A Disordered Life

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

A Disordered Life

Why do many gamers seem so disorganized in their personal life?

Read Full Article

There's a difference between disorder and chaos.

Case in point: My Mother is a hoarder. She has stuff bulging out of each and every cupboard.
My Father is a tidier. He tidies constantly.
I'm a bit of a slob. Always have been LONG before I even had a computer.

Thing is: If they need to find that spare set of keys, I'm the one who can find them.

If I move the keys from one hook to the other, both my folks are lost. If they drop them in the bathroom, I'll still be able to find them quickly.

You can still be messy and organised.

I love this - taking a different angle than the usual "This is what gamers are like" articles.

Having been both organized and disorganized at various stages of my life, video games are definitely a destabilizing factor, simply because they are so addictive. If I'm thinking about a game when I get home, there's less incentive to do the laundry, buy groceries, or clean the bathroom. After all, Minecraft is right there!

Ironically, Gamefly has greatly helped in this regard. With a nearly week-long time lag between games, I can squeeze in the menial tasks of daily organization and still have room for the Wednesday night Bible study.

I tend to expect life to contain a lot of disorder, and try to adapt to it. I think it's mostly best to attempt to create a sense of balance and flexibility in your life, well at least I prefer that. I wouldn't want my enjoyment of playing games to become avoidant behaviour, and try to consider other priorities first. Escapism is often welcome, but I wouldn't want it make me passive in my life generally. I think, depending on your situation, it can be all to easy to avoid life through playing games (and I experienced this when I was younger) or really, any kind of escapism.
So these days, when it comes to deciding when to play a game and for how long, I try to take into consideration other responsibilities in my life beforehand.

I kind of fit the bill on this one - I'm pretty bad slob, a handful of times a year I'll get sick of my place being messy and spend a day cleaning, but most of the time what I'll do is a quick tidying up if I know someone's coming over. Mostly its I tend to leave dishes and laundry lying around till the once a week when I clean it all up. That and dusting, I HATE dusting.

I also have some minor issues with time management, nothing so bad that its adversely affected me professionally though, granted it helps that the company I work for is pretty laid back about such matters as long as I'm getting my work done efficiently and the quality doesn't suffer, they aren't going to begrudge me for being a little late on occasion. A lot of that also has to do with the nature of my work - I'm a software developer, so generally speaking when I work isn't quite as much an issue as when I finish a project. If I were on client support, for example, I'd need to be answering phones so I imagine that when I was at my desk in the morning would probably be a bigger factor in how my boss tolerated such things.

I'll admit that I took a bit longer to get through college than 4 years, 6 to be exact, but gaming was far from the only factor. The main thing was for most of my first year I was suffering from a pretty deep depression, my dorm roommate was a raging alcoholic, I really didn't know where I was going in life - I really was only attending college at that point because I was 'Supposed to' more than anything.

I eventually managed to pull myself together though, began taking a wide variety of classes at a community college to figure out what I liked doing, discovered I enjoyed programming, enrolled at another University, and got myself a degree in Computer Science.

I will admit it was an uphill battle moving from being a directionless slacker to actually trying to get my shit together, there was a lot of forcing myself to sit down and study, do homework, etc. instead of playing the latest game I picked up. Really though the thing that changed things from me the most was finally breaking out of the cycle of depression and finding motivation to move forward.

Now as far as how to make yourself actually focus on work when you much rather be playing your latest purchase - for those of you still in college, I *HIGHLY* recommend making yourself do your homework/projects/whatever on campus - I usually used the computer lab, and not at home. I've always found that as soon as I'm at home the temptation to slack off rises exponentially, because generally after you get home from a day of lectures and labs what you want to do is relax and not dive straight back into school.

I know I'm a pile-er. I keep stacks of papers around, and know exactly where everything is. I can reach into a pile, and pull out the file/paper I need. Periodically I feel compelled by society to file things via some sort of coherent filing system....In the subsequent few weeks I am completely bewildered when trying to find things, until they go back into their piles.

I guess it's a greater metaphor for the rest of my life - my organizational methods work perfectly for me, and that's what matters 8)

I think the problem is, you aren't considered a real gamer unless you live in a pile of empty mountain dew can and pizza boxes while being glued to your game, so people like me, who work 9-5, and live in a clean, relatively organize apartment aren't considered gamers. Therefore since I, and people like me aren't lumped in with the gamers you can't average out.

In games I find myself almost compulsively organised. I will pause Harvest Moon to calculate the cost-effectiveness of one type of crop over another, plan my daily activities and route (so as to grab as much free stuff as possible) and refer to a time sheet of who will be where so I can fit in some quick socialising. (If they ever invent random schedules for NPCs, I think my head might just explode.)

