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GTRadio352 Analysis Paralysis

Analysis Paralysis

#352: Josué, Lara, and Link discuss choice paralysis, how we make decisions, and the anxiety around making choices.

Transcript

Link Keller 0:11
Welcome to GT radio, on the Geek Therapy network, where we believe that the best way to understand ourselves and others is through the media we care about, including video games, movies, comic books, TV shows, plays, loose change in a parking garage, anything, we can find it and find a way to connect it to the people we care about. I was doing so good, and I couldn’t I couldn’t handle that. So I ruined it myself. I just swerved right off the road. I’m, I’m so happy to be here with my two co hosts. I am link I am joined by Lara

Lara Taylor 0:56
hey,

Link Keller 0:57
and Josué.

Josué Cardona 0:59
Hello,

Link Keller 1:00
sweet Marc is taking a sabbatical

Lara Taylor 1:05
taking a break.

Link Keller 1:07
um, today. I’m not sure what our topic is entirely. But I think that Lara knows a little bit more about that. So I’m gonna toss it to her.

Josué Cardona 1:17
Do you not know what it is? Or are you not sure what it is? Because there’s so many options and you just have no idea which one to choose?

Link Keller 1:23
It’s probably that.

Josué Cardona 1:24
Yeah,

Lara Taylor 1:24
I mean, we face that every week coming up with a topic, right? I want to talk about decision paralysis or analysis, paralysis, whatever you want to call it. I’m not feeling it as much this week. Last week, I was definitely feeling it. This happens quite a few times where the games I am most excited about come out at exactly the same time or within a week of each other. And I think this one has been one of the the worst for me. Like okay, well, I really wanted to play horizon forbidden west burning shores. I was so excited. I got that. As soon as it came out. It was TAGGS weekend, and I still got it and did not play it till after TAGGS. And just like when horizon zero dawn came out Legend Zelda, there’s a game coming out very soon. But in between all that I have Star Wars Jedi survivor. What am I to do? Now this week, I’ve already made a decision. But last week, I was panicking because I had to choose between. There’s some queerness and queer content in horizon burning shores. I’ve been excited about a Star Wars Jedi survivor for I don’t know how long since I’ve beat fallen order. Basically. I love me some Star Wars. And also, I have played I think all of the Legend of Zelda games that I can play and still not beaten a single one. And so I need to continue that tradition. So what am I to do? What am I to do? I don’t know. What are y’all doing?

Josué Cardona 3:27
Did you did you tell us what you decided for this week?

Lara Taylor 3:30
Huh, well, for this week, I decided I’m going to play Jedi survivor because I did not beat Breath of the Wild and have not watched someone beat Breath of the Wild. Which is easy to remedy. But I feel like the way I’ve been playing games action adventure games. I could probably be Jedi survivor in a few weeks. And then I will I will probably see this is where I don’t know what I’m going to do next. Am I going to get tears to the kingdom? Or am I going to play through my Aloy queer story that I want to? I don’t that’s the decision I have I have to come up against next is a couple of weeks about it.

Josué Cardona 4:20
So so it hasn’t been easy for you to for you to make this decision.

Lara Taylor 4:24
No.

Josué Cardona 4:25
Are you sure you’re not going to play Zelda at midnight, like the rest of us and the rest of the world? We’re super hyped for all your friends are here. Want to play it?

Lara Taylor 4:35
I’m not. I’m gonna I’m gonna be playing when y’all are playing. Tears of the kingdom I’m gonna be playing Jedi survivor.

Josué Cardona 4:44
What if it’s a topic of next week’s podcast? Then you have to play it before?

Lara Taylor 4:49
No,

Josué Cardona 4:50
no? Okay. Okay, okay, so

Lara Taylor 4:52
I’m gonna play Jedi survivor because I know and I don’t want to do what I always end up doing when I switch games around and mess up the controls and forget how to do things like, I am in a groove with like throwing my dual wielding lightsabers and chopping off arms and all kinds of stuff.

Josué Cardona 5:11
What else are you chopping off? Okay, so so so the this I mean, you know, some people call it analysis, paralysis, decision paralysis, that can be a really significant source of anxiety

Lara Taylor 5:25
absolutely

Josué Cardona 5:26
for a lot of people. And it can also be, it’s in the name, paralyzing, right? Like, it just stops you in your tracks. And sometimes you don’t make a decision, either in time or at all. And that can definitely negatively affect you in a number of ways.

Lara Taylor 5:44
So here like, this is not the worst case scenario. Plenty of people have had worse, analysis paralysis. I bought. I pre ordered Jedi survivor months ago. I knew it was coming out the day it came out. And I forgot to play it until Sunday when I had access to it at 9pm on Thursday, because I was so like, what am I going to do? Which game? Do I keep playing? Forbidden, forbidden West burning shores? I didn’t play that either. So not worst case scenario, but also I do have to justify buying the game at launch for cost. So

Josué Cardona 6:27
this sounds kind of fine. Sounds kind of like watching Netflix. And by watching Netflix, I mean, you’re just watching the menu, right? Like going through, you’re not actually watching any, any show. that happens when you have too many options.

Lara Taylor 6:41
There are a lot of options out there. I was talking to a client this week. And they mentioned something about like, they would like to rewatch their comfort shows or whatever, and I don’t rewatch anything. There’s just too much.

Josué Cardona 6:54
It’s too hard. Yeah. So. Okay. Okay. So does this happen to you with everything?

Lara Taylor 7:04
I don’t know.

Josué Cardona 7:05
or just every Seven years when I when a new Zelda game comes out?

Link Keller 7:07
I have Zelda induced choice paralysis

Lara Taylor 7:13
you know, Aloy and link kind of they kind of they kind of got a beef apparently, because I mean, this is just DLC. But,

Link Keller 7:25
but still

Lara Taylor 7:26
it’s all such good content. And I just, I don’t know. I mean, I’m okay, missing out on some things like I didn’t play The Last of Us until like, a couple months ago. So I can hold out. And the hype is real. And I am sure I will try to hold out until I beaten Jedi survivor. And ya’ll be talking about how excited you are about Zelda. And I’ll buy it, but I may not play it.

