It's really hard quitting games when you don't have something to fill the void. I found it's common for most gamers to binge tv shows and anime because they're so encompassing and provide that stimulus and dopamine rush we craved from gaming. I found that I had to focus on activities that could become a lifestyle. I started a podcast about hockey because I love hockey. It takes up 3 nights a week where I can't game at all. I also have something of a finished product each week. I also joined meetup, the app where you join groups for activities. Hiking and board games help me get my craving for adventure and talking with people out in a more realistic way and I've enjoyed it.
My advice to you is be patient and don't beat yourself up for not finding a new way of life yet. Try hobbies and write yourself letters of encouragement like you would to a friend on Facebook or email if they were suffering and you wanted them to feel better.
Good luck and keep planning ahead.
First of all, I like to shout out @Cam Adair, I had the opportunity to meet him about 6 months ago. He's doing a great job, I don't care what some people say about video game addiction, he helped the media shined the light on this issue, and I'm very thankful for.
So who am I? I'm just a 21 year old dude from Australia who has struggled with depression and social anxiety since 2012. I did play a lot of video games when I was younger, but I had a even flow with being social and the average GTA: SA play-though. In 2012, my mother, who I was close with, overdosed, and to our families dismay, she died on that day. tl;d(write), shit went south ever since.
I didn't care about anything or anyone. I lost friends, I started to fail at school, I spent over 4,000 hours on the Call of Duty series between 2013 - 2015 for Youtube. At the end of 2015, I had 120 days gameplayed on Mw3, I was ranked legitly high with an accuracy of 57% ~ top 500 in the world . But in my mind, that was okay, because I had nearly 500 subscribers, my best video was at 20k views, and I had 4+ videos with 2-10k views. But. The game died in the beginning of 2016.
2016 was the first year out of highschool, and honestly 2016 was one of the depressing times in my life. I don''t like to talk about suicide, but in the time period, it was nearly a daily thought for me. I didn't have a job, I had no friends, my family believed in my lie of "I'm taking a year break then Ill find work" I would go months without leaving the house. I played CS:GO for months, I even started to use cheats in the game. Yes, I'm that type of person I guess. I was at breaking point, I would punch the wall because "I miss a shot". I was in a toxic house hold which I won't get into, but I wanted to try and do something, try something new. I simply googled gaming addiction, and found this website.
I made an account on the August 26th, 2016. I didn't know what I was going to expect, but I found that the website had a journal, a '90 day detox'. I read peoples journals, they had similar stories than me, and a few days after joining, I decided to attempt the challenge. The challenge was physical pain, but I started to feel a little happier after a few weeks, it felt like finally I was doing something. But, like what depression does, it will always find its way to suck you dry, I went back to gaming.
Late 2017: Many fail attempts later, I still didn't complete the challenge. The closes was 82 days, playing video games again after this was the worst decision I ever did.
January 2018: I had to do something, anything. My suggestion was to study, so for the first time in years, literately, I went into a meeting room and applied for collage. Now I'm studying Networking. This transition was hard, I mean hard. I still remember my first day, shaking, I hardly could say my own name when we had to introduce ourselves to the class. I was never really a quite person in highschool, private, but never shy to talk to a crowd. It was always the 1 on 1 that always got me (still does). But of cause, I started to go home early, and to do what? Play video games. Oh, yeah, forgot to mention, I bendered PUBG hard. At this time, I was trying to keep my top 1% on the solo scoreboard, school came second, like always. I failed first term, this was a wake up call for me, I went back to gamequitters to start a journal again, realizing Cam was going to do a talk to parents an hour away from me . With his permission, a friend and me went to the talk, and met Cam. I stayed clear from video games in the second term, and funny enough, I passed everything.
Term 3: It felt like a fresh start, I smashed out 4 weeks worth of assessments out, I quit CSGO, I quit PUBG, I quit nearly all video games other than Piano Tiles 2 on my phone. I guess a little of Rainbow Six Siege wouldn't hurt? Like what I always did, I watched POV of professionals, I researched every inch of every weapon, I watched tutorials, wall bang spots, spawn kill spots, what operator to use and when. Man, I learnt a lot in two weeks... right? It turned out, I missed a month and a half of studying and assessments. I never felt so trapped in my life, how could I have not learnt from Term 1? I'm still angry when I write this. There was absolutely no time to finish everything. To stop stress, I had to sit down, and work out which test I was going to fail on, because I had time to only pass 2 things. I had 3 things to pass on. I decided to study in a weeks time, avoiding everything about Route Poisoning.
Honestly, I never had to do that in my life. I went home that day and switched on Rainbow Six, and I just felt hate. I couldn't play this game anymore. I went ahead and played Skyrim, my favorite game of all time... bored. I decided to sign up for the Cyber Security challenge instead. This challange allows schools verse each other in hacking, and who every gets the most points, wins. I went into collage every day that I could, spent many hours a day learning about hacking. I started on 0, tried to learn the most I could. I went into collage over the holidays, I spent many hours with friends practicing this IRL.
I didn't write my gaming "stats" to be cocky, I wrote it to connect to what I'm about to say. I finally found a passion for something outside of gaming, the first time since highschool. I just couldn't believe it, my perfectionist and workaholic personality finally translated into something I liked outside of gaming. The Capture the Flag community is vast, and desperately need more people to join InfoSec and CyberSec and CTF community is so friendly, they even do meetups, which I'm thinking to attend,.
So, there is my story, and I personally have to thank @Cam Adair again for allowing me to understand this issue. I also thank you, the reader for reading this far in my poorly written ramblings.
Video games has been part of my entire life. Ever since I was a child my parents got me the SNES. From there i have developed the passion for video games. I've owned every console generation PS1- PS4, Wii- Switch, and PC. Video games has been a form an escape. It also gave me the false sense of pride and accomplishment whenever I leveled/ranked up or progressed further into the game. I have quit video games since April 2018, but I haven't utilized that time properly. I ended up binge watching on netflix and anime. I ended up relapsing back in September with the masterpiece indie Hollow Knight. Gaming/TV hasn't affected my academic studies, but it has affected my physique (as I don't work out) and social aspect.
I'm looking forward to your support.