Quitting: Why & How114
I am writing this 9 months after I uploaded the rest of this thread.
I think I didn't consider that feeling upset or angry might be better than feeling bored or not being distracted from real life. People prefer being engaged over disengaged. EM can be very engaging. At least if you're upset or angry then you're not thinking about your past or future.
Maybe that's why people that understood this thread continued to play. The users on this site, especially the mods and other users that have been here consistently since I first joined, are all trying to hide from their real lives.
Is EpicMafia worth it?
Usually you will feel that your overall experience of a game was bad if you lost. Therefore around half of the games you play will have been a bad experience for that reason alone.
Not every win will be a good experience. If you weren't instrumental in the win then you will probably have found the game boring.
If you only gain significant positive emotion when you’re instrumental in a win then it’s considerably more likely that you won’t enjoy a game than will enjoy it.
More people express extreme upset after a loss than extreme happiness after a win. Therefore, a bad loss isn’t outweighed by a good win. Does the upset you feel when someone throws a game or lynches you outweigh the happiness that you feel from winning?
So, not only is it more likely that a game of mafia will make you feel unhappy, the unhappiness you stand to feel outweighs the happiness you stand to feel.
Therefore playing EpicMafia is objectively a bad idea.
Is EpicMafia addictive?
If EpicMafia is not an enjoyable use of time then you might think people would stop playing, but what if they are addicted?
Sometimes users get banned intentionally to prevented themselves from playing, this indicates that they have realised they are addicted and can’t stop themselves.
“Behaviors … that offer … a spike in brain dopamine levels are the most addictive” (https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/what-makes-behaviors-addictive/). On the site, a large spike in dopamine is experienced when the player progresses towards winning a game, which only happens in sudden bursts (e.g. the player that gets lynched flips mafia). The rest of the experience is comparatively dull.
Activities that "provide the opportunity for immediate reward … are particularly conducive to addiction"(https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction/compulsive-and-addictive-behaviors). In EpicMafia, unless you're playing to win a trophy (a slightly longer-term goal which most people don't aim for most of the time anyway) then any enjoyment that you trying to get is immediate and momentary.
Psychologist B.F. Skinner observed that animals were most easily trained when intermittent rather than constant rewards were administered for desirable behaviour. EpicMafia produces dopamine spikes at random, rather than during or after every game consistently, mirroring this idea.
The illusion of being able to control chance is part of why gambling is addictive (http://www.jeu-aidereference.qc.ca/www/why_people_become_addicted_en.asp?cmpt=2), and is mirrored in games of EpicMafia because, despite what the blind addicts will tell you, the result of each game is almost entirely down to luck.
EpicMafia is very addictive. It produces more suffering than wellbeing. Most people use the site because they’re addicted rather than because they enjoy it. If you are an addict, you should quit as soon as possible.
How to quit EM
Edit: Skip to the final thoughts section unless want to know my thoughts on how to quit epicmafia, because you will not find this part interesting otherwise
Don’t get banned, delete your account, or announce that you’re quitting. Quitting involves a mindset as well as not playing. Your reason for not playing should be because you don’t want to. If you can’t play but still want to then you haven’t quit. Your ban will expire or you’ll remake your account and you’ll be as addicted as you were when you left.
Users can fall into many of three categories: red heart players, competitive players, and forum posters.
Quitting red hearts will involve two things: Realising how much you hate the game, and lowering the number of games you play every week to zero.
Record how much you think you enjoy playing EpicMafia out of ten. Play as much as you would normally for a while, but after each game record how much you enjoyed it. You’ll realise you don’t enjoy EpicMafia as much as you thought you did.
Now you really know how much you enjoy playing: create a timetable for the number of games you’ll play over the next few weeks, lowering it to zero. Continue recording how much you enjoy those games. After you’ve quit keep the record as a reminder of why you shouldn’t get hooked again. Don't try to quit all at once. If you do not respect your addiction you will not be able to beat it.
If you play gold hearts but don’t try to win trophies then follow the guide for quitting red hearts.
Otherwise, decide in advance which round will be the last one you run on. If you don’t decide now then you’ll keep getting drawn back in by the lure of a theoretical jackpot round where you win a (meaningless) trophy.
Once that round is over, follow the guide to quitting red hearts.
