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How to Overcome Video Game Addiction

David is an avid gamer across multiple platforms such as consoles, handhelds, mobile phones, and PC.

You only have one life, don't squander it on video games.

You only have one life, don't squander it on video games.

What Is Video Game Addiction?

A video game addiction is simply an addiction to playing video games. Unfortunately, this addiction is spreading at an extremely fast pace. While it may not effect the body directly as alcohol or cigarettes would, it can still devastate lives when people take their gaming habits too far.

Truth be told, I was once addicted to video games. I let it ruin many aspects of my life. I still play them, but I learned how to enjoy in moderation.

How to Overcome Video Game Addiction

This article will cover the following:

  • Symptoms
  • Treatment
  • The tragedy of Shawn Woolley
  • My addiction
Video game addiction can start at an early age.

Video game addiction can start at an early age.

Symptoms

First, you have to identify if you or someone you know is addicted to video games. Here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Spends a lot of free time playing video games. It may have just started to be a one hour a day thing, but then you notice the person spending every free moment playing or doing something game-related.
  • Neglects school or work. This one should be obvious. If the person calls in sick or stays home from school to play a game, then there is a problem. Having a vacation day from work isn't a bad thing, but skipping either work or school can be a bad thing if it's for a video game. I know, I skipped college for video games.
  • Ignores family. Choosing a game over family is always bad, and a sure sign of addiction. If kids are neglected, or a spouse feels alone, then there is a problem. Video games are never more important than family.
  • Lets their personal appearance go. Since the person is always playing, personal hygiene won't seem as important. The more someone lets themselves go, the bigger the problem is.
  • Health issues start to come up. If the person stays awake all night playing video games, has mood swings, etc., that could be a sign of video game addiction. A person can even die if they focus on playing video games without a break.
  • Spends money on video games prior to the necessities. Obviously, games are the priority for this person when it should the things they need to survive. If the rent goes unpaid just so the person can buy the latest games, then there is a problem with addiction.

Effects of Video Game Addiction

Who/WhatHow

Family

Feels neglected and ignored. Feels like video games are more of a priority.

Friends

Feels ignored, friends eventually will go away after awhile.

Work

Work performance suffers, could eventually lose job.

Physical Health

Weight gain, seizures, fatigue, etc.

Mental Health

Anger issues, depression, withdrawal.

Finances

Loss of income could result in not being able to buy food, losing house, etc.

Someone addicted to video games ignores the world around them.

Someone addicted to video games ignores the world around them.

Do you think that you may be addicted to video games?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Have you stayed up all night playing video games?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  2. Have you called in sick to work/school to play a video game?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  3. Do you get angry when something bad happens in a video game, to the point where you yell or throw things?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  4. Have you lost anything (job, friends, family) because of a video game?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  5. Do you spend more money on video games than food, rent, etc.?
    • Yes.
    • No.

Answer Key

  1. No.
  2. No.
  3. No.
  4. No.
  5. No.

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: You are addicted to video games. Seek help immediately.

If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: You are showing signs of being addicted to video games. You should start to cut back to get it in check.

If you got 4 correct answers: You show some signs of being addicted to video games, but you keep it in check.

If you got 5 correct answers: You aren't addicted to video games.

Treatment

Overcoming an addiction to video games, like all other addictions, can be a difficult process. However, in time someone can learn to enjoy them without being addicted to them. The following tips can be used to curb their addiction.

  • Don't stop cold turkey. Video games, unlike other addictions, takes up a lot of time. Stopping altogether may leave a huge void in your life and cause you to relapse. The goal is to curtail how much time you spend playing.
  • Play in moderation. Set a specific number of hours (or minutes) to play per day. Set a countdown on your phone. Once that timer goes off, stop playing.
  • Eliminate how many systems you own. Between console, handheld, and other gaming systems, there just isn't enough time in the day to play them all. People try. Instead, only have one system you play games on. This will allow you to stay focused, without feeling the need to play games on each and every system.
  • Avoid MMOs. If you have a severe addiction to games, MMO's are the worst games you can play. MMO's are huge time vortexes. People have been known to die while playing an MMO, as they play them for days on end without a break.
  • Take a break every hour. For each hour of play, stand up, walk around, etc. for a few minutes. It's unhealthy to sit in front of a screen for hours at a time without a break.
  • Limit how much money you spend on video games. If you set aside $60 a month for games, then, for the most part, you are just buying one to two games per month. If you limit your spending, you limit your addiction.
  • Choose games with physical activity. Games are becoming more movement-based. Some require you to stand and move your body. While they are still video games, they can encourage exercise.
  • Include your family. There are a lot of games that families can play together. Not only will it allow you to continue playing, but it will include your family in your hobby. Just remember to teach your children moderation, and if you have to, limit their game time as well. This may also increase addiction, so it may not be the right way to go.
  • Seek help. There could be an underlying issue that causes such an addiction. Seeking a mental health professional is not a bad thing and is nothing to be ashamed of. You can talk to your primary care physician about it as well.
  • Determine if there are other issues at play. An addiction to video games may be caused by something else in your life. The step above, talking to a mental health professional, can help you identify and possibly address that.
  • Find other hobbies. Start a collection of some sort, do some gardening, etc. Something else to keep your hands and mind busy. Some of these you can also include your friends and family.
  • Reevaluate your life. Look at your life as it is now. What could be better? Maybe there is a job you didn't get due to your video game addiction. Maybe you missed a child's event at school. Take those wrongs and try to make them right.

The Tragedy of Shawn Woolley

In 2001, Shawn Woolley killed himself. The online game, Everquest, was running at the time of his death. It was his mother that discovered him dead. His mother blamed the game for her son's suicide, while the CEO of Sony disagreed.

There was no proof that Everquest resulted in his suicide. His mother stated he was addicted to the game and his suicide could be due to a possible love interest in the game. However, there is no concrete proof that it was the cause.

