Hey, what's up everybody? I'm Marco from Toronto, Canada. I'm an 18-year-old dude, and this is my story. It's long, so brace yourselves. As a toddler, I was introduced to gaming by my cousin, who had a Nintendo 64. When I turned 6, I got a GameCube for my birthday. It changed my life. However, my cousin used to always beat me at video games. So, I started practicing really hard to beat him. Other than that, I didn't game that much as a kid; I was too busy going outside, playing sports with my friends, playing piano, & taking taekwondo & swimming lessons to do that. In 5th grade, I even had a job delivering newspapers. But when the 2008 recession hit, everything changed. My mom lost her high-paying job, & at one point, we had only $300 in the bank account. My school got a new principal & vice-principal who hated my guts. In 7th grade, I got bullied by the hockey players because they saw basketball as a sissy sport. I got into lots of fights, was kicked off my school's basketball team & all of my other extracurriculars, & nearly expelled from school & arrested. My parents also became way overprotective & strict. In the end, the school decided to sentence me to detention for the rest of the school year. That's when my problems started. began to play video games because that's all I could do; I couldn't go outside the house alone, nor could I visit my friends or have them visit me. On top of that, I got an ingrown toenail which lasted for 3 years & effectively derailed my NBA & NFL dreams. I was miserable. In Grade 8, I learned how to handle my conflicts peacefully, & won back the privileges of staying home by myself and doing my old extracurriculars. However, I was not allowed to use social media, date, hang out with friends after school, go to parties, or even talk to girls for the next 2 years. I started over when I began my freshman year of high school & again became one of the most popular kids in school, but due to my parents' Gestapo-like house rules, they quickly gave up on inviting me out anywhere. So, I kept playing video games. After my injury healed in my sophomore year, I began training to play football for my junior year. During my sophomore year, things turned around, as I won back all of the privileges I used to have. My junior year totally rocked: I had an 88% average across all my subjects, reached the provincial semifinals with my football team, partied every weekend, got the hottest clothes, & started a business flipping used items on Kijiji. I even gave up video games for a while, I was so busy. Senior year looked like it was gonna be even better, as I had been voted Valedictorian, & my business was taking off. However, early in my senior year, I got sick & lost my starting position on the football team, basically never playing that season. I also failed my driving test twice during the summer between my junior & senior years, & my dad had it delayed until he decided I was ''ready''. Finally, around Christmas 2013, my mom looked inside my room's drawers, & found, among other things, condoms, numerous party invitations & pictures of me with girls, & when she did, I was immediately grounded indefinitely. My parents nearly forced me off social media, but I held on. The combination of all of these factors made me depressed, & I began to play video games 3-5 hours a day. Madden's ''Superstar Mode'' & NBA 2K's ''MyCareer'' were the big ones. My grades dropped to 85%, I gained a reputation as an unreliable businessman, & lost my social life. I also stopped working out. In March 2014, I made the decision to give up video games completely & tried to trade in my games. But because there's a law where I'm from that says that you can't trade video games until you're 18 (I was 17 at the time), I couldn't do that. So I decided to try to quit video games for the first time, during which time I tried to use my business to sell off all of my old video games. These ventures only lasted about a month, as I was forced to stop doing this by my parents, who have a rule not to give away video games that they bought with their money. So, that ended, and I was forced to take a work placement job at Fortino's provided by my school during May 2014. I absolutely hated it, & showed it by always showing up late & hanging out in the break room for more time than I actually worked. I was not invited to come back for the summer. These events sent me further into a depressive spiral that summer, with me playing video games basically all the time after a massive garage sale in July where my video games were spared. After that, my first year of university started in September. I managed a 3.00 GPA (75% overall average in all my courses), but had no social life, no extracurriculars, no hobbies, nothing. Still, I kept playing video games. In April, I was getting ready to do my final exams. Instead of studying, I played video games throughout exam week. After realizing this, I decided to trade in & give away my games, & stop playing permanently. This was despite miraculously passing all of those final exams. On April 21, 2015, I did just that. When I told my parents, they were at first really upset with my decision. But I told them why I did it, & they understood. Ever since then, I've been video game free (except when playing with my little brother & his friends). Right now, I am doing summer courses to lighten my course load for next year, I am back to working out, & I'm starting to talk to old friends again. I also managed to get my full driver's license (in Ontario, you have to go through 2 levels of learner's permit, which you START at 16). However, one problem still persists. My little brother (11 years old) is basically playing video games all the time, & when he asks to spend time with me, that's basically all him & his friends want to do. I've repeatedly told him that I've moved on from gaming, but he keeps arguing with me about how it's not bad. So yeah, that's me.