How to Quit Playing Video Games FOREVER

by Cam

chick playing video games

Video games are without question one of the hardest and biggest obstacles to overcome when you first get involved in a journey of self-improvement.

I think we can all agree that they are also a major cause as to why you lack the skills necessary to attract women, network, and live the life you want to live, instead of the one where you feel stagnant procrastinating at home night after night.

When you have nothing else to do on a Friday night, what do you do? You play video games.

When you come home tired after working 9–5, what do you do? You play video games.

When you’re looking to just relax for a minute and kill some time, what do you do? You play video games.

And soon this turns into a major addiction, and one of the hardest ones to break.

Disclaimer: this article is for people who have a desire to quit playing video games (or want to help someone they know who is addicted.) If you aren’t looking to quit, then this article is not for you.

For Parents: How do you help your son/daughter quit playing video games? Reach out to us here.

We’re launching a program soon to help you (or someone you know) quit playing video games. Sign up for updates by going here.

The tragedy is that many of the people playing video games night after night are aware of this too! They want to quit but don’t know how. (If this is you, you’ve come to the right place.)

One night you decide you have had enough and you try to quit. Maybe you even type “How to quit playing video games” into Google. What do the tips say? A bunch of crap that doesn’t work at all, because the people who wrote the articles wrote what the obvious tips would be:

  • Don’t quit playing them completely, just limit your time.
  • Spend more time studying.
  • Go exercise.
  • Eat healthier and drink more water.
  • Go to a friends house, or to the mall.
  • Play board games instead.

What the fuck? Would anybody actually do any of those? Seriously. These people are clueless. People aren’t going to stop playing video games by studying more. The reason they are playing video games is to avoid studying! Going to a friends house seems like good advice, except their friends are likely also playing video games, so now you are just making the problem worse, and limiting the time you play never works at all.

Does anybody like hearing that predictable advice anyways? I don’t know if you’re like me, but when I read that predictable advice it just pisses me off. Straight up. These people are clueless to the real problems.

An example of this is the common advice given to people that are overweight – specifically the ones who are overweight and could do something about it.. What’s the common advice you get when you’re overweight? “Eat healthier and run.” Does that work? Absolutely. But a major reason these people are overweight is because they’re lazy. (I know it’s not the only reason, but let’s be real here, it’s a major one.) If someone is lazy, are they really going to go running? Are you kidding me? I’m an athletic guy, I’m driven, and the amount of effort it takes me to go for a run is tremendous. If I were overweight, running would be a huge challenge for me. Again, eating healthy is good and all, but that takes effort too, and changing your eating habits is not exactly an exciting proposition – which is why a ton of people don’t do it. So that advice sucks too.

The right advice is to find a solution to the actual problem: their laziness, lack of drive, lack of self-worth, lack of self-esteem, etc. Figure out that problem and you have a better chance of getting that person on a treadmill. Make sense?

ambition demotivator

Moving on…

Now, before I get into the nitty gritty of this article, let me first prove to you that I am a credible source on this topic. I don’t want to be another one of those clueless people I talked about above giving advice on this topic when I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Why should you listen to me?

Growing up I played video games as much as I possibly could. It got to the point where I would refuse to even do any chores around the house because that would take time away from playing video games. I didn’t play video games casually either; I played them to an extremely competitive level, competed in tournaments and ran one of my teams like you would run a business.

My video game career (I’m not kidding, I viewed it as a career) began playing the original version of Starcraft when it first came out. From here I moved onto Counterstrike 1.6, which ended up being the game I would play the most. I competed competitively in Counterstrike 1.6, playing in both CAL and CEVO leagues. At one point I was an Admin for the CEVO league. My CS 1.6 team would practice every day between 4-8 hours (as a team). When we weren’t practicing as a team, I would practice on my own. I took that game so seriously I actually took lessons for it from one of the best guys in the world. To improve my play I would study game film. I did whatever I could to get better. I played competitive CS 1.6 for many years.

After my CS 1.6 career ended, I started to play World of Warcraft. For the next year I played this game 16 hours a day, every day. If I didn’t have better things to do, I would login to my account and show everybody the total number of days played vs. the number of days I was active in the game. It would blow their mind. I’m not kidding: I played 16 hours a day every day for over a year. I had the #1 ranked hunter on the server I played on, and after transferring to a new server (one of the more popular ones), I was recruited by a top 10 guild in the world to be on their roster. This was ridiculous. Before joining this guild I decided to quit the game. This was right around the time that I decided to make a few last ditch efforts to save my relationship (which didn’t work). Shortly after I met some friends which kick started my journey into self-improvement and the life I live now. I started to play “DOTA” for a few months before I decided to take my life more seriously. I knew the absolute only way this was going to be possible was if I stopped playing video games all together, so I decided that was exactly what I was going to do, and in October 2007 I quit them cold mother fuckin’ turkey.

extra livesI didn’t touch a video game at all for almost two whole years. Was I tempted to? Of course! There were days when I had a massive desire to go play, but I had to stay committed to not touching any of them no matter what. If a friend invited me over to play, I would decline. If people at my house were playing, I would go do something else. It took a strong will but I was eventually able to break the habit, and as time went on, it became easier and easier. The temptation faded.

Which brings me to the first and absolute most important puzzle to quitting video games: You must have a firm commitment to not play them. You can’t limit your time; you can’t use it as a reward. You must quit cold turkey, 110%. You must make that decision. You must make the decision not to touch them at all ever again. I’m not talking about making this decision like you make other decisions, which you aren’t really serious about. I mean, you seriously have to mean it. If not, you will end up playing them again and again, wasting your days playing some stupid video game, justifying it in a thousand different ways.

A firm commitment is absolutely crucial, but it isn’t enough. This is something I found out in September 2009, when I started to play them again. I had just moved to Victoria, BC. I moved out there to get away from Calgary and to experience something new. It was also a challenge to myself to see if I could move to another city and make new friends. At least that’s what I told myself at the time, but the main reason (looking back) that I moved was in order to escape from the life I was living.

I had just moved into a new house with two roommates who I didn’t know very well. A day or two after I moved in, one of my roommates, Ben, and I began to discuss our previous involvement in competitive video games, specifically the game Starcraft. I mentioned how I took the game very seriously and “was very good”. He joked about buying the game again so we could play. I told him not to do it, because I wasn’t playing any games anymore.

Later that night as I was working away on my computer, he came home and placed Starcraft in front of me. He had gone out and bought it. He thought this was funny. I was laughing on the outside but inside I was pissed. I knew this was going to end poorly.

I gave in and played a few games with him, where he absolutely crushed me.

I don’t think he was expecting me to react the way I did.

Humble in defeat, I made the decision to do whatever it took to make sure I could crush him anytime I played him from here on out, without cheating of course.

For the next 5 months I played Starcraft 12-16 hours a day. I would spend my time studying strategy, watching film, and playing as much as I could. I pretty much did nothing else. I improved rapidly, and as I began to get better Ben started to play more and more as well. By the end our games became extremely intense.