Video game addiction may have played a big part. Shawn also had a lot of medical issues (mental health and physical), which could have been worsened by the fact he was on his computer all of the time. He also stopped working, stopped paying his bills, and stopping interacting with his family.

Who is to blame? That's hard to say. His mother tried to get her son help, and it was not Sony's responsibility to ensure people seek help. But this is proof that video game addiction is a real issue.

In 2002, Shawn's mother founded On-Line Gamers Anonymous to help others with this addiction

It's up to the addicted person's friends and family to confront the person about their addiction. They have to take responsibility as much as the addicted person. They can't just say, "It's only a video game." They have to step in and help.

Video game addiction should be taken as seriously as any other addiction.

Video game addiction should be taken as seriously as any other addiction.

My Addiction

I had been playing video games for as long as I could remember. It caused major issues throughout high school, but I was able to graduate.

When I had my first job, around the age of 18, video games were becoming even more popular. The Playstation had just been released, PC games were becoming all the rage, and I had the money to buy a lot of them.

That same year I also started college. I would have had time to work on my studies, but I spent a lot of my time playing games My addiction was so bad that I would skip classes to go to work, just so I would have more money to buy games.

Eventually, I dropped out of college and worked full time. My addiction, along with other factors, caused me to lose almost everything. I lost friends and family. I had no direction in my life.

In time, I took ownership of my life and put myself on a better path. To this day, I am still playing video games, and I enjoy them a lot. If I still had an addiction issue, would I be writing this article? No. I learned to play in moderation. You can, too.

"World of Warcraft" Addiction

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: What made you realize that there was more in your life than video games?

Answer: There wasn't one event that made me realize that, however, it was around the time I failed out of college. I was more focused on video games than anything else. I would work just to pay for video games. Once I failed out of college and saw how it affected my future, I realized that videos games weren't everything.

Question: How can I overcome my addiction to battle royale games on my phone?

Answer: That's hard, since it's being blasted on every video game site, every game that can have one will have one, etc.

Following the tips in this article covers any type of game. Find support in your life, cut down the gaming time, find some professional help that may assist with your addiction.

If it's on your phone - uninstall the app and remove your credit card. Make it hard for you to reinstall it (like require a password each time you want to install an app). Put up those walls so you can back out of playing the game.

Question: How long does it take to forget about video games if one has a video game addiction?

Answer: You will probably never forget about video games. We are bombarded with gaming stuff on a daily basis. The only way to truly disconnect is to shut off all electronics, but that's near impossible as well.

Question: I don't believe video games to be more than mildly entertaining. Is there proof that real life can offer me meaning? Will life feel relevant?

Answer: That's up to you. Humans survived for many years without video games and I expect eventually we will have to give them up again. Real life can offer you more than video games ever will.

Question: I play video games without my parents knowing. How do I overcome my addiction without having to tell them and getting in big trouble?

Answer: That's really hard. Having the support of family can be the best thing for overcoming something like this.

My advice? No matter how mad your parents are, tell them. Tell them you have something serious you want to talk about and you want help with it, then come clean. They could be mad, but it's because they care for you. I know how hard that can be, but in the end it will work out.

If you really don't feel comfortable with them, then talk to a teacher or someone at your school. State what your fear is, they may be able to help talk to your parents for you, or, help you directly.

Question: I keep on playing video games of all sorts even though my parents took them away. I lied when they asked if I was playing when I wasn't supposed to and I keep on getting so close to getting it back but then I go and screw it up because I feel like I'll never get it back. What do I do?

Answer: Listen to your parents. I had a game system taken from me when I was a kid for three months, during the summer no less. But I did good, did what I was told, and I was given the game system back. You know what happened? I wasn't even overly eager to play it since it was taken from me, that's how I learned moderation and control works.

Question: I'm addicted to an MMO and my friends are trying to convince me to relapse, what do I do?

Answer: Don't relapse. Instead, find other things to do with those friends or different friends to spend time with. Don't succumb to the peer pressure of going back into the game.

Question: My brother is twenty-eight years old, and he is playing DOTA 2 game from last six years, now he is addicted, how do I help him overcome this?

Answer: Have you tried talking to him about it? It may take many tries. State why you are worried, what changes you may have seen in him, etc.

Question: How do I stop staying up late for the sake of playing video games?

Answer: There is no easy or simple answer to this. Depending on your situation, you can have family direct you or shut your systems off. If you have no one around, setting timers like on your phone may help, but it's easy to ignore a phone. Otherwise, talking to a doctor about the problem would be best to see what they would recommend.

Question: Why do people get angry if I say I like video games?

Answer: I really don't know, they are very common nowadays so no reason people would unless you neglect other things in your life for gaming.

Question: How do I stop myself from thinking about playing a video game after I've managed to quit?

Answer: I don't think there is an easy answer to that. Other than finding other ways to occupy yourself, but you can't help but remember things you previously did in your life, gaming or not.

Question: What would be a good time to set aside for video games?

Answer: That's for you to decide. How busy is your life? Do you have studies or a job to worry about?

Question: What are the process stages when getting treated for video game addiction?

Answer: I don't really know how to answer this, except with the Stages of Change model. You basically have pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance/relapse, and termination. I recommend you Google it.

Question: I am not really that addicted (to video games) but should I still be careful?

Answer: Do you feel you need to? Are other things in your life being sacrificed because of video games? We should all be careful in our video game usage, it's up to you to determine how you should do that.

Question: Could I overcome my video game addiction if I destroy my Xbox?

Answer: Destroying your Xbox (or any game system) is a bit extreme. You can do more with it by selling it for cash. Also, have you tried cutting back or setting a limit on yourself first? That can be easier than just cutting cold turkey. A small number of people can just stop with something and not pick it back up, but it may be hard to do that.

Instead, talk to your family, reach out to them and ask for help. Say you want to find other ways to spend your time instead of gaming. Explore other hobbies, take more classes in school, or find a good physical activity to do.

