"Why stop gaming?": question to game addicts.

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ES_tonian
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"Why stop gaming?": question to game addicts.

Gaming is a psycological addiction. When you play, you stop time. Time is still, life is still. Problems, challenges are not there for the time playing. As you stop playing, they are back. Gaming is like manipulating with time: stop, play, stop, play. But you want to stop it, because you think you feel happy: no problems, new life, where noone knows you, where you can be anyone you want. In theory, such time pause technique is great. It is a great stress relief. But precisely because it IS so stimulating, it is addictive.

I am a game addict, 24years old. In my case it is Starcraft. Hell I am good at it. B player on ICCUP. I am just so good. I dominate all my online friends, and most strangers, even koreans. And sorry for my arrogance, but it is hard to become good at starcraft. Along with such games as counter strike or age of empires, you need more than just time, but dedication, such as pracitising certain key combinations over and over and over until you dream about them. Its like playing piano (which i have done for 12 years), you have to pratcise speed with certain excercises until you get good: tens, hundreds, thousands of times if needed.

Today I play for 10-15 hours/day. Only those who spend as much as I do on playing I think can understand me. I have played all 30 hours straight on several occasions. Its been going for over 1.5 years now. I actually think, that often I get kind of high on it. This June I barely managed to submitt my Master thesis in time (and to my surprise got distinction for it {who would think that I get distinction for a master thesis in economics in oxford???}). I failed to submitt one essay....OMG..one essay and therefore can't graduate this year. BOOM, over, and my internship in Brussels is hopeless now without the master degree. Big failure. I was so busy to play that i didn't care about anything else. Now, i am left with unfinished degree, a lot of depts, and feeling of guilt before my student mates, parents and friends. Its a terrible feeling. Who's fault it is? Mine! Do I care? No! And this worries me the most, or doesn't it? Why I don't care at all about all this? I am gonna run out of money in about a month, my parents are both unemployed today, and I don't care at all about it, only starcraft. My parents are my best friends, they don't know about my addiction, but they always try to tellme what is right to do. I don't want to listen. Sellphone is off. I don't care, but why?

My question to you: "Am I alone?". Am I a selfish weirdo, an egoist, who cares only about his momentary pleasure? How can I ignore my parents? I love and respect them so much. Maybe I am ashamed of myself? hmm..yes I am very much so. OMG, I was so successful in life, personnally and professionally, and I chose to give it up all for gaming? hmm....wait a second, yes I did: what a looser.

What was your motivation to stop gaming?

Thx to you all, appreciate, srry for being so long. I didn't know what I was typing when I started to type it. Well........ ok, I am going back to starcraft, friends are waiting...how pathetic.....

J. DOe
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ES_tonian, welcome to

ES_tonian, welcome to OLGA!

ES_tonian wrote:

What was your motivation to stop gaming?

My reason was just simply that I was not living a life that was even remotely close to what I wanted, with excessive video game playing being a major reason for that discrepancy.

ES_tonian wrote:

Who's fault it is? Mine! Do I care? No!

Is it really you, or just the addicted part of you, who does not care? I suspect that it is the latter. As I look back now on what I was like beforehand, I am sometimes amazed at what went through my head like my justifications for continuing to play excessively despite realizing the damage that it was doing to me and several important people around me. A very important question that you have to ask yourself is whether or not you want to improve your life, including reducing or stopping your video game playing. Next, if you do, then can you do it yourself? I suspect that the answer is no since you would have already done it if you could! If so, then you should admit to yourself that you are powerless over your gaming and that life has become unmanageable. That appears to be what you are saying in your post. If so, then you are on the first step of the 12 steps. If you want to get additional help, then I recommend going through the other steps, as well as using the other excellent resources of this site (e.g., reading/writing posts, attending on-line meetings, etc.).

