing we do as humans and I am looking forward to all of it.
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.