Yet another addict...

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TFPoG
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Yet another addict...

Indeed, I'm another addict posting his story, trying to set his life straight...So, I suppose I'll not waste time here...

It all started really in 4th grade...It was the worst year of my life really...I got my first B in school, my great-grandmother died, and...My parents divorced...What's worse is that this all happened within a span of three weeks...However, the latter part of the events is what disturbed me the most...You see, my father and I used to play games often, namely WCW Vs. NWO on N64...So, when I went to visit him the day after they had first separated (my father was staying with a friend, and I was staying at my original home with my mother) I was introduced to the Playstation and Metal Gear Solid. This is where it begins.

My father was extraordinarily good at the game, though he was no hardcore gamer. I tried to keep up; stealth games weren't my forte really, but he was a natural at it. I bought myself my own Playstation and MGS and got better, eventually passing my father up and beating it before he did...He and I played a few other games after, but...One day he stopped. He started working out again like he did back in high school, trying (I suppose) to get the ladies' attention again. I, however, found myself unable to stop.

I first had Internet capabilities in 1998. To me, this was the most exciting thing in the world; I used to mess around on an old Windows 3.1, so anything on a computer (for some odd reason) was understandable to me; this caused my original addiction to computers. With the world at my fingertips, it didn't take long for me to discover the wonders of on-line gaming. My first significant game was StarCraft. My friends and I played for countless hours, and with the semi-powerful map editor, we were kept constantly entertained. All I could think about was StarCraft, what units countered others, how to improve on my strategies, that Terran beat Protoss, Protoss beat Zerg, Zerg beat Terran, on and on and on...Tower Defence, Legends Open RPG, D&D on custom games...It consumed me...

Naturally, it didn't take Blizzard long to release another addictive game: Diablo II. I did play the original Diablo some, but with the ability to duplicate everything, it got old quick; and besides, StarCraft was superior to Diablo...D2, however...Not so much. It was of the utmost importance for me to beat the game before my friends as well. So, I set off with my Necromancer and accomplished that task, eating away at my social life...Er, wait, what social life? I never had one...I spent all of my time playing games. My friends and I never even saw each other in real life, except at school, which I loathed since it took me away from games.

It was in about 7th grade (2001) that I became depressed...I realised what was going on, that I had no life...That it was pointless in the long run to live anyway, and I was tired of it...To this day, I've thought about committing suicide 847 times, starting in 2001, with only 4 of those being attempts...I went to games (which by now, I played as a reflex...I don't even think when I play games anymore, I learn the commands and get lost in it, getting rather angry when I'm disturbed from it) so that I wouldn't think those thoughts...

2003: WarCraft III, which is my current obsession. With (I believe) the most powerful map editor of any game to this day, the game never *ever* gets old. Regs got boring; the hero system made me angry, so I got frustrated with it quickly, only for Frozen Throne to come out in 2004 and only improve the map editor further, creating one of the two maps I'm addicted to in WC: TFT...Defense of the Ancients, or more commonly known as DotA. I don't know what it is about it...But I've clocked in more than 80 hours playing it alone...80 hours I could have used to change aspects of myself that I don't like, time I could have spent in the real world, away from all this...Footmen Wars, my other addiction, clocks in close to DotA, probably (I'd estimate) 38 hours...Regs, I'd guess about 15 hours there...

Oh wait, I forgot something: MUDs. Achaea and Imperian, two games that I've also been addicted to inbetween all this, before I had high-speed. Though I've laid off of these for games with graphics, let me check real quick as to how many hours I've played there (it has a counter on both of them)...Achaea: You have played for a total of 31 days, 9 hours, and 36 minutes. I've spent real life money (over 200 bucks, closer to 300 I think) buying credits so that I could be stronger...And I don't even fight on there either. Imperian: You have played a total of 13 days, 8 hours, and 44 minutes. Add it together, 1074 hours. Ah, what's sad about this, however, is that about half of that time, I was just sitting there, watching TV...I just wanted to be on the computer; for what reason, I don't know...

Mm, Final Fantasies...Kingdom Hearts...Star Ocean...I'd rather not calculate those hours, but I know it's well over 700...Let's not elabourate here; I know why I'm obsessed with those, it's because they present a life to me that I'd rather live; I'm stopping here, because I'll just go off on a rant about how the world sucks because of the idiots that run it...

