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Greetings from a first timer!


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Greetings from Australia!

I'm really happy to have found a community like this and would love to introduce myself :)

My name is Richard and basically, since I knew what video games were, playing them was always something that I did.

Gaming consoles were something that was always a given in my household. My brother was 4 years older than me and I can still remember the SegaMegaDrive being the first real contact I had with pushing buttons on a controller and having this perform an action on the television screen. I played the hell out of that Console and still have (nearly 2 decades later) memories of writing down the LoadGame code to continue my game of 'Wonder Boy in Monster Land' at a later date. We would hire out cartridges from our local VHS rental store, we would play together and it was just something we did and never questioned.

As I got older, and my brother and I realised we were in fact brothers, I started doing more things on my own while at home. Sure by this stage we had a Playstation and would occasionally play each other for bragging rights, but I had moved on to the wonderful world of the Gameboy. Oh that sweet handheld idol, which coupled with 'Pokemon Red' and the crazy light you could attach to the top for late night gaming sessions in bed, formed for my 10 year old self the holy trinity of gaming. I would battle Pokemon with my friends, we would trade Pokemon, we would talk Pokemon, hell we were basically one step away from worshipping wooden idols of Pikachu.

Later as I entered my teenage years, games like Diablo 2, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft started to become the clear winners of my 'main gaming loves' competition. Whereas before I would have a dozen or more console games or cartridges, switching between them with impunity, entering the PC world and playing these huge AAA title games awoke an entirely new beast especially with WoW. Everyone already has a similar story: I started playing WoW around a month before Burning Crusade came out and essentially played and had an active account until halfway through Cataclysm. I had an on and off period after that but came back to see the other expansions and finally realised how 'done' I was with WoW about 2 weeks into Warlords of Draenor. WoW was played constantly with my three close friends and together we would essentially play every second day, talking on chat, over vent etc. We were in the same guild, would LAN together in RL and would talk WoW constantly at school- funnily enough doesn't this sound like a game I've mentioned before?

We all quit WoW at roughly the same time having grown dissatisfied with its direction and proceeded to get involved in Steam Games, particularly the Total War series amongst many, many others.

Ladies and Gentlemen that very, very abridged version of my gaming history leads to me today in 2015.

I have very recently turned 25. I have a degree from University which took me 4.5 years instead of 3 thanks in part to gaming and procrastination. I have a small but good group of friends however they are all tied to gaming, and whilst we do hangout outside of Steam and Skype, non-gaming friends have all disappeared after college. I weigh nearly 130kg which for a guy my height (5'8' on a good day) is just beyond understanding. I'm not including romantic/sex issues in here because I have a long-term girlfriend who I live with and we are very much in love (so no issues on that front). I hate my job, which was something I basically only got into while I was at university for money and have continued to do because my landlord needs to be paid. That degree I mentioned? Turns out that all the naysayers are right when they tell you English Literature isn't something that is going to be a major hiring point on your CV...

So all in all there are a lot of positives in my life but also a lot of negatives. Sometimes I lay awake at night wondering what the hell happened. I had a large, great group of friends, was a great student in high school and college, wasn't exactly an athlete but was in much better shape than I currently am, was in a band that was actually semi-successful in the amateur scene, really wanted to be a writer and was so positive about the future. Now at 25, I don't know what the fuck I'm going to do with my life and am scared about the next 5 years of it. All I know is that I spend way to much time on the PC.

Gaming has been the one constant in my life though, it has made me feel so good at times and I have so many fond memories of gaming both by myself and especially with my friends. But I'm starting to realise that it is literally destroying the precious time I have left in my twenties and robbing me of the potential for a great life. Yet I'm still trying to convince myself I can 'manage' my gaming as opposed to eliminating it completely from my life. I also don't want to lose all my gaming friends, but maybe it's something that just has to happen - the whole 'things get worse before they get better' kind of thing?

I don't know but as a noobie who has yet to undergo the transition, does anyone have any advice for me? What was it like when you first quit and were they for similar reasons?

Thanks so much for reading!


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Hi Reanimator, thanks for joining the forums! I live in New Zealand so its nice to see someone else close by on the global scale.

We all have gone through a similar experience to end up here, so we're all in it together. If you need help on anything, just ask and the community will answer. And answer. And answer. (expect multiple replies for questions asked!)

