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Keplaris

Can you game 1 - 2 hours a week without increasing amount of cravings to game?

Is it better to game nothing, or to play for a controlled amount of time?  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you favour quitting playing games alltogheter, or limit the time you spend on them?

    • Play for a controlled amount of time
      2
    • Avoid gaming all together
      14


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Hi, this is my first time asking something on the forum.

Three years ago: I gamed in all my free time. Grades suffering. Two years ago: I had gaming under control. Past summer, I managed to stay away from games for half a year. Then the cravings reintroduced themselves and I allowed myself three hours of playing. That was 68 days ago, and since I've experienced frequent cravings day by day, week by week, intensifying in the weekends and staying low during the days in school. The game I crave is Europa Universalis IV. I'm questioning my decision to quit; perceiving a sense of meaning in EU4 as it provides great insight into geography enhightening my grades in geography. And in combination with learning history, I strongly crave to start Steam, download EU4, and in the game changing the course of history as the Swedish Empire.

My question is whether I may allow myself one to two hours of gaming each weekend; what are the pros and cons, and can I avoid becoming "addicted"? On the other hand, will the fantasies and cravings ever stop if I quit. And if so, how may I replace the needs apparently fulfilled by EU4?

This is my first time asking on the forum. I thank you for any replies on beforehand!

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I would say if you're still addicted, which it seems to me that you are, then I would stay away from games entirely. You obviously have a very strong emotional attachment to EU4 which you're justifying by saying it's helping you with history, geography, etc.

If the latter was true, then you could do other things to fulfill that desire, like read history and geography books, explore your local area, do geocaching, etc.

The fantasies and cravings may or may not stop. I think that's an experience unique to each individual. I don't think the goal should be to try to stop those things from happening. For what it's worth, Cam Adair still experiences cravings from time to time. The important part is managing them and understanding that they do not have to define you.

Good luck! If you need any further help feel free to post again! 🙂

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On 1/26/2020 at 2:20 PM, Keplaris said:

My question is whether I may allow myself one to two hours of gaming each weekend; what are the pros and cons, and can I avoid becoming "addicted"? On the other hand, will the fantasies and cravings ever stop if I quit.

Positivity feeds Positivity, Negativity feeds Negativity, Poverty leads to more Poverty, Money can make more money, A small amount of gravity can lead to even stronger gravity over time, One healthy habit often leads to more healthy habits, violence often leads to more violence.

 

While not always true, I generally find it to be true that most things lead to a multiplicative effect, especially if we allow them. In the past when I got really into fitness, I found eating healthier always came naturally. On the other hand, I've consistently found that the more I game the more I crave gaming. Similar situation with awhile back when I got addicted to chocolate, the more I ate, the more I craved it. 

 

And in this situation I feel like if you're already having cravings, gaming is you essentially feeding this cycle. If you didn't have cravings in the first place, then I don't think gaming will necessarily negatively impact your life.

 

Will the cravings stop if you quit? Maybe, although I do believe it is possible. You're probably the only one who can answer that, since the only way to truly know is to quit and wait for the cravings to go away at which point you have gotten the answer.

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Imo, it's not a question of abstaining or not. Those who have gaming under control simply just have their life under control. They aren't running away from anything or trying to repress any feelings. Personally I never made it over 90 days but i'm nowhere near as addicted as I use to be. It was during a period of quitting where I realised and went after what I truly wanted in life.

Yeah, you can force yourself to play only 2 hrs a day or something but it won't last. I personally wouldn't do it - because that's not fun. Moderating yourself is hard work and it's harder than just abstaining for a while. Eventually you will just give in and not moderate yourself anymore, because that in itself is stressful.

The best kind of gaming is where you don't feel compelled to keep going, you can stop whenever you want AND you can play for however long you want (no moderation). It's more freeing to abstain and get your life under control. Cause when you do go back to gaming you don't have to moderate yourself and you don't have to worry about being addicted.

My gaming habits now are probs about 2 - 4 hrs somedays. Most days I don't game. That's a huge change from 16 hrs everyday. I have the power to walkaway whenever I want and I also have the freedom to game if I want to.

