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Hello

My name is Ted and I am 12 years old. I began gaming when I was about 4 when my friend introduced me to Skylanders. That Christmas I got a Wii and it was originally a fun thing to do with my parents and sister. Soon when I was about five we moved from Australia to England, at that point me and my sister had our own iPads and were both engrossed in Minecraft. When we first arrived I had no friends and that's when my addiction started, I began spending more time online and less time with other people. At the age of 7, I had some friends at school and was doing football outside of school, however my gaming was already taking over. At dinner I would hardly say a word and wolf down my food as fast as possible and at any time in the day if I had any spare time I would rush to my Wii U, iPad or 3DS. Additionally my mum would have to force me to do chores and I would generally be an all round nuisance. By the time I am 9 my step dad began to become concerned about my health ( because he has always had my best interests at heart even if I didn't know it at the time) and started cutting my hours back. However I was completely unmonitored.

Now I had just turned 11 and we moved to a city in the south and since I knew no one and was having trouble coping with how badly gaming made me feel I delved deeper into the internet. I began watching something on my iPad while playing my switch on the TV (I know it sounds weird and it was just flicking your attention between both screens multiple times a second) and being really hunched over which hurt my posture. I made friends with a lot of people in my school but both me and my friend had started watching a group of YouTubers that acted towards women, people in general and made very rude and sexist jokes. Enter lockdown. Now that lockdown had arrived my Primary School was hardly giving out any work for online school additionally since I am pretty smart I began doing all the work as fast as I possibly could in the morning. This meant that I had the rest of the day to spend on gaming which meant that I was spending on average 9 hours a day gaming. This really did not help as I started getting more angry and bored if I wasn't doing gaming, then the most devastated thing possible happened.

 During the middle of lock down there was  what an entire month where I was not feeling very good at all. In this month, I had to stay in my room without leaving a single time it was exactly 4 weeks of being  in just my room. During that time I Began to do screen time while I ate did my school work or even when I was doing anything. The only person that came into my room to look after me was my step dad who was kind and said that I could do as much screen time as I wished however this was not a good idea around halfway through I began feeling too addicted to continue doing it in just the day. I decided to sneak it at night and so at night I would hide my switch under my pillow or my iPad under some of the clothes on my floor or anything anywhere. It started off small like playing a game that you don't need controllers for, for half an hour but gradually it developed until it got to the point where I was spending hours on it at night and would sneak snacks into my room and even turn the wifi on at night.

This ended when a month before my 12th birthday in September ( I am in high school by now) when Des ( my amazing stepdad) walked in to check on me and saw me lying on bed with snacks, my switch and my iPad around me. Immediately I was banned from all devices and told that I would only get them back when I began to recover from the impact of games. 104 days later (I'm 12 now) they gave me back screen time. immediately I regressed and began sneaking more (not at night) and 5 days later it was taken away permanently. However the 104 days was not entirely pure because every now and then I would sneak into my parents room and play on my switch. Then in early March to early April I regressed again and began sneaking stuff on my laptop which I needed for revision because it was test week. Once again this affected my mood, my parents noticed and I was banned. It was then that we thought of a long term solution and joined game quitters today.

I am eternally grateful to my loving sister, my wise, beautiful and loving mother and last but definitely most of all my stepdad Des for all of the love and support they have given me throughout my life.

Sat 17th April

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Hi Ted, welcome to GameQuitters!

I think it is super amazing that your parents and family in general are supportive of you, and hope that this forum will a place of support and care for you too! Best of luck getting rid of gaming addiction, looking forward to reading more of your journal entries.

Po

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