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Read: A Guide to Quit Gaming for One Year

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Grebebe

Hi, my name is Gregory and I am an addict.

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Hi!

Decided to join the forums in order to make the decision of quitting video games official. 🙂 

I'll just write what's on the top of my head, various things that I want to be able to read if I ever feel like I'm going to relapse. 

Like all of you, I've played video games for years. I started getting addicted once I got introduced to MMORPGs. I would mostly play iOS games. Accumulated over 53 days of in-game time on a specific iOS game in about 2 years. Probably over 60 days on another game before that. I eventually got done with those, not because I considered it too much time spent, but because the games stopped getting updates and the playerbase was decreasing -- all of my close friends from these games quit, and so did I. After I was done with these games, I started playing on minecraft servers... (I know, I know.) and boy is that game addictive. I cannot restrain myself in games that are so focused on the social aspect of things. I crave the process of becoming one of the best, or at least one of the well known. It's all about reputation you know... people start admiring you, knowing your name before you know theirs, being all friendly and kind because they know you have strong connections with the Alphas. It's not so much the craving for power, but moreso respect, you know? I feel like that's the most addictive thing with games. At least for me. Makes it so hard not to relapse because you know that if you simply pop back in the game, you will be recognized, and instantly feel pride for what you have created virtually. You must restrain yourself, and it is hard. 

I have spent I'd say from age 12 up to age 18, immersed in virtual adventures, with tons of great virtual friends, achieving tons of virtual goals. Cutting down family time whenever possible to extend the time I was able to play. That's something I'm sure you ALL understand... isn't that sad? The worst thing is you blame it on them, you think your parents are being moody, they keep on teasing you about how you never pop out of your room, or how your eyes are always glued to the screen. They say it nicely, sure! They are half-joking! It's a truthful observation with no bad intentions. But you, you and your addiction, that you call 'fun', or even 'passion', you take those remarks in the worst way possible. Your parents see you once in the day and have that single opportunity to start a dialogue, and their well intentioned attempt makes you want to go back and play, and avoid them even more. How horrible is that. Video game addiction destroys family life. It destroys this intangible connection that, once broken, is impossible to replicate. That is so sad. Parents can hardly do anything about it. Who would know how to handle a child who truly believes they have a love for gaming, blinded from the reality of their addiction? I am lucky. My gaming has never been problematic to the point where I have no more relationship with my parents. It never got that far. I'm not sure how, maybe it's luck, maybe my addiction never reached its peak. But I must say I am so thankful that it never came to that. If you're reading this and recognize yourself in this situation, think long and hard before picking up an online game again. 

Games are designed to get you addicted. Dependent, in a way. You must log in daily to receive rewards. You NEED to do it. Right? Isn't that so pathetic... Maybe pathetic is too strong a word. However just imagine if anyone around you could hear your thoughts. An addicted gamers' thoughts are simply crazy. I realized that a year ago, when I made the decision to quit minecraft. I would constantly be thinking about my next big move or big project on the server I was playing on. My next item purchase. I was quite the salesman in all of these games. I always got obsessed with getting good deals. It's always been so satisfying, at least for my standard of satisfaction at the time. Point is: I realized I thought about minecraft any time I wasn't doing something that would get my mind focused on a task. I NEVER. Ever. could get these thoughts away, otherwise. How crazy is that. The thing is, you enjoy thinking about it, so.. next thing you know, you stop listening in class, and instead write down a list of things you should accomplish next on the game. You do that same exact list the class after that. It doesn't matter if you constantly think about the same things, because you get the same sense of excitement every time. It's sickening that even today, a year later, I still occasionally reminisce about some THOUGHTS I've had about the game. Then during the couple of seconds after that, you think to yourself "man I should finally do that one thing I've been planning on doing, it must be done... I have unfinished business there... would it be all that bad if I downloaded the game again just for that?". 

Brings me to think about the magic number "90 days" detox. Well, friends, I'm very happy for you if 90 days does the trick. I wish it were that easy for me. 90 days is not enough to rid you of your addiction, in my opinion. I'm not saying that to discourage you. On the contrary, I'm begging you to stop playing, just like I'm begging myself to stop aswell. Video game addiction grows exponentially with time. The sooner you stop playing, the faster the curing process will go. Just know that giving yourself an extra day before quitting (something I've done often in all my attempts to quit) WILL make it more difficult for you in the long run. As soon as as little as 5% of you believes video games are a waste of time, you MUST quit. There are hundreds of reasons why you should quit, but in my opinion, the most powerful one is the following: 

There will come a time where you will stop playing the game you're addicted to. It's a fact. Games don't last a lifetime. It wouldn't be profitable for the companies. You KNOW you will stop playing one day. You KNOW therefore, that all the progress you made on said game(s), despite having never physically existed, will stop even existing VIRTUALLY. It will all be in your head, and nothing more. At THAT point, you will regret having played as long as you did. At THAT moment you will realize how destructive the addiction was. At THAT moment, you will forever regret playing so much. Regret is  the most destructive poison your mind can produce. It will corrupt your soul and prevent you from witnessing happiness. It's better to regret having wasted 4 years on a game, than regret spending your entire teens and 20s to gaming. Gaming addiction is destructive. Treat it as such. Avoid it like your life depends on it, because as dramatic as it sounds, it does. 

 

So if you've read through all of this, you might ask yourself "well, congratz, you haven't played ina year! you're doing fantastic! Well... not quite. I lied. I had stopped for a solid 5 months. Then I convinced myself to go back online, to get that praise I was talking about earlier. It made me want to play a little. And so I did. I never got addicted to it again, and I'm thankful for that. But then I joined another server. And I played there on and off for about 4 months after that. Now, it's been well over 2 months that I haven't played, and I have no intentions on going back. However, I discovered pubg mobile, and have played for a week and a half about 6-7 hours a day. I was quick to stop that, because I soon saw the turn it was taking. I felt like I would be addicted to that aswell. I believe my initial 4 month detox (in which I played 0 video games btw) truly helped me. I am now able to recognize when I am getting addicted, when games affect my mood and temperament. I see how ugly (personality wise) I become when I start playing again, and so I'm able to make the decision to stop easily. However I have a long ways to go with knowing how to deal with cravings. I'm fantastic at convincing myself that I should allow myself to play again, especially during the summer break, which I'm still into now. 

 

This post brings an end to this all. I'm done playing games (pun?). I have great ambitions that I'd rather not bore you with, and no time to spare. I wish anyone who reads this good luck with their quest towards breaking the chains of addiction. 🙂 You can do it. You're worth more than that. 🙂 

 

PS: I ended up writing more than I thought I would... geez, free cookie to anyone who has the courage to read it all!

Edited by Grebebe
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