Question: I love my brother, but he's an addict. He's lost his girlfriend, can't keep a job, and spends all his money and time on the x-box. He's been kicked out of many homes and lives with my dad who's basically letting him live there rent free and doesn't care how he spends his time. I feel like everyone else has given up on him. And I don't want to. How can I help without sounding preachy? Because I need more than one person for an intervention, and I'm not sure anyone else is willing.

Answer: You really need to get your dad on board with this. Allowing your brother to live there rent free isn't the answer, it's enabling it and excusing it.

You may need to get preachy, but don't say things like, "You don't have a job, you don't have a life." Say things like, "I am concerned about you." or "I'm worried about how video games are affecting you". Use I statements, not you statements. Keep at it, don't hound him, but you may need to bring it up multiple times.

If he wants to game with you, don't do it. State you can't be around him when he is gaming.

Question: How can I find a hobby to take up free time when video games have made hobbies either boring or seem stupid?

Answer: Hobbies typically require trying something until you find you like it. I enjoy writing, for example, and use that hobby and involve video games, to sorta connect the two.

I also have a lot of collections, writing as I said, my cats, my car, etc. Try different things - you'll find something.

Question: What would you say is a good video game that is fun but not addicting?

Answer: I can't answer that. Any game can be addicting. Any game.

Question: I am addicted to World of Warcraft. How do I keep my addiction in check?

Answer: Uninstall the game, cancel your subscription, or ask Blizzard to ban your account. Friend and family support can help as well.

Question: I know that my best friend has a game addiction. I have told her before only she wouldn't admit it. How should I tell her without being rude?

Answer: Instead of telling her, let her know you are worried. Tell her things you have noticed that are worrying you. Give her examples.

Question: I play Fortnite for like six hours every day. Am I addicted, or no?

Answer: Does it interfere with your life? Does it interfere with school, family, or friends? If so, then you may be addicted.

Question: How do I stop playing Fortnite? I keep getting yelled at for it by my mom.

Answer: You need to tell her that you are having trouble quitting and you need her help to stop.

Question: Will I survive longer without video games?

Answer: If you plan video games 20 hours a day with little sleep and food, sure, you probably will. Exercise is better than video games, so in that case, you may.

Question: I want to stop playing video games right now, can I?

Answer: You can if you have the willpower to do so, but that's not always enough. You may need to reach out to friends or family for support.

Question: Is it a good idea to only play on my Xbox on weekends?

Answer: That's relative. Does it interfere with other things? Then no. Does it stop you from seeing friends or being with family? No. Can you enjoy it and balance it with other things? Then maybe.

Question: Are video games bad in general?

Answer: I really don't know. They generate jobs, so that's good, but they have caused problems, which is bad. The same can be said about cars, alcohol, and TV.

Question: How do I get rid of my addiction of video games and play in moderation?

Answer: Follow the guidelines in this article, and really, reach out to family or friends who may be able to help you.

Question: I think I have a video game problem, but I'm not sure. What do I do?

Answer: Reach out to friends or family and see what they think. Ask them honestly if they think gaming has affected your life.

Question: Who can I see to stop an addiction?

Answer: Talking to your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist can help you with an addiction.

Approaching your family about it and asking them for assistance can be beneficial as well. If you don't feel comfortable with that, then a close friend or a school counselor.

The important thing is to reach out to someone close to you who will help you find the assistance you need.

Question: Is playing video games for two hours a day bad? Should I limit to every other day?

Answer: That's up to you to decide. Is it interfering with other things in your life like school or family? If it is, then you need to limit it.

Question: How do I notify my loved ones about my video game addiction?

Answer: Tell them, just open up and say you feel you are addicted to video games and may need some help. They will appreciate you did and will want to help you.

Question: I am having trouble focusing on doing work. I have stopped playing games on my Xbox, but still think about playing games and consider everything in life boring, what should I do?

Answer: Keep at it. Find other things that interest you, different hobbies, things you haven't considered. Hang out with friends can be a great distraction. Keep in mind it can be difficult to quit, so you can moderate your game time too, if you feel you have the control to do so.

Question: I have 3 systems, 1 laptop, and a phone. Should I stop using one of my video game capable devices?

Answer: That's your choice. Are you addicted? Are you spending more time on them than other important things in your life? May ask someone close to you to see what they think.

Question: Why the value of traditional games as an alternative to virtual games?

Answer: Because they can have more of a human, in-person interaction. It's almost always a better alternative.

Not to say it's always better, addiction can be there, but I found it to be a better alternative.

Question: How do we stop playing videogames when I can't stop?

Answer: You need to reach out to friends or family to help you then if you can't stop on your own. Reaching out to someone else can be great for support and encouragement you need to stop or cut down.

Question: Would playing video games only during holidays be too strict?

Answer: That depends on you. Holidays don't happen that often, maybe finding a balanced schedule would be best.

Question: How can I overcome my addiction to World of Warcraft?

Answer: Follow the guidelines in this article, but I recommend you reach out to a loved one to talk about it if you really want to stop. You can cancel your subscription as well. You can even ask Blizzard to ban your account.

Question: I have tried some of the ways and I succeeded for only a short period of time. How can I get more determination to overcome videogame addiction?

Answer: You need the support of others, like close friends or family, to help in reducing your game time. Also, if you are trying to stop all the way, that may not be best. It may be best to limit how much you game instead of stopping completely. Find other activities, hobbies, etc. Those can be a good way to balance your time as well.

Question: What do you do when not playing video games?

Answer: I work, I cook, I do errands, I do things with other people, etc. It's whatever I do to fill the time. I've written a ton on here, so that's a great hobby as well. It's whatever you do that you find interesting and worth doing outside of gaming.

Question: How do I stop playing and thinking about Fortnite?

Answer: Uninstall it and try to lean on friends and family for support. It's hard to do with a game as popular as Fortnite. The game is everywhere. So you really need to seek out people who can help you pull yourself away from the game.