Why did I get so serious about Starcraft again? The second and third pieces to the puzzle explain it perfectly: video games are a challenge. And being challenged can be an extremely motivating factor for someone. The challenge of the game is one aspect to why you become as addicted as you do. They also provide an avenue where you can see constant, measurable growth.

Just look at two of the best and most addictive games out right now: World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2. In both games, you level up (constant measurable growth). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that leveling up is a very addicting aspect to the game.

After 5 months of doing nothing more than playing Starcraft all day long, I moved back home to Calgary. When I got back home, I still didn’t have much to do, other than work and party (something which I wasn’t overly interested in at the time), so what did I do? I started playing Modern Warfare 2. This went on for a few months before I ended up quitting games again and since then (March 2010), I haven’t touched any video games. And I highly doubt I will ever again.

missing piece of the puzzleNow there’s one last core piece to this puzzle. On there own, all the pieces I’ve talked about thus far are important and do a lot of damage independantly, but this last piece is the real x-factor: all good games are social. The social aspect of these games is what really draws you in. That’s why playing a non-multiplayer game is fun, but only for a limited time. Eventually you get bored and do something else. But the games that keep you around for a long time are the ones that are social. Think about World of Warcraft, or Modern Warfare 2. These games added a major social aspect to each game, and that is why they have millions of players worldwide, millions of players who play them for a long long time. You no longer have a reason to go out and meet people if you can just log into a video game that is a ton of fun, let’s you escape from reality, let’s you see constant measurable growth, and continues to challenge you every time you play. When you are still interacting with people, staying home on a Friday night doesn’t look so bad now does it?

If you look at the best and most addicting games out there, they all comprise these core pieces. They are challenging, but you can also see constant growth and improvement over time. They allow you to escape, even if only temporarily. They are social.

So now you’re thinking:

“Ok Cam, this all makes sense, I understand how these games are operating and the areas of my life they are filling, but how do I stop playing video games and start living my life!?”

Well, other than having that firm commitment, you need to fill all four of these areas with new activities. But don’t forget, you play video games because you enjoy them, they are fun, so you can’t fill any of these areas with things that you don’t enjoy! You have to fill them with activities that you like, ones that you like a lot. You have to have fun doing these, otherwise you will just want to go play video games again, because you aren’t getting the same fix that you were from them.

To recap what these areas are:

  • A temporary escape
  • Constant measurable growth
  • A challenge
  • Social

So let’s bounce some ideas around. What activities did I start doing to fill those voids, allowing me to not need video games for that fix?

I started to work on my social skills. This worked out really well. But only because I took it very, very seriously. If I wasn’t out meeting new people, I was at home studying (reading articles, watching videos, talking with people about it.) This is something I’ve noticed with a few different students of mine. A lot of them like to play video games. This is no surprise. There are some that have been successful in kicking that desire, and others that have not.

The ones that have been successful are the ones that have actually gotten serious about improving their lives, and since I’m going to assume that most people reading this have a full-time job (or go to school), they only have so much time in their day for a few things. “Social Dynamics” obviously offers all 4 of those areas, which is why taking it seriously works to get over your video game addiction. But it only works if you take it seriously. If you half-ass it, you won’t get the same results. Social Dynamics is essentially a proactive approach to living the life you want. What’s your dream? (And when I say dream, I’m talking about a lifestyle – which includes a job, an awesome group of friends, a boyfriend/girlfriend you’re crazy about, passionate hobbies, a purpose.

And that’s the exact reason why the students I’ve had that weren’t able to get over their addiction weren’t able to do it! They didn’t take this new endeavor seriously enough to fill those voids. So they would find themselves bored at home a lot, and when you are bored at home, video games are an easy solution to that problem.

But what if you don’t want to take improving your social skills that seriously. What else could you do?

Well, anything you are actually passionate about will work. If you want to learn how to play guitar, do it! But remember, playing guitar is missing one key piece: the social side. So instead of playing by yourself in your room all the time, play with a buddy a couple times a week. Start a band or something. That would make a big difference.

Pro tip: Read through the comments at the end of this article. There are 300+ comments and many ask the same question: what do I fill my time with? There’s a ton of ideas in the comments for activities to consider. (Oh, and make sure you leave one too!)

Any activity you enjoy will work! You just have to find something that you enjoy and take it seriously, whether that’s learning how to socialize, learning how to play guitar, or starting a side Internet marketing business (with a friend!!!). You just need to make a FIRM commitment (110%, no half-assing it), and then make sure you fill all four of those voids. Do this and you’re golden!

If you have friends that just sit around all day playing video games… get new friends! It really isn’t that hard. Sure, sometimes that sucks, but you need to remember that this is your life and if there’s anything you should take seriously, it’s just that: your life! You aren’t going to please everybody, but if they aren’t down with it, they aren’t worth it. Seriously. None of my friends sit around all day playing video games, because we share other common interests. They all want to grow and develop other skills. I have friends that dance. Others that play in a band. Personally, I’m learning how to DJ.

You need to find some type of lifestyle activity that you love. Something you are passionate about. Find this and you’ll seriously never have another desire to play video games. Eventually your life will get to a point where you straight up just don’t even have time to THINK about playing video games. I’m extremely busy, and this causes me not to DJ as much as I want, so if I have any free time, I do that! But I also don’t always do it by myself. I have a few friends that share that same passion so we hang out and do it. DJing allows me to escape from life temporarily and to relax. It’s also a ton of fun, I can see constant measurable growth, and at the same time, it’s always challenging. See a pattern here? I’ve covered all four pieces! Now I’m at the point where playing video games just seems completely ridiculous to me.

I hope this article helps you guys out. If you take it seriously and implement the principles I’ve talked about, you will be able to do it. You will finally be able to quit playing video games once and for all, giving you the time you need to live the life you want to life. (Seriously, you can do it! Just look at all of the comments below of guys just like you who have successfully quit playing video games and are happier because of it. This works!)

We’re launching a program soon to help you (or someone you know) quit playing video games. Sign up for updates by going here.

For Parents: How do you help your son/daughter quit playing video games? Reach out to us here.


TEDx Talk!

I was recently selected to give a TEDx talk in Boulder inspired by this article on “Escaping Video Game Addiction”. I’d love to hear what you think about the video!

About Cam
Cam Adair is a speaker and thought leader who helps millennials use adversity as fuel for growth, connection and purpose. Watch his new TEDx talk is on The Surprising Truth About Rejection. Follow him on twitter @camerondare and get free tools to overcome your own challenges in his newsletter.

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{ 1332 comments… read them below or add one }

Max August 31, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Good article! I am glad that you got out of it and sure I can some how relate to that but not as 100% like you – by playing HARDCORE!

I played CS 1.6, GTA (Series) and NHL – on PC, like I told you I didn’t go to extreme.
Have played SEGA, NINTENDO and all that but still have those like again its all for FUN!

