Libertarian Prepper

The world divides politically into those who want people to be controlled, and those who have no such desire.

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Video Game Addiction – How you can regain control of your life

I have no illusions as to why I first developed video game addiction. As a kid, I had social anxiety. I still do today.

So video games were always an escape from my boring, mundane, and most importantly socially stressful life. In video games, I could be the hero, the commander, the king, or whoever else my childhood fancy would want me as. I could go into the future, or live in the past. I could fight monsters, or be a monster.

Video games are different

The video game world differs from more passive entertainment, such as television, quite substantially. Even in the case of fiction novels, you’re reading a predetermined story – whereas I loved open-ended games that let your choices influence the game world.

Video game addiction isn’t just something lazy people do. And parents who think their kids play video games because they’re lazy are missing the point. Not to mention being completely counter-productive.

Identify why you or a loved one has video game addiction

If your kid really is lazy, then video games aren’t at fault. There’s always a source that causes laziness – video games are just the release. So if his life is such that video games are the most exciting thing in it, then you, as a parent, need to reconsider how he lives his life. Find out what interests him – don’t project your own interests onto your kid, and then become surprised when he doesn’t respond too well.

Or if he runs towards video games as an alcoholic would – to get away from the troubles of his very real life, then you need to seriously think about what’s going on with your kid. It’s far too easy to blame an external threat, and a lot harder to look at your own role in the situation.

In my case though, no amount of strong-arming or fancy speeches by parents stopped me from playing video games. The more it was a forbidden fruit, the more I wanted it.

Why is video game addiction so serious?

For a lot of us, video games take over our lives.

They’re not just something we play in our spare time, they’re something we make spare time to play. That my homework-doing ability suffered because of video games I never cared much about. Schooling is not education – it is indoctrination. I had to relearn almost everything I was taught in school in the following years, so I’m glad I didn’t waste undue time cramming propaganda into my mind.

But there were things I did wish I was doing. Reading books, doing physical exercise, trying new hobbies…

Video game addiction is a problem when video games begin to take precedence over every other activity. When the first thing you come home to do is play video games. When you eat while playing video games. When you spend your spare time thinking up strategies to beat the latest boss, or amass sufficient virtual currency to buy a new spaceship – then you need to realize that video games are more than just a passtime.

A hobby can have boundaries set around it. You can walk away and do something else when you need to. But addictions take over your mind.

Admitting you have an addiction to video games

The reason I’ve spent so many words describing the problem is that most people who are addicted don’t realize it. It requires a great deal of honesty to tell yourself that you have video game addiction.

It’s often treated as a sign of weakness to be addicted to anything, even though addiction is just the usual habit forming capabilities of our brain – gone too far.

I don’t consider video game addiction to be any less of a problem than tobacco addiction, or alcoholism. You might think that the only thing you’re wasting is your time, but that’s not really true.

The costs of video game addiction

Sitting in front of a computer or console all day is bad for your health, too. Your posture, your hands and wrists, and your overall inactivity are all very harmful. You might be harming your eyesight too.

And if you’re playing video games by looking at a ‘blue’ screen at night, you’re ruining your sleep cycle too. That’s because the frequency of light emitted from your screen is the same as that of the sun, blocking the release of melatonin, and thus making it more difficult for you to fall asleep.

So how does one actually end the ordeal?

How you can stop video game addiction

It was only when I, myself, had decided to end my video game addiction that anything really started moving. I tried all sorts of things.

At first, I tried to create timetables and schedules to regulate my use of video games. I could write the most elaborate, simple, or beautiful schedules.

Following them? That was another story entirely.

If planning is half the battle, then I was missing something. Planning just set me up for high expectations, which, when I inevitably failed to adhere to my plan, would make me feel guilty and disappointed in my own abilities.

It’s not surprising though. I was trying to re-wire my brain, which is no easy feat. I could generally follow the schedule the first day with success. The second day was iffy. The third day I would just relapse to doing whatever I usually did.

I won’t bore you with the science behind it, but let’s just say that wiring or habit-forming is a very important part of who we are as a result of evolution. The creation of habits saves energy, since it doesn’t require us to think and analyze everything again and again. Breaking habits on the other hand is very difficult.

What I learnt was that breaking video game addiction gradualistically was pointless. Even more pointless was trying to manage it.

In the end, and maybe you can avoid years of mishaps by understanding this, the only way is to go cold turkey.

Breaking video game addiction cold turkey

As long as you leave, in your mind, even the slightest opening. As long as you believe that maybe in the future, when that next awesome game comes out, you’ll play it.

As long as you tell yourself that this is just temporary – that once you regain control of your addiction you can control the video games in your life. While you keep that door in your mind open, you will fail.

It wasn’t until I told myself that I would never play any game again, that I could fully quit.

At least that was my experience.

I didn’t succeed on my first try though. I made several attempts to go cold turkey. Sometimes I would last a few months before relapsing again. I’ve been video game free since January 2012.

It always helps if there’s an external motivator to accompany the attempt to break your video game addiction, like impending university finals.

The best thing you can do right now is to delete all your video games. Every single one. When I did this, I’d last maybe a few days before starting to download games through Steam again – but since they take a while to download, I’d change my mind halfway through and cancel the download. My ISP was probably pretty confused.

I also made a list of all the things that were bad about video game addiction, and just video games in general. It helped to remind me why I was doing this.

  1. Computer games are very time consuming. Theoretically, one could allocate say, an hour a day to playing them. But I would always get carried away and waste a lot more time. Also, like with any other addiction, computer games would supersede various other activities. The average movie is 1.5 hours long. Video games can go from 5 to 50 hours. And 50 hours is a conservative average. I spent well over 100 hours playing TES IV: Oblivion. MMORPGs are the worst time-eaters though. I probably spent well over a thousand hours playing Eve Online.
  2. They’re an escape – a distraction. I have social anxiety – have had since I was a kid, and computer games were a way to run away from my problems. But like any alcoholic ought to know, running away from problems doesn’t solve them.
  3. Computer games are very limiting. They’re only as big or complex, or truthful and representative of reality, as the programmers who coded them allow them to be. You’re really bounded by someone else’s imagination – by the rules they think the world operates on. No where was this more evident than with strategy games.
  4. And here’s the real clincher: Playing computer games is living someone else’s life, not your own. We only get one shot at life, and I don’t want to waste it pretending to be someone else. The next time I want to go on an adventure, I’m going to do it myself, not with an imaginary character in a virtual world.

Rebuilding your life

If your life was built around video games, then breaking your video game addiction can leave quite a hole in its wake.

At first, I wouldn’t know what to do with my time – I suddenly had so much of it. Whenever I didn’t have some immediate task I needed to be doing (and sometimes even when I did), I would automatically default to playing a video game. Without that, my life suddenly seemed empty. I’m pretty sure I even felt depressed during the initial withdrawal period.

But trust me – this passes.

The key is distracting yourself from your video games. Brainstorm a list, preferably on a piece of paper and not your word processor. Write, “What do I want to do before I die?” right at the top.

Set a timer, then just go crazy. Write for five minutes straight – don’t stop until the time has elapsed.

— Go ahead and do this now. Come back to this article when you’ve got a working list. —

Now look at your list and start thinking about things you can do right now. Have you been putting off studying a foreign language? You have the internet at your fingertips – so there’s nothing stopping you. Have you wanted to learn a certain musical instrument, but just never had the time? Start looking for local classes.

You’ve just thrown off the shackles of an addiction.

Breath, open your eyes, and let your mind wander through the possibilities that are now open to you!

p.s. If you’re struggling with video game addiction, or you’ve managed to break free, please post your story below. You’ll help others feel that they’re not alone in their struggle.

  • David

    Read the article just wanted you to know it has some valuable information in it. I will be attempting to try to break my addiction. I’m not into gaming as much as I have been in the past. Also Gaming friends are really tough because you don’t wanna leave them with no one to play with…but hopefully they will understand.

    • Good luck! I know I’ve had a few relapses since writing this article, especially when things aren’t going too well off-line and I want a distraction, but overall I spend MUCH less time on games than I used to, going for weeks or months without touching them.

      I know what you mean about friends dragging you back in. I still get e-mails from my Minecraft buddies about going back and playing.

  • test

    After reading the article I have to comment on one point, “Playing computer games is living someone else’s life, not your own.” Well, I agree to an extent; you haven’t achieved anything, “real” but going for a walk in the countryside doesn’t really achieve anything real either. It’s mental stimulation and, in the case of the countryside walk, fresh air and a bit of exercise. I can see how it might not be as good as going out for that walk but I can’t see how that means it’s a bad thing, if that’s what you’re suggesting.

    I also used to play computer games a lot. 10-14 hours a day was common when I had days off and 5-7 hours when I was at school. Most of the time to escape the reality I was living in an abusive household with few friends at a horrible school where I was bullied. Having left that environment, I don’t play games to anywhere close to that extent. I’m lucky if I get an hour a week these days and it’s just something I do when I have some free time and nothing else going on.

    Was I addicted to games? I don’t know. Can one be addicted to a nice walk in the countryside to escape a stressful job for a few hours? Possibly, but given the fact my play increased proportionately to the amount of stress and anxiety in my real life in the past and played less when things got better, without even consciously seeing it as a problem, I’d say it wasn’t really an addiction. It seemed more like a form of self-medicating. It didn’t solve the problems but it certainly made them more bearable until I could escape in the real world and have financial and legal independence.

    • test

      Sorry, in case it isn’t clear, my point there was to highlight that the way I got out of playing games a lot was to literally leave the environment in which I played games a lot. It seems to me that it wasn’t an addiction that I had to drop but more a terrible environment that I was trying to leave (virtually until I could do it for real).

      • Hey, thanks for your comment. I think in your case it never turned into an addiction. In my case, I continued to play video games a lot even when my environment improved. Even worse, so long as I played video games, I never felt that much of a motivation to face my problems and improve my environment. Do you see what I mean?

        Anyway, I’m glad you’re doing better now 🙂

        I just hope more parents realized that video games are often a symptom of other problems, and it’s the underlying problem that need solving (abuse, being forced into fulfilling someone else’s goals with your school and further education, etc.).

        • test

          Yeah in response to, “I never felt that much of a motivation to face my problems and improve my environment.” I felt exactly the same way. I ended up changing my environment more by chance than by sheer force of will. I had the opportunity and I took it for various reasons but mostly because I felt that I wanted to improve my environment rather than because I thought playing games was bad. It has to be important enough to you to change your environment that you’ll actually do it and if your motivation is being sated by the pseudo-escape of virtual worlds then it’ll never change.

          The important thing is, as you say, to identify that the environment is bad and then take steps to improve it. When that improves I think the gaming will subside as a natural side-effect of that. What do you think? Has that been your experience?

    • Tony Fountain

      Astral projection, a hell of an adventure, fake? Not by a longshot.

  • anonymous

    I’m a 15 year old with a Serious Health condition, and mental illness such as PTSD and Major Depression.. i get out, Do activitys the best i can, but i hate my crappy life as i cannot push myself because i have cataplexy,- A Illness where you lose all muscle control and collapse like a ragdoll and most of the time wake up with a bad concussion.

    I use gaming to escape from my life, im not normal.. my life isnt normal… but in games i can be who i want to be. i can be Normal.
    :L

    • I’m sorry to hear that, and I can definitely empathize. My post was directed at people like myself, who were/are stuck playing video games to escape a crappy life we *can* change, if only we stopped playing those games long enough to try.

  • anonymous

    Oh and ive been looking for a cure for 4 years, nothing has worked to fix my health … AT ALL, Flashbacks occur when i walk past places i have fell before, causing me to fall and seize.. call me a WImp, Coward, Pussy whatever,
    Have one day in my shoes and youll end up with a noose around you neck.

    • I would never call you any of those things.

      Also, I don’t know anything about your health condition, but something I always do is recommend to people the Paleo diet. If you’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked, it can’t hurt to try and eat what cavemen ate.

    • Tony Fountain

      xD too much bro.

  • Groggy Moggy

    Brilliant article. There are VERY few people who have any real understanding of this issue, even fewer who can actually communicate it well with others. I think it would perhaps be interesting if you were to also consider how the actual social aspects of games can cause addiction and the things that factor into this. I’ve found that one of that hardest things about leaving a game is that you would also be leaving friendships with it. I certainly know that if I managed to stop playing games for good, I would lose many good friends who I still consider good people despite their game ‘addictions’.

    • Thanks. I guess I understand it quite well because I’ve been through it myself.

      You have a good point about the social aspects of addiction. I spent quite a bit of time playing Minecraft, for instance. Playing in singleplayer mode I was bored within a couple of hours, but playing online with people was much more interesting. When I finally decided to slow down or stop altogether, it meant no longer interacting with some good friends that I would probably never talk to elsewhere.

      On the other hand, I have moved some of those friendships outside of games. One of the people I met on a Minecraft server I talk to regularly over Skype, so if you’re friends with the person for reasons beyond just the game you’re playing, there’s a good chance you can continue to be friends outside the game.

  • Harrison Dew-Hiersoux

    This really helped me. I even wrote down what I wanted to do before I died, and I started to cry because the feelings of being unsuccessful and shackled for so long washed over me. Games trapped me for a long time. I took therapy, but I could not climb out of my habit because I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay in a realm where I could become anything. I enjoyed playing games, but to play them I had to mask my horrible feelings of feeling like a loser for playing them.I am in extreme physical condition. I have always been athletic unlike some people, but games ruined my athletics. I played competitive soccer and swim, I still swim, but I was never GREAT. I was only good. Video games held me back from my dreams. I realize this now as I write. Maybe with my free time I can begin to write. The opportunities are endless. This article literally helped face who I became when I got sucked into video games. I’m 19years old. And I have a life waiting to be changed.

    • That’s great! I’m really happy for you, and I’m glad this article helped you out. At 19 I was still very much addicted to games, so you’re coming to this realization sooner than I had 🙂

      I guess video game addiction is a little like asking whether you would take the red pill and leave the matrix, or take the blue pill and stay in fantasy land.

      • Harrison Dew-Hiersoux

        Yeah I’m thankful. It really is like that. Good analogy.

  • Adithya Chandrasekhar

    I’ve managed to accept that I’m quite badly addicted to video games. I’ve added a few trackers that provide me with a weekly summary of how much game time I’ve actually spent. On average, I play for about 40 hours a week. This terrified me. I didn’t want to ruin my life, but video games and stuff related to video games seem to occupy all my thoughts.

    I’ve been trying very hard to quit, but I’m struggling. I managed to stay clean for about 3 days, following which I installed one of my games again…I feel like a piece of crap who can’t keep up to his own word, and my parents, who were proud of my choice, feel let down.
    I’ve been trying now for the past few days to limit myself to an hour of video games a day, hoping that it might help me out. Another incentive for me to play video games is that I started a YouTube gaming channel a few months ago, and in the past few weeks, it has gotten popular, which makes me want to make videos and this in turn, makes me want to play even more.
    I have no idea how I can stop myself. I’ve tried getting into drawing and writing stories, but they don’t seem to work. All the help I can get would be gladly appreciated!

    • Hey – well look, if you can actually make a living off of games, and you actually really like them, then you could always make a career out of it. There are tons of people developing and beta-testing games, and others doing playthroughs and the like.

      But from your post it seems you mostly feel guilty about it, which isn’t good. Doing something you love shouldn’t evoke those kinds of feelings. At this point, I would think hard whether you yourself want to quit playing games or if it’s just external pressure being placed on you by those around you (family, friends, society’s expectations, etc.).

      If it’s really something *you* want to do, then the best way to go about it is by filling your time with something else. If you spend 40 hours a week playing video games, it’s going to be very hard just quitting – you’ll be bored and have nothing to do, and will always default back to thinking about games. Instead, I suggest you fill that time with something really awesome. Make a list of stuff you’ve wanted to do, no matter how scary or difficult, and set about doing those things. Give preference to activities far away from any electronics – cycling, backpacking, sports, reading a paperback outside on a bench – anything to get you away from your familiar addiction-reminding environment.

      One thing I did (though at this point I had broken my addiction already) is I went to volunteer at a ranch in Canada for a month during the summer. The internet connection there was very slow, the computers were very old, and I didn’t bring any electronics with me (except a tablet which I rarely used, but I suggest you don’t bring anything that can distract you). Keep in touch with family and friends using good old land-lines. If you were at all like me, you’ll be swamped by a ton of new and exciting stuff to do, most of which is outside of your comfort zone, and you’re going to very quickly forget about games. This is just an example though, you could do all sorts of stuff far away from civilization that will literally make gaming impossible.

      I hope this helps… If you have any other questions I can help you with, feel free to ask!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve for the most part been able to accept the fact that I’m addicted to video games, but I can’t help but consider what going cold turkey would mean for me socially. I know I’m powerless to help the fact that I just naturally have an addictive mindset, but I have a lot of friends who aren’t like me and can just naturally moderate themselves. Where they might play an hour or two every couple days, I’m on constantly. Gaming is a big social pastime for me and my friends (real life friends) and I feel like abandoning gaming altogether would really isolate me from them. I would KILL to be able to keep myself in check, but moderation is IMPOSSIBLE for me. Cold turkey seems like the only solid way to break my addiction, but it just doesn’t seem socially plausible. I know you might say to consider getting like minded friends, but I don’t want to be known as that pretentious prick who doesn’t play video games. (sorry if I offended anyone, but I’m sure many of you understand where I’m coming from) I like my friends, but I also desperately want to end my addiction. I need a way out that preferably doesn’t turn my social world upside down, so any methods of moderation would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kingolini

      Your story is so similar to mine, on so many levels, stranger.

      • Stuck in a loop

        I like how you ended that sentence, acknowledging the distance and the closeness. Well done.
        I too find myself in a similar situation – but moreover, the cold turkey process frightens me – the joy I find in playing games probably levels pretty equally with the disparity I feel about being addicted to them so much.

        • Q

          I rarely play games compared to how much I used to before, I’d say I’m no longer addicted but at the same time, I feel as if all the joy that previously existed in my life has evaporated and gone away. The future seems so pointless when you’re like this, I see no meaning in anything really, we all just die in the end anyways.

          • JAWZ ANDREX

            Amen we have smart people here!

      • Mr man

        I’m in the opposite position the few friends i have irl all play video games with me and the fewer online friends I have also play with me and because most of the time I’m playing Cs go or league of legends they are both very time consuming and I have no other interests and if I were to go cold turkey I would most likely lose those friends and have nothing left I don’t know what to do as I’m also failing school because I dont do my homework

    • Dan

      Just press the Uninstaller button then think forward. once you did it, then you are a part of a done deal and just try to manage after that. It is REALLY important to take that first step and delete the game, then think of the procedure of surviving it.

  • Ivan

    Well after seeing that I spend 60% of time playing games and still have time for classes, homework and sleep I do consider myself to be addicted. I am 18 and I just got into a community college and the fact is that I spend over 60% of my time on consumption of media aka games, shows, anime. I know for a fact that no one will stop me and this can go on for a long time.
    The scary part is that I manage to live a normal life or so i keep telling myself and I really I don’t know if I can ever stop this media consumer lifestyle.

    • Hi Ivan. It seems like you’re managing to do fairly well despite the addiction, but at the same time you’re clearly dissatisfied with yourself. Perhaps you can continue to do the things you love, but stop leading a “media consumer lifestyle” by becoming a media *creator*. Have you considered this?

      If video games and other art is a big part of your life, but you’re not happy simply consuming it, consider turning things around and creating it. You could become a coder, an animator, an anime artist, a director… all kinds of professions revolve around creating games and shows that are of value to others, and perhaps you would find more fulfillment in that?

  • Josh

    Hello, i’m 15 years old and have been playing video games since idk when.
    I’ve been playing the same game for almost 4 years now and i really want to quit, I’ve spent about 2,000 hours on it and spent almost 1,000 dollars on just one game. I see myself trying to quit constantly so i delete my stuff but maybe a week or 2 later i just come back to it. The other day i played when i got home to when i go to bed and i had a final i was suppose to study for. I knew then i have to quit. I’m moving soon and i hope i can just say that video games were a thing of the past. I wanna actually make some good friends who are not all stoner’s and video game junkies like me. I’m hoping to leave video games when i go to my new school so i can make more friends and actually do my studies either than just waiting to get home so i can indulge myself with pixels. I’m so disappointed in myself and i think my parents are too. It takes a lot for me to talk to people without sweating or becoming nervous, especially with girls. I want to get a girlfriend and start exercising daily like i use to for awhile. This is a good site and probably the only one where i doesn’t say i have to detox myself or go to some camp and talk to a therapist, thank you.

    • Hi Josh, thanks for your comment. For sure, I think that changing your environment and making friends with different interests will help you pull yourself out of your addiction. The biggest factor I think is making sure that you genuinely enjoy major aspects of your life. Whatever it is you’re studying for, make sure it’s something you actually want to be studying. I know that when I was at school and university, I would try to escape doing various homework assignments or studying for tests by playing video games. And that’s understandable… when I was in school, I was there against my will. I didn’t want to be studying most of the subjects I was forced to study, and I didn’t enjoy myself. At university I studied Economics, but I was naively unprepared for just how politicized the subject would be and lacked freedom of choice in most of the modules I had to take to complete my course. On the exams themselves, I almost always had to parrot what our professors told us to get a passing grade.

      When you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in and that you have no or little control over (e.g. being forced to attend school as a kid), sometimes the only thing we can control is our behavior in our spare time, and we protest by doing other things instead. If as a kid I was given the freedom to study what and where I wanted, I doubt games would have been such a major escape route for me – as there would be nothing to escape from! I wish you all the best, and I hope this helps 🙂

      • Josh

        Thanks for the feedback 🙂 I feel the same way like i’m forced to do things i don’t want to. Luckily maybe 2014 can be a new beginning for me. Anyways thank you for this i really appreciate it, i hope you know you might have changed my life in a better more stable way because of this amazing article 🙂

        • Thanks Josh, that really means a lot to me! I wish you all the best in 2014 🙂

    • asdf

      gf???!!!!!

  • parent

    How can you help a teen who doesn’t think there is a problem? Is it ok to just take all gaming opportunities away?

    • Hey there, thanks for your question, and thanks for caring. In my experience, I would not suggest just taking away their games. If someone is addicted to video games, then there’s a particular cause for that, and I would suggest you look for and address that cause, rather than the symptoms.

      Like alcohol addiction, video games are a way of escaping reality. In small or moderate amounts it’s not a problem, but if it takes over someone’s life it might be. If you take away your kid’s video games without addressing the root cause of their behavior, they may turn to other, worse things, such as alcohol and drug abuse.

      It’s hard for me to give advice without knowing a few more specifics… I would start by taking note of when your teenager plays video games. I doubt that he or she favors them over every other activity – it’s probably specific things that they’re avoiding. I would then talk to them about those things, why they don’t want to be doing them, and figure out/negotiate for a way to create a win-win situation so that both your and their interests can be met, and you can both be happy.

      For instance, parents generally want their kids to have a good education. If however the specifics of that education are not to the kid’s liking (for instance, they are not consulted about which subjects they study at school), then they will be unhappy, creating a win-lose. Worse, as with virtually all win-lose situations, they become lose-lose upon further analysis. While in the short term it would seem as though the kid is gaining an education, by losing an intrinsic motivation to study, their performance and learning suffers, and they will have issues with continued learning in their adult lives. Thus, neither the kid nor the parent gets what they want.

      Try to figure out what your kid is running away from by playing video games, and then see if you can reason and negotiate with them to create a win-win arrangement for both of you. 🙂

      • Eryk54

        Hey guys, id like to share my story with you and would like some feedback if possible.

        My Name is Eryk, im 15 and im from Poland, but currently living in the Uk.
        Im pretty sure im addicted to Pc gaming. My Dad was always a gamer but for some reason, whenever he had to leave the house for a few months, he would and wouldn’t care that he’s wouldnt be playing any games.

        -So my first question- is t possible to be playing long amount of video games and not be addicted?

        I got my first video game when i was 6 i got my first video game- Heroes of M&M 3. Very good game, and i play it sometimes to this day. back then, it wasant really an addiction-id just play once in a while. I was a very active kidback then and saw gaming like reading a book.

        Then when i was 7 (we’retalking 2006), we moved to Ireland, and there, my father bought World of Warcraft. We owed 2 computers at the time, but my mam, who was strict about me 9and my brother Julian) bout playing video games- she allowed us 1 hour a day.

        But the morning my Dad announced he bought Wow, i asked if i could play with him. We both started of as Taurens and began our adventure.
        boy it was a long one for me.

        back then i was only in 2nd class and i didnt really care about school, altough i was from poland, i got an extra teacher that helped me with english. Maths was easy too- everyone tells me i have natural skill when it comes to sums.

        But then we moved towns, and i went to a new school. Everything was fine, my mam strictly observed my gaming schedual. But as i grew up (we are talking end of primary school), i started to realise how life really looks, and thats its rly shit. imean u knw, that u have to study to get a good job, and that the better the job, the less work u ahev to do ect. At the time i read alot of fantasy books, and got really influenced by them. The fact my dad played games didnt help aswell.
        Everytime he would start playing a new game, i would try it out aswell.

        I think i got addicted when i started to play League of legends. My dad stoped playing Wow cause he said it takes up too much of his time and money, and gave it up just liek that. but i couldnt just give it up, so i discovered Lol.

        I wanted to play more and more of Lol, wondering at school what champions to try next( let me just say that i started secondary school, and got B results for tests, and highest results for Maths).
        Well my mam noticed and didnt allow me to play Lol anymore.

        So around then i noticed i was addicted cause i would wait in the morning till my mom left the house, and then quickly play a battle or 2 before i had to run to school, late. I acctually stayed once or twice at home because i was really into some champion and wanted to keep playing him.

        So i kinda stoped playing games, but in 2013, when i was 14, my brother wanted an xbox for his birthday. Aroudn that time, i discovered Cod and began to understand why my friends in school were really crazy about it.

        Anyway the xbox got me pretty bad into games, and i was planning to stop gaming. But then my dad who tried to motivate me about playing the piano (im currently on grade 6) said that if i play the song ‘Fur Elise’ he’d buy me laptop.