Question: How do you find a reason to do work? I use gaming as a reason to do work and its hard to focus without thinking about games. I want to practice more and play secretly cause my goal is pro gaming instead of a regular career.

Answer: Becoming a pro in gaming is like winning the lottery - many people try, but few succeed, and even fewer receive enough money to live on the rest of their life. It's not a good career path and I recommend you don't do it.

Question: Because I watch videos a lot my dad does not talk to me normally. What do I do?

Answer: Can you talk to your mother about it? Or talk to him to see if you can work it out? Talking may help.

Question: How to get my parents to allow me to play video games again?

Answer: There are too many details missing from this. Why did they stop you? Was it for a good reason? Video games caused my grades to drop and my parents took the games away for months. They may have a legitimate reason. You need to take corrective action so you can get your games back.

Question: Do you think that uninstalling the game I am addicted to from my phone would be a good idea?

Answer: If you're addicted, but it's so easy to reinstall the game, that isn't the best deterrent.

Question: I've quit gaming cold-turkey for a year now and never felt the "urge" since. How risky is it to carefully try to play again?

Answer: It's different for each person. It can be risky, like any addiction. That's for you to tell. I recommend you find someone to help support you if you plan to play again to help you moderate your game time.

Question: I got bored of video games. But I still can't stop playing them. I started to get bad at school and lost my focus. What should i do?

Answer: You really need to find other outlets. Sports, if possible, are a great way to find something else to focus on. Though hobbies, either through school clubs or on your own, is also good.

But if it's an issue, and one you are recognizing, you need to reach out to your family for help. Tell them you're worried and want some support to deal with this issue.

Question: How can I overcome a gaming addiction while being surrounded by gaming devices?

Answer: There is no easy response to this. Stopping cold turkey may not be the best approach, but limiting how much you play may help. Putting away those gadgets may help. I keep my gaming systems in a cabinet so they are a bit harder to get too and not always in front of me, for example. Plus enlisting the support of others may help.

Question: Is playing videogames bad?

Answer: Is it a constructive use of time? No, of course not, but we all need relaxation. If that's how you relax, then I think that's fine, as long as it doesn't interfere in anything. I relax by going on trips, watching TV, reading, writing, etc. What is bad to you? Are you taking it so far that you think it's bad? Then you have your answer.

Question: League of Legends is my only one addiction and I can't stop with playing. I don't know what to do. What do you think?

Answer: Follow the advice of this article and reach out to your family if you feel you need to stop.

Question: What else can we do besides playing video games?

Answer: Whatever else you find interesting. Sports, reading, writing, hanging out with friends, etc., there are a lot of things you can do besides video games. Figure out what things you like to do outside of video games and put your heart into them.

© 2013 David Livermore

Comments

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on June 03, 2020:

First off, this could very well be affecting your physical health. It may be contributing to your existing issues. You also don't have to go to your parents. If you are in university, there are those there that you can reach out to so you can talk about it, possibly receive some medical treatment if it's necessary.

I understand how your culture may be, and it's understandable that you are afraid of what your parents may think. In the end, you would hope you could reach out to them beyond the cultural norms and say you want help, that self control isn't enough.

Good luck.

Tyler Dick on June 03, 2020:

i am 19 years old. i average high distinctions in my university, but i feel dead. i am spending all my time daytime studying and i am only free after midnight, i tend to spend the night gaming up to 3-4am. im not sure if this is considered addiction... i am able to stop playing games for a few days when im busy or even an entire month if its close to my exams. with that being said, i am still constantly spending hours a day forcing myself to play games. im really stuck... i wouldnt be here if it wasnt for my health.. my eyes are weakening and i am having joint issues. my overall nutrient and hygiene is good. this means no one would ever suspect that i actually spend the night playing games. its not affecting my life overall as of present but i know i am unable to keep up with this much longer as my health will deteriorate. i really wish to get advise to stop gaming. i am unable to tell this to my asian parents because they would feel upset that their 19 year old son is still unable to have self discipline. advise would be appreciated

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on May 06, 2020:

Well, sounds like you don't have the self-will to stop the habit. Quitting altogether may not work as well, so you may need a set schedule. If you live at home then you can ask your parents to help regulate it (without punishing you). If you don't live at home, such as being at college, you can ask a RA or school counselor for assistance. You can even set up a support group for others who may have the same problem.

. on May 05, 2020:

I am an A student, however, I do have a problem with video games. As opposed to spending all day playing video games where I cant do my school work, because I am as equally obsessed with my schoolwork, ill do that, then sometimes play all night, is there any way that I can stop this?

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on January 23, 2020:

That's not really a long time, but it depends on how it affects your life. If you are neglecting school, work, family, etc., then it could be a problem. That's for you to decide and seek help if you feel you need it.

Trouble? on January 23, 2020:

I spend like 30-45 minutes each day playing games. I don’t know how to completely quit it.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on September 08, 2019:

Number of hours doesn't really factor into a gaming addition (my own personal opinion). Instead, it's how it affects your life. Were you missing out on important commitments due to it? Such as school, work, family? Then yes, it could have been an issue.

Metallica on September 07, 2019:

Good Evening David.

I just wanna ask something, I nowadays don't play games that much anymore, but I stick to game delevoping more. I spent like atleast 3 hours into delevoping games everyday. Is it bad? Is this some kind of addiction?

Samuel on September 03, 2019:

Thank for helping conquer my addiction playing games

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on September 02, 2019:

Your parents should be restricting your access and you should ask them to do it. You need to go to them to tell them you are having trouble stopping and you need their support to do so.

Vrotlex on August 31, 2019:

I’ve been addicted to Roblox for 2 years

and it made my parents and my brother yell at me and my grades started dropping, even i tried to stop myself and i failed several times. How can i stop my addiction?