I organise my inventory in RPGs, make sure all my clothing matches when I can (even if it means undesirable side effects) and if there's any kind of time limit you'd better believe I have a plan for it.

Real life? Pfft. I still haven't folded my clothes from the laundry run two days ago. I have only tried to wear matching clothes for occasions like weddings and my room works constantly towards chaos until I need to procrastinate something enough to tidy it up. (And then I can never find anything.)

4 words:

"Just five more minutes..."

I definitely feel that a lot of the appearance of disorder is just in the mind of the beholder. If you always put everything useful on your desk, when you need to find it again, it's on your desk. Easy.

Well, I personally view the floor as an excellent storage space. It's a flat surface, and things stack well on it. What more could you want? However, I don't leave food or stuff like that lying around. That's just disgusting.

Welcome to the Land of Stereotypes. Population: Not nearly as many as you think.

Seriously, this is silly. Not every gamer fits into this image. And plenty of non-gamers are slobs. Being a gamer does not automatically equal slobbishness. They are separate issues. I am a gamer, yet I keep my home clean. The idea of piles of weeks old pizza boxes or piles of laundry on the floor would drive me insane. And I've known plenty of other gamers who aren't messy people. And non-gamers who make me afraid to go near their house, because I don't know what might be lurking under the piles. And I'm pretty sure the tuna casserole winked at me.

I'm a pretty sloppy guy, but I clean up regularly. I accumulate a mess and then get rid of it one fell swoop. When I DO clean up, I like to [i]really[i] clean up. I don't mean I WASH everything, god no, but I don't just throw away the trash either.

One of the many reasons I love the Escapist. Offers so much fresh and exciting perspectives into the gaming industry itself and life around/outside it.

Mark, I wonder if you do get paid for this kind of thing? If not, a very charitable attidude to help people out with prying questions!

After all this, I'm just left wondering how they got hold of a picture of the street under my bedroom window.

nekoali:
Welcome to the Land of Stereotypes. Population: Not nearly as many as you think.

Seriously, this is silly. Not every gamer fits into this image. And plenty of non-gamers are slobs. Being a gamer does not automatically equal slobbishness. They are separate issues. I am a gamer, yet I keep my home clean. The idea of piles of weeks old pizza boxes or piles of laundry on the floor would drive me insane. And I've known plenty of other gamers who aren't messy people. And non-gamers who make me afraid to go near their house, because I don't know what might be lurking under the piles. And I'm pretty sure the tuna casserole winked at me.

This is true. I also agree with the even more previous post about disorder not being the same as chaos.

To me personally, gaming is not only a hobby, but a way of life. I LOVE gaming, and I spend almost all my free time doing it, wether it is table top RP or the latest Mass Effect/Naruto game. I'd like to be in better shape (I am not fat, simply low on energy), but it is more fun to game so I do that instead.

What it all boils down to is a life philosophy. When I was younger I often thought martial arts was kick-ass (hehe). But I never bother to learn any of it. One reason is that I am a bit of a pacifist, but another is that I simply didnt want it enough to put in the work. I guess its the same about my being in shape. I just dont want it enough, so I game instead.

All in all, this is not a bad thing as my final words can be something along like: I lived as I wanted and had a great time doing it (and mean it). If you can say that at the end of your life, a couple of love-handles is nothing to cry about.

I'd be more inclined to say that games simply attract the sort of person psychologically predisposed to general slobiness and procrastination, rather than games causing slobiness and procrastination.

Take me. I've been messy and generally unmotivated since early grade school, and I've only been a serious gamer for the last decade or so.

That isn't to say that there aren't people who do play games to the point of interfering with their lives - just that I don't think it's a systematic phenomenon among gamers.

Also - I, too, organize my Magic: The Gathering cards alphabetically, and I'm not ashamed to say it's one of the only parts of my life that's consistently in order. ;)

Arcanist:

Also - I, too, organize my Magic: The Gathering cards alphabetically, and I'm not ashamed to say it's one of the only parts of my life that's consistently in order. ;)

Before my card collection really exploded and I didn't have that many cards (say, around ~800)
I kept my cards indexed by color, rarity, and then alphabetized.

Easily my favorite topic so far. This is something I definitely had some trouble with.

Back in Middle School I was one of those depressed, emo kids. And I got away from most of my issues by goin' and playin' a game for hours on end. My grades and organizational skills definitely suffered for it. It's strange though, because shortly after beginning High School, it seemed that almost all of that changed at once.

