I'll start by saying I'm (25m) no stranger to video games. It's essentially why I dropped out of college in my first semester, coupled with the fact I was immature and chose a major I really ended up not liking.
Fast forward 7 years, I'm now 3 almost 4 years into my Navy career. I initially met a girl in my first Navy job school, before getting my job changed and we lost touch. I was stationed on my boat almost 3 years ago, but it wasn't until a year ago that by chance she would be stationed on the same boat.
Her job in the Navy was one of the most stressful ones out there, and in the 2 years I hadn't seen her, she'd changed for the worst. She was depressed after going through the rigorous school for the 2 years, and now she was getting thrown into the middle of a terrible deployment with no port visits. I befriended her and we caught up, I'd always had a liking to her, and a few months later we started dating.
The warning signs were all right there before we even got back to the states. I found it cute that she could ramble on and on about this video game, Final Fantasy, for hours on end. Telling me things that I honestly had no care about because I never played the game, and was like having someone explain nuclear physics to you when you had only a high school diploma. It's all she would *ever* talk about, her game, how she'd get me to play it, she'd teach me, she'd help me, she'd break down every single piece of the game to me, *recruit* me to love her game like she does.
Only.. it's not my kind of game. I like games that are grounded to reality or science in some way. Your typical first person shooters which by now I've gotten tired of, in favor of flight simulators and exploration games. Not Raid Boss, combo button mashing MMORPG's. And it took a while for her to understand that.
So we get stateside in early 2020, right as COVID is kicking off, which would subsequently make matters worse. We live together in a house with her sister, a homebody who plays video games too but understands getting out of the house and doing household chores. Before COVID went into full swing, she would constantly invite us to restaurants, bars, to go on walks, hell to even just go get groceries.. and being just the boyfriend to her sister, I always deferred to her judgement - who always declined, every single time, because she just wanted to play her game.
Working 6am-3pm Monday through Friday, it was the only thing she ever looked forward to - getting home so she can immediately hop on her laptop and play her game. Over the past 10 months, it's gotten severely worse to the point where she neglects every task, chore, phone call from family members. When we first moved in we were cooking meals every couple days and socializing between the three of us - but now every day she orders sushi for breakfast lunch and dinner, to which she can't even be bothered to answer the door for her food because she gets too deep into her game that she forgets about it, or sometimes is just too busy to answer the door.
My sleep schedule suffered from it as well. Initially the command reduced the working days to shifts every 4 days, but due to my position I still had to work Monday through Friday. I'd go to bed at the normal time around 10-11pm, but she'd stay up until 4am playing her game - *in the same room*. Our house is small, and the computer desks we have can only fit in our bedroom, so that's where we play. But if I'm trying to sleep, she'll clack away at her mechanical keyboard and talk on voice chat for hours on end, while I'm lying in bed less than 5 feet away. I've been reprimand several times for oversleeping.
At one point I had enough of it and spent 3 days at a hotel to get away from it, without saying a word. She didn't notice until the first morning, and didn't get worried or ask if something was wrong until the third day.
About a month ago, she even alienated her family when her family flew across the country to spend 3 days with us to celebrate her birthday - she neglected her family, and yelled at them when she was "too drunk and has no filter", saying that she never wanted them to come see her, she just wanted to be left alone to play her game, that it's her birthday and she should spend it how she wishes. When they told her that they flew out to see her because they missed her, and sometimes she needs to think of others first, she told them that the last time she put others before herself she wanted to kill herself (referencing the Navy program she's in). The family broke into tears because they'd just been compared to grueling 12 hour shifts on a metal floating box for weeks on end and wanting to kill herself because of it.
I talked to the family for a few hours that night, and found out she'd been going down this spiral for years. When we initially came stateside, we were granted 3 weeks of post-deployment leave. She had apparently been staying at her family member's houses back home playing video games every waking hour, and when the family member would confront her about it, she would pack up and go to the next family member's home and do the same thing. She bounced around from house to house, until she even went to see her grandfather, who was exiled from the family...for being a football addict. Who neglected his daughter going into labor for his first granddaughter, birthdays, family events - because he was addicted to football games. Appears to run in the family.
The family packed up for the night after a sad, last night of staying with us, and left in the morning without getting any goodbye from their daughter/sister. They left for the airport with the last words they spoke in person is that she hates being with them and would rather kill herself, she just wants to play her video games. In the middle of a pandemic when families have been broken.
Every day life right now consists of me getting home to find a household that needs chores done, overflowing trash bins, laundry that needs to be done, dishes that need to be done, a mess of a bedroom, and a girlfriend that hasn't even taken her shoes off yet because she couldn't be bothered to take them off when she got home because the game was so much more important. She spends all of her time on the game and on discord, and speaks to friends and strangers alike that she's never met, but talks to for hours and hours until she goes to sleep.
Since I got home today from a long, tiring day at work - I walked into the same scene as always, but today she was yelling and laughing over voice chat, and I needed peace and quiet. So I sat down on the couch, and began to research this addiction once more. I've come across this site multiple times over the past few months. I've been home for 6 hours, and have yet to have any form of conversation with the girl I've been dating for a year.