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Bothered by a Decision: Failing The Month of Gradual MMO/Money Disuse

May 17, 2011

I was supposed to finish a post about quests in games, but I’ve been putting it off because I’m bothered by something I chose to do and want to stick to.

It’s simple really: for one month, I would play one free-to-play MMO for a maximum of 10 hours weekly and spend absolutely nothing on video games by completing single-player PC games I’ve yet to finish. There are primarily two reasons for doing this: the first is to gradually get used to not playing MMOs so that MMORPGs feel new and vibrant again, while the second is to save money as I’m dreadfully close to running on empty.

This started sometime last week when I began playing LOTRO again on the Landroval server and made my final purchase for a month: Brink for the PC.

Here’s what happened since then:

Instead of buying games, I bought other stuff. I purchased a Kindle version of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, then grew so obsessed with reading it on my bed that I convinced myself that I HAD TO HAVE a tablet to read the Kindle book on. $360 later, I became a Samsung Galaxy Tab (which my parents shelled out for after I explained my case) owner.

I got a new job.

I forgot I had started a no-purchase order and tried to buy The Witcher 2, but checked with my bank and found out that I would go over my limit if I bought it online, and in dejected response I spent $55 on junk food and assorted goods (Tablet accessories, dinner at a restaurant by myself, and a massage at a spa) within the span of three hours after finding out I couldn’t buy the Witcher 2 with my e-credit card.

Any halfway sane person can see that there is something inherently askew right now with my self-control mechanisms. I realize it, but I am having difficulty maintaining the restraint necessary to keep myself from doing stupid things like the above, which not only cause me to spend on myself unnecessarily, but also cause my parents to accede to some half-baked whim on my end.

I think my MMO burnout is a sign of something worse: that I have gotten so burnt out with doing things normally that I’m obsessing over the rush I get from spending money and watching a download meter rise on Steam. It’s not the game that I want; rather, it’s the purchase behind a game or other object that gives me pleasure, and that’s a scary thought.

Times like these, I either need a counselor or a support group, and I’m not sure I can afford either at this rate.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2011 23:19

    Dude…that is classic “users” syndrome. When you don’t do your “habit” (your drug of choice…which for you is MMO’s) you then find other avenues to please yourself.
    By buying the other goods, you HAVE made progress. Think of it as a reward for NOT taking pleasure in the “bad stuff”.

    But, you must also avoid making the money spend a habit as well.

    Now, try to enjoy WHAT you have, and stop treating yourself. Make it a reward for going another month without a game.

    You can do it. (But, WHY play LOTRO…that sounds more like punishment to me, even if for work…)

    Cheers.

    • May 17, 2011 23:25

      Honestly man, I’m kinda scared right now after writing all that down.

      The realization that I’m obsessed with credit card usage or with purchasing stuff is a worrisome though. :(

  2. xXJayeDuBXx permalink
    May 19, 2011 00:10

    I had a real bad problem with wanting to buy something everytime I got my paycheck. It’s probably why I have more games than I ever need. I have gotten much better with the self control, but I still have to talk myself out of making random purchases now and again.

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