EclecticEnigma on August 20, 2019:

Good evening David! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to create an article like this & leaving it open for discussion. I haven't been clinically diagnosed with a "Video game addiction disorder", However, I personally acknowledge I definitely exhibit various behavioral disorders as a result from excessive video game time played. I currently no longer play online video games anymore and it's been approximately a little over 2 years or so that I've been "clean". But, when I did, all I would do, is play.... for hours on end.... Sunrise till sunset, you'd see me glued to my p.c. I blamed that low point in my life to my former living situation. I was struggling with horrible depression & anxiety & playing online video games felt like my only escape from the reality I placed myself in. Fortunately, I met someone, That person motivated me to find myself again. Convinced me to finally delete the game & everything related from my p.c & my phone. I used a calendar to cross out the day's i've been "Video - game free".

If I can share some other pointers that helped me with whom ever read thus far and wants to distractly stop:

#1. Change your environment if you can, By not making it easy to reach for your game. "Out of sight, Out of mind"

#2. Make it a hassle to play, If your game is on your computer. Uninstall the game every time you play. I know it may seem crazy, But knowing that you have reinstall the came unto your p.c every time to play, makes it a chore & less appealing. If your game addiction is a game console, take out the game from the device & place it back in it's box. unplug the game console & pack everything up in a closet, or under your bed or in a garage & hidden from view.

(Again, make it a chore to have to take it out & then play.)

#3. The more friction there is between you & your gaming addiction, the less likely you're to want to continue to pursue playing.

#4. If the above hasn't worked out, Desperate times calls for desperate measures, Give your game console to a family member or someone close to you that you can trust & understands that you're trying to quit & tell them to hold on to it for a while. Tell them not to remind you of it for at least 30 days. If it's online game that's an issue, Not only should the game be deleted by the access to the site you be blocked as well, using a parental website blocking app that someone you can trust has access to unlocking. Let someone you trust monitor your p.c by checking if you've attempted to reinstall or installed the game & have them delete

in the event you did.

I wrote all of this, because even though I have done that, I still have the temptation to want to play after only 2 1/2 years game free.

Which brings me to reading this article for more help.

So thank you David Livermore for spreading the word.

Even with all the parameters I've placed on myself, I still find myself daydreaming when I could play... Gaming addiction is a real issue that needs to be talked discussed.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on August 06, 2019:

You need to give her your iPad and she needs to enable the parental controls on it. She needs to set the rules and boundaries regarding using the iPad and playing video games. You need to go to her and ask for her help.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on June 09, 2019:

RPGs and open-world games are fine, in moderation. Nothing says you have to sink 30 hours into a game in a few day period. You can easily limit yourself to just a couple hours a day and a few on a weekend, get the enjoyment, and not sacrifice anything else.

I still play games a lot myself, but, they don't interfere with my personal life. I work, I take care of my home, etc. I don't allow myself to play games until I feel my responsibilities have been handled, then I can fully relax.

Isaiah on June 09, 2019:

Hi David! Thanks for the article, I've been reading it for the past week and really, it's been helping me. I was addicted to an MMO over the course of three years and a couple of months. I recently quit because I was beginning to suspect that I had an addiction, not only to it, but of other games similar to it.

Well, fast forward to current time, I now suspect that I developed yet another addiction, but this time to the RPG genre, specially to a game where you can create your own NPC and have them available to other players (Dragon's Dogma, for information).

Well, I won't go into too much detail (I think I already have lol) but I spent too much time into this character and accidentally messed up. I now realize that once again my addiction has preyed upon me.

Getting to the point, my question to you is rather should I try to avoid games that are more open-worlded and offer more choices and instead stick to more linear ones (Games that don't offer like 30+ hours or more, that also include grinding, ect) or should I just take a few month break from them?

(I'd also like to apologise for writing so much, it's just that I've struggled so much with this lately and it feels as if I keep slipping further and further into this with no sign of recovery).

Nate on June 01, 2019:

I am addicted to ROBLOX and scarf down my food to go play it

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on May 22, 2019:

Following the advice in the article is a start, but reaching out to friends and family that help you is also something you can consider doing.

Ricky on May 22, 2019:

I am addicted to Roblox and minecraft, I am seeking some help

rkimchi on March 21, 2019:

David, thanks for putting up this helpful blog. I wanted to direct people to another helpful resource: olganon.org

It's a message board and community for gaming addicts and those that love them. It was actually founded by the mother of Shawn Woolley, and she still posts from time to time.

I have certainly had my share of gaming addiction periods in my life. It is definitely possible to get better. Best wishes to all.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on March 06, 2019:

I'm sorry to hear that. Have you tried talking to your parents or family about it? See if they can help you? Breaking the addiction is hard to do, and getting the support that way can really help. Teachers or counselors at your school can also provide you with assistance.

Enrique Lex on March 05, 2019:

I am addicted to CSGo, and I don't know what to do. I almost have 3,000 hours in the game for the past 3 years I've had it, and for about 2 years now, it made me feel good and bad. Good, because I know I am good at the game, and bad because I know by playing it more and more I get more addicted to it. I want to do my school work at home but every time I try to, I either get really bored, not do it, and just play CSGo.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on February 26, 2019:

Well, is it affecting your life negatively? How? Can you ask someone for help or ask them what changes they have seen in you? If you want to stop, getting help from a friend or family member can be critical.

It's up to you to determine what limits you need to impose.

Nemo on February 26, 2019:

I've almost stopped playing videogames, but the Elder Scrolls still draw me in - i just love the lore, the exploration, and all the mods. I used to play Star Wars and many other games, but i either grew tired of them, or grew to hate them (Star Wars, with the Disney buyout and the nuking of the old canon). How do i get off TES? Aside from Skyrim being a step-down into casuality, i still like it, because the world is rich with lore and just pretty. And no, i don't play mmo's, never liked them.