Finally, we're at my last game, and my latest obsession: Black and White 2. Being a god...What more can you want...Lead the people, cause chaos, destruction, or lead them to prosperity...I liked both, and am currently doing the latter on my second time through of the game, which originally took me over about 30 hours to beat.

So yes, my obsession is both on and offline...I..Want to stop, but I can't...I don't know what else I would do, there's nothing to do where I live...About the only thing there is to do is to go to the bowling alley and play DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), yet another game, although it helped me lose twenty pounds two years ago...See, yet another game, that I've clocked in more than 60 hours playing...At least *that* one's semi-productive...I'm not exaggerating about the lack of things to do where I live either; most people my age go out, get drunk and have sex, which are things I have morals against...Not to mention, my obsession with video games led me to never develop social skills, although it did expand my vocabulary immensly...I've been turning to religion to help me (I'm Pagan) and have been attempting to do things like meditation, yoga, etc...But...Every time I try to clear my mind, I just see images of games, or I get the compulsion that I need to play something...The thought runs through my mind: "I could be playing a DotA right now..." and it won't go away...I don't know what to do...I'm not as suicidal as I used to be, though the thought creeps up on me sometimes...Should I see a therapist? I don't believe in mental disorders, so psychiatrist isn't an option...All I know is...I want to get this under control...I don't want to abandon it forever, as it's my connection to my friends...We play Guild Wars (that's not as bad, I think I've only got about 20 on there...) and WarCraft together...And those friends are true friends, I could never abandon them...What should I do...

boredhousewife677
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Re: Yet another addict...

Hello, and welcome to OLGA. If you want to quit gaming, you can. It sounds like games have been a big part of your life, but maybe a part you'd like to leave behind?

Many people who game excessively suffer from depression. I don't know if you would classify that as a "mental condition" or not. Whether you believe in depression, or think you might be depressed, or not, therapy would definitely be helpful to you. It's a good place to begin to understand why it is necessary for you to invest so much of yourself in virtual worlds as opposed to the actual world.

One of the problems with gaming is that no matter how good we are at it, in the end it leaves us unfulfilled. Essentially, it's pretty depressing to spend so much time, energy, and money on something so inherently meaningless.

I wish you well in your life's journey.

-Jackie

lizwool
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Re: Yet another addict...

Hello TFPoG,

Welcome to OLGA. Thank you for sharing your story. It is quite pathetic. I feel bad for you.

Do you keep a log, every time you think of suicide? It is good that none of your attempts have succeeded.

How old are you? I am starting a half-way house for gamers, so you can get your feet back in your real life, which it sounds like you have never had. Let me know if you would like to join it.

For more suggestions about what you can do to leave the games, go the the I Need Help section for Gamers p198.ezboard.com/folgafrm3. There are several posts the have been tacked at the top of the form, that maybe helpful to you. Please read them, and pick out those things that appeal to you.

I hope they help you. And, I hope to see you around here!

Liz

Liz Woolley

TFPoG
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Re: Yet another addict...

Thanks for responding you two...

Jackie: It's not so much that I really want to leave it entirely, just...To be able to control it. I suppose I should have explained what (I believe) gaming has done to me...As I progressively got older from when I started, I began to lose touch with reality. It got worse and worse, and I can hardly tell what's real or not anymore; to be quite honest, I try to convince myself every morning when I wake up that I am indeed still asleep, and am in a nightmare...Then mutter and groan when I realise it's real life. And, I know I shouldn't feel that way...That's why I want to stop, really...As for depression, I consider it a state of mind; it's achieved by successive failure (heh, oxymoron, but not successive in that aspect...) and one becomes trapped in that state of mind for an extended period of time. I believe this since I had recovered from depression (thanks to finding Paganism...) and that was a step away from the false world that games had created for me, I believe...Truly, at the end of an RPG, it leaves me depressed because I can't live in a perfect world like those which are created...Especially Final Fantasies, where it typically ends with the two lovers in an embrace, and that's...All. *sigh* I suppose that could be considered unfulfilling..

Liz: One time, I did write a little letter confessing all the things about me that I hate, why I was killing myself (essentially, they're all still the reasons why I think of it today...I've gone about 4 weeks without a thought though), etc., but I destroyed it...I was always too emotional to write a log most of the time...I've recently turned 17 just these past two months...And I'd definately be interested in the half-way house....I'll check out the posts after I post this...

Again, thanks for the replies, you two...

-Seth

aelwyn1964
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Re: Yet another addict...

