I'm a 21 year old male from Canada who has been addicted to anything game related since the age of 10.
I've acknowledged to myself that I have had an addiction to online games for two years now, I believe I have an addictive personality but I'm not sure. I am currently in my second year of College and while trying to study and do some assignments on this Sunday I had the "surge" of images and memories of games coming to me. I have become so hopelessly lost, I have tried many things and finally today I googled online addiction and that lead me here. I have spent the better part of the night reading messages here, of people that are in similar situations as me. I get really emotional when reading these because I am in the same boat, it's embarassing to admit I have a problem and don't think I ever could to my parents. I tried once but they thought I was joking.
I finally decided to post here because I feel I may fail my semester as I did two years ago where I had to take a year off school when I failed my second semester (I ended up playing games 16 hours a day for that entire year regardless ranging from MMORPGS like Shadowbane, Lineage2, WoW to online text based rpg's.) I'm sorry if this comes out all jumbled but I am just letting everything off my chest as it comes to me.
It all started when I was not even 7 years old, the first computer where I almost learned math and english from adventure games. Luckily growing up as a child I played many sports with the kids in the neighbourhood and my best friend would do everything together. The summer before grade 7 when I was 12 my best friend and I had a big fight, and that entire summer I excluded myself from any friends I had. I buried myself in computer games, just simple strategy games. This is where it all started.
Luckily my social life if you can call it that picked up during middleschool in grades 7 and 8 and I made a couple close friends who also were into computer and video games. I spent much of my time at home playing strategy games like Warcraft 2 because I was good at them, if I wasn't out with friends I would be at home playing games. I had really good grades at the time but then highschool came.
I became a hermit, only socializing with one or two friends who I would see outside of school, I was too shy to even talk to girls so I did what I was best at play online games. I stopped caring about grades in highschool and was extremely depressed, not to mention my first really bad MMORPG came out called Dark Age of Camelot. For me I went to what I knew, I get satisfaction out of these games, I'm good at them I'm respected and it just became worst and worst. One of my best friends from middle school even stopped talking to me during the last years of highschool because we went on different paths *I can't believe I'm shaking as I'm writing this..* I began to play games more and more, whether it was Shadowbane, Dark Age of Camelot, Everquest, Utopia there was always something. I found it easier to make friends online then in real life, and I always get a buzz going when I play this online sports.
Somehow my parents motivated me to go to college where I took a basic Business:Administration program so to say I was taking something. I then became passionate about something for once outside of games, I really enjoyed marketing so much so that I wanted to join the program offered at my college only to the select few out of the hundreds who applied where it was a Coop program. My first semester grades were going really well, my play time was cut down to 6-7 hours a day (very little for me) I had lost almost all of my real life friends so the only socializing I did was through my volunteer activities where I am a coach for a special olympics basketball team in my area. But then I was introduced to an online text based rpg called Mafia. I cannot describe the power I felt playing this game, I would stay up till 5AM and wake up at 7AM for class playing even at school. I dont know how to describe it but it seemed like being in the game world, feeling powerful unlike how I was in real life was too overwhelming. It became so bad when my "family" was in a war so I stayed at home online instead of going to one of my exams which failed my class. I then had such poor grades that I was denied to coop, I was very depressed but I still had my online games. I started cutting all my classes justify to my parents why I didn't need to go to them for my second semester.
I have always had a problem with my father, I feel as if I cannot speak to him about any of my problems. My mother was always concerned but I began always lying to her, I felt so bad everytime she asked me if I finished projects for school or studied for my subjects. I kept on lying so I could play more and more games. I ended up not even going to my second half of my semester and ended up failing, I had to beg the school to give me another chance and not boot me out. I spent the entire summer jobless with no motivation to get a job, instead I played games over 14 hours a day some days for 20 hour periods. Whether it was Shadowbane or SWG, I forget when I played them, I've just played them all day after day neglecting real life responsibilities and the friends I had lost. It was so bad I had to take half a year off school because I told my parents I needed a break from it even though I would play games anyways. Right before I started school again in January however my online friends told me about WoW coming out in Beta. Just like many others I played in November at release, so much so that I was the first level 60 Priest on my server. I don't even know why I'm bragging, what the hell does it all mean in the end anyways. Somehow, I got the determination to quit WoW after Christmas right before my classes started.
I quit online games but there was always something. While I went back to school I always had trouble reading or studying because I would always get memories of my gaming experiences. I get so emotional during these games, moreso than I am in real life. Sometimes I feel so sad when bad things happen to me in game or furious which leads me to feel depressed in real life. I played strategy games while going to school, I had to do something that involved games but luckily enough I focused hard enough to attain a 4.0 GPA in my semester which lead to my acceptance into the Coop Marketing program I had always wanted to be in, I'm not very smart so it's a big deal to me. My life was picking up too, toward the end of my semester my old best friend from middleschool and highschool called me up one day out of the blue and we met up for some coffee.
Unfortunately after I had completed my semester I reactivated my account for WoW and thus began my hardcore playing of 16 hours a day where I became the first rank 12 person there, I can't describe it but when I play online games I can't do it casually. I'll toss and turn in my bed at night and think about all these games things, when I do real life stuff I always think about games. I quit WoW again to go back to my Mafia game, where I had to go back to prove myself (I don't even know why I did) and played all day and night for almost the rest of the summer. However, my social life really picked up and my old best friend and I had became real good friends again which lead me to going to parties but I still have self esteem issues about talking to women, I'm a 21 year old virgin..
By some miracle, if I can even call it that my computer broke down late August before my first Coop classes in Marketing were beginning. I refused to get it fixed, hey my social life was at it's peak and now I won't be able to play games anymore.. or will I? For my program I am given a laptop which I take to school, after only a couple days of not playing games I felt so bored when coming home and just watching TV, I had to do something. So I started playing Utopia, a turn based online strategy game of sorts. I would play during class, at home. I would even set my alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to "make attacks." I was still doing well in my classes keeping a 70% average. Then my brother one day told me to go to his room, he also plays MMORPGS and was excited about killing "Onyxia" from WoW for the first time and asked me to go see. I quit Utopia thinking it was for the best and instead spent all my time at my home while studying in my brothers room watching him play WoW.
Fortunately my friends still wanted to hang out with me even though I would often ignore there phone calls when playing games and threw me the best birthday party I have ever had (my first one). Even with good friends, supportive parents I gave in to temptation again and when my brother would go to sleep I would sneak into his room and play WoW till I had to go to classes. Here I am now, sneaking into my brothers room to play online games neglectiing my friends even though they still speak to me. I lie to my mom again about going to classes and doing projects and I even tell my friends jokingly that I have a computer game addiction. I even got 2 of them hooked to WoW which I feel really bad doing, and I even kid to my "online" friends on messenger that I'm addicted. What drew the line was today, when I recommended to one of my online friends who I got hooked to Mafia which caused him to drop out of highschool. I told him today even though I knew it would be bad to buy WoW to come play with me.
I know if I keep this up I will fail my classes, I try to quit games but I always go back to them. I feel as if nothing else can provide me with the satisfaction of being "better than people" in online games. Even though I have friends outside of games I still feel lonely unless I am logged "online."
I'm sorry for the long and jumbled post, I need help I really do. Please help me, what should I do? I can't exclude myself or block myself from computers because my school requires me to use computers, I just don't know what to do, please help me
-Hopeless Game Victim