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I've stopped gaming but I find myself addicted to watching gaming channels on YouTube. Help!


bulldog-22
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I haven't played any sort of video game for about 2 months now and I made sure not to buy a new console when I moved out of my hometown. But I can't seem to stop binging gaming-related content on YouTube. News about the new Call of Duty (COD) game, COD gaming channels, Battlefield gaming channels, and even channels that focus on Rainbow Six Siege are all things I have trouble staying away from. 

What's worse is that I have an unhealthy relationship with this YouTube content. If I am stressed, lonely, anxious, bored, or frustrated, I flock to YouTube and just start watching gaming stuff to avoid facing my reality. The reasons that I just mentioned for watching YouTube are the exact same reasons that I used to be addicted to playing video games. Do you guys have any tips on avoiding the gaming side of YouTube? Respawn did a great job helping me to stop playing video games myself, however, I'm still hooked on watching others play them.

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Hype culture is a big part of gaming and it's only natural to continue to be exposed to it even if we quit gaming. What you can do is to completely reset your algorithm on Youtube (there are lots of tutorials out there) in order to start a brand new feed; but this also means that you will have to actively avoid searching for gaming channels yourself and also click "not interested" when they do appear. It will be hard to resist at first but as you grow into this new gaming free life of yours watching games will also become less appealing.

I occasionally get the big trailers in my feed whenever there is a big reveal event like Summer Games or Gamescom but instead of thinking "wow, that looks exciting" I now think "wow, I'm so happy I don't have to waste my time with that". Give it time and it will come to you.

Edited by Wildermyth
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Hi Wildermyth. Thank you for your advice! I had no idea that there were tutorials for resetting my YouTube algorithm. You're also right about the hype culture in the gaming industry. There's a lot of hype surrounding the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II but I am not obligated to waste my time on it. 

One thing I can do to avoid YouTube altogether is activate my blocker (i.e. SelfControl) during work hours. I can't trust myself not to load the site on my laptop if given the opportunity. 

Many thanks again and I wish you a speedy recovery from gaming addiction.

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8 hours ago, bulldog-22 said:

Hi Wildermyth. Thank you for your advice! I had no idea that there were tutorials for resetting my YouTube algorithm. You're also right about the hype culture in the gaming industry. There's a lot of hype surrounding the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II but I am not obligated to waste my time on it. 

One thing I can do to avoid YouTube altogether is activate my blocker (i.e. SelfControl) during work hours. I can't trust myself not to load the site on my laptop if given the opportunity. 

Many thanks again and I wish you a speedy recovery from gaming addiction.

Hi! I second Wildermyth's points. It's a long journey, and I'm not sure if there are shortcuts. It took me a very long time to not feel that way about gaming content on social media. If you use Chrome, there's a super useful extension called "UnDistracted". It blocks out a lot of different content types (comments, feed, suggestions, etc.) across multiple sites. Reduced my urge to watch addictive content because it simply made it unacessible.

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Thats a problem nearly everyone faces after quitting games. Its more like a internet addiction in general then. Netflix, social media, youtube whatever... all can replace the gaming addiction. Thats why you should stop thinking about what you should not do - this was tje first step. Now you should think what you should do eg following your goals. Fill up your day with work which you want to do. Built up a daily routine which you are happy about in theory - stay strong for a few weeks and those days will start to get fun. 
 

site blockers etc is huge thing which i totally recommend. But remember that anything will replace your addiction. Thats why its more important to focus on getting your work actually done. But dont think you can reward yourself with addictive stuff like gaming, browsing after doing your work. Because feeding the addiction will keep you away from doing your work at the next day.

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