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Keplaris, 

Your situation sounds almost exactly like mine, particularly as I did an MSc in Geographical Information Systems.  Whilst studying after a period of absence I started convincing myself that playing civilisation, Simcity or anything that was essentially a fantasy of what my degree could be was going to be helpful.  It got worse and worse, put enormous strain on my relationship, work and education.  I got through it but at a huge cost to my mental and physical health.  Studying and working is difficult anyway, introducing addictive gaming sessions in just makes it like trying to survive the apocalypse.  As somebody has mentioned earlier, as soon as you bring it back in it can take over and the cravings just get worse and worse.  Once that starts, it’s a slippery slope and in my opinion it starts to take much more mental strain and physical effort trying to contain the cravings and moderate than if you’re just feeling a bit empty from missing the sessions.

This scenario for me was 2-3 years ago, and I’m STILL suffering from the ramifications.  I’ve only now admitted the addiction and took the decision to abstain, deleting all games and promising to my loved ones that I won’t go back.  I have a distinction in my MSc but if I’m being brutally honest, I’m in a job I really don’t enjoy and could have done a lot better for myself if I’d have stayed focused to the important things.  Success is never guaranteed from any education, but you can put yourself in the best position to gain employment or move forward with what you know is right. 

Without judging myself too harshly, because judgement and self-hatred really isn’t the goal here, the question I ask myself is “Did I do everything I could and that was within my control to succeed at that endeavour?” Obviously the ‘within my control’ bit is important because there’s a ton of stuff that can halt you in your tracks or upend your life.  For me, I was going through some stuff that was a little out of my control…and I’ve used that as an excuse for not achieving what I thought I could during that period.  But I CANNOT honestly answer that question with a yes, knowing what I do about how much time I spent gaming when I had my studies…and the decisions that led to me embarking on my studies…and the decision to study in the way I did etc etc.  Gaming comes into a lot of my decision making over the last few years and I regret not getting it under control sooner.

As TwoSidedLife said, people in control don't have an issue with it, their lifestyles and probably don't stress too much about whether they're out of control or not.  If you're thinking about it and it's having a negative impact on your studies and lifestyle, it's most likely a problem.

My advice is don’t regret it.  Take control of it now and don’t make excuses to yourself.  It can be very liberating, which comes with it's own anxieties and fear...but they're far more interesting to get to know than the isolation of gaming addiction 😊

Let me know if you want to chat more about it.

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It's the same as all addictions... there are alcoholics who were able to drink in moderation, although very, very few of them. Just as there are probably game addicts who can eventually play games in moderation. It requires a complete lifestyle change, though. Most people are not capable of doing that overnight (or at all). 

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On 2/2/2020 at 4:17 PM, ceponatia said:

It's the same as all addictions... there are alcoholics who were able to drink in moderation, although very, very few of them. Just as there are probably game addicts who can eventually play games in moderation. It requires a complete lifestyle change, though. Most people are not capable of doing that overnight (or at all). 

I think specifically with gaming, it requires one to become completely emotionally detached from gaming altogether. The thing is though if you get to that point, chances are you just won't find any point in gaming at all. You just won't have any desire to do it. That's kind of where I'm at. I'm pretty sure I could game in moderation but I couldn't care any less to.

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On 1/30/2020 at 2:33 PM, Talby said:

Keplaris, 

Your situation sounds almost exactly like mine, particularly as I did an MSc in Geographical Information Systems.  Whilst studying after a period of absence I started convincing myself that playing civilisation, Simcity or anything that was essentially a fantasy of what my degree could be was going to be helpful.  It got worse and worse, put enormous strain on my relationship, work and education.  I got through it but at a huge cost to my mental and physical health.  Studying and working is difficult anyway, introducing addictive gaming sessions in just makes it like trying to survive the apocalypse.  As somebody has mentioned earlier, as soon as you bring it back in it can take over and the cravings just get worse and worse.  Once that starts, it’s a slippery slope and in my opinion it starts to take much more mental strain and physical effort trying to contain the cravings and moderate than if you’re just feeling a bit empty from missing the sessions.

