Gaming Gratitude Journals

You should be happier. Luckily, your happiness is within your control, and I am going to tell you how to get more happiness out of your gaming time. Hurray!

The simple version is: focus on the positive. Optimists are usually happier, even under identical circumstances. “Wait,” you say, “mightn’t that be backwards? People don’t have happier lives because they think about good things; they think about good things because they have happy lives. If your life sucks, you don’t have the good things to think about!”

There is some truth there, but most people have control over their attitudes towards life, if only they could develop the right perspective. Some of us bloggers whine because we hate everyone and everything, but some of us are just blowing off steam so that we can get back to focusing on the continuous joy that is life. (We also give constructive criticism, but it is not always terribly constructive.) This week, we are going to try an experiment in improving your happiness via a gratitude journal.

Our procedure is pretty simple: for the next week, at the end of every day you play or maybe every gaming session, write down something that made you happy or for which you are grateful. Did you see something you liked? Did a pull go really well? Did something good drop for you or a friend? Did you level? Did a guildmate’s cancer go into remission? Trivial and important are both fine.

You can expand this to your entire life, but let’s contain our psychological self-experimentation for the moment. After all, we are a gaming blog, so let’s stay on-topic.

Go ahead and make a text file on your desktop, “Gaming Gratitude Journal.” Yes, it’s simple and corny, but you’ll find that many of the things that make you happy are that straightforward. Date each entry, include any explanatory notes you like. Come back in a week and cut-and-paste the lot of it as a comment. We can share our joy.

Complementing this, I hereby declare next week Shiny Happy Week. I will post every day about things I like or liked in the MMOs I have played. I invite my co-bloggers to join me with their happy thoughts, and readers should feel free to join in that festival of fanboy-ness in the comments.

The hypothesis is that our average happiness will be increased at the end of all this. Unfortunately, due to random variation or low starting points, some of you will still be unhappy. Look on the bright side: random variation may be on your side next week. Or just look on the bright side in general, because that is what we are doing.

: Zubon

Hat tip: MR

16 thoughts on “Gaming Gratitude Journals”

  1. We had a good Hami Raid tonight.

    My two Hami-capable characters on Pinnacle are CoreFire and Frost Fire. I’ve done ‘follow’ with CoreFire (it’s not as easy as it looks) and ‘target’, ‘target/follow’ with Frost. When Raid Leader asked if anyone had done this before I responded (what was I thinking!). It ended up with Atom Flame as ‘target’ and myself as ‘follow’ running Frost. The raid went well and HOs were had by all (CoreFire’s turn at ‘follow’ ended in a failed “hold phase”). I got warm fuzzies from compliments of a raid well done (thanks Darienstar!).

    After the raid I switched to villain side and participated in smooth takedowns of Deathsurge and Lilitu. All in all, quite the good day.

  2. Hey, Frost Fire! We’ve run a couple of task forces together and teamed in Siren’s Call. Good to see Pinnacle folks around. (Of course, I think I was on a different character for every one of those times, but hey, KTR party on Pinnacle!) :)

  3. Who do you play on Pinnacle? Not sure I have teamed with you in Siren’s, haven’t teamed with anybody there (only ventured into Siren’s looking for badges). There is also a ‘Frosstfire’ on Pinnacle who is not me…

    Got Electrician and Gremlin badges tonight. Also laid some smack on Ghost of Scrapyard. I *like* transferance. Can’t wait for more slots in it. :)

  4. Maybe I was thinking of someone else in Siren’s Call. Croatoa TF? Hami raids? I usually raid as Zubon… and I’ve sent half my characters on Croatoa in the past few months, so I have lost track. I think Assimilation…

    Of course, being the creative folks that we are, it might have been FrostFire or Frost Fire or Frost.Fire or FrostFyre or FrostF1re or Fr0stFire or Frost-Fire or .FrostFire or…

  5. Only one Frost Fire (and I built this one before Striga existed..) Done many Hami raids. Just finished another good one tonight.

  6. Sorry, I was unclear there: “we” in the sense that dozens of players probably have some variation on Frost Fire as a name, so I might be confusing you with a clone.

  7. Dear Journal: I am happy that I got to blow up an entire blackhawk full of 6 jerks from [BEEF] clan who were TKing me for the chopper and got myself banned from yet another BF2 server.

  8. This has been a worthwhile exercise for me. Focusing on what was fun after I logged out has made the games more fun. In fact, I notice the fun while playing more – due to the fact that I planned to jot it down afterwards. It really hasn’t changed the game play, only it is calling attention to the parts I enjoy. Very interesting.

  9. Well I havent started my log yet since I just read this post. But I have to say this is a great idea, too many people “including myself” just focus on bad things in gaming or in life. So it might seem corny but its a great idea and everyone should do this.

  10. I’m grateful I cant find the cancel button while drunk. Would’ve quit many games sooner…

    Grateful that I’m so good at mining/refining….

    Very grateful eve-radio is online… very nice bonus to playing the game.

