Time for Detox - My Video Game Cleanse

Tomorrow I begin what I am calling a "video game cleanse". The goal: to go for 1 month without video games. For the month of March I will not playing any video games in my leisure time.

Of course, due to my career choice it's impossible for me to avoid video games completely, so there are some basic rules I'll be following.

The Video Game Cleanse Rules
1.) I will not play video games while I am at home. Any time I feel the urge to play games, I will find something else to do. I will call friend, read a book, work out, go for a bike ride, watch a movie, play piano, or work on my portfolio.

2.) As a QA tester, I must play games at work. So games at work are acceptable. Otherwise I'd probably get fired.

3.) If I am socializing with friends at their homes and they are playing video games, this counts as socializing and so video games away from home are also acceptable. However, this situation should be avoided if at all possible.

4.) Board games, card games, and table-top wargames typically involve interactions with real people in a public space. Therefore, other forms of gaming are still perfectly acceptable forms of entertainment during this cleanse period.

So why am I doing this? There are a number of reasons. The short of it is that I've been thinking a lot about my life and where I'm at. There are things about me and my habits that I'd like to change. I feel like a need a personality make-over.

Over the last few years I've started playing more and more games. It's become an easy answer to cure a case of boredom. But the more games I play, the more other parts of my life seem to fall to the wayside. I'm not playing games enough to think I have an addiction to them. It's just that while I'm playing games my brain basically shuts off. The brain is a muscle, and mine is getting lazy and weak.

I used to read. I used to play music. I used to create artwork. I used to do things for myself that I felt fuelled my spirit and made me the person I am. These days I don't feel like myself, and while I don't think games are the primary problem, they are certainly a major contributing factor.

And most importantly, I used to dedicate a lot of time to building and maintaining relationships with friends and family. It should be as simple as making the occasional phone call or going for a cup of coffee. But I haven't been doing that much, because I've usually got my eyes fixed on a screen and a controller in my hand. And so I've lost touch with a lot of the people I care about, and failed to build stronger friendships with people that I'd like to get to know better. I once had a thriving social life, but that's dwindled.

So it's time to fix that. Instead of wasting all that time playing games, I'm going to take all those hours and put them towards doing other things that I feel are more worthwhile. I'm going to spend time doing things that remind me who I am. And maybe I'll get to know myself better. If it goes well, maybe I'll get to know you a little bit better too.

Because the endgame for this cleanse isn't just to go for a month without video games. The endgame is to become a better, well rounded person. For life. After all, life isn't like a video game. There are no extra men, and no respawns. You only get one life. It would be a shame to waste mine.

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