How To Overcome Gaming Addiction
Anything, when done out of proportion, can be harmful. A little fun, more fun and more till it takes more time than normal then you know it’s an addiction.
Some games are really fun to play and they can take away the stress. At some point, you may start setting targets and you will be so excited to reach those targets. These targets may include beating a friend or reaching a certain high score.
Reaching these targets will mean spending more time than usual playing the game and getting to a point of not having control over when you want to play and when you should stop playing.
Being addicted to gaming can affect your grades at school, it can also cause problems in your relationships with others. It can mean spending time you would have used to make money gaming.
Candy Crush Saga is one of the most easily addicting games and it reached over half a billion download just within the one year of its release. So you see the number of people that could be possibly addicted or that’s fighting the addiction right now.
Here’s a story of Adam while speaking with gamequitters on how his relationship crashed because of his undying love for games.
“I’m Adam and I’m 26 years old. I started gaming early in my childhood, and loved to play FPS games, especially Battlefield 3 and 4! I was very good at it, hitting the top of the scoreboard most of the time. I really liked the sense of achievement, skill, and being a bit of a show off.
The biggest draw to gaming however was playing with my friends. I was very easy to log in and socialize, without having to leave your house. I don’t regret those memories with my friends, they were some great moments! And really for a long time I saw no harm in playing, even until five or six in the morning. There seemed to be many more upsides than downsides to gaming, however looking back now it was because I had no greater vision for my life at the time.
My Wake Up Call
I would sleep all day and game all night. I became a cave animal who hated sunlight. My mom said I lived like a vampire. Life became too big and scary to face so my big comfort blanket was gaming, and it was so familiar to me as it was part of my life since childhood. This continued until one day my girlfriend left me. I was devastated and completely blindsided, which happened because I was blind to her and everything and everyone else around me.
This was a major blow and took me a long time to get over, but it was also a wake up call. I suddenly got on my own side again and decided I wanted to live! It wasn’t until much later that my mom and I would really clash. Our fights and falling out made me much more aware of the toxicity of this habit.
It was around this time that I came across Cam’s TEDx talk and his YouTube channel. What struck me the most was a video showing how much of the world I was missing out on as a result of my gaming addiction.
This incredible beautiful planet we live on, all out there for me to experience, suddenly gaming looked much smaller, and real life much larger. I’m feeling quite emotional actually as I write this because I realize it all happened for my own growth, as painful as it was at times. I decided enough was enough. “
Tips to break free from gaming addiction
Like all addictions, overcoming gaming addiction requires patience and great determination. You will also be needing all the help you can get from friends and families which is why I will be trying to help in the little way I can by sharing with you some tips to help you get out of that addiction.
1. Try not to play alone: You would agree with me that playing games with friends comes with its own excitement compared to when playing alone. When you start playing games with friends you will become used to it and playing alone can become boring.
That will mean not finding it interesting when your friends are not around and it can reduce the amount of time you use in playing it.
The problem with this is that, if your friends are also addicted to gaming, this method may not work.
2. Set time limit: Timing yourself will not only tell you when to stop playing but also let you know when you are playing too much. When one is addicted to gaming other things can suffer. So if you are able to set a time limit daily or weekly, it will help you carve out time for other things.
3. Find some cheats: Discovering some cheats around the game can really take away the feeling to challenge off the game.
You will get to pass levels more easily and quickly which may now the game seem boring to you. You can get cheats online and from friends.
4. Avoid competition: Social media has made it possible to connect with like minds around the world, people that are playing the same game.
Trying to get a high score and beat your friends is not going to do you any good, it will require you spend a lot of time playing the game.
So if you are fighting gaming addiction and you have such friends online you should cut them off. This will take away the competition leaving you time for other important things in life.
5. Engage in something: Sometimes being idle is what makes a lot of people give all their time to the virtual world. If you find something else to do like reading a book or learning a new skill, it will go a long way in stopping the addiction.
You can also choose to spend more time outside your house with friends that are not into gaming.