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prime_marco

Hey, I'm Marco

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Hey, what's up everybody? I'm Marco from Toronto, Canada. I'm an 18-year-old dude, and this is my story. It's long, so brace yourselves.

As a toddler, I was introduced to gaming by my cousin, who had a Nintendo 64. When I turned 6, I got a GameCube for my birthday. It changed my life. However, my cousin used to always beat me at video games. So, I started practicing really hard to beat him. Other than that, I didn't game that much as a kid; I was too busy going outside, playing sports with my friends, playing piano, & taking taekwondo & swimming lessons to do that. In 5th grade, I even had a job delivering newspapers.

But when the 2008 recession hit, everything changed. My mom lost her high-paying job, & at one point, we had only $300 in the bank account. My school got a new principal & vice-principal who hated my guts. In 7th grade, I got bullied by the hockey players because they saw basketball as a sissy sport. I got into lots of fights, was kicked off my school's basketball team & all of my other extracurriculars, & nearly expelled from school & arrested. My parents also became way overprotective & strict. In the end, the school decided to sentence me to detention for the rest of the school year. That's when my problems started. began to play video games because that's all I could do; I couldn't go outside the house alone, nor could I visit my friends or have them visit me. On top of that, I got an ingrown toenail which lasted for 3 years & effectively derailed my NBA & NFL dreams. I was miserable.

In Grade 8, I learned how to handle my conflicts peacefully, & won back the privileges of staying home by myself and doing my old extracurriculars. However, I was not allowed to use social media, date, hang out with friends after school, go to parties, or even talk to girls for the next 2 years. I started over when I began my freshman year of high school & again became one of the most popular kids in school, but due to my parents' Gestapo-like house rules, they quickly gave up on inviting me out anywhere. So, I kept playing video games.

After my injury healed in my sophomore year, I began training to play football for my junior year. During my sophomore year, things turned around, as I won back all of the privileges I used to have. My junior year totally rocked: I had an 88% average across all my subjects, reached the provincial semifinals with my football team, partied every weekend, got the hottest clothes, & started a business flipping used items on Kijiji. I even gave up video games for a while, I was so busy.

Senior year looked like it was gonna be even better, as I had been voted Valedictorian, & my business was taking off. However, early in my senior year, I got sick & lost my starting position on the football team, basically never playing that season. I also failed my driving test twice during the summer between my junior & senior years, & my dad had it delayed until he decided I was ''ready''. Finally, around Christmas 2013, my mom looked inside my room's drawers, & found, among other things, condoms, numerous party invitations & pictures of me with girls, & when she did, I was immediately grounded indefinitely. My parents nearly forced me off social media, but I held on. The combination of all of these factors made me depressed, & I began to play video games 3-5 hours a day. Madden's ''Superstar Mode'' & NBA 2K's ''MyCareer'' were the big ones. My grades dropped to 85%, I gained a reputation as an unreliable businessman, & lost my social life. I also stopped working out. In March 2014, I made the decision to give up video games completely & tried to trade in my games. But because there's a law where I'm from that says that you can't trade video games until you're 18 (I was 17 at the time), I couldn't do that. So I decided to try to quit video games for the first time, during which time I tried to use my business to sell off all of my old video games. These ventures only lasted about a month, as I was forced to stop doing this by my parents, who have a rule not to give away video games that they bought with their money. So, that ended, and I was forced to take a work placement job at Fortino's provided by my school during May 2014. I absolutely hated it, & showed it by always showing up late & hanging out in the break room for more time than I actually worked. I was not invited to come back for the summer.

These events sent me further into a depressive spiral that summer, with me playing video games basically all the time after a massive garage sale in July where my video games were spared. After that, my first year of university started in September. I managed a 3.00 GPA (75% overall average in all my courses), but had no social life, no extracurriculars, no hobbies, nothing. Still, I kept playing video games.

In April, I was getting ready to do my final exams. Instead of studying, I played video games throughout exam week. After realizing this, I decided to trade in & give away my games, & stop playing permanently. This was despite miraculously passing all of those final exams. On April 21, 2015, I did just that. When I told my parents, they were at first really upset with my decision. But I told them why I did it, & they understood. Ever since then, I've been video game free (except when playing with my little brother & his friends).

Right now, I am doing summer courses to lighten my course load for next year, I am back to working out, & I'm starting to talk to old friends again. I also managed to get my full driver's license (in Ontario, you have to go through 2 levels of learner's permit, which you START at 16). However, one problem still persists. My little brother (11 years old) is basically playing video games all the time, & when he asks to spend time with me, that's basically all him & his friends want to do. I've repeatedly told him that I've moved on from gaming, but he keeps arguing with me about how it's not bad.

So yeah, that's me.

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Hey Marco! Thanks for joining us here! Especially as a fellow Canadian! I can't wait to come out to Toronto some time soon. Maybe in late September.

I definitely relate to you about being bullied. I was bullied a lot in school too (I shared my story here) and it's one of the main reasons I gamed.

When it comes to your little brother, remember that you need to have boundaries. If gaming isn't something you want to do that's #1, and now it's up to your creativity to find ways to hang out with your little brother without gaming. You aren't quitting games because games are bad, you're quitting them because for whatever reason, they don't serve your highest good and you have a desire for something else in life. You're allowed to make that choice for yourself.

What you want to do is find ways to hang out with him without gaming. It's easiest when you're out of the house, so maybe find a few activities you can do together that would be fun. You have your license now, there's a lot of fun things you can find for him and his friends. Plus your relationship will be better when you have actual time to spend together instead of just "hanging out" by playing games.

Hope you're having a great day!

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Thanks guys for the warm welcome! I talked with my little brother, my parents, & everybody else who used to game with me about this & they said they were perfectly cool with it. Currently on day 4 of my current gaming-free period, trying to get past the first 90 days

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Currently on day 4 of my current gaming-free period, trying to get past the first 90 days

?That's awesome man, being able to get people around you to support is great. Remember in a few days you might notice your little brother ask you to play (it's easy to forget), so if that happens just gently remind him (or anybody) that you are taking 90 days off and re-set the boundary.

Congrats on day 4, how are you feeling so far?

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Feeling great, on day 5 now! Had a weird dream last night where I was playing basically every video game I ever liked, in order of when I got the games.

?Woot! Day 5! That's a great accomplishment. Make sure each day you take a minute to recognize yourself for the good work you're doing for yourself. Taking the time, even just a minute, to recognize yourself for what you're doing is really important to develop real self-esteem - which will help you continue to do the things you want to do for yourself.

When it comes to dreams, that's normal. Check out this video if you want to learn more about that.

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