Josué Cardona 7:54
So it’s interesting, everything you’re talking about your your decision is in prioritizing it. Because you, you still believe you’re going to do the other one, whether you do or you don’t. You’re planning on just do in the order that you’re going to

Lara Taylor 8:09
do buy a lot of books, and I do buy a lot of board games and games on Steam that I never play. But most AAA games that I get, I buy, I play

Josué Cardona 8:21
right, right, right. But but so I think something that makes it even harder to make a decision sometimes is when you have multiple options. And that’s your only chance to choose you may not be able to choose those other things,

Lara Taylor 8:34
right

Josué Cardona 8:35
Like a job. or where are you going to live? Like those are hard life transitions. Do I get the surgery or not? Do I you know, a whole bunch of things.

Lara Taylor 8:48
do I sell my kidney to go to that Taylor Swift concert.

Josué Cardona 8:53
Is that is that did that happen to you? what did you decide?

Lara Taylor 8:55
that’s that hasn’t that it hasn’t happened. Although right now the resale value on these tickets is like at least a mortgage payment. So it’s not gonna happen.

Josué Cardona 9:11
So this is hard for you. Link, Do you experience this?

Link Keller 9:17
Yes.

Josué Cardona 9:20
Good talk thank you

Lara Taylor 9:23
thank you for your tedtalk

Josué Cardona 9:25
true story

Link Keller 9:28
i I’m trying to think of a more recent example. I guess I guess the most recent example is I in preparation for tears of the kingdom coming out. I’m trying to get through my to be read shelf. I have a lot of books on it. And I was like I got to thin this out a little bit before the video game comes out. That’s going to suck all of my attention from all things And so it was this past week and a half. I’ve been like, okay, which book Am I gonna read next? And then just be like, well, am I more likely to finish this one book? Because I want to finish it before? Because I don’t want to end. You know, I don’t want to be 75% of the way through a book and then just dump it because it’s video game time.

Lara Taylor 10:23
Oh, you mean like I did with horizon? Zero Dawn?

Link Keller 10:25
Yeah, exactly. And so and so it’s like struggling. And it’s like, I want to read all there on the shelf because I want to read them. But again, it becomes prioritizing, like which one am I going to read first, which one am I most likely to finish before the deadline. I’ve been picking well, because I read one book over two days. And then I have it’s a trilogy series. But they’re novellas. So they’re all like under 200 pages. I read one yesterday and I read one today, I’m going to try and read one tomorrow, I can finish the trilogy before the game comes out. But it was difficult, like looking at my shelf to be like, which one? Do I choose here? and spending You know, a couple of minutes just staring at them. Like one of you will speak to me right? And they don’t. And then I’m like, Well, maybe I’ll just I’ll go and I’ll sit on the edge of my bed and just think about it. And then it’s like, well, maybe I’ll actually distract myself completely and go back on tik tok. And then it’s like, oh, it’s been like 45 minutes I’ve been sitting on the edge of my bed scrolling through tik tok, I hate this. Why am I doing this instead of making the choice? Yeah, that’s that’s where most of the emotional frustration comes in for me is that I get overwhelmed by the choice making process that then I bounce out, just disassociate into something else, basically, for an amount of time, and then I feel shitty about myself, because I was doing that instead of just making the choice, which is annoying when it’s something for fun, like reading, but absolutely infuriating. When it’s something like you are so hungry, you need to eat right now you have two choices. Food A or food B which one? It’s like, oh, I don’t know about all that.

Lara Taylor 12:28
We literally had that situation in our house last night. Both Nina and I had had a long day didn’t want to do anything. We’re trying to decide on what we were going to order. She asked me if I wanted Phở. And I was like it’s too hot. I don’t I don’t want a hot like soup. And is there anything you want? And I was like, I don’t know. I’m just hungry. And so there was a moment where it was like well, I guess we’re not eating tonight then. And we eventually got to IHOP but whatever. Yeah.

Link Keller 13:00
yup

Lara Taylor 13:02
But still it’s like oh, I guess we’re starving.

Link Keller 13:06
Yeah.

Josué Cardona 13:07
So link how many books were on your to be read shelf?

Link Keller 13:10
Oh.

Josué Cardona 13:14
Just ballpark it. I mean

Link Keller 13:18
5,6,7,8,9, 10,

Josué Cardona 13:20
we’re up to ten?

Link Keller 13:22
13 At least 13

Josué Cardona 13:23
At least 13 Okay,

Link Keller 13:26
though, they’re, like we’re already into so it was really like six

Josué Cardona 13:33
Okay, okay.

Link Keller 13:34
There’s like an upper tier of the TBR and the bottom tier of the TBR

Lara Taylor 13:39
I have I have a kallax shelf that is too deep of books and graphic novels. I would say there’s like at least 50 on that shelf.

Josué Cardona 13:49
Okay, so So in the case of

Link Keller 13:55
I guess technically it was between four books because three of them were set and you have to read those in order.

Josué Cardona 14:01
So you have like this logic system right that you’re going yeah making like you have this criteria that you’re going through it got to the point where you had four only right and all your your most obvious rules for for removing anything anything else from the lineup is gone. So now what are you trying to avoid a particular feeling? Like is it a fear of not reading the best one is it a fear of making the wrong choice? like what What was your reason for the paralysis?

Link Keller 14:38
I guess the the stress comes from okay, I already mentioned this little bit I’ve been spending. What I would define as an unhealthy amount of time on tik tok and Lately my, any sort of stressor is like, Oops, tic toks already open on my phone, guess I’m scrolling. And so the stress in this situation is I, I read some books in preparation for TAGGS. And I picked up books when I went to visit my sister in Portland. So it’s like I have new books. And I want to read them and I want to enjoy them. And I want to

Lara Taylor 15:30
and all of them.

Link Keller 15:31
Yeah. And I want I want them to be moved from my TBR on to my regular shelves so they can join the the dragon’s hoard of books that I have. And so the stress of wanting to keep reading and keep up the momentum of reading books. Knowing that when Zelda comes out, I’m going to prioritize that and I’m not uncomfortable about that. But I am concerned that I spend so much time on tik tok, I’m not doing the other things that I want to do and enjoy to the point where like, that is anxiety provoking where it’s like, I’ve been on Tik Tok for a while and it’s like, why am I not doing the other things I want to do? Okay, but what do I want to do is like, do I want to put on a movie I want? I’ve been wanting to watch scream six for months. Now at this point is like, do I want to put on scream by myself? No. Well, okay, do I want to watch an episode of dimension? 20? eughhgh, do I want to read this book? Let me just go. Let me just walk the four feet to go grab it. And it’s just like my brains like. And while it’s doing that, oops, tiktoks open again. Oops.