If you want to quit the forums, the first step is to stop posting, but to continue reading. Later, cut out the recurring threads (e.g. pics pls) that you frequent. Then work on quitting the forums entirely.
If you do reach freedom, place a pattern interrupt between you and EpicMafia. If you navigate to EpicMafia by opening a new tab and clicking the EpicMafia icon on your favourites bar, remove the icon. If you usually do it by typing “e” into the URL bar and pressing enter then do something to stop it being the first result. Interrupts like these will stop you from opening the site semi-consciously by force of habit.
If a small pattern interrupt isn’t enough then write something you won’t remember in a text file and save it, change your password to it, disable the autocomplete passwords feature in your browser for EpicMafia, and sign out. That way you will really have to think about it next time you sign in. If you do want to then you’ll be able to, but at least this way you’ll have 30 seconds to change your mind.
If you’ve been on the site for a few months then you’ll never be totally free of EpicMafia, so expect that. But the further away it is from the front of your mind, the better. That’s why you should quit as soon as possible if you're a new player who has realised the site is just an addiction. That’s also something you should think about when you feel tempted to return.
Please do not leave negative responses in the comments section of this thread because you are upset. I know it is difficult to read inconvenient facts that you know are true, but please do not respond by getting angry and trying to make me feel bad. Sometimes when I read the comments sections of my threads I am brought to tears by all the hurtful things people say.
If any girls want to go on a Skype date with me then pm me your Skype username.
I think video games hijack the brain the same way fast food does. They're designed to hypnotise you into wasting hours on them. As a rule (which I occasionally break, but I at least aim to stick to it), I only let myself play video games when at least one of the following circumstances apply:
* It's a way to socialise with friends (we're playing together)
* I'm listening to a podcast and want something else to do at the same time
But even playing for those reasons aren't ideal. I'd rather socialise just by chatting without having to also think about whatever game we're playing. If a podcast is not interesting enough to warrant listening to without also playing a video game then I shouldn't spend time on the podcast.
EM as a game breaks both principles - socialising in game (off-topic conversations) or not paying full attention are both against the game rules.
it's definitely addictive though, and good post. sometimes i play just to use my hearts and not because i enjoy it
I think playing the game while being aware of how it makes you feel is more important than just not playing. Going from addicted to not playing at all is more likely to fail than going from addicted to playing with self-awareness to deciding naturally not to play anymore.
Then 26 months ago (3 games),
Then 20 months ago (4 games),
Then I have not logged back on this account until today.
I was browsing the site, curious as to what's changed. I used to play this game religiously in the summer of 2016, 9am-4am. I'd use all my hearts, then log onto an alt, then i'd sandbox until i fell asleep.
I dont know how to really criticize my 18 year old self, but I know that what I used to do was a horrible idea and probably the circumstances ongoing with my increased health issues must have played a role in my addiction.
I do not know the answer to curing an addiction, even an EM one. All I can speak on today is that I overcame this small battle in my head, and my morbid curiosity led me to log back in and inspect this thing that I loved so much.
I still love epic mafia, but I will also engage with the site knowing that this community, although awesome, is NOT A REPLACEMENT for real relationships with friends. Make time to keep up with someone in person the same way you genuinely care when you dm someone here.
If you're this far into reading this, thank you. EM is not bad. I began playing in my last year in highschool, and as I start my final year of university, I look forward to applying to lawschool. This dream of mine only became a thought when some randoms in a lobby started talking about the relationships between EM and intro to law/ the LSAT. Being able to deduce from a small sample of certain information is a skill that this game requires to be successful, and this also applies in many facets of life, especially law.
Take care, dm if you wanna talk. I'll try to login somewhat regularly to read dm's and to occasionally n1 the cop and win my games as a maf >:)
- Agent_BigBird :)
The conclusion is clear. Like the classic alcoholic having a relapse, he returned to EM after a two year break knowing the harm his vice had caused him, only to get sucked back in. The neural pathways reactivated like it had only been a day since he was hooked. Now the only thing BigBird thinks about from the crack of dawn to just as he drifts off to sleeps is EpicMafia, and then he hammers lylo situations in his dreams.
This is why I do not condone cold-turkey approaches. It's important to spend some time playing the game in a state of self-awareness to really revert your brain to how it was before the addiction. Without that it's just bandaging an infected wound (not good).
Some wisdom right there.