  11. And now, we have had our week, so let us see what we have!

    20060517 – Kingdom of Loathing
    My multi completed his first in-Ronin Ascension, making it his first 3-day Ascension. I actually Ascended after leaving Ronin, since I burned the remaining turns playing around the Kingdom. I had intended this character to be a non-Ascender, but in the pursuit of a few skills I wanted…and then a couple of Stainless Steel items I wanted…he has picked up a nice little set of skills. He will retire to permanent farming one day, which will accent well Zubon, who is in permanent Hardcore.

    Such is the joy of starting a Moxie class on a Moxie day with good food and drink prepared. :)

    20060518 – City of Heroes
    I am grateful that my SG consists almost entirely of people over age 20. Occasionally, a whiny child reminds you that adults aren’t all that bad. :)

    20060519 – City of Heroes
    I have not played a lot of City of Heroes lately, so my Scrapper’s hitting 34 is a miraculous event! Bonus: this character had been full on enhancements since a recent Croatoa TF, so I got to slot all of those level+3 enhancements and start earning new ones.

    He were challenged to a super group vs. villain group arena battle last weekend, which took place today. We won, 49-46 (most kills in 20 minutes). I got top kills, 12, which was surprising considering I am not really a PvP person. Then again, I was on my Blaster, who does little except blow things up. I was also competing for most times needing to respawn, since I am squishy. Mad props to the opposing team for sending in the Stone Brute to clear out the early Trip Mines; all the mines plus our extra damage took him out, instead of taking out the rest of the team at once.

    20060520 – City of Heroes
    Another level, this time for the Stalker. Okay, so they were both already close to leveling at the start of the week; I will take my levels where I can get them.

    20060520 – Kingdom of Loathing
    I like that games give you occasion to use sentences you might never use in your life, like “Good, I am slowly accumulating goat cheese.” It had never struck me before to say that.

    20060521 – City of Heroes
    More PvP today, this time on the villains side. An organized team with mostly Stalkers does horrible things. Also, Stalking is not as easy as it seems from the hero side, which I already knew. It is still easier than many hero options, since you usually get to pick how the fight starts.

    Later, a different character ran a respec (not terribly well, but we eventually won with a couple of tricks. The villain respec is significantly harder, even with the logoff exploit, which is a problem when you need to run a respec. Characters wanting a respec are almost by definition suboptimal. That final room is a doozy.

    20060521 – Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates
    The character models make me smile. There is just something about having everyone look like a lego pirate with that face. Also, Rumble is an interesting game. Something seems to have changed about working on green servers. I must look that up.

    I am gaming a lot more this week, maybe to have something to report each day. It it nice to see my City of Heroes friends again. Also, my KOL multi Ascended, another 3-day without the benefit of the double moxie days. I was surprised.

  12. Here is mine:

    Day 1, May 18th. Listened to Eve-radio while I ran some level 1 missions. Good quality music and DJ Xod was entertaining. Peaceful evening making deliveries.

    Day 2, May 19th. EVE Online: Ran a few missions, killed a few rogue drones. Made some money. Nice quiet evening.

    Day 3, May 20th. EVE Online: Started production on two Ferox Battlecruisers. My first ship builds, new experiences = fun.

    Day 4, May 21st. World of Warcraft: Played my level 11 Dwarf Hunter in WoW for a bit. Saved a warrior, went swimming in a river and jumped off some waterfalls. Great atmosphere in that game. Spent some time in EVE chatting with a friend about Dr. Who. Good times.

    Day 5, May 22nd. World of Warcraft: I didn’t have a lot of gaming time tonight, and I couldn’t decide between EVE and Wow. EVE was down so my decision was made easy. Played WoW and my hunter reached level 12 having fun the whole time. My account in WoW expires soon so it is shortlived but I’m suprised I am actually having fun for a change. Thanks to EVE for bowing out of the competition tonight. EVE-Radio still rocks. Oh yeah, I also rescued a baby robin that was stuck in my window well. If I hadn’t been in my basement playing video games, I would not have heard it.

    Day 6, May 23rd. EVE Online: Got a new ship – courtesy of Ethic’s new corp (Ashpool). It’s a Mammoth Industrial hauler and she can haul. Looking forward to the mining op tomorrow.

    Day 7, May 24th. EVE Online: Mining op with the corp was a good time. Got set up with a mining barge and a pair of strip miners. Met new people and ripped up some asteroids while the combat drones took out any Sansha’s that showed up. Very good quality evening.

  13. A “Feel Good Week”, I love the idea.

    As for the basis for this idea, I checked out that link, and was touched by the quote from that Johnny Cash song. Especially:

    “The wealthiest person
    Is a pauper at times
    Compared to the man
    With a satisfied mind”

    Again, great idea Zubon!

  14. first time I stumbled upon this blog and I must say, it is now on my favorites list. Too often grinding for hours does seem daunting but even the longest grind often yields a hearty pay out.
    I am happy because last night I spent most of the night enjoying my new Frostsaber mount, and I got my first trinket drop. woot!
    Having a mount truly is the happiest moment to date with my character, it opens up an entirely new way to play especially in WSG where if you don’t have a mount then you are being left behind all the time.
    Kudo’s for the idea Zubon!

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