Josué Cardona 16:59
Why is your brain doing that?

Link Keller 17:02
Um, gosh, I don’t know, probably several reasons all bundled up together.

Josué Cardona 17:13
Choose which ones to talk about first. aww too many Choices

Link Keller 17:16
the discomfort of wanting to make a choice and not immediately just making it and then doing that thing is like, makes my body feel uncomfortable. But it is even more uncomfortable when I make the choice. And I still don’t do it. And then like shame gets in it. And so it’s like, I want to start reading this book. I’m going like, I’ll even like pick up the book. I’ll get in bed. It’s on bed next to me. And I’ll be like, oh, I’ll just like, open up my phone to put on like fireplace noises as background because I enjoy that. And because I’m on my phone. Also, I’m on my I’m on Tik Tok again. And it’s like, and I get frustrated with myself because like I wanted to read I set myself up to read it’s, it’s available to me right now in this. There’s no blockade here, except that my brain is not disengaging from just one more tik tok, like, let’s just, I mean, I’m sure the next one’s gonna be so funny. And make me feel so great that it will be just so easy to just close it and switch over to my book. And it’s not and it is and I don’t and then I’m like, mad at myself for not doing it. And so definitely this past week, I’ve been like strong arming myself into reading. Something that has helped is I’ve literally moved myself out of my room. I do everything in here. But the weather has been nice. So I’ve been going out onto the back deck in the sunshine and reading out there. And that has helped and is probably why I read two books in two days.

Lara Taylor 19:03
On that’s impressive my reading like,

Link Keller 19:06
again, they’re very short books. The first one was only 90 pages. So it was like, it’s not that impressive, but it is contextually to how hard I’ve been struggling to get myself to actually sit down and just read is like I did it. I did three books in four days and

Lara Taylor 19:24
Without that like timeline. I mean, the timeline I have is like I have to return my library book online in in three weeks. But like I have a book right now that I’m reading that is really good and I speed read through but also my brain gives me about 40 to 50 pages and then I start to fall asleep because I read before bed and so there are nights where I’m like I don’t want to go to bed yet. So I’m gonna watch tik tok and I go through tik tok and go through tik tok and go through tik tok and then I don’t read that night and I’m like, Well fuck now I can’t. Now I’m gonna have to read even more to be able to get the book done before the library due date. So

Josué Cardona 20:02
I think you’re both so far from the decision paralysis. we left that behind a long time ago

Lara Taylor 20:09
I have gotten to so for me, the decision paralysis will come from a couple of different places. One, the I get tired of making decisions I hate at by the end of my day, I’ve made so many decisions. I’m thinking about clients. Do I say the right thing? What do I say about this? Do I bring this disclosure in? Do I not bring this disclosure in? Is this person, does this person have depression? Are they bipolar? Like what are all these decisions, and on top of that, I’m a diabetic. So I make on average 180 decisions a day that the average person doesn’t have to make, and they’re life or death, basically, not all of them are life or death, but could affect my health, you know. So those decisions weigh on me. And at the end of the day, I just want things handed to me. I want the game handed to me, give me the controller, I don’t have to decide whether I’m watching a TV show, playing a game, reading a book, whatever. Just give me that. And then I think that some of it is because we have too many options. And I do worry like, in this situation with these three games, I know that I will eventually get to all of them. However, there’s a lot of decisions I make where I’m like, Well, if I pick this one, maybe I won’t get to that one. Do I pick the right one? Depending on how dark I’m feeling like no day is like guaranteed to us. So if I pick this game, and I’m playing this game now, will I finish it? Will I get the play that thing? So I don’t know.

Josué Cardona 21:51
This is this juicy anxiety internal dialogue I was looking for it?

Lara Taylor 21:55
Exactly.

Josué Cardona 21:56
Yeah,

Lara Taylor 21:57
no, I do think about things like that. Like I think about when my when my friend James passed away, he was in the middle of A Song of Ice and Fire. Like he didn’t get to. He’s never most of us are never going to hear the end. But like he didn’t even get to read. I think he only read the first three books. Like and that was his favorite thing. He never got to see that there was a show. He was very excited about it. So I think about those things from time to time when I’m very existential like, am I going to get to finish my favorite things? Yeah. So what do I want to spend my time doing? I want to spend my time throwing lightsabers, and I want to force push people and customized Cal Kestis’ outfit and his hair and his beard. You can give him a like a handlebar mustache you can give him like, it’s ridiculous. It’s so good.

Josué Cardona 22:57
But now You sound confident about your decision. Like

Lara Taylor 23:00
this week. Last week, it was very much well, but I want to I want to be Aloy and flirt with girls and be awkward, like

Josué Cardona 23:08
so you’ve convinced yourself like and now you have you have the argument in support of Jedi survivor.

Lara Taylor 23:14
Okay, yeah, yeah. until like, tears of the kingdom comes out tomorrow, and you all guilt me and shame me into getting the game

Josué Cardona 23:23
we’ll try we’ll try peer pressure.

Lara Taylor 23:25
I’ll just speed through, I don’t need to be a completionist like I was with the other game. No, I’m good. There’s,

Link Keller 23:32
there’s like a big distinction between, like, an open world or an open worlds DLC content versus the more contained experiences of adventure, action star war game.

Lara Taylor 23:50
And I actually think that’s working for me with that decision paralysis, I went for the game that is more on the rails, there is some open world to it very much on the rails, and then the seasons.