        Well i practiced the song and played it perfectly, and got the laptop. I think u can guess what happened. Now i know its currently summer holidays (2014-08-02) im 15 and got nothing really better to do, but im starting to realise that im just wasting my time- i mean what am i going to achieve from playing lol or any other games? When i think that i wasted 2 whole months jsut playing lol, i feel like throwing up.

        Can you give me any advice pepper on what i should do now? I think if there is any time to give up gaming, its now before the school year starts.

        • Guest

          I think it’s certainly possible to play games and not be addicted. I’m not actually sure we can be addicted to computer games at all. Computer games provide a way to escape from reality and if your reality sucks then you’re going to choose the games. When you have other, better stuff to do in your life then of course the games won’t compare.

          Computer games don’t provide the same stimulation of a real-world pleasurable experience. They’re a sort of cheap substitute and don’t engage all of our senses the way the real world can. That’s not to say they can’t be enjoyed, of course they can be hugely enjoyable.

          People seem to get, “addicted” to games when they’re living in an uninspiring, boring or unpleasant environment with either the idea that there’s no escape or there genuinely being no escape. Once the environment changes, of course our attitude to games changes. I’d say in your father’s case, he was likely bored/unhappy at home for whatever reason and the games gave him an escape. Once he got back to work, he had other goals to achieve and stimulation from other things so the games weren’t important.

          I think once you understand that, getting over the, “addiction” is easier.

  • Chris Pelham

    I don’t really agree with everything you’ve stated, it seems you’ve just traded one distraction for another on the basis it will be healthier for you. But i know a lot of gaming friends that work out and go to the gym from time to time including myself, i even have a home gym which helps with my social anxiety. I believe gaming worlds especially online are where people can be their ‘real’ selves and not have to hide behind many faces that we do constantly in reality. I owe a lot to gaming, it’s helped me assess what’s important in my life, what i REALLY want out of it, and it’s helped me to form my own way of critical thinking. If only the governments of the world and educations systems could harness the learning ability and incentives of cooperation/rivalry that is used in video games as a foundation for teaching, it would come a long way to bridge the gap of what children want to learn and how to learn it, instead of one size fits all.

    • Hmm, this is an interesting perspective, and I would really like to hear more about how you think gaming has helped you see your real self. It would especially help me if you could give me a couple of examples. Thinking back, I was kind of entrepreneurial when I played Eve Online, even as a 13 year-old – something I have trouble being in my real life, but I think bringing that aspect of myself into the real world has more to do with resolving childhood trauma than anything else, although I suppose that game did help me see that aspect of myself.

      As for the exercise, I don’t think it’s a distraction – it’s something I do about once every two days, whether it’s a hike, a series of sprints, a short jog, or some weight lifting. I feel really enthusiastic about doing it beforehand (and pretty much have to talk myself out of exercising too frequently because my body needs time to recover and build muscle), and it’s something all humans are supposed to do. I feel like a lot of people live too much in their minds and not enough with their bodies. Modern societies have become way too sedentary. I don’t know what, but something clicked in my mind and I no longer feel like I need to compel myself to do exercise. I don’t set myself a schedule, I don’t tell myself I “have” to exercise. I just want to do it and it naturally flows from there.

      • Liam

        I’ve been talking with my parents and one of my best friends, and what you say about exercise not being distracting is almost exactly like what my friend said about schoolwork. I think it only works effectively if the person is even somewhat genuinely interested.
        True, it’s not as bad as a true addiction, but you also have to consider other things. For example, another friend of mine is going great at school, and they’re an amazing musician, but practically day-dreams about Tribes: Ascend. Also, I say my addiction is not really that because, although I spend a lot of time playing games or messing around with screens, I also spend time (but comparitively not a lot) with martial arts and music.
        And another thing: the whole tone in this argument is fairly hostile towards games, one of the things that worries me whenever I think about quitting.
        Firstly, some addicts (or ‘semi-addicts’ in my case) want to enter a career in the game industry, and if they develop hostility (out of fear or malice), then it defeats the purpose of the career path. Why spend your time working a job you fundamentally despise?
        Secondly, I think some of your points on the limiting nature of games are fairly unwarranted. I think that games are a good way of exploring creativity and problem solving, and can be extremely morally challenging (take Spec Ops: The Line. I saw a video on a part where the player can use ‘white phosphorous’ to destroy a large force of enemies, but when they reach the end they find that they murdered a group of refugees they’d previously saved.). And of course is the literal sense of limiting: there’s only so much realism that can be replicated in games before the technical expertise and enjoyment can’t cope.
        I have to agree with Chris’ point: games can be a good scaffold for real solutions to real world problems. This point is also discussed in Reality is Broken: Why games make us better and How they can change the world, a book on games and psychology by game designer Jane McGonigal.

        • You have some good points. I don’t really have anything against games per se. As I’ve mentioned before, you can play video games without being an addict.

          The more I think of it, the more I thank myself that I was addicted to video games, because had it not been that, it would have been something worse. While my friends were going out to binge drink every other night, I stayed in and played video games, and I’m glad I did.

          The root of video game addiction actually has nothing to do with video games specifically, just as hard drugs like Heroin are not addictive to everyone who takes them. While all of these addictions surely have a physiological basis, the primary reason people become addicted is because they are vulnerable to addiction in general in the first place.

          As I have very recently found out, this is a result of dopamine receptor development not being complete, and not fully formed. This is a result of very early childhood trauma. This is a video that goes into more details: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp4pEP3X_NY

        • nuff-sed

          There are no semi addicts, its black and white. Its effecting your life or it is not, there is no grey area. You are either addicted and in denial or just someone who plays alot and its not a problem, yet.
          I am speaking from a true addicts perspective, i wont say what i have issues with as i will be outcast and my comments wil be rendered as unhinged, but i am very educated about addiction, physicaly and psychologically. I am not trying to put you down i am saying it to encourage you to ask youself again, are you an addict. Yes or no, there is no half addict. Is it effecting your general life or not. I hope not but i suspect it is, why else have you found yourself reading this ?

  • InternetAddict

    I was a game addict several years ago and I completely agree with you that going cold turkey is the best way. Some people may not agree and this is why: they have better self-control and their addiction is manageable. I am different. Back in my younger days, when I was totally into reading, be it a fiction or a science book, I couldn’t get myself out of it to do other house chores. Similarly I could never reduce my game playing hours to an acceptable degree.

    The good news for people like me is that we are spontaneous and flexible. So at one point in time if you suddenly feel inspired by this article, you should take advantage of this moment, stand up and discard all your games. Remove them from your hard drive, delete game saves and backups, and throw your CD games into recycle bin. Even better, delete your Steam account and purchase keys before you change your mind.

    Remember that you have to clear all traces of your old games in your life. I made this mistake once when I left a Steam backup of my most favorite game in a portable hard drive. After nearly 2 years of quitting, one day I was very stressed and lonely and I searched my hard drives for old music. I found the backup and whoops, fell into it again. It took me a while to regain my control.

    Now I am here because of another addiction: internet. I find it harder to fight because I can’t throw away my computer. I need it to work, study and communicate with other people. How to manage my internet time is a big problem now. Do you guys have any idea?

    • Hey, thanks for your post and sorry for the late reply. I’m afraid I’m also suffering from internet addiction – or rather, being easily distracted while on the internet. Since I’ve not really solved that problem, I can’t give any advice there. If I come up with a solution I’ll definitely write something about it though!

  • Stephen

    Just read this article, and I must say it did quite hit the spot for me. I know I’m addicted to computer games especially Dota 2, and I want to quit, but ironically speaking, my mentality states that I don’t care about things around me, more like I became apathethic. I was about to stop playing dota 2 after the TI3. Try on focusing my studies, but suddenly behold valve attracts my attention!

    I just hate myself for giving up on temptation, BTW I’m 20 yrs. Old and it feels like I’m acting like a kid.

    I was able to do the cold turkey for over a year and bam its back again. I tried and tried, it keeps on haunting me though

    • Hi Stephen, I’ve found that the key to breaking off addiction is to never hate yourself for it. Instead, be compassionate towards yourself and ask yourself: “What are the good things that video games do for me?” You’ll find that games probably meet quite a few of your needs. The needs themselves are very valid – you’re just going about meeting them in a way that you want to change. At this point you can look at your unmet needs and try to figure out how you can meet them in healthier ways and that don’t involve an addiction.

      Remember, be compassionate towards yourself throughout the process.

  • Bryan

    This article has really helped me understand my addiction. My dad has been telling me for the last few years that I had an addiction to gaming, but I’ve never accepted the fact. Most articles say about controlling your time playing games, but that didn’t work for me. Now that I realize I have an addiction, I feel like a total jerk to my dad, who was only warning me of my current state of mind. The fact that your article was from personal experience made it easy to relate to. I’ve been going cold turkey for a few days now, but I’ve unfortunately been tempted to get back to playing. I’m trying to combat this before it’s too late. I’m considering being a writer as a hobby, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to write anything worthy of anyone’s time. English is my worst subject in school and I dislike reading, so I don’t know how that will turn out for me. Anyways, thanks for the extremely helpful article and keep up the good work.

    • Hi Bryan, I’m glad you found the article helpful!

      Remember that the addiction meets certain needs and just getting rid of it won’t help – you also need to replace it with a behavior you’re more comfortable and happy with, which also meets whatever needs gaming met for you.

      As for writing – you probably dislike reading and do poorly at English in school because of the way it’s taught. I’m going out on a limb here but I’d blame the teachers and the schooling system, not yourself (this is coming from someone who is about to become an English teacher).

      If you want to get into writing, you can try to start a blog. Blogs are easier than writing books because of the bite-size nature of each post. Rather than having this one mammoth task in front of you, you can write short tidbits. Find something you’re passionate about and write about that! Suddenly doing some research online and reading a few articles or forums here and there won’t be a big deal anymore. You probably do that already, just not within the framework of your classes.

      If you write for yourself and out of a true passion, you won’t care what other people think – and that’s actually the key to writing some beautiful stuff 🙂

  • rekoil radin

    i like playing with addicts like me psn RADINZ-NIGHTMARE
    YouTube WALDORADIN

    • LeongYH

      You should probably try to pull out of gaming addiction…

    • Rekoil RADIN

      Hey it’s me RADIN I came back here to say I was very addicted to video games untill about a month ago cause I became so consumed by it then I just lost my addiction it bores me I want to be addicted again I’m not joking I may not play video games as much now but I want to cause I miss the fun

      • What’s stopping you? How can you simultaneously be bored but also find something fun?

        • Elitist

          He means that he depleted the fun he was having with video games so he turned to other things and can’t wait to find a new game that will hook him back.

  • LeongYH

    I am a TOTAL gaming addict. I play pretty much for the entire day during Weekdays after school ends. (My school hours are from 7.30a.m. to 1.30p.m.) I spend around 6-9 hours a day doing nothing but play games and watching gaming videos on YouTube. On weekends, I don’t get to use my laptop (Mine’s a MacBook Air) which means I play on my mother’s iPad Mini. (I play for around 3-5 hours on that thing.) So, I spent about 45-50 hours a week on gaming and YouTube. I just could not control myself, I tried to stop playing but that did not turn out so well. (It actually kind of turned out quite badly.) I could stop for about 1-3 days, but I will come back to play after that amount of time. My parents kind of think I’m an gaming addict and kept replying, “I’m not, Mum!” I knew I am addicted, but I did not dare to talk to my parents. (I live with my grandmother so my parents don’t know about my gaming addiction on my laptop.) I will try and stop gaming from here on out. (I hope I can get out of this sticky situation as soon as possible.) Also, due to my lack in physical abilities, I’m really quite bad when it comes to sports. (I do want to attempt some sports soon.) I can’t swim, I can’t play soccer, I can’t play basketball and pretty much every single sports. I’m better in terms of activities that are more mental-related. (I’m 10, turning 11 on 29th April, so I’m not the greatest at all kinds of mental operations yet.) I can do logical stuff and calculations quite well. I would not say that my marks fell a lot, but I definitely did got
    a little worse marks than what I used to get. I would be in the top 10 in my class up until now but I used to be a little better. (I get about 80-90 marks every paper, so I guess that’s okay.) I do plan on making a timetable to limit my gaming time to a minimal amount so as to keep myself active in real life. (I got to admit, I am extremely lazy in terms of sports, I just won’t de-attach my bum to do sports.) I do hate sport lessons in school. (I should probably start to like it a little more.) Anyways, long story short: I want to stop gaming that much. I will still allow myself to play a little because I might get depressed. But that will be at minimal. I will also be making a timetable to help me manage my time better. Hope that someone would help me!

    • asdf

      If you get to the point where you know you can’t moderate (you admit you’re addicted) then you have two choices: 1) don’t change anything–continue playing video games without moderating, 2) quit playing video games cold-turkey and never play again. Once you admit you’re addicted and you can’t moderate your usage, those are the two options you have.

      • Jawz

        Not necessarily. I’m young too, 12 years old. A year or two back, when I was 10-11, I could easily admit I was addicted to Minecraft. I changed, but I didn’t go cold-turkey. I started running a couple miles every day after school to get me pumped up for homework, then finished it and played a little bit of Minecraft. I made up math equations and typed stories down.
        Bottom line, it’s possible to admit you have an addiction and still ease down into moderation

        • That’s an awesome story – you clearly have a lot more self-control in this than I did. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Leong,

      First of all, you’re very eloquent for someone who is 10! I’m really impressed by your thought processes and reasoning abilities.

      I’m sorry to hear that you can’t talk to your parents about your addiction, that’s really unfortunate that they haven’t created a safe enough environment for you to share this. I’m glad you can do that here, though.

      You said “I do hate sport lessons in school. (I should probably start to like it a little more.)” You can’t really force yourself to like something – emotions don’t work that way. Insofar as you can change your emotions from hate to like by overriding them, it probably isn’t a healthy way of going about things.

      Another thing I wanted to mention – please don’t self-attack and call yourself lazy. Have compassion for your needs and feelings (even if the people around you don’t).

      Since you feel bad about your gaming addiction but enjoy other mental stimulation, perhaps try to get into something like mathematics or programming. If you enjoy either of those, know that both of those are highly logical and can lead to pretty amazing things later in life.

      I really wish you all the best and if there’s any other way I can help, please ask away.

  • hi

    i have a question when was this posted

    • I think in July of 2012. Unfortunately this theme doesn’t show the year of my posts. Hope this helps.

  • asdf

    I remember reading a definition of addiction that went something along the lines of “an addiction is when you keep doing something despite seeing the negative consequences.” I know that playing video games as much as I play them have many negative consequences: I stop working out, I isolate myself from friends and family, my grades suffer, and my aspirations in life shy away–I lose my motivation to do anything but play video games. I’ll even put off eating or sleeping just to play more.

    I’ve also tried moderation, but it never sticks. Usually, like you, I make it for about a day before I go all out again. With addiction there is no moderation. It’s all or nothing. I’ve experienced life without video games, I know it’s better. I know I’m happier working out, chillin with friends and family, and working towards my personal goals than I am playing video games for every bit of free time I have.

    It’s embarrassing to say I have an addiction to video games, but now that I’ve admitted it I’m ready to fight it. Until yesterday when I admitted it, I would just try to moderate–moderation doesn’t work for an addict.

    You said that there is an underlying cause of addiction. Maybe that’s true, maybe I am running from something. I don’t know what it is though if I am. I think some of us are just addicts. My dad was an addict to alcohol and tabacco. My mom, brother, and sister to alcohol. My other brother to gaming, weed, and other drugs… Even if you don’t have as many addicts as I do in your family, addiction has been shown to have genetic influences. Some of us are just that “all or nothing” type of person.

    • I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with this. For sure, moderation does not stick when you’re an addict – if you were capable of moderation in this area, you wouldn’t be addicted in the first place, right?

      Why do you think you feel embarrassed to admit that you have an addiction?

      As far as the causes of addiction, I think the main factor that causes people to become vulnerable to addiction is early childhood trauma and the way that it affects the dopamine receptors and their development. See this video for more information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp4pEP3X_NY

  • Illusionist

    This world is an illusion. So let’s start thinking about it. Why over 5 milion people each day, play games ? I’m not saying that playing games is good, but living in this “real” life game isn’t good either. People escape from this world using drags, alcohol, sex, shopping, games, sports, being famous, even devotionally loving someone. This world isn’t fair and good. We don’t know why we are living this, why people are dying, why thing’s are so hard. You will say – Hey, world can be good ! U can play your favourite instrument, write poems and be happy ! And i would say – writing poems and playing instruments, are different ways of “escaping” just like games. World is ruled by corporations, which are ruled by people who are gamblers (just like in games – but they are real life gamblers). They are winning “real game” to win “real money” to have “real things”. But are those things worth anything ? Are they worth anything more than things in game ? We all die, and it’s all worth shit. So who cares? Do you really care about 5 milion people “losing” their lives each day ? We are living artifical lives more and more because we produce to many useless stuff meanwhile in Africa people are dying, and in many other countries for example we prefer to spent money for another tank for incoming world war X, than to help poor people find good job. Look at China – if I was to live there i would commit suicide just to NOT work for corporations like robot. Sad stuff isn’t it ? No Escape, only few on this earth can have family, love, passion, food to live without escapism. It’s worldwide problem. I have 1% to be a rockstar on this planet, and i have 100% to feel like rockstar in my game. I’ve written this post to make a discussion – no offense. Maybe i missed something ?

    • mitra

      Have you heard people saying there are a zillion worlds – yes each one’s world and view of reality is unique & personal. So, if YOU say the world is an illusion who is there to tell you otherwise! Likewise, you gave yourself 1% chance to be rockstar in real world and 100% chance to feel like one in your game … so there you go, you become what you think deeply about; it’s a no brainer what you want to be and if you aren’t there yet it’s just a matter of time and effort.

      You are born with all what it takes be what you want to be – it’s your thoughts that you are dying to be what you want to be (turning your thoughts into reality by putting your passion and energy behind the efforts). Hope this helps.

      • nuff-sed

        Just not true, this is not utopia it is earth. I wish what you were saying was true but it simply is not. I am a realist and in the real world we are bound by what is around us, and mostly money. I want to be a pilot, so how would i go about this. My mother was an alcaholic. my father was abusive. Therfor i grew up poor, uneducated (on paper) and with no family or real friends to help. So please, I beg you, let me come live in your utopia.

        • Vasduten McFlaps

          I grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father and a mother who was, (and still is,) emotionally unavailable. It, too had to grow up fast and assume too much at a young age to get by.

          You’re right: the game is sewn up tight by the richest people on the planet. It’s their framework we live in. The thing to remember is that aside from breaking the law, (in jailable ways at least,) we can make our own rules.
          You don’t need credit if you pay cash.
          You don’t need the big education and the debt.
          You can work a four day workweek, (like me!)
          You can be your own boss, (Like ME!)
          You don’t have to subscribe to superstitions of the people around you, or the slave mentality.
          If you know that tax “returns” are just a percentage of what they steal given back to avoid open revolt, then you’re on the right track.

          Look, it’s a shitty world run by megalomaniacs. We get that.

          You don’t need to live in a Utopia, and you don’t need to be so sarcastic to survive. Really.

          You’ve got to find a way to love yourself even though your parents loved themselves and the booze more than you.
          It is the hardest thing to do.

          I’m trying to escape through gaming all the time myself, and trying to fix that.

      • dork.city

        Fine. The piece that’s missing is how do you finance the roof over your head, the food in your belly, and the latest gaming setup? If someone else gives it you, so be it. Otherwise, you need to limit gaming so u can earn money or take on a life of crime.

    • If you think that every single form of creativity or interest (e.g. writing poems) is a way of escaping the world, well… I don’t really know what to say to that. I’m sorry you grew up in such a bad (I assume abusive) environment that made you hate the world around you so much. I hope you can find it in you to stop dissociating from that world and find some beauty in it. I would suggest therapy and a lot of self-knowledge work and introspection.

      • Tony Friedman

        I would suggest @libertarian pepper to not be such a douchebag

      • bleh

        arent you the one who wrote this?

        • Tony Fountain

          No offense, you have to understand what he is saying. What point is he trying to get across to our dear Illusionist?

      • AverageApple

        Oh please, at this point the worlds only beauty is virtual. This society is a pyramid and only its tip is reaching happines, but even so, happiness is no more than a chemical recation and we are no more than machines who are made to survive, adapt, reproduce and evolve. And so, the real question becomes: if we ruined this planet and this species while chasing green paper and our selfish goals, why not escape to virtual reality untill our life cycles are over?

        • Laetitian

          Because satisfaction from things we create in the real world, and the impact we have on it are far closer to what we seek than those same experiences in virtual worlds that leave no lasting trace.

          You define your purpose in life yourself, determined by whatever you enjoy doing without doubting that your time is invested well. But whether it is making loved one happy, improving life for people in whatever society, proving your competences in your career or in private projects, or designing creative content to enthral people who appreciate art; All of these require you to have an impact on the real world.

      • Metro Teryx

        Um it kind of is though? I mean everybody has that certain thing they do to rid of a stressful day. They enjoy it because it makes them happy and gets there mind off things. Do you have an outlet or do you just let everything come at you?

    • I agree with you on a few things: the world is cruel. Very harsh. And I also agree that you need escapes in order to deal with it. We weren’t made to live in a stressful environment 100% of the time. If we did try to do that, we’d end up committing suicide. And poetry and music and stuff, that is an escape. That’s kinda obvious.
      However, there’s a difference between video games and other hobbies. Other hobbies are actually productive. Yes, here we go with the “lazy sit around all day” thing. It truly is a drag to have to listen to someone that sounds like our mom, but just listen.
      As I was saying, other hobbies don’t hurt you. Staring at a screen and sitting around all day hurts your health. And what do you get from all that? Nothing, much. At least not in the real world. Unless you’re one of those youtubers with thousands of subscribers. However, other hobbies can get you the same thing. Poetry and music also get you followers, and money. Youtubing does get you money as well, but not as much as doing these things – music especially. Assuming you can do it well.
      And here we start with the whole “I’ve got a 1% chance to be a rock star” thing. It is true. It’s like winning the lottery. You’ve gotta appeal to millions of people, and that’s HARD. But just you’re not big doesn’t mean you’re not good. Oh, and the pleasure in this isn’t knowing that you have bunches and bunches of fans. It’s that you truly have a passion for this, and that you feel that you’re accomplishing something great that’s actually useful. If you say that you don’t like this stuff whatsoever, it’s because you don’t understand it. That’s all. Trust me, I’ve been in your situation, and that’s why I didn’t like that stuff. Back then, I called it shit.
      Anyways, that’s my response. I took no offense in your comment, just let you know.

      I have a feeling that you’re doubting my comment just because I have a pony as my picture. *sigh* FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
      The things bronies have to deal with. Oh well.

      • Illusionist

        I’m back here. Well, all your answers – thanks for them, but i already know that. I was able to manage 2 months without playing, just because I said “Yes i can”. No problem. I started playing again because i just had too much free time, and nothing to do with it. I sign, I write poems, I started going for crossfit and i also play games. There is only one way for me to quit games completely – stay close with friends. But most of people are escaping to TV, Internet, Games, Work. People have lost their social skills, they lost faith, passion because as i said we live in an Illusion. Hedonism and “all buyers” club all over the world. How all this should look like ? There isn’t simpler answer how to “Go on”. We watch great movies that moves our hearts, but we are too lazy to change anything in our lives. Why ? I think that the problem with games and many other activities is the same. WE DON’T HAVE AN OBJECTIVE IN OUR LIVES ! We don’t want to have boring lives ! But it’s all we can have for 95% of population. U can try to be another Steve Jobs or Michael Jackson, but if you are ugly, stupid, or without any talent – what else u have to do with your life ? Find someone and love him ? Ok and what’s next ? Make a family and wait for your grave? This is nonsense. We all want to conquer, challenge, discover, travel ! But we CANT ! Because as i said before – we are ruled by Corpo People, we don’t earn enough money (see china), and we have terrible social system all around the world. If you want to solve addiction problems, u need to go deeper and deeper. Probably im not in the deepest depths of my soul, to find the answer. But i will find it. Even If i can find the purpose of life, how i will find the purpose of over few milions chinese addicted players? Don’t say to me, to abandon them. They will never wake up from their “escape” and the world of warcraft will become real thing. It is my problem, It is our problem. I can’t change them, but i have to find the lighthouse. Amen

        • Билгүүн Г.

          I’m sorry but you have some deep problems i think you need to see psychiatrist

          • Daniel

            Reading your pain helps my pain, Thank you,

          • u r a dush!

            You are bullshit. Everyone has problems, even you. You may be in a better situation in your life because of circumstance, relatives, contacts, luck and what not. But you didn’t see a psychiatrist to get where you are. Peoples lives are shit, and they need to find what makes them happy.

          • JAWZ ANDREX

            Hahaha ?hey man don’t look for a psychiatrist keep it up. Oh btw sing up for MTV man? you will be FAMOUSE? in no time 0900-stupid shit-right-007 don’t forget to call. Hehe

        • asdf

          91-2-1.

    • Idealist

      We live in this life to connect with others. That’s why playing video games seems meaningless because its a false sense of a connection with other people. But….if you talk with your friends online or even have a get together, it becomes something different. And then when you become famous or whatever you share your talents and connect with even more people. I watched a TEDTalk awhile back and a philosopher presented and theorized that people only want money to be loved by others. What use is an awesome car if you can’t show it off or any luxury items? That’s what makes them “luxury”! They are intrinsically an object of desire. Everything we do can be traced back to love and connecting. The world isn’t so bad in that light. I love the saying “you create your own universe” because people can live in completely different perspectives/worlds. My perspective: The world is full of opportunity to do good and for you to feel like you are a good person. So…. I don’t have a problem with video games as long as it doesn’t hinder someone’s ability to connect with others. Video games are super fun and an awesome release.

    • Wanderer

      I believe there is no right way.

      People used to say “have a home, make a family and enjoy life”. Is it really that simple(and difficult at the same time)? Then why is there so misery and sadness to those that achieved?

      So, yes, life is an illussion. If you are an atheist or something, probably there is no afterlife. No sin will condenm you to eternal fire, nor any virtue will pay off in some magickal place.

      When you die, you won’t exist. Wich means, you will not remember. It does not really matter what was your life like, since you will not know how you lived(or suffer any consequence).

