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Depression and collecting games


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I go through bouts of buying retro stuff for short term pleasure, but then get to the point that nothing is getting played so I sell loads of stuff off… it’s a constantly revolving door. New stuff is exciting while clearing out relieves guilt - and often leads to new stuff arriving!

I think it’s a pretty common thing for folk with depression, ADD, OCD etc…

 

Other coping methods? I’m afraid I can’t help you there as my hobbies are gaming and playing guitar… both are not cheap as you always want something new!

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Well, it's hard to say as depression is caused by different things for different people and so the solutions to get a person out of that rut aren't necessarily the same for everybody. But I have heard depression defined as the "fear of a failed future" and, as you say, all this stuff we do such as collecting is a pure distraction technique to block out hard truths or to stall ourselves from doing what must be done.

 

Usually it simply means that something is fundamentally wrong in our lives or with our mentality. Unfortunately, it's easy to believe you've found a solution or action to fix the problem but it turns out to only be a temporary sticking plaster or coping technique.

 

I've certainly been there, buying loads of stuff and building up collections of games I'll never have the time to play. It's telling that the opening of the package and initial receipt of the item(s) is where the buzz is, not the actual ownership or useage. It's a dopamine rush, and feel-good dopamine is actually released in the brain for the anticipation of an event, not the event itself, hence why it's so easy to buy tons of stuff and feel great about knowing it's on the way or simply opening the packages.

 

I've done it with games, comics, my trading card collections, and loads of other stuff. I've built up needlessly large, unfocused collections, sold them or trimmed them down, and slowly built them up again. You just have to really take notice of what you are doing, ask yourself hard questions, and really make an effort to know yourself to learn why you do these things, what is getting you down, and what truths you are avoiding. I know it sounds really sappy but journalling and meditation can help you in this direction.

 

I'm just rambling now though. Hope some of this might have been useful but if it isn't, I totally understand!

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I used to do this a lot, not so much on retro games, but HUKD + modern titles that are decent for any platform, stock pile, never get around to play, but mentally get something out of the searching and opening the parcel.

 

It started to feel unhealthy when the postman was here most days...  I'm better at not doing it now, but still need take a step back sometimes. 

I also get nothing from selling things, so end up keeping everything.  I was a late adopter to PS4 and I think more than 50% of my games are still sealed.

 

If I get bad again, I think I'll try to use my revolut or something and pay myself an allowance to impose an artificial restriction, but I'm not sure how well that'll go.

 

For now my main solutions have been:

- Not buying a game I don't really want to play, and ensuring I make good progress in it before I do.  As I play GT7 90% of the time, this isn't too hard!

- Not instabuying, but instead opening the tab in a browser and leaving it for a few hours / preferable over night.  If it sells between times, I rarely feel I've missing out.

- Buying other things instead.  This sounds silly, but I've replaced games with music CDs. I impose a £5 max limit, and have somehow got myself in to the habit of shopping around and finding the cheapest available.  This might mean I waste 5+ minutes on eBay on saving 50p, but often the searching is enough for me to go off and do something else, and when I feel the urge next time, I go looking for the same thing.  It took me 6 days to buy a £4 Queen CD as other things kept distracting me as I was looking.

- I can extend the CDs thing to local boot sales that help me get out of the house, something that helps my mental health anyway, on the flip side, I got 8 for £1 yesterday so have some (more) questionable (than normal) CDs in the selection now, and need to ensure I donate the ones I don't like to charity or something and not end up with a house full of CDs!

 

The final one is pretty specific to me but might apply somehow...

I'm a huge Corrs fan.  Well, I was, maybe I still am, I don't know.  I mean, username actually does check out, though I haven't listened to them for a couple of months, anyway...

I have a huge Corrs collection.  Big enough that it's actually quite difficult for me to find items I don't have and want.  So, instead of purchasing, I spend the time trying to track down something and rarely find anything. 

