Video Game “Addiction”, My Story.

Foreword: As some of you might know, I’ve hated Dota2, CoD and games with similar toxic community for a very, very long time. About 9 months back, I decided to walk away from the game altogether. It lasted for 5-6 months before I was back at the same game. Did I succumb to a supposed addiction once again?

And if it is so, what caused me to?

Here’s a post I’ve written during February of this year, and with it, a quote:

Game addiction has a more social factor to it than most people would think.

—————

The Situation

In those 5-6 months, I felt cut off from my friends. As much as I refuse to admit, the DotA series have not only been a key ingredient in our bonding for the past 6 years, for some of us it was a cornerstone. Some of us wouldn’t have met were it not for these games. What could have just been mere acquaintances, passing of a vaguely familiar face on the street, brushing of shoulders with that random dude in the other classroom block – transformed; or rather it matured.

Like how I like to think we’d all grow old together.

“Pfft”, you must think: “You’re telling me a group of birdbrained youths matured by shouting at their monitor screens?”

Dem bros' got my back

Dem bros’ got my back

The Origins

In a sense, yes. It almost feels self-derogatory to say this: but it is only our relationship that has matured. However virtual and superficial those moments of in-game life and death moments might be, our character and personality would undoubtedly be revealed. Perhaps when it all first started, all we could catch was a glimpse of each other’s character; like a vaporous tint or an elusive hue – every now and then misjudged in the guise of anonymity provided by physical separation.

—————

One thing led to another, and the games worked themselves into a schedule. Everyone would definitely be on at 8pm after dinner. If anyone went missing or was late, questions would be asked, hypotheses tossed around, and a couple of miss calls would find their way into the cell phone of his beloved.

We learned more and more about one another, and slowly what was a mere dash of color is now a full spectrum of colors, and felt like was within grasp. Whenever one of us sounded particularly tired, sadden or happy through Skype or even through mere text carelessly blurted out in game, we could identify with him.

The games we played together, primarily Dota, became more than just a game.

It was a physical manifestation of our friendship. A monument of our teamwork, a commemoration of camaraderie. Incredibly cheesy, I know. But the more we stood together in those pixelized battlefields, the more we found ourselves standing together in real life. A pack of youths with rather contrasting personalities all brought together by a common interest.

Credits to The Guild. Watch it if you haven't!

Credits to The Guild. Watch it if you haven’t!

 

The Withdrawal

Then one day, I could no longer see myself partaking in name-calling, unjustified criticism and disparaging comments. No one deserves this, not me, not you – not even after you claim of extravagant escapades with my mother. Most of my friends responded negatively aggressively to such comments, and at certain times become perpetrators.

I don’t want to stroke anyone’s ego, not even my own. I grew sick of all the pride and prejudice being bounced around.

So I just left.

6 years of co-op, no more. It wasn’t easy at first: trying to dodge those game invites, making excuses not to join their Skype conference call(game related topics, mostly) and outright refusing to boot up the game. Once it hit 2 or 3 weeks, they slowly understood what was going on. So they left me, like how I left them.

Time passed. And 3 months later you could say I had minimal contact with the group. I learnt how to appreciate my new found solitude and the quietness of the night. I’d tap away at my keyboard, typing out my blog posts and replying to chat messages. I made a handful of new friends, and it fulfilled my social life. It was a bare minimum, but I was largely content. Except a thorn in my heart remained, piercing me with memories that would come rushing back to me on some occasions.

An irritation that I’ve learned to live with. That is, until when a member of said group was to be drafted into the military. Knowing the pain that he would go through (the rest got drafted for national service earlier), we all decided to make his final week as a civilian as joyous as possible. We went out for dinners, slept over and played board games, talked throughout the afternoon and did a whole lot of awesome things together.
6A7jM
Then he wanted to me to play. A game that we all used to be so fond of. After much deliberation, I yielded.

The Return

I wanted to see for myself, whether that irritation that I had was truly due to a monstrous gaming compulsion I’ve been hiding behind a facade. And so we played.

I felt slightly better.

So we played another round.
And another, then another.

Then it hit me – that it wasn’t the game. Throughout this entire week, I’ve been reliving the life of the past that I had once chosen to throw away. I stopped going out with the gang because I was afraid that I would be sucked back into that rancid online community, so I avoided my friends.

The irritation was the fear that one day, the gang would really forget about me, the one day the IRL invites would also stop; and the week together rebuilt the fading bond.

video game addiction
Back when it all started…

We did everything we used to do together, aside from gaming.
And when we finally did, it acted as the final puzzle piece.
And everything clicked into place.

“If anyone of us needs help, then we’ve got your back.”

They gave me space whenever I needed to. But I was never forgotten.

—————

It didn’t matter that our friendship was built upon a chunk of pixels.
It doesn’t matter how your relationship was brought together. But if that friendship was to be reliant on your religious dogma, supernatural beliefs, ethnicity or alignment of opinions – then it is not a friendship worth cherishing.

For all genuine love needs is but a sincere human being as its source.

Thank you, my friends.

8 thoughts on “Video Game “Addiction”, My Story.

  1. Oh wow, this was a powerful story. I loved every minute of it.

    That sounds absolutely amazing, that week you spent with your friend who was drafted. I can think of no better way to spend my time than with great friends.

    What a fantastic message at the end. Man, I really love this ❤ Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for the kind words!
      I’m not exactly fond of national service, but I’ve learned some lessons from it, so it wasn’t that bad. I’m glad you found my story worth reading!

      P.s: Eagerly waiting to read your NaNoWriMo:) how’s the post-draft editing going?

      1. You’re welcome 🙂

        What, you want to read it?! You do realize I only had 30 days to write it, right? 😛 I kid, but it actually… isn’t entirely done yet. I reached the 50 000 words but still have some left to go, which I’ll work on during my Christmas break. And I’m not sure if I’ll edit it… not right away, anyways. You’re certainly welcome to read it any time though 🙂

      2. Haha, of course I want to read it! If it’s from you, I’m sure it’ll be worth every second of my time; I’m not subscribing for fun! :>

        Looking forward to it 😀

      3. Aw, that’s incredibly kind of you to say! You warm my heart, you know that?

        Well, I’ll see how far I get in the next couple weeks and let you know. Thanks for your support 😀

  2. You have ventured into a world of which I am most afraid. I never connected with anyone through online, at least not on a starting level. Some of which you described, I have gone through with friends that lived here, then left, but then I connected through MP. We give each other a lot of grief, and at times, it wore on me. We are the “jerks” after all.

    Nevertheless, you have given me some fresh perspective, and it was something I really needed to read. Thank you for sharing.

    1. A lot of the other people I’ve met online were largely aggressive and vulgar, but this group has stuck with me for a minimum of 5 years. I’d say I got lucky – I’d struck gold 😀

      Happy to hear that my story has been at least a little interesting, nothing makes me happier than learning someone has used their previous time to read my prose 🙂 You have some really good stuff too.

  3. […] Boyfriend video game addiction ruining your relationship; What to do Since computer game come into being, many embraced it because there are lots of fun in. Video Game “Addiction”, My Story. | The PewPew Diaries. […]

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