      If you gain enough satisfaction from playing video games(living virtual lives), so you will not chase any other “accomplishment”, there is no reason why you should stop playing.

      Video game problem exists only when you are not satisfied with the reality of Matrix. Only when you want something more than some colors on a LCD(or LED…).

      I have played both real and virtual soccer. I prefer real more.

      But i am trapped to my family tradition. Study (just enough to give you a good job) and buy a house, and make a family and then die while your children continue the family tradition. I hate my family tradition, but i can’t do for now anything about it. That is why i got addicted.

      I fear though that when the time comes, the moment i long for, the moment i become free, i will not be able to defend my freedom because, ““The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”

    • dork.city

      To everyone participating in the discussion…whether you are for or against addiction is irrelevant to the core issue. Whether you are for or against money, morals, your situations, your religion or non-religion, whatever, it is all irrelevant to the core issue. Let’s say you love gaming and want to game for the rest of your life and nothing else. Good for you. Not a problem. Here is the problem: Unless it is given to you, you need to find time to put a roof over your head, food in your belly, and to poop and pee, not to mention the latest gaming hardware and software. So one must limit the time on gaming to make time available to figure out how to pay for the roof and food and gaming. Of course, as suggested by others, crime can be helpful, but are their video games in jail? Those talking about money are pretty much correct. It makes the world go ’round. It buys roofs and food and games. Those that really get off on gaming need to at least hold jobs to buy that stuff so they can game. So how can you get and keep a job is you game 100%. my 2 cents.

    • Lord Hodor

      Your not helping dude…i want to escape my video game addiction because it is wrong i dont do well at school,missing opportunities to have a social life, I even cant even focus on the realities of my life anymore.

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  • Luka

    Listen all!Go on vacation for at least 10 days(Without tablet,laptot and phone if u dont realy need it,i know u dont have much friends because you are an addict)(Before that delete all games,ALL!).For that 10 days your period of addiction will pass(Ex. downloading games again…)If u are afraid of becoming addict again try to transform your addiction on TV series(i am watching game of thrones.. dont go more then 2)first you will watch all episodes for which you are backward.After u will need to wait for new season or u will watch 1 episode per week.You will be an addict but in a small amount.

    p.s I was an addict as u guys dont give up!
    Sorry for my bad english

    • Hi Luka – you’re right that going on a no-electronics vacation is a good way to jump-start ending this addiction.

      And it’s true that the weekly release schedule of TV shows is a sort of natural way to moderate an addiction.

      Thanks for the input – and no worries on the English!

  • Dustin

    I just wanted to share my story. (sorry it’s a long one)

    I am a 20 year old male and I will be turning 21 in a little over 3 months (yay!?) and I have been around video games ALL of my life.

    Where did it begin?
    When I was around 4 years old, my mother and father got a divorce, now before then I was a very active child and was almost always outside, video games were just something I did when it was raining or when I was stuck inside for whatever reason. But when my father left my mother, my sister, and I, even with me hanging on his leg begging him to not go, everything went downhill, and fast. Almost immediately I became very antisocial, my grades plummeted (they went back up quickly though, luckily), I lost nearly all of my friends because every day at school I would burst into tears because I missed my ‘daddy’. That is when I started to play video games, they were my escape, my new reality where everything was happy, I was the hero, I was looked up to, I was all these things that I was not in the real world, so that’s where it all began.

    What happened next?
    Followed immediately by the stress and depression of the divorce, was weight gain, and lots of it. by the time I was 6 or 7 I was very overweight, and still struggle with it today. Could it be because of the addiction? Maybe, because of the stress? Most likely. But that was and still is the least of my worries, My social life took a HUGE turn for the worse. By the time I was in 4th grade, I was so shy and antisocial that I had to be put into a special class to help with people like me (or so my parents say, I have little to no memory of it). Needless to say it kinda worked, but not entirely as the root of the problem still remained: Video games by that point had already taken over my life. Every moment of every day that I wasn’t at school, I was doing something related to gaming. I actually never did ANY homework (this lasted all the way until I started college by the way) because I would get home from school and immediately start gaming.

    The whole antisocial thing lasted for quite some time. I had the whole “bad attitude” thing going for me, when I wasn’t gaming, I was probably angry or irritated at something or someone, I was mean to everyone, I bullied people at school to take out my frustration at having to be there over being able to be at home on my game console. This lasted until my freshman year in High School (Where I’m from 9th-12th is high school, 6th-8th is middle school, and upper/lower elementary are lower, etc.) When I joined the school band, I made MANY friends and almost got away from gaming, I felt whole again, like I belonged somewhere. I was a straight- A student, a role model to my peers, and overall in a really, really good place, I had a great future ahead of me, or so I thought…

    Then What?

    And then…. enter World of Warcraft….

    Or should I say, World of Warcrack?

    Around the middle of my freshman year, a friend of mine talked me into playing world of warcraft, which at the time was just something to do on my spare time when I wasn’t practicing for band (I was and still am a drummer btw {:D}). What I didn’t know, however, was that it would take over my life for years to come. From the moment I went out and bought WoW, I was doomed.

    Now, at first however, it was exactly how I thought it would be, I would only play every once and a while when I had some free time and wasn’t tied up in anything important. However after around 4-5 months, I was hooked. It went from a simple hobby to a full blown addiction. I spent every hour of every day that I wasn’t at school playing WoW. I neglected my studies, I stopped practicing all together for band (which SEVERELY affected my relationships that were previously very strong with the music dept. at my school) and went right back into my reclusive state that I was in prior to High School.

    However, no one knew, not even my parents. Why? because by that time I was living two completely different lives at the same time. There was the “at school” me who seemed to have everything together, got along with everyone, and was still liked (from my freshman year “freedom”), BUT there was also the “real” me, who cared nothing for any of the people I talked to, including my own family at this point. I had little to no emotions, I existed for the sole purpose of increasing my EXP in WoW to get to the max level and to join my new “friends” in killing high level bosses to earn better gear in a virtual world where I was the hero and had no limits to what I could do.

    I’m sure I caused everyone around me much more pain and confusion than even remotely necessary. My mother and sister were always trying to help me, to get into my head and to help me get out of the addiction, however I wanted nothing to do with them and just ignored it all. My life was consumed by World of Warcraft. I guarantee that if I were to check how much time I have spent played on that game, it would total to over 1000 days spent playing (that’s actively playing the game, this counter is only increased when I’m logged in and doing things in game).

    yes, that’s right

    ONE.
    THOUSAND.
    DAYS.
    that’s almost 3 years of my life spent playing World of Warcraft, and I’m only 20…

    This lasted until my senior year in High School, when my eyes opened (but only a little) to the fact that I had been neglecting not only my friends, but my family as well, the people who love me unconditionally no matter what I decide to do with my life, so I decided enough was enough and I had to do something about it, even if only a little.

    Once I realized that something needed to be done, I began to try to open up more to my mother, before then I wouldn’t tell her anything and she had to guess what kind of mood I was in, I felt like I couldn’t talk to her for various reasons, I felt like she was my enemy.

    BOY WAS I WRONG

    Anyway, As I began to open up more, life got better, I was in a better mood at all times of the day, granted I was still spending entirely too much time on the computer, I was much happier and I could only assume that my family was as well.

    This didn’t last long,however.

    After only a few months, I went right back into my old ways, however things were different. I realized there was a problem, I realized that I was addicted to these games, I just wasn’t ready to admit it yet. My relationship with my family at this point was greatly improved, and that was something I wasn’t going to let be destroyed again. So I promised myself that I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER again let myself get that isolated from my loved ones ever again.

    So let’s recap here..

    By this point I’m nearing graduation from High School, I’ve improved my relationships with everyone, I became much more open to not only myself but to my family and friends, however the core problem still existed. The addiction.

    I knew I needed to do something about it, I wanted to, I even tried several times to get over it, however none of my attempts worked. I’ve uninstalled all of my games (at this point there were several different ones) only to reinstall them a week later, I’ve tried to move my computer out of my room to limit my time and to force me to interact with everyone around me in hopes I’d be enticed to get up and do something with them, but after about a month it was right back in my room. I was trapped, I wanted out, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get away.

    Enter Present Day:

    Now I am a Junior in college, My GPA isn’t exactly “top Knotch” but I am passing and I am on my way to get a degree in Computer Information Systems.

    However, The addiction still exists even today.

    Thing is, I’m learning to control it more and more every day.

    Nowadays, I am able to get up and do something else any time I want to, I communicate with my friends and family a whole lot more than I did before. And actually my addiction turned from video games into just plain computer addiction. Which I believe is a step in the right direction. Instead of being on a video game all day every day, I’m just on my computer, normally doing something productive.

    That being said, I still do spend a lot of time gaming, just nowhere near as much.

    These days I spend most of my time reading news articles, learning new and interesting things, and doing class work for my CIS classes. you know, useful things.

    There’s one problem though, I’m still always at my computer, just me and my cat.

    However I am working on a solution to make my life better. I am still very overweight, there’s no denying that fact, and my future plans are to start losing weight, maybe joining a local gym (my college has a rec center but my ex works there and I’d rather not), and to slowly but surely make myself more open to people in general. I have plans to hopefully start an internship at either a local company or our local hospital to increase my human interaction time as well as (since this whole “I need to do something else now” thing is just starting) in the upcoming weeks/months/etc increasing my time on campus doing schoolwork or just conversing with the people there.

    Since Video games have been such a huge part of my life for damn near ALL of my life, I have the feeling removing them all together would be detrimental to me in many ways. So that is why I’m teaching myself moderation.

    I no longer play World of Warcraft, however I do currently play the new and rising MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) called Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. But that being said, I play it very sparingly. I am currently a member of a raid group that raids on Wednesday and Thursday nights for about 3 hours each day every week, and other than that I might spend about an additional 2-4 hours on the game each week. Which I believe is a MAJOR step towards a better lifestyle.

    Now my main focus is completing college and earning my degree so that I may finally move on in life and, while I can’t relive my young years, regain myself as a person and in doing so finally find the happiness that I’ve longed for all these years. Also to reduce my computer time more and more and live in the real world as much as possible.

    This is my story.

    • Hi Dustin, thank you for sharing your story. I’m very sorry about all the struggles you’ve been through, and I’m glad that you’ve never given up the will to fight and become a better person despite all of your troubles.

      There is something I would like to comment on, but quite frankly you might not want to hear what I have to say (it’s not an easy pill to swallow), or maybe you’re interested but you’d prefer to talk in private.

      If you are interested, hit me up and we can talk about it.

      • John Noel Cleary

        This article/story is interesting..
        I personally don’t see video games as an addiction..compare to other worse addictions..drugs being the worst of them all..
        I agree with the person on the bad upbringing. .
        Id rather much be in the games world than our world. .
        I too have social anxiety. I don’t drink or smoke. .I can’t get a girl, cause they usually judge me or use me for money. .I don’t have a mum, as she’s up in heaven. .my dad couldn’t care less about me..I’ve a great papa who’s a gamer himself. .
        I work 1 day a week. .
        Spending ours in a game is much better than robbing cars or gambling. My addiction is I buy too many games lol..but I don’t play them, I play other video games…is that a symptom? ?
        Playing too much video games is NOT an addiction, killing people an going to war is far worse.

    • WOWCrack

      HAHAH!! HAHAH!!!! You call that an addiction? I played WOW for 7 years!! Now that’s an addiction, lol. But I feel for you. WOW was one of those games that takes over your life, especially if you have a leadership type personality. I was a leader of one of the largest guilds on the server. When you logged in, there were no less than 700 members online. The guild had over 1000 members. I couldn’t log out, because I felt like I had an obligation to them all. And like you, WOW ruined the shit out of my life.

      I was so addicted to that game, I had three copies of each expansion because just in case my CD didn’t work, I wanted to have a backup on hand.

      Anyway, I bring this up for one reason. I did not even know I had an addition, until someone brought it up. Basically a friend of mine asked, “Why do you have three copies? Are you addicted!?” That hit me like a pile of bricks, because I started wondering if I had any addiction symptoms

      1) Do I play all hours of the day, all day, every day? CHECK!
      2) Is everyone else in the game now newb compared to me? CHECK!
      3) Do I play so much that I still hear the sounds and music of the game, even when the sound and music is turned off? Or the speakers are not even on? CHECK!
      4) Have I lost all my real life friends? CHECK!
      5) Have I lost weight from not eating full proper meals? CHECK!

      And the list goes on. I stopped, and it was both the best and worse decision. Real life is boring as fuck, but it becomes a little better if you can find some way to make accomplishments. So now, I am addicted to real life accomplishments. I work 10 fucking jobs! I don’t know which is better. 20 hours/day on WOW, or 20/hours a day working and earning money? Maybe its not the games that is the problem, maybe I have a problem….I don’t know….

      • donald

        Great story! Great insights and conclusion. Pretty funny too.

      • Blackbirdjk

        Well.. Are you a millionaire?

    • kewlhwat

      cool story bro

      • Dustin L.

        People are fucking assholes on this site, js.

        • dan

          some people don’t understand how much one soul can hurt, and how much searching you need to do.

    • Valentino Pereira

      Boy your story is so long.. Well written and yeah, im in my degree years facing addiction from Clash of Clans and Dust514. I’ve too spend 5 years gaming.. Lets hope we get over it

  • Missy

    Wow, I think this article is amazing. It helped open my eyes to what’s really happening to me and I’m determined to quit. I’m not a hard core gamer but I do spend more time than I should on games considering that I’m going to university soon and I should be focusing on a lot more things. However, the thing I fear is that I won’t be able to go through with the cold turkey method. I have tried quitting before but I always come back to it, whether it’s because I’m bored or there’s an event I don’t want to miss out on. I don’t want to believe my life will be hindered by things like video games but as you said, it’s like drugs and as much as I want to get out of it, it seems to have grown into a part of my lifestyle. I’m going to try again though and see how it goes– wish me luck! Thanks again for this awesome post!

    • I’m glad you’re finding this helpful Missy, and I really wish you all the best. I know it isn’t easy!

    • daniel

      If you leave the door open in your head that you want to play video games in the future, You will play video games you gotta close the door forever and trow away the key.

  • Dan

    Well in this story he said “you are playing someone else’s imagination
    well there is this game called Minecraft it showed that you cant play someone else’s imagination cause you can build whatever comes to mind,like for Example: Fighting,Mining,building,creating,farming you can do anything you want it is really addictive but time consuming.Even though is is a popular Game i would like to stop playing Games.

    • Hi Dan, I’ve actually played Minecraft (and been addicted to it) for several months. I know what you mean, and it’s one of the more open-ended games that allow for a huge amount of creativity. But even then – the game is still entirely artificially constrained by the code. You can only place certain blocks in certain ways. Spheres do not exist. Short of using a ton of mods, you’re also stuck in a medieval world (with redstone), so there’s no advancement in technology. Do you see what I mean now?

      • Max

        But then there are servers that provide such cool new ways to play minecraft. It’s just extremely addicting

  • Luka

    I am trying to find a way to stop playing video games. But i played video games since i was 3 years old. Now I am 13 years old and still addicted to video games I was one of the best in school. In the 4th grade I became addicted to video games I some how managed to pass the year with an A. When the 5th grade started i hardly ever studied and passed the years with a B (almost passed with a C). Sixth grade was even worse i just played video games never studied. When people thought I was studying I played video games. Now I’m in the 7th grade and hardly ever studying. I know i have to stop playing video games but i can’t. When i don’t play video games i think about them. Will going cold turkey help me stop playing and start studying?

    • Hey Luka, I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. I’m going to assume that you consistently choose to play video games over studying because you probably find studying to be boring as hell. I know that was the case for me. I don’t know a lot of details about your situation but I would find out if it were possible to have an alternative to school – either homeschooling or unschooling. There are a lot of resources online about it, but again – it’s going to depend on whether your parents would go along with it.

      Otherwise, yes, quitting cold turkey is probably the best way (uninstall all your games, get a computer that can’t play games, etc.), but these will be symptomatic treatments. i.e. you won’t be dealing with the root causes of your addiction. Until you find something in your life that you really enjoy more than games, and so long as you feel the need to play games to escape from activities you’re forced to do but don’t enjoy, I think you will remain vulnerable to the addiction. I do hope it works for you though.

  • Alex

    I’m in 7th grade video game made it so I had an F in all my core subjects in 3 quarters so far so it’s pretty inevitable I’m gonna get held back I mean I could do summer school but would I rather spend my time working or doing everything in skyrim,oblivion I’m definitely addicted I’ll never fully stop but have to take control of it soon or I could be 40 living with my mother but I guess I’d still have video games I don’t want a wife and kids to much stress all I really “care” about doing in my life is beating like every video game ever my mom wouldn’t have grand kids but whatever the only other thing I really care about is instruments like violin I would want to be master at that what more cold I need in life if I don’t want stress adventurous virtual worlds I can immerse myself in and music

    • Addiction is real

      Alex if you are in 7th grade you are still young and when i was your age i also thought that way but when you start getting the impression that the world falls on you that is the moment when you will have to chose between playing or living and i am 100% sure that you want to live.

      I hope this helps you i have had several problems and one of them is the fact that i felt like if i bought a game and stop playing it i would make a bad use of it so i should play it to compensate the value but when i think that living has no price i realise that its more important.

  • Dynasty

    I am 13, I have been playing video games ever since I was 4. I have literally played video games (in total about 1000 hours that’s an estimate I’m not kidding) I’ve noticed my homework getting harder and harder to stay on track of due to me constantly watching videos about games sine I can’t play on the weekends (ever since kindergarten). Recently, my parents have been setting stricter and stricter limits of how long I can play which makes me wan’t to play even more. I played a game called Starhawk for literally 500 hours (I checked on my account settings) and Battlefield 4 for 240 hours in 4 months. On YouTube I am subscribed to 70 gaming channels. Lately I’ve noticed my parents have been trying harder and harder to be more social, I think I am but my parents don’t see me in school or my texts with my friends so the think I’m a complete loner. They constantly are trying to set stricter limits to prevent me from playing and that has caused arguments which my relationship with my parents.

    • Piercen

      My parents are the exact same way to me.

      • Someone

        Mine to. They somehow think that if they scream at me enough, and make me cry enough, and tell me I’m never going to amount to anything enough, (I actually will, I’m doing Algebra/Geometry/Algebra 2 in 6th grade) I will stop playing Minecraft. I’m actually not very bad about it. I only play (at most) 4 hours a day, and I probably average 3. I mostly have an issue with my parents getting very angry with me, and when they take all my electronics, I’m literally a zombie. I go to sleep around 7, procrastinate about going swimming because we can’t find a pool for me to go to, I don’t have much fun, but I have the most when my friends come over but that rarely happens. “We have no right to intrude on their personal family time.” That’s their favorite answer to, “Can X come over?” I feel horrible, and bored, but I still never go upstairs because if I do, I will have to do a chore, but then I get assigned

        • Someone

          a ton more. I wouldn’t mind that much if it was only like, fold the towels and unload and load the dishwasher. So then my mom gets really mad and starts screaming and cussing, along with my dad about how I am not a part of the family, blah-blah-blah. Then I have a few days where I am very depressed. Basically, when I really need a bit of management help from my parents, they go way to far, and I show up crying at school, and people just can’t seem to shut up when I tell them not to talk to me because I need some space.

          I also hate how my parents think that I’m a loser even when I have tons of friends and I’m very smart. They also expect me to be perfect and walk at the speed of light, because if I’m not upstairs fast enough, they get mad. And by fast enough I mean 5 seconds. And I’m also kinda disorganized. My mom blames Minecraft (the game I play.) Minecraft is probably one of the best games you could get semi-addicted to, but my parents don’t care.

          Anyway, my mom thinks that even though she is extremely disorganized and never finishes her sentences, I should be perfect, and start doing what she never told me to do immediately. Then, an hour later, she gets mad because I didn’t do it. This repeats a few times until the cycle repeats itself, and I am very unhappy. I just wish my parents could be understanding and help/support me instead of reminding me of every teensy little imperfection I may or may not have. Also, when I say my parents, I really mean my mom. Her temper is worse than mine, and I’m afraid sometime that she’s going to do something like take a shledgehammer to

          • Someone

            the PC that they bought for me. I feel like a failure and my mom is constantly saying stuff like,”If (a friends name) said/did that, they would have been screamed at and grounded even worse.” I know that’s bullshit. My friend that she normally compares me to has a very understanding and calm mom. I really feel misunderstood, because my mom constantly compares me to people she wishes I was like. Then she says she’s not comparing me to anyone.

            Overall, my parents are just to stern and old-fashioned. My mom always says, when I was your age, I stayed outside and went to my friends house and only came home when the street lights turned on. My reply is always the same. But I can’t do that, now can I?

            I’m an only child, and there are no kids my age that live near me. I feel pretty stuck. Oh yeah, and if you start preaching, “Do something artistic or read or be active.” I will get pretty mad. I read at the speed of 200 pages an hour. That’s with small print. I can’t

          • Someone

            switch athletic activities from swimming to much else, because I have a condition that makes it a real pain to run. It’s not a very bad condition, but I do get pain and my knees collapse a lot. I already play the piano, and am pretty gifted with it. I love to learn, and there’s really no reason to study, unless I want to waste my time and still get a 95 or above. So yeah. I feel like Minecraft is just a way for me to have fun, Skype with some friends, and play with them. I really hate school. I only learn stuff in math when I do extremely extremely accelerated stuff with my smart friends. One of my teachers really pisses me off. Actually most of my teachers do that. My reading teacher is the worst, because out of 26 honors students, 3 of them passed the NC mock reading EOGs. I’m talking about a class that a B is an epic fail. We actually do absolutely nothing in reading, unless doing pointless crap and reading passages and

          • Someone

            nothing productive counts. I’d much rather be researching cool stuff on the internet than wast 2 hours of my life a day. My science teacher is ok, but really confusing. He gets really off track, and then start preaching about us paying attention to him so we would improve on these things called NWEAs. They really are the impossible test, because once you answer a question correctly, the computer pulls up a harder question. I don’t think my teacher has the right to tell me I need to improve on stuff that will be taught in high school. This is coming from a guy who starts off talking about the phases of the moon, to talking about how stupid the Mayans were when they predicted the end of the world. Then the next day we show up, everyone finds out that we were supposed to do a project on the cycle of the moon, that he never mentioned.

            I guess that my semi-addiction is fueled by my mom,

          • Someone

            school, and my nature. Also, using this website on a tablet is extremely aggravating, in case

          • Someone

            You were wondering why I keep replying back to myself. Anyway, I think writing all

          • Someone

            this really help me, and if you are still reading I respect you.

  • optimistic

    I’m 26 years old. I was extremely addicted to video games, world of Warcraft being one of the worst, for the majority of my life before college. In college, the addiction transformed into another form of escapism…one of partying , drugs and alcohol. For many years I chose not to live my life, and because of that missed out on a lot of time that I could have spent learning new things and making the world a better place (sounds lame, but give it a shot). Seeing things you do have a tangible impact on the world can do a whole lot for your wellbeing. It can also inspire you to become the best YOU can be, not the best your character can be. I won’t tell anyone to give up games entirely, they do have a lot of positive qualities. Careers can certainly be made out of them. I also won’t say I’m totally over them (I still find myself binge playing on occasion). However, eventually you see that the world is a pretty interesting place, so the least you can do is try it out. Finding how to be happy in real life is definitely hard. But personally, i think ill find it a much better challenge than any Video game I’ve ever played

  • John

    I’m a video game addict and I just relapsed.

    Over the past week or so, I have been spending about eighteen hours a day on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and its expansion packs. This was the latest in a long line of relapses since August, although I would say this one has been the worst so far. I have been seeing a therapist about this (and he was the one who helped me realize this was an addiction in the first place), but at this point, I am afraid to tell him about how badly I am fucking this whole thing up.

    He will be writing a psychological overview of me in late May to determine whether or not I am mentally healthy enough to go back to school (video game addiction isn’t my only issue). I really don’t want to screw my chances at a good recommendation letter, so I’ve kept quiet about my recent relapses. Right now, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get over this.

    • Yeah, it can be hard… I hate how sometimes our body is a jerk. No matter what we try to do to avoid it, our body always has this urge to play the damned games. If we suppress it, we eventually come back… only worse. The only thing I know to do that helps is finding something else to do. Something that you like about as much – hopefully more – than games.
      Other than that, well, I wish you luck. I hope you get in!!!

  • Anon

    I have been addicted to games my entire life. When I was 2 or 3 I started playing Nintendo games on my SNES and then it went on and on to N64, PS2, X360 and PC. I have a close brother who is pretty much the same. We have spent many years together playing and had the time of our lives. Now we are both two socially awkward people who can’t handle a life in the real world. As soon as people asked me to do anything else with them except for playing games I rejected them. Now I don’t even know if I want to quit games. I know that I am addicted but I know that without them my life would be empty. Gaming is still close to my heart and when I think of the best memories of my life it’s in front of the screen with friends or family. This may sound really pathetic but I don’t care what others think. I have disconnected myself from the real world long enough to not care about it. I don’t want to learn how to play a new instrument or how to dance etc. All I care about is my health and to play games. I don’t want to travel and see the world, I have seen enough to not have an interest. I have no hobbies, I have no dreams, all I want is to play more games. I know it’s a problem but I don’t think I would be happier living my life in any other way. Sure I can fake it and do stuff that normal people enjoy but I am not like them. It’s not an expensive addiction and it’s not very harmful (I run twice every day and only eat healthy food) so what is the problem? I work 40 hours a week and after that I’m off to a fantasy land where I am the hero and not some douchebag in a tuxedo. Lets face it. The real world is a dull place.

  • usykur rahmat fillah

    Thanks a lot for ur article. I am Now in process of leaving the Game Addiction. I agree with you, it’s pointless to manage the addiction. i have ever making schedule, like u do. The Result, it’s failed, totally. I broke my own schedule, and i play all the day. Right now i am a university student, i know that game is wasting time, and it’s pointless. But stopping the addiction is the whole different thing. Because of this addiction my study’s is broken for almost 2 semester. I lost my part time Job. I lost my position in my social organization. And i lost my face when i met my friends. Because when i has fallen to the game, i do not care about anything else except the Game, even i do not care about myself. So i do not attend many appointments, meetings, lectures, even i do not come to my part time job. Oh man just play, play, and play. I depressed, i became so individualist and emotional, and full of suspicion to other people. The worst is i became nihilistic, often i lost my sense of morals, because i do not care about anything when i play the game. I am fully aware that this addiction will completely destroyed my life. So i have deleted my games in my laptops (although i can install it again), but i do not care, this is my first step. I will update this comment when i am fully cured from this fucking addiction.

