zondag 28 juni 2015

2015 From Escapism to Self-Responsibility - Using Gaming as a Platform of Self Change -- Part 3

This blog is part of the series about Escapism wherein I have been sharing the process of self-change that I am applying, specifically in relation to playing videogames and the mind-pattern of addiction and escapism it activates within myself. I don't play games often, but I have noticed that when I do, I just get swallowed up in it. All it takes is for me to find one game that sparks my interest and before long as I start playing it, it can start to consume most of my (valuable) time.

In the previous blogs, "2014 From Escapism to Self-Responsibility - Using Gaming as a Platform of Self Change" Part 1 and Part 2, through my application of the tools of self-change in changing this specific pattern, I have been able to see what I am actually doing and what really happens 'behind the scenes' while I get caught up in playing a game and it starts to overshadow my life. This was about half a year ago and since then I haven't been playing any games until recently when I discovered this game called Epic Defence. I was looking for something to entertain myself with so I decided to try it and ended up enjoying it. However this 'enjoyment' turned problematic as I noticed how I was wanting to spend more and more time playing the game than on anything else.

So this gives me a nice opportunity to again investigate the pattern of addiction when it comes to gaming and to see which points within myself still serve as an open window for me to give my power away and let myself get carried away by something instead of standing as a pillar of self-direction and -will. The return of this pattern by no means implies that I 'failed' in my first attempts to change it. All that it shows me is that I have overlooked certain points of self-understanding and self-awareness which still allow a 'weakness' to exist within myself  for certain thoughts/feelings/emotions and mind-programs to 'overtake' me and take me for a ride. So it's then just a matter of applying the tools of self-introspection through self-honesty and writing, self-forgiveness, self-correction and real-time self-change.

Escapism and playing games and getting lost in It is a very strange sensation. Specifically the point where in your awareness you know that there are other things you should be doing and that it is better for you to stop playing the game and just go do stuff that is more relevant and important and self-supportive but then you start fighting that awareness in your mind and questioning that awareness to basically protect the energy that you are experiencing in that moment, meaning the feelings of reward, adrenalin and dopamine as you are playing the game.

So, in theory it shouldn't be that difficult to just pause the game or just stop it and move on to doing other things, because it is literally just a game, it holds no value or importance and that energetic experience of value and reward that I feel inside myself as I am collecting gems and coins and defeating my virtual attacker in the game are simply illusions because the game in itself is virtual reality, i.e. not ACTUAL reality. This means that even though I feel as though I am winning, gaining and achieving something of great value, importance and worth, I am actually not at all and it is all only happening in the virtual reality in my mind stimulated by the game that I am playing.

An interesting point to look at and consider here is that there appears to be a lack of understanding in relation to the word 'game' and thus a necessity to clearly define for myself what a 'game' is and what the difference is between a 'game' and 'reality', to assist and support myself with making decisions that are based on the reality of things and not based on feelings.

So that in other words I don't end up allowing the illusory experience of value and importance within playing a game to override what is important and valuable in fact, which is to for instance pause and put down the game when I see that there are other things to be done with my time. And so that I can assert myself to allow this game nor the energetic feeling experiences that it triggers in my mind to hold any weight when it comes to how I decide to move and direct myself in my life from moment to moment, because  it shouldn't in any way what so ever. A game is after all just a game.

This understanding of what a game is will determine my starting point, meaning who I am when I start playing and the kind of experience I will end up creating while I am playing because of 'who I am'. When my definition and thus my starting point in relation to playing games is that somewhere within myself in the back of my mind I actually believe that the feelings of value, importance and worth which come up as a preprogrammed induced reaction to playing computer games are real, then I will have a really difficult time trying to quit playing because I truly believe that I would be having to give up on something very important if I were to stop the game.

The starting point of playing a game, and of doing anything at all for that matter, would be the 'reason why' I do it. And that 'reason why' can be corrupted and compromised when it is based on a misunderstanding of what certain things are and how they exist. Wanting and desiring to play a game because I want to experience the feelings I get while playing the game, indicates that there exists a belief in myself that to a certain degree those feelings are real. This would be a sign of a corrupted and compromised starting point because in reality anything I might be experiencing internally while playing a computer game is entirely and solely stimulated by the perception created within the game that the participant is achieving and accomplishing things as they move up in levels, earn virtual rewards and defeat virtual adversaries  - none of which is taking place in real life.

Thus to correct the self-compromising pattern of escapism within the example of an addiction to gaming, I will have to correct my starting point as the 'who I am' in relation to playing games. An addiction to gaming and a behavioural pattern of escapism can only exist when there is a 'flaw' in the design of 'who I am' and consequently in my starting point in relation to gaming, and this design pertains to how I see and understand the world that I exist in. The particular flaw in the design would in this case be the belief that I will find worth, value and importance within playing a computer game and that those energetically exciting experiences in the mind of apparent value, importance and worth when unlocking a level or achieving a goal in the game are in fact what real worth, value and importance is, while it is very obvious that realistically speaking this is not at all so.

As long as this faulty perception of reality exists as a belief system in my mind, then the desire, want and need to play games will exist, as well as the potential to develop an addiction to it, which would be the experience of not being able to stop playing and the feeling that nothing else is as interesting, engaging and important as playing that game.

So within redefining the word game, it seems that I actually have to look at redefining words such as importance, worth and value, because it is these things that I have mistakenly understood to be based within feelings, like the feeling of excitement I experience upon being rewarded with something, be it a prize in a computer game or appraisal from peers, family and/or people in my general environment. In this context, importance, worth and value would actually be quite meaningless and empty because it is literally based only on a belief that if I achieve, win or accomplish something, and specifically when something or someone else outside of myself recognizes and tells me that I have, it somehow makes 'who I am' inside myself 'better' and 'more'.

Looking at why and how it is that I don't already experience and see value, worth and importance as an inherent part of myself, I can see that it is because of this separation that I have accepted and allowed to exist within myself wherein I see and define value, worth and importance as things that my environment must give me. The solution here is to thus  through applying the tools of self-forgiveness, self-correction and self-commitments, develop the realization and understanding of how I can start living value, worth and importance as a self-expression that is best for myself instead of it being something that distracts me from living my life to my utmost potential.

This is a process that I will be sharing in the next blog.