Josué Cardona 24:05
But again, this is like a logic system, right, that we’re putting into place. It’s like, there are variables in place, and they’re, you know, there’s what’s coming next. And, you know, there’s a whole bunch of things that in this moment in time, you put it into that equation and you can kind of get an answer. And I get it but like that process can be long and and difficult and but at least you you you hit on the fear of like making the wrong choice, Lara. Like if I if I because I still want to do all these other things. If I do this, then I can’t

Lara Taylor 24:36
like given optimal conditions I will play and I know consciously that I will play all of them if I make it through living wise, however, however, there is always the fear even if it’s unfounded that I won’t get to play that game. You know,

Josué Cardona 24:55
have you thought that you were going to finish every Zelda game you’ve ever played?

Lara Taylor 24:59
No I I

Josué Cardona 25:01
you’re not gonna

Lara Taylor 25:02
I go in knowing that I always, I think this might be the one, it might be the one, I think the one I’ve gotten the farthest through is Breath of the Wild. And it is literally one game mechanic keeping me from beating that game.

Josué Cardona 25:17
So you almost beat the longest one. You could be like four of the others, in the time that it’s like,

Link Keller 25:23
yeah, I mean, like, what what we’re talking about with like, game choices is really more about like prioritizing, like, what are we going to do, the assumption that we will get to all of it eventually. It’s just what are we going to do first? In the more clinical psychology way of talking about choice paralysis is what you’re talking about, or trying to get us to talk about, Josué is that there it is very much attached to this idea of like, FOMO is like the fear of making the wrong decision. And that other decision will be completely cut off to you. And that tends to be more on like a time limit where it’s like, after school, are you going to go to Susie’s house? Or are you gonna go with your brother down to the creek to look for frogs? And it’s like, well, if I go over to Susie’s house, there may never be frogs again. I heard that they were gonna bulldoze the creek. But if I go out with my brother, Susie’s gonna fucking hate my guts, and never invite me over again. And so it feels like there’s more like, a consequence of what you don’t choose and that, that you’ll never be able to have that thing. It’s a little harder to apply that to media consumption, unless you incorporate the idea of like, by the way, we’re all mortal beings. And you could die at any friggin moment. So maybe it is a choice of like, which one do you want to do before you EHH off this earthly coil?

Lara Taylor 27:04
I can think of one where there was a somewhat of a consequence of swaying remember when we chose to play Battle Born instead of Overwatch? And how

Josué Cardona 27:14
we made the right choice, in hindsight

Lara Taylor 27:18
In hindsight, yeah. But not many people play with us for very long,

Josué Cardona 27:24
but for context, right, these two video games came out and similar to Horizon Zero, Dawn and Breath of the Wild,

Lara Taylor 27:31
except these two were the same type of game. Yeah, I would argue that they were almost exactly the same.

Josué Cardona 27:39
I would say that they’re both different. I mean, it doesn’t matter. But they were very similar and right, we were like, oh, what should we do? And ultimately, we chose Battleborn because it had Co Op, a co op campaign and Overwatch did not. And so, we, we played a lot. But yeah, I mean, had we chosen not to play it and thought, oh, we’ll play Battleborn later, we would have never, never had the chance to play it. And I think that there’s other like, I think we’ve touched on a lot of the a lot of the parts of this right? Like this is this is the beauty of GT like we’re talking about stuff that we care about, in the sense right, this media, like this shit is important to us. And so we have these experiences, they may happen in other contexts as well. But here, I think, I think sure there’s the I don’t want to miss out on that thing. And I think that there are times when you could miss out on something. And sometimes it’s I don’t know like in Fortnite they do these concerts that only happen once and you can see a recording and stuff but like those things are just not the one day Yeah, yeah. And they’re pretty crazy and every time we do it right there’s a unique even multiplayer games right like that story that experience that you were gonna have in that moment. You can’t have it later. You can’t

Lara Taylor 28:57
The Legend of Zelda Splatfest you can only have at one time,

Josué Cardona 29:01
you can only have Splatfest one time and and so I think there are other examples like going to a concert or you know, there’s lots of different examples of I don’t know there are different ones but there is that piece but then I love that you mentioned Lara the like you’re just tired, right? The research about that is that you get to the end of the day and it gets harder to make any choices because that part of your brain that’s been choosing all day really is not up to the task and so it does get more difficult to to choose which is

Lara Taylor 29:35
which is why it’s really open tik tok and scroll because tik tok’s choosing for you

Josué Cardona 29:42
what’s its I mean that’s that’s a I’ve done that to help me with this is just have rules that I can apply across the board. And and have a default, right like you can just have a default

Lara Taylor 29:56
I crowdsource my like if I’m having if I’m having a hard time I’m deciding between two books. I go to Kayla. What should I read? Or what game should I play next, or whatever I go to I go to her usually, because that’s just she’s my person to talk to about that stuff. But also, there’s the whole thing where like, say we’re having a decision here trouble picking what to watch between me and Nina, or what to eat. It’s like, okay, someone brings up the thing. Here are five options, the other person narrows it down to two, and then the other person narrows it down to one to make it easier to make the choice. And if you really can’t, there are apps that will allow you to input the things you’re trying to choose between. But you have to actually go with the one the app chooses otherwise, you could just keep keep going and keep going and keep going

Josué Cardona 30:52
two face has got the coin flip, right? It’s like whatever,

Lara Taylor 30:56
roll a die. Anyone that anyone that plays an RPG knows you got to do with the dice say, soooo.

Josué Cardona 31:03
I mean, I think all those things are helpful, because they can be helpful in a moment like that, where you just the stakes aren’t really that high. I mean, but if you feel like they are

Lara Taylor 31:15
it’s like, you know, you’re not going to actually starve and not eat dinner, but both of you are sitting there like I guess I guess we’re starving tonight.

Josué Cardona 31:24
Pop Tarts it is. So that’s, that’s another thing. And then I think, link a lot of stuff that you said goes more into well, first of all, I can’t go on Tik Tok if I’m trying to choose what show to watch or what book to watch, because I’m just gonna end up with more in my in my backlog.

Link Keller 31:45
Yeah. yup

Josué Cardona 31:47
Oh, recommendations. Yep. Add to Queue, buy now.

Link Keller 31:50
I’m like, What should I watch? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go on tik tok. And then I send like 13 and tiktoks to Jessica like, oh, a scary movie we could watch together. Oh, another one like this? I’m not gonna watch em by myself.

Josué Cardona 32:06
So you didn’t ask for this advice. But that’s not that that wasn’t helpful. Don’t go. Don’t do that for the reasons that you said.

