It really is such a good game you guys
Uncomfortabley relatable read. This bit especially: “I felt guilty. I dealt with this the only way I know how, by over-committing.”
Video games are my weakness. I have limited self-control when I start. Thankfully I also have ADHD and am autistic, so my bursts of quasi gaming addiction tend to be limited to the same handful of games on repeat for decades and are fairly short-lived (e.g., I’ve been playing the Sims since 2000 and have Skyrim on PC, PS3/4/5, and Switch...it’s a problem). But I have to strategically plan for these bursts when I know work and life will allow it. Otherwise...the guilt spiral is terrible. Even though it doesn't actually get in the way of normal work or life for me (demanding career and a mortgage but no kids, so I have it easier) but I’m not going above and beyond. And so I must make up for it by over-committing for a while. It makes even less sense as I type it out. 🙃 Cursed Protestant work ethic.
I am not very good at having fun. It's my biggest self-improvement aim right now. I go a little too hardcore on personal growth and development and productivity, and that's really what attracted me to your newsletter. I needed a dose of reasonable cynicism around it. And to have regular reminders that doing shit like painting (one of my favorite hobbies) is very much a worthwhile pursuit if for no other reason than it brings me joy.
I had, before I stopped going, a jiujitsu instructor who I still remember for his great sense of priority. He had three important things in his life - his family, jiujitsu, and gaming. "I have four friends - I don't need more than that". Work was just a means to an end. "No" to almost everything. Not sure what the moral of the story is here but he certainly didn't feel guilty about playing games.
I’m in the Emily Writes category of befuddlement about gaming but I get the same way reading books - just one more chapter, and then it’s 2am and I start worrying about the sleep I’m missing and decide the only way to break the cycle is plow through and finish the book. And then the next night I start another. So I often avoid reading books I know I’m going to love because I also know I won’t get much sleep. We all have our narrative addictions I guess...
I get hooked into games so easily. I'm currently finishing up on Assassin's Creed Odyssey while my housemate bounces between Grey's anatomy in the evening to playing Zelda during the day as presumably as it blocks out the worry of not having a job right now. I'm getting better at knowing which phone games will hook me into a loop of doom and deleting them or better still not installing them at all.
I do think having agency over and outcome is part of the hook, especially with so many big world events that demo how little control we have. That I can prefer a cyberpunk city or an apocalyptical future of zombies or shadow creatures says a lot...
All your self improvement exercises have been additive... i feel like you’ve hit the nail on the head with this. At our workplace there’s a well-being app where you can answer some questions and find out how your current wellbeing ranks compared to your peers. There are also a whole bunch of available resources for you to read etc. herein lies the problem. People who are NOT WELL or suffering from burnout do not have the time to read resources about wellness (additive). They need to work less (substract) and commit to fewer things. The last thing they want to do is to spend their time doing yet another thing to make them well-er.
Have you read “Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin? I highly recommend!! It’s a spectacularly beautiful book about 2 kids who decide to write video games together. I am not a big gamer but it was beautiful and nostalgic and if you love games and books then you will LOVE this book.
Not a gamer myself, but my kid and I play the Playstation Lego games together on our elderly PS3 and it’s nice. We’ve done the Harry Potter ones, the Indiana Jones ones, we’re currently doing Pirates of the Caribbean, and for her birthday she’s getting Star Wars ($15 on Trade Me!). The only problem is that she likes to rip snot through it, but I like the puzzles and collectibles. We have Little Big Planet as well, and I might introduce her to that this winter.
I’m currently teetering on the precipice with the all-consuming horror and addiction that is ‘Scum’. Avoid this one at all costs if you are prone to getting massively involved with games, it’s like gaming crack.
Commenting as someone who has lost their partner to TotK for the last week lol! But 100% it looks amazing, and even more so if you had played previous games (thanks nostalgia). I get a bit sad when it comes to video games because we didn't have them growing up, and the most gaming I got to do was when visiting my cousin who had a N65 AND an Xbox - Ironically because he had them, he didn't really see the allure so we'd have to beg him to let us play it. My first console was... A Wii. Not even new, but I was obsessed, and to this day I am still a little bit too good at motion control mariokart.
Ps. I saw a great tiktok (eyeroll) from Jordan Rasko, where she called TotK 'Legend of Welder', which is essentially all I gathered from watching my partner play.
I lost weeks to Breath of the Wild. I’m not sure I’m prepared to go down this rabbit hole again.