I didn’t escape the gaming world by quitting it all together – I just decided its something I can do once a while and got lots of other things to do like: socialize with people, work, play sport teams, and so long and so forth!

Keep it up Brian – you’re doing AWESOME with out games!

Cam August 31, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Thanks for the comment Max. I think this article is powerful. It’s actually the *most* viewed article on the whole website haha. Gets a ton of hits from the teamliquid.net nation, which is a big starcraft community.

:)

Kelley Woods September 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm

This is an excellent article. I like how you define the benefits of video gaming and provide solutions to get out of an obsessive lifestyle that may be limiting. Your language demonstrates that our emotional connections to activities are the drivers, not rational thought and this means that in order to change behavior, we need access healthy options that can make us feel good. Well done!

Cam September 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for the comment Kelley. I agree with everything you said. Appreciate you taking the time to add your input. :)

Ben October 3, 2011 at 4:17 am

Really interesting article, I have a very similar story/motivational factors. Competitive games (RTS, FPS) LANs, massively into self development etc
The vice with games is they are so damn accessible and easy to comfort into, but then you could argue so is Fast food and sweets are which I love the taste of but I don’t have sugar all day I have very delicious deserts and make them count quality > quantity.

So the key that i’ve found is real balance, I’ve found that games really motivated me and I get such a europhria of having a team based game that we work together on. The steps I’ve put in place are, I ONLY play with friends (online aswell but with at least friend on teamspeak) and I PLAN to have a game in advance like booking in a night out or a trip somewhere even if its only planing for later in the night because I made myself busy with other things. This puts you in control of the game, You play it rather then it plays you.

A few years ago I blamed video games as the cause of unhappiness and literally snapped my game disc in half, I went cold turkey. I was miserable. I found other outlets (such as improving Game/pickup) But it just wasn’t the same and didn’t work with my values (I prefer your idea of improving your social dynamics)

Still your end point remains true, find something else you like MORE then video games. This is important because Games are consumable media, You Need to create aswell to feel happy. Now that I’ve found that though running a business games don’t seem that important anymore but they are still fun as hell and I love it.

Apologies for the longevity but Im as passionate about this as you are :)

Cam October 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Hey Ben,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

I definitely like your approach to “play the game instead of it playing you.” That’s without a doubt a decent solution if you do want to continue playing video games.

If you recognize the teamwork aspect is something you enjoy a lot from the games, you could definitely look around and find other team based environments to fill your time with instead. Not sure if you’re into sports but that’s one outlet, running a business with other people is another.

Robert October 6, 2011 at 12:33 am

this article really helped me see it in a different light! I’m addicted to a game called League of Legends and I have literally uninstalled/ reinstalled it 6 times. BUT now I need to quit cold turkey, I am taking this very seriously and will succeed thanks alot

Cam October 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Hey Robert.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m super stoked this article is receiving the feedback it is; it’s an important topic to discuss in my opinion.

Let me know how it goes or if there’s anything else you learn about the subject. I’d love to write a follow-up.

Gunder October 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I totally agree with everything you said but I still have mixed feeling about games. I try not to never play video games anymore because as soon as I start I can’t stop tell I’m the best. I use to be really into counter strike when I was younger then I noticed that when i stopped playing for a while I really sucked. I realized that all good feeling I received when playing games where just a false scene of accomplishment because after spending all those hours at it, I never really gained any practical skills.

On the other hand when I was a kid I started playing this math game and it allowed me to see progressive results giving me a large passion for math that has been with me ever since and has helped me greatly in life. Cam do you think that if used responsibly games could help you practice and gain practical skills in a fun way?

Cam October 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Hey Gunder.

Thanks for the comment. If you are playing games to build skills I think that is ok. Just be careful. That could easily be just a way your mind is justifying you to play games, so keep your learning conscious – but i definitely think there’s some value there.

Andy October 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Good Article!

I myself used to be an video game addict back in my junior high days. What broke my addiction is actually the newer video games like Warcraft and Modern Warfare. A cool and realistic they looked, they had a big learning curve and took a long time to master. As I got more “older and wiser”, my interests changed and I just did not have the time to play these games anymore.

As much as I like to play the old school games (Nintendo, Sega, etc), I just really don’t have the time for them any more. I rather work out and pick up ;)

Sam October 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Hey Cam!
I didn’t know this about you before! Very enlightening! My husband is a gamer and I was wondering about something the article didn’t address…what if you have no reason to quit? If you are married, have kids, take the dog to the dog park and still do all the things people with families do, is there any reason to stop gaming if you enjoy it?
Great post!
Sam

Cam October 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

@ Andy, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m loving the response this article has received. I definitely agree that with the amount of time needed to master games like Warcraft and Modern Warfare, it can be easy to break your habit. The opposite can also be said though. With these games becoming more in-depth with longer learning curves, they can also be much more addicting and take up that much more of your time. Every time you play you become more invested. This causes you to not want to stop until you DO master it. Scary cycle to be in. Happy to hear you were able to break your habit though. Life is too awesome to be spent playing video games. :) Hope you have a chance to check out some of our other posts.

@Sam, thanks for coming by! I can see where you are coming from. Why quit if you have no reason to? I will answer it with a question of my own: With every hour your husband spends playing video games, what does he really gain from it, other than the pure enjoyment of gaming?

I don’t think playing video games is always bad, and this type of case would be one where you could argue “for” playing video games. However my opinion is this: everyone has obligations they have to meet every day, such as work, school, family stuff, taking the dog to the park. Our time is limited, so it’s my opinion that the free time we do have, ideally we spend it trying to create more free time and more flexibility. We can than use this free time and flexibility to do the things we truly enjoy, like spending more time with our family, etc.

The issue I have with playing video games is that it doesn’t encourage growth. You can play hours and hours and hours of video games all you want, but at the end of it, you will still be the same person you were. Instead if you spent the time you were playing video games doing something else to grow, by the end of all those hours you’d have spent playing video games, you could actually be in a much better position in your life, giving you many more options.

I truly believe you should grow every single day. Whether you’re single, in school, married, have 5 kids, playing on a sports team, or do anything else. You should still grow every day. Every hour you spend playing video games is an hour you are stagnant. Sure you enjoy it, but there’s many other things you enjoy that could also push your growth forward.

Hope that helps. Definitely something to discuss next time we chillax.

Liam October 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

The reason why you like video games is a good proxy for why you enjoy (or don’t enjoy) life. I gamed a lot, never competetively though, because I am art minded, I avoid competition and video games were that escape, I didn’t need a human to test myself. Second, I was always more interested in plot, storyline, realism, ie. the creative aspects of the game so whether I won or lost made no difference at all, so long as the process was interesting. All of these things were huge in me discovering who I ought to be IRL, so to speak. Knowing who you are, where you are strongest, and where you are weakest is a huge part of succeeding at real life challenges. Video games let your brain believe you are alive even though you aren’t really.