I think each person needs to decide for himself whether he is an addict. Some people can control it; others can't. There is no shame in being addicted to something. Some people can use moderation to keep their gaming in check, just as some people can have one or two beers every once in a while. Some of us just can't do it. We need to take more radical action, or the game will destroy us. We need to break the disks, stop going to Internet cafes, sell our characters, close our accounts, and stop hanging out with people who talk about gaming. I can control my drinking, and harder drugs (including tobacco) have no attraction for me. I rarely gamble, and I don't cheat on my wife, and I'm not addicted to my own anger, as some people are. But I am a gaming addict. Just admitting that to somebody, admitting that you DON'T have control over your addiction, ironically gives you a little more control over it. When you realize that you are one of the addicted, you can start taking those radical actions to avoid your addiction.

Unfortunately, a lot of people can't bear to admit they're addicted. It feels like an admission of weakness or worthlessness. But if it's the first step toward taking those radical actions that will keep clean, then it's actually a powerful way to regain control of your life.

TFPoG: you have to decide for yourself if you are an addict or not, but if you are contemplating suicide or losing touch with reality, and if you feel compelled to play even when you don't want to... well, think about it.

What kinds of things tempt you to keep playing? What can you do to remove those things from your life? What can you replace gaming with? (hobbies, volunteering, exercise, writing, meeting new people)

We're here to help. Good luck.

TFPoG
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Re: Yet another addict...

Sadly, I'm rather sure I'm an addict...I come home from school, the first thing I do is boot up the computer, check e-mail and head off for a game of DotA or to play Guild Wars...I asked my mom to help me with this; she laughed at me and just told me "it's mind over matter"; as if I haven't tried that. My school life sort of forces me away from it all; my problem is that I just hate people in general...Not you guys, by that I mean the people in my town. It's depressing; they're all lazy, do nothing but talk about others behind their backs, or always attempt to set themselves above you in every conversation. The only people I can really get along with are the adults...Meh...

What tempts me to play? Lack of anything else to do. Having no friends that do things other than gaming. I'd make more friends if I had any sort of social skill...I dunno, perhaps I've just never really been a kid, and because of that I'm not able to really communicate like kids, or be like them. But yes, lack of social skill really brings it into play.

What can I do to remove these things from my life...As I see it, these are the options:
1. Abandon my only friends.
2. Make my parents hide my CDs, and put blocks up on gaming websites. This can't happen however, as my parents aren't exactly technologically gifted.

Needless to say...I don't know what to do. It's not like friends really grow on trees where I live...Like I mentioned above most people around here are general buttholes.

Replace gaming with? This seems a bit more achieveable...In order to be certain that I get into the college I want to go to, I've been doing some community service...But, that doesn't always come up all the time, and like I said earlier, I have no social skills. So, it makes it hard for people to really get to know me, want me to be around, if I never talk. I know things I could do to replace it with, but it's like...I'm drawn to them..I can't stop...I don't even think about it anymore, it's become habit...The most I've gone without games is 3 days, and though I felt myself getting better, when I had the chance to play again, I instinctively went to the computer and started...It's pathetic, I don't even have control over myself anymore...I don't know what I should do...I'm thinking of getting my high school counselor to help me find a therapist...Hopefully that'll turn out well, need to wait til after the Thanksgiving holidays though...I can't think anymore, I'm off to sleep...By the way, thanks for caring everyone...It's nice to find some people that are actually kind to others for a change..

aelwyn1964
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Re: Yet another addict...

Getting a therapist is a good move, and I would also ask your therapist if she thinks you should be on antidepressant medication. You sound very depressed.

It sounds as if you are a young, intelligent, lonely, shy person--as I was, quite a few years ago. Please hang in there. You will find a group of people you can relate to. I could not relate to my peers in high school, and my only friends were the people I played wargames and role-playing games with. When I went to college and then joined the working world, it got better.

If you're serious about quitting, you could set up the computer to block the sites, then ask your parents to type in a new administrator password and not tell you what it is. I blocked my favorite gaming sites on my work computer, then changed my admin password to "One's too many, and a hundred ain't enough," to remind myself that if I play for 10 minutes, I'll play for 6 hours. I haven't played since.

And nothing against your mom, but "mind over matter" doesn't work for us addicts. Recovering alcoholics don't just stop drinking, they avoid places and people that encourage drinking. If you were trying to quit smoking, you wouldn't leave packs of cigarettes lying around, so get rid of those games. Tell your parents you don't want any computer games as presents, either. Make your parents see that you are serious about quitting, and you need their help and support.