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Desire to Stop
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EStonian, from your posts on

EStonian, from your posts on the site I'm having a hard time understanding if you actually want to stop gaming. If you want to stop gaming, welcome and congratulations, we have a solution that can work for you, if you work it. If you don't want to stop gaming, I'm not sure there is much point to some of the questions you are posing--it's not really my place or the place of anyone else to tell you why you should stop. I only know why I stopped and it's because my addictive gaming was ruining my life, I felt awful all the time, and I couldn't stop by myself--I had completely lost the ability to choose to not play, and was a slave to my cravings. I was willing to risk many, many things that sane people would never put on the chopping block for an imaginary game--my career, my family, my housing, you name it, I was content to risk it all for another piece of imaginary junk in the game I was playing. The key component is that I was feeling desperate. The good news is that you don't have to have lost everything to decide that you are desperate enough, but sadly some people need to lose more, more, more and sometimes *everything* before they decide they have carried enough pain and are desperate enough to want a solution to their pain, so they can live a free life again. I'm also an alcoholic who is active in AA, and I can assure you I have seen what 12 step programs can do for both the "high end" drunk who has barely felt the nip of the wringer, as well as the "low end" drunk who is homeless, lacking most of their teeth, etc. We never get to know what is in store for us if we choose recovery and are willing to go to any lengths to get it. If we limit ourselves to today's vision of what we think we want as recovering gamers, we would be selling ourselves far short. We don't care about how good you or I are at mashing buttons. The real question is this: do you have the desire to stop? Would you like a life free of gaming? If the answer to both of those is yes, are you willing to go to any lengths?

Cheers, Desire to Stop
ALL quoted text (unless otherwise stated) comes from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (with wording sometimes changed only to make it more relevant for gaming addiction). I will include page numbers.

Hoping & praying for a measure of recovery for all of us today.

michael26
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Just in case you didn't

Just in case you didn't catch my other, really long post on that other person's thread, here it is:

ES_tonian wrote:

that relates to me very much. omg, gaming is getting in my dreams!!! But if in your case you decided to quit, I can't find a reason to quit. I can live on welfare, because as a gamer, I don't need much money: 1 meal a day, internet, electricity bill, pretty much it. WHY to quit? Why stop ruining your life? Man, I used to be successful, master degree in economics from oxford (UK), government job in the ministry. I screwed this all up. U had it, its gone now. Why to stop playing now, its too late.

michael26 wrote:

I remember thinking like that as well. I also actually used to believe I could sustain my addiction through the game by surrounding my life around it. There is a huge difference between "living" and simply "being alive". You can't live without a life. This game is no kind of life. No-one can truly live on welfare, scraping up just enough to game. It is never too late to live. The part of your life wasted by the game is gone forever. It can either be a chunk of your past that is lost, or it can continue and your whole life will be basically wasted. Noone will remember you as the guy who was so awesome at this game... The few people that remember you at all will wonder why they never could spend time with you, the few that know that answer will wonder why they didn't do more to try to get you to quit. I remember I used to think that my "life" was better inside of the game than it was in real life... I had no real ambitions, or goals in life, and I had "friends" in the game. I just went to school until I could get back to playing the game. But in the game I could "work" and achieve some small goals. The thing to remember there...Is that in real life, when you achieve something, that is a real achievement that you can tell your grandchildren someday. I can't imagine they'd be that impressed by some old man blabbering about how he was this or that on some ancient game. But your goals don't always have to be something that you can impress people with when you're an old man. Daily activities that you no longer do because of the game can become daily goals. Read a book you had always wanted to read but never "had the time". I used to forget to take showers because of the game(I did remember on school days though). Take a walk to the park, or if no nearby parks, just take a walk around the block. Take up a hobby or learn a musical instrument. Call up old friends you neglected, spend time with them. Make new friends(this one is a tough one for most of us antisocial gamers :P). You have a masters in a very tough major es_tonian! I actually know a guy that retired at age 30 with that major. He's a karate instructor on his free time now, black belt. He has a nice house and a smoking hot wife. You have the education, you just need the will and determination. Life isn't going to be perfect. There are going to be bad times, down times, but unless you stop playing the game, you wont ever experience the good times. Fight for those good times. I hope I helped you, or anyone else reading the post. -Mike