Needless to say I kindof discovered that I gained nothing from completing virtual goals, and that there was and always is an ongoing game that needs your constant attention if you don’t want to get “owned” . Really there aren’t many things more painful than “failing” in life.

Quitting anything is 1000000 times easier if you have a reason why that is emotionally rooted. Nobody ever becomes the best at anything unless thay have a DEEP SEATED reason WHY strong enough to break you if you don’t fulfill it. Why do supermodels force themselves to eat almost nothing and stand in front of a camera or mirror all day? How boring does that sound? It’s because of their why. Without getting all Sigmund Freud, it’s because they have a fear of being ignored, OR a self-hatred that was develloped during childhood, an intrinsic insecurity that must be hidden away.

Cam October 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Hey Liam. Thanks for stopping in and commenting. Agree with everything you said. :)

Elliot October 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm

WOW! Thanks a lot Cam. This article really helped me with my game play. I am trying to find other things that I love to do instead of playing video games. I’m so glad I read this. Thanks so much!

Cam October 24, 2011 at 11:35 am

Hey Elliot. Thanks for commenting. I’m very glad you found value in the post. Hope you have a chance to check out the rest of the site. :)

Rich November 8, 2011 at 5:56 am

4000+ hours on WoW (I quit that only to get addicted to something else). 3-4 failed relationships just because of gaming. Thousands of dollars spent. Dropped out of college…
I like the slap in the face that this article provided.
Count me as one of your success stories.

Cam November 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Hey Rich.

I’m super stoked to hear you found value in this post. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and share your thoughts with me. Keep me posted on how your journey goes. Have you had a chance to check out the rest of the site? Any other posts stand out to you??

Rudolf Qnan November 16, 2011 at 4:05 am

great job,
I’m addicted to computer games at all..
I can’t stop playing games specially the game DOTA and I have Ventrillio …
It’s a lot of fun and exciting when you play and talk with your friends..
how can you not play w/ that situation???
specially when I get off at work, and feel really really tired,
then I feel deserve to play computer games, it sucks even I’m really really tired and feeling so sleepy, Can’t stop..
I feel like I need to be rewarded ,, which playing computer game..
and also, I need help learning how to pick up some ladies..
because of them…

Cam November 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Hey Rudolf.

Thanks for stopping in and commenting. I’m glad you found value in the post.

I definitely understand the situation you find yourself in. You’ve worked all day, you’re tired. You come home and want to do nothing more than to sit down and relax. Video games seem to be the perfect solution. And in many ways it is. Except for one flaw: it doesn’t help you grow.

Think about it like this:

You work 9-5, get home, you’re tired so you play video games for a bit. then you make dinner, and then sit down and play some more before you go to bed.

You wake up the next day and repeat. This goes on every day. Eventually at work you get a promotion so you make more money. With this money you go on more elaborate vacations for week or two, have a more expensive car, house, material things. You do this for 40 years and then retire. Now aged 60+ and retired, you start actually living your fucking life, doing the things you want to do and love.

Does that make any sense to you? It doesn’t to me. There has to be a better way. And there is.

So with your current life right now, you get home, tired, and want to reward yourself by playing video games. My question is this: at what point in your day are you working towards what you really want to do? At what point in your day do you take time to actively work towards changing your situation, doing what you enjoy/love and chasing after your dreams?

For many people, there is NO time in the day that they put towards that. And that’s why their situation never changes. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ve get what you’ve always gotten.” So now people will bring up the energy factor. “Well, I want to do all that, but I’m tired, I don’t have the energy.”

And that’s true. I could dive into a rant about how at what point in the day are you not tired? You wake up: tired. You get to work: tired. Lunch hour: tired. Two hours before you finish your workday: tired. You get home from work: tired. You go to bed, tired.

But let’s not even worry about that. What I will say instead is this: when you are working towards your passions and dreams, energy magically appears. “A man grows most tired while standing still.”

About learning how to pick up da ladies, what is the area you are having trouble with right now? E-mail me: cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com and we can get this started!

Steve November 21, 2011 at 1:49 am

Hey Cam,

Loved every word of your post. I have a unique situation. I have 3 addicting factors all boiled into one. I like to play Madden. I play in ever spare minute I have. I also Gamble with Madden. I have lost over 5,000 dollars and for some reason I still want to continue. So now I have video games and gambling and I also smoke marijuana. That’s a story for another day, but to show you that I am so sick of not progressing in life. I can tell your a very smart person and you put it in words very fluently. I am actually once again quitting because I just can’t take the same old crap anymore. I have sold the game and even told the website I use for gambling to not allow me on. But then I will just come back and they will let me back. I wish they wouldn’t. Well. I am going to try and completely quit this crap. It is the holidays coming up and I would like to start using my energy towards my Friends, Family, Etc. Wish me luck!

Steve
23, IL

Cam November 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Hey Steve. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

I’m happy to hear you are going to quit playing Madden and move on with your life. I believe the key to successfully quitting video games is a determination for a better life. Like I said in a comment above, at some point in your life you have to wake up and realize that the life you are currently living is not the one that will ultimately lead to your success and happiness. What do you REALLY want to do with your life? Is it playing madden, gambling and smoking weed? Or is it something else? If video games aren’t in alignment with what you want to be doing (which, you’ve already concluded they are not), than what is?

The key isn’t to just quit, but to fill that time and energy into new things. Things you’re more passionate about. Things that make you WANT to wake up each and every day. Your attitude can’t be to try and quit video games. Your attitude has to be that today is the first day of the rest of your life.

To use a football analogy: You’ve spent enough time on the sidelines of your life, it’s time to get into the game and play to win. You’re only as good as your last game, so you have to wake up every day and motivate yourself to continue on. Once you get into it, you won’t have an interest in going back. Life is much more fun.

So you mentioned you want to start putting your energy towards friends and family. So this is good, but let’s take it a step further. What’s your game plan? If you played Madden any spare minute you had, you better make sure your schedule is BUSY (but still fun). Also, when you want to have a bit of downtime (which is necessary), what are you going to do instead of Madden?

These are the keys to your success. I’m here to help. :)

Dakota November 23, 2011 at 1:01 am

Hey im 14 and 95% of my free time is video games. I am horrible un social situations and it’s hard to make close friends. I have two friends one Is ALWAYS grounded and the other one just moved 600miles away. So I never really get out of the house and im always playing games. I gave up all hope of getting a girlfriend because I can’t keep a conversation going without feeling tense or running out of things to say. I play sports but im not good any more because I still haven’t hit my growth spurt. How do I quit being such a loser?

Cam November 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Hey Dakota!

What are some activities you enjoy other than sports and video games? Are you interested in Music? Writing? Art of any kind?

I definitely understand how tough it can be to play sports when you haven’t hit your growth spurt. I was in that same position playing hockey for many years as an undersized kid.

