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How Video Games Controlled My Life (Beating Gaming Addiction)

Origin Of My Gaming Addiction

I’ve been thinking about writing about this for quite some time now and I’ve finally decided to share my experiences with video games and gaming in general. So here it goes…

It started out when I was ten years old and my parents bought me a PlayStation one, I couldn’t be more thrilled to play this. It is were I started to create a habit which would later become an addiction, what I didn’t realize at that time. I just thought I was a really fun and entertaining experience that couldn’t hurt at all.games-control

As time went on and I grew older I bought a PlayStation 2 were I spent most of my free time on. Games like Gta san andreas, resident evil 4, ratchet and clank, god of war, shadow of the colossus, and many many more. I played over 4 hours a day at minimum then.

My addiction reached it’s climax when I was 16. I got the PlayStation 3 eventually and trough online access and multiplayer games it became even worse. I played around 6 hours minimum each day!. I played games like GTA IV, red faction guerilla, motorstorm, battlefield, the elder scrolls. And off course the biggest of all; call of duty modern warfare 2. I got over a month of in-game playing time in that game alone. I looked like I hadn’t slept for over two weeks, was pale as day and pretty much didn’t carefor my overall health. Here’s a picture of me;

Before (Zombie-mode)                                                                                                    After 

gaming addiction zombie
braaaaiiiiiins

Snapshot_20140117_13

My PSN Gamercards;


–> http://psnprofiles.com/DarkStarz_


–> http://psnprofiles.com/IDark_Starz_

At those times I barely went out and my social skills were pretty lacking. I’ve hadn’t kissed a girl and knew inside me that this wasn’t the way I wanted to spent the rest of my life. I still was in good shape as I admired the heroes in the video games and wanted to be strong and healthy just like they were.

Changegames-1

I wanted this all to change! I became furious with myself and put my console on the attic but I didn’t have the discipline to stay away from it. I decided to find something else to concentrate myself on. I picked up fitness and weightlifting which was by FAR the BEST choice I have ever made in my life. I became stronger and saw results but was still spending way to much time on video games.

I become confident trough my training and got my first serious relationship at age 18. I still didn’t have much of a social life besides my girlfriend and didn’t really know what to do with my life. I was wandering aimlessly trough life which made me depressed.

I started reading books on self development and really focusing more on my hobby which later became my passion :) I started studying sport and made an active decision not to bring my ps3 to my dorm room. Butt off course I couldn’t help it but download other pc games for my laptop and play those when I had free time.

Until recently I’ve decided that life itself is scarce, I’m getting older by the day and I still want to experience so many more things in life and frankly video games aren’t bringing me any closer to my dreams.They are temporary distractions so I can continue my aimless existence. About three months ago I’ve made the decision to stop playing video games and actually start fucking taking control of my life!

By all standards I’ve had a unhealthy relationship with video games and would like to share some key tips in dealing with video games addictions. Even if you just play video games for relaxation, I still think it is best to quit completely.

Video games provide what you lack in real life and give you a feeling of satisfaction in many ways.

Here is a list of the thing video games give and more importantly, what they take away from you;

Achievement

Video games are based on completing levels and overcoming challenges which are rewarded by better gear, upgrades, experience points,.. . But ultimately you make no real progress at all. Everything in the game is just one big illusion. The ranks, levels, trophies, power, whatever, it doesn’t mean SHIT. You just think it does. At the end of a 6 hour gaming session were you stop because it is getting early in the morning and you haven’t slept yet, you have accomplished nothing!  My life wasn’t that fulfilling at that time since I had nothing to really live for. I didn’t know what direction I was going but still was able to get instant gratification from these games.

Importance

The whole world in the game is based around you, the protagonist. You are the star in the game and all the attention is aimed at you. You get to be someone who you are not, because you don’t really like who you are. You run away in fiction to escape from reality. In video games everyone likes you, wants to help you and wants to join in your missions. It isn’t real.