    • I’m sorry about the all havoc video game addiction has been wrecking on your life. I’m glad you recognize it and it’s very courageous of you to take that leap forward and go cold turkey. I hope you succeed and wish you all the best! Do keep me up-to date 🙂

  • ddddaaaa

    Even though I find that the article was well written to an extent I still find it funny how you are critical about your parents involvement with Your struggle.

  • Commenter

    This is a great write-up Libertarian Prepper. I am a recent college graduate who has finally accepted that I have been battling a video game addiction for the last 15 years of my life. It was a very tough and embarrassing thing to admit to myself as a 22 year old, but I guess you can say that I had a much needed epiphany. There are many aspects of my life that I wish to improve and I realize that many of these things I desire to achieve have been hampered by my heavy devotion go time to gaming. I’m not going to write my whole personal story here, but I was thankful to have read your article for a few reasons. One reason being that I have been hesitant about going cold turkey. I recently realized that the gradual “weaning” strategy wasn’t proving to be very effective. You helped to confirm this fact to me. I will now stop playing until the desire to play fades away entirely. It has been strange getting used to all the new free time I now have, just as you said. I actually really want to learn new languages, play the piano, and read more books! I guess this is the perfect time for me to start doing those things. I know this is a TLDR type comment but I felt I had to say something here. haha

  • Stephen Dyer

    Addiction I know all to much about it, I use to be addicted to kolonopin and alcohol double downers, I used this concoction because I had bad social anxiety. I detoxed for a whole year yes that is possible. I think comparing drugs to vidieo games is retarted go look at youtube and see what withdrwl of alchol or kolonopin does.

    • Oh, video games are surely a less harmful addiction in many ways. I’m glad I got addicted to video games and not alcohol and other drugs, but that’s not the point. The point is that video games are still incredibly addictive, taking months or years to break away from. They’re also used to deal with serious cases of social anxiety, and they can also destroy our lives because we become consumed by video games and forget about all of our other social commitments and fall behind in other areas of our lives. We escape into fantasy worlds until we forget all about the real one where our problems just pile up and up. Can you see the parallels now?

      Yes, the addiction you talk about sounds horrible, but there’s no reason to minimize the suffering of people who deal with their anxieties through video games either.

  • Stephen Dyer

    Myth: Addiction is for life

    This simply isn’t true,
    and it places a huge emotional and psychological burden on recovered
    addicts. Addiction is a spectrum disorder, like depression, and every
    person is different.

    While there are plenty
    of cases where addicts struggle for years to overcome a drug addiction,
    many more cases reveal the opposite — short-term users who manage to
    put the past behind them and lead normal and productive lives. According
    to the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, 75% of
    alcoholics recover without treatment.

  • Alex

    Hi, I’m Alex, 24. I’ve been a slave to games for about 10 years now, “the game isn’t over when I’m bored with it, the game is over, when I hate myself” was very true to me all that time.

    I finished university and got a job, so it’s not as terrible as for most people here, but I would do anything to find time to play games, I got very skilled at writing essays at the last night before the deadline. Anyway.. I decided to give myself 1 year of no gaming, just to prove to myself that I’m not addicted..

    It’s been 4 months, I feel physical pain in my forearms, I think about games such as World of Warcraft and League of Legends constantly, I beg other people (that I told I’m quitting for a year) to grant me permission to play a game at least for an hour.

    I’ve created a strategy on how I’m going to level my characters and I add changes along the way to the plan and always reminding myself “come on man, only 8 months left, you can do it”.

    So yea.. I’m addicted to gaming and your line: “It wasn’t until I told myself that I would never play any game again, that I could fully quit.” – opened my eyes and I realized – I’m not getting over my addiction even if I manage to survive this year. And to tell you the truth, I don’t know what terrifies me more – being addicted to games and suffer some drawbacks in my real life OR having to realize that I have to stop playing any and all video games forever.

    Even now I’m trying to convince myself “ok, so you can quit forever, but there will be time, when you’re not addicted anymore and you can play some games, yay”. I’m in a really sad place right now and I have no strength to fight myself.

    This article helped me understand how bad my situation is and I hope this understanding will be the first step to getting rid of the chains.

    Thank you.

  • CursedElf

    Video games will just ruin your life. I put my name as CursedElf as one of the most stupid game I have played was in the username CursedElf and addicted me for 2 years of my life from 9-11 when I was P3 to P5. I played this game called Growtopia a game where you could buy your own clothes(stylish) and make your own world, get a award from the creator, blah blah blah was just so stupid of me. I am now primary 6 my most important year. I have PSLE and now I had just quit it yesterday. I am trying to go cold turkey. Everyone just remember that everything in the virtual world cannot be used in life. A max leveled account cannot be used as knowledge or money in the real life. The best way is to seek help and delete the games and lock the downloading market. My parents just did that for me yesterday and I have no doubt that I could not download the game back again and for me I want to play it but it was of no advantage of me. So remember guys, try to go cold turkey and just use some other stuff like sports and shopping to overcome the thought of gaming in your mind. I have no chance of having a wing in real life but in game I could just get it with one click so remember the items in the virtual world could not be applied in real life. By the way, all the time I said Growtopia was the most addictive game, it really could take over your life. Like what it did to mine and to my studies…..

  • CursedElf

    Another thing that could cause you to join back into that game, taking every bit and chance of your time to sneak and play video games than you are blind.(No offense) Our parents could see what we are doing the whole time. Our friends may scold you vulgarities and say that we are cowards not even dare to play video games but just don’t listen to them. Think about your future, if you put everything in the virtual world than you are wrong, the rare items you have in video games could not be a hefty sum of money in real life. So just think about your future, what you want to do next time. See you next time take this as a note. May help you!

  • Enny

    Computer games are very time consuming. Theoretically, one could allocate say, an hour a day to playing them. But I would always get carried away and waste a lot more time. Also, like with any other addiction, computer games would supersede various other activities. The average movie is 1.5 hours long. Video games can go from 5 to 50 hours. And 50 hours is a conservative average. I spent well over 100 hours playing TES IV: Oblivion. MMORPGs are the worst time-eaters though. I probably spent well over a thousand hours playing Eve Online.

    Nothing wrong with this unless it’s taking away from what you WANT to do (or need to do).

    They’re an escape – a distraction. I have social anxiety – have had since I was a kid, and computer games were a way to run away from my problems. But like any alcoholic ought to know, running away from problems doesn’t solve them.

    A distraction? What about if video games are actually ENJOYABLE. Maybe the rest of the world is a distraction to video games. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing social interactions, etc. but honestly do what you love, mang.

    Computer games are very limiting. They’re only as big or complex, or truthful and representative of reality, as the programmers who coded them allow them to be. You’re really bounded by someone else’s imagination – by the rules they think the world operates on. No where was this more evident than with strategy games.

    You got it backwards do, you got it backwards. Computers are limited in the code, sure, but LIFE is infinitely more limited than a game. A game can be ANYTHING, just like any other piece of art/literature/media. That’s what makes them so enjoyable. Life is just going to be boring old life, and while that has some benefits, it’s incredibly nice to get away from that too.
    Also, if you think that rules to a game make it worse, you are so misguided I can’t even begin to describe to you everything wrong with what you’re saying.

    • TheTruth

      you’re just an asshole ^

    • BeeQAL

      Seriously, you really are an asshole. Can’t imagine how you would react if someone really criticized you on an even more personal level.

      I’m much older than most people here and I’ve been playing since the Sega Master System. Everything he said is accurate, at the very least to him, but most likely to all of us addicts as well; I know it does for me.

      I need help and have been losing this battle but I won’t give up yet. I will definitely take into consideration what he and others here have advised.

      Thanks Lib for your sincere and honest article.

  • COD AW

    I play call of duty at least three hours a day and that really is a highlight for me. People I meet online I’ll have regular conversations with like I’ve known them for years but my actual social group treat me like an outcast. Like for example I’ll groan a bit in pain and they’ll immediately assume I’m whining about some teacher or game related issue and that really hurts, considering all they do is play minecraft 24/7.

    One of my friends is filthy rich, just got three grand from his grandma for celebrating his second year of high school and has all game consoles, 100 games, designer clothes, amazing recording footage and 1080p 50 inch TV’s.

    Yet because I bought an xbox one to play cod ghosts on people (my closest friends) are calling me spoilt and worshipping the other guy. I speak and they instantly assume I’m talking about a video game when they do it for a different one I don’t play. I’ve acknowledged I have an addiction and I tell them to lay off speaking about it but they just bag on me more and pretend they’re joking. I’m finding it really hard to fit in with them when before we were all pieces of a puzzle. Literally we never argued at all but now I’m always the bad guy and it terrifies as well as confuses me because this is secondary school, no friends means no life and therefore depression. No one is going to feel pity for you in that environment.

    Eventually I realised I play too much and need to talk less about it and I’m trying but playing is so fun and such a good experience in my eyes. I play more than average but it is all I do in spare time and I can’t stop.

    I have social anxiety and just want to be accepted again

    • donald

      your “real” friends suck. screw them.

  • Ryantheboss

    Hi, I’m a teenage boy heading into High School. My parents don’t want me playing Grand Thief Auto or other M games so I play others. If I played every day, I would have glasses. During the school year, I play after school Friday for 3 hours, Saturday for 2 1/2 hours, and Sunday for 2-3 hours on Xbox, iPod, and surf the web. Then, I can’t sleep, get up for school, nor focus. I also play om my iPod 4th generation every day on Clash of Clans. I can’t sleep, I can’t focus, and can’t function. I am entering public high school next fall. What do I do?
    Ryan
    From Connecticut

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  • Zander

    I myself am addicted to games,to me games are to have fun, I hate reading or doing sports unless it involves shooting like lazertag, I am a moderate halo fan. I play games like runescape and almost every fps game, in my case I was inspired by the game halo to create syfy stories and by RS to creating mythical stories. I also create concept art of the stories. Is there addictions that lead to goals like this,my goal is I want to work for Bungie or Jagex.

  • Korima

    I figured I’d post with my ign alias, as it’s most fitting, and share my story. I am having a serious battle with this addiction. I’m 21, working retail with a certain computer repair store. I live with my parents still, making 11$ an hour and about 30 hours a week. Living in an area where the only place I could live on my own is a place a geek like myself would likely get shot, it’s difficult to find the motivation to move out.

    I wake up, greet the family, and go to work. I come home and the rest of the time is with video games. It got to a point they’d only see me about 15-30 minutes a day. My work was dropping fast in priorities, and video games became my crutch.

    Thankfully my little brother was the one to break me out of that pattern. He came up and begged me to spend some time with him, breaking down at the fact he doesn’t know who I was anymore. That’s when I realized the problem I had, and where I screwed up. I’ve been spending more time now away from the games with the family and my work friends, but I always catch myself regressing.

    Now, I’m stuck. I don’t want to regress back to what I was, but in my current state, I know it’ll be too late to achieve my goal I made back in school. I should’ve dropped the controllers and got my scholarships and proceeded to college. When I begin thinking, I fall back to video games as my crutch again. Creating a world in minecraft from scratch, striving to reach the top 100 in the leaderboards, and others…. I’m not sure what to do from here in honesty. I, personally, don’t want to live in this type of world where there is so much injustice and cruelty outside these walls, but I don’t want to fade away as just a statistic. I don’t want to die like trampled flowers and be forgotten in this world. So the struggle continues, and maybe I’ll find a motivation to continue my path to making a perfect computer OS that rivals OSX and Windows.

    -K

  • Crimson Chin

    Hi,

    Every time exams come around I realise I’m addicted to video games. I stop one video game, I take up another one. IThese last few weeks I have been so super productiveand revised 6am until 8pm for university exams since I deleted LoL, but then I started playing TF2 (just one game, I said), persuading myself I needed a treat as I had been revising hard (I had) and then I played it until 2am that day and then, suddenly, everything went wrong and I got into this downward spiral and messed up my sleeping pattern and I haven’t revised properly for the last week because I was playing or only thinking about playing TF2.

    Since reading this article, I’ve deleted TF2, written down a list of things I want to do before I die and am in the process of deleting all my Steam games bar FFVII (which I think I’ve nearly completed). THANK YOU!!

    However, I think that once I have done that I will quickly find some other crappy internet game to become addicted to and will spend all day every day playing that as when it comes to video games I seem to be capable of getting addicted to pretty much anything. What can I do to stop myself from getting addicted to an internet game I can’t delete???

  • Not addicted

    I don’t care what anyone says, I will play videogames forever! I am not addicted, and I like videogames more than anything. I’d rather walk through Elweyn Forest than the rainforests of Brazil or any other forest in the real world. Videogames > real life. So suck it!

    • nuff-sed

      very mature, very sad. that says everything. i need say nothing more.

    • Well, the question then is why did you feel the need to post your comment here? Are you trying to prove something to me – a random stranger over the internet – or yourself?

  • jnguyen

    So I’m beginning to stop playing games, and I was wondering can I still watch youtube videos of the game I used to play? Also what should I do when I get really bored and start to just randomly daydream about video games. For example: some I’m in church on Sunday and I get bored, right? And I begin to day dream(about video games) but I can’t do anything physical to get my mind off the games for a whole hour. And you might just say “think of something else”; but it’s really difficult to do that. Any feed back would be great. Thank you.

    • Natedog22

      I used to play a LOT of COD, and recently I sold my copy of COD ghosts in the hope that I would stop the addiction to the game. However I spent just as much time, if not more, watching you-tubers play the game. This is the first thing I do when I come home from school, Ive done this for 2 and half years, and it’s done just as much damage to my work ethic as it would if I actually played the game. I daydream a lot about video games, although I am quite contemplative anyway, but even when I have work in front of me, I find ways to distract myself, think of strategies to outmanoeuvre my enemies, dream of getting 24 gun streaks, make excuses in my head for why I didn’t get excellence for a test, when the truth is that I didn’t study enough, and didn’t keep up with work. If you can watch youtube videos, and moderate yourself effectively, then that’s great, but I certainly can’t control how much COD I watch. Multiplayer shooter video games for me personally are the most addictive, as I am quite competitive, I am going to try to go Cold Turkey on COD, meaning no youtube videos of COD at all, as I have wasted so much time just watching other people play the game.In the process I have lowered my self esteem and lost a lot of confidence which I had in my junior years at high school. For clarification, I’m not saying youtube will neccessarily damage you like it damaged me, but it has potential to be harmful. Today I hope to move on from COD, and pursue my interests and talents with proper attention, while still being able to enjoy some occasional gaming.Hope this might help,

  • Anonymous

    I actually had a different experience with video game addiction, one that ended up allowing me to use my love of video games as a powerful tool instead of being a victim of it.

    I’m a junior in college now, but I’ve had a gaming addiction since around age 12. It wasn’t that bad to begin with, but it really started to ramp up once I hit high school, and by the end of my senior year I was at the point where I just couldn’t make myself do homework over playing video games. My parents tried hard to regulate my gaming, but I did it anyway.

    When I headed off to college, some combination of gaming no longer being a “forbidden fruit” and the knowledge that I was starting with a clean slate triggered a major change. I kept a list of every single obligation that I had, as far into the future as possible. It was different from a “to-do list” (those lists have always sickened me for some reason) in that rather than list a series of tasks that I needed to accomplish in a day, it showed everything I had to do for the next week or so along with specific deadlines.

    I set a simple rule for myself: be at least 2 days ahead, and I can do whatever I want, including play video games for hours at a time. Any less than 2 days ahead, and I have to attend to my obligations; no room for wasting time on other activities. My video game addiction turned into a tool, one that I could use to focus the same energy with which I played video games onto being productive.

    I found that this not only helped me stay on top of my studies and spend less time gaming, but it also gave me more motivation to do other fun activities besides gaming; my spare time went to hanging out and making new friends just as much as it went to video games. And the best part: it didn’t feel like I was imprisoning myself with a strict schedule. Moderating my video game time felt like more of a willing choice than something I forced upon myself.

    I still love video games, and I always will. There was once an addiction, but I found that it was possible to use the power of my video game addiction against itself. I know that this may not be true for every addict, but it is indeed possible to fix the addiction problem without going “cold-turkey”.

  • Ann Taurus

    Dr. kizzekpe is really the best i have ever seen since my husband left me and my kids i have been trying different online spell caster and i did not see any result until a friend of mine gave me his contact Email address that i should contact him that he will be able to help me. The first time he told me what i have to do i thought he was the same as the other so called spell caster but i just have to give it a try which i did and after he did the casting of the spell i started seeing changes my husband send gift to my kids and also wrote a letter that he was going to come back home very soon i was so surprise and now we are back together again thank you My husband came back home after 48hours with so much love and care. Here is his contact kizzekpespells@outlook.com . if you wish to seek help from him.Ann Taurus

    • Jesse Krupnick

      dipshit spam

  • Community College Student

    Our of curiosity, what do you do with your time these days? If you’re not into sports, you might turn to video-games when you outgrow things like playing pretend or your childhood toys. What do you recommend people do with their free time?

  • That Guy

    Who the fuck wants to not be addicted to video games? They let me be whatever I want t be, they let me release my anger in a way so that I don’t hurt real people. They let me feel like I am a powerful warrior, or a NASCAR driver, or even something as crazy as, well crazy guy. They let many people get away from their troubles, my parents used to fight a lot, so I would let my troubles go away while I played my video games on my N64.

  • HabaneroHotSauce

    These comments are massive. O_O

  • zain

    I play video games nearly 8 hrs a day and it gets even worse.What can one do if he like tanks big guns? may be play video games.The country where I live may be a worst place one can live on.I many times have fights with my parents for playing games long.Social life is in ruins cause for every event i need money like going with friends to watch films or going outdoor like a farm house every time i ask for money to go on i get dennied cause of the crisis situation we just manage to keep going with out any fun,with out any family event,i am a gamer since childhood in childhood it was just amusement but now its addiction as i come home from university i play games right away other than that i have a hobby of exercising in gym with a trainers,it takes 3 hr in interleaf day bases,even while playing games i fail respond when my parents call me.and gets annoyed if asked to go and do some thing like buying grossery,but on other way it helps me to relax forget tesions and i have read your article every thing in it is true,yet so far cant not do nothing,except for gaming every thing like reading books seem boring,i can avoid it if have a good social life but pockets are always empty dont know how to counter it but just deleting them seems to make me go crazy

  • person

    my world is messed up i do nothing but play mincraft#

  • Ella

    I want to break my habit, but my friendship with one of my BFFs is centered around video games. We barely talk at school, only online. So if I quit video games, I’ll never see her again. Help.

    • Was Here

      Ever considered talking to her in person? Getting to know her in real life ? Probably a good time to know her better ..

  • Curtis

    i want to thank priest okpobo for the herbal HIV medicine he gave to me and my daughter, i was suffering from HIV when i gave birth to my daughter and that was how my daughter got the sickness indirect from me, but to God be the glory that i am heal with the herbal medicine that priest okpobo gave to me when i contacted him. i want to use this medium to tell everyone that the solution to our sickness has come, so i will like you to contact this great healer on his email address: priestokpobomagictemple131@gmail.com with him all your pains will be gone, i am really happy today that i and my daughter are cured of HIV, we are now negative after the use of his medicine,my doctor confirm it. once more i say a big thank to you priest okpobo for your healing hands upon my life and my daughter, i say may God continue to bless you abundantly and give you more power to keep helping those that want your help in their lives. email him now he is waiting to receive you. priestokpobomagictemple131@gmail.com

  • TangFiend

    I think a few very common threads can be taken from almost every one of the posts here.

    1. Not everyone who plays video games even for extended chunks of time is or becomes a true self destructive addict.

    2. Video games play during the school age and college age years can be pretty hard to balance time and the most risky if you are prone to addictive behavior.

    3. MMORPG’s by design of being heavy timesinks seem to be the most common avenue into the worst behavior patterns.

    • Yeah, that sounds right. I’ve noticed something else too – a lot of the people who get heavily into video games come from bad childhoods.

  • Addict

    I have been playing video games since I was 6 years old. I used to play small video games on the internet till I was 10 years old. Then, I got influenced by my friends about gaming systems like Xbox, play stations, game CDs, etc. So I somehow convinced my dad to buy me a PS2, then I got a PS3 when I was 13(i.e. 12th November, 2013) and until now(19th July, 2014) I only have two game CDs on PS3. Both my mom and dad have refused to buy me more game CDs in a year except for my birthday. I am a hardcore gamer. So one can only imagine the torture I am enduring. I am totally broke. I cannot take it anymore. I know I am a video game addict but this is just, fuckin crazy. What should I do? Please reply.

  • Srividya S

    While I agree partially about how everything seems to be an escape from your life (be it television, writing books, or playing games), I think, its the motivation to do it and what results you get from it that matters. My perspective at least is that rather than think about all the faults of this world (and boy are there innumerable faults!), let’s think about what we can do, even at a very superficial level to make it better. If you are writing a book, maybe something in that book might motivate someone to improve their life, or at the very least, allow *them* to escape from their misery.

    But with videogames, other than the fact that the money you spent to buy it goes to the creator, there is really no other benefit to anyone by your playing it. And that’s why its as bad as watching television or say, even just continuously reading books.

    My take is that whether we like it or not, we have to like and love ourselves to explore what we are good at, and then use that talent to help the world somehow. To find out how we can love ourselves and find out what we’re good at, we need to explore different hobbies and try out a lot of new things.

    When we reach that point where we like ourselves, we will experience happiness by helping out others. It might be the smug superior feeling of “See how great I am for helping someone” or even the genuine happiness of just helping someone. But either way, its better than doing nothing, right?

  • WhatAmISoScaredOf

    I’m not sure if I have social anxiety because I can still talk to people MY FRIENDS know and me. But when I think about hanging out with a stranger I always make up an excuse I can’t go because I’m nervous things will get awkward and it will be silence the whole time. Even on games I’m scared to start a conversation with people on the mic because I can’t keep a conversation going and their will be awkward silences. Not sure if its cause I’m a teenager but I never wanna go anywhere when invited with my parents. I feel so empty inside since I was 7 I was creating another world in my head pretending to be someone who I thought was good looking and made a perfect life for them. I grew up and switched them once in awhile. My imagination gets so crazy I start saving pictures of clothes they would wear on my computer, then screenshot pictures of who they would date. I lasted two years imagining about someone, now I’m on too a celebrity. I really don’t know what my ‘issue’ is called, I really feel insecure about how I look, I don’t even look in the mirror unless I brush my teeth. Video games are my escape where I can decorate characters and role play in the game, dress it up do whatever. I even set goals in the game. I’m just so Lonley I can’t tell anybody, I don’t trust anybody with secrets. I’m really private about my life and who gets too see it on social media. If someone follows me and I don’t know them I always check their account too make sure they’re a friends of someone I know because they sent them on my account to make fun of me. I’m depressed and not taking care of myself.

  • herman

    you write terribly. Little advice: take English 101 and then start sharing your thoughts with the world. That way youll sound a lot less ignorant and wont detract attention away from your topic. I wanted to read this but your vocabulary and grammatical structuring were so distracting I find myself writing a post critiquing that instead of commenting on the actual point of your post. smh

    • I have no issue with criticism and advice, especially of my English. However, for someone who criticizes another’s use of English, you began both of your posts with a small case letter, and managed to miss a contraction in “you’ll”.

      Most important is not your hypocrisy however, but your total absence of criticism. You didn’t point out a single flaw in my vocabulary or grammatical structuring, nor did you offer any recommendations or advice on improvement. If you think that the above is a “post critiquing” my writing, you’re sorely mistaken.

      Given that you didn’t even bother to proof-read your own comment, I can only assume that you’re a troll, but if you do want to give me some actual constructive criticism, I’ll be more than happy to read it.

  • herman

    sorry to keep doing this to you but I just cant help it. I re-read the first paragraph and it just pains me to think you wrote this, read it to yourself, and then thought: “yes, this is perfect. Time to get this baby out so everyone can read it and agree with my astute observations about video game addiction”

    I would have believed this was the introduction to the worst 7th grade essay any student of mine had ever produced. I hope you aren’t old enough to even think about possibly considering applying for college anytime in the distant future.

    “In video games, I could be the hero, the commander, the king, or whoever else my childhood fancy would want me as. I could go into the future, or live in the past. I could fight monsters, or be a monster”
    HAHAHAHAHA oh man that’s bad…

    • You’re not doing anything to me besides making me laugh. Thanks, actually 🙂 Once again, if you want to criticize someone else’s English, try to start your paragraphs with capital letters and end them with full stops. Especially if my inference is correct and you’re an English teacher.

      And if you want someone to take your post seriously, try including reasons as to why you don’t like something. No, seriously – there are legitimate ways in which my articles can be improved, but you’re not pointing out any of them.

  • Jonborg123

    This made me Depressed D:

    • I’m sorry to hear that. Tell me more about how you feel?

      • Jonborg123

        well i feel that i shouldn’t play video games anymore but then all the fun i would have is gone I don’t know life is difficult to understand sometimes

  • Anne

    well.. I am having problems 🙁 I just love playing games on my laptop.. and my parents think its a waste of time and im to addicted to them.. one of the games is a social game where you chat and they wont let me do anything 🙁 and its nearly my birthday … and I worked really hard on those games.. to make best friends, have fun, get rare, get a high level.. and my parents ar just taking it away from me ….

    • I’m sorry to hear that Anne, that really sucks 🙁 How do you feel about your parents taking away your source of enjoyment and communication with friends online?

      I wish that instead your parents expressed more curiosity about why you were doing this and compassion towards your feelings and needs.

  • skiby

    You can fucking fart all over their head! Okey?

  • XxXFUCKYOUXxX

    I have a serious issue brought on by excessive gaming, i think ive actually had too much fun in my childhood, if only i could have the time back, i would’ve spent it getting depressed and bored.