Don’t worry too much about getting a girlfriend right now. I know you don’t want to hear this, but you’re young and having a girlfriend right now doesn’t really matter much. Instead, take all the time in the world you can to do the things you enjoy doing and socializing. You mentioned you have a tough time socializing, so I would suggest just trying to socialize a little bit more every day. Maybe start socializing more with parents/teachers instead of students for now. These are people that can hold a conversation already so if you put in that effort to start the conversation (just say hi, and ask how their day is going), they will be able to help you from there.

A question you could ask in your conversations is how to socialize. That’s still one of my favorite questions to ask. I don’t necessarily ask it because they will have the answers I’m looking for, but instead they may just have some ideas to think about.

Try it out and let me know. Definitely respond with some other activities you enjoy. Those will be a good starting place. Also, take the time to find out what you enjoy. You’re 14. Try new things. Experiment. You don’t know what you will enjoy until you try it! That’s definitely something I wish I did more when I was your age.

And remember Dakota, the only person that dictates whether you are a loser or not is you. Make the choice to tell yourself you AREN’T a loser every day, because you aren’t. Remind yourself that you are a good person who is working on themselves and growing. That type of person isn’t a loser to me. :)

Matt William November 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Dakota,
Wow. Ive been checking back to this article pretty frequently over the last few weeks due to the expanding comment thread, and I have to say that when I saw your post it definitely hit home with me.

First of all, MAD props to you for being able to reach out to other people with honesty, and intent to actually better yourself. I used to be in a very similar boat to you, and it took me a lot of years of working on myself – by myself and struggling before I reached out to other people for help with my growth. I have alot of respect for what you have done, and the actions you have taken themselves are the biggest proof that you are not a loser dude.

A little about myself – Growing up I was like you so eloquently quoted yourself, a loser. I had almost no friends that werent directly related to my sport, and I didnt know the first thing about making friends either. How could someone want to be friends with me? I was shy, reserved, and incredibly lanky and with terrible acne to boot. Girls? You kiddin me? The closest woman to me until I was almost sixteen was my mother. I felt weird, and disappointed that I didnt have close people in my life. I knew deep down, that I was a cool and nice person. I just didnt know how to show that to the world yet.

I agree alot with what Cam mentioned, you are young and now is the time to enjoy the fact that your 14! Take the time to find activitys (outside of the digital world) that you really enjoy doing, and dedicate your time to excelling at them. Trust me, if you take Cam’s advice on this, the girlfriend will inevitably follow, girls like guys who are passionate about the things they do!

To re-iterate what Cam mentioned, If your taking the time to better yourself, you ALREADY arn’t a loser. In time, you will come out of your shell, and let the world know what a bad ass dude you are.

Best of luck man, feel free to contact me @MattWilliam108 on twitter if you wanna chat!
M

Cam November 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Love everything you said Matt. Dakota’s comment definitely hit home with me as well.

kristan benson November 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Yo fella, 14 your still young bro… alot of kids are into computer games having said that its good you realize there not the here-all end-all of life!! congrats to you! Firstly find your self a hobbie dedicate as much time to this and enjoy it, be your self, youll be confident as your gonna be doing your hobbie, you will also learn to socialise and also be socialising with people of the same interests, dont give-up the games persay- just give them an hour or so a day and not 6-9 :) P.S… no such thing as loosers either ;)

Steve November 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Dakota,

First and foremost man, you are a far braver person than most are at 14. I never even thought to ask for help because I had totally given up on the idea of having friends. Sure due to all those years of isolated Friday nights and mountain dew I’ve developed godlike mario kart skills, but looking back I wish I had the strength like you have to ask for some guidance.

The first and best piece of advice I can give, coming from someone whose unlocked the secret ending to Kingdom Hearts, is to unplug/sell every console you have. I know that it’s going to be tragic for a few weeks, but the shakes stop after a while and soon you won’t even remember what a KDR is. This is a good thing : )

After that Dakota, just take some time to make yourself happy. Even if you haven’t hit your growth spurt, exercise is one of the best methods for increasing self esteem. Run, lift, jump rope, climb trees, hunt rabbits, whatever gets your blood flowing. As far as sports go brother, I’d recommend wrestling. It doesn’t matter how big you are because your always competing in the same weight bracket and men whether they willingly admit it or not will bond more after standing in a line naked together and jumping on a scale. Friends are inevitable :)

Your only 14 man but it can be hard to see how large the world is sometimes when your focused on the small issues. Friends will come, women will come but these things can only be possible when you stop thinking that your self worth is solely based off of these two things. Find your own happiness first, and then others are going to see how radical you are and want to join in the fun. I’m rootin’ for ya kid!

Cam November 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Wow Steve! Great comment man. Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts. I really like the Wrestling suggestion. Wrestling is one of those sports that I find really develops their athletes into work ethic beasts with incredible discipline and drive. Appreciate your support.

Andy November 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Dakota: I know it sounds cliche but Be Yourself. Get out there and create your own persona. Get to meet people and find out what you like to do. When you meet more people, you will feel comfortable with yourself and with others. People will get to see the real you.

You dont have to do this wearing trendy clothes or doing what other people tell you. Live your own life and everything will fall into place.

MZS November 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Dakota,

I’ve looked through the above comments and I want to offer my own story and advice.

When I was your age, I was in what appears to be a very similar position to you. In school, I thought I was a loser, and all I wanted to do was fit in with other kids and be the popular one. No matter what group of people I tried to hang out with at lunch break or even in class, everyone seemed to dismiss me as weird and either ignore me or straight out just pick on me. Bullying was just a part of life for me in my junior high years, and going to school every day was in some ways the physical bane of my existence. What made it worse is that the group of “friends” who I came into junior high with began to act out against me and bully me too, but at least I knew them, so I hung out with them despite the torment.

When I wasn’t at school, I was swimming (for a club) or playing video games. Even at swimming though, I didn’t really have any friends. It was hard to connect with anyone, but at least here no one would shove me or deliberately try to bring me down as soon as I tried to start a conversation or make a comment.

So that left video games.

I got huge into World of Warcraft. A few other guys on the swim team were playing it, so I decided to join in as well. Needless to say, it consumed me. It was so easy to go home and just grind for hours at a time, not saying a word to anyone except the people in my guild and my two friends who played with me. And for two years, it worked. It definitely helped me get through my troublesome junior high years where I was awkward and bullied to my high school years where I was…well…awkward, but at least no one noticed me. Not that it mattered, I fit in where I cared most about anyway…in WoW.

With the bullying that repressed my individualism gone, I was able to think about things and desire things that I had never even considered before due to my negative self-perception…like girls for example. I remember there was this one super cute girl in my bio class too and for the entire first year of my high school career, I would just be debating in my mind over and over again if I should talk to her or not. Even though I thought she was super cute and cool, in my mind there were so many reasons against it. “I’m such a loser, I don’t even have any friends at school. I never go to parties or anything, she’ll never notice me. I know she thinks I’m hideous because I have braces. How can I even talk to her? I wouldn’t know what to say… I’ve never had a girlfriend before, I bet she’ll just laugh at me.” And so on.

