(Photo by Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash.)
I started playing Skyrim on the PlayStation 3, many years ago. I absolutely loved it. It was the first really immersive electronic RPG I’ve ever played, far beyond anything else: I could create many different characters, explore the world, and even roleplay in ways I could only do with pen & paper RPGs before.
My PS3 was full of unplayed games, by the way – it was used mostly for Skyrim and Netflix. After I sold my PS3 I bought Skyrim on Steam, and played a little bit there. After Steam, I bought it again on PS4 and played countless hours again. A few weeks ago I bought Skyrim for the fourth time, now on the Switch, and was immediately hooked.
I’m on a break now, and I have 2 rules for myself for the time being:
- I want to be with family as much as possible, and help with the situations we’re in right now.
- I want to enjoy the time by trying as many different things as I can.
Soon after starting my break I realized that I was still playing 1-4 hours of Skyrim per day… but why?
- It’s convenient. It’s there, mobile, on the Switch.
- It’s safe. There are no unknowns, no excitement, no risk.
- It has a reward loop: you take a quest, you do it, you get the rewards… and more quests. It’s an easy – and fake – way to feel productive, useful.
Most importantly, it was actively preventing me from trying new things: new activities, new games, anything that could potentially get me anxious or nervous would immediately be replaced with a “quick” session of Skyrim.
When I caught myself doing this, I realized this could not go on and deleted it.
I felt an immediate sense of relief, and decided to move on. Since then, I:
- Deleted all the Kindle books except a new one that I wanted to read (The Sovereign Individual, which I already mentioned on the blog)
- Deleted all my Spotify playlists
- Deleted all my 3DS games except one (a new one, still unplayed)
- Deleted all my Switch games except one (a new one, still unplayed)
- Deleted all my bookmarks
I did this to remove the convenient, the safe, so I can create space for the new, the exciting. Let’s see how that goes!