Other than gratitude from your friends, and some sort of feeling of self accomplishment, what does "being great at starcraft" do for you in real life? What are people going to say when you tell them you are a "B player in ICCUP"? They're going to give you a funny look and walk away. I've never played starcraft, but every game is like that. I could tell people I had a lava cape, full barrows, and 50 million gold coins in this game I was addicted to, and they would just laugh or tell me how nerdy I am. My point is...Nothing you do in that game will matter ever in your life. You might as well use that determination to work for something that will actually benefit you for the rest of your life. I've taken up guitar, got good at it and then haven't practiced it in awhile so i'm starting to get rusty. Only good enough at it to where I could tell the ladies I play it. I've taken up tennis, sucked the first year I joined in high school but got "most improved" on my team. Going to be trying out for the college team. I also started to finally make friends my senior year in high school. I just started hanging out with them. My most common comment was "I've never seen you at this school...ever". I outcasted myself with the game, so many of them had ever even seen me, and this is in a small school where everyone knew everyone. These are just some small things I did, I regret not doing them earlier in high school. If I did quit that game earlier, I wouldn't have quit martial arts and so I'd be strong and probably high ranking. Or I could have joined tennis earlier and been really good at it before high school ended. Or I could have dedicated myself to the guitar instead of playing it only for a few hours a week because of the game. Or I could have made good friends freshman year and had a delightful high school experience earlier instead of only one good year. Those are my regrets. If I had continued to play, those regrets only would stack up until one day I'd be a very old man with a whole boatload of regrets and whose life is unfulfilled. Enough about me though. My first response to you was before I heard the full story. You have some regrets of your own, but you're just ignoring them and continuing with the game? That should be a wakeup call that you need to fix something fast. It doesn't mean you need to sulk and just continue on with the game. You care, your family cares, but you want to ignore that. You should not sulk in your self shame. Do what you have to do to graduate. Whether that means one, or even two jobs to pay to redo the whole year. Or sadly, more debt with another student loan if a job isn't enough to pay for it. You're saying that your life is ruined. No it's not. Debt is common with students, so is having to go an extra year. It's only ruined if you continue with this destructive lack of care. The non-addicted side of you does care, stop the addiction and your life can still be turned around. again, I wish to help you in some way. -mike.

BigH501
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We are not here to tell you

We are not here to tell you why to stop. That is for you to decide. . When or if you decide you want or need to stop playing, then we are here to help give you moral support to work through that process. . Until then, I don't see that you have decided you want to stop, so please enjoy your game. . :|

" ... don't question it just go" "... where the body goes the mind will follow"
.
Borrowed from "Desire to Stop"

michael26
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I read your response in the

I read your response in the other thread now. I don't want to continue to hijack that other guy's thread though :P What got me addicted? Well it started in the 8th grade when one of my friends heard about a game. We all started playing it. I wasn't really into it until about a year later. I think a lot of it has to do with how compulsive you are. My whole family seems to get into routines and that makes it a lot harder. My dad quit smoking for example, he took lozenges, got addicted to those, and finally quit those. But now he constantly has a hard candy to replace that void, he got into the routine of having something to chew/suck on.(refrain from the dirty joke lol) Also have a cousin who was addicted to WoW, she told me that if she didn't have a full time job she wouldn't mind doing that 24/7. My mom is also compulsive, she has a routine of cooking on a really boring schedule...(monday=burgers, tuesday=tenderloin sandwiches, wednesday=spaghetti. ect) It's pretty good but when you've had the same thing every monday since you were 5 it gets boring. Maybe i'm just spoiled there though. Anyway, I've got friends that are fine with playing WoW or other similar games for just a few hours a day and then moving on with the rest of their days. But for me it's just like a drug, I wanted more and more. Few hours turns into 10 hours, 10 hours turns into all nighters. I think having these long summer breaks really got me addicted because I had the time to play whenever I wanted. Once school started I was cutting "unnecessary" time everywhere I could in order to play as long as possible. A full nights sleep wasn't really necessary, friends were gone, homework would be guesswork, and when I was sleeping or at school I was thinking about the game. I was trapped in this fantasy world that was this game. I don't know if that fully explains the "how". But I hope it helps. -mike

ES_tonian
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yes, mike, I don't want to

yes, mike, I don't want to spam anywhere. I am new to this forum and I am surprised that I actually find self-motivation from reading posts, and getting amazingly fast responses, to stop playing and start dealing with the problems that every-day gaming has caused. Yes yes yes, I also can't wondering, why to some of my friends couple hours a day of a certain game is enough; and for me I need more and more. Have you ever tried to answer these questions? Maybe something is really wrong in me and you, maybe we are crazy or something? As you see, I am trying to find causes. My posts are porbably missleading, but I am trying to find causes. Why we become addicted? Is something missing from our lifes? alternative reality can't be it!, no, its something else!!!! Do u know what? I don't.

catherinek
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Maybe you need to stop

Maybe you need to stop playing first. When you have done that, then maybe you can start examining the causes. Are you here for help to stop? I just don't get that you are.

