Is there anyone here who dealt with gaming addiction? I want real world responses, succes or failure stories. Not some third rate blog post copy paste replies please.

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    Addiction is about reward/need. Something about the addiction is satisfying a need. The basic humans needs are:

    - Survival

    - Loving and being loved

    - Variety

    - Power and significance

    Chances are gaming is satisfying or attempting to satisfy one or more of these. Take an honest appraisal of your needs each day and then see if you are failing to provide for your needs.

    I am a sex/porn addict. So when I start getting that need to look at these things I start taking a summary. Exercise really helps with my addictions.

    So being healthy is choosing a reward that augments your life rather than just sucking life away.
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    Also, gaming isn't necessarily bad. You can use gaming time as a reward (especially if it provides a need). So do these things and you "get" to game for n amount of time. Then you start to look forward and setting more goals in the gaming itself.
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    I have a somewhat addictive personality, so gaming, food, -insert whatever poison here-, been there, done that.

    How would you describe the addition, in your words?
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    Find some other addiction that doesn’t involve stare at screen. I don’t recommend alcohol, drugs and gambling as a hobby in a long term.

    The only effective way is to slowly replace time spend on gaming with time spend on other addiction(s).

    Everyone is addicted to something, most are addicted to stupid stuff.
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    I would say my brother is addicted to gaming. He played Team Fortress & LOL and probably 100's of games I don't even know competitively. I passed when Steam overtook PC DVD's.
    The effect? Took him 3 more years than expected to complete his studies, has no passion or will to work, will enter the job market as an overpriced greenie and probably not move out of our parents' house in years. Collateral damage was getting dumped by his gf after 3 years.

    I'm not judging, I'm a long-time smoker myself and have addictive "bursts" every few months (be it watching TV drama, bitcoin, open-source dev). I prefer to call that a "short lived hyperfocus" though :)
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    I found other things I also like, and a sense of responsibility. Really, that's it.
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    When I was in my late teens, I was heavily into this one survival game. It became such a huge and important part in my life where I pretty much decided that school wasn't worth going to anymore and I'd rather just stay home and play games. I'm talking eat, play, shit, sleep and repeat all while following the game's heartbeat.

    I'd consider that an "addiction". If I could go back and do things differently, I believe I would, but I might hesitate - I had shitloads of fun playing that game and some awesome experiences. I believe when you are young, you can afford yourself a level of degenerate behavior but there comes a time where you either have to reign yourself in or drop a bad habbit off entirely. I don't think gaming is a bad hobby, but that's only as long as you are not skipping any other responsibilities to do it.

    My advice is to bring yourself to the realization that there's a whole world out there with fun and cool experiences - games aren't the only way to have fun.
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    I am addicted to FF, play it for 1.5 hours a day usually which really affects my daily routine. I don't get much time a day for programming (6 hours maximum), in the long run sometimes it happens as I daydream about going to Grandmaster and starting my own YT channel about such which is useless I think
    "I will think to abandon my gaming skills next month", as normal addiction this idea never succeeds
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    @Eklavya yeah, it is like my brain is hardwired. I will eventually return to gaming no matter how much I try.
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    @Ison the problem with games are they are absolutely fun and they numb the feelings. They are designed for that.
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    @aviophile potential solution is trading your Windows for Linux desk/laptop if the game you play requires strong proprietary graphic card or is Linux-incompatible.

    I quit playing World of Tanks because over the years the install size increased from like 4G to 80G and I had no space left on the Windows laptop xD
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    I did and do have issues with that and I sometimes spent days without sleep compulsively chasing some numbers. I start to feel bad about neglecting my life, yet when I play again, it numbs those feelings, thus making it worse.
    My recommendations:
    (1a) Stop playing (cold turkey), if you can manage it, or
    (1b) Play less addictive games, which are more about the experience than improving some numbers. E.g. MMOs are generally very addicting, there is always something to do, some way to "improve". Unreal Tournament not so much (at least for me), as there is no artificial progression/reward (beyond your skills improving).
    (2) Exercise can really help. Do whatever you like, but get sweaty.
    (3) Get behavioral therapy if your insurance pays for it / you can afford it. At the very least this will give you a reality check once in a while. Only worth it with a good therapist though, YMMV.
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    (4) If you're doing kinda OK for some time and you wanna try those addicting games again, thinking is will be different this time: Don't. I probably won't.

    Actually I just had a 2 months WoW binge and it it wasn't beneficial to me. Feeding my addictive / compulsive side. I quit again but that doesn't mean I'm recovered, I just changed my drug.
  • 3
    Since I was a young teenager I was addicted to mmorpgs. I had serious trouble fitting in at school and the games helped me escape.

    When I became an adult and those troubles faded I started to notice over the years that I wasn't playing for fun anymore. It was not fun at all, it felt like a job.

    Then after some more years unsuccessfully trying to kick the habit I decided to go cold turkey and gave away my gaming PC.

    Seriously, you do not notice how much time gaming takes away from you until you decide to cut it out. I had no idea what to do with my newly won 25h/week. So I started some hobbies that do not involve a screen.
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    @saucyatom wow/wot are the games I am constantly switching too because those mofos are built for addiction, gamble mechanics, chasing numbers etc. i am always playing the classic, doing same quests etc but mofo is not boring. I went cold turkey for 2 months last year actually but installed wot first then the rest came because I was alone in a new country.

    I restarted gaming because of no socializing and gaming removed the urge to socialize, dulling the feelings…
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    @Cero my last answer, I went cold turkey but didnt work for long.
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    @aviophile You made step 1, which is to realize that it's not good for you.

    Next step could be to ruin the fun: If you're painfully aware that this is the case, that you're just playing a fancy skinner box, even while playing, it might not feel as good (careful though that you don't keep on playing compulsively and just get more miserable).

    End your subscription or at least reduce it to monthly (if you haven't yet). Or switch to game cards and don't buy one before your game time has expired. Then you need to make a choice to continue every one or two months.

    You could delete your account, but I see why you wouldn't want to (I myself certainly don't want to). A smaller step would be to forget your password (change to gibberish that you don't save), to increase the friction for starting again. You might also just switch away from Windows aka game starter OS.

    To offset the boredom / craving I highly recommend sports and other non-computer hobbies. But things suck currently, so yeah.
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    @saucyatom yeah, sports seem to be good idea. I have a bicycle, can capitalize on it. Unfortunately I have an injured shoulder and other shoulder needs implant removal for full range of motion. Bicycle/hiking/outdoors seem to be a good way.

    I am also reducing obviously trapping ingame actions like being a raider in wow(requires a lot more strong effort/farming than leveling) but still, will try to do more to get rid of this habit. Only way seems to be having more interactions with others.
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