Link Keller 32:13
It’s not it is not a useful tool in that instance. For sure. Yeah. But have a another video game example is maybe slightly more on choice paralysis. Back in. I want to say 2008 I was working my first real job at a Gamestop and I had been working there for a couple of months, and I had spent almost every penny I made at GameStop

Lara Taylor 32:53
at the store.

Link Keller 32:55
My first paycheck went towards a Wii which I do not regret. There’s no choice process on that front. But I was working at GameStop and at the time, it was a big part of working at GameStop at the register is that you had to push the Game Informer subscription as the magazine that Gamestop probably doesn’t even produce anymore.

Josué Cardona 33:20
still does.

Lara Taylor 33:21
Still does

Link Keller 33:22
really? Game Informer still exists? good for them

Josué Cardona 33:24
you can get it digital or print.

Link Keller 33:26
But yeah, so

Lara Taylor 33:27
free with a membership

Link Keller 33:28
as an employee they gave you a subscription. So I was reading the game informers in order to be more educated to promote it to customers. Of course not because it was incredibly boring working retail and I like to read and there’s game pictures love that. But one of the covers, I remember was for Dragon Age Origins, and it was like the big like announcements front page,

Josué Cardona 33:54
exclusive!

Link Keller 33:54
game informer. Anyways, obviously I didn’t know what that game was because it hadn’t come out yet. It was the first time people were talking about it. And so I’m reading the article about it and it is describing it as a spiritual successor to baldur’s gate, which is one of my favorite series. And so I was so fucking excited for Dragon Age Origins. I was like, Oh, I’m gonna play the shit out of this game. It’s gonna be dope. This is gonna be my new obsession. I had recently purchased an Xbox 360 also with my paycheck. And so I was like, Oh, well, this game, I can preorder it which again, employees were encouraged to push pre ordering and do it themselves. And so it was like I have to preorder this game. I know I want it. I know I want to play it. I know. I’m gonna love it. It’s gonna be great. Do I want it on PC? Or on Xbox 360 Hmm, hmmm? Hmmmm? And so I preordered it on Xbox 360. And then I went well, but it’s supposed to be like baldur’s gate. And I’ve always played baldur’s gate on the computer, because that’s the only way you can play it. That’s not true dark alliances on consoles, but anyways, I was like I’ve always played it on PC, I should play it on PC. And so I switched my preorder over to PC. And then I was talking to some customers as like, oh, but it’ll be so nice, like sit on my couch and like play it with a controller like, oh, so I switched my preorder over to back over to xbox, I switched it back and forth, probably five or six times. And when it came out, like that day, I was like, fuck do I want it? What what, what do I do? Which one do I pick? And I was struggling because it’s like, I want to, like go home tonight and play this game. And I was like, which one do I pick. And I ended up being like, you know what, I played the other one on PC, I’m gonna get it on PC. So I bought it on PC. And I brought it home, and I installed it onto my laptop. And I started playing. And my laptop was not strong enough graphics card to play the game the way it was intended to be played. And so I played probably, I don’t even think I made it all the way through the first tutorial area,

Josué Cardona 36:21
you wanted that baldur’s gate experience

Link Keller 36:24
absolutely made the wrong decision. Which is really funny, because I got so frustrated, the game was still playable on my laptop, but every time it did the cutscene dialogue, the characters would have weird graphic artifacts around them. And the subtitles would get fucked up. And I don’t know if you know this, about that kind of game. But a lot of it a significant amount of it is in talking to other characters and choosing what to say in response to what they have just said. And so I’m so frustrated. I ended up taking it out of my computer and I gave it to my friend Lin to play and she loved it and she played the shit out of it. And she played the next ones when they came out. I have never played a Dragon Age game, even though I know I would enjoy it. But like I I got so choice paralysis’d on which console to get it for. And then I chose wrong and I and I was so frustrated by that, that it like it completely is like some part of my brain is like you chose wrong and you have to live with that choice for the rest of your life. You’re never going to play Dragon Age Origins, or any other Dragon Age because you chose PC when you should have chosen Xbox 360 You dingus. the other part of my brain is like I guess that makes sense.

Lara Taylor 37:54
As you’re describing you’re trying to make this choice I am picturing in a goofy movie when Goofy is asking max which way do I go? Which freeway ramp do I take and

Link Keller 38:05
that was me!

Lara Taylor 38:06
right? left? right, left? right? and then they swerve and almost die

Link Keller 38:10
that was me. I’m I’m Max from a Goofy Movie.

Lara Taylor 38:14
That’s interesting, because a lot of times my choice paralysis around games ends up other than this situation that I had just last week comes around what do I buy something on PC? Or do I buy it on the PlayStation? Where are my friends playing the game? Who am I going to play with? And I came up recently because Kayla asked me and basically said you should get baldur’s gate three on PS five so we can play and I’m like, Well, fuck, I already bought it on PC early access. So I could play with Link and Josué, which we still haven’t done. Because it’s not actually that playable. I mean it is

Link Keller 38:49
it’s pretty playable now.

Lara Taylor 38:50
Yeah, yeah. But I was like, wait, I bought that game years ago. I could buy it again on PS five and they don’t have cross play. But they do have a single save cross platform. So I’m going to do that. And then I get the most best of both worlds.

Josué Cardona 39:09
Okay. That’s okay, so there’s so many thoughts I have on this

Link Keller 39:15
extra context information for for the choice that I made. I did not have enough money at that time to choose both. It was one or the other.

Lara Taylor 39:23
You literally just said that you spent like both your paychecks on two systems

Link Keller 39:28
it was like 6 months of paychecks all the way into buying systems and games for those systems in a system replacement for my brother because he broke his DS so I got him another DS. Yeah, I was 18-19 I was I had money. I was living mostly on my own. I was next door to my grandparents but I was in my own house and feeding myself and everything. So I was feeling very adult. spending copious amounts of money on toys.

Lara Taylor 39:58
Yeah, which is that’s why I brought up, like I bought the other I bought baldur’s gate three years ago, which allows me to have the like I have, I have grown up money, grown up job. But I also have a house I have to spend money on and justify making payments. So if I bought a game that is going to be full price twice, and there’s no way

Link Keller 40:20
it better be three years apart.

