Tooned Out

Suburban mommy talks about kicking her online gaming habit.

Location: Redmond, Washington, United States

Just another face in line at the grocery store...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Attack of the Emotionless Zombie Woman!

Ok, to be honest, I feel like crap lately. I miss my game - no wait, that's wrong. I miss how I felt when I played my game. A young guy submitted a beautifully written post to OLGA the other day describing his overwhelming addiction to online games (WoW currently, I believe.) In it, he wrote poignantly about how he only felt emotionally alive while he was playing. Oh, so true.

I downloaded the free trial of my game the other day. I played for a half hour. It was boring, and I uninstalled it. I told myself at the time that I wanted to see how I'd react - kind of an experiment, but I think that what I was really looking for was that wide awake feeling I've been missing so much. A weird thing happens to game addicts. The virtual world becomes the real world, and the real world becomes flat. Then when you leave the virtual world behind, everything is flat. It's an awful feeling; to me it feels like being dead but still alive. If you're not reacting to life, what's the point of living?

Well, all right, it's not that bad really. Sometimes I do feel connected again. Sometimes I'm 'all there', so to speak. But I have to work hard at it, and I didn't before I quit. All I used to have to do was log in and, presto! there I was, alive again, like magic. Granted, I was alive in an unreal world, but my emotions didn't know the difference. Then there was all the guilt and shame I felt when I wasn't playing. So at least I had feelings of some kind most of the time.

Sigh. It's all part of the journey to recovery I guess. I am also very worried about my son. Wait, worry is a feeling, right? I guess that's, um, something? What I'd really like is a vacation from myself. I need some kind of metaphysical travel agent to sell me 2 weeks as someone else.

***Coming soon... is there a link between gaming addiction and depression? (Maybe you saw that one coming, did you?)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there. I play EQ2, and I can sympathize with these feelings - I can see them creeping into my own life from time to time, and when that happens, it's time to walk away for a while. So far I've been successful at turning off the PC and getting out of the game for a week or two whenever those conflicts arise. I don't want to neglect my friends and family (though I'm unmarried and no kids) and I myself feel *better* when I know my gaming is balanced with other aspects of my life. I could see myself becoming a full-blown addict if I wasn't careful, but ironically the game itself sometimes drives me away. It's usually a lot of fun and I really value the relationships I've formed with a lot of people, but if I sit down at the PC and kinda have that 'ho-hum' feeling, or if I log in and just kinda sit there, with no clear enthusiasm or enjoyment, I just log right back off and usually go out and meet some friends. For me it's about listening to my own instincts or my gut feelings. Anyway, kudos to you for kicking the habit and getting back to the priorities in your life, despite how hard it can be to break out of that world and the mindset you can form around it. Keep it up, and good luck to you!

7:38 AM  
Blogger Portia said...

I really envy people like yourself who have the ability to balance gaming and real life. I wish I could do the same, but, at least at this stage in my life, I can't.

12:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home