Of course, with any collection, sometimes I do find something, and it might be something expensive, and then I want it, and being a Corrs item, and me probably being the only person in the world likely to buy it, it's pretty much worthless.

 

 

Sometimes I just look on the positive side.  Retail therapy is a bit crap, and I don't like the environmental impact, or to a degree capitalist nature of it, but I think it's better than drinking, or gambling or something!

 

 

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I've bought so many games and systems over the years that I've run out of room to store them all. Buying games now contributes toward me feeling depressed, because it's filling space I've recently cleared. It feels much more constructive and enjoyable to sit down and focus on playing something I've bought, instead of trying to find more space on the shelves. Repeating the pattern of "long game-short game" has lifted depression and avoided burnout for me over the last couple of years as well.

Also, the retro market is so completely out of control now that I'd feel ripped off if I was still buying old games.

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Some really detailed thoughtful opinions so far. I think realising what you are doing is part of the battle but that doesn’t mean it can’t be tough. I’ve been really good lately which annoys me why I’ve slipped up here. 

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I usually need a new project or hobby to distract myself from existential dread and high anxiety.

 

My current one is emulating old games I loved which is why I'm poking around here more. I'll get bored of it before long before it all gets hidden away with my board games, drawing tools, expensive bbq smoker sets, etc.

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Yeah I need something to do. I built up a collection of games that can be emulated and that was that. I now want to pick up various modern retro handhelds because it feels like I should have s collection. It gives me the dopamine hit I need to satisfy myself but I know I will then feel bad about my actions and go through a cycle. Breaking that is so so so difficult. 

 

Thanks by the way I am going to go through this on MHG

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I'm at all not sure what the answer is but like a lot of "quitting" i guess it's first breaking the habit and possibly filling it with something else. I think exercise can really help - whether it's walking, sport, gardening, or the gym, getting moving and focused can help free up our mind and give us some headspace.

Years ago when I used to surf I could sit there beyond the white water and my mind felt free, because you're knackered, balancing, and enjoying watching the ocean. Now, that might not be available to everyone (not me any more either!), but I get the same kind of thing out of tinkering with things, and at a stretch even weeding or mowing the lawn. Helps to have access to these things, but they're just examples.

Finding some balance is always good, and I don't think that has to mean quitting buying retro games either. I think we all battle with putting too much of our time and money into "pointless" things, but I don't see that as negative, it's the human condition to explore, learn, collect, classify etc. We have to try not to make that our everything, because there's a big and wonderful world out there.

Good luck to you @strider.

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5 minutes ago, pastry said:

I'm at all not sure what the answer is but like a lot of "quitting" i guess it's first breaking the habit and possibly filling it with something else. I think exercise can really help - whether it's walking, sport, gardening, or the gym, getting moving and focused can help free up our mind and give us some headspace.
 

My biggest issue is working from home and not having the option of easily going back to an office space. I get incredibly lonely even though my wife works at home too (she’s timed so can’t leave her computer easily due to being monitored all the time) so i’m Often left to my own devices. I miss my friends from work, I miss collaborating and seeing what others are up to. I do go for walks each morning and have started running but I find it hard to leave the house to go bird watching and other hobbies I used to enjoy. Still, got plenty of Wii games to play at the mo.

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I feel for you. Do you have the option of some face to face or chat with colleagues? I'm much the same, but on Slack all day and have plenty of meetings (which often I'd.. prefer not to have!)

We have stand-up meetings on Mon, Weds and Fri where everyone talks a little about what we'll be working on that day and any issues can be raised for further chats 1-on-1 or as a group. Really it's as much about the work as it is maintaining the connection with people and I think it helps break up the day when someone shares something funy, a news story, music, or just wants to talk over an idea or issue.

 

And look, that's just one aspect of life. But all the small things can add up to improve the whole.

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8 hours ago, pastry said:

I feel for you. Do you have the option of some face to face or chat with colleagues? I'm much the same, but on Slack all day and have plenty of meetings (which often I'd.. prefer not to have!)