Don't get me wrong, I still play games for hours and hours. I didn't let them lead my life anymore though. My grades improved by a fairly large degree, and my organizational and cleanliness skills pretty much took over for a short while. Now I gotta keep my room as spotless as possible. Makin' my bed, vaccuming and dusting every 2 weeks, and keeping some ridiculous order in my room so I know where everything is. Also, even if the urge to play a game is extremely strong, I force myself to study or do my homework.

Sure every once in a while I fall back into bad habits. Hell, right now I'm playin' Red Dead Redemption and haven't exercised or cleaned my room in a few weeks now. But eventually I claw my way out of that deep, dark hole known as gaming looking triumphant and proud!

I don't think gaming and organization relates.

Some games might increase your organization skills, but otherwise, I think it's probably an unrelated thing.

i consider myself a hardcore gamer...if you could minecraft and civilization 5 as a hardcore game...but i have no problem with organization, in fact in im super organized in minecraft.

i guess its because of the fact that i have organization OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) i cant stand it when any of my things are out of place, in games and real life.

for example: in my bedroom i have 4 handheld pieces of technology that i place on the top of a board every night, i've outlined where each item will be placed with a marker, onto the board and if its not in its correct placement i cant sleep

my disorder is to keep things in order

I used to be really messy, but I've gotten better since college and moving out on my own. Partly it's because I have less stuff with me, but I also care more about how I present myself to guests. But gaming definitely affects how often I get chores done like laundry and dishes. Even more, it affects my sleep.

Part of it is that I just got a nice new PC after having only a school-issued laptop for 4 years. Needless to say, I've been playing all the games I've been missing voraciously, which cuts into much-needed sleep time. A brutal school schedule already taught me how to get by on little sleep, but it still messes with my performance. Also, my motivation for going out can wane when there's a new game or system calling to me. Inevitably, the obsession dies down and other things like creative and professional fulfillment become more important, but the intervening weeks are very unproductive.

You treat disorder like it's an on/off switch--either you're ordered or disordered, the end. Disorder is more of a continuum. Would you think it was healthy if a person devoted every waking moment to maximizing their orderliness, to the point where they were getting up hours early in order to be able to groom every single eyelash, re-grout the bathtub, measure precisely their consumption of shampoo and conditioner, etc? No.

I simply have strict limits on the amount of my life that I'm willing to devote to cleaning shit or worrying ABOUT cleaning shit. I prefer to clean and organize very intensively over short periods of time rather than spend a large amount of time every 15 minutes picking this up or cleaning that or whatever.

But I don't care if every time I pass through the kitchen for a couple of days, there's a few dishes on the counter. I'll get to them when I get to them. If it bothers you, clean it up yourself. I don't whine and complain when I wind up cleaning someone ELSE's mess, and I will actually say things like, hey, thanks for picking that up. But never a word of thanks or appreciation do I get when I clean up, which I do far more regularly than anyone believes. I don't understand why people get so effing self-righteous about doing a couple of dishes.

At the end of the day, people have to realize that there's an infinite amount of shit to be done and some of it just ain't getting done. I'd rather spend my limited time playing games, writing, drawing, earning money, cuddling, and do an absolute minimum amount of screwing around with dirt. If I can find my stuff, it's as organized as it needs to be.

I take a bit of pride in the state of my room (Being ordered that is, I'm not proud of the structured piles of mess it used to be). I also spend a lot of time making my house in Oblivion and Fallout 3 (Can't do it with F:NV, things go missing) set up exactly right.
However because I have almost no concept of time my organisational skills end there. I'm good with pattens. Applying them, not so much.

I would say I am a gamer but anyone that knows me would agree without me having to state it. I work 40 hours a week, play 20-30 hours per week as well and keep up with my family/friends/girlfriend. All of that being said, I am far from being a slob or having piles of anything in my house/room. I don't think that gamers have to give up playing games or keeping their house clean. How hard is it to carry your old trash to the kitchen when you are going for a new soda? Will a 10 min shower really kill your online presence?

People that let games take over their lives, in my personal, non-professional opinion, have to self control. Maybe they have an addictive personality and get hooked on playing a certain game but it's no excuse when you notice your house smells like trash, your boss threatens to cut you lose or your family doesn't know if you're alive because you live in your room all the time.

I think there are some people that need to unplug before it takes over their lives and they end up on the show "horders" when all they have is trash. LoL

The_root_of_all_evil:
There's a difference between disorder and chaos.

Case in point: My Mother is a hoarder. She has stuff bulging out of each and every cupboard.
My Father is a tidier. He tidies constantly.
I'm a bit of a slob. Always have been LONG before I even had a computer.

Thing is: If they need to find that spare set of keys, I'm the one who can find them.

