Jump to content

NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

Hi! I'm Ray and I tell my gaming story in this post!!!

Ray Cao

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! Here's my story!!!

I’m Ray Cao. My original name (Vietnamese name) is Cao Phước Thừa (Thua Cao Phuoc). I’m from Vietnam, a tropical country from South East Asia, right below China. You can know Vietnam through Vietnam war in 20th century, Saigon/Ho Chi Minh, banh mi, pho,… or so on. That’s it!

img 1 - my country

No matter where you are, if there is any video game, you can be get addiction with them.

I started to play games since I was a kid

When I was a kid, studying primary school (grade 1 – 5), I saw some first game, Super Mario Bros on Nintendo console.

img 2 - Nintendo console (see below)

This is the first video game I saw, and it was played on this Nintendo console.

It cost about 9.5$ that time in my country (after buying console, you must buy disc that stores to insert before playing).

I asked my dad to buy this for me to play at home. But he didn’t. My dad is a strict people. He hated watching his son playing video games. Studying and getting high score is what he wants. With him, playing game is something bad, something so unacceptable.

Some reason why I found playing game is so relief

My childhood life at home was terrible

I’m not free in the way I study lessons from the school. My dad forced me to memorize everything from school. It’s terrible studying method. But he didn’t understand that. He thinks memorizing is learning, memorizing is the first step of learning. But with my personality, memorizing is not my strength. If I understand something, I can feel it, it makes sense,… then I will memorize it.

With the stress in studying, I felt playing game (or even watching my friend playing them) is so enjoyable, so relief. But I didn’t got any Nintendo console, so every weekend I just came to my friend’s house and watched them playing. Sometimes they let me play together.

Because I couldn’t play game at home, I played it outside, at gaming house. At that time, most of gaming house in my town got about 10 – 30 computers with CRT monitors, window XP and old Intel chipset.

The first games I played is offline games like Counter Strike 1.6, Red Alert 2, Battle field, Medal of honor, Willrock,… All is cracked game. I didn’t know about license at that time.

I didn’t have lots of money to play much more than 2 hours. But every time I played, I get the flow and got lost at the moment.

Gaming continued when I study at secondary and high school (from 1 – 12 grades)

When I was in 6 grades, I play the first online game, MU online (of Webzen). It’s different world. You played with another players. This MU online game got all of 4 elements (that make us addiction in game): social; temporary escape; constant watching level up; some challenge, the great graphic (with me and my friends at that time), the gambling of upgrade the item (that’s probability. But it’s like gamble!), lots of people addicted in upgrading the in-game items.

img 3 - MU online (see below)

Playing MU online is another exeperience. I spent 3 hours playing it but felt like 30 minutes.

In 6 – 9 grades, my father was still forcing me to study with memorizing everything method. If I couldn’t memorize all lesson that will happen tomorrow, I wouldn’t go to sleep. So I felt studying was terrible, was hell. Lack of social skills, sometimes I get bullied by some other kid living near my house.

Real life was not good, was full of fear, boring. On the other size, playing online game with me was so interesting. It was heaven!

At that time, I thought my dream would be: grow up, get out of my house, got a job, get 9 – 5 in day and playing at night. That’s my dream!!!

At home, I lived like slave. In game, I could live my self. I did what I want, what I like. I showed my real personality in game.

At 10 grades, I plays the first Dota game and other like Gun Z; call of duty 1, 2;…

Until 12 grades (18 years old), I played games a lot but still learning, still got score enough to upgrade and pass the university exam. Everything seemed to be fine!!!


I got freedom when I came to college. And the addiction appears and started to ruin my life

The real problem, real monster just appears when I left my hometown, came in another city to study at an IT college.

img 4 - My IT college (see below)

I was free totally from my parent, from everything. It’s like a man were released from prison. I owed my life. I talked my dad I need a laptop to study English and programming. He bought me one. But I spend 80% time to play game.

I installed every game, neither online or offline, that I want to play day and night: The suffering; Call of duty; GTA IV; Max Payne 2; Don’t starve; Silkroad online; PTV online;… All of offline game is cracked.

img 5 - My life used to be like this 

And then bad things happens. It’s just the starting of a bad series in my life.