My advice:

  • Just leave your gamer friends be for a month or so. You will quickly find if they wish to be proper friends or if you were just a playmate for gaming; those who care about you will understand and hopefully support your decision to stop gaming. It is surprisingly easy to make new friends, I befriended a girl on the bus today, starting by talking about her iPhone.
  • Be proud of your decision to stop gaming. Just by deciding to improve your life by stopping something that is so natural shows courage. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise, especially your gamer friends.
  • Start with the Respawn guide and follow EVERY STEP, then go through the 'starter kit' in the 30 day challenge sample (free). This will guarantee you stay on the right path.
  • I still experience cravings, how you handle them will be crucial to whether or not you fall down the gaming well.
  • Not much effort is required to quit games, but you will need to find other engaging activities to fill your newfound time. Check out 60+ hobby ideas for... you guessed it, ideas for investing your time for the future.
  • Read The Slight Edge
  • You will become happier with 'normal' activities over time, just make sure to be persistent with staying away from games. The first steps are the hardest.
  • "The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" - Chinese proverb. The journey of improving your life is a long one, but if you try doing different activities that are proven to make people happier, perhaps adding one new one per week, you will get there in the end. Some activities I would recommend are morning running, having a daily gratitude journal, starting a diary (I use mine for reflection purposes), and a few others.

I had tried to quit multiple times, but each time I would be eventually drawn to games through the nostalgia of fond memories when playing the games. No doubt you will encounter these according to your introduction. Unlike now, I used to just get frustrated and do my best to ignore my cravings. What I do now that is much more effective (and I would recommend you try as well) is to accept that gaming meant something to me earlier in my life but that they are now more harmful than useful.

Good luck with your recovery from gaming addiction! I hope I have helped.

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Hey Richard! Great to have you join us here. There are a few of you from Australia! What Alex shared is all great advice. Just remember that although it would be great to go back and change things in the past, what you can control is what you do moving forward, so focus one hour and one day at a time. Take the right steps (as Alex outlined) and you'll be well on your way. This is a turning point for you and the beginning of a new journey. That can be scary sometimes but it can also be exciting! We've got your back. :)

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Hey Richard

Your story really touched me. I really hope we all can help to make you happy with your life again!

I am sure your degree is worth a job somewhere! ^_^ And don't think of your gaming time as time wasted. It was a time of your life and now you can find joy in new activities - like saying goodbye to an old friend.

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Hey guys!

Thank you all so much for reading my post and responding with such kind words, it's a crazy good feeling to know that their is a community of people who have gone through a similar experience,

I just want to clarify though, I don't have any crazy depression about my life, I'm very fortunate that there is a lot to love about it! But definitely there are some key areas where I have just totally dropped the ball and gaming has been a big problem that has taken my attention away from dealing with those problem areas.

Today is day one for me and I'm feeling good!

Thanks for the responses and keen to read other peoples posts and update you all on mine!

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Hey Reanimator!

I will avoid repeating the already great advice Alex has given you, but I will throw my support behind the slight edge. It didn't revolutionize my life...yet, but it gave me a lot to think about, and it has sometimes made it easier to get things done. It's also good because it gives you something to do!

My first week or so, sometimes I just didn't feel like doing anything, I was stuck in a state of nothing. That might happen to you to, I would recommend trying your best to do something, it makes it much harder to relapse, but if you cannot then don't sweat it and don't beat yourself up. Everyday with no video games is already a plus 1! You can do it!


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Hey Reanimator, welcome to the forum :)

You already received some great advice. Look to the future and stand tall on your past. You've put a finger on what makes you unhappy, which is a fundamental step! Once you are self-aware it can only get better.

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Hi Richard!  It's awesome that you took the time to share your story with us.  It is definitely something I can relate to.  Stick with us, and together we're going to get out of this awful rut of obsessive gaming.

Also, Alex's advice was excellent, and I couldn't have giving you better advice myself!

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Hey Richard! 

I used to game with a group from Tasmania - Fun group of dudes! 

It's great to see that you've come to understand that as you love games, they're really having a negative impact on your life. I'm currently 12 days into my no game fast and it's been rough but overall I feel better for it. As Alex mentioned - Stick with the program and that should help set the habits for getting away from games to the point where you don't think twice about it! 

Oh and welcome to the group! 

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