It took me 18 months until I finally asked her out, and man, it was hard. I remember my hands were trembling and I couldn’t talk straight and kept looking at the ground…haha. She ended up saying no, but 2 weeks later, I found out that an even cuter girl at swimming had a crush on me. I asked her out, and we had an absolutely phenomenal relationship that lasted over 3 years.

So how does this relate to you?

I didn’t believe myself to have ANY social skills, yet I ended up getting an incredibly cute girl who I thought was “way out of my league.” By just being myself and having the courage to lay everything on the line, I did what I had no idea was even possible in my world.

For the video games: I don’t think they are bad necessarily. I agree with Steve’s comment that a very good way to quit (if that is the best path for you) is to just sell all the systems/games you have, but I realize that’s not always an option. For example, if you and your friend who recently moved away play any games online together (Starcraft, LoL, DoTa, etc.), it can be a great tool to keep in touch with that person via a medium through which you both enjoy and are comfortable with. In addition, once in a while, I don’t think games are a bad thing. I realize that they are a pretty integral part to teen culture, so completely omitting video games from your life might even hurt your ability to connect with others (in some cases).

You seem like a super cool kid Dakota, thank you for having the courage to put yourself out there and if you continue with that courage AND KEEP BEING YOURSELF, you will realize you are the coolest person in your life.

Shama November 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Hey Dakota,

I know right now you feel like your a loser but I wouldn’t worry so much about it right now. Cam said a lot of really good things and I would take them to heart.

But really what is a “loser”? A lot of the time it’s just someone who doesn’t quite fit in by someone else’s standards. If you think of it tho some of the “coolest” people in the world were classed as “losers” growing up. They are either still “losers” or they grew out of it by changing the way they see or do things.

As for girls, if someone really likes you they will like you for you. If they don’t then they arnt worth your time. Remember girls like confidence, find something you do well and show that side of you. Girls are attracted to that. For example if your funny use humor as an ice breaker to find common ground with a girl you like.

Find something that makes you happy regardless of others. Don’t focus so much on
“how do I become cool?!” that creates stress. Focus more on positive things like learning
something new and fun.

Take everything one step at a time and you’ll rock.

All the best!!
Find something that makes you happy regardless of others. If your happy with who you are then others will see that too. Don’t focus on
” how do I become cool?!”

Aaron November 23, 2011 at 10:23 pm

To Dakota
There’s no such thing as being a “loser”. Losers a term put onto a select few by people who are afraid of differences amongst people. They have no idea how hard a small word such as loser hurts someone just for being unique and being their own person. So what you play video games instead of being captain of the football team. Everyones unique in their own way and that’s what shapes us as human beings. Don’t take being a loser as a bad thing. Take it as the recognision your your own person and people recognize that and don’t know how to act accordigly so they attempt to bring you down because they have no satisfaction in the person they themselves are

Jamie November 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Dakota,

Wow! I am completely blown away that a 14 year old took the time to ask a really awesome group of individuals on how you can expand socially to help you get where you want to be. That kind of mentality will get you far in life :) Since I know majority of these guys and see how much they have come in to their own it goes to show that their advice is something to really take in to consideration. They have all been where you are now and are super dope guys now- AND I love to surround myself with. As a womans perspective- Matt is right when he says that girls like guys who are super passionate about the things they do. Get out of your room, away from the TV and out in to doing a sport or activity that you can surround yourself with people who are passionate about the same things you are. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a sport, you can do art, workshops, or volunteer if sports aren’t your thing. However the wrestling idea is a pretty good one! You will make friends effortlessly as passion breeds success and people naturally gravitate to people who are happy and successful.
I went in to dance and met so many amazing people when I felt really alone after a big move. I left a lot of my friends behind so it was terrifying meeting new people but by getting in to new activities it allowed me to meet people who liked the things that I did.
Thanks for commenting and reaching out to us! I would love to see more kids your age take that kind of responsibility for their own growth. You have a lot more strength than you probably give yourself credit for. You’re pretty cool in my books :)

J

Cam November 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Wow. All of these responses are great. Thanks for taking the time Andy, MZS, Shama, Aaron, & Jamie. :)

junior November 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm

wow, seriously your article have blown me away, very relate-able and top quality stuff. you have found all of my subconscious thoughts. Everything you wrote in this article hits me subconsciously, even though I think of it but never really admit it.

This hits me like I was traveling deep down in my past 10 years ago. I remember when I first was introduced to a game called MMORPG runescape in 6th grade. this was at the time I got a new computer. It was a dumb repetitive mouse clicking games, yet us students became friend and we game in the computer lab afterschool, this went on for a while, and we got addicted, but their addiction were not as strong as mine. I was literally consumed by the game and I usually played like 12 hour straight, and usually play games until like 9 pm then do homework and head to bed.

I hide my game window and pretend I was doing homework when my parent comes in my room. I cry now, because I needed help but my mind was sub-consciously wanting me to continue playing video games, it is like a disorder. my grades dropped, kinda obvious but I still continue to do it. I went from the elite excel classes down to the mediocre.

gosh why didn’t fate let me get caught yelled at and be corrected.
while my friends eventually gave up on video game and moved on to sport, I was still delve into the game, it ruined my eyesight pretty bad, and yet I continued. If I do get bored I switch to FPS (CS 1.6) for a while, and then like you said literally making excuse to justify that playing different games have intrinsic value and forget about life.

I barely made it into high school, and I told I would stop, and instead the new Battlefield series came out, and I got consumed by it the “social side” of the mass 64 multiplayer.
I tried to quit many times and majority of the time I halve-assed, no more than two weeks I was getting butterfly and I really needed to play and it felt like a drug addiction, but I’m sure psychologists are disapproving that video gaming addiction is serious.

and mentioning psychologists…I never seeked help nor was my parent really aware of my addiction. they do asked me sometimes but I would harassed them or digress.

The addiction was so powerful because I was an godly FPS player, I literally end up with 50-3 kill death ratio, and it literally made you want to play more and more. I think that why my addiction never stopped,

FPS have all the component you mention, FUN, SOCIAL, CHALLENGE (how to improve), to show off.

I think one of the closest time that I was about to quit for good was when computer video games always have cheaters, aimbotter,hackers etc. But I wasn’t subconsciously trying to quit for good but instead I bought a freaking ps3, omg it made it worse, I blew away summer just sitting at home and playing video game instead of improving on other aspects of life.

I even eventually reject to go out with friend, hang out socially, I even lie to them that I was busy just to play video games. every single afternoon after school was video game.
Even my parents were amazed how I can sit for 18 hour straight at home in front of the computer not moving not exercising, for many years. when I get bored of video game( marginal utility), I go on forums or video game chat and troll it up, and hours goes by, as you mention I sub-consciously don’t want to finish my hw and just want to procrastinate.