At first year of college, I started to install and play some very first game on may new laptop: The suffering; Mayx Payne 2; Call of duty 1, 2; Crisis 2; World of tanks; Dota 1;…

At first, I just play 2 – 3 hours and go to bed before 12 o’clock. Then I increased the hours of playing. I played 2 – 4, 5 hours and usually went to bed at 3 – 4 am. It’s so terrible!


Playing game alot didn’t help me to face and solve my own problem, but made it worse

At second year of college, my score drop dramatically. I dropped out classes to play. I can’t pass the final exam and lost lots of courses. Day by day, I just hide in my room and played games.

My schedule at that time: wake up at 10 am -> eat breakfast and lunch (2 in 1) -> then play game until 2 – 4 pm -> then sleep until 6 – 7 pm -> eat dinner until 8 – 9 pm -> then play until 2 – 4 am tomorrow.

img 6 - This was used to be my world

Actually, I refused to face some problem (that was bigger and bigger) of my life.

I didn’t like the college I chose, an IT (information technology) college. That’s not what I chose, that’s my father’s choice. My self, my essence, my original was destroyed during my childhood, thanks to my terrible education from my father, my school.

At that time, I didn’t understand myself a lot. I didn’t know what I really want, what I really like (except gaming). I was shy, lacked of confidence, weak, lacked of social skills, low EQ,… When I told my dad that I didn’t want to learn IT anymore, I wanted something different. Instead of getting empathy with me, he was just so angry. I thought he didn’t look me an independent person. He just looked me another him, a person could do what he couldn’t do in his life. It was terrible.

So I didn’t want to go to college anymore. Lacking of motivation, boredom, I fell into games again.

BUT something is wrong, playing game is so wonderful. But that’s just a great escape. I  were hero in game, but zero in life. Nothing in real life. Absolutely nothing!

Playing game isn’t make me more courage, change my college. Playing game couldn’t make me can play football, would had girl friend or found out what I really like and want in my real life.

I wanted to go outside to play football but afraid for being laughed cause of low skills, I liked some girls but didn’t do anything to flirt them,… I didn’t care about my appearance. My face looked so bad, so ugly. I wanted but also didn’t want to improve aspects of my life. Everytime I felt frustrated, feel sad, depress, I just auto turn on my laptop and play game. It was like an addiction.

Graduated from school, I got jobs and think game ghost was not bother me anymore.

Then I still studied IT college, but with low attitude. I kept learing because I knew If I kept learning my father sent my money to pay the bill every month, so I could keep living the virtuality heaven of gaming!

I were not keep learn to find a job. I kept learning so I can have time to play more games.

So after graduated from IT school, I couldn’t find any IT job. I learned to pass the exam, not learn to find a job. My laptop was degraded seriously and couldn’t play game anymore. So I found another non-IT job.

Started journey to find myself, did I forget playing games?

After graduated, once again I was free. I was free to choose which job I like. I begin on the journey to find myself, find passion in working. At that time I had stopped gaming all day. I needed to work to pay the bill.

I did lots of jobs that I think I like: shipper, drive mate, grabbike driver (like Uber bike driver), content writer, SEOer,... But I often got boring after several months working new job. If I kepr do same thing over and over again, I would get bored easily.

Then an old friend told me to install and play a game

At 26 years old, after many years finding passion, I got the results with low income, boring jobs, no girlfriend, almost no close friend, bad relationship with parents, fill with regret and depress, I don’t know what wrong with me. What is my passion, what I really like, why I only feel boring after doing some job, what to do with my life, what is my future,…

In 2020, I met an old close friend. He told me installing League of legends (LoL) and play with him. I did.

Once again, game became a heaven in a life full of suffering of mine.

Because playing game at gaming house is expensive and not convenient (at gaming house, I just can play game until 10 pm, then it will close), so I bought a new PC at the end of 2021 (althought I didn’t have lots of money that time) with GT 1030 graphic card and i3 - 9100F CPU to make my childhood dream come true again, work (with boring) in day and play game (with interesting) at night.

And then bad thing began

At the time I bought my new PC, I just wanted to stay at home and played game. I easily got bored in current job and became extremely unproductive at the company I were working, so I got fired.

After getting fired, instead of finding new job, I played game (althought money in my account were so low. Almost run out of money). I spent a month and a half to played game cause I thought playing game is heaven, working is boring.

After 2 months getting fired, luckily I got a new job with lower income than previous job. It’s step backward in my career.