    • no actually f you

      Just inappropriate…

  • Alfagador

    I’m in my 30s and I’ve just quit video games… for the second time. It’s so hard to give it up, I’ve been playing all my life. I’m a freelancer and I work from home on the computer, so the temptation is always there. It’s so easy to give in, to play a little flash game, or download something off my GOG or Steam accounts. I’m able to hold my life together, but things would definitely have been better the past few years if I hadn’t been playing so damn much. God I love these large Elder Scrolls games, they provide me with escape, discovery and a sense of accomplishment. But I feel like I’ve been tiptoeing on the edge of a precipice. That’s why I’m going to quit for good. I don’t want to have to lie to my wife about how productive my day was anymore. I don’t want to keep feeling disappointed with myself about how I dropped every project I had (learn Spanish, improve Chinese, play guitar, get in better shape, etc.) because I had “no time”, where in fact I poured thousands of hours in video games. After relapsing for a year, I now understand that I’ll never be a casual gamer. So for the good of my kids, my wife and myself, I’m pulling the plug on video games, for good.

    • Eric

      It may help you to let your wife in and share with her your vice. She may be able to help you. My wife does. I feel guilty every time I touch, or even watch someone play a video game because of my addiction growing up. My wife tells me when its OK to, “let my hair down a little”. She checks me. I feel that this may be healthier than cold turkey, but this is my experience. Yours is different. Cold turkey may be best for you. I just thought I would share what has helped me. Good luck to you!

  • Eric

    I thought I’d share my story to find out if anyone else had a similar experience, and maybe, just maybe, provide some hope to others who were/are in my situation. I didn’t realize it until reflecting later in life (my college years), but I was addicted to video games from probably 8 years old through high school. My childhood wasn’t the greatest, 2 stepfathers, poor, rural/hicksville, constantly changing schools, etc. Most of what I can remember of my childhood are video games. One of my earliest memories are of being scolded for playing Chip’n Dale, rescue rangers for too long at the babysitters until she would forcibly shut it off. For some reason, I was drawn to video games more than most other kids. As I got older, I would play them before school, after school, weekends all the time. I had no friends in school and was constantly bullied. It was an escape. I know now that it was an addiction because I would feel bad about constantly playing them, but then playing them took my mind off of the guilt and made me feel better–repeat the cycle. Video games are most of the memories I have growing up. No fun memories with friends. A few brief moments of happiness with my Father (divorced saw him bi-weekendly) who would take me on vacations. But, everything else, my family life, social life was something I wanted to forget. I was an incredibly shy and reserved kid. Of course, this only fed the problem because it made it so much harder to break the cycle. The only thing that saved me was that for some reason, I excelled in school.I think it was because school was like a game for me in that way. I needed to get perfect scores and beat the other students. Luckily, this meant I would be able to get into a decent college and escape that life. Everything changed for me then, and I feel so lucky. It took me moving away to the city, leaving everything behind and starting a new life. I remember feeling inferior to almost every student because they seemed to have more active social lives. They would constantly reference movies from high school that I seemed to have missed or never saw, for example. I found some friends who liked to play StarCraft, and I still gamed a little, but college studies seemed to occupy more of my time than video games. I didn’t have as active of a social life as other students, but, it was more so than I had had in high school. I avoided sports, and had a small circle of friends. The people hung around were much nerdier (I was a science/math major among others of the same) than anyone I knew in high school, so I could relate more to them and have somewhat of a social life, and this brought me out of my shell. I never had a girlfriend in High School because I had absolutely no self-confidence and avoided nearly everyone. I wouldn’t say this was all because of video games, but it certainly didn’t help. I can say that once I finally decided to take it upon myself to start dating and just get over my fear, it worked. It was absolutely terrifying. But now, I’m happily married with a great career. If I start to play video games–I get the sense of guilt I once had. But now, it repels me from them, rather than drawing me into a cycle. Every once in a while (around Christmas vacation), I’ll let myself binge for a week. Last Christmas it was Zelda Twilight Princess (old I know, but it turns out I missed a lot of video games coming out while I was in college). My wife tells me this was OK and even encouraged it (“You’re always working, you deserve to have some fun,” she says. (Tangent… I love her very much, she is the best thing that has happened to me, not only because she says it’s OK and can help me regulate my guilt, but thousands of other reasons). It’s true… I feel that now I overcompensate for the years I lost growing up playing video games. Like I have to catch up to others for the experiences I’ve missed (“I could’ve been amazing at sport xyz if only I hadn’t spend so much time playing xyz video game!” is a common refrain I bet many have said to themselves). I try to let go of the guilt I have, but I can’t. Perhaps this is good. It keeps me from going back. Perhaps this is what recovery feels like.

    • Tony Fountain

      Amazing story friend, it brought chills throughout my body.

  • Cody Compton

    After having read your article I have a few counterpoints, while these may not be true for everyone, I can at least say in my case all of the following applied.

    1. Video Games didn’t form a habit with me because I didn’t play every single day, and even if I did play every day, I got bored with them relatively quickly.

    2. I agree that living your life through the guise of a fictional character (albeit fun) is destructive, but that applies to things such as Second Life, IMVU, and several others, playing games like Fallout, or Mass Effect (both open ended) don’t destruct your value as a human. If anything it raises your value, through the experiences you go through in the game you learn how to handle situations in your real life (No I’m not saying the world is irradiated and we’re all going around shooting each other). I’m talking about the social interactions you must go through in game, talking to a virtual person, while being extremely one sided and two dimensional, still teaches you about dealing with people. Even if they’re not real or based on real people, knowing what to say to get the characters to do what you want does improve your ability to talk to real people and achieve the same goal.

    3. You mentioned that games can take up to fifty hours, (and that’s a lenient time constraint) I’ve probably spent better than four hundred hours on the Legend of Zelda series alone, but does that mean I’m an addict? No. I’ve never shown any of the tell tale signs of addiction (I know what addiction looks like, everyone in my family, including myself, are smoker). Going outside every hour or so to kill myself a little more with a cigarette is a destructive pattern, a habit, and an addiction. Playing video games for a few hours a day does not an addiction make. I don’t go through withdrawals from not playing a video game, I don’t get irritable, I don’t sweat profusely and I don’t come running inside to play video games like a heroin addict looking for a needle.

    4. Thought about another world aside from our own is bad? Children do it constantly and we accept it as daydreaming, something a child just does. Have you never read a book, put it down in the middle of something really important or even crucial to the story and found yourself trying to figure it out in your head? That’s exactly what you’re doing when you’re thinking about a boss fight or difficult level in a game. You’re critically thinking about something, creating strategies, coming up with scenarios and mentally running tests. This is keeping your brain active rather than, “I wonder what’s going to be on Gray’s Anatomy today?” or worse yet thinking about absolutely nothing.

    To conclude, I don’t see anything wrong with playing video games on a regular basis, I feel it’s made me a smarter and more well adjusted person than some of my peers who didn’t have the parents that let them play video games. I got just as much out of playing video games as ‘Little Johnny’ got out of little league football without all the broken bones and head injuries. So yes, if keeping my brain active and thinking is a bad thing, then so are video games. If training myself to think quicker and more strategically is bad then so are video games, but I don’t think you’ll find a single person willing to agree with that statement. I do, however, agree that letting games rule your life is a bad thing, but you don’t need to set crazy constraints on yourself to keep it from being a detriment, if you’re doing your job, your house isn’t a total wreck, and you keep up with everything in the real world that needs to be done, why shouldn’t you be able to go unwind in front of the T.V. and live vicariously through someone else, getting much needed life experience and thought provoking interactions while relaxing?

    -Cody A. Compton

    P.S. I am not belittling what you believed was an addiction, it could very well have been, all I’m saying is that people like to make a big deal out of things that should never have been a problem in the first place. Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like to confer more on the subject.

    P.P.S Any ‘flaming’, ‘trolling’, or anything of the like will be ignored as I refuse to bring myself down to the childish level of thought held by some.

  • Mabel Patricks

    post advice comment on easy regain love to re spark a love you once had but lost and make it work again

  • krentz

    Hmmm. On one hand, I agree with some premises of what you are saying, but on the other hand I’m not entirely sure. At the very least, I am sceptical and am fully aware of just how much is down to perception.

    I recognise that, at the moment, I am addicted – if only psychologically. I’ve been playing games since I was 3 years old, and in many ways, the imaginative stimulation and opportunities for creative expression were like the wind beneath my wings in many ways. Ironically, contrary to the sentiments expressed by many here, my childhood was more idyllic than traumatic. I didn’t spend every waking moment playing games, of course – in fact, I would argue that I had a more balanced attitude during my youth, although I was always more of an introvert and an intellectual than an athletic person. Somehow, fiction and fantasy has always resonated with me – it is a medium and a vehicle, a means of conveying human truths both personal and universal, its potential limited only by the passions and ambitions of its creators. Of course, sometimes it can simply be vacuous entertainment specifically engineered to engender addiction and psychological dependency, but such is life, right?

    I was a very isolated child, though this was not for want of trying. I was your typical case of the nerdy kid, the one who was ‘weird’ and ‘different’. I had no interest in molding myself to become someone I am not, performing all manner of mental and emotional gymnastics to meet social expectations I neither understood nor appreciated. But still… the older I became, and the more I was bullied and persecuted for my natural inclinations, the more wistful I felt. I lived in perpetual hope that I would eventually find like-minded people with whom to share my observations and experiences, and in the meantime, games were an alternative far preferable to socialising with people I couldn’t relate to and who didn’t like me.

    It was not entirely a passive phenomenon. Gaming and my interest in fictional media provided an ideal impetus for me to learn computer programming, and also served as a source of inspiration for much of my creative writing. I also played a certain FPS game competitively as well, which gave me a great deal more social exposure and provided a perfect excuse to travel around the country to events to meet and compete with others from the community. My original ambitions were to become a game programmer, which fell through not exactly due to a lack of technical aptitude but rather a chronic lack of self-discipline and an inability to work well in a group with others when our creative visions are very different.

    Still, I like to think of myself as far from ignorant, but I feel that in some ways, ignorance is bliss. While I am quite conscious in some ways, I am quite naïve in others – at least in my heart. We live in a human zoo, manufactured and maintained by the meritocratic elite, polluted by all manner of toxins. Xenoestrogens and other hormones in drinking water, chemicals in fast food and ready meals, our fast-paced and frenetic consumerism, gratuitous use of NLP and hypnotic techniques by marketers, advertisers and salesmen, and that is just the start. Conflicts over political and religious ideologies, the war of the sexes and the tempestuously controversial subject of sexual attraction, third wave feminism and MRA, and even that is just the surface. People in general seem selfish and insensitive to my eyes (even as I logically understand this to be a biased perception) – and the real tragedy is that even people who are genuinely empathetic cannot deny their innately human subconscious impulses, which sometimes drive them to dangerous and immoral actions. Most people like to believe they are doing ‘the right thing’, but every individual’s concept of morality and justice is unique. As a result, conflict seems inevitable.

    Why do people write and create art? Why do people have hobbies? And perhaps more to the point, what needs do people feel are being fulfilled by video games, and why do they not seek to satisfy these needs elsewhere? I feel they are the questions we should really be asking. I cannot speak for anyone else’s motivations but personally, all artforms are simply the joy of self-expression. It is, in a sense, a selfish reason – I may derive pleasure from knowing that I have touched others with my creations, but they are not my primary reason. People become involved in hobbies to form social connections, to learn and master a skill, etc. Is that really any different from games, in the end? As far as I can tell, the only major downsides of gaming is that it is quite self-absorbed by nature (in that for the most part it doesn’t contribute to society in a meaningful way) and that experiences and skills picked up from playing games often don’t translate well to the rest of life. In the end it is still an individual decision though. Some games can aspire to art, or act as poignant social commentaries (see: MGS2, Xenogears) whereas on the other end of the scale, yet others are simply designed to be as immersive and addictive as possible to garner subscription fees (most MMORPGs).

    I am not as unfortunate as many and try not to dwell in victimhood, but life has still not been particularly kind to me thus far. The world can be as vicious and cruel as it is expansive and beautiful – the human mind, after all, can make both a heaven out of hell and a hell out of heaven. I have always been interested in learning about people – myself and others, our place in the world, our subjective realities and the veneer behind the fa Hmmm. On one hand, I agree with some premises of what you are saying, but on the other hand I’m not entirely sure. At the very least, I am sceptical and am fully aware of just how much is down to perception.

    I recognise that, at the moment, I am addicted – if only psychologically. I’ve been playing games since I was 3 years old, and in many ways, the imaginative stimulation and opportunities for creative expression were like the wind beneath my wings in many ways. Ironically, contrary to the sentiments expressed by many here, my childhood was more idyllic than traumatic. I didn’t spend every waking moment playing games, of course – in fact, I would argue that I had a more balanced attitude during my youth, although I was always more of an introvert and an intellectual than an athletic person. Somehow, fiction and fantasy has always resonated with me – it is a medium and a vehicle, a means of conveying human truths both personal and universal, its potential limited only by the passions and ambitions of its creators. Of course, sometimes it can simply be vacuous entertainment specifically engineered to engender addiction and psychological dependency, but such is life, right?

    I was a very isolated child, though this was not for want of trying. I was your typical case of the nerdy kid, the one who was ‘weird’ and ‘different’. I had no interest in molding myself to become someone I am not, performing all manner of mental and emotional gymnastics to meet social expectations I neither understood nor appreciated. But still… the older I became, and the more I was bullied and persecuted for my natural inclinations, the more wistful I felt. I lived in perpetual hope that I would eventually find like-minded people with whom to share my observations and experiences, and in the meantime, games were an alternative far preferable to socialising with people I couldn’t relate to and who didn’t like me.

    It was not entirely a passive phenomenon. Gaming and my interest in fictional media provided an ideal impetus for me to learn computer programming, and also served as a source of inspiration for much of my creative writing. I also played a certain FPS game competitively as well, which gave me a great deal more social exposure and provided a perfect excuse to travel around the country to events to meet and compete with others from the community. My original ambitions were to become a game programmer, which fell through not exactly due to a lack of technical aptitude but rather a chronic lack of self-discipline and an inability to work well in a group with others when our creative visions are very different.

    Still, I like to think of myself as far from ignorant, but I feel that in some ways, ignorance is bliss. While I am quite conscious in some ways, I am quite naïve in others – at least in my heart. We live in a human zoo, manufactured and maintained by the meritocratic elite, polluted by all manner of toxins. Xenoestrogens and other hormones in drinking water, chemicals in fast food and ready meals, our fast-paced and frenetic consumerism, gratuitous use of NLP and hypnotic techniques by marketers, advertisers and salesmen, and that is just the start. Conflicts over political and religious ideologies, the war of the sexes and the tempestuously controversial subject of sexual attraction, third wave feminism and MRA, and even that is just the surface. People in general seem selfish and insensitive to my eyes (even as I logically understand this to be a biased perception) – and the real tragedy is that even people who are genuinely empathetic cannot deny their innately human subconscious impulses, which sometimes drive them to dangerous and immoral actions. Most people like to believe they are doing ‘the right thing’, but every individual’s concept of morality and justice is unique. As a result, conflict seems inevitable.

    Why do people write and create art? Why do people have hobbies? And perhaps more to the point, what needs do people feel are being fulfilled by video games, and why do they not seek to satisfy these needs elsewhere? I feel they are the questions we should really be asking. I cannot speak for anyone else’s motivations but personally, all artforms are simply the joy of self-expression. It is, in a sense, a selfish reason – I may derive pleasure from knowing that I have touched others with my creations, but they are not my primary reason. People become involved in hobbies to form social connections, to learn and master a skill, etc. Is that really any different from games, in the end? As far as I can tell, the only major downsides of gaming is that it is quite self-absorbed by nature (in that for the most part it doesn’t contribute to society in a meaningful way) and that experiences and skills picked up from playing games often don’t translate well to the rest of life. In the end it is still an individual decision though. Some games can aspire to art, or act as poignant social commentaries (see: MGS2, Xenogears) whereas on the other end of the scale, yet others are simply designed to be as immersive and addictive as possible to garner subscription fees (most MMORPGs).

    I am by no means as unfortunate as many, but life has still not been particularly kind to me thus far. While I accept that some of this has been due to my own poor choices and I try not to dwell in victimhood, I will not accept sole responsibility for this state of affairs. The world can be as vicious and cruel as it can expansive and beautiful, as the human mind, after all, can make both a hell out of heaven and a heaven out of hell. I have always been interested in learning about people – about myself and others, what motivates and drives us, our place in the world – about the individuals that lie beneath the shallow façade of social personae. And still, in the end – I have been irrevocably crushed by the ending of a romantic relationship with the only person I ever truly loved so intimately. I feel even more isolated than before as I find myself clinically depressed and if I am not abandoned by others then I usually push people away myself as a pre-emptive measure. The list could continue. I am doing passably well in a professional sense, I suppose, working for a multinational Microsoft partner, but I am a long way from fulfilled. I am starting to believe that the things I always dreamed of and the future I yearned for is unattainable because we as people are too flawed and imperfect to aspire to it.

    I don’t know where I am going with this, because it all became a bit maudlin and personal and rambly. But I suppose what I want to say is that in the end, it is all relative. People will find joy and meaning in whatever calls to them, whether it is something like gaming or something more productive or socially acceptable. I do not begrudge people their simple pleasures, as long as they don’t come directly at the expense of others. We all came from, and will return to, the same place, after all. Rather than viewing gaming addiction as a problem, we should look at the ‘issue’, if it can be described as such, as multifaceted, ask what it is about games that so appeals to us and whether this carries any wider implications. And if so, what to do about it – if, indeed, anything can be done. As it is, lacking passion as I currently am, I find the catharsis and comfort of the imaginary preferable to the uncertainty of a wider world that rewards the unscrupulous and punishes the downcast. Perhaps one day my feelings will change, but until then these are my views.

  • Fabian

    hey, im fabian.
    im 16 years old and i have been gaming for whatever how long (idk anymore)
    i like your arguments about gaming beeing bad for you etc but i have a question
    so i play LoL for maybe 1.5 years now and i would love to become someone who works for riot (for the game)
    i accept im addicted, but if i go cold turkey, my life will shatter, everything i want to become/work forward to will shatter, if im at a friend we play games for fun.
    i have a pretty big online friendbase where my heart would absolutely break if i could never talk/play with them again, and seeing them in reall life isnt a option (2 friends live in portugal and the rest lives spread across my country/belgium)
    i could really use some help as i dont really know what can do anymore, im sitting here crying pretty much.
    PLEASE HELP ME!

  • Elitist

    There are things this article that confuse me, even more so with the comments.

    I am a professional gamer playing for a sponsored team (I’d rather remain anonymous). While I can completely agree that people can turn video games into something destructive, it can also be something constructive. here are a few examples:

    – In team based games you learn how to work with anyone to achieve a matching goal.
    – You increase your hand eye coordination
    – You learn how to think fast.
    – You learn how to adapt to unpredicted situations in a short notice.

    I think that people playing video games for extended amount of time are mostly placed into the same boat. But I feel that there is a type of player that is more prone to gaming being a problem to them.

    I noticed a lot of people have a self destructive behavior WITHIN the games. It’s really easy to imagine how bad it must be elsewhere. They will mostly be found in Real time staregy, MOBA, First person shooters and the notorious MMORPG types games.

    Lets call them “Delusional players”. Such players aim for self gratification without having to place any work or effort and often suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate.

    With a behavior of illusory superiority it will often lead to a player wanting to play more. The reason is quite simple, The human male is naturally competitive, when you are winning or receiving that legendary item you will feel a sense of achievement which provides a positive stimuli. All negative stimuli such as loss or not managing to get the legendary item will easily be justified as “randomness” or blame the actual game they’re playing which creates an activity that only has positive sides and all negative aspects are “NOT THEIR FAULT”

    The “real world” as you guys like to call it can hardly create such an environment. Any sport / building / social gatherings may cause fatigue (Mental or physical), or anxiety which is a negative stimuli to a positive experience. For example: trying to play a soccer game and crumbling from being out of breath Or even meeting people can bring negativity when it just doesn’t “click” can be quite hard to blame on anything else than yourself (for the most part).

    The delusional players, will easily fall back to their utopia of video games over doing anything else because it is easier to “feel good”. Many rewards, no risks.

    Due to their self created image within the videogames, they will often be unable to take criticism well and will sometimes result to excuses, lies or violence (physical or verbal) to justify what they’re doing whenever they are in the wrong. It is a never ending wheel for them. Which can result in being a nightmare for people around them.

    What I do not understand about the article is why the extended amount of time playing videogames that require creativity or simple cooperative fun being an issue? You are socially enjoying an activity with someone else. I do not see how this is any different from writing, reading a book or watching television (Typical suggestions given in the comments) If you manage to pay the bills, have good eating habits, have a healthy body, socialize with friends and such.. How would spending over 4 hours a day on video games a bad thing? (If author or someone can reply about this I would greatly appreciate)

    If you agree with me and still feel that video games are causing harm to you but do not want to let them down I would recommend a few things to try before going cold turkey.
    -To change the genre of games they’re playing.
    -To get out of your comfort zone. (Maybe being more competitive as a change of pace)
    -To make an effort and to look on sites like reddit or facebook for gatherings of people with similar interests.
    -Going to gaming events frequently and so on instead of staying at home.

    I do not feel anyone has to throw a hobby away. If you love your hobby actually do something productive // social // entertaining around it. If you want video games to be at the center of your life because you’re passionate about it, Go for it! But please make it something that opens you to the world and wont damage you. In our current society where video games are nearly everywhere it is very easy to associate yourself with new groups of people and make your passion grow into something good rather than it turning to nothingness.

    I personally love video games, I made a choice to make them my job. I work with promoters, managers and other individuals to make video games something socially accepted and enjoyed. If you use them as a tool to cause yourself harm you can make people assume that video games are a problem in our society!

    Many comments on this page are people hating on video games because of a group of individuals that have long recurring gaming sessions and do not open themselves to anything else when in reality the problem is the people themselves not being open enough.

    Please remember that your body has needs and there is people around you that cares about you, please don’t neglect them.

    • tysoro

      YAll are all loosers I’ve been playing video games for 25 years I played constantry when I was a child and I play as an adult. I was also a baseball star in school I ran track. And I garuntee I could kick anyone’s a $$ at Golden eye back in the day. As of today? I have collected every video game console made. I have thousands of games. And u know what else I have a beautiful wife and beautif ul daughter. And I also have a very demanding job I make very good money. Who is to say it is better for me to not play my games and play a musical instrument? Who are you to tell me that. All you are saying is I need to stop putting my time into something I enjoy and put it into another habit……… everyone has they’re habits and they are free to enjoy them as long as u can survive and take care of your life. Video game addiction is for only the week minde. Me and my wife both had 2 copies each for world of war craft we both had lvl 70 toons I ran a guild and so did she. We also have been to nearly every state in the country and seen alot of awsome things. And I garuntee to this day I can still out play the majority of the population at any cod game. Basically this says I should end my habit with video games and start a new one because the author didn’t like his habit there for they’re must be something wrong with mind …… that’s bullshiy

      • Jerry

        Just so you know alot of us dont have as much luck as you do. BUT that doesnt mean were losers, many people say us geeks, or video game lovers are losers because they cant get a girl or something like that, and my dream is kinda what you described, while it didnt originate from your comment, if thats what your thinking, i would love to have a beautiful wife and daughter and live a happy life, become a youtuber, cause it sounds awesome, doesnt it? play video games, intertain peeps, and get paid, NOW THAT is a dream job for me.

  • Jason

    I read a couple of the comments and felt a desire to stop
    reading and go ahead and make a post.

    This person has decided to write their experience regarding
    gaming, and addiction is very serious.
    It is a great topic to be written about so people who are addicted, and
    don’t know it or admit it, can read someone describing them “to a T”. When they get the “oh wow, this is exactly me”
    feeling, then they may admit or try to change their situation. Some of you posting on here may not be
    addicts, and that’s great. You can go to
    one of hundreds of websites that list the positive effects of gaming if you
    want to feel good about yourselves. I
    know it can be easy to get defensive (then in turn, offensive) when someone
    criticizes your lifestyle or some partition of your life (hobby, sexual,
    career, etc). But this person is trying
    to help others who are in need of information about addiction as it relates to
    video games.

    Yes, the first couple of post-writers are right, everyone
    has different illustrations regarding “the real world”. That is totally fine. But I think we can all agree that by just
    dismissing the world as unfair and an illusion doesn’t just mean it’s okay to
    do harmful things (be addicted to something, hurt people, give up on life,
    bring other people down, for example).
    People have their own thoughts about life, and everyone is unique,
    true. But it is, or should be obvious,
    that the real world is real. That makes
    me laugh. And the real world has real
    things, like addiction, cancer, education, etc.
    If you choose to be a total radical and “fight the power”, that is okay
    and great. But that doesn’t give you the
    ability to criticize someone else for wanting to be successful, wanting to stop
    harming themselves and others around them, and in general live a happier life
    than they had been previously living.

    The world may be unfair, and all that you say. But being positive is positive. That’s what it is. Positive changes are positive. Negative comments are not helpful. If you are not an addict and don’t care about
    that group of individuals, you could just read the article and hit the “back”
    button or navigate elsewhere. You don’t
    have to come and spread your insults about the author, who obviously is having
    a better life now that he had before 2012.
    Why say negative things about that, if it doesn’t even affect you? And if you are a video-game addict and it
    does affect you, then you are proving he’s right by not admitting you have a
    problem and need help. And if you
    disagree that addiction itself (needing something so much that it affects your
    way of life and impacts it, usually harmfully and continuing the act anyway) is
    harmful, then, well….there is probably an entirely different conversation you
    should be having instead, preferably with a loved one or a medical
    professional.

  • Mitch.w

    @Zeke 95% of people who commit suicide is because of depression which is caused due to chemicals in your brain ( I would know i believe i suffer from it) and 80% who commit suicide abuse alcohol and drugs. I believe that people would not kill themselves just because they don’t have a escape. But i bet it helps.

  • Abhay

    I’m not much addicted to Video Games so much, but yeah a bit. I go to school in morning to 3 p.m and then 5;30 to 7;30 p.m tution. Then i just hang on to gmaes for about hurs. may it be laptop or tablet. I can’t manage any time for homework. Please help me out. I live in India, age 15, boy in Class 10th.