We have stand-up meetings on Mon, Weds and Fri where everyone talks a little about what we'll be working on that day and any issues can be raised for further chats 1-on-1 or as a group. Really it's as much about the work as it is maintaining the connection with people and I think it helps break up the day when someone shares something funy, a news story, music, or just wants to talk over an idea or issue.

 

And look, that's just one aspect of life. But all the small things can add up to improve the whole.

I have one meeting every day with the Retro Gamer team, but it's not the same. I never asked to work from home. That choice was made for me when our office was shut down and it's simply not economically viable to travel to Bath from Bournemouth every single day. I'm not the only person feeling like this (both in the company and generally) which simply adds to the guilt more. I have friends and family who are genuinely suffering far more than I am from things like cancer, chromes and other illnesses which makes me feel even more shitty. Unfortunately that's not how depression works, you can't rationalise things like you normally would and I just end up spiralling more.

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Whilst I've never suffered from depression, for years I suffered from a chronic inability to limit my spending habits and at one point my debts were around £50k.

 

I've been debt free for many years now, but I still have loads of times I just hit 'click' and wait for a fun package to arrive at my door. 

 

And most of the time I look at it once or twice and then forget about it.

 

I'm fairly constantly in a buy/sell/buy phase - especially when it comes to consoles. Ever since the PS3/360 days I've been alternating and flipping between them depending on whether there's a game I want to play. My dodgy logic suggests what I do is effectively 'renting' the thing out for a while, so don't necessarily lose that much on the thing. But I do find it extraordinarily difficult to break out of this sort of thing. 
 

I think my philosophy is: if I can afford it, and I'm able to pay bills etc then I'm not too worried. I don't do credit cards, not do I have an overdraft so it's fairly easy to keep on tabs with things.

 

And, at the end of the day I'm not hurting anybody. Indeed, I kind of like selling off these things on RLLMUK and knowing it's going to someone vaguely decent ;)

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, strider said:

I have one meeting every day with the Retro Gamer team, but it's not the same. I never asked to work from home. That choice was made for me when our office was shut down and it's simply not economically viable to travel to Bath from Bournemouth every single day. I'm not the only person feeling like this (both in the company and generally) which simply adds to the guilt more. I have friends and family who are genuinely suffering far more than I am from things like cancer, chromes and other illnesses which makes me feel even more shitty. Unfortunately that's not how depression works, you can't rationalise things like you normally would and I just end up spiralling more.

 

What helped me recently, and annoyingly kind of sorted me out a lot before my therapy started, was contacting old friends and having chats with them. Is that an option? I now have someone I call weekly, another more than monthly and I guess next step is meeting up with local folk more often too once I'm more comfortable about covid.

 

But that chats have kind of improved things not just for getting me out of my funk, but enthusing me to do stuff again mostly so I have something to chat about. Often in my weekly chat we tend to be working through some problem or other at the same time as asking about each other's kids, trying to get some tech or software to work. 

 

 

I don't really have the issue with buying lots of stuff I don't need. As I say, I tend to pick something, research it and then spend loads of money "wisely" on something I quickly get bored of. But, I have found that listing things helps keeps that sort of thing at bay. I was having a pretty good year or so just filling up my Letterboxd with movies (often one a day) or trying to complete one game in a month. That seems to help tick the bit of my brain that feels I've accomplished something as much as collecting or just getting a new parcel does. 

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17 minutes ago, AK Bell said:

 

What helped me recently, and annoyingly kind of sorted me out a lot before my therapy started, was contacting old friends and having chats with them. Is that an option? I now have someone I call weekly, another more than monthly and I guess next step is meeting up with local folk more often too once I'm more comfortable about covid.

 

But that chats have kind of improved things not just for getting me out of my funk, but enthusing me to do stuff again mostly so I have something to chat about. Often in my weekly chat we tend to be working through some problem or other at the same time as asking about each other's kids, trying to get some tech or software to work. 

