Before I start I just want to say Video Gaming is not bad and is a great outlet and hobby for a lot of people. Who are others to judge that which brings joy and relaxation to many? I would like to share my experiences with how I used to be with gaming to the point it literally took over my life.
From the young age of 4 I was heavily into gaming; whether it be going to gaming arcades, going around a friend’s house to play splitscreen gaming on his PlayStation One or N64, to even carrying my Gameboy Colour around with me everywhere. I loved video games so much.
As I got older and older the more and more the love grew for gaming. I’d get so lost in the amazing and creative worlds these games achieved. Of course the more I got into gaming the less time I prioritised for other things and started spending all day sat up in my room killing, racing and having a great time. I had probably completed GTA San Andreas like 30+ times.
It had gotten to a point I’d get up in the morning; immediately turn on my console and play until bed time which was usually around 11\12 ish for me. This caused me to not care for much eating or drinking and even basic hygiene most days. I was very underweight for a teenager weighing at a measly 9 Stone. Not only was the weight an issue I was severely fatigued all the time. Looking back now I was definitely addicted, thank god loot crates hadn’t really come into effect when I was at my pinnacle of gaming as I’d definitely be wasting most of my money. I’d go to my local Blockbuster store and buy their usual deal of 4 games for £20 every week. Blockbuster was like my second home. My Church. I still have my membership card. I was playing so many games in one go some I still probably haven’t completed yet.
The more I got older the less gaming became fun for me in the sense that I would take what happened in gaming or an online match personally – as a personal attack against me. If I had failed at a level or online game then to me that meant I must be failing at life. It had literally taken over me. I’d flip out and get angry at every little thing, extreme rage quits, throwing things, yelling obscenities so loud I’m sure half my street could hear. I had to tackle this.
So after a strict talking to by my parents about how it was effecting the family having to hear me be like that all the time I made it my mission to come away from Video Games. I went “Cold Turkey”. It was so hard the first three months, I would have to do things to keep my mind away from the games like going to a Gym I’d recently joined, making music, drawing, writing – anything to keep my mind busy. Granted a few days I lost the motivation and did play now and again but I had drastically reduced my gaming hours by a good 95%.
It worked quite well, rather than concentrate on games I concentrated on me and my social life. Also now I’m older I just don’t have the time to play them a lot due to my busy lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong I do still play my Xbox One every once in a while (Mainly Forza Horizon 4 as its quick and easy to pick up) but I feel like reducing my gaming addiction has done the world of good.
When I have children I would never discourage them from Video Games as they should have the right to experience them and experience teabagging their first Noob, but I would hope they would also concentrate on the other important things in life.
Video Games can either be addiction or therapy in my eyes. Like everything, too much of something and it will eventually have negative effects.
Sadly now though I just have to tackle the addiction I have to my phone, it’s glued to my hand so much.