This scenario for me was 2-3 years ago, and I’m STILL suffering from the ramifications.  I’ve only now admitted the addiction and took the decision to abstain, deleting all games and promising to my loved ones that I won’t go back.  I have a distinction in my MSc but if I’m being brutally honest, I’m in a job I really don’t enjoy and could have done a lot better for myself if I’d have stayed focused to the important things.  Success is never guaranteed from any education, but you can put yourself in the best position to gain employment or move forward with what you know is right. 

Without judging myself too harshly, because judgement and self-hatred really isn’t the goal here, the question I ask myself is “Did I do everything I could and that was within my control to succeed at that endeavour?” Obviously the ‘within my control’ bit is important because there’s a ton of stuff that can halt you in your tracks or upend your life.  For me, I was going through some stuff that was a little out of my control…and I’ve used that as an excuse for not achieving what I thought I could during that period.  But I CANNOT honestly answer that question with a yes, knowing what I do about how much time I spent gaming when I had my studies…and the decisions that led to me embarking on my studies…and the decision to study in the way I did etc etc.  Gaming comes into a lot of my decision making over the last few years and I regret not getting it under control sooner.

As TwoSidedLife said, people in control don't have an issue with it, their lifestyles and probably don't stress too much about whether they're out of control or not.  If you're thinking about it and it's having a negative impact on your studies and lifestyle, it's most likely a problem.

My advice is don’t regret it.  Take control of it now and don’t make excuses to yourself.  It can be very liberating, which comes with it's own anxieties and fear...but they're far more interesting to get to know than the isolation of gaming addiction 😊

Let me know if you want to chat more about it.

Darn, preaching the truth here

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As a fellow EU4 addictee (I had 1200h+ on this game) and as I tried just reducing my gaming time quite a few times before I quit for real I realised that just gaming a bit is/was impossible for me because it is frustrating how easy it is to going back to bad old habits. If you want to get a grip an your life again I would avoid gaming completely especially such an open end game where one playthrough is between 20 and 40h and sometime time flies while playing it. Even after nearly a year after quitting there are situations which trigger me to play this game again, on rare occasions just looking at the world map and asking myself "what if...." is enough to think about the game again. A lot of new activities foremost meditation and duing stuff with friends brought my away from the game and now I may miss it sometimes but it is just a small itch which is getting easier and easier to ignore with every day.

So try new activities, I garantie you will find some which will be more fullfilling than the game on the long run. Even if you say to yourself I got so much history and geological knowledge out of this game let my tell you it is not worth it in the end.

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Get into a sport and keep “upgrading” yourself.

-Improve diet, develop physical fitness;

-Refine technique, agility and speed;

-find a strong team, develop tactics and strategy. 

-Win a local tournament and have your whole town congratulate you,

After that, do you think you will spend your precious time on a manipulative game ?

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On 2/8/2020 at 12:51 PM, Undsoweiter said:

As a fellow EU4 addictee (I had 1200h+ on this game) and as I tried just reducing my gaming time quite a few times before I quit for real I realised that just gaming a bit is/was impossible for me because it is frustrating how easy it is to going back to bad old habits. If you want to get a grip an your life again I would avoid gaming completely especially such an open end game where one playthrough is between 20 and 40h and sometime time flies while playing it. Even after nearly a year after quitting there are situations which trigger me to play this game again, on rare occasions just looking at the world map and asking myself "what if...." is enough to think about the game again. A lot of new activities foremost meditation and duing stuff with friends brought my away from the game and now I may miss it sometimes but it is just a small itch which is getting easier and easier to ignore with every day.

So try new activities, I garantie you will find some which will be more fullfilling than the game on the long run. Even if you say to yourself I got so much history and geological knowledge out of this game let my tell you it is not worth it in the end.

I love the idea of an itch that gets easier to ignore.  I'm playing with a fly buzzing around my head, eventually landing on my shoulder that I just flick away and crack on with life.

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For me just that feeling of craving always in the back of my mind bothering me and what not is not worth it. 

Is it worth it for you? You decide. 

As for your learning of geography and what not... I get it that it's a fun way to learn. 

But there are other fun ways to learn that don't generate that bad feeling. 

And I'd argue that these ways are more effective. 

I'd suggest "Geography! Now" on YouTube as a starting point. 

Then there's Simple History, Extra credits history and many others for history. 

Good luck 

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