Cryptic
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@OP, I am new to the site

@OP, I am new to the site and today is day 2 of my abstinence from gaming. I'm not too sure about the etiquette about posting on this forum so just a disclaimer, I can only speak for myself. Some of my theories I have worked up on my own for myself. The reason I decided to reply to you is because your story resonates with me. 8 years ago, when I was 23, I dropped out of university. I had lost interest in studying by then, having devoted the previous 3 years to hardcore gaming. I have always found studying easy, was an early adopter of technology & was an above average gamer, whether FPS or RTS. Did I feel remorse? No. Even when my parents are poor, uneducated and have always struggled to put me through to a 1st class education. Do I feel remorse now? Not much. Even when my parents recently bailed me out financially. Oh by the way, to the other posters, ever notice poor impulse control over purchases or just poor financial skills? And now here's the thing: I feel remorse for not having completed the degree, hence getting a cushy job rather than struggling for the past 7 years, which would have enabled me to carry on gaming today... I feel remorse for signing up early on this website, which kept me from sleeping last night as I contemplated pushing back the date of my commitment to this website, as it would mean I will be unable to participate in the 2 open betas in the coming next 2 months... Do you see how warpped my thinking pattern is? Now for my theories & again I must say, I can only speak for myself: What I have is a "thinking problem". The root or cause might be physical or mental, but it does not matter, the only thing that matters is that it exists. I used to think to myself, does that mean I am a loser? Am I stupid to be unable to use logic to think myself out of this downward spiral of addiction & depression? No. I know I am highly intelligent with an ego to boot. However being intelligent does not mean you are mutually exclusive from being addicted. For myself, and only for myself, I believe I have an under stimulated brain, much like people with ADHD. Gaming was my way of self medicating out of boredom & depression. Alright I have to cut this post short. I have over extended my time as I was planning for an enforced outing away from the PC. Last thing: As the above poster catherinek noted, although I feel it is short on specifics, sorry catherinek, I believed it to be the correct & wise advice to follow. Just stop playing first. After an extended duration, 1 year or 2 years, maybe you can decide whether or not to examine the causes. But what's important now is just to stop gaming. I believe you are stuck on the causality of the problem. For myself, maybe not for you, I have felt, for a long time, that I needed to examine the causes first, before deciding on whether to stop, or that maybe by attacking the causes, I can "regulate" my gaming. This is wrong as this is just a delaying tactic by your brain. I am in this position because I have constantly lied to myself that I can control or regulate the problem. I cannot, I am an addict. Like I said, it is a thinking problem. Forget causality. Just decide whether you want to end this behavior or not. The blue pill or the red pill is the crux of the issue here, the rest is just decoration. And just 1 interesting video to share. From TV's Craig Ferguson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bbaRyDLMvA It's only 12 mins but its 12 mins which might change your life.

"It's a thinking problem."

J. DOe
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Cryptic wrote: And just 1
Cryptic wrote:

And just 1 interesting video to share. From TV's Craig Ferguson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bbaRyDLMvA It's only 12 mins but its 12 mins which might change your life.

Thank you for sharing about that video. I really enjoyed listening to it. Although he talked specifically about his issues related to alcohol, his wise words apply to any addictive behaviour including playing video games. As you state in your post above, and Craig says in that video, his problem is not really with alcohol but with his mind, i.e., a "thinking problem"! Similarly, my problem is not with video games but with what goes, and does not go, through my head. Also, it is a condition that does just simply go away eventually but, instead, we must continue to manage, including Craig even after being sober for 15 years.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Desire to Stop
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Wow, thank you for the video

Wow, thank you for the video link. There are traditions that ask us to remain anonymous at the level of press, radio, and film, and I love how he danced around that while still observing it. That and he's incredibly funny.

Quote:

No. I know I am highly intelligent with an ego to boot. However being intelligent does not mean you are mutually exclusive from being addicted.

Coming from AA, what I can say is we all believe this about ourselves. In fact, sometimes we will say things like "Don't they know who I am?" and a whole meeting room will bust up in hysterical laughter because we alllllll have that careening around in our brains!

Quote:

For myself, and only for myself, I believe I have an under stimulated brain, much like people with ADHD. Gaming was my way of self medicating out of boredom & depression.