  • WonderingAboutLife

    Hi, there. I think I am facing a similar situation and I hope that someone can provide me with some advice or feedback.
    I’m currently 15, at the end of my end of year exams. In my country, there is a system in place for education called the integrated program which exempts students from taking the national exam called O-Levels. I’m currently in this program, but because of my grades this year, i think i will have to drop to the normal stream. I really want to stay in the integrated program though because the things you can do there is more than those in normal stream and that there are many programs that you cannot attend if you are in the normal stream in my school.
    The problem with me is that I’m addicted to games (I think so). Before my major exams, I would come home each day, thinking about games. During weekends, I play games and put my homework at the back of my head, only realising how much i have yet to do on Sunday, the day before school on Monday. Its really a bad habit though, it makes me unable to complete any essential revision. I play a variety of games like Dota 2, Extaliams and Soul Guardians.
    I know the bad effects and that I should study and even cried over not having studied for my major exams. However, even as today (the last day of my exam) as I am typing, I seem to think about trying to play after exams but I know i need to balance games and academics. I really want to keep both of them in check and not let games take over me. There are many other things I want to do like sports but I seemed to be obsessed with games and hacking them.
    You mentioned the only way is to go turkey. Isn’t there any other way? Will I really fail my life if i continue playing games?

  • badgamer

    I am addicted to gaming. Just like I am addicted to smoking. I haven’t smoked in 5 years, I know I can never have another smoke (apart from the fact they’ll kill you.) because I will just go back to where I was. I can never play another game because that will lead me to reforming these behaviors.
    I have been looking back on the last 10 years and I am saddened. Saddened by all the time I have missed out on with family. Saddened by the psychological damage I have inflicted on those I am supposed to love. Saddened by all the money I have wasted, all the promises I have made and broken, all the times I have said I will stop and then let down my family, yet again.
    I have a beautiful daughter I barely know who says she is used to dad yelling at the xbox and that distresses me no end. I couldn’t even tell you her current favorite friend at school.
    I have been utterly selfish for the last 10 years – I am appalled at my behavior. My wife barely speaks to me anymore and I couldn’t tell you the last time we were intimate.
    I don’t feel an emotional connection to my own family, even tonight when my wife was in tears and asking me to sell the house I was thinking of when she would be going to bed so I could play.

    People state they don’t believe gaming addiction is real – it is most definitely.
    I was in the Navy 6 years ago, about to be deployed to the middle east for a 6 month trip. I would of been paid $60,000 tax free for the trip – but i turned it down in favor of playing WoW – I cited difficulties with a superior – they were true but gaming was my motivation. I have never told anyone that – it feels good to get off my chest.

    Further evidence – I received a $400 gift card the other day. I spent it on Astro A50 headphones. The very next day i told my daughter that I couldn’t take her to an outing I’d promised her because we didn’t have any money.

    I loved my current job for 2 reasons – 1 I just really really enjoy what I do and 2. I work shifts – nights, afternoons and days – and as such I have weird days off – middle of the week, 5 days off weekdays etc. I liked it because my family would be out (work and school) and I could play games.

    I have countless other examples I could list but on we go.

    It’s taken 10 years of constant fighting, denying and resentment for me to realize I have a problem. Do let it take you that long – I just hope in my case, I didn’t realize to late

  • lostperson

    This article speaks so much to me. I’ve been playing a virtual life game for nearly 5 years – during which i lost contact with all my friends.. I’d rather sit all day and play, pay, play and pay. I’d always panic if my mom wouldn’t pay for me to buy items in the game and I’d have awful episodes with screaming,crying and ‘you don’t understand me mom’ until she paid for me.. As a poor family that of course caused us to have less food in the fridge just for my idiocy to have more items in a stupid game. I’m ashamed to say this, but as an overweight, nearly depressed kid who found joy in that game, I dropped out of school to play it 24/7. Thank god my parents forced me to go back to school next year and I managed to graduate but with low scores as I was obviously not interested to it. But 2 years later, here I am, almost 21 years old, sitting alone in my room while everyone is at work or school with no one to talk with, no friends, no plans. Last Sunday, I had a panic episode in which I realized I already lived 1/3 of my life but it was nowhere near productive. Few days before I had a fight with my friends in that game and I was twice as much lonely now. So at the panic of the moment plus the frustration of the fight, I started deleting stuff. I deleted all closet items, deleted all pets. There’s no way I can get them back now. I regret it, but I was determined to quit. There goes all my efforts, all my all nighters, all the money.. Gone.. Since Sunday I’m crying like an idiot for this. I regret it so much. But I can’t go back, I made a huge damage. So basically I forced myself to quit. I want to play it so much, I miss my friends from there but I really can’t go back. So all I can do is cry right now. I feel like I died. A huge part of me died. I feel like my depression will come back soon. I have no idea what to do. I’m drowning in a sea of my tears and regrets. I know that’s really immature of me and stupid but I can’t help it. I can’t work anywhere, I can’t hang out with anyone as I have no one waiting for me. I can just sit in my room like I always used to, but without the game that helped me calm down and made me happy… I really feel like I died. That game was my life. I’m at a loss..

  • Hunter

    I have a question? So i tried to “Quit cold turkey” as you said about a year ago i sold my console and waited. I got very, very, very deppressed. I felt as though video games destroyed my sense in fun and nothing was enjoyable. I later about 4 months bought a gaming pc and i am currently playing right now. I am about to turn 16 and have a hard reality check with work and priorities. I dont know what to do i need tips? I feel like if I dont sell my pc, it will be so tempting but i cant bring myself to do it and also i will get very deppressed ? i dont know what to do
    HELP ME

  • miles

    I just threw away all my games now i dont know what to do with myself lol

  • aradfir

    i have a far worst problem than addiction, i play 2 h a day but as video games arent usually normal to play after 16 im being tagged addicted by my parents. the problem was stupidly taken so far that now that my old pc is dying they are considering not getting anything 🙁

  • JC

    After reading this post, I realized how much time I could have used for my interests other than gaming. I am addicted to gaming and I am trying to kick it off. Sometimes when you have nothing to do you’d feel like going back to the computer and start playing the day away.
    I used to think that my poor results were because of my family issues, but now I admit that my addiction has brought me down. I know it seems hard but I will try to delete my games. I spent lots of time and money into it, but dedicating so much time and effort into a game is pointless. Because the only “rewards” you really get are “trophies”, “badges” etc. Gaming doesn’t just make you escape from your problems, it also makes you more vulnerable for not preparing against those problems.

  • bf4

    to be honest, i went cold turkey and it payed off, i spent in total… about 3G building the best computer with I7 and latest and shit and i realized my social life went to SHIT, no more girls, no more girlfriends, no more guy friends and most importantly, i became extremely hostile towards the only brother i have in this life. i feel like shit when i think about it but hey, thats life, everybody makes mistakes and they overcome it, it is just the matter of ADMITING it. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS, i admit to myself i was an addict but it didn’t help me, what i did, I admit it to my best friend A.K.A my brother from a different mother, and you know what that did for me? that put this shame in me that hey , you got to stop this shit right now right here, but he never judged me because he knew my whole life and i was ESCAPING the reality in this video gaming world where it was mentioned in the article, you try to be someone you are not because it feels good not be yourself and not experience what you were currently going through, but whoever is in a need for letting go of gaming addiction, YOU HAVE ALREADY TAKEN THE FIRST STEP BY LOOKING FOR SOLUTION, now, GO ADMIT IT TO YOURSELF AND IF IT DOESNT WORK, FIND SOMEONE YOU CAN TRUST, YOUR MOTHER, YOUR FATHER, SIBLINGS OR BEST FRIEND and believe me, once you take that second step, you will just be drawn to stop it no matter what because you feel a sense of shame that will Motivate you and you will be on your way to a better and a healthy life. I know my english and grammar is just terrible lol but bear with me and try to understand the core concept of what I’m trying to tell y’all here. God bless, Cheers and happy quitting!

    your friend, Adib

  • Hellen Pedro

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  • loboymusic

    my 25 yr old isnt motivated about anything except games, goes to work retail reluctantly 4 day per week, dorpped out of school due to lack of performance, and has agreed to do 1 day on and 1 day off at least. He gaining soo much weight I’m worried andhes seen a therapist and wont share anything apparently that isnt about getting his own place so he can just do what he wants. Hes paid for his own car reluctantly and does what hes asked to do reluctantly and lives at home in his room, seemingly happy as long as the game online is on. ?

  • TheBarberik

    I was very much addicted to video games for the past few years. I moved down south to attend college and thats when i realized it was a problem. In my hometown i was addicted, but i had friends that would drag me away from the computer so i spent more time hanging out then really playing. It wasnt until i moved down south that i realised i had a problem. Considering i moved down here to no friends and no college dorms i turned to video games more than ever. I accumolated something like 80 days of playing time or something like that on league of legends. I also spent over $200 on skins and champions and such. I realized that it was a problem about 3 months ago and stopped cold turkey, started reading books and such but it wasnt long till i relapsed. I never really considered that i was actually addicted, just thought of it as a hobby that i love. Anyways 4 weeks ago something hit me, my friend opened up for a decently popular band called Overkill. He started playing guitar around the same age as me, about 12 but i stopped hanging out with him not too long afterwards. When i saw how far he came and how hes playing real concerts now opening up for a popular band like overkill i realized what i could have done if i used the time i put into video games on guitar instead. Ever since then i havent touched video games. But now the emptiness of activity in my life makes me realize i was deffinately addicted. Ive had depressing days where i couldnt figure out why i felt so bad but after reading this article i realize its cuz i havent been playing video games. Its pretty reassuring and im glad ive realized it. Thank You for the article it has helped me realize.

  • ARandomReader

    I just made a “bucket-list” which was 70 items long, I looked up bucket list on Google and it opened my mind up to all of the possibilities, thanks for this article it was extremely helpful, along with another person blogging about their bucket list, My 2015 new years resolution’s included #1 cutting video-games cold-turkey and thanks to this list and your article I feel this is a very possible goal now, thank you!

    P.S. I really liked the forward-ness of your description of video game addiction, and the ending of the article, and I felt they directly relate to the reader, an amazing article!

  • Rick

    Thank you

  • Me22

    This is so hard. Im doing this because of my relationship with my family

  • Random Internet Poster

    I had an addiction to WoW for a few years. I tried to quit multiple times, but failed each time. Finally when I decided it was time to quit for good. I gave away everything I had and deleted all of my characters. I tried to go back to it 6 months later, but realized I had no interest in starting from the beginning again. One of the best decisions I made for myself and my family.

  • Cody

    Hello, so after running into this article I thought I would share my story.
    Here I am, 22 years old and I think I can say i’m addicted to video games. It’s honestly the only thing i do on my spare time, i work 5 – 6 days a week and come home and just play World of Warcraft. Now here’s my main problem so i recently moved to a new city 3500KM away from my home and all i do is play wow, ive been playing ever since grade 10 so basically 5 – 6 years now and i feel that ive missed so much on life. I didnt go to my high school graduation or prom or anything like that, before i started playing video games i was a very active kid, i was huge into sports, hockey could of been a future for me but instead i decided to play wow. I did end up quitting a wow for a year, It was my fifth year for high school i decided to stay an extra year, i ended up getting a girl friend and also played high school hockey which to date is still one of the funnest things i have done. after that i went to college and had a crazy fun experience but yet again slowly after a year i started playing again which caused me to drop out of college because all I wanted to do was work a little and play.main topic so i moved 6 months ago to my new city which is fun i try to go out and explore but i only know a hand full of people out here, doesn’t help my roommate plays wow as well, but all i do on the weekends is just sit there and play i personally dont know what to do, it causes me depression because after playing and not doing so well i become depressed and also start to wonder what im actually doing with my life. but heres the truth, Wow is an escape for me, it has always been that way, family events, social experiences, schooling things like that, when i was younger around grade 10 before i started to play i loved to bike it was my favorite thing to do, go out with a few friends and ride for hours on end and dont come home until the early morning! it all went downhill after my good friend stole a bike from a party we were at, i ended up for some reason getting blamed for this action. I was out biking behind my high school after school hours with a few friends and the kids that my friend stole the bike from ended up showing up, now i wasnt a big kid or anything i was probably only 120 pounds around that time, long hair etc you know just a little punk kid i ended up getting “jumped” over this almost got my bike stolen, black eye etc… all in front of 6 – 7 people. very embarrassing. i didnt go to school for 3 days after that, and thats where i ended up finding out about wow from a friend and it was the best escape i have ever had, now years later i still cant get over this and i feel lost. Maybe i could of explained this story better but i have never told anyone this before, some days while at work i get lost in my thought and still think about what happened, What should I do? anyone have any suggestions or anything? dont be afraid to leave a comment.
    Thank you,
    – cody

  • Chris

    The part I find hardest about playing video games less is that I never seem to have anything else to do that doesn’t bore me

  • Crossroads

    Amazing post. The part where you spoke about changing your mind partway through a download? That’s me. Over, and over, and over again. I’ve lost count of how many times I have done this, and rerun this argument in my head.

    My problem is where I end up rationalizing the choices I am making. If I decide to log back onto Steam, say, and start playing again, I feel terrible about all the hours I know I will end up wasting in a make-believe world and quit. But when the deed’s done, I ask myself: is it worse than watching TV for hours a day? Is it worse than streaming a TV show on netflix or somesuch? And I’m soon back to downloading, again..it’s like a neverending loop my brain is stuck in, and meanwhile real life is passing me by a day at a time.

    I don’t know how to get out of it. I’ve tried quitting cold turkey: I deleted all my backups, uninstalled everything, etc -but a few months later came back with a passion, and when I relapsed, I binge-played, so it was worse than it would have been, ordinarily.

    • Marvolo riddle

      I am going through a nearly identical experience and thought process as well. I think the only way to beat the addiction is to replace it with multiple alternative addictions. I’m trying to go out on more outdoor adventures in my state’s national parks. Also reading paper books more and more to avoid computer screens as much as possible. My work mainly involves computers so moving things to paper notebooks and books is one way to cure the addiction. Goodluck and I just want to share that it is an ongoing struggle for me.

  • swayzesghost

    What’s silly about a video game addiction is that the biggest side effect is fun with bouts of nostalgia. With the exception of very rare cases of neglect, It’s often the people around a video game addict that steer their addiction into a negative direction. I would argue that there is a considerable element of jealousy in the kind of people who would look down on someone who spends the majority of their time playing video games. The average person tends to focus on the easily definable “addictions” of others while ignoring their own far more complex and deadly addictions. At least being addicted to video games and even the internet, you acquire and improve the skills you would need o research and counteract any potential harm you might cause yourself.

    If you are addicted to video games be sure to get a decent amount of sun. Just taking vitamins alone does not mean you are benefiting from those vitamins. You often need the sun for your body to properly utilize those vitamins. I know vitamin D for sure requires exposure to the sun to be effective, and it’s fairly important to be getting at least some vitammin D and sun as someone who spends the vast majority of their time in front of a screen. .

  • Guest

    So, where did my addiction begin? If I had to say, it probably began when I first was able to play video games, which was probably around the time my parents were divorced. It was most likely the fact that I never had any real friends or other children to play with since I mostly secluded myself in the room playing video games. It was a form of distraction, something that made me feel alive and as if I had a purpose in life. Due to the fact that I went back and forth between my mother and my father every week, I guess you can say that I never made any friends because I always found it hard to talk to them or keep relationships with them. Maybe that was due to my inability to try to keep my bonds with them, but nonetheless it doesn’t change the fact that I was and am addicted to video games. For as long as I can remember, my hands have been on a mouse, keyboard, or some sort on controller and now I am trying to break free from this never ending cycle. It’s impacting my life and I JUST CAN’T seem to moderate. I am not like other people who can just create a schedule and follow it. There is no way that I could just play an hour or two and be satisfied. I’ve always known that I was addicted to video games, but it had never caused me trouble until this year. I am in my first year of college and its really ruining my social life as well as my grades. That’s why I’ve decided to go cold turkey this time. I know its going to be hard and I am going to be anxious on what to do with so much free time. When I uninstalled my games, I felt as if a piece of myself was torn away. And when I look at the gaping hole that is left, I see a poor sob who ran away from his responsibilities. It really irks me, and I mean REALLY irks me that I let such a thing happen to me. I guess that means I was just running away from reality. Now that spring break is coming, I am going to use this time to re-boot myself into hopefully, someone who resembles the person I always wanted to be and not the figure I became from video game addictions. Thank you for reading this.

  • Justforthissite

    I made this account just to comment on this article and share my “gaming life” story. I don’t know if getting it off my chest will help, but its worth a shot. I also know most of these comments on here are pretty old, so I’m not sure if anyone will see this.

    I’m 24, and I have been gaming since as long as I could remember. I remember playing with my cousins in the basement/gameroom of my grandmas house on one of those old “built into a wooden frame” tube TV’s. When I was young, it was just a hobby, a distraction to play and laugh about with family and friends. We would play on various consoles, Sega consoles, Nintendo consoles, etc. I remember playing games like San Francisco Rush, Mist, Earthworm Jim, etc. Then I remember getting my first and very own N64 with Mario 64. It was a blast. I thought deforming Mario’s face with the cursor on the intro screen and watching him bounce all around was absolutely hilarious and great. I was about 5 or 6 years old I think. These childhood memories were the times when gaming was healthy for me. I would consider it a “winter sport” and play it when it was dark/gloomy/rainy/snowy out, but was always ready, willing, and able to put it down. I stayed like this, healthily gaming as a hobby, for years and years. I was always good with moderation, and I always preferred outside social interaction with friends way more than I would enjoy video gaming.

    When my Mom married my step dad, we moved to another school district, but I had no problems making friends there either. You see, we lived in one of those “small town” neighborhoods that wasn’t really in a “small town”, but everyone still knew each other. This was in the late 1990’s, before every 10 year old had an iPhone and an entitlement attitude. I remember going out biking with my friends for hours and hours at a time, judging what time of the day it was based off of the church bells. This was a great time to be a kid for me. I had the perfect life. In the day time and evenings I would hangout biking with my friends, hanging out in the woods, or in the creek behind our neighborhood looking for “cray-fish” in the mud. Then in the nights we would play Goldeneye or the original Command and Conquer on my N64. My step-dad liked gaming too, and he bought us a Sega Dreamcast when it came out. We played the classics for that system like Sonic, some racing game I can’t remember, some cartoony boxing game I can’t remember, some fishing game I can’t remember with the fishing reel controller. It was a blast, and more importantly at this point, it was still just a healthy, fun hobby. Something to pass the spare time you had at the end of the day, or on a freezing snowy/rainy day with friends/family.

    I’m not really sure when it happened, to be honest. The start of my absolute infatuation with video games, and what would eventually become the beginning of my addiction. Maybe it was when I discovered that RPGs existed? Maybe it was when I discovered Ultima Online, and I was completely taken back by the fact that you could be in a living breathing world and affect its outcome? The concept of UO was something that not only was surprising for a 10 year old, but that was also completely new and industry changing to video games during that time. Either way, the story continues.

    My Mom and Stepdad broke up sometime in the late 90’s. It might have actually been 2000 exactly, but I’m not sure. Anyway, we moved BACK to the original school district I lived in, and this is when we bought our first computer. This I guess was the beginning of the addiction, now that I think about it. Our PC was a piece of crap, and could barely run anything 3d graphics wise without it looking like a slideshow. I mainly used it for AIM, and Kazaa (the P2P file sharing program on a dial up modem that would take 2 days to download 1 song). But what this PC could run was 2D low-graphics based games, and this was the time when my cousin showed me Ultima Online, and Diablo. At first, by the way he described it, I thought UO was just a medieval house building game because all I would do was see him in his big white marble home in the game moving stuff around. Then I quickly learned that this was an “online world” (what I would later learn was the MMO genre). I begged my mom to buy a copy, and was immediately hooked. I made a Mage character, and ran around exploring everywhere. I would chat with people in town by the bank and cast fireballs at skeletons. Playing this, in very close proximity to playing Diablo was just fun and infatuation overload for me. 10 or 11 year old me would think to myself “Why would people want to do anything other than just play these!? This is so much fun! I can be whatever I want, and do whatever I want in these games!”. However, I eventually went back and played on consoles.

    I got an Xbox with Halo 1 for Christmas right around that time in 2001, and “old looking” PC RPGs sort of fell to the wayside for me. I killed Diablo on my sorcerer, my cousin stopped playing UO as much (he was the only in-game friend I had) and those sort of games just naturally fell to the background. You see, back in the late 90’s/Early 2000’s PCs and Consoles were at a very VERY contrasting price spectrum. It’s not like today where you can build a $500 Steam box that will perform like an Xbox One or a PS4. No, back then you either bought an Xbox/Ps2 for $300ish, or spent thousands on a “gaming” PC which most users, even some gamers, still then considered “black boxes” in terms of upgrading/gutting/rebuilding them, and me being 10/11 years old at the time wouldn’t even have considered opening it up. Also my Mom did not have anywhere near enough money raising me as a single mother to be able to afford PC upgrades, or a new PC in general after buying me an Xbox with Halo (which she could barely afford at the time). So here I was again, just healthily gaming again on pick up and play games like Halo, JetSet Radio Future, etc. But the fangs of Online/MMO RPG type games already bit me.

    A few years passed, and I became friends again with old friends I left the last time I moved. Gaming sort of just existed in the background as a hobby, similar to listening to music, or reading, or biking. Just another hobby that I would do for a little bit before turning off the console and moving on. I spend years walking around the park I lived beside, building bonfires and forts. At 13 I got a girlfriend (yes at 13 lol I know), a nice friends circle and life was great. Then, I got my own computer from my Dad. It was a Dell with 128MB of RAM that I upgraded to 512MB of RAM with money from a dish washing job I had. This is where I believe it truly started to all slowly go down hill.

    I bought Star Wars Galaxies with the money I had from my part-time job a couple years later, and I fell into the world of MMORPGs like never before. By 15 years old, I was still hanging out with friends and my girlfriend during the day, but at nights it was SWG until I would go to sleep. Get up, go to school, hang with friends, then SWG again all night. Rinse/repeat. This eventually transformed into more and more of an addiction as I became more financially independent. I worked a lot when I was young. A lot of that had to do with growing up with one parent and having to act more mature than my age, I guess. At 16 I learned how to build my own computer, and working the maximum amount of hours I could as a 16 year old, I was financially free at this point, but my paycheck existed for 2 things: My car, and gaming. I paid my car bill/car insurance/car gas, and the house internet bill/MMO subscriptions/PC parts and upgrades. I didn’t have a penny left over after.

    Because I was paying the internet bill, my Mom would always lose arguments against me when I would justify the more and more time I spent PC gaming. After the population of SWG died when a very unpopular game change hit, I moved onto EVE Online and WoW. Still, just throwing money at computer parts, better graphics cards, more RAM, etc. With not a penny saved, and not a penny left over. This eventually alienated me from my group of about 7 friends, although they had their own issues. A lot of them started going down bad paths in high-school. Drugs, underage drinking to an extreme, etc. It was the perfect storm of them making these decisions that I used to justify why I was losing friends. You see, in my mind, it was never the fault of me ignoring calls to hang out or blowing them off, it was because “they” changed. Which with the drugs/drinking they did change, to an extent. But I over-blew it in my mind in order to justify MY new addiction. Gaming. MMO gaming to be precise. This continued for years.

    I eventually lost my girlfriend when I was 18. She was the same girl that I was with since I was 13 years old. I’m not exactly sure how much video gaming played apart of that loss now that I think about it, but I do know that if I wasn’t addicted to MMO’s I would have paid more attention to her, took her out more, did things with her, spent more time with her etc. It still didn’t wake me up. Losing a girl of 6 years that I grew up with and was supposed to spend the rest of my life with still didn’t wake me up. I moved on. Went to college for IT, got a degree, went through a few non-serious girlfriends in a few years time span, then got a “real” corporate job when I was 20. Still not learning my lesson, and with a ton of disposable income, I turned the living room of the house I was renting into a sort of “gaming command center”. 3 Monitors on the coffee table, 2 TV’s behind that for console playing, it was awesome at the time. My roommate and I would just game constantly. Never having to want for any sort of media entertainment at all. We had over 5 different consoles. If we didn’t have the game, or were short on cash, we’d pirate it. We had an unlimited and completely endless amount of digital gaming entertainment, and I thought I loved it. I justified it to myself by saying I “grew up” and went to college and got a real job, so I “deserve” this. “I can do whatever I want now that I did the “adult” thing” is what I would tell myself, and others. But I was wrong. I was a slave and trapped to this mindset, but didn’t realize it at the time. I looked at it as though I achieved what every guy wanted. A man-cave as big as a house, and I loved every minute of it.

    Fast forward 4 years. I’m 24 years old, have been steady with the girl I want to marry for 3 years now, still at the same company (which is a good thing), have been promoted 4 times in 4 years, and life is great. But I still have what I recognize as an addiction to gaming, and it took me up until a week ago to finally call it an addiction.

    The way I describe it to my friends/family/girlfriend is a constant “need” to push everything and everyone aside to play video games. I was viewing gaming as a “state of rest” instead of a hobby. I was burning through the day to get home, ignoring or being jaded towards friends/family just so I could sit down in front of my 2000$ PC and game. Gaming became more of a lifestyle than a pastime. I found myself always thinking about it. When hanging out with friends watching movies, I would think about going home and modding Skyrim. When with my girlfriend camping I would find myself thinking about new money making schemes in EVE Online. I realized that I was viewing the real world as the temporary world. I was viewing it as just several motions to get through each day in order to get home and get back into the pixel worlds I poured my life and countless $ into. Then, not even a week ago, on a Sunday night while lying in bed, it hit me. The “What am I doing?” feeling. I have a great job, a great girl, and a great life, and it’s passing me by every single day because I’m shoving it all aside just to get home and shutout the real world. And for what? For a new spaceship in EVE? For some stupid 100% completion achievement that means nothing on Steam?