Can’t say my real name on January 19, 2019:

Thanks really helped a lot hope it can help other person and I am not a robot so it helped a lot and i am happy that I spend my time reading this for something and not clickbait

Muggle Struggle on November 14, 2018:

Thanks Dave and thanks for sharing this helpful website.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on November 13, 2018:

Keep in mind you can try to have moderation as a goal, which is sounds like you are trying to adhere to. It's a great thing you're doing and I encourage you to keep it up!

Muggle Struggle on November 13, 2018:

I have followed some of your advice throughout the year(avoiding mmos + online gaming) though i at times am reminded i am not fully in control, but i think my relapses prove that for even just a short time, I've been able to excert some control. I love gaming and i don't intend to give it up, i just keep trying to have a greater degree of self control over it, but like they say, without struggle there is no progress.

Carlos on November 07, 2018:

I agree with many things said in your article. For one I read an a comment saying that you can't control addiction. I don't know if the guy was trolling but he is right to a certain extent. The thing is people are looking for an insta break of the addiction once they realize they are addicted. This is nearly impossible. Like you stated going cold turkey won't do much because then their will be a huge void of time making the relapse and in the case of me when I didn't get insta resaults I starting playing a lot. Even with help from other I couldn't break our of it. One way I think you could of put to break this cycle is finding something that gives you more then games. For me was finding someone I couldn't afford to neglate. I still play games like you because in the end it's a hobby but it's no longer my leading factor in life.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on November 03, 2018:

Have you talked to her about the problem and tried to see if she would help you? Have you tried to get help from your family or friends?

Even if you can see your regular doctor about it, it can help. Tell your physician what is going on, take your girlfriend with you, get that support so you can find a way to cut back how many hours you game or spend on the computer.

Patrick on November 03, 2018:

Need help, my gf of 3 years put a pause on our relationship because of the pc... we used to spend so much time together but then all stoped, she was patient with me for more than a year... the addiction isn’t causing other problems like my job or anything... but i really don’t want to lose her, since she is the reason im still alive (got a very bad mental health problem) and she is still that keeps me together... in my country there are no centers for this kind of addiction. I just want to hear from you guy’s a advice...

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on October 30, 2018:

I was going to delete your comment, but I want others to see it.

You're wrong, you are completely wrong. I want others to see how wrong you are. People can recover from addiction, any kind of addiction, with the right support. I encourage you to educate yourself and work towards supporting someone who may need it if they are suffering with an addiction.

Jelle on October 30, 2018:

Mate your addicted and you will stay that and everyone that thinks they can controll that are dumb the only way is to stop completely and not do it sometimes

Game Addict on October 06, 2018:

I've been playing roblox more than 24 hours this week. It really makes me upset. ;(

Me on September 25, 2018:

I play Fortnite and I am now going to spend 20 minutes on it

guy on August 20, 2018:

I play video games 4 hours a day every day,so i spend 28 hours on video games each week.

Unknown on June 24, 2018:

I play video games just to overcome my stress I didn't that ill be addicted to it

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on April 24, 2018:

Your parents already are aware you spend too much time gaming. You need to go to them and acknowledge you have an issue. Stress you don't want to completely stop. Stopping completely may not be the right thing, but curtailing how much you game may. State you feel it's an issue and you want help in dealing with it. They are your parents, they will want to help you and appreciate it if you go to them.

Apolinar on April 23, 2018:

I forgot that i have the same problem with youtube if I don't play games, that I just watch other people and get sucked in the void of games.

Apolinar on April 23, 2018:

HI, im currently in high school, but the problem is that I want to succeed and go to college to design games instead of always playing them, and if it wasn't obvious already is that I have the feel and need to play everyday and almost the whole day after school. I get in trouble with my parents and im on the edge of losing everything i worked for, I feel scared, afraid, and worse, a failure. So i need as much help as I can get and I thought this website was very informative and helpful and I could really use some advice about now if im gonna break out of this addiction, because im tired of feeling sad and angry at myself for never being able to confront this addiction and as if im never gonna succeed. Do you have any advice that could tremendously help me.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on April 09, 2018:

That's understandable. The issue isn't the gaming, it's what other things may have happened or what you are feeling that is having you rely on gaming as a coping mechanism.

I strongly recommend you talk to someone about it. A family member or a friend. Then, seek some sort of professional help through a mental health professional. A professional will be able to talk to you about how you are feeling in an effort to help you.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on April 09, 2018:

Do you have someone you can talk to about this, like a family member? Talking to someone else may help determine if you are addicted, or you just play a lot because there is nothing to do.

You didn't disclose your age, but what about a job, school, or some other activity outside of the home? Take up a hobby that doesn't involve any electronic device.

However, I do recommend you talk to a family member about how you are feeling.

Sebastian on April 09, 2018:

I've had my fair share of it. Been playing mmos. Currently subscribed to humble bundle. If i can't play. I watch how people play the game via youtube or twitch. Doing this the whole day. Currently on financial support

Yet the thing is. I want to get out. I want to get that higher life achievement but these things just pull me back. This has been my coping mechanism to every thing that i endured. But it has become a double edge sword to me.

Scott on April 09, 2018:

This article helped a little bit because i did search how to treat gaming addiction but i just still feel like playing games all day mainly because there is nothing really to do in my neighborhood. I am a Steam user although i used to play Xbox. I mainly play survival games like Left 4 Dead 2 and Call of Duty: Zombies. I do try to help myself but like I said, theres nothing really else to do where i live besides watch movies and TV (which i sometimes do). I feel like my health is still fine right now but I still want a little bit of help.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on April 05, 2018:

So both you and your husband are deep back into WoW again. I get that, I've had my fair share of WoW obsession myself.

If you want to taper the use, there are parental controls that can be set up to allow only play time at certain times or limit the hours, but you would probably want someone else to set that up on your behalf.

However, I strongly encourage you to seek some sort of mental health treatment. I encourage you to reach out to family members or friends who can help. Avoid getting on the PC. I wish there is more I can do from here, but all I can say is that you can find a way to limit or eliminate playing the game. Just reach out to someone close to you and ask for help.

