Hoarder’s Anxiety & How Gamers Deal With It

As a long-time World of Warcraft player and an avid collector of shiny things, I’ve always found it hard to deal with the fact that I just can’t have it all – while preserving the remnants of my personal life, growing a business, and… You know. Living a full life.

Still, I can’t help but feel like I’ve swallowed a rock every time I see someone on a mount that I could have had… If only I had put more time, energy, and/or effort into it, regardless of how much more valuable the activities that replaced mount farming were at the moment. They usually are more important, but as every hoarder (did I say hoarder? I meant collector, of course!), it’s hard to come to terms with it from time to time. – and I’m almost sure that, if you’re reading this, you’ve found yourself feeling similarly at some point in your gaming life.

I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years, trying to find a way to come to terms with not being a completionist (regardless of the fact that hardly anyone ever gets there, especially in a game like WoW). With raising a toddler, growing a business, and having to do this awkward adulting thing, there’s simply not enough time for everything I could possibly want to accomplish as a player (and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way).

But are there ways to satisfy that itch for collecting in-game goodies and achievements, while maintaining a healthy balance between gaming and outside world?

I’d say – yes. Definitely. And that’s exactly what this post is all about!

  • Set realistic in-game goals.

This is as obvious as it gets, but most of us forgets the magic of feeling accomplished about our successes while gaming. Deciding what to farm next, and actually completing the task in front of you (while having fun doing it!) is more worth it than having hundreds of in-game items that you don’t even remember how you got. (That’s why I’ve never been able to understand how come paid in-game services manage to survive, but I guess many people don’t feel the same way I do about it!)

Playing games to have fun is still trendy in 2021 – regardless of what people may say about it.
  • It’s okay to hate (and not do) certain aspects of the game.

If you’re really into PvP, but a ridiculously yummy transmog is what’s driving you towards doing PvE content that you don’t enjoy at all, it may be time to reconsider your decisions. Regardless of how tempting it is to have a bunch of stuff, is spending your time on doing content that you don’t enjoy truly how you want to spend your limited time on this planet? Didn’t think so!

  • It’s better to be at 39% with a friend, than at 82% alone.

This is the kind of truth that hits home for many people (myself included!), but it has to be said. If you’ve got a friend around who’s into the same things as you are (or they’re simply a buddy with similar in-game goals), collecting stuff just for the sake of it starts to lose its shine. Rapidly. Let’s face it: most of the collecting magic comes from a little bit of showing off, and if your only opportunity to do that is when mounting Ashes in front of a group of strangers, well… You may not be doing all that much with your time afterall.

  • Always remember the value of other things you have – out of the game.

As tempting as it may be to spend the whole evening on farming a mount you can only get once a year, you may be needed – as a partner, a parent, a friend, a child, or any other role you may have in real life. It’s okay to embrace the beauty of the outside world and learn to value some precious moments more than in-game experiences.

There are moments in life that can slip away if we’re swayed by what we think matters more.
  • Having everything may not even feel all that great.

If you’re playing a game that’s so full of content, that it may require you to spend months and months just grinding away, getting to the point of having it all may not feel as great as advertised. There’s a chance you may not have many people around you to share your success with, and even more people will be unable to resonate with you. Success is a funny thing – instead of being praised for it, you may find yourself being more distant than others who haven’t achieved what you have (mostly because they’re intimidated by you at that point). Even if you’re a content creator and have your own audience, they might feel like they can’t resonate with you anymore, as they don’t play the game in a similar fashion. Fans, as much as they may admire you for your victories, want to be able to identify with their heroes. If they can’t do that anymore, they may move on to someone else who’s more relatable to them (and yes, by that I mean, less tryhard).

What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever felt the same way? Let me know in the comments!

Happy gaming, and remember – take everything in moderation, so you don’t actually end up missing something!

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