I suffered pretty horribly as a kid. On top of the autism, my father was abusive, one of the few friends I had died at 9 years old, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer shortly after. I began to act out, and the school I was sent to helped me learn to "pass" was so horrible I ended up writing about it anonymously for Boing Boing.
Later in grad school, a counselor would point out that on top of the autistic spectrum issue, I may have CPTSD from the treatment I received from the teachers in the alternative school that my acting out caused me to be sent to. It's not in the DSM, so I can't really get anything for it.
I went to college hoping for some stability - anything beyond help desk in my hometown required a degree. College made me "overqualified" for those roles but didn't quite get me to the point I could get a systems admin or software engineering role. In fact between self care and classes, my technical skills declined a bit from when I was 18 to 22.
A professor who I took a job with due to the flexible schedule saw promise in me and encourage me to go to grad school. I don't need a ton of money to be happy, so I figured maybe acquiring some prestige would eventually lead to a decent job - I never wanted to be a professor but I didn't see any other path forward.
I burned out partway through grad school... I managed to pass my quals so I could prove leaving was my choice and left with a master's. Tried working for a smaller company who I told I wanted work life balance, but ended up being laid off despite putting in as much (and sometimes more) hours there than I did in grad school.
So now, like many of the guys I went to school with all those years ago, I live with my parents. The difference being that most of those guys spent the past decade as NEETS. I'm not going to claim living on disability is a picnic, but I sometimes wonder who's smarter: the "genius" who spent a decade trying to push boulders up hills until he got crushed, or the American Hikikomori sitting in their parent's putting in their 10,000th hour of Call of Duty.
That sounds more like a communist prison than a school, I'm not surprised it would result in PTSD.
I wake up at 10 AM to work then go to college from 4PM to 9PM and then spend an hour learning a new language and then watch some movies or play some video games. Sometimes I don't know which of them is the most pointless...
But that doesn't matter - meaning is subjective & you make your own. If something is meaningful to you it's not pointless.
Yeah, but 10,000 hours of COD? That's about 5 years of playing from 9-5 every weekday. That's not enjoyment; that's an illness.
I can't even imagine the ennui of playing 10k hours of the same FPS or even the same series. "Soul crushingly boring" wouldn't even begin to describe it.
These are not mutually exclusive.
As such it's a way to feel accomplishment and growth for people who don't have many other opportunities for feeling those things.
It's particularly appealing for people who struggle with participating in the usual venues for this, like sports clubs and other socializing that usually requires meat world interaction, which isn't a very easy thing to participate in for people with social anxiety issues.
Maybe our perspective is that of someone who was in a similar place, and is now looking back on our lives with the benefit of hindsight.
It's not obvious to me that people will take a low-effort dismissal of their personal issues and turn that into a valuable learning opportunity.