I still got boring with the new job but I need it to pay the bill.

I still played game at night.

In 5/2022, after seven months, I quitted that job. I registered a new IT course with dream that I could find an IT job because the salary of jobs in this field is so high.

After I quit most recenlty job. I had free all day. I thought oh my God I would complete this IT course soon, become an IT officer and would change my life.

img 9 - Idle hands is devil's workshop (or Idle hands do devil's work)

But things were not just that simple!

I registered Software tester online course. Like previous job, I get bored with this course after 2 months. I weren’t self-disciplines enough to complete the course.

In an analysis of Cam, one of reasons make me boring with this course because I had learned alone. There is no friend, no community to study with me. I feel lonely in this journey. And it becomes meanless journey (with myself)!

Bored in learning, so it was easy to fall into game again!!!

No job, not interested in learning, I was easily get bored you guess what happened? I play game again. I have played League of Legends (LoL) recently.

I got a new online friend, my cousin – he is being a student of a medical college for the first year. He got lots of free time and always invited me every time I logged in LoL game. And I felt it’s hard to refuse his inviting.

Playing LoL with him is fun. I also got constant feedback, appraise, praise from him and his college friend. We often play in team 5. Lots of fun….

But deep inside me… something is feeling that it’s not good!!!

Game is another world for escapism

Playing LoL games like you drink and drunk. When you are drunk, you see your life more happy, more peaceful, more softly. But when games end, I come back into my real life. My bigger and bigger problems were still there. The monster, the dragon were still there. They became stronger and stronger.

I oftent got inner conflict

I got lots of fun while playing games, BUT ALSO lots of regret after finishing them!

Some part of me knows that “Hey Ray, you’re not a kid. Do something to solve your problem. Keep learning. Seek for help. Find a job!!!!”

But other part that say “What, it means I have to stopping playing game? It means I have to down game playing time. No way!!!”

Parts of my inner fought each other! My inner were fragmented!!! So I were paralyzed. I couldn’t make a clear decision.

Img 11 & 11a - Inner conflict

It’s like some scenes in Tom and Jerry cartoon when the angel part of Tom and the devil part of him argues each other. And I remember that the devil usually won.

“Why don’t I keep playing game? It’s so fun. It’s so much fun. You are suffer, you are depress. You don’t have girlfriend. It’s Friday night and you’re still at home, bored, and reget. Don’t worry. Just turn on the PC, log in and play a LoL games. Everything will be ok!!!”


“Just one more game one more game!!!”


The other part tells me:

“Hey Ray! Stop it! Stand up and go for a walk outside”

“Just pick up the ball and go to the park”

“Doing yoga”

“Oh I will go to bed early tonight, will make a plan to learning tomorrow”



most of time the devil part usually wins.

I bought Half – life 2 during new year sale on Steam at the end of 2022. Once after 1 hour boring learning, at 4 pm, I load into the game and thought I just played 30 minutes then I would go jogging in the park outside. But the game Half – life hooked me. The play style always change in new chapter, include new weapon, new enemy,… then I ended up at 12 pm and go to bed at 3 am. So horrible!

After reading some article from gamequitters.com, I know that I got addiction, dopamine addiction. It’s just a kind of addictions like (gambling addiction, masturbation addiction, porn addiction,…).


And I found that dopamine addiction made me less persistence, less persevering,… I denied doing chores. I were not aware my appearance. I ate less, unhealthy food. I lost weigh. People told me that why I look so thinner, skinnier than before. Eating less healthy food made me lost my muscle. My face is thinner and look like drug addiction. Kids are afraid of me althought I don’t mind doing anything with them.

So what is my life now?

Now, at nearly 31 years old, I have nothing. No close friend. No job. No career. No money. No healthy relationship. No girlfriend. No love and full of regret, depress and sadness.

I know I got something wrong inside but I don’t know what exactly it is, how to distinguish and solve it. Like you know there are some mice in your house but it’s hard to find a way to catch them.

img 13 - At 30 years old, I have nothing in my life

Some parts of me want to change my life but I find it’s so difficult. I don’t know what to do effectively at night if I feel lonely, sad or depress (except come back to game and let it sunk me down).

Recently, I bought 2 books of Jordan Peterson, 12 rules for life and Beyond order.

In the book 12 rules for life, chapter 7: pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient), he wrote that to achieve something good in the future, one person must delay gratification. In some fable, it said you must sacrifice what you like most to get something better.

We need order to survive. Live in chaos, the risk is so high.

img 14 - 12 rules for life – This book tells me lots of valuable thing.

I used to uninstall League of Legends after I read the chapter 7 of this book. But several days later, I couldn’t find something better to fill the void. Boring, lonely, saddness, my cousin sent message to invite me playing LoL game… and I reinstalled it again.

I uninstall and reinstall it at least 5 - 7 times. The download speed is now higher than the past. So download 10 – 20 GB of game is not a problem anymore.

Once, after playing games with my cousin and filled with full regret, angry disappointed about myself and my life, I used to deleted my Riot account. But it annouced that I had to wait 30 days before Riot complete deleting my account.

And several days later, I feel so regret to delete my LoL, Riot account because I bought lots of in-game items (Champion skins) and I don’t know what to do if I tempt to play again. So I cancel the account deleting process!!!

Right now, I uninstall LoL again out of my PC but still my Riot account, Steam and all of game installed on that platform.

img 15 - I activated the Riot account deletion process.

I’m lacking of lots of skills

Playing game too much made me lack of social skills, my pronunciation became so bad. I used to refused to meet our cousin, relatives in my family just to play game. I look nearly like drug addiction or bad guy.

I know I must say goodbye my gaming life, I must do according to Jordan Peterson words. Sacrifire what I like… to live for future, to regain a job, make a living, find girlfriend, have family, improve my last relationships with my family, find new friends, improve my health,…

But think of sacrificing all of game, the gaming life, I feel hurt. It really hurts. It means I have to kill a part of me, have to kill (or at least tell) a Peterpan kid inside of me that “it’s enough. You need to grow up. You can’t be Peterpan forever.”

And I feel hurt after thinking about it.

My inner parts conflicts again. Or I choose gaming and lost everythng else, or I sacrifice gaming to improve my life.

and finally

So I searched Google and found out this website, this course, the Respawn course.

I realized I need to distinguish what is addiction, what is hobby, what is love.

I realized I were being in dopamine addiction. Dopamine addiction (through playing game) have been ruined my life. Playing game have been ruined my life.

Limit time (the strategy that I tried in the past) maybe is not the effectively way!

NOW! I’m ready for it, for the Respawn!!!

Thanks for reading!!!













  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crazy story man! I think a lot of people here made similar experiences, so you are definitely right here. I relate to many points as well, I never had much pressure as a kid, but especially these inner conflicts keep gaming vs start studying was/is really common for me as well.

I can tell you, after some time, you will not miss games, you will not really think like today as ‚how can I live without games its a part of me‘. I had the same thoughts about internet usage in general, but nowadays I dont care being online or not. It just vanished after months/years. So stay patient and strong until your system rebuilt it self healthy.


Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Great post! I can tell you are committed Ray. Don't forget that there are other aspects to childhood. Giving up games doesn't mean that you have to kill the kid inside you. One of the things that made being a kid so fun was that everything was new. There's so many experiences that are going to be brand new for us as we get more into recovery. I am super excited to follow along on your journey!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing your story! It helps me a lot to understand my own problems. Quitting games is hurtful for me too. It feels like emptying myself to a point where nothing more is left. On the other hand it is like making space for new things. The emptyness is frightening but I know it will make space for new opportunities and there will be ways to fill the gap hopefully more mindfully. I wish you all the best!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, jazzfelix said:

Thank you for sharing your story! It helps me a lot to understand my own problems. Quitting games is hurtful for me too. It feels like emptying myself to a point where nothing more is left. On the other hand it is like making space for new things. The emptyness is frightening but I know it will make space for new opportunities and there will be ways to fill the gap hopefully more mindfully. I wish you all the best!


It will hurt after some quitting game. It's a period of detox. I think most of people have to experience it.

And then to prevent from relapse (feel so bored then play game again), you should find new activities, or you should solve your problems (that you had ignored it while playing game before).

Playing game is fun, is a way to communicate, to connect to lots of people. I can't reject this opinions. But playing game so much, then get addicted to it is good things.

There are lots of more important things that’s not fun, entertainment,… or game.

Hope you can find solution for your problem

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...