Clarity

Video games have structure and clear objectives to achieve. You know what direction you are going and why. Video games have a simulated purpose but also give you the freedom to do what you want. Sometimes they even become a second reality. You connect on deeper level with the character in the game then with who you really are. A reason why I played games is because I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go and these games gave me a false sense of purpose.

Escape

Video games make you able to do things you aren’t capable of in real life. Like flying, magic, shooting, extreme sports, huge epic battles. They give you surreal experiences which stand out above the dull and boring experiences you have everyday in real life. But it can be different if you spent more time in finding out the things you like and actually pursuing those.

How do I Quit?

#1) Pick up a New Hobby

(painting, drawing, writing, sports, creating, cooking, anything else, something that requires a real life skill, something you can do anywhere and you actually enjoy doing. If you can’t seem to find anything, look back at your childhood. At childhood we are deeply connected to who we are and instinctively do what we love to do. So this might lead you to new forms of entertainment or even hidden passions. In my case it was drawing, poems and crafts)

#2) Sell, destroy or remove console
games-destroy

Sell it, destroy it or remove it where you cannot get to it without help from someone else (store it in somebody else’s house), quit cold turkey. None of that “one hour a day” bullshit. Cause you will be wanting it even more if you keep tempting yourself)

#3) Disconnect

You’ll want to watch videos about video games and download new ones. Get a site blocker and delete any game you have remaining on your pc, doesn’t matter how much it once cost.

#4) Read Books.

Find new, real things you like and challenge yourself on a daily basis to reach a form of higher existence)

#5) Go out

Meet new people. Humans are social creatures and long for mental survival. even if it scares you. It is better to try something new and fail than not trying at all. All experience gained leads to a fulfilling live, good as bad experience.

#6 Get a reminder

Get a reminder where you can see it everyday. Remind yourself you are wasting valuable time you could be spending to build a better life.

“In the end our state is the manifestation of our minds. If we can change our mind, we change our life.

Update:
I’ve actually written an updated Ebook on “How To Quit Video Games“. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic or to know more about my story, send me a message. I’ll give you a free review copy of the book
16/08/2014

Essence

What I want you to take away from my experience is the fact that your life is pretty goddamn short. Don’t spend it on things that won’t give you a lasting sense of fulfillment and take conscious note of the direction you are heading in life.
So pretty much: Don’t be stupid, take control and kick-ass.

Anyway, I hope my story has made you see how destructive your gaming addiction can be and how you can fix it. If you’re having any thoughts or questions on this topic, feel free to share those with me in the comment section below. Take care!

Love

Simon,

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12 Comments

  1. Hey Simon,
    Thanks for sharing your experience! I really needed to be reminded I can never play again. I hope you’re still free from addiction. I would be very interested in you’re e-book if you’re still giving it away for free
    Kind Regards
    Bas

  2. Boy you got a lot to learn. Sounds to me you got a problem seperating truthb from fiction. I play video games around 20-30 hours a week. Yet i work full time and still take to obtain real life skills and then some. Your version of an “escape”. What in the world is you talkin bout? Those other things you named like reading,cooking,meeting people, etc they to are “escapes” as well. What I’m trying to get across is this. For people who don’t or do play video games everybody do somthing thats more or less habit forming wheather it be reading, cooking, dranking, having sex etc. And for the record nobody have or ever will “escape” from the real world. All that exist is the physical world and the possibilities we determine. Imagination rules the real world. I hope this had been food for thought.

  3. I do play alot of video games. As much as you did. And I am escaping reality but not because I don’t know what I want to do with my life but to have an experience that is otherwise impossible. Currently I am trying to build a career around gaming, because I am passionate about gaming and I love gaming. In the end I feel like you said gaming is a terrible thing but it’s not, it’s an entertainment medium like movies, tv, even art, so don’t just say it’s a waist of time.

  4. Please send any advice for how my boyfriend can begin the intervention we’re are fixing to begin…it’s all come to light as parents..

  5. Thank you Simon…. I know this is an old post… But I needed this. Please please please respond to the email I’ve sent you via this website. I am in need of someone like you.

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