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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

I really don't want to, but I have to

Dr Gamer

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Hi everyone, my name is Dr. Gamer and I am addicted to video games. The game that is my true weakness is RuneScape, specifically OSRS. I've been through this journey many times before and just keep relapsing back. I wish there would be a way to achieve a healthy balance between gaming and real life, and there certainly is for most people, but unfortunately it seems this will never be possible for me. This is not something I want to do. I do not want to give up all the progress I have put into my account. I do not want to relinquish my identity as a gamer. But, it has damaged my life so heavily that this is something I MUST do. So today, I begin my 90 day detox.


Here's a little about me and my story through life so far: 

I've played video games since childhood. I started playing RuneScape in fourth grade, stopped for a while, but it became really problematic when I started playing heavily in high school. I had no friends and I was accomplishing less than my peers even though I knew I was capable of far more. I remember going to bed every night thinking, "Dude, you have to stop. It feels like you're hanging on to life by a thread." Things felt like they were falling apart. But then, a pivotal moment came in the history of RuneScape, which coincided with a pivotal moment in my life. For those of you who don't know, RuneScape had a major change in how the game works in 2012. It was called the "Evolution of Combat (EoC)." This is when RuneScape branched into what is known as "RuneScape 3" and "Old School RuneScape." At the SAME time as EoC, I was about to move off to college. I remember telling myself "This is it. This is when I break free. There is a change coming to the game that I am not looking forward to AND I was changing my environment entirely. This is my opportunity to become a new person." And that's exactly what I did.

College was the best four years of my life. I had FAR more friends than before, more social experiences than I had ever imagined, and my academics were incredible. I joined a fraternity and set the ambitious goal of getting into medical school. Things I couldn't have imagined during my days of playing RuneScape. It happened through the methods that Cam has been preaching in his videos and articles. Setting goals, staying busy, and most importantly, becoming socially connected with others in ways outside of video games.

After college, I worked at a cancer genomics company for two years, where I continued to stay busy, but the environment was different than college. I wasn't living around all my friends anymore and there wasn't always something going on that would deter me from playing video games. So, I casually picked up gaming again, but this time it was manageable. I knew that as long as I stayed away from RuneScape, I would be okay. And I was. I applied to medical school and was fortunate enough to be accepted to my state MD program. I had a girlfriend, I was exercising routinely, and I had achieved one of my greatest life goals.

During my first year of medical school, things changed. I don't know if it was the burden of medical school, the emotional distress of breaking up with my girlfriend, or my own lack of willpower, but I relapsed hard. And this was probably the worst time to have relapsed. I returned to RuneScape. I told myself I would just try it out and playing a little wouldn't hurt. That quickly changed to pulling all-nighters one or two times a week so that I could game longer. My grades immediately started to suffer. I managed to get by, but my performance was far worse than before I relapsed. In the end, I graduated medical school, but didn't get to match into my specialty of choice and ended up at a residency program that was less than desirable.

Today, I am a first-year resident physician in Family Medicine. I work 60-70 hours per week at the hospital, but immediately when I get home, I play OSRS until 2 AM and then have to wake up at 6 AM. I don't exercise, I don't clean my house, and I don't pursue the goals that I have set out for myself. I am a doctor, but I am an entrepreneur at heart. I have thought of a medical device that would be worth pursuing but haven't done anything about it yet because of gaming. I have a bunch of side hobbies that I no longer enjoy but wish that I did. Nothing feels comparable to gaming.

There's a lot more to say, but I'll end it here before it gets too long so that maybe someone decides to read this. I'm hoping that social connection on this forum will help me through this the way that social connection helped me through college. To anyone that reads this, I'd like to hear your thoughts and your own story. Perhaps we can keep each other accountable. Thanks for reading.

Edited by Dr Gamer
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Hi Dr. Gamer, my own story is similar but I have yet to write it down. I did achieve some things in life but I am way behind my own expectations. I consider this a good thing though because I have dreams, things I can keep myself busy with. I played D2 with passion and was/am addicted. I also know by now I can do the other things I like with the same passion. I am on about day 80 of my detox. Today I am ill and was staying at home. I nearly started to play. I asked myself though: what can I achieve in 1 hour of gameplay on my D2R account? I weighed it against what I could achieve during 1 hour slow mo cleaning my room. Guess what felt better! 🙂 I don't think I could have done this half a year ago. What really helps me is daily meditation. I do this every day since I stopped gaming. One meditation I do every sunday is visualise myself as my best self. This really keeps me on track. What I saw during meditation and how I felt there was impressive. It is something which I maybe never achieve but by constant diligent effort I might get close. I do a lot of other practises too. I learned that for me gaming is a strategy to hide anxieties and avoid dealing with stress. It is the same when an ostrich sticks his head into the sand. Its not a solution to a problem. The problem will get worse on the contrary. I will keep practising and try to find out as much as possible about how to sustainably stop gaming. I searched the web for that many times and did quit often but always relapsed. One of my goals now is to become a guide/mentor for game quitters. Which time zone do you live in? And when is your free time? Maybe we can have a chat and support each other. 😉

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Hey Dr Gamer, welcome to GQ! 

I'm so sorry that gaming has impacted your life in such significant ways, and also I am so happy you've made it this far and are taking the steps to reshape your life! You've got this! I'm so excited to join you on your journey 🙂

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