If I move the keys from one hook to the other, both my folks are lost. If they drop them in the bathroom, I'll still be able to find them quickly.

You can still be messy and organised.

Truth, I remember when I lived at home and my room was completely chaotic, but I could still find exactly what I was looking for, but if my mother cleaned up, I suddenly couldn't find anything.

I have a system, but mom says important papers shouldnt be on the floor. doesnt really know where they should go. i mean, the desk is obviously meant for the junk. also, did anyone feel like humming 'Toxicity'?

I live in disorder, however I'm very organised. In fact my life can very much be summed up here.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I'm a bit of a slob. Always have been LONG before I even had a computer.

Thing is: If they need to find that spare set of keys, I'm the one who can find them.

If I move the keys from one hook to the other, both my folks are lost. If they drop them in the bathroom, I'll still be able to find them quickly.

You can still be messy and organised.

Like The Root of all Evil, I'm a slob and I live with no definitive place to put things that I'll be moving around constantly. However, I always know where they are and I can easily keep things like this sorted. My A-level work will be lying next to the door, in my bad and on my desk and I still get it all done. I have socks all over my floor yet I usually have a pair handy and if I don't there's a pair on the floor, same with my clothes.

Point is, I'm organised while being a slob and living in disorder.

My order is anothers disorder. I might keep my games piled high in several cupboards, but I know exactly where they are. I tend to have problems ordering my life when it comes to time, however - that's the killer. Time to travel outside, time to spend with partners, time to spend cooking, and then eating, and time to spend gaming, reading, writing. Time to spend sleeping is usually the one that meets the chop though, when I realise that I don't have enough time to do everything and sleep at the end of the day - which makes my days quite disordered, because who knows when I'll sleep!

Mark J Kline:
others even dream about it--provided they sleep long enough to enter the REM phase.

LOL, I dream I'm in a different video game almost every night. Not any of the ones that have been made just a dream with video game rules, plots, weapons, etc.

I don't have enough room for all of my stuff. That's the big problem. One bedroom with two computers (I share a room with a person of the opposite gender, and we are both gamers), a dresser, a tv/dvd on a stand. Between the two of us we manage to keep things fairly tidy. A kitchen-sized trash can under the desk helps a lot, but only because we empty it when it gets full.

Funny, though. When I was younger and had a room all to myself, I didn't bother to keep it clean, except for food debris, and only that because we had an ant problem and I didn't feel like waking up crawling with bugs. Less stuff=less organization? I guess sharing my space with another person has made me more organized.

Well, I'm the slightly lazy type in the sense that I really don't mind if there's a little mess around my room, and that's not coming mainly from video games. I've been that way for as long as I remember.

If the mess piles up however, I don't mind tidying up, it's just that my mess kinda makes my room feel.. "Home", you know?

The used set of clothes in my chair, the small gadgets and knick knacks on my desk and the controllers on the floor in front of the tv. They're all part of my room.
Whenever I thoroughly clean my room to crisp perfection, I always feel a slight discomfort, it just doesn't feel quite right. So by the next day, there's bound to be something laying around to drive my mom crazy (she's General Tidy-Face in the household).

Slightly messy room makes me comfortable, and I still find my things, so it's not an inconvinience either.

Some would say I fit the bill, but they'd be wrong.

I am organized, just in a way that works for me. I know where everything of mine is. If asked to find something of mine, I can get it in under a minute. I work on a type of "organized chaos" level.

Things may look a bit crazy in certain areas, but I can navigate them easily. Plus I don't have many things, so that helps.

Its also the same with the other areas of my life. In school I always looked disorganized, yet I knew where all my work was at all times, and always turned in a final copy of my work, never a first draft(except that one time...).

I've also been known to skip a few meals, but I've always eaten whenever I should. I just don't eat as much as others. I eat when I'm hungry, and games have no effect on it at all. If I'm hungry, I'll save, quit the game, and make myself some food. If I'm online, I'll tell everyone I'm going to go eat, then I get off.

In short, I may look disorganized, but thats because I organize in a way that works for me.

Simple as that.

Woodsey:
4 words:

"Just five more minutes..."

Or if your a Civ player

"Just one more turn..."

agreed

Mark J Kline:
Ask Dr. Mark 11: A Disordered Life

Why do many gamers seem so disorganized in their personal life?

Read Full Article

Clothes piled up on the floor... oh I can relate to that.

But for me a lot of the reasons things like that happened was mainly because of small living space while at Uni.

Now that I have my own place, with more room than I need I have a much neater place.
It's probably not up to the est standards, but I keep it nice :)

PS: I should stop cleaning my floor, I move faster on creep... FOR THE SWARM!

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here