Through my teenage year, I have not been very social, and it was extremely detrimental because I rarely spoke or improve my communication skills. I barely read, and it has causes me to have disorder similar to dyslexia. I was extremely trouble forming sentences when I started getting a bit nervous, and broken sentences fragment comes out of my mouth, and people have trouble understanding me. I’m sure you can figure that out by reading majority of my sentences, my grammar lacks in general.

keep things short, I have gamed from MW2,BFBC 2, and the latest battlefield 3. I really want to quit and move on with my life.

I hope you can be my role model.

TT400 November 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I found this article completely by chance. I was just searching “why I quit video games” and this came up. Great article. It’s just much easier said than done…. I’m playing Skyrim now. Skyrim is, hands down, probably the best game for a couple of years to come. So as you can imagine, I played it for hours and hours as soon as it came out (Nov 11). The download off of Steam finished over night. I swear, I turned on my computer at 7 AM and played till 10 PM, stopping only to eat lunch. My own mother didn’t know I was at home because my room door was closed the whole time. I played that ENTIRE day and repeated that the rest of that weekend. The 11th was a Friday. Yeah, I skipped class, played till 10, repeated that on Saturday and Sunday. During the week I played as well but not as much since I had class. Weekend came, and I did it all over again. Completely shut out the rest of the world and focused on Skyrim…. Now, it really hit me last night. I was out with my friends (surprising seeing as how I actually went out instead of choosing to play Skyrim) and one of them told me of his new girlfriend. The other told me of a girl he was beginning to make move up on. That’s all great for them and I’m fucking happy for them… But any time they or anyone else for that matter would ask me about the girls in my life, I’d just say some shit like “I’m not into anyone. I don’t know what it is with me.” That has some truth to it. I actually am not into anyone but I think the reason is because of my fucking anti-social gaming habits. I’ve never had a girlfriend, I always make shit awkward with girls, girls have come up to me and I’ve practically rejected them because of my anti-social retardation… All this, I think, is because of my lack of experience. And to experience something, I have to actually be doing it, right? So how can I be doing this something (whatever it is) if I’m gaming all the time? That’s why I just accepted it, I guess. I just accepted that I’m “not into dating and relationships and girls.” I’m not lying here. I actually am not into those things right now and I’m pretty sure it’s because of the gaming lifestyle I’ve built my life around. I don’t know… This is not the first time I’ve been on the fence about quiting either… I mean, years ago when I was a kid, video games were relatively new and I just had school and friends and homework and whatever and life was simple so video games were fine. But now that I’ve grown and I’m in college… I see all these different people, hear about all these different lifestyles, careers, everything, you know? The world is much larger to you when you’re an adult then when you’re a kid, you know? So I’m experiencing all this and every now and then I come online and look up gaming-quitting stories and feel bad about it… Go to bed… And the next day? I’ll probably play some more video games. I don’t know… I know you’ve basically answered this question in your article somewhere where I didn’t take notice, but what the heck do I do?

Thanks a lot for your time.

Cam November 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Hey Junior and TT400.

Happy to receive your comments. I’m glad you both found the article insightful and full of value. I hope you guys can use the concepts within to quit gaming and start living your life to the fullest.

Remember, “the key isn’t to just quit, but to fill that time and energy with new things. Things you’re more passionate about. Things that make you WANT to wake up each and every day. Your attitude can’t be to try and quit video games. Your attitude has to be that today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

So what’s your game plan? What activities can you fill your video game time with? And when you want to have a bit of downtime (which is necessary), what are you going to do?

Fill me in and I’ll help you guys out :)

Dan November 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Thanks so much Cam! I really hope this article helps me quit video games all together, and get rid of my addiction.

Cam November 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Thanks for coming Dan. Glad you found value in it. :)

Blake November 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Well I find this a hard topic to discuss,
I guess the first step to changing is admitting you have a problem. Im 14 and I feel I have a problem. My reclusive behaviors have cut me off from the world. I still get out and enjoy things with my family, but other then my friends I have met online, I dont really feel like Ive got many other friends. I guess thats ok with me because I think being out of social contact really gives you an appreciation for solitude and peace. I recently had a discussion with my parents about it because I felt it might be getting out of control. They were very supportive and I know I can count on them when I need help. Although, I can’t get but feeling kind of ashamed of myself for what ive done. Im trying to focus on mt music and becoming better at that, but I always have this haunting feeling that ive done something wrong, and that maybe im missing something…

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Cam December 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Blake: Thanks for coming by and commenting. :) I don’t know how I missed your comment before so my apologies for not responding sooner. How have things been going since you commented at the end of November? Have you been focusing on your music like you mentioned you would? Do you collaborate with anybody else on your music? Having a passion for music is great, and will definitely be a worthwhile investment of your time. If you can make it social too, that’s an added bonus! :)

nathan December 23, 2011 at 5:25 am

Thanks Cam, Like you i’ve been hardcore into computer games, and once i’ve quit one game there is always another BETTER one to play that i find myself hooked on. Like Skyrim which i recently started playing. Since stumbling upon this post recently i have sold my copy of Skyrim, i realise that playing games is not doing me any good at all. I have quit games all together. Thanks for the advice and wish me luck.

JUNIOR December 23, 2011 at 6:51 am

I just came to say that after a month from reading this article, I have decreased my gaming time every week till I eventually stopped playing all together. My mind is more clear now and as i look back I dont view gaming as the same anymore, it relays feel like it is a burden and is taken a toll on my life and that I’ve could have better invested the time elsewhere.
Can’t regret it now but to look forward and change myself for the better.
I kinda find it funny that there were so many professional tips and resources for how to stop playing video game but your Article was like the golden ticket, just completely wow, blew me away. Thanks CAM. 我爱你,谢谢。

Cam December 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Hey Nathan- You can do it man! Good luck and keep me posted. Thanks for commenting.

Junior- Super pumped to have you give me an update. I’m glad things are working out well. What are you spending your time doing nowadays instead of playing video games? I definitely feel like the other resources out there -although offer a few good tips- really miss the core of the problem. Keep up the good work. :)

Visitor December 24, 2011 at 8:43 am

- A temporary escape

Vague. How do you define “escape”? Escapism? Does daydreaming, reading fiction or watching TV count as “escape”? If so, nearly everyone does it to pathological proportions. I would dispute that video games are the only problem here. I would count the majority of popular pastimes as “a temporary escape”. Playing video games, social networking, watching videos, sports, music, etc. These are all “temporary escape” from the demands of real life. If you merely shift from one temporary escape to another you are simply shifting the addiction, not curing it.

– Constant measurable growth

You can have constant measurable growth by doing past exam papers. Each question done is a measured growth, and you can measure your ability by checking your exam results. Nobody that I know is addicted to doing past exam papers, or does this appear to be a popular pastime.

Popular addictive games such as Counter-Strike and Starcraft do not provide constant measurable growth. You win one match only to lose another, depending on how good your team is and what strategy the other team decides to pursue. Often game outcomes are decided when one player in one team leaves the game. It is difficult to have constant measurable growth in a game where outcomes depends highly on map, team composition, other circumstantial reasons. Smurfs further destroy the already flawed ranking system.

