Good luck! That's a huge thing.
For the record, I'm on the "delete them" side, but that's going off of my own reactions and the way I know I would play them again if the temptation were there.
Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of, too.
But my other fear is, what if it turns out that I mentally need that brain-dead, alpha wave time? Then if they are gone, what will I do??!
I also know that the answer is, "Adapt stupid. You lived without them for years."
Well, if you disappoint yourself and HAVE to fall back into what you've identified as a bad habit, you could probably just download most of those games, couldn't you?
Some of them I've paid for.
Some places offer a reactivation code if you purchase the game so that you can put it on another computer, or re-add it in case it gets accidentally deleted. I know not all are like that, but you may want to just check.
It would make the deleting easier, even if you never do need to reinstall.
I don't think it's about "deleting them so they're completely inaccessible." It's about making them practically unavailable. Burn them to a CD and have Ferrett lock them up, either physically or behind some sort of password. If you find later that they served a useful purpose then you're covered, but you'll have to convince someone besides your tired self when that time comes.
And then I realize you've already made that suggestion below. Oops :)
That's a really good idea. I will work on that.
My solitaire playing was reduced drastically by getting a new and fast computer--I used to start games while waiting for pages to load (!) and then realize half an hour later that I was still doing the solitaire and had completely forgotten what I was actually doing on the computer.
Not that I don't still find plenty of other ways to waste time, like superfluous LJ commenting...
I consider LJ as one of the things I'll have more time for if I stop playing Freecell!
For the record: You on LJ > You playing games alone.
Just in case you were curious about my opinion on that. :)
I have no idea if this applies to you or not (we're all different, and have different motivators, which of course you know!), but as an ADDer I feel kind of obligated to point out the following:
Some of us have substandard neurotransmitters, and it can take us 3-4 times as much mental effort as a regular person to work on things that don't stimulate us. As a result, sometimes the only way we get as much done as our co-workers is to push at a pace that simply can't be maintained for very long, and then our brains lock up in protest and refuse to work anymore. It's not an issue of willpower; it's that you can't create dopamine out of nothing. Just can't happen. We -need- something mindless to do while we get back to center.
The more disciplined of us would use a timer for these mindless activities (so as not to get caught up in the whole hyperfocus thing), and maybe that could work for you. It seems like it would be an easier transition for most people in any case; whether or not you've got a form of ADD.
I can see your point that if these games are a real addiction then even just a little bit will be dangerous, but if this is actually your brain's way of recuperating between energy-binges, going Cold Turkey could mean you're just going to end up replacing one so-called unproductive activity with another. I've found that in my own life, sometimes it's better to just redefine what "productive" means. I -need- my stupid downtime activities, or I can't be productive later. So I goof off and "waste time", and maybe it really IS a waste of time, but I think the time I save not feeling guilty anymore more than makes up for it. :)
I do wonder a bit about that, which is why I am a little hesitant to actually delete them off the computer. Maybe I'll have Ferrett hide them from me and see how I do.
I think having Ferrett hide them from you is a better idea, especially since some of them are games you've paid for.
Supposedly, resolutions work better when you make a resolution to replace something instead of just to stop doing something. So maybe "instead of playing mindless games at the end of everyday, I am going to sit down and quilt" would be a better resolution than "I am going to stop playing mindless games." Just like smokers who quit by replacing cigarettes with chewing gum, you know? Not immediately offering a replacement for the behavior will just create a void of time and energy.
I am looking at it as freeing up time, which does help.
I wonder if this describes me since I have a horrible time concentrating for long periods of time, like other people seem to be able to. Although I love to read, if it's something I've never read before, I can only read for so long. After a certain point, my mind just locks up and I have to rest until my mind is able to concentrate again.
What bothers me is that our society seems to becoming increasingly Type A over time. We're convinced that we need to be "productive" every minute of the day or we feel worthless or like we're committing some sort of sin. We forget that we do need our downtime to recharge. I once got suckered into buying into this mindset. Nowadays, if my gut tells me I feel like goofing off for a little bit, I do it.
I have no beef with goofing off. Playing Rock Band, watching a movie, etc. are all fine. I just know that I fall into Solitaire mode and don't crawl back out for unhealthy lengths of time - stay up too late, don't get things done I intended to accomplish. It has risen to addiction level for me.
Oh, right. I forgot to say that I'm sure you know your situation best. It might be a good idea to leave it alone for a while. I liked the suggestion of maybe setting a timer. If you can't quit after that timer goes off, then you know you have a problem. :-)
In my comments I was reacting more to a larger trend I've seen that I think can be destructive if we don't watch it. It finally dawned on me you have to find a happy balance, whether it's being productive or goofing off. I had a much harder time doing this when I was younger.
Balance is definitely the key. To pretty much anything, actually.
I know the feeling. When my old boss called to offer me my old job to cover the sick employee, I was so relieved. I had played over 1,100 games of webkinz tile towers over the course of the month. I've already promised myself that I wish not spend hours on computer games when this job ends.