 

 

I don't really have the issue with buying lots of stuff I don't need. As I say, I tend to pick something, research it and then spend loads of money "wisely" on something I quickly get bored of. But, I have found that listing things helps keeps that sort of thing at bay. I was having a pretty good year or so just filling up my Letterboxd with movies (often one a day) or trying to complete one game in a month. That seems to help tick the bit of my brain that feels I've accomplished something as much as collecting or just getting a new parcel does. 

I have been trying to make more of an effort to see people (I regularly see an old school friend now for example). I'm making a concentrated effort to currently play through stuff but I've got so much existing stuff that I don't touch that it makes me feel guilty for buying the new stuff.

Part of my feels like sacking off a lot of my games (I enjoyed going to the London Gaming Market a few years back and clearing stuff there) but I find it hard to currently muster up any enthusiasm to sell anything or do anything in general. I just have no get up and go in me at the moment which frustrates me tremendously. I've also been a cautious, unambitious person (hence why I've been meandering in the same job for the last 17 years) but it's really come to the fore in the last couple of years and people around me are starting to acutely become aware of it. Some of my close friends suggested I should see a doctor as they think I'm bi-polar (it runs in my family) but I'm too scared to because ultimately I can't do anything about it (I've been on pills before and it was a nightmare).

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I don't have depression and I'm not in debt but I have had to put some curbs on my retro game collecting (and spending).

I've tried to concentrate on specfic favourite systems and not get sucked down the rabbit whole of trying have everything on every system.

For example, the Megadrive is my favourite console and I've spent a small fortune on my collection of carts but I don't have a Mega CD. I don't have any real nostalgia for the Mega CD and while there are some decent games for the system, they tend to be very pricey. I just don't need to open that can of worms so I stay away from it. When it comes to handhelds, I have a small collection of decent GameBoy games but don't buy for any other handheld systems.
I like to have a good library of games for my favourite systems, rather than random selections across loads of formats.
Psychologically, I'm building up a library. I don't have to play every game to completion. Some of the games are in the library out of curiosity or just because they have something that makes them interesting. I don't feel guilty if I add a game to the library and then don't play it for years - I know it will get it's time in the sun at some point.

It helps that I have a good friend who lives nearby who is also a retro game enthusiast. We have regular game nights where we play through whatever takes our fancy. We're also in a Facebook Group with some old school friends and we occasionally do group playthroughs of old games (not playing online or anything, just all playing the same game at roughy the same time and posting our thoughts on it).

Basically, I try to make what could be a very solitary hobby into something sociable. In my mind collecting isn't the same as gambling, drinking etc. I see it as more akin to classic car restoration or model train building. It's a perfectly wholesome hobby which allows for lots of alone-time, can be something of a money-sink but can also be a great way to meet people and build friendships. And there's always somehting new to learn and discover. 

So while I do sometimes get carried away, spend too much and wonder where I'm going to put everything, I try not to beat myself up about it. It's just an excess of enthusiasm for a hobby which I love.

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8 minutes ago, JamesC said:

It helps that I have a good friend who lives nearby who is also a retro game enthusiast. We have regular game nights where we play through whatever takes our fancy. We're also in a Facebook Group with some old school friends and we occasionally do group playthroughs of old games (not playing online or anything, just all playing the same game at roughy the same time and posting our thoughts on it).

 

I used to have regular game nights but that no longer seems to be on the table. Most of my friends have families with far younger kids than I do so they don't really have the option to come over. I might start up a game chat online. That could be quite fun.

I think collecting can be a wholesome hobby as well but like anything it's prone to abuse, whether intentional or unintentional. I've bought a couple of high-end items recently and I'm making a point of completing them (nearly finished one and then I'll start Indy).