    I uninstalled 90% of my PC games last week, and plan to finish uninstalling the rest tonight. It took me twentysome years to realize that I have a life outside of the virtual ones I have been building and maintaining for over a decade now. I look out the window of my office or around me while sitting at a red light and things just seem so much different now that I’ve sort of just “clicked” into this new and fresh mindset. The only games I’ve been playing for the last week are extremely simple-stupid pick up and play co-op games with my girlfriend on our Wii-U, and I feel like a kid again. We will play for a little bit and just put it down and move on, and it feels so nice to view it as a hobby again, and not some necessity that I need to grind towards while shutting everything else in my life off. I can go on walks in the park now without feeling like I am “wasting time” because I’m not home on the PC playing games. I am still very new to this “kicking the addiction” mindset, so I am unsure on how I will go about continuing to do it. I’ve gone through multiple things in my mind, like giving my GTX 980 (graphics card for my PC) to my friend in another state to hold onto, to just relaxing and slowly easing back into pickup and play games ONLY and not MMOs. Either way, I know that I am on the right track. Even if I am just in my infancy of kicking this addiction, I feel great about myself, and what I am doing. I could write so much more, and in so much more detail, but I now realize that I am probably the longest comment on this article.

    I wish all of you the best of luck. Each and every one of you need to find what works for you. Whether that is quitting cold turkey, or setting a schedule, or dropping a certain type of game genre, etc. Just hang in there, and find what works for you. You’ll know its working when you feel great, and proud of yourself.

    • Ragna

      Hey, I hope you get this reply man. This is what I am going through right now, only my getting hooked started later (around 20 or so) and I just turned 33 and have a 6 and 3 year old. Just last night I went through the whole “deleting most games” phase and I’m about to start selling off most of my stuff as well. Another thing I did that helped was deleting all the video game sites and videos I read and watched online. Not having those pop up all the time really helps. Before I read your comment I was just thinking about how games used to be such a fun side-line entertainment, something to do when there wasn’t anything else to do. I miss that.

      I also thought through, realistically, how many waking-hours I have spent in games the last 10-12 years. The results were…frightening to say the least. Literal years of life just gone, poof. Now don’t get me wrong, I still kept my home, family, and work all in order, but like you it was always about “when can I play, how can I play.” This has lead to a *lot* of very late nights or times where I ignore “small” but real things in order to play more. I’ve realized that cannot happen any more. There is so much more that I want to do and help my family do. Giving up the not-so-horrible for the amazing will be a trade well worth making.

      A huge reason I am dropping most of it is because I don’t want my kids to have to deal with it. I want them to have a real childhood, not one made up of pixels and polygons. Keep up the good fight man! It will be totally worth it. If you ever need to talk or need encouragement, write me any time. 🙂

  • Siddharth Chauhan

    hey nice one this will help me I am game addicted and my problem is that I spent more hours on game staying silent not talking that I cant talk smoothly like I am learning it as child and thoughts hae became less drooping into my mind..i don’t understand many things I feel it too hard like I want to live easy and be in the room playing game on my phone only…

  • yuri leviev

    Im a teen whose grades are all over the place from 1B too 2C’s and then 3F’S I’M screwed and my dad just took the console from me and now all i feel is as i was in a drug trance and now im stuck craving that high and im all alone and lost it’s only been 23 hrs since this started to me and all i can think of is will i ever get the console back will i pass 10th grade willl i be a the dumbass i am or can i change my life atarting today please explain to me what i should do

  • Matthew Andrades

    Thing is i’m not sure if my case is an addiction, i play Team Fortress 2 daily and i’ve been trying to keep it to 1-2 hrs of gaming per day, is that an addiction?

    Also i’m an artist that draws daily!

  • Roy needs a toy

    For me video games are an escape. Together with youtube videos and anime. I use them to escape my own thoughts as I’m scared of them. I am scared of having free time. It makes it hard to quit. At the same time I only have a year left of middle school and really need to focus on this as I pretty much skipped two years.

  • Hari Nair

    Thank you, This really helped me end my addiction. I was addicted to Gta and Minecraft. This helped me end my addiction

  • Libertarian Mum

    Dear LP,

    Many thanks for this helpful article. I’m looking for some help for my 16 yo son who plays games excessively and who, from time to time, has wanted to quit cold turkey. You have helped me accept that cold turkey may be required. I advocate moderation bc it is a more durable foundation for change. But not with addiction.

    My son is also dealing with social anxiety–it seems ironic that so many great young men do now. Of course, given the incessant vitriol poured onto males today, especially white males, it’s a wonder all boys don’t suffer anxiety. There is zero “war on women” outside Boko Harum. The west is really waging war on its men and boys. Everything that is great about men–their singleminded focus, their bravery and aggressive instincts, their initiative, resourcefulness and humor —- are reviled.

    One reason video games are so popular is that we’ve outlawed any pastime or playground equipment that appeals to anyone over the age of four.

    My heart goes out to the young men who have written in and have experienced so much sadness and hurt I am a libertari

  • Dimitar Arnaudov

    if you asking me to play video games is really good for because it makes you smarter and you acctualy dont get asocialaised because you are playing with friends most the time and you have a lot of fun and laughting it is just awesome to see funny glich in gta and acctualy if you are a gamer you maybe play Dnd or magic the gathering or another tcg or rpg game and these games are actaully sociallising you when i was younger i dont have much friends i had maybe 5 friends but i know i can trust and no we havent stayed at our homes and playng pc games or any kind of game yes we was doing that but when we play about 6 ours we go outside and play football with other childrens or basketball.And the games made me what im now im a pc expert in paris im well payed and i have good payment and i have life and she is a gamer like me even we meet ourselves at blizz con before 5 years now i have 5 years old kid and im still playng games and a lot of games but i have work and i still play dungeons and dragons and i go to mtg tournaments i must to say thanks video games you made me what im now.

  • modelcars87

    just wanted to share my story

    used to be addicted to video games of myself. remember some included phantasy star online and world of warcraft. used to play over 12 hours a day. sometimes not sleeping for days on (stayed up three days at a time). remember when some of these games came out, happiest moments of my life. spend a lot of my real life money in game (buying mounts, etc). obsessed with these things all the time. remember getting phantasy star online episode 1 and 2 when it came out for gamecube..had to be the happiest day of my life. so much joy when that game came out. used to watch videos all the time online. thought about it all day long (at school and everywhere i went). when i played the game, intense emotions came along with it.

  • Lyon

    Lyon
    I have played a lot of video games in my life. A LOT!!!!!!!. I have played every single hot halo game, spider-man, batman, superman, and TMNT game. Yet, when playing one game that I only played because I wanted to see who one secret character really was and really didn’t care about the gameplay itself is when I realized the game is useless and the only reason why I play the game is for the story not the actual game. During my epiphany, I realized that after I played video games I felt accomplished. I felt like I had achieved something. I felt like I won a million dollars. However, I then realized that I had accomplished nothing at all. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t do my homework. I have no friends. I didn’t go outside. I never talked to the girl I really liked. I didn’t get in shape. Therefore, by thinking of all the things that I haven’t done made me realize how much of a waste video games are. After stopped playing that time, I felt like my life hasn’t changed from yesterday. All the goals I wanted to accomplish this summer were not accomplished. VIDEO GAMES ARE A DRUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. THEY ARE THE MOST SECRET DRUG. VIDEO GAMES ARE JUST AS BAD AS MARIJUNA AND COCAINE. Think of the room that you play video games in as a happy place where you accomplish something. Then seal that place in a glass container. Put yourself outside this box but in a bad mood. Then think of all the things you haven’t completed. Like homework, exercise, major projects, girlfriends, friends, housecleaning etc. Then realize that video games are just a big lie. A big fake. Instead of playing Batman, grab a comic book. I once read a comic book based on a popular video game and I really enjoyed it. It felt like I was playing the game with all my favorite characters and I was also reading fantastic story that brought all the cool elements of the game to the book. At the same time it felt like a movie. Additionally, it was short and fun. It is not as long as war and peace and it is not as short as one level in a video game. It is was just the right length to provide you some entertainment and then it was over. There it is society this was my experience with video games. It was a long one. LONG ONE. Now I am top of my entire grade in all subjects. I am finally dating the girl I really realty liked. I am in good shape. Training in martial arts. Lastly, but not least FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Goldendoodle29

    I am 12 years old and am going into 7th grade. Ever since I first installed a certain video game (just after school ended) I can’t stop playing. I have a perfect 4.0 GPA in school, I play the violin, I exercise constantly, and I love to sculpt. I don’t want video gaming to ruin my already perfect life. How do I stop my rapidly growing addiction before it’s too late!

  • Amazefur

    I hope this helps me. Going to try the the things u suggested. Will reply when j break my addiction. (Hopefully)

    • Amazefur

      :k I’m addicted because I have an overrash of acne which undermines my social skills 🙁

  • Aurijus

    I was just about to buy gaming computer. I’m glad I done a Google search “video games addiction” and found this article. Once again, I was reminded of the awesome life outside computer. Bought ultra book instead 🙂 considering the fact I just started studying – it was a good choice.

  • Jono

    I’m really struggling and I have been stuck in this addiction for 4 years it is still happening when I type this up but after reading this I hope to slow down the gaming rate and start to go to the gym or just generally go outside more. Thank you for making me realise the reality.

    Jono, age 15

  • Alain

    Great stories everyone.

  • Tian

    I like your blog

  • Blank

    Thankyou writer . N my story yea, this is how it begins…….. 1st day of the summer vacation and i hav nothing to do. Then i download a game find it interesting n start playing it. Time goes on and i get totally addicted to the game. I keep playing the game for over an year n i come to know that i this addiction is not good. I tried alot of thing like making time table n stuff like that. But i would only follow it for a day or two n get back playing the game. When i realize i hav to get rid of this addiction i read this article n decided to delete all the games . the day i read this article and deleted all my games , it changed my life………..

  • Baltek

    I had to be dumped by three girlfriends in a row to open my eyes. I completely changed my life, lost most friends-imposters in a process but I met new people. Every night and every day is worth it. 2 years alcohol free, 7 months video games free, 4 months smokes free. There are more important things than fear !

  • FoodsAvenger

    Yeah the same kind of thing happened to me.All my life I had been the “super smart kid” who would always score straight As in school.i still managed to keep that title when video games took over my life but it was incredibly difficult.i used to read 3-5 hours a day and when I started playing video games,that went down to 30 minutes a day, if I read at all.I started to start my homework at 9,be rude to my parents,and just in general be a worse person then I was before.I literally just made myself go through withdrawal for 6 months,meaning no video games at all!It was probably the hardest thing I have had to do in my life,but now the only time I play video games is on the weekend for an hour,maybe two.I read for 4 hours a day and do my homework as soon as I get home.i have time to learn to play the guitar,do more religious studies,and spend a lot more time outside.I have gotten my life in order,but boy it was tedious.the only thing I can recommend to others with the same problem would just be to make unishments for playing video games,but most importantly,go through with them.And make them severe.This might not make sense but if you play even let’s say an hour,you are not allowed to do some of your homework.That fear of your teachers getting mad at you will encourage you to do your homework,and not play.That’s all.peace out

  • Valentino Pereira

    Hi author,
    This is a very nicely written article. You have found your way out.. hope for myself and others to find ours 🙂 have a nice day

  • Carlos

    My mom keeps on deleting my games on my computer…
    i dont know what should i do but download it again…
    Help

  • Zach

    One thing I would like to say adds to the idea of perspective (I’m sure I will lose topic some). I am definitely a video game addict. I think there are many reasons for this. I have always assumed that people will not like me or enjoy my company. I have always assumed that my presence was a waste of space in the room (I have spent years finding the underlying reason to this and have found it – my father left at birth and my mother was a heavy drug user, who left me to feed myself and take care of my own needs when i was too young to speak full sentences). I’m not sharing this for pity – I want people who read this to look at themselves and their insecurities and be able to find where these insecurities start. When you find the beginning, it is easier to find the finish. You can’t start an extremely difficult maze from a random point in the middle can you?

    Back to the idea of perspective. So, because of my self-worth issues (and others of course – we are always more complicated than we think) I resorted to playing video games, where people didn’t look at me like I’m some alien, disagree with my values, hate my language choice and lack of verbal filters, look down on me, etc… I think you get the point here.

    However, I met someone who (forcefully) placed themselves into my bubble (more like fortress of solitude). This person made me realized something crucial. I AM VALUABLE. It wasn’t a sudden epiphany though, so everything this person told me, I contradicted in my own mind and continued to play video games. In fact, someone telling me that I was someone with worth, for some inevitable reason, made me spiral further into this addiction of video games. It also seemed to hurt my self worth at the time, rather than boost it (don’t let your self-contradictions rule you – i.e. someone says, “You’re a really good singer”, and in your mind you think, “no I’m not, screw you. Stop lying to me. Just shut up.”, when in reality, you’re the next Taylor Swift. Understand and realize your own skills and abilities, whether it is music, business, the gift of gab, or like me, your greatest attribute is the ability to listen without incurring judgement upon someone. You have a skill or an attribute, believe me.)

    My own attribute (the ability to listen), became what I used to start creating relationships. I found myself lacking, however. I still felt inadequate and couldn’t hold on to these relationships. It was because I was holding on to the belief that everyone actually still hated me, but used me to vent their problems and worries. In other words, I had a long way to go before I could trust my own heart and mind (This is crucial. Don’t blame others for not meeting your expectations, but that’s another tangent.). IF YOU GET NOTHING ELSE FROM THIS, LASTING RELATIONSHIPS ARE A TWO WAY STREET. That was what I didn’t understand at the time. I felt used because I never shared my own heart or thoughts. So, for those with the gift of gab, remember to ask questions and understand the people around you (I’m not being accusatory, I’m merely saying it is easy to forget this fundamental when you love to talk). Not everyone will like you, but remembering that relationships are a two way street will allow you to find your friends and future partners.

    So, because of that, I ended up putting in over 1000 hours of League of Legends in about 2 1/2 to 3 months. All of these kindled relationships died and I wondered why nobody liked me. The truth was, I hurt them, they didn’t hurt me. In fact, even though I’m an intimidating person, some of them made an effort to see me sometimes, but, like anyone, their will for this died. It takes a lot of effort to talk with someone who wont say anything.

    I eventually started to see the truth of my actions and the evidence of a video game addiction. I also came to know God during all of this, which saved my life and my heart. God had used so many people to help me see that I am worth being loved. This is when my epiphany began. Video games are an addicion for many, and if they are for you, don’t hesitate to stop playing them. Like the writer of this article, i have stopped and started video games, just like my nicotine addiction. Each time i came back to it, the addiction was worse. Be strong brothers and sisters and God bless.

  • Gamer Forever

    I think i have an addiction to video games. I’ve said it. I’ve denied it for years. But I truly believe that I have an addiction to video games. Hell not just video games. Games in general. I don’t care if it’s a board game, a word game, a card game, a game of pretend, or hell even a sport if i’m desperate, I’m addicted to GAMES. And here’s the kicker. I KNOW i’m addicted, and I DON’T WANT TO QUIT. So now what? I spend every day wishing that I wasn’t doing whatever it was that I was doing, and instead playing a game. I actually started exploring ways to run an online business, because I want more time to play games. So what do I do? I’m addicted and I don’t want to quit. How do continue? How do I make a living for myself when I can’t find the mental motivation to do anything except play a game?

  • Anon Swimmer

    I’m a competitive swimmer, have been for most of my life, now. When I was young, I was super into Gameboy games and playing games with other people through the Gameboy connector cable. As I got older (and got better at swimming), I started playing a lot of Call of Duty on the Xbox. It was harmless fun and I would play all day on the weekends and when I finished my homework. At this point, most people would say I wasn’t addicted yet, and I didn’t think I was then, either. Not too long after, I discovered the wonderful and “limitless” world of PC gaming. In 2010 is when I really got into PC gaming. I downloaded all the best games off Steam like Portal 2 and Garry’s Mod and Fallout: New Vegas and the like. Then came Minecraft, and that’s when I really started to recognize a problem. The sad thing is, I didn’t care. I was getting really good at swimming and just played games on my off hours. In 2011 I had a blowout with my parents over video games when they discovered me awake at 1:00am playing Minecraft and Skyping with friends on a school night, with swim practice at 5:45am that morning. They took away everything I owned that was electronic and either sold it or hid it from me. Only now can I say that they did it for my best interests. Fast forward a few months to January of 2012; I discovered a mobile MMO (I had it on iPad) called “GraalOnline.” It was the best thing I thought I had ever played. I am a huge “people-person” and loved making “friends” on the game. I started sneaking downstairs to grab my iPad every night and play under my covers until, at the earliest, 12:00am. This was EVERY NIGHT. There was a group system called guilds and I started my own guild with a bunch of the people I had met on Graal. We started capturing “towers” together. Thing is about towers, you could hold one indefinitely if you had members online for long enough. I started meeting people from Australia to cover mornings and days of towers and I would cover nights. I stopped doing homework, stopped studying, was sleep depraved at swim practice every day to pursue what I thought was “fun,” at the time. This went on for 2 years, with only a few breaks every now and then where I would get some sleep. In 2013, I had a horrible year of swimming and my grades were plummeting in school. I maintained a C-average and I was going much slower in swim than I had a year before. I actually told myself that I didn’t know what was wrong with myself. My parents discovered my Graal addiction when they found one of email accounts I had set up behind their backs to keep in contact with random members of my guild across the globe. They didn’t yell or sell all my stuff, but just talked to me. I recanted and everything seemed to be going swell for about 2 months. During all of this, I had been playing video games on my laptop at school with a group of gamer-friends. We loved gaming and talked about new games and played them every day at lunch and even during class. After I quit Graal, my sleeping hours moved to allotting time for PC games. In December of 2013, my parents got me a brand-new Lenovo Y-50 for Christmas, one of the biggest mistakes they’ve ever made. They got it for the purpose of school; they wanted a computer with a strong processor for when I would have to go to college, and, being in a college-prep school with all-Honors courses, it would be good to have such a good PC. When I got this PC is when I really got into gaming, as if I wasn’t already into it enough. I downloaded all the games that were on the news and played them every night and day with my “gamer friends” from school. When I wasn’t swimming, I was thinking about gaming or gaming. During class, lunch, taking a shit, whatever; I would be gaming. My parents found out in late January that my addiction was worse than ever and deleted my Steam account (which, turns out, is not actually possible. you can easily get the account back by giving proof of ownership; an easy task) and every backwoods email they could find. My dad had IT guys from his company place a tracker on my computer’s activity. Naturally, I found out how to loop it around and disable it so it just looked like it used word document and chrome and that’s it. I decided that “big” games were too risky and I stopped playing the “high-res” games. That’s when I got into the MOBA, League of Legends. Let the record show that I still love League of Legends. I think it’s a good game that properly implements creativity and strategy, along with teamwork and individual scoring. My swimming was still meh at this point and my grades were okay. I became really good at League and played it every night and, last time I checked, logged over 1.5k hours in the game by this last September. As of September, I stopped playing games at all of my OWN will this time, it being my Senior year in High School. I cold turkey’d. I didn’t play video games from September until, actually, last night, when I found the spot where my parents hid my computer. I’ve been doing really well in swimming since I stopped staying up late playing and my grades are better than ever and I’ve been averaging a 3.9 GPA. Long story short, my parents discovered me playing last night and now I’m a sleep depraved mess at school, taking midterms and slobbering on my phone while I type this. Take my story and realize that gaming is a temporary pleasure that is not worth the stress it puts on you and the time and the money you put into things like League of Legends. I have never shared my story before and, after last night, I’m glad I finally am.

  • bleh

    bullshit you are just trying to prove yourself right “the world is an illusion” what the fuck does that mean? i think you still have an addiction because you wrote this whole article just hating on video games your kids wont be super athletes most of the time and its totally normal to play its the new fucking generation people enjoy it. my mom said i was addicted but i look back and at some point i might have had one when i was 9 and a little squeaker playin cod yellin HAYCKER HAYYYYYYYYYCKER. but i developed out of that, i get great grades and i have days where i cant game every week. just because you play a lot and if you got a new ps4 and thats all your thinking about doesnt mean you have an addiction. now some people do have addictions like dattowatto he plays destiny 24/7 but dont let your parents get you down keep playing and beleive me the whole gaming community is behind you theres nothing wrong with gaming. and i came to this article because it seemed legit but it wasnt just some person trying to sound smart so i had to poste something for this fucker im sorry i mjust hate people who say stuff like this,

  • Charles Kleckner

    Is playing with football cards a good hobbie to take your mind off video games but I know a hobbie that can take your mind off video games is magic I practice magic and it takes my mind off of stuff

  • GamerGirl

    Video games are for people who doesn’t have dreams on their life, or a goal, or feels lonely, has a big amount of stress, confused off road, has a horrible parent that doesn’t even know they’re just being horrible (i mean, they’re not horrible, they try to do their best, but horrible ways of supporting their child), or needs to push everything away and just… you know, enjoy! Have fun! In. Your. Life. For. ONCE.
    When you come back from school, that boring school…. and enjoy! But your parent says you have to do your homework- it’s so irritating, isn’t it? It’s not their fault! Seriously, they prevent you from getting in trouble. Just when you come back, do your homework and- wait! No games, not yet..
    Game addicts, I’m proud and very much impressed you even came to this web.
    You already know it’s wrong. I feel so happy. What are YOU interested in?
    Maybe you like coding with computers! Maybe you can do that 1 hour!
    But game for 1 hour keeps bringing you back. Because you want to finish it fast. Come on, what about outside skills? Maybe martial arts because your character in there looks so cool when fighting! Oh, that actually sounds cool. Maybe you like animating! Something interesting, but not addicting. Gaming, don’t waste your days on one social talent. I LOVE games, like SERIOUSLY. I LOVE IT. I get so mad when they say it’s just a waste of game.

    Parents, don’t say that! That can be offensive! What if someone said: kids are waste of time. Just pains for moms! There you go: you’re angry. You might get just now offended, comparing this to a- “this game”, but please, for your child’s sake.. understanding is what comes first. Please get in something they’re interested in. If they want to learn something besides game, then say you’ll let them try if they get an A in their grade if they’re falling low.

    Please, game addiction can be just…. a regretful, sad, life-wasting thing to have. ADDICTION, not game! Game is fun. :3
    It’s da best, around!! *ahem* sorry. X3

    Well hope this helps even tho its been like 3 years. 😀

  • _____

    I Liked this a lot. I don’t know how its gonna turn out but I hope i get past my addiction. I am the equivalent of a sophomore in high school in the US. I have low self esteem, and videogames always helped me escape from my boring self. Lately they have been a probem because after school, I go home, play videogames, eat,play some more before going to sleep again. As a result I am extremely unproductive and my grades are falling. I figured it had to end now. So I just read that and I’m going to try my best to resist from that temptation.

  • blah

    I never realized i was addicted to gaming. For the last 3 years of my life, everything has gone bad for me. I lost my family. I lost the girl i loved for several years. I lost all of my friends. I failed in all of my university exams( most of them). And to actually think that i was one of the top 20 students in the country at one point of time. I fell to gaming. And i still am addicted. And i guess it s because i just don’t know what to do if i stop doing that. My life right now, is empty. Maybe if i had not lost everyone i held close to all at once, i wouldn’t be here. Where i live, there are no self help groups. And awareness about this is minimal, if at all it exists.
    I ended up making spare time to spend on gaming. Because that was the only place i won again. Where i felt like i wasn’t useless or abandoned. Where i didn’t lose.
    Going cold turkey, that scares me. Simply because, if i do, the emptiness will be too vast. Similar to an abyss of nothingness. Those many years ago, when i was a straight -A student and school topper, i never expected i would see myself in this position today.
    I don’t know who to turn to help for. Or what to do.
    I just wrote this here because of some distant innate hope somewhere that somebody would listen.

    • Karrigan

      I don’t know how old you are but its not important how we start but how we finish, someone told me that;). Ok you failed but unless you are 70 now, you still can make things right, go to school again or just pick up some job. With love, being lonely and such – love will yet find you, maybe it wont be that girl but believe me there are many people on this world who had been romantically dissapointed and they managed to find new love later – sometimes even deeper love. You seriously need someone to talk to, something to give you this hope, light in tunnel. Maybe a priest, monk, or psycholog? Maybe you dont dare going back to real life because it feels like its nothing there? Don’t focus on past, on failures. Focus on what you can do to make next day better. Try by doing small things, small achievements (like “tomorrow I will go for 1 h walk) that will make you believe that you can be in controll of yourself. Then you may gather enough strength to go cold turkey after some time. Try, try and try. Watch some motivational things like Biggest Loser (people trying to lose gigantic weight, food addicts) tv programs, documentaries about resilient people who didnt give up and reached heights in the end (did you know Einsten was told in elementary school that he wont be any good in future?), even stupid Naruto anime (first season) shows that hard work pays in the end, that giving up is always worse than trying and failing.

      I find my peace in christian belief…

  • Marvolo riddle

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I have gone cold turkey on and off for a few years now but there are stints where I binge game on the ipad or online flash games. I blocked the flash game sites and deleted my ipad games but since those are so much more accessible, what do you suggest in terms of dealing with them? I lol’ed when you mentioned re-downloading steam games and stopping them halfway. That has happened to me multiple times!

  • Zahir khan

    thank you

  • Jarrid Favreau

    Im 16. I have ADHD .ive had my gaming addiction for 10 years. when i was six, my cousins gave me a gamecube, thats when it started. My parents tried to regulate me, they used to try to limit me to 1 hour a day, of course, that was never enough. theyd hide it on me, and i would do ANYTHING to find it. Then when i was like 9, i got my wii, that became worse, and my parents gave up on trying to limit me. i still had no friends and the only reason i never failed school was becasue i wasnt in high school yet. so, in grade 6, i was given a laptop for school because of My IEP. That was the beginning of the spiral. I would spend every breathing minute on that, it was slow, but i didnt care. i would watch youtube videos of my games when i couldnt play. so once i hit grade 7, i made my first friend, and of course, whats the base of our relationship?? Gaming.. i made another friend through him too, same interest. so i played on average 11 hours a day by then, i would use my neighbours wifi, and i discoveveed the world of mmorpgs. since i never had money, i always played free games. then 2 years ago i got my laptop & ps4, that was the worst choice yet. i average between 18- 22 hours most days, and on schools days, its normally the second i get home at 3 till my parents kick me to bed at 12. i used to bike to the library every single day and use the computers there, i spent 2000$+ on my online games, and i never had a job, i stole money from my parents, my sister & any money i had went to my games, i would buy pre paid visas. my ps4 and pc cost me 3000$+, all my money i earned in the summer working. my parents no longer give me wifi, i cant stop. i used to take my ritalin for my adhd at night so i could sneak downstairs and play all night. the most ive played before without sleeping with my meds is a week straight, i passed out in class on the 7th day. my parents locked up everything. i cant control it. i still play like 14 hours a day, yesterday was fathers day. i felt like shit, i forgot about my own father, and spent my entire day playing a game ive beat 3 times. im still struggling with my depression since 2 months. im on anti depressants now and they seem to work. im seeing a counselor, i know i need to stop. i wanna stop, but at the same time i dont. ive never even remotely had a girlfiend, my mom hates me, my twin sister cant bear being in my house anymore. my dad just watches, keeps saying i gotta stop. bu i dont know how. ive never done anything else. ive spent my life on my games. How the fuck do i just stop something like this?? Please… if anyone has advice or tips please, cuz i dont know what to do anymore.