– A challenge

Pretty much every problem poses a challenge. There are numerous unsolved mathematical problems including:

P versus NP
Hodge conjecture
Riemann hypothesis
Yang–Mills existence and mass gap
Navier–Stokes existence and smoothness
Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture.

None of these have been resolved and are sure to pose a challenge to anyone (and each has a reward of one million dollars), but I have yet to hear of anyone dying from spending 50 hours on trying to solve these problems.

Why are video games addictive, whilst Millennium Prize Problems are not?

– Social

Video game addiction has little to do with social needs, which are nowdays mostly fulfilled by social networking websites. People used to be addicted to Pacman, Contra or Space Invaders. These were singleplayer games yet were very addictive for some. The addicts competed against their own high scores.

With the advent of multiplayer gaming, players can now compete against players other than themselves, thus vastly increasing the challenge. Unlike the AI, players (good players that is) get better by practicing and learning from past experiences, thus providing more of a challenge.

Also, the social aspect does not explain the increasing popularity of flash games, most of which are single player. Even if you are not addicted to one particular flash game, playing through the numerous games that come out every week takes up a lot of time. Some people spend hundreds of hours trying to get a high score on a singleplayer flash game. This is clearly addiction, yet it has no social aspect.

CAM I am impressed that you’ve managed to reply to every comment so far.

Jesus December 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

You made me feel a tear of solid diamond in my eye

Dunno What To Say December 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I was reading vistor comments from 12/24/11 at 8:43 am and thought I had some thoughts to add or respond to their speculation.

*Escapism – By its very nature escapism is vague because it is personal what causes the switch in your mindset that allows you to get away from the stress of the real world. There are escapes that work for one group of people but not another. Playing guitar might allow you to get away whereas I can care less. So really you can only list common ones as examples but it could be anything.
As far as shifting the addiction, the addiction is not just the act of escapism. Video games provide escapism but it is their combined components that can lead down the path of addiction for some people. Working out, sports or social dynamics might allow for escapism but it is not often that they become compulsions leading to not socializing, not sleeping, poor diet or ignoring things that would make the rest of your life better.

* Constant Measurable Growth- As much as some games have broken systems regarding the leveling or stats, most games do allow for you to keep track of how you have personally progressed. In addition most people have some idea if they are getting better at something even if growth slows to a crawl or effectively hits a ceiling. Like the counterstrike example, I knew I was getting better for a long time based on the increasing situations that I could survive through or how many people I could mow down without dying. Honestly by the time I was no longer getting better the addiction hooks were in and all the other points in the article still applied.
If you are getting better at performing a static task or able to accomplish an increasingly difficult task then that for all intents and purposes is measurable growth.

* Challenge- The difficulty of a task has to scale to the current ability of the person. It has to be challenging but doable. If I am starting to workout for the first time ever, put 300lbs on the barbell and then try to bench press it, it will not be long before I give up on working out. Immensely difficult or seemingly impossible tasks are not ones that we continue to pursue unless it is absolutely necessary(survival). The examples listed are beyond the scope of the vast majority of humanity. People want something that is hard but not too hard.

* Social- I would think this is the weakest of the four points regarding what causes video game addiction but it is absolutely important to include for someone trying to find somewhere else to throw their energy into. Video game addictions seem to be able to bypass some social needs but I can’t help but imagine that when looking for new activities back in the real world most people would be more enthusiastic about socializing over going at it alone. Also how many funny or incredible stories start or end with the person telling the story not interacting with any other people around them?

In my opinion the article and the advice don’t necessarily provide or duplicate all the reasons why video games are addictive, but then again I don’t think that is the point. It does provide great advice towards using some of the similarities between gaming and new pursuits. It is easier to create a new habit that pulls you in positive direction than it is to destroy an old negative one.
Also breaking down the points separately (like I am guilty of here myself) weakens their synergistic effect. No activity that provides only one of the listed points would be as successful as any pursuit that that combined more of the points. Which is also the reason that some chores do not become addictive.
Also would have to thank you Cam as you are right that most video game addiction articles do not approach it in a real world manner. So thanks!

D December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

This is exactly what i needed!

Thanks.

Benjamin December 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I often wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t brought us home starcraft.

I have learned a lot using video games: I’m a logical, objective, methodical problem solver. I put the onus on myself to improve my situation. I’m decisive and I trust my decision making. I am unattached to outcomes. I’m even a professional poker player and coach.

But I don’t feel good about myself when I sink into a video game time-hole. I don’t feel really bad. I don’t really feel anything. That’s scary. I don’t know if everyone here is like me, but I become totally immersed in the game. I keep challenging myself to improve and get more efficient. I get really really good at the problem. I get to amuse all my dedication, creativity, and perseverance.

Wait… what?

Why am I amusing all of my best tools?

And then Cam made me ask myself:
a)is there a better, different way to learn this skillset?
b)do the positives of video games in your life now outweigh the negatives?

Yes. NO.

It’s time to try things out and find what excites me. So I’ve made myself a mission for week 1 of my January 1st return to Vancouver:
-drop into the local SFU university. Find at least five classes that MAY interest me and sit in on a lecture to introduce myself to the class. It will probably be psych and language classes but I’ll browse everything.
-Make a trip to an ethnic market to buy strange food for a one day cooking adventure. I will cook it with reckless abandon.

I also want to get more involved in this community, improve my writing, take social dance classes(signed up during this post :)), continue rock climbing, try yoga, and start my own bonsai tree. Look how busy I am already! I’m half-chubbed in excitement.

Thanks.

PS: Cam I have a message for you from 2009 Ben, “In the words of Stevie Nicks, ‘players only love you when they’re playing’… Starcraft: Broodwar.”

Cam December 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Hey guys. Thanks for commenting. Definitely some intriguing conversation. I respond to every comment because my perspective is not based on being “right”. It’s not based on validating my ego. My perspective is the one I currently believe to be closer to the goal of having a real framework to succeed in a specific goal – in this case, being able to quit playing video games for good. Each comment is feedback that we can pool together and as a collective ideally get closer and closer towards being able to succeed.

I agree that everything can be defined as “temporary escape”. The argument isn’t about whether the majority of popular past times are also temporary escapism or not. That is without question true. As is the fact that *the majority* of people who play video games are also using it as a way to escape. Something to understand about the post is that these points on their own will lack the ability to stand firm and be the singular cause of someones addiction to video games. It’s the combination of them all.

You should not, and I do not recommend this in my article, simply shift from one temporary escape to another. When you quit video games, it’s incredibly important to fill that newly found free time with something of importance. Something productive. Something you are passionate about, and something that leads to you working on your purpose. The purpose of life is a life of purpose, after all.

In the end, I think “Dunno What to Say” nailed this all very well. I completely agree that this is not the one and be-all post about video game addiction. It’s merely 4 components that, in combination, are a major reason why it does exist, and why it’s so hard for people to get out of it. If