Without having the seen the video first, I didint' fully understand the relevance of what you were meaning here. My first thought was that mashing buttons doesn't require much mental energy, but I think the difference between stimulation and mental engagement are very separate things now in our media-saturated world.

Quote:

Just stop playing first. After an extended duration, 1 year or 2 years, maybe you can decide whether or not to examine the causes. But what's important now is just to stop gaming. I believe you are stuck on the causality of the problem. For myself, maybe not for you, I have felt, for a long time, that I needed to examine the causes first, before deciding on whether to stop, or that maybe by attacking the causes, I can "regulate" my gaming. This is wrong as this is just a delaying tactic by your brain. I am in this position because I have constantly lied to myself that I can control or regulate the problem. I cannot, I am an addict.

I wanted to second this and offer another thought--yes certainly because this problem centers in part in our mind, we can't think our way out of it. Since we are powerless to stop on our own efforts, clearly we can't will our way out of it. There are also those who have tried more travel, change in diet, geographic relocations, switching games, getting religion, and as the Big Book likes to phrase it "Swearing off forever (with or without solemn oath)". (Haha, not gonna quote a page number, you all can go find it yourselves! It's someplace in the first 3 chapters, that's your only clue.) What I was thinking about were the 12 steps as a way to both get ourselves free from the addiction, and in the process of doing them all we actually get down to causes and conditions. The information about "why" does come to us. So it's like this amazing 2 for 1 deal. You take the Steps, and you can get free of compulisve gaming, and you can find out more about what was behind it all. Again, great video, I might watch it over!

Cheers, Desire to Stop
ALL quoted text (unless otherwise stated) comes from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (with wording sometimes changed only to make it more relevant for gaming addiction). I will include page numbers.

Hoping & praying for a measure of recovery for all of us today.

Tm87
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Only so you know cs need

Only so you know cs need much much skill and strategy to be good on. When i played it, you need to have 2000-3000 hours to be in the med+ high group of players. That was one of the thing that help me to stop to play that sort of games, only thing i have to thank xfire for. When i read 2000 hours on my account there i be really angry on my self. When i played it, it was 2 other players from uk that have played it for 10 000 hours.

Tm87
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Its not easy to stop game.

Its not easy to stop game. Its take time. From your post i understand that you maybe are not ready to stop. If you like your game dont stop to play it. I dont like my game, i play it bc i have so much problems and its the only thing i have that "help". I "think" it help anyway, but i know it dont help.

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You are a pro-gamer who got

You are a pro-gamer who got a master's degree in economics, with distinction, at Oxford all while playing 10-15 hours of computer games a day? You must be one of the smartest people in the world...

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@Adam_B yeah it sounds kinda

@Adam_B yeah it sounds kinda strange. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I know this "high" feeling ur talking about. I also used to play SC a lot even analyzed games of pro players, so that I could get better. When u play nothing matters, and that's the biggest problem. You can't help it. So the way I figured was like this: I can continue to play and don't give a sh** about the world. Where does that bring me? Well, I have recently watched I document film about some guys who did nothing but sniffed glue from a plastic bag all day(it's a drug). They lived in a trash dump and hadn't taken a shower for two weeks. And what did they say? They said that sniffing glue if the best thing in the life, even better than sex (!), and they wouldn't trade it for anything. Now that's interesting. So the point is that ur mind can play tricks on you. You must always think clear headed, and you must realize when u do not. How would you imagine yourself in 10 years? Living in a dark hole, weighing 150 kgs, no girlfriend, no FRIENDS, no experiences, financially broken, socially isolated (yeah,,, virtual friends ftw)... is that what you really want? Sure it must be good now, but you gotta think of the future. You still have a chance to alter this gloomy outlook. The first step is to determine what needs to be changed. You got so far that gaming is bad for you. You experienced it first hand with its effect on ur degree. The next step (the harder part) is to actually do something about it... Btw, I was also wondering why we become addicted. I'm sure it has a scientific explanation (dopamine levels in the brain... etc). For me one big challenge was to find something else that even just remotely compares to the thrill gaming can offer. The problem is that after a prolonged period of intense stimuli, u r just less receptive to less exciting stuff... Deep down I would start gaming again in no time because that's what I like to do the most. What keeps me from going there is sensibility. I've realized that it's a dead end. Hmm, sry for this long post... I could probably go on for pages...

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