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JRiz

GameDev needs help with game addiction

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Hi all,

I’m a 40 year old gaming addict.  I have a marriage in crisis, 2 kids under 10(one of which loves his Switch and Fortnite), and a career that is good in many aspects but is also enabling my gaming addiction.  Like many my age I grew up with gaming and have had done a tour of duty in the MMO world.  Games as a service ie battle passes and achievement grinds work REALLY well on me. 

I’m have been in a 12 step program for sex addiction and pornography for about 2 years now.  I have been able to maintain a year of sobriety currently.  My therapist, sponsor , and feedback group have all helped me get sober and have all had to hear about my habitual crises in my relationship with my wife around gaming.  When I was initially getting sober from pornography and other issues around sex I  reduced my access to social media and content on my phone.   Late night gaming was coupled with pornography use for me in very intertwined ways.  I boxed up my gaming PC, put accountability software on my mobile devices, started monitoring screen time etc.  Most of that was to ease the tension in the house with my spouse due to the trauma I had inflicted via my sexual betrayals.  The xbox and ps4 stayed out since they were multi-media devices not just game machines…(convenient right).  Over the last 6-8 months gaming has come back hard in my life.

After time, I slowly got back into games like Fortnite and Hearthstone, always new content to pay attention to.  Filthy casual I know, but I thought after a couple decades of being hardcore I could ease up a bit.  I’m a dad now.  My therapist has long recommended I stop gaming all together but I just didn’t want to give it up.  It defined too much of who I am.  

For my career, I work in game development (technical art side of things).  I always thought that if I was going to get clean and abstinent from games I would have to change my career.  I even tried in this last year but after a 3 month job search (gaming as an industry can be brutal) I got a good paying job at a company close to home.  Turns out its a VERY laid back environment that has helped my addiction come roaring back.  I feel like an alcoholic who works at a brewery with a tap room, not exactly supportive to getting sober.  If I'm to cut out games 100% I'm not sure HOW I could even do that with my current job.  I'm gunning for no games at home at all.

I joined Game Quitters after a late night binge on this Friday night playing into the morning hours.  I was honest with my spouse even though gaming is extremely triggering for her.  I disconnected the consoles, removed reddit and youtube from my devices.  I’m going to look into setting up some parental controls on myself, since screen time stuff has worked for me in the past.

I’m hopeful I can apply what I learned kicking pornography and apply it to online gaming.  Thanks for reading.

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Hey Man, welcome!  Good luck in your journey.  Kicking these ingrained habits can be really difficult.  Good job taking a concrete step by joining Gamequitters.

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