Cali on April 05, 2018:

I finally broke my gw2 addiction after a year of beating diabetes and 40 hrs a week playing. Am still disableled and hubby brought WoW back in house after 8 yrs clean on that game. It has gotten bad again where all we think or do is about the game. I have Lyme disease so it’s not like we can do what we used to (hike, bike and more) but we are missing out on so much. The problem is neither of us is strong enough to delete the dang game again. Tonight I stopped and cried for about 2 hrs after I solo ran 20 raids in last 24 hrs. “ is this really my life”. I don’t know what to do but I am tired of living in a fish bowl. I want my life (as much as I can with an illness) and my husband back. Thoughts?

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on April 01, 2018:

I strongly recommend you try to talk to your real life friends or any family members who can help you. If you feel you can't, then make contact with a mental health provider and state what issues you are having. They can connect you to someone who will be able to help.

Willie lombard on April 01, 2018:

Hi, I'm turning 31 in may and I've been addicted to games most of my life. At first it wasn't a issue had a great start in a rugby career after graduating and basically after my parents died filling the void I played games and interact ed with people I met online. It has gone as far as selling everything I had to pay rent etc cause of my addiction and it has affected me physically and mentally. I need help

Anon on March 31, 2018:

I've been addicted to video games my whole existence. After tried to shift to a game development field and freelancing. I started Doing so thinking it was a way to keep going. Kept playing checking out new stuff. Watching twitch. But i noticed i just get some remorse after not doing anything important throughout the day. I'm currently taking up license to teach yet i do get delayed by other real world stuff (not gaming) Yet the next day i keep on going. Yes i do need help.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on March 21, 2018:

Keep in mind cutting cold turkey can be hard. You may want to consider just moderating your time instead of just quitting. Talk to your girlfriend about it and enlist her support. Try to avoid friends or conversations if gaming is involved.

Steve on March 21, 2018:

I've been addicted to video games for around 15 years now and I only just turned 31.

I've quit several times only to relapse after a couple of months because my friend go on about how good a game is and I just lose it and buy another console. I'm at a point in my life where I'm ready to start a degree part time settle down with my girlfriend. I desperately need to stop. My life is turning to shit again after starting in November 2017 after 6 months away. I need some help. M genuinely ready to sell my Xbox tomorrow.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on March 09, 2018:

How so? If you feel it's serious and interferes with your life, I strongly recommend you talk to friends or family about it and see what help is out there for you. talking to a mental health professional might be the way to go.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on March 09, 2018:

I've been there many times and the feeling from it horrible.

Finding other things to replace with can help, l like hobbies and other activities.

But if you feel empty without games, you may need help. Talk to someone you know about how you feel and go from there.

Ben on March 09, 2018:

I'm experiencing a 'burnout' which means i don't enjoy video games anymore but i can not replace it yet. I continuously reinstall and uninstall old and new games, feeling stuck and hard to breathe.

Without games, i feel empty and clueless. With games, i feel guilty and inferior.

Ben on March 09, 2018:

I'm 30 and i have serious problem related to video games

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on March 06, 2018:

It's good your parents only restrict it to weekends. Moderation may be better than completely cutting it off.

Continue to focus on sports. Find a way to play on the weekends. Hang out with friends (while avoiding video games).

Or, reach out to your parents. It sounds like they care, and they will be able to help.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on March 06, 2018:

I have been addicted to MOBAs myself. Mostly LoL and HotS. If you have a co-worker, teacher, or someone else in your life, you can reach out to them. If not, I recommend you try to find help with a mental health professional. You can each search online for agencies in your area to help.

I'm not a therapist, but if you want to talk more, you can contact me directly at novideogame@yahoo.com.

Jake on March 06, 2018:

I'm 13 and i'm looking and I dont want this to happen because i'm really good at baseball. My parents only let me play on weekends, but on weekends i just can't stop playing any tips on how to help it not get worse.

Stuart Lantz on March 06, 2018:

I’ve been addicted to video games for 10+ years now. Most times I can’t stop being addicted to one game unless I start being addicted to another( LoL, then WoW, then HotS(Heroes of the storm) etc.) I know being addicted to MOBA games sound crazy, but it happens to me a lot. I don’t have an option to reach out to anyone. I don’t really have any friends, and If I reach out to Family they just say “it’s just a game, stop playing” or “get over it, do something right for once in your life”, although at this point I don’t even have much of a life.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on February 20, 2018:

I recommend you reach out to your family for assistance. They will provide the best support for you to deter how much time you spend playing video games. Stopping cold turkey is hard, so that may not be the right first step, but you can overcome the addiction.

Antonio on February 19, 2018:

I'm addicted to video games. I play 40+ hours a week. My grades have dropped so far that I'm going to flunk. I just can't stop and I have no idea what to do. If I do take a brake, it will make me go insane. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SEND HELP

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on February 15, 2018:

Just like I said. You're reaching out now, which is great, but there is only so much I can do through these messages. Reaching out to someone in person will help bridge you to the help you need.

kaelen on February 15, 2018:

i cant stop!!! i feel bad

Cody on February 15, 2018:

Thank you for trying to help me. Is there anything other way you would suggest to me that might be able to stop this addiction.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on February 14, 2018:

Cody,

It's great that you want help in this area. I recommend you talk to your parents or a school counselor. I know it will be hard, but you need to show them this article and post and ask for help in controlling it. It's okay to reach out to others. Find support with those who have helped you in the past, then go from there.

Cody Castaneda on February 14, 2018:

I have messed up badly to the point where I said I would never play video games, listen to music, or watch YouTube videos either this problem has gone to school. My life is messed up. I need help breaking this adiction. This addiction as n going on since 6 grade which which now I am 11th grade. I play about 21 to 23 hours week. It has gotten so bad that I am sneaking the games at night. I have been trying cold turkey. When ever stop for about a week of non games I play once and get sucked back in to it. It feels like my life is ruined. Please do somthing and help me I need the help.

