|She doesn't usually scream like that.|
Despite our busy schedules, my boyfriend and I have always made the effort to spend as much time as possible together. Though we have always seemed to make it work, sacrifices are often made. For me, I often find myself scrounging to find time to write. For him, it’s video games that have gone by the wayside. It’s not like I am telling him not to play. We just happen to spend more time at my place, and I unfortunately don’t have a system of my own.
Though he does not blame me (much), there is still some animosity present and I have noticed a few changes in him. Though he does his best to hide it, he is experiencing some of the classic telltale symptoms of withdrawal:
Video games not only used to fill all one’s spare time, it gave something to look forward to; a reflex hobby if you will. With one’s usual activity of choice no longer available, a distinct feeling of unease can set in. “So…what do I do now?” Is the forefront thought on the mind. It’s uncomfortable. Even if there are dozens of equally stimulating and engaging activities available, they just don’t capture the imagination the way video games do.
GRUMPY AND IRATE BEHAVIOUR:
Gaming is a pleasurable activity. When doing things one enjoys, there is an increase the levels of serotonin in the brain AKA ‘that feel good feeling’. When the brain experiences a drop in these levels, a person can become ill tempered and easily aggravated.
DIFFICULTY ENJOYING OTHER ACTIVITIES:
With today’s technology, video games are no longer a just a simple game. They are vast and multifaceted realms, with entire communities dedicated to their infrastructure. When removed from this world, it’s hard to find something else that is as engaging on as many levels. In a sense, other activities are ‘cheapened’ or pale in comparison.
FEELINGS OF EMPTINESS/DEPRESSION:
It’s a commonly accepted concept that feelings of triumph and satisfaction can be derived from successes and met-milestones in video games. Unlocking new achievements and beating difficult bosses and levels give the feeling of accomplishment. With the confidence-building platform removed, a person can actually experience symptoms of loss and depression.
FREQUENT DREAMS ABOUT GAMEPLAY:
Our subconscious mind is a painting of our deepest thoughts and daily activities. Hence why people dream about work, school and people they know. When video games are a prominent part of one’s life, they become ingrained in our character. When they are removed, one feels a sense of longing for said activity. Dreams fantasizing about certain game play, or even casting oneself in the actual game are not unheard of.
With my boyfriend and I moving in together in a few months, it will be easier to not only spend time together, but to make time for individual activities as well. Whether or not I can stave off writer’s block long enough, and find ample time to write more articles is yet to be seen. However, with all the gaming my boyfriend will have time to do when he has his trusty console safely in our communal living room; at the very least his gaming will give me lots of inspiration to draw from and write about.