I have been playing video games for a long time, starting with those Learning Company games that kids could play at my elementary school. My home gaming experience really took off when I got a PlayStation 2 for Christmas one year.
I'm not sure if I can say I was addicted to games at first, because there were a lot of other things going on in my life that made me happy during grade school. I earned excellent grades at school and made friends while playing trumpet in my school's band. I was so successful that I was able to get into a reputable college with a chance to earn an excellent education. I don't say this to brag, but it's important to know how well I was doing to see the detriments excessive use of video games and the internet have gotten me.
Intellectually, I belonged at the college I attended, and I was able to maintain good grades, but in all other aspects I was completely out of my element. I struggled to make friends, I participated in no extracurricular activities, and I had an onset of a serious mental illness. All of this seemed to demand a way to escape, which video games provided. I started to make more and more friends online and would spend hours at a time watching other people play video games on streaming sites. All the while I was unaware of the problem that was brewing.
The biggest thing gaming has taken away from me is motivation. I was able, somehow, to graduate from college, but I have been struggling to decide on a career path because nothing outside of gaming seems to interest me. I haven't been able to cultivate any kind of romantic relationship since high school. I'm therefore stuck in a job that pays little and doesn't hold my interest, and there hasn't been much hope for me to move on.
I had a talk with my mom this afternoon that led me to the realization that video games were commanding all of my attention and are causing a problem in the other aspects of my life. I found this website while looking for a place where this issue is taken seriously and for what it is for me: an addiction. I have tried to tell my therapist that I have an addiction to gaming, but we haven't been able to work on it in a serious way, and there are few other places where gaming addiction is considered to be a problem. I hope by that participating on this website that I can find a way to eliminate games from my life so that I can meet other, more meaningful goals.
09/22/2018 - First joined OLGA
01/21/2020 - Last day I've played or watched other people play video games