Good to know I'm not alone!
I play spider solitaire, or backgammon, or parchesi, or dominoes every night to wind my brain down before I go to bed. It's mindless, and relaxing, and that's why I enjoy it.
Of course, I could be meditating. hmmm
That's a really good resolution idea. When I think of the amount of time I've spent playing stuff like Snood, Zuma, Freecell, etc, it's just sad. Yet I have a sweater that I started knitting years ago and have yet to finish.
Yeah, it's a very concrete thing out of which many other good things can develop.
About three computers ago, I deleted them to free up some space (this was a computer so small that when I ripped a DVD for vidding, I had to move everything else on the computer onto a back-up CD. Just the one, that was all I needed for space).
I ended up downloading about seven different versions of Othello (or Reversi, as it appears to be known online), and became addicted to that instead.
However, I have faith in you! I say delete 'em. Remove the temptation.
If it all goes wrong, If you want to test your resolve at a later date, you can always download them again.
I can't tell you how glad I am that I never realized that Reversi was Othello - I would really never come up for air if I started playing that on the computer!
One potential idea, since some of them you've actually paid for, is tucking them away safely someplace it's a hassle to get to. As in, putting them all together, zipping them up, and deleting the originals... so if you want to play, you have to unzip, reinstall, and all that jazz.
And I think you're self-aware enough that you'd figure out that something was wrong during that multi-step process.
LOL! That probably is a good idea.
2007-12-30 12:20 am (UTC)
I realise that your "sitch" is different, but this is mine!
I need those solitaire games - I can only write when I'm jumping between things. If it's the right time of day, I can jump between writing and livejournal (with consistent new updates), or even writing and MSN.
But when I'm up late at night and writing, I jump between writing and Everett Kaser games
- particularly Knarly Mazes.
2007-12-30 06:09 am (UTC)
Re: I realise that your "sitch" is different, but this is mine!
My problem is that I don't jump back - I start playing and that's it.
It's bad to combine ADD with OCD, that's all I'm sayin'
You are so much braver and wiser than I am :)
In my defense, I frequently combine Spider Solitaire with television viewing or online chatting/social interaction.
2007-12-30 02:58 am (UTC)
I think you're very brave :)
And as SpongeBob might say, "Good luck with that!" :D
2007-12-30 06:10 am (UTC)
Re: I think you're very brave :)
This is the time of year when Americans once again declare war on their failings.
I think one of the big reasons we all fall off the good intention bandwagon is we just love to go cold turkey and from sinner to saint overnight.
Trying to go soliteetotalling is going to be next to impossible. Oh sure some people have iron wills and such or the ability to guilt themselves into doing it. Those are the people that make it on Oprah and chicken-soup books to make the rest of us feel like failures when we can’t give up whatever it is that has been sustaining us the last 10 years.
It is an admirable goal to deal with something that you feel is out of control. I think trying to manage it is a better and more sustainable course of action than throwing it away.
Get a timer…. Set it for an hour a day.
Let yourself play as long as you want… one day a week.
The other nice thing about weaning yourself off of it, is you can modify the level of use. Perhaps the correct level of solitaire is somewhere between “never” and “full-time job”.
Either way good luck with your quest. Those damn games are addictive as sin for some people.
2007-12-30 04:25 pm (UTC)
Re: War on Solitare
While that is good advice for some people, I know me. I am not good at moderation. I have tried to set limits and it just doesn't work. So at least for a while it's gotta be cold turkey.
There is a reason there are no games on the version of XP professional we run at work. Youtube and flicker are also blocked by the servers. There are many ways to waste time that are more productive and semi mindless. I can knit or crochet without watching every stitch.
Yup; I can hand-quilt and watch a movie, or read a book instead. The solitaire games are massive time sinks.
I'm right there with you, except the games that I play aren't necessarily solitaire ones. Like Diablo II - I lost about three years of free time to that damn game.
I got a Mac not only because I needed it for school, but also so I couldn't install games on it. And though my friends keep pressuring me, I flat-out refuse to play World of Warcraft with them. I told my friend, "I'm like your alcoholic mom and booze. She can't have just one drink, and I can't play just one hour."
So in short, I am right there with you, and I wish you much success.
In a weird way, I am very fortunate that I can't play any game with a 3-D moving map. Diablo II is okay (and yeah, I've devoured many life-hours playing it), but Evercrack and its offspring are impossible for me.
I could play games like Civilization, but I have avoided getting caught up in them. Caesar II devoured many, many hours when I played it.
At the very least, letting Ferret rename the programs will effectively hide them from your OS, so you don't really have to remove them to make them easily unplayable.
If you find yourself searching out the new programs to re-add them, well, in that case you've admitted defeat.
Good luck - I've done the mindless "one more game, click, one more game, click, ok...I just want to win 2 games in a row...hey, why's that light coming in from the window" dance myself.
Thanks for the good wishes. Now that I'm thinking about it, I haven't even cracked open any of the games - too self-conscious about the time sink.