Monday, January 3, 2011

Bye Bye, Video Games

It may be quite early in the year for this, but already I have achieved a facet of one of my yearly goals: Combining a business transaction with a gift, I am already able to afford a printer and have ordered it. It's projected to be shipped to my home sometime near the end of this month, so very soon I'll be able to edit my writing much more effectively and advance with improving my writing skills. Also, I have quite an amount left over since bare basics printers are rather cheap, so I'll put the remainder of the sum towards a camera for my food photography practice, and maybe some for that pasture-raised steak.

Most significant about this advancement, however, is that I sold a large part of my video game collection in order to boost my savings like this. This is the "business transaction" I mentioned in my most recent Weekly Summary. I was unable to trade in all of them, but I did do a significant portion and still intend to sell the rest. Most impressing to me is that I felt no sense of loss from departing with so many games, things I once cherished and would have loathed departing with for any sum.

Video games used to constitute a huge part of my identity when I was growing up. I was very depressed in my childhood, so I dedicated myself ferociously to playing video games in order to keep my mind off matters. Given my state of mind, I had to be constantly playing them in order for my mind to be soothed, for otherwise I would dwell on the terrible state of matters. If I didn't have a new game to play, then I was mostly either replaying one through or figuring out how to alter its challenge (such as by playing it in a different way). So many hours were eaten up to this pursuit that virtually my whole childhood has been lost to it. Such wasteful practices continued up until my teen years before I started relieving my emotions on the internet and began my philosophical thinking and reform when I discovered Anthony Burgess. After those transitions I was never a hard-core gamer again, instead taking to reading and writing. I owned a Nintendo Wii for about 24 hours before noticing I felt disgusted by the fact I was playing, which reminded me of when I used this habit as an evasion technique, and returned the system and games immediately the next day.

No, I don't think that video games are necessarily a bad habit to maintain; I'm just identifying that in my case they weren't truly a life-serving value: I just used them to distract myself from how terrible things were. When I philosophically reformed myself and established my mental health I didn't drop the habit consciously; rather, I simply lost the desire to continue playing since I no longer felt moved to evade. Video games are fun, but I don't think they'll play even so much as a minor role in my life again. By developing actual life-serving values I'm just not willing to make room for them.

I had actually been intending to sell my video games for several months now, but it's taken me up until this point to recognize I was ready to let them go. At first I felt anxious at the thought of doing so, since I still quite often thought about video games and on rare occasions desired to replay them. The shift in my thinking came when I identified that when I do desire to replay my old ones the desire is actually short-lived. If I ignore it then it dies quickly, and if I indulge it in I don't derive true enjoyment in playing the game and hardly have the motivation to finish it. Sometimes I even got quickly bored into a replay effort and finished only out of a sense of arbitrary obligation, like finishing a boring book only because one has started it. After such a replay my games would then go back into storage for several months, never to be looked at or touched. Having departed with them I may "miss" them here and there, but only for a very short amount of time and with hardly any intensity. Video games have truly left my heart.

When I handed them to the boy at the register I felt an indifferent comfort, as if I were handing over objects that had no meaning to me at any point in my life. I got only a small sum for my collection -- about fifty dollars -- but I still think this sum is worth much more than those old games were. This money will help me continue striving for greatness in the future; the video games: only a distraction from my endeavors and a reminder of a painful past. Hopefully they go off to serve as a value for someone else, someone who will utilize them as a healthy form of recreation rather than as an evasive maneuver.

What I couldn't sell were my Nintendo 64 games, as the location I was at wouldn't accept them and the other one couldn't pay me at the time. By far these are the ones I was most attached to, but still I feel nothing but indifference towards them. I'll probably sell the rest before the week is over, and dispose of or give away whatever is left. I have a lot of things to live for, so that money would mean so much more in my pursuits.

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