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46 minutes ago, strider said:

it's really come to the fore in the last couple of years and people around me are starting to acutely become aware of it. Some of my close friends suggested I should see a doctor as they think I'm bi-polar (it runs in my family) but I'm too scared to because ultimately I can't do anything about it (I've been on pills before and it was a nightmare).

 

You can do something about it Daz - you can talk it through with a GP, a mental health professional, a counsellor. You can look at other medications, you can try CBT (different forms of it if it didn't work for you previously), look into meditation or guided breathing, become a complete running wanker, get a patch of garden to grow some shit (or an allotment), all sorts.

 

I don't want this to sound like 'just do xyz', that's not the intention. I just don't want you to think it's hopeless when it's not at all - it's hard work and there will be a lot of stop-starting, but you can find something that works for you and helps you if you stick with trying to fix it. And for what it's worth, I hate being in offices and love working from home, but you're one of the few people I miss being in an office with. There's actually a fair few from Imagine I miss, even if tramping into an office every day makes me... less-than-happy, let's say.

 

On the topic, I hoard. It's cyclical - I buy lots of shit, get too much (and don't touch most of it), then sell it on. Done it with games, retro consoles, board games, microphones, DVDs/Blu-rays, CDs, old controllers, and more. Most recently it was the microphones, and I've now got one left to sell so that'll be those cleared out - til the next mania takes over and I have to buy whatever comes to mind. It's not getting me in debt, I'm careful enough with money that it isn't hurting me like that, but I hate to think what we could have done house-wise, holiday-wise, general life-wise had I not spent literally thousands on stuff I ultimately have no use for and don't need (or, sometimes, even want).

 

That said, I'm saving proceeds from selling stuff (and Patreon money, hah) to fund a private ADHD diagnosis. A three-year wait on the NHS is a bit much.

 

Wherever we move to in future needs a garden I can do proper gardening in, because I felt proper zen doing that shit. Really, properly stop and take a lungful of air and feel content kind of stuff. Much more than buying five cheap PS2s could ever do.

  

5 minutes ago, strider said:

I used to have regular game nights but that no longer seems to be on the table. Most of my friends have families with far younger kids than I do so they don't really have the option to come over. I might start up a game chat online. That could be quite fun.

I think collecting can be a wholesome hobby as well but like anything it's prone to abuse, whether intentional or unintentional. I've bought a couple of high-end items recently and I'm making a point of completing them (nearly finished one and then I'll start Indy).

Also this: I play D&D online with a group of friends regularly on Roll20 and it's easily one of the highlights of each week we play. I always come out of it beaming, with stories to tell, having just laughed for a few hours solid. It might not be in person, but it works well.

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3 hours ago, strider said:

I have one meeting every day with the Retro Gamer team, but it's not the same. I never asked to work from home. That choice was made for me when our office was shut down and it's simply not economically viable to travel to Bath from Bournemouth every single day. I'm not the only person feeling like this (both in the company and generally) which simply adds to the guilt more. I have friends and family who are genuinely suffering far more than I am from things like cancer, chromes and other illnesses which makes me feel even more shitty. Unfortunately that's not how depression works, you can't rationalise things like you normally would and I just end up spiralling more.

 

I know it's not an ideal solution but what about if the RG team came into the London office once a week? As a remote worker don't Future pay for you to travel to meetings?

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1 hour ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

I know it's not an ideal solution but what about if the RG team came into the London office once a week? As a remote worker don't Future pay for you to travel to meetings?

We don't get cover. We've got something in place now so I can meet up with Nick once a move so that's something. There's also a local office space I'm going to start visiting shortly, so will be able to see a few familiar faces there.

 

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I do. Recently I've been on a PS3 kick since having that set up for watching films from the charity shop. There's definitely an element of retail therapy in there, waiting for the games to plop through the letterbox or in the case of the Resistance trilogy, coming in a box. And then on the following Saturday I'll maybe play them for a few hours before they go with the rest. 