You can also improve your social skills, but it takes practice. Trust me on this one--I made a deliberate effort to develop social skills when I was your age, and I actually did it. Make yourself do something social, like taking a fun class (cooking, dancing, a foreign language) or joining a book club or chess club. Try to see what's good or interesting in everybody, but don't waste your time on people who don't make you a better person or make your life better.

Gamers are not your only friends. The people here are your friends as well. Come back any time.

TFPoG
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Re: Yet another addict...

I used to be on them; I found out all they do is make me ****ed off at everything that moves. However, that was a while back; since then, I've decided that there isn't such a thing as a mental disease, and that most of these problems stem from something wrong in the past that needs to be resolved, and I've proved my point to myself when I first conquered my depression. Heh, don't let this be the judge of my attitude; when I tend to write these things, I do so in a manner that more or less deems me wanting a pity party. I'm not all that depressed, just when I realise that I don't really fit in the world...This dealt with work a lot, because I try to fit in there, but I'm not treated like everyone else...I'm kind of shunned and rarely talked to, mostly because I don't talk...Since I don't know really what to talk about. But, that's another story. Anywho, my step-mom, who I relate to very well, as she's one of the few intelligent people around here, brought up earlier today how she's treated the same way (she and I work at the same place, but at different times), so I'm hoping it's just my co-workers and not me.

Aye, I suppose that description fits me, save for the young...17 isn't that young now, is it? =P I've been told that I'll find others I can relate to in college by other people as well, and I think that's true; I regret not graduating early now. I'm planning on moving to Austin, so I'm sure there'll be *someone* around there that I can relate to.

I do have good news, however. When I play games, I tend to have a sort of moral code; I don't pick on players early on when I have the advantage, namely I'm not a viciously cruel person (Unless I'm playing Black and White...That's another story. =P) Well, it seems the...Butt..holes...On WarCraft playing DotA have no respect for morality, and have made me swear off of that game, which has recently been the game I've been consuming most of my time with.

No offense taken; my mother isn't...Exactly the brightest of bulbs...She's addicted to cigarettes herself...Pfft. I've been working on my social skills, which *are* improving, I do believe. Sadly, I forget I have to dumb myself down in order to communicate with the people where I live...Meh.

Thanks again for your help; it's always nice to know that people actually care and understand what I'm going through...

aelwyn1964
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Re: Yet another addict...

17 isn't young... if you're 17! But if you're 41, like I am, 17's pretty young! On the other hand, I guess 41 is pretty old if you're 17, but pretty young if you're 80. Everything's relative.

One of my best friends from college was a guy who was kind of an outcast in high school. Let's call him Dan. Dan told me this interesting story. This other guy he knew from high school, a football player who was incredibly popular, saw Dan at the grocery store, years after they had both graduated. The football player told Dan that he (the football player) had always been jealous of him (Dan). Dan had always seemed so together, so sure of himself, never caving in to peer pressure, like he knew who he was and didn't let anyone else dictate what he should be like. He wore vintage clothes because he liked them and listened to old or obscure music because he liked it, and he didn't care what others thought of him. The football star had spent all of high school trying to do things that would make him more popular, including a lot of things he didn't really want to do! And all this time my friend Dan thought he was a geek, a nerd, a nobody, that he wouldn't have any friends because he was just too weird! Now, of course, they've both got families, regular jobs, a nice life in the suburbs. They really aren't that different. And they both worked out what they really wanted in life and are pretty happy.

TFPoG
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Re: Yet another addict...

Heheh...I suppose so then, in that case. When I was younger, I thought that that's the way I should live as well, like Dan did back then. But, for some reason, I've felt the need to find *some* place I could fit in...Everyone around here doesn't publically make fun of anyone, it's all done behind their backs; as such, I've become paranoid as to what people say about me behind mine. So, I believe that's stopped me from being me in public..Eh..

I do have good news though. I talked to my counselor today, and she introduced me to a professional who comes to our school at different times every week (luckily, she was here today!) to help special need kids. She said she can help me, and for some reason, my mom didn't seem to object to me seeing her, though she still thinks it's pointless, that all she needs to do is ground me from the computer and I'll "go into withdrawal symptoms and get better." I doubt that...Anywho, I'm going to see her on Thursday, so hopefully things can start to take a turn for the better..

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