Lara Taylor 40:22
Exactly.

Josué Cardona 40:23
That’s the rule. That’s the rule.

Lara Taylor 40:25
It’s the rule

Link Keller 40:25
once once the the end of year budget has gone through, then you’re free. You’re free to remake choices. Not me, when it comes to Dragon Age, though. Never. That’s not true. Jessica actually bought me. I don’t think it was origins. I think she got me a different.

Josué Cardona 40:41
inquisition?

Link Keller 40:41
Maybe she got a she she gifted me one of those on Steam. So I’m I might play it. But I don’t know, I do still have like a psychological block

Lara Taylor 40:50
are you gonna try to play and your laptop won’t do it.

Link Keller 40:52
yeah What if I play and my computer just breaks? And it’s just like, No, no, you actually literally can never play this game. It’s it’s a cursed object for you.

Josué Cardona 41:04
I bet that if you would have gone back in time and chosen 360, you would have gotten to three red lights?

Link Keller 41:09
Probably. Probably.

Josué Cardona 41:12
Yeah, it’s not for you.

Link Keller 41:14
This is not for me. I just needed to wait until Baldur’s Gate three came out. And then that will actually reset the cosmic balance so that I can actually try Dragon Age

Lara Taylor 41:27
there you go.

Josué Cardona 41:27
they’ll get remade eventually. The I’m glad you brought up the money thing. Because when Lara, when you were like, I could just do both. Right?

Lara Taylor 41:41
I can Just do both right, with three years.

Josué Cardona 41:46
You could right I mean, you could like in a lot of these example that’s like, Sure, sometimes you don’t have you literally can’t watch two movies at once and enjoy them. You there’s a certain amount of time. But if it’s if it has to do with the acquisition, like you know, I think I just want to acknowledge that like we’re talking about it from like a very, very privileged perspective or like, oh, we have so many things to choose from Oh, my God. And then also the point of like, oh, and I think this is a good way to have this conversation because it because everything is low stakes. But we still feel that anxiety and all that. And I think I love that you brought up link the fact that that terrible mistake that you made, right, just just shameful.

Lara Taylor 42:32
the worst mistake you’ve ever made

Josué Cardona 42:35
But it’s like it’s compounding, right? It’s like that could add to the next time you have to make a decision. You’re like, what if I make the wrong decision again, which makes it

Link Keller 42:44
every day

Josué Cardona 42:45
get harder. It gets worse every single day.

Link Keller 42:48
I just thought of another example that is actually maybe more connected to money and more consequence-y, related. A couple of years ago, and I still in I was early in my graduate program, and my car started having issues and I had to keep getting it fixed. And part of my grad program required you to do a certain number of hours. I’m doing quotation air quotes in person. So I had to get down to Santa Barbara, from where I lived at the time, which was like an eight ish nine hour trip. I drove myself and drove myself back and on the way back, my car died. And it was scary and upsetting. And I had to call a friend to come drive the like four and a half hours because I was just in a really shitty little town on the side of the freeway. Ended up having to stay at like a motel four not even a Motel Six.

Lara Taylor 43:58
Not even the six

Link Keller 43:59
But, it was like okay, and thankfully, the person who came and picked me up covered the costs to get my car fixed enough to be able to get it home. But the next time that something went wrong with my car, it was very much a decision of do I pay to fix my car or do I make my tuition payments? And I have to I have to choose there is a time limit on this there are serious consequences for either choice that I make. And that was really, really hard to deal with. And I I sat on it for a few days because I was just like I feel like this due date is approaching where I have to make a payment. School is going to take money out of my account whether or not it is in there. So it’s fixed my car and end up in the negative on my bank account and have to fight with my bank to get them to not charge me even more money for being in the negative, or sell my car for parts money and have enough to cover, you know, one and a half months of tuition. But then I don’t have a vehicle to get around anymore to take myself to job interviews, or to take myself back down to Santa Barbara to go to fucking school stuff. And so that was that was really stressful. And, you know, wanting to be able to ask other people, like, well, what decision would you make? And then having to be like, Whoa, yeah, that doesn’t. Your logic is sound, but that doesn’t apply to me. This is, like really struggled with having to make that choice. I ended up choosing to sell my car. And I was very sad about it. Rest in peace, Ruby Subi, you will be missed. You are still missed. And I do regret that choice. Because FUCK my school! there was over a year in between those. That realization but yeah, that one that one was a lot higher stakes. And there was a deadline, and it was very much an either or choice.

Josué Cardona 46:29
Did you ask anybody advice about actually going to do that degree?

Link Keller 46:34
Oh, I did. And I was warned by a very smart man who I won’t name to protect his identity. But he told me it was a huge mistake. And I was an absolute buffoon for doing it. And he was right.

Josué Cardona 46:50
Interesting. Fascinating story. Yeah. There’s a lot of people, right, who like, I continue to work in healthcare. And something that comes up often is examples of like, you tell families to do something, right? Like, hey, like, you’re malnourished, you need to eat three times a day, you know, three, three good meals a day. And you’re like, who can afford to eat three times a day? Now, like, like, what am I gonna? How am I gonna pay rent? Or am I gonna buy all that food? For what? Or oh, yeah, eat healthier? It’s like, Yeah, but I can go to McDonald’s. And for 20 bucks, I can feed everybody at home. And so like, there are decisions that are like definitely much higher stakes. Definitely. School. Having a car like that stuff is it’s a hard choice to make. I liked that. You you both mentioned asking other people for, for advice. I think, you know, it’s funny because like this, the psychological phenomenon of, of choice paralysis is often spoken about in terms of like, you go to a supermarket and there’s 40 different types of toothpaste, which one do you get? And then you just, you’re, you’re more likely to not make a choice than to actually make a choice there. But there is like, there’s a lot of anxiety, there’s fear. There’s also like confusion, you know, like you can you can, you can just have a whole bunch of options. Just be like, I really don’t know, you know, like they don’t, it doesn’t make sense. Do I have to choose?