 

On the face of it it is harmless, but it dawned on me it wasn't really about having a PS3 collection, it was more about reliving a period of my life in the early 2010s where I was definitely happier. I was in a long-term relationship at the time, I'd just moved into a new flat, weekends were spending time with my girlfriend, then playing all these games (although this was on the 360 at the time), life was good. 

 

I was basically living in the past, and trying to relive it wasn't working, although it was admittedly fun playing SEGA Rally Revo and Tiger Woods 2008. I feel a bit hollow now. 

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58 minutes ago, strider said:

We don't get cover. We've got something in place now so I can meet up with Nick once a move so that's something. There's also a local office space I'm going to start visiting shortly, so will be able to see a few familiar faces there.

 

 

That's a pain. I know of Future staff who get train tickets and even hotels if they schedule team meetings in London.

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3 hours ago, JamesC said:

Basically, I try to make what could be a very solitary hobby into something sociable. In my mind collecting isn't the same as gambling, drinking etc. I see it as more akin to classic car restoration or model train building. It's a perfectly wholesome hobby which allows for lots of alone-time, can be something of a money-sink but can also be a great way to meet people and build friendships. And there's always somehting new to learn and discover. 

So while I do sometimes get carried away, spend too much and wonder where I'm going to put everything, I try not to beat myself up about it. It's just an excess of enthusiasm for a hobby which I love.

 

That's a great way to approach it. It's not the money that's the issue if it's spent well (hey, get the richy rich here!). I take up an interest and try to keep focus. But it's easy to slip. 

 

 

When taking up drawing again I had to stop myself getting too much crap. It was just to do something a bit more impressive than a doodle while thinking at work. All you need is some decent pencils and a pad, but I was looking at different sizes and types, special pens to ink the comics I was never going to make, something expensive to rest on, oh I might need some kind of light box as I used to interested in animation ...STOP! I drew the line at getting some quite expensive paper and too many untouched pads of it. 

 

It actually becomes quite daunting to look at the pile of equipment and feel I need to use it. And use it well. It was meant to be just a bit of fun. It's basically boiled back down to a tiny pad and a couple of pencils on my desk.

 

 

Same with gaming. I get it in my head I want to play X, Y, Z and I'll happily spend to play it. Last time I did that I got a brand new 3DS XL to finish Dragon Quest VIII and play the Mario RPG/Paper games. That was fine. Mission accomplished. I did however buy a few more carts thanks to all your recommendations. I'm probably not going to play some of them, but at least I stopped myself from "I'm probably not going to play the majority of them". But it's a bit daunting now. What am I going to play next?

 

Currently I'm trying to play a whole bunch of Final Fantasy and I've basically been double/triple dipping on some games hoping to find the platform that sticks. However, I've not just went and bought 1-15 and everything else on top. I've focused on 3 of them for now. Any more and I'll play none of them.

 

 

Not sure how that applies. But basically I had something of a breakdown a few months ago with anxiety and couldn't find joy in anything. I'm feeling a bit more chipper now with chatting to old friends and really narrowing down on small projects like trying to finish 2-3 games or faffing about with emulators and handhelds. 

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1 hour ago, AK Bell said:

 

That's a great way to approach it. It's not the money that's the issue if it's spent well (hey, get the richy rich here!). I take up an interest and try to keep focus. But it's easy to slip. 

 

 

When taking up drawing again I had to stop myself getting too much crap. It was just to do something a bit more impressive than a doodle while thinking at work. All you need is some decent pencils and a pad, but I was looking at different sizes and types, special pens to ink the comics I was never going to make, something expensive to rest on, oh I might need some kind of light box as I used to interested in animation ...STOP! I drew the line at getting some quite expensive paper and too many untouched pads of it. 

 

It actually becomes quite daunting to look at the pile of equipment and feel I need to use it. And use it well. It was meant to be just a bit of fun. It's basically boiled back down to a tiny pad and a couple of pencils on my desk.