I'm Charlie and i am an ADDICT!!! on January 10, 2018:

Do you know the way! ...sorry i'm addicted to Memes's!!!

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on January 05, 2018:

I wish you luck. Quitting gaming is a hard thing to do. If you need to, seek help. There is nothing to be ashamed off. There are those out there who will help you.

Goldeneye007P99 on January 04, 2018:

I am almost addicted, I don't skip school, I don't pass 3 hours of game time, though I play daily and within 1-2.5 hours and some more time when I can (and if I can), I do get exercise, or at least a few hundred yards every now and then, but overall I am lazy (still keep my body though?), and sometimes leave my grandmother (from my father's side) for my games, my parents say I go too far, I guess they are right. I feel ashamed, today I had the task to try to keep away, I tried, but ultimately failed, now I stopped cold turkey, and yeah, it hurts, I am very ashamed, I was ever since I had the moderate problem. Thank you for writing this article, it could possibly give me my 6th chance before it got too late, I really appreciate.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on December 24, 2017:

I've been there. I messed up my life due to games, but you can find a way to balance the two.

A guy that messed up on December 23, 2017:

I’ve messed up bad , failed my A-Levels twice , I’m at the point where I don’t know where to go in life. Been trying to quit my gaming addiction , your article is truly inspiring and helpful , thank you

Joseph on December 17, 2017:

I am only young and i feel I have no connection with reality. I think I’m very addicted to video games his advice should help me stop my addiction or turn it down.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on October 08, 2017:

If you feel your addiction is becoming out of control, you need to seek help with your family or friends. A mental health professional can assist as well.

I'm still addicted. I play games daily, but I balance it with other life activities - such as writing, working, and going out with people.

the_raven on October 07, 2017:

Finally, someone who understands that video-games are an addiction! I've been playing v-g's on PC since I was like 6. I'm almost 25 now, and I want to get my life together. I am trying to get over the addiction, but I just can't. The life in my city is boring, I have no possibility (nor desire) to move away, but I love sci-fi and adventure, so games like Stellaris, Jedi Academy, and Mount & Blade are really down my alley. I tried picking up reading, but as soon as I read something interesting (or watch a movie), I instantly get the urge to experience it - even so distantly - and the only option that I have is through v-g's. My hobbies aren't of much use either. I used to collect pebbles, but I got over it (since what's the point hoarding a pile of stones?). I should try photography (which will make me go out more often), but I just ain't sure. Sports aren't my favorite thing, though I did apply for dance teaching as my second profession. Now if only I could force myself to get off my bum and get to work!

Hi I'm Hayden and I'm an Addict on September 01, 2017:

Paradox has me under the solleret boot of Crusader Kings 2

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on August 31, 2017:

I recommend you read and following the tips I outlined in this article. But if you are unable to do it on your own, reach out to your family or friends for help, or, reach out to a mental health professional. There are people that will help you.

Strategy Gamer on August 08, 2017:

I have a family member keep my favorite games hidden away to keep me from wasting too much time on them. I will reward myself with game time once very few weeks, and then put them away again to avoid staying up all night playing them.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on July 13, 2017:

Addiction can come in many forms - PC games, consoles, mobile, etc. Mobile games, especially games like Animal Jam, are a bad addiction due to the heavy play time and money you can spend in them.

Honestly she needs to take the iPad away from you and not allow you access since it's a mobile game. You can quit. It's as easy as uninstalling the application and forgetting about it. Companies like that prey on people like you, don't let them win. It's a matter of self control.

Therapy is your choice, but your family should be involved in this and should help you with it. Yelling at you won't help, but helping you find other ways to cope is best. Show your mother this article and your comment, reach out to her.

Addict on July 13, 2017:

I am addicted to Animal Jam Play Wild, an online MMO game that is not with an Xbox or anything but with my own iPad. Is that the same as regular video games? I'm really scared. My mother is always getting mad and rubbing her temples because I play too much, but I just CANT QUIT! I really, really want to but I already collected so many good betas and spent so much time. I just don't want to give that up. Should I see a therapist?

AshD on November 30, 2015:

Lol..this article is helpful for me.. I still addicted to age of enpires 2 mmo game...its very hard to overcome the thought of game or relative thoughts...i have gone cold turkey but it increases my addiction... Gaming wasting my time..cauae of late night playing i cant get enough sleep..it increases fatigueness and mood swinging...

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on August 21, 2015:

"Seek help. There could be underlining issues why someone is addicted to video games. Seeking mental help isn't a bad thing."

This is the answer. Find out the underlying cause. Set new ideals and goals to improve your life. Video games are a huge waste of time and money.

CraftyPepe on June 30, 2015:

Well,i was addicted to Clash of clans for a while. Id pay little or no attention to family and my friends would be on the game also. Then summer came and i just stopped. Every once in a while i will casually open the app and close it back down,realizing there are better things to do than burning away time and family because of one game.

video gamer 2000 on February 20, 2014:

I don't play video games that much these days. When I was a kid I all ever wanted to do was play all the new video games on my super nintendo. Now as an adult I do still play but not as much and i would not say I was addicted to playing games, i sometimes rather watch movies.

David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on August 11, 2013:

Quite true. I know I've stayed up all night playing games once, but only usually when I'm off work.

CraftytotheCore on August 11, 2013:

I'm aging myself here, but my very first computer was a Comodore 64. I remember getting Frogger for it from a boy down the street and I stayed up all night until I beat the game! My grandmother bought an Atari system for me. She became addicted to PacMan. She got a score of 100,000 and then the shut the system off to show off her score. When she turned the system back on, it had erased her score! LOL It's amazing how video games have become so realistic now.

For a while I went through a phase. Friday nights was Halo night at my friend's house. We all got together and played until the next morning. There were just as many ladies playing as there were men. The last game I played was my son's Mario game. I had to beat the entire game and wouldn't stop playing until I did. So I don't play any more. Because you are right, it is addicting!