    • Dianny Helper

      You have ADHD, do you go to psycholog to talk or are you just diagnosed? Tell your parents that you have to go to psycholog because you cannot controll your addiction and because you want to change, to stop playing, to have normal life. I am sure they want normal life for you too so talk to them. In any other case as I gave advice to boy above your comment, try talking about your problem to caring school teacher or usual doctor (they can send you further to psycholog too I think).
      Another advice is that you need to see perspective, to get out of that situation mentally. All you think of now is school and games but whole life is not just it. It is hard to see as teenager but there are other things in life that can make you happy than just games. You have to try searching for that other things.

  • John Smith

    All of these paragraphs. They were magnificent, they would describe me and those who have an addiction to something and can’t deny it, I’ve had months where I quit playing video games, and times where I cannot stop playing them, thank you!

  • goldunicorn

    i think i have an addiction. ok im typing this because so far i havent slept in two days i also havent eatern. i barely eat or sleep i just play video games and computer games and use my phone. i have been this way for two years. i am 13 but my parents dont know about how much time i spend on my technology they just think its something most teenagers do. The thing is i cant go eat my dinner without having my phone or tablet with me. i dont want to die and i honestly think my body has adapted to this lifestyle i have. my parents are super healthy sort of parents so they never buy junk food its always organic and i just dont like their food so thats part of the reason why i dont eat and i also dont like sleeping it so boring and such a waste of time when i could be playing black ops instead. they also give so much attention to my older sister ( shes a drama queen with a new boyfriend every week she is always doing bad stuff) and my little brother is 5 so they also give him more attention thats the reason why they dont know how much time i spend on my video games. my addiction to video games and technology has gotten so bad that i often bunk school and go to my cousin who is 19 with his own flat and yh i bunk school and go to his house and play playstation and use the laptop. and then when i go home and my mum asks me why i was not at school (she would know because the school would call her ) i would just say i was hanging out with my friends. My parents dont really care about me bunking school because i tell them the reason i bunk school is because i am getting bullied which is partially true but i do go to school enough for my parents not to get a fine. is it bad that even when im at school at recess and lunch i go in the bathroom and play games on my phone and use sites i also bring my laptop to school and use it at lunch and recess. i also use my phone at school when the teacher is not looking. i dont have any close friends my video games and technology are my friends. i can eat if i can be bothered to pause my game and go downstairs but i just cant sleep it makes me so upset to have to turn off my ps3 and close my eyes and do nothing. life is so boring without my technology i could only last a week and i got so depressed. i dont know how older generations used to survive without technology. i know i could die without sleep and eating but its not suicide because i actually want to live like that i cant be asked to eat and im just getting bored of food and i would rather use my laptop then sleep. like right now i am typing this it is 03:04

    • Dianny Helper

      You are just a kid now, you cannot manage this addiction on your own. Best advice is to go to one parent that you know will listen and talk to you, tell him/her that you need to talk and to do it privately when they have free time (talking with busy parent is no good idea as they will just want to be rid of you instead of listening). Tell your parent same what you wrote here. Tell that you feel unhealthy both mentally and physicially, that you want and need to change because when you grow up you want to have good life and plenty choices of what to study. If you fail school now you will have very few choices what to work with and we all have to work, without job we cannot pay to live in flat, buy food or even stupid phone(and parents wont suffice adult kid forever). If your parents are ignoring you afterwards, make problems seem tiny, then go to school pedagog or teacher that is responsible for your class and talk. You may even try going to teacher you simply like most or if you hate them all try your doctor (you are unhealthy, this is enough reason to book time with doctor) – make your parent book visit.

      What I’m trying to say is that you really need adult help at this moment. It is hard to deal with addiction especially as kid. I know some people who grew up and failed school because of games and now most of them work way below their intelligence because they dont have required papers to go to college or feel too old for it. You dont want to be there, you want to have choice when you grow up.

      Maybe what you need is some goal that you will be trying to reach? I know man who decided he will be doctor when he was your age, needless to say is that he is almost finished with his school (yep becoming doctor) and all with flying colors, high grades and all. If you try thinking what you like doing (like some sport, some school topic, or some job you think sounds fun) then it will be easier to learn, to concentrate on reaching that goal (by having best grades in relevant topics, ok in other), try even reading on it outside of school time.

      If I was to advice you anything more then maybe talk to parents if they can make some normal food for you or ask if you may make some on your own and just do it (ask mom to teach you). You are growing now and its vital that you get right food for you and that its tasty too. If your mobile is such problem maybe don’t use one or get some very old model (with no internet, not smartphone) and use it instead so you can still keep contact with parents.

      I know you know what you need to do but part of addiction is that its really hard to drop it, to stop, to change. That is why its best you talk with parents seriously and tell them how bad you feel, be yourself, say truth. They want your best even if you may think otherwise. They will surely understand, just they think you are boy, you are tough and will make it no matter what. Tell them that you need them.

  • FITRI

    I need your help with my video game addiction. Im in college now so i can skip classes and play the game. I did do that because i am too attached to the game. Even before i started playing video games, ive struggled in my studies. No matter how hard i tried to study, close my phone, turn of the tv, and even not paying attention to any messages, i still can study. I wanted to tell my parents that i can’t study properly like other people can even though ive tried too but I can’t tell them because im too scared. Recently this morning i just got my finals from my college semester 4 results, ive failed all the subjects and one of the subjects i almost pass but didnt. I dont know how am i going to twll my parents that i can’t fully focus in my studies even when im not playing video games. Its been hard for me to see my siblings get good marks and my parents being proud of them but not for me. Please reply me as i can tell you more what had happened. Thanks for your time to read this.

    • Dianny Helper

      I may give no good advice but I will try. First of all problems with learning can be caused by many things like disturbing environment, you having problems to focus on 1 thing at time (common) or anxiety, feeling that you will not understand what you learn anyway. Some people can play just a little and live life but it depends on where
      we are in our life at the moment and on person self. You have serious
      problems, talk to parents, explain to them that you struggle, maybe need
      some psycholog help.

      Games are problem for some, try and decide to stop playing untill some date (like when you are done with school). Take a free weekend and play A LOT, all games, whole day from early morning to late night untill you feel sick tired of it. THEN after that on monday uninstall ALL games, clean computer totally(reinstall), throw game passwords away.

      When you will stop playing it will feel awful on next day when you will automaticly want to turn on PC and some game but you won’t have any. Then it is important to do your best to try thinking of other, pleasant things. Don’t replace thinking of “I want to play” with “I have to learn” because it won’t ever motivate you, just make u more anxious and willing to install games again. Plan some other activity instead of gaming like going to gym, going for a walk/run, baking/cooking some delicious meal from receipe, painting or such. Do it as replacement (ofcourse not in 8 hours:)) to gaming and try thinking of it whenever you want to play. I have sweets addiction and I have learnt that its important not to give in, not to think about how nice to give in, just change topic of thoughts instantly to other things, it helps.

      To deal with school problems try some books about learning techiques, or just try this simple tomato technique where you learn for about 20-30 minutes and then take 5 minutes break (repeat that a few times) so that you train to concentrate. If you are behind with school knowledge you may need some extra help. Try searching youtube for topics you need to learn, its way more pleasant to watch a cool video. Finally don’t learn from books at computer table or anywhere near it or near tv. You associate that places with gaming and it will be hard to change it. Maybe try library at school or other room or move computer somewhere to corner so it doesnt feel like central part of your environment.

      All in all don’t give up, decide to stop and stop playing, say STOP. If you fail on the day after, just repeat process, uninstall crap and try again. It is better to try than just give up and nobody gets better without trying (and failing a lot).

      Lastly I want to tell you to try to think in longer perspective. Now it is important years of your life, first 30 years of life usually decides for person what he/she will be working with. If you give up you may have very narrow choices in future.We never live inpast, we live in future. If you make that effort now in a few years you will be done with school foever, have nice job and then nobody can tell you what to do after work – nobody will expect you to do homework;).

  • Sergio Elias

    Hi im Sergio I’m 14 years im addicted to video gaming it all started when i was an 7 years old kid who had a brother who hits me like im his enemy in that time my father bought me an computer i felt so happy playing on him (i loved him like a brother to me cz and i dont have one)
    After a while i started from one hour a day to 2 to 3 after that i realized i was pretty good in gaming (i was like 10 years old) so everything changed i felt special a boy like me finish an offline game in 20 hours i was incredible but that offline shit wasnt the real deal hear i had friends lots of them i played soccer i was cool
    I skiped playing 1 and a half when my brothers friends showed me the way to a free shooting game called GRP (Ghost Recon Phantoms) i spent a hole 2 years playing the game ( cz then my brother was more agressive then ever ) i couldnt do something about my problem he still hit me for know so a year ago got dota 2 and gta 5 online to play i quite happy started to play like i will dye if i didn’t 9 month my parent took the pc away i was very mad very angry didnt understand why did they take it my dad is nice he looked at me and sad dear sergio what are you doing is wrong people play on computer 1hour per day that sentence maked me realize he is right the computer was in locker locked in a key that my dad have after 5 weeks had to do something at 12:00 evryone was a sleep i was turned into a thieft stole that computer put it in my room started playing more then before!! I hoped my friends could help me but there efect was quit the opposite i was playing soccer a little but my friends plays computer too! While my problem remained with no resolve i readed all your comments all your story’s maybe its time too change i dont wanna lose my life i realize it today cz when i read this discussion i realized im addicted thx all for helping i resolve my problem and rewrite my story properly this is a promiss thx Libertian Preppers for lighting my way that was addicted

  • shellfish

    “It was only when I, myself, had decided to end my video game addiction that anything really started moving. I tried all sorts of things.”
    Well of course. I mean, if I had made that decision then I would need to be here. The problem is that I’m not making it. The problem is my mentality. Isn’t there anyway of making me want to quit?

    Anytime I seek help it’s always like this.
    1. You have to want to.
    2. List of obvious shit for doing it.

    • shellfish

      correction: wouldn’t (second sentence)

  • gelceea

    Gaming keeps me distracted from the communist scumbags taking over my country.

  • J.D. Amaya

    My friend, you are completely right. Video games are supposed to be entertainment. However, in my case, they were part of my life and I barely did a couple of good things in my childhood. I’m 18 years old, and up until now, I’m getting interested in many things that I never realized I could do before. My biggest problem was definately to socialize. It is thanks to my stepfather’s help that I could break this unhealthy addiction. Everytime I see a gamestop, I simply look to the past and remember my good times, and then I look to my future and carry on. I did a list of things I would like to do in my college years, and I’m motivated to do more things once I’m done with college. Gosh, it was difficult for me to leave that behind, but here I am! I’ve learned from my experience and other people’s stories that there are many things you can do in your life that are more entertaining and productive. At the end, we must know that our weaknesses lie somewhere inside us, and is up to you to decide what you want for yourself to happen in the future.

  • yayayaya

    I had an addiction with MMO games. I played a certain game since beta launch, and since then, my then boyfriend and I were avid gamers and we spent our days playing this game for 8 to 10 hours straight. He ended up quitting the game first, while I kept going. He said it was a waste of time, so I decided to play more and more. Then, I quit for a bit and tried to have a social life, which didn’t help me, because I was a full time student and working, I was still busy in my own head. Then, in 2011, I was pregnant, and I didn’t bother playing anything for 2 years, busy taking care of my family. I came back to said game when my child was 2 years old. Now I wasn’t too bad at keeping a track of my gaming time, because I was setting a timer and followed that… but it seemed to get worse because i was addicted to this game. At the same time, I was addicted and ignoring everyone around me, as I was depressed. I gave up the game again, and went back to school to be a nurse. That didn’t work out for me at all, and I ended up dropping out. I went back to work, and quitted about 5 jobs in 2 years. Fed up, my boyfriend broke up with me, but he let me stay home and take care of our daughter. I started playing that same game again, being worse in my life. I had no job, no nothing going on in my life but my child, who I got up to feed and go back to gaming without breaks. My ex tried to kick me out of the house, and then in a rage, I smashed my computer in front of them. My child cried… I needed to get help, so i got into some medications, and now I don’t let my addiction ruin my life anymore. I am now in school for teaching and it’s taking a lot of my time now, more than an MMO game. I write stories and I read a lot more now. I spend a lot of time with my child and my ex boyfriend, who if we can fix things up a bit, we can be together again. My boyfriend grew up when we had a child, and I should had been in his position. But I didn’t and i was living in my fantasy world at all times. The doctor said not only it was a gaming addiction I had, i also had post partum depression as well, and some anger issues. I had to get help for all of this. Now I’m feeling so much better in life, and games are just a time killer, and more importantly, it does wreck your life when you have no one to talk to or be around.

  • Rusty

    Huh, the thought of being addicted to video games & online just hit my like a sack of bricks today. I used to spend alot of time working out, I really loved to fight & spar (still do). I was addicted with jujitsu, boxing.. thoughts of the sport permeated every waking moment. I had a really bad concussion after an oral surgery which led to me developing seizures. I’ve been seizure free for almost a year now.. but I went through a heavy depression after 6 months of total brain rest. I’m not supposed to fight anymore, so I played games & browse online since it hurts to move. I’m noticing how much it’s taking out of me, everyday I’m fighting to let go of the controller, I see my friends less unless it’s a game of d&d. It still hurts to move physically after my accident, but I’m tired of wallowing in self pity wondering what to do. I know it’s time to own up to my faults, but going through those same emotions of loss won’t be easy. Thank you for writing this article Prepper, & reminding me that I am not alone.

  • Rualani

    Fantastic advice, bookmarked.

  • Fragged Fert

    I feel slightly hopeless that this problem persists in me after 3+ years of disscusion. Overwatch came out this year and I’m once again addicted. I’m on the verge of digressing in life and I must make a choice soon, and I hope these strategies work for me in the near future. I think that most kids/younger people play to get good and have hopes of becoming a pro(at least that’s how it started) but it quickly turned into self achievement and progress. I believe video games can be stopped by going cold turkey and watch a motivational movie like “Steve Jobs” and keep watching more if needed because it will spark action rather than strengthing the cycle of gaming. Thanks for all the thoughtful comments; this thread should be posted somewhere visible.

  • Beta to Alpha

    Great article. Not sure how old it is but it certainly applies to today in my case. I’ve been addicted to video games and I know friends and family who are the same way. Whenever I would bring up the possibility of us being addicted to video games they would immediately dismiss it. Or change the subject. Or ignore me. Not once did I ever get something as simple as a “You might be right, but…”

    Suffice to say it was especially harder to break the chains of video game addiction and it is very hard to ignore going back with folks like this in my life. But I found something I want more than any video game can give me. So I’m posting this today as just another person in the world with an opinion and a goal: No more. I’m done and I’m not going back. I’m moving forward and taking control of my life.

    To put it quite simply: if I can do it, so can you.

  • Aleks

    I’m suffering from a pretty bad video game addiction. Video games were introduced to me at a young age from my dad as a desperate measure to get me to calm down (I was a crazy kid. ). Over the years I’ve been playing more and more, I’ve had a cousin that introduced me to games like World of Warcraft and Counter Strike, and from that point on it would just be getting worse. I’m a very introverted type of guy, and I’ve had friends that were also gaming addicts and my time with them was pretty much they’d invite me we’d sit there talking about certain games we were interested in playing and my friendships only got as interesting as that, there’d be the occasional “all nighters” we would pull and the LAN parties I’d attend. My life only got as interesting as that. My addiction got so bad as time passed on I’d put friends aside for video games. This ultimately killed off most of my friendships I’ve had with the friends I’ve had in my life. Going on to the present I’ve been trying to get into the professional gaming scene for the game known as Counter Strike: Global Offensive also known as CSGO. I think about the game when I’m not playing it, I’ve thrown about close to a thousand dollers on the game itself just in microtransactions. Nobody should have to spend that amount of money on a single video game, yet my addictions gotten so bad I feel as if fail to see the concept of money now because of this addiction. And the worst thing of all caused by my addiction, it’s effecting my post secondary education and grades, I’ve cheated on a thing or two to make more time for video games (not something I’m happy about believe me). I feel like reading the course material for longer then half an hour just makes my itch for video games crazy. I can’t pay attention to lectures because I think video games and I can’t force myself to study for things such as finals as long as video games are in my life. I’m going to have to go cold turkey on video games but unfortunately, easier said than done. I just hope for the best and that I can turn my life around.

    Oh and I’ve forgot to mention I’m only getting about 4-6 hours of sleep on average because I’m staying up late playing.

  • Arash Bathaei

    I was addicted to DOTA 2. I had played 3000+ hours on it. I was really good. From when i was 14 Up to my first semester in university my life had the same routine. In the beginning of a fiscal or normal year. I’d stop playing and focus on what I had to. But after a while, I had nothing to do. And I had some spare time and told myself:”you can play for 2 hours I guess”. Thus the vicious cycle started off again and again. I was popular in high school and was part of the rugby and wrestling team but I still played dota when I got home. But the last time that I quit, 2 things were different. 1)My body had gone out of shape and my grades started to slip.
    2) after the popularity was gone I realized that I’m ugly and not many people like me.
    Fear and incentives was my of forgetting DOTA. For my spare time I started going for runs and trying to find out my passion. I DID NOT substitute reading for video games because at the time I did not enjoy reading and one should never make a choice that they don’t find joy within it, or they’re going to switch back fast. I, personally, switched video games with math(Rubik’s cube, depology, maps, etc..), the art of cocktail making, and Japanese. One more thing that helped a lot as well was that whenever I felt like going back and playing DOTA, and desperately wanted to do it, I went on YouTube and watched a DOTA match in which my favorite team lost very badly (got owned). My thirst for DOTA was reduced that way and maintained. But, the time that I really forgot about DOTA was when I found a friend who had the same personality and characteristics as me, somebody who I thought was worth giving the world for. And the amount of joy I got from being around them was enough for me to forget about DOTA.

  • Mar’s, God of War

    Im trying to stop playing the one game im most addicted too, Heroes of the storm by blizzard. I went 2 months straight cold turkey, then i was on youtube then i found another game i played it and decided i was done for sure, but i think since playing that game, my urge to play hots was worse then ever. I got back in to the game for about 1-2 weeks then uninstalled it for sure. Couples days later i reinstalled it played for 2 days off and on, then uninstall it again, been going on for about 3 weeks now. Still going through this currently but this time i will keep it uninstalled. I was just about to reinstall it, but when i saw this article, I dont want to give in to it again ever. I started playing do Sparta: War of Empires, but I can manage that game though, unlike hots staying on tired. Up all night and til the after noon to go to sleep, im tired of that, im done with it.

  • Tony Fountain

    So far so good on fighting my addiction. A long time ago I use to astral project a lot until I started playing heroes of the storm then my gift began to not show. Now, I assume it’s from all the stress of that game. Yesterday I astral projected 😀 I read a chapter of Robert Monroe’s book, Journeys out of body which seems to increase my chance getting out of my physical body. My vision wasn’t to great when I entered the astral plane, but I’m well on my way to a future greater then video games.

  • Miner pekka

    I dont really get what do i do when i break my habbit couse thats pretty much the only thing i can do at home you might say that o well get hobbys or do sports or something like that
    sports just dont seem fun like i just exhaust myself whats the point and the mindset o eat healfy and live long doesnt seem like reasonable becouse if your doing something you dont want for a long time for nothing its pointless im 13 btw.

    • Tony Fountain

      Yeah thats a tough position because you cant even drive anywhere :/

  • Dillon Marquard

    Well my son plays WoW 24/7 and i was wondering as a parent should i let me skip school for a raid or not. in my opinion i dont think anything is wrong with this but wanted someones 2 cents, thanks.

  • Riley Edwards

    I am twelve and I have been playing video games since I was four and I haven’t been doing my homework (I’m supposed to be doing some right now) my teacher thinks I’m going to fail high school but I can’t make myself do anything and now I’m living without my 3DS/ life.

  • Simi

    I’ve been addicted to video games and the internet addiction since I was 9. I am almost 19 now. Over the last year or two I have gone on and off with playing video games, but my internet addiction has still always been there. I use the Internet all day almost everyday, it’s really bad. Today I downloaded a free video game from the App Store and have played that for the last twelve hours straight ever since I started playing it. But after playing it all day, I realised tonight that this is a set back and I need to stop, so I deleted it. I will now never play a video game every again, because I know it’s bad for me… Not only because “video games are bad” in general, but because I become addicted to them extremely easily. So for me personally, video games are never good.

    I still however suffering from internet addiction and I don’t know how to stop… It’s no where near as video game addiction for me, because there are so many things to do on the Internet, and the Internet is basically my whole life and has been since I was 9. So I really don’t know what to do without it. Any advice on how I can stop? Because it gives me so much anxiety knowing I’m wasting my life but I don’t know how to fix the problem, because I don’t know what else to do with my time. (I don’t currently have a job or study anything because of the following):

    I struggle with social anxiety and depression also and that is what started my internet and video game addiction. It was an escape from the real world, to get my mind of things and especially the Internet – I was able to anonymously talk to other people which I could not talk to people in real life, and there were also games where I could talk to people at the same time through the avatar. One of these games I played from 12 years old until 16/17 and that game completely took over my life, it was all I thought about, all I talked about, it was so bad. I am so glad I was able to stop playing it because it was such a waste of time and looking back, the game was seriously so stupid anyway.

    I am glad though I deleted all my social media (except snapchat but I hardly use it) and all my games on my phone. I no longer play my Xbox, wii, PC, Nintendo DS or PlayStation games (which I haven’t for a while except for two that I relapsed and played a few months ago) and I really want to get rid of them.

    Anyway yeah, video games are no longer a problem (just have a few relapses here and there but they are becoming shorter and farther apart) but still have severe internet addiction which I really want to overcome and get my life back.

  • Ardiel Salatamos

    what is the year this article posted in this blog?

  • SolaK

    I CAN live without video games. I’ll take physical activities over video games ANYDAY.
    Yet I know I am addicted to video games, namely tf2. I used to tell myself I will never be addicted, as my parents used to keep pestering and nagging about it. I don’t make spare time to play video games for now yet, but majority of my spare time is still spent on the screen. I’m genuinely scared for my life…Please tell me someone is in the same situation I am in!

  • William Long

    I’m pretty sure I have an addiction. I play for about 2 hours a day, some days much longer (weekends etc.) so I’m pretty certain in that respect. But my problem is that although I want to break my addiction because of all the harmful affects of having an addiction, I don’t want to stop video games. And I know you could argue that’s a symptom of my addiction, but I will argue that life is full of so many infesting things and hobbies you could be doing… and video games is one of them. I believe, truly, that video games can and are interesting, fun, engaging and in moderation, healthy.
    I know I’m obsessed with ‘beating the current boss’ or ‘new strategies to win’, but that’s because for me, video games are so deep. There are so many levels of interaction and so many skills to master, like teamwork, it’s like playing a real life sport.
    This has been rather long winded, but my point is there are so many interesting things in video games that I want to do, regardless of any addiction. So many creations to make in Minecraft, so many ways to improve my skills in Overwatch, not in a ‘beat the game’ way, but in a ‘I can improve’ mindset. So although I want to break my addiction, I feel going cold turkey would also cut me off from a lot of interesting and valuable things in life, that I can enjoy healthily.
    What should I do?!

  • NIX

    I can abandom gaming…its basicly my life…but i would Love to manage it…i readthe article…but…still.. I need to find space for games and other stuff that i dont rly know what is -but i know its not gaming….welll i need some help doing this

  • Anonymous

    (Sorry my English not good) I was always top maximum donated player in MMORPG games always spent lot’s of money until.Playing game regrading braking items then again paying buying again. First 2 year my friends gone then i started depressing my friends want to go out with me but i just telling them i have work to do. Then my love died and this just…
    I started playing mmo games 9-10hrs a day just think about it… Working, money not a problem for me 3000$ income for one person very very good. BUT i spent this money to s@# mmo games computer parts etc.
    One day i don’t know how but i was sleeping and i told my self hey what you done in 8 years ? Where you spent 288000$ ? Where your friends gone ? What happened to your house ? Why your family not communucating with you anymore ? Answer: Video Games-Computers.
    I started planning my life and first thing i did(belive me i did! i was angry at this time) just destroying computer selling all my mmo items for real money(79,000$ yes it is f@$#*%! 79,000$).
    Where i started first cleaned all my house fixed every and each broken things taked about 1 weeks. Luckly my friends are working with me together everyday and one of my friend asked me: Hey i know you have works to do but what about going China Restaraunt today everyone is coming and if you do we will be Happy!
    Woow i just feel luckiest person in this world and i told yes i can i don’t have any works to do anymore! I’m back! He just stucked little bit and told me wow you’re back our friends will be happy for this everytime we go out together talking about you we don’t know what happened to you but glad to hear you’re back!
    I released that this not an hard thing to come back to normal life. I started going workout building my body healty, doctor for checkup every 6 month i get back my family i love them.
    I get girlfriend and we are married now i have 2 sons 1 daughter i love them. We are going picnic, playing football, basketball every weekends. We doing really good.
    I mean why you play tons of hours that “MMORPG” they are just watching your eyes and telling you WE ARE SCAMMING YOU and STEALING YOUR “TIME” that given you only once and you should use this time carefully. Who knows when he/she dies ? What happens?
    Do you want play games ? Play them but only 30 min-1hr enjoy then just stop it. More you play more you addict.
    But nothing like real life adventures…