I’ve found that a forced break from the game is necessary to relieve FOMO. Sometimes the break has to be indefinite.
I used to play daily throughout grad school a game called Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes (SWGOH). I started innocently enough, choosing a Poe Dameron as my starter character since I liked him in The Force Awakens. The point of the game is to level up your character, collect new characters, and build a fighting team to advance through the game. I’d soon collected characters like Rey, Chewbacca, a generic Jedi healer, and others. By the time I was playing daily and for hours on end, I’d collected more than 100 characters and leveled some up to their max state, including Ahsoka Tano (my favorite Star Wars character), Kylo Ren, and R2-D2 (cuz why not?).
This wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for two things: time wasting and money wasting. I’d spend about 5 hours a day playing when I wasn’t in class. I’d stay up to midnight nightly to get special in-game rewards as soon as they appeared. I spent hundreds of dollars on in-game currency and upgrades. At one point it became so easy to hit the “buy” button as though it were part of the game itself. Yes the game was marketed as free-to-play (f2p) but it was really pay-to-win. You had to constantly upgrade new characters as the metagame changed in order to stay competitive. And when events rolled around, such as the event to unlock Commander Luke Skywalker, pay-to-win combined with 8 hours of gameplay for me in order to make any leeway.
And even when you unlocked Luke, he was at a low level and needed hundreds of upgrades in order to become useful in the game.
But I kept going because of FOMO. After graduation and I started working, I decided I had enough. The game was no longer fun, and all the play was eating into my limited free time. So I put the game away and killed the FOMO like Vader killed younglings. I said I might return one day, and I have tried. But I haven’t reawakened the addiction. Sometimes getting rid of FOMO is like RNG.
Now if only the RNG for Pokémon FOMO would roll in my favor and let me go! It would bring me great joy to not feel I have to “Catch ‘em All!”
2 thoughts on “FOMO Can Take the Joy Out, Pt. 2”