 

 

Same with gaming. I get it in my head I want to play X, Y, Z and I'll happily spend to play it. Last time I did that I got a brand new 3DS XL to finish Dragon Quest VIII and play the Mario RPG/Paper games. That was fine. Mission accomplished. I did however buy a few more carts thanks to all your recommendations. I'm probably not going to play some of them, but at least I stopped myself from "I'm probably not going to play the majority of them". But it's a bit daunting now. What am I going to play next?

 

Currently I'm trying to play a whole bunch of Final Fantasy and I've basically been double/triple dipping on some games hoping to find the platform that sticks. However, I've not just went and bought 1-15 and everything else on top. I've focused on 3 of them for now. Any more and I'll play none of them.

 

 

Not sure how that applies. But basically I had something of a breakdown a few months ago with anxiety and couldn't find joy in anything. I'm feeling a bit more chipper now with chatting to old friends and really narrowing down on small projects like trying to finish 2-3 games or faffing about with emulators and handhelds. 

The Toolbox Fallacy. I've been guilty of that in the past, but when someone once said whilst you're spending all that money on gear some kid is making masterpieces with nothing it made me stop and think hard. 

 

There's so much FOMO with games, whether you're reading about people's collections or other systems, you can get carried away and just spend spend spend, without getting any of the benefits like simple pleasure. That really gets me depressed sometimes, like I'll start games and just get nothing, blame myself for not putting the effort in, or not buying the right version, or not being as dedicated as xxRetroG4mer1998xx on that forum. 

 

It does take some effort to do it but stripping things right back and ignoring the clamour of the internet sometimes is essential. And I don't always take my own advice there. 

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To counter the acquisition/hording dopamine feedback loop I’m trying to go back and clock games I never really started instead.

 

Forza horizon 1 was a recent completion. Now I’m playing forza horizon 2

 

AND also watchdogs, which I intend to main, but not do any side missions, if I can help it.

 

If only I hadn’t had to buy it again to replace my stolen copy…

 

You know, concentrate on what I’ve got, rather than what I could have?

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I buy a lot of CDs. They're absurdly cheap, and I can cheer myself up on a bad day for a few quid.

 

I think if you've grown up in the west, you're kind of conditioned to the thrill of buying something new-to-you, and I've found that it works just as well if I've spent £3 on a CD than if I've spent £600 on, say, a camera lens. Music is also good as it can be consumed passively while working - you don't need to carve out much dedicated time in your life.

 

I hate the feelings of guilt you get when you splash out on some expensive thing, then don't have time to actually use it, and feel like you need to justify the expense - hello, guitar and camera gear!

 

Key for me is maintaining an easy-come-easy-go attitude. Not every album works for me; I used to hold onto the ones that had nominal value, e.g. £8+ on eBay, with the plan to sell them one day. I never had time, they piled up and made me feel bad. Now I just send them to my local Oxfam, along with the cheaper ones, about once a quarter. Every year I get a letter from Oxfam saying how much my donations have raised, so basically a way of giving money to charity while enjoying myself at the same time. As Corranga says, car boots are also great for a walk.

 

From that perspective, I'm not sure I see the harm in buying cheap games, keeping the ones you enjoy and moving the rest on. Gives you some variety, some purchase-endorphins, and with discipline it won't break the bank or the shelves. Although if they're piling up and making you feel bad about not playing them, then that's something that needs to be considered.

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I love charity shops for that. I get a little rush from seeing anything that isn’t FIFA. And, recently, another sense of reward for NOT buying the game for the sake of buying it.

 

like the sealed watchdogs the other day.

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I find I’ll have a inkling to play a game, buy it and then only spend twenty minutes in it before it goes in the pile of shame to eventually go to cex. 
 

To combat this I’ve set up a to play list in my notes app: 

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And I’m trying to clear it down a bit. Didn’t stop me picking up Monster Hunter Tri for £2.50 earlier (it’s on the list at the bottom). 

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