Link Keller 48:35
This is why I look up restaurant menus before going to the restaurant because I would rather die than spend 32 seconds looking at the menu while the waiter is waiting for me to tell what I want. Those 30 seconds are an eternity trapped in hell. So I’m gonna avoid that completely by trying to front load as many decisions as I can before I even get there. But there’s so many situations in which you can’t do that. And then it’s like, oh, how do you cope when you’re at a situation where you can’t

Lara Taylor 49:12
I remember like Josué you were you talking about the toothbrushes brought up my my bread trauma. So I had eaten the same kind of bread since I was a child. Home pride butter top wheat bread. I could pretend that it was healthy because it was wheat. And it was not the white bread. But it was the only bread I liked. I liked the way that crusted over with my grilled cheeses and the way it I would just eat the bread. Without anything on it. It tasted delicious. I did not realize it was made by hostess and when hostess went bankrupt. It disappeared off the shelves and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t there and I just didn’t get bread. And then somebody told me that it was not going Be available anymore. And I was like, oh fuck, what do I do now? And I stood there for

Link Keller 50:05
I guess I’ll never eat again

Lara Taylor 50:06
half an hour. At least like half an hour trying to figure out like, there’s so many breads. What do I what do I get? Um, I can’t remember what I did choose, but I know I didn’t like it. And now home pride is back on the shelves because somebody else bought out hostesses recipes and hostess still makes things. But for a while there, it was like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what other breads are like, What do I like? What do I not like? And so I had Nina bring home a few different kinds. And I tried things. And we found one that was passable. But like, there was that confusion in that like, well, what the fuck, like, do I do I pick by what the label looks like? Do I pick by Do I want oats? Do I want whole grains? Do I want cheap bread? Like do what do I want

Josué Cardona 51:02
the cheaper the better it tastes? Yep.

Lara Taylor 51:05
Yep.

Josué Cardona 51:06
For me, I have like an in between of some of your stories where I will choose. And then it’s just not satisfying. So I’ll like I’ll start a show and be like, Nope, this is not the mood that this is. I go on vibes. And then. And I’m like, No. And then I’ll switch. Like, I’ll start multiple things. I’ll start multiple games. I’ll try multiple foods. And I’m like, No, that’s no. And so that’s why sometimes like in the middle of them. And this is this is if anybody else deals with this, I’m sure there. I know there are people who deal with this. But this, this sucks. Because like in my brain, there’s like a switch that goes off. So even when I think this is a sure thing, depending on the mood that I’m in or that or the day or the time, like it just it just doesn’t hit the spot. And that way and that that can be that can be frustrating. So it doesn’t, that’s a terrible thing to happen after. I feel like I’ve overcome a lot of the actual decision paralysis

Link Keller 52:15
you make the choice, and then it’s even not

Lara Taylor 52:18
time into it.

Link Keller 52:20
It’s not because you regret the choice that you made. It’s just I regret making a choice at all. Like, I’m so frustrated about this, the vibes are wrong.

Josué Cardona 52:30
I know. No, it’s not right. But and, and I’m not saying I’ve achieved enlightenment or anything, but I have figured out a way to it just started, I just put more and more limits, right. And I try to choose very quickly, because I’m not I do get wrapped up in that as well. And I found that that does help.

Link Keller 52:52
I think I think that is true. I think there are absolutely instances where you should be slow and considerate and really take your time pros and cons in a situation. But for a lot of the little choices that we make, like psychology has proven once you make the choice your brain will like backwards apply, like all of this rationalization towards why you picked that and why it was absolutely 100% the correct choice. And the only choice you could have made in that situation, obviously. So it’s like, oh, those those low stakes choices. Just go fast. And your brain will be like yeah, no, that was right. And that’s what we were always going to do anyways, like don’t even worry about it. Thanks brain.

Josué Cardona 53:32
Like I don’t have a car right now. But a friend of mine, and I’ve looked around and it’s like, I don’t know. And a friend of mine. The other day, I was like, Oh, you’re moving? What are you gonna do? Are you driving the car over? And she’s like, I don’t want to sell it. I was like, what’s the friend discount? Like, I made her an offer had she done it right now. And I’m like, that’s within my range target. I’m just gonna do it. And I found how liberating it is not have to make a choice. I’m also not super attached to some of the but like, if it’s something that’s functional, like when I moved here from from Puerto Rico had, I brought nothing and I never went back to anything else because of the COVID. And so there was a service where you could just rent furniture. You couldn’t even choose it. And I was like, Yeah, that’s fine. Just I’ll just do that. I don’t get, you know, I tried not to get too hung up on and I was glad that there was an option like you said, Lara, like, Oh, help somebody. I just need somebody to decide for me. There was an episode of headshots on the Geek Therapy network, where Kelli and I were discussing Breath of the Wild. And, and Kelly said that she she doesn’t like open world games.

Lara Taylor 54:42
There’s too much shit to do.

Josué Cardona 54:43
She’s like, I don’t know what direction to move in, like and. And I get that. Not in games because I feel like games always. Especially the Breath of the Wild

Lara Taylor 54:53
not even open world?

Josué Cardona 54:54
no especially the Breath of the Wild. It’s like there’s always you can always see something to do or you can just If there are seven different things you can do, like I guess that’s hard to choose, right but I, I like to

Lara Taylor 55:06
that’s why I gave up on playing The Witcher three because like, as soon as I got past the first area, everything opened up and I was like, Well, fuck this. There’s too much too many things on the map can’t do it never played it again. And I liked it.

Josué Cardona 55:19
Yeah, but like setting limits for yourself, right? Like, like, like, guardrails, like, Okay, I’m just gonna do, I’m just gonna do fetch quest today. And then like, that’s how you do and then like, now today, I want to do you know, an actual story mission? I don’t know, it’s, you don’t know which one you don’t know what’s coming in to be able to do things like that. In real life. I know people people talk about. And I don’t know how true this is. I think it’s true that Steve Jobs used to wear the same outfit basically every day, just so that he wouldn’t waste any cognitive energy on choosing what to wear every day. Because to him that didn’t matter. What mattered was the choices he was making at the company. And it’s almost like a joke, right? Where people would start doing the same thing and but actually like dressing like him. But I get it, though, like I don’t worry about that. Really. I have just a few shirts that I have for work. That’s it. Kinda right there. Put one on like, I’m not worried about what I’m wearing every day. And sometimes I’ll just, I’d rather just not worry about it in the morning and freak out about that. And but that’s because I’ve been able to overcome the oh, well, what if people? What will people say, if I like to wear the same outfit two days in a row? Oh, my god. I can’t when people think that right. It’s like, I had to get to the point. I’m like, who’s paying that much attention to my clothes? Is anybody paying attention?

Lara Taylor 56:49
that reminds me of the the meme that I’ve seen about like therapists freaking out about wearing the same outfit with with a client two weeks in a row where I personally wear the same button up shirt for the entire week, and then just rotate my button up shirts every week. So

Josué Cardona 57:06
that’s beautiful. That’s wonderful. Yeah. I tried to do like, I’ll wear a shirt or button up shirt. Monday, for example. And if I don’t have meetings with any of the same people, I might just do it.

Lara Taylor 57:17
Yes, I wear I wear I wear different undershirt every day. But like the button up on top, same one every week. And I only have to make one decision a week except for I had to change it on Star Wars day because I had to wear my baby yoda mandalorian

Josué Cardona 57:33
You have really important decisions to make when you get home, you can’t be wasting about wasting time thinking I got to

Lara Taylor 57:39
decide whether I’m taking insulin, how much insulin I should take what I’m what snacks I should have. Do I do this now because my blood sugar is gonna spike in the middle of a session like I got, I got plenty of things I got to worry about. Don’t need to worry about the shirts.

Josué Cardona 57:55
Yeah. Well, I think I think and I’m sure, my guess is that everyone here has experienced this, you get to a point where you’re not sure what decision to make, and other people get really frustrated with you. Because you won’t just hurry up and make a decision. And I hope this conversation like reminds people that like, it happens. And there’s multiple reasons why that happens. Sometimes it’s anxiety sometimes it is. It is a cognitive load. It’s just like too much you just can’t can’t handle it right now

Link Keller 58:26
I simply cannot answer a single choice question. Multiple choice?? that is off the table.

Lara Taylor 58:35
What’s your favorite color? I have no idea.

Link Keller 58:37
NO! I’m going to bed right now.

Josué Cardona 58:42
My therapist tells me that something that seems to be seems to make my life a little harder. Is that she the way she words it is that I don’t have a North Star. She says often Right? Like I don’t know, it’d be a lot easier to make choices if you were if you had more clarity on what the goal is or what the objective is. And at least for me, I don’t have that right. So that is often often makes it hard to make choices. And then people don’t understand that. I don’t know. I kind of no idea

Lara Taylor 59:16
that tracks with your with your breath of the wild kind of like just do fetch quests today or story missions or whatever. Like if only life had that. So I mean there’s ways to build it probably

Josué Cardona 59:31
Yeah, I mean, but there there are right like I live my life that way in many ways. I’m like, I do go off on a whim sometimes right? Because there isn’t like this long term plan. I’m not saying that that’s healthy or great in any way. But

Link Keller 59:47
it’s just a way that is

Josué Cardona 59:49
it doesn’t make it, what?

Link Keller 59:50
it’s just a way that is

Josué Cardona 59:53
a it is a way that is what I’m saying like it can get hard to To achieve goals if you don’t have goals, right, so so that it’s easier to inform your decisions. When, when you have your priorities all set up beforehand, and you have and you’re working towards a particular goal. I don’t feel like I have that most of the time. So it does often make it difficult to make a decision. So

Lara Taylor 1:00:25
your goal for tomorrow is to play Tears of the kingdom?

Josué Cardona 1:00:30
Actually, no, I don’t think I’m going to be able to play until next week. Unfortunately. That’s all I know.

Lara Taylor 1:00:37
I know. But you have, but you have a goal.

Josué Cardona 1:00:39
So the choice was made for me. The choice is made for? No, I mean, there is no goal. It just changes. I don’t, who knows? I bought the game. That’s really that’s really all.

Lara Taylor 1:00:51
That was the goal. to own it

Josué Cardona 1:00:54
Achievement unlocked. Maybe one day I’ll play it, that will be great. But yeah, there’s just been different reasons why we get stuck and stuff, sometimes the small stuff and sometimes the more difficult stuff, you would think that the easy things would be easier to choose because they’re low stakes. You would also think that the harder things are easier to choose because they’re high stakes. But it’s not. Sometimes it is not easy at all. But at least you can practice with things like your books, and your and your games, and your movies and other media. That’s not too bad of a place to practice. Remeber when blockbuster was the thing you didn’t you could just keep you didn’t have to. There’s no commitment, just after a couple days of free trials and demos.

Lara Taylor 1:01:54
Like I think there’s like rent two, you get another one free or for cheaper, that kind of thing. Like it’s great

Josué Cardona 1:02:01
rentals, you can still rent stuff that makes it a little easier. Maybe just have your commitment that maybe that’s that’s why you can’t make decisions.

Link Keller 1:02:13
Next week.

Lara Taylor 1:02:16
That’s our topic. Ooh.

Josué Cardona 1:02:19
I can’t decide what our topic is. So hard, everybody, thank you for joining us for this episode of GT radio. For more Geek Therapy, visit geek therapy.org to join in the conversation with the community. All the links to all our different community spaces are in the show notes. Thank you so much for listening. Remember to geek out and do good. And we’ll be back next week

Link Keller 1:02:47
mmbye!

Josué Cardona 1:02:49
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai and Link Keller

Characters / Media
  • Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • A Song of Ice and Fire series by G R R Martin
  • Battleborn
  • Overwatch
  • Fortnite
  • Two Face / Harvey Dent / Batman
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Baldur’s Gate
  • A Goofy Movie (1995)
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • The Witcher 3
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Burnout
* Change
* Consequences
* Death
* Difficult emotions
* Fear
* Shame
* LGBT Issues
* Choice dilemma
* Problem Solving
* Taking responsibility for one’s actions
* Other:

Relatable Experience:

* Choice paralysis
* Clarity/Understanding
* Coming of age/Getting older
* Death
* Fear/Anxiety
* FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
* Loss (other than death)

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

Join the Conversation!

What was a time when you had choice paralysis? How did it feel and what did you ultimately choose? Was it the right choice?

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