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Am I addicted?


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Hi, I wanted to ask the Game Quitter community if you think I am addicted to gaming. In the preliminary screening I scored 6/9 as a cause for concern.

Basically, I can go without gaming no problem for an unlimited period of time as long as I am busy. But if there is an opportunity to sit down in front of the TV and watch I show, I find this really boring and would rather game competitively against other people as I find this really fun and view gaming as a hobby rather than addiction. The time of day that I would have this opportunity is usually between 7pm - Midnight but if I have house work to do etc I will always get this done first.


What are the thoughts of the community? I have often wondered if i  am addicted or if gaming is truly a hobby.


Kind regards,

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Thanks for the response. To give some more history into my question, I have played video games all my life since the Sega Mega Drive and I have definitely considered myself to be addicted about 9 years ago and I was able to identify this and switched my prioritisation of gaming to the bottom of my life rather than the top.


I have taken more of an interest recently in trying to figure out if I am still addicted or a hobbyist ever since the WHO listed gaming addiction as a mental illness last year. I also today read a BBC article quoting this website to which I was unaware of before.


I feel no guilt when preferring to play games in the evening because I have 2 young children who I have put to bed, the wife is at work, everything else in life is done (chores, work, studying if required) and it is literally down time for me until I go to bed (I can't leave the house because of the children).


So ultimately I personally believe that I am not addicted but I am interested in understanding if others would consider myself to be addicted. I am a very open minded person and continually looking inwards/take time to reflect as it is a personal belief of mine to improve as a person.

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I'd like to ask a rhetorical here. 

When stuff comes up while you're gaming, do you drop the gaming on a pin, or do you grumble about having to leave, being unable to pause, how it will make you 'lose' the match; or do you truly place gaming as a sidenote to your life, and take care of what pops up?

Now I'm not suggesting some discomfort or annoyance is illegitimate, just trying to get the thought ball rolling. Gaming truly can be a hobby where people find some growth and enjoyment without being a waste of time, however for many people it isn't possible to keep it in the background, and it takes control of the time we ration for it. (Myself included)

For most things in my life, I've found myself to be a moderator, however with gaming specifically, I have difficulty controlling myself. Whether that's because I started gaming during the onset of my depression or some other cause I don't know, I just know that I'm not myself when I allow anytime for gaming on my own. When I play with people I know IRL, especially if I'm in the same room as them (think Mario Kart) gaming is harmless as a board game, but alone it fatigues me and I've lost at least a couple jobs (and failed a few classes) because of such

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I have no problem dropping gaming if something else comes up, but my mild concern is that I really don't find anything else very interesting during my downtime period. For example I read hundreds of books when I was a boy but have no interest now, or I could easily play poker to fulfil my competitive nature but that is gambling which I don't want to do.


I've read up on lots of different hobbies etc but gaming is the one that ticks all my boxes. Let's say for arguements sake that from tomorrow I never played a video game again and replaced that with playing chess every day for the same time period. Would I then be considered addicted to chess and this is an issue, or because it is chess it is OK? 


Also I would like to point out that I don't buy the latest games and wait for the price to drop on secondary markets like Facebook market place for my PS4 and my pc I bought in 2012 and it was top of the range back then. I also don't buy lootboxes or other in game items.



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Hey there, these are my questions to you:

Why did you feel the need to ask a community of game addicts, if you were addicted? Usually people will not ask unless it's bothering them.

What do you get out of gaming that's different from any other hobby? Sure, you could be playing chess instead and be 'addicted' to it. But I don't know of anyone with just one hobby.

Do you meet the criteria for addiction in general? Is it stopping you in any one area of your life eg. Health, Relationships, Career. There's a lot of excuses to be made here, such as your personal health could be suffering but you justify it by saying at least your career is great. There's got to be good balance between them all. It's not worth saying one area can suffer just because another area is amazing.

A bit of a more personal question, Do your kids game and do you spend time with them having fun without gaming?

If you could imagine yourself stopping for 3 months, what are the positive changes that could happen?

6 hours ago, Phinxx said:

my mild concern is that I really don't find anything else very interesting during my downtime period.

That to me is enough to say that gaming is causing a dopamine inbalance. Gaming ticks all the boxes cause it's very stimulating. Most people who do the detox are able to enjoy simpler activities again. Though only some have that as a main reason to stop (There's many different individual reasons to stop). Everyone has different reasons for stopping, some are powerful enough to make them want to quit forever.

I was also a bit frugal with gaming. My laptop is from 2012 also, I can't run majority of the newest games and I don't keep up with that stuff anyway. I also waited for price drops. Being young still (20 this year), I use to load up $50 on steam and set myself of a limit of only buying games that're $5 or less. That way I could have lots of games and variety. I didn't buy loot boxes or any of this shiet either. Mainly cause I quit all multiplayer games in 2014. Though singleplayer can be just as addictive.

Edited: Everything abt my sibling, cause they're not addicted and it was a misleading example to use.

Edited by TwoSidedLife
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Thanks for the input Twosidedlife. To answer your questions;


1) it was something that I have been reflecting on recently and I was reading BBC news and there was an article linking to this website. In the terms of bothering me, it is more of a case of taking this opportunity to discuss my mild concern that gaming is at the very bottom of my priority in life but I don't find other hobby's interesting so will turn to this in my free time.


2) I like the competitive nature of gaming whether it be against other players or single player. I also understand that it is just a game and everything I achieve in the game is effectively a waste of time which is what I brand watching TV under. So to me I could be wasting my time watching TV or playing games.


3) Gaming is not stopping me from doing anything, I am specifically referring to a point in time in my day when I am free to do anything I want to (within my house as children are asleep) but I choose to game.


4) my children are too young to game and I do not game while they are awake and play with them etc. 


5) if I stopped then I would find myself needing to replace this free time doing something else and this is my mild concern as I mentioned which is that I don't find anything else very interesting. As yourself and Lordfederickramsay discuss, this is because of the chemical reactions in my brain/body telling me I am enjoying what I am doing.


Your further thoughts and feedback are appreciated

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It's just a label really and there's shades of grey to it. If you're asking this question it's a strong hint that you might be at least somewhat addicted I would say. 

Is gaming affecting your life negatively and do you miss out on opportunities to do something more interesting, useful or w/e to you? 

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I just want welcome you to the forums. 

The second thing I suggest get the 90 day detox a try rather than ask questions it could be experiment with your family to see life without video games. 

You wont know till you try. 

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Thanks JPAO that is really useful information because now I understand why I prefer to game in my free time.


To those that haven't properly read my response thanks for the replies but they are not relevant to my scenario.


So the question is, is it still OK to game with it being at the bottom of my priority and I choose to game only in my true free time. Or would my brain be significantly disadvantaged in the long run?

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It is okay to game. Long run short run, there are studies that prove it helps with some areas of our cognition. 

BUT! Make sure that internet use as a whole is a bottom priority. Surfing, checking social media, and being mindless are what lead to this deterioration of the mind.

Set limits for yourself for the gaming, and make sure the internet use is purposeful, like I check my e-mail at 900, 1300, and 1800 hours and thats it or, I allow myself 2 hours after the kids are in bed whereas I can use screens, be it for gaming or social media, and stick to such a schedule. If you have trouble maintaining limits, that is one of the biggest hints of an addiction, so I'd strongly recommend doing the 90 day detox even if you just grumble about said limits.

Also heres another cool article https://medium.com/thrive-global/you-make-or-break-your-life-between-5-7-am-a7f4125e1326


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