Regrets – my sinful indulgence

by hozhijie

in my short span of 21 years, there exist countless regrets, big and small, known and hidden. it’s kinda sad yet fascinating how my life is always met with such mishaps which have no end to it like the plot in the movie series of unfortunate events. but this is not fictional; it’s sentient and the remorse is real. many of them were contained at the moment of folly while some linger with bitterness up till now.


so what am i feeling so regretful about these days? my spontaneous response to this is pertinent to my financial status – how wasteful my past indulgences were that actually make life a tad harder than it should be. in short, i am actually ashamed of how i recklessly just spent all my ns allowances away without any far-sighted planning on things that are pretty superficial. it started to culminate when i purchased my personal laptop after not owing a decently workable one for more than five years last July in an IT fair. since then, i got hooked on this primary school game that was pretty popular back then. to hide any suspense, it’s actually maplestory la. i’m not sure what made me so addicted to this game that is inherently one that builds on the pay-to-win principle to sustain its development. ever since, i started spending a sizable amount of monthly allowance on this game. i remember giving tuition at that point of time which easily doubled my original income. lo and behold, it vanished within a blink of eye. i seemed to be trapped in a perpetual state of mindlessness which unceasingly propelled me to strengthen my virtual status quo.




breakdown of expenditure:
attached is a preview of my purchases since last year. i finally garnered the courage to calculate how much have i really spent on the game. if you don’t understand how does this work, @cash is just the in-game currency that you can use to purchase various items to enhance your gaming competency. when bought at standard market rates, 10k@cash costs S$10.70. based on my calculation, a total of 260k @cash has been bought since last September. that would amount to $278.20.


the first screenshot shows the transaction of @cash bought from an official retailer back then which offered lower-than-market rates. summing the extreme right column up, a total of $511.49 is spent on the credits. a simple addition would incur a total spending of $789.69. truth to be told, that’s an underestimation of my total spending as i have not included my offline deals done with fellow gamers i met on facebook. based on my memory, i guess i have spent $200 (weapon) + $60 (accessories) + $90 (cape) + $50 (shoes) + $90 (emblem) + $110 (clothes) + gloves ($30) + pendant ($170), which is amounted to a good $800. 


Combining the respective spending, i have contributed minimally $1589.69 to this game. on average, that would be around $200 per month since July. it’s indubitable that the amount spent is actually under-reported since some transactions cannot be captured. speaking of that, i recall buying 8 sets of @cash that cost $30 each from my old secondary school friend, which gives a grand total of $1829.69. 


as i truly ponder about this extravagant habit, i admit that it has been a doomed investment that will not reciprocate any returns in the future. i am deeply apologetic about harming myself with such an enslavement whose temptations i times and times have failed to resist. i am sorry to those who i have disappointed, especially to those who have given me advice to put a stop to this compulsive splurging, like Xinhui and Melwin. Others assure me that it’s a forgivable mistake since they also spent on their phone games like heartstone lol. thinking again, how is any different from gambling? i always reprimand my parents for dumping their money away on bets and less visibly, i am a hypocrite in this aspect. i should really kick this bad habit away so that i can reap a better harvest instead of wasting my youth, sleep and money away.


since i’m already on this topic of addictive gaming, i should just share about my history with it. if you do not know, i am a hardcore gamer in the past or more precisely since primary four. it all started when my childhood friends whom i always roamed around with in the neighborhood introduced me to habbo hotel – a seemingly monotonous game which can be really addictive. i started frequenting the lan shops and even bought the prepaid credits for in-game credits to upgrade my gameplay. in the past, lan shops started out quite expensive, going as high as $3-4/hour and i actually heck care and played at least 5-6 hours per sessions, for at least 3 sessions per week. i remember trying to steal from my uncle’s wallet while he’s asleep and my dad when he was drunk. i was caught red-handed one day but the recalcitrant acts repeated with me surviving some severe beatings. i remember being angry with the bus 40 drivers when they took forever to come so that i could visit my lan shop in city plaza. that was where someone there introduced me to Audition, the lame dancing game which i apparently mastered in some aspects lol.


visiting the lan had since then become a routine. after school each day, i would meet up with my friend and head there together. sometimes, i went alone to fulfill my insatiable crave for more game thrills. i recall having starved myself on intention at times so i could extend for an hour. when lan shops of cheaper rates are found, we migrated and stuck our asses there for hours each day. from city plaza, to bugis street then to geylang lorong 23. i literally spent all my allowance and pocket money on gaming alone. fortunately, such a trend toned down weeks before o levels and subsided completely when jc commenced.


perhaps my persistent addiction is due to the way i was brought up – in an environment deprived of technology and entertainment. it’s just so natural for me to get caught up in the superficial sense of acceptance and joy that gaming offered. it just felt like i could find my worth there since my self-esteem game was in a rubble then (thank God it’s less of a debris now).  above all, i am grateful that i still miraculously believed in the importance of education and put in efforts to sustain it. it’s indeed a divine move that amid my intensive gaming habit, i still managed to promote and do reasonably well for my exams. the funny thing now is how my secondary school still displays the plaque my schoolmates and i won in an national school gaming competition back in sec 3.


it has been awhile since i pen down my thoughts so vividly here. i guess i am not regretting spending two hours typing these since it has clearly straightened out my priorities. it’s guaranteed that i will not spend any money on gaming for now, not until i am really financially capable at least. the opportunity cost is just too high for me to do so now since i am going to embrace more important commitments in the near future. i pray that i can be dedicated in seeing this through, especially when my current work doesn’t pay me substantially much.