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Been gaming for a long time...

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Hey all,

I'm in my 30s and in my final semester of university writing my masters thesis. For months I'm procrastinating a lot, so I want to give this forum a try.

I've been gaming for a very long time and now I want to quit. Not sure if I need to quit completely but I want to give it a try for 365 days. I've been playing all kinds of games over the years. Here are the online ones that I played most:

  • "Competitive" Warcraft 3 and Dota 1
  • Dota 2
  • Starcraft 2
  • Diablo 2
  • Counter Strike 1.6 in a team
  • Online Poker
  • Chess (especially mindless blitz [3-5 min/game] or bullet [0.5-1 min/game]

The offline games

  • Command and Conquer Generals
  • Stronghold
  • Diablo 2
  • Age of Empires 2
  • Unreal Tournament
  • Minecraft

There are probably many more of which I don't think right now, but these should be the ones I definetly played the most.


I liked gaming since I was a little kid. I remember that in school I spent all my money to go to a gaming cafe where my parents wouldn't bother me. Also when I got my first computer in my own room I would stay up all night and play all sorts of games. It wasn't like I never went to school, but I sure had many "missing days". Sometimes I would even sleep for 1-2 hours in the toilet (during the first couple of hours of school) and then later say that I "missed the first" classes. Also I remember a couple of times saying to my parents that I would go to school, but I took our basement key and slept there for a couple hours on an old dusty bed we had there. I was quite a clever kid, but because of gaming my grades were merely average and it was always a big problem between me and my parents.

I would say that the "real problems" started once I moved out to university to a dorm. When I was completly responsible for my own life I've seen that I was failing it. After a couple of weeks the pressure and load of the courses started to overwhelm me. My goto drug was always to start gaming. There I would game for weeks and weeks, start missing my classes and after a while simply don't go anymore. I tried to get back to university schedule, but as you know, once you start missing stuff the work piles up and gets more discouraging. I decided to quit uni at that time. This lifestyle was possible since I took a loan.

After that I got into another university and similar things occured. I didn't quit this time. I finished slowly, since the schedule wasn't forcing you to do all your courses in time. Now that I'm in my final semester and facing my biggest challenge the thesis I notice that I procrastinate so much. I could honestly say, that I did close to nothing in the last 4-5 months. I did progress in the new university better than before. But still I had very dark phases in which I would game for months and months, speaking to nobody. The only thing I would do on a good day is to go to the store for half an hour. The rest was gaming, YouTube, bad addictive food and pornography. The worst I remember was that I couldn't even leave my room to go to our dorm's shared toilet. I would urinate in plastic bottles I had in my room. It was a mixture of not wanting to potentially to talk to anyone, some anxiety (because I of course looked like sh*t) and simply not leaving the games. At night I would disspose of all those nasty bottles.


Since I got aware of my gaming problems I started to add counter measures to my routine. I mostly stopped competitive playing my favorite strategy games (besides chess). But I play this bottomless pit of modded Diablo 2 offline. Also play Age of Empires 2 offline with hundrets of single player scenarios (and achievements) and chess online. The way I play these days is often with YouTube or some video in the background (on my second screen). Often when I have these "phases", that go on and off after some weeks, I often combine it with unhealthy fast food (usually delivered) and pornography. I was able to quit pornography with the help of the NoFap community, but still this watching something in the background and playing games is a big problems in "my bad weeks". I honestly can do this for the whole day. Just yesterday I woke up at 8AM and played and/or watched YouTube Videos until 1AM the next day (17 hours).

So I realize that it is a big problem and I want to see how strong I really am. I want to quit all gaming and YouTube for a full year. YouTube is almost like gaming to me, since I watch about 70-80% of gaming content (often it is learning about strategies or seeing esports), so it's important that it goes with the gaming. I hope this forum will help me to regain control of my life.

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Sorry to hear about your experiences with gaming. Attempting to quit gaming and YouTube for 365 days is admirable but I'd probably recommend doing the 90 day detox which is a staple of Cam's approach to helping people who struggle with gaming addiction / an unhealthy relationship / co-dependency with games. It's clearly a crutch for you, like it is for me and so many others. And an unhealthy one at that. I strongly relate to treating YouTube like a game. I've been on this forum before, and I've quit games before, always fill that void with YouTube videos of influencers or gaming content that is trying to satisfy that urge that game satisfies so well. 

I'm on my 7th day of the 90 day detox. Here's what I'd recommend - others might be different:

- Invest in Respawn Elite ($47) and follow the program.

- Follow the instructions to a tee. Don't skip over anything. If it takes you time to complete an instruction that's fine. Once you've completed the instruction, resume the course. 

Not to spoil it for you but the first actionable instructions are to introduce yourself here (well done!), start a daily journal and start your 90-day-detox. 

He also (I'm sure he'd prefer you to buy the program because it's a lot more substantial than what I'm saying as I'm only on module 2) would instruct you to make it harder for yourself to game because it's so easy to access games in our day and age. This has been really hard for my personally. I spent £2700 on my dream gaming set up for playing Fortnite and have now taken steps to selling it on eBay and Facebook marketplace. I'm very surprised I haven't started gaming again and disregarded Cam's instructions. 

So an overview of some steps you can take to reclaiming your life and removing the influence and control games have over it:

- Buy Respawn Elite.

- Introduce yourself here (tick!)

- Start a daily journal and post in it everyday. Consistency is key. 

- Start a 90-day detox and use the journal to record how this change is affecting you. 

- Sell your gaming setup (recommended course of action - I understand you might want to play again so I can see you not wanting to do this) or (also recommended but not as recommended as selling) hiding your set up away or letting a friend borrow it - or any thing that isn't selling it but that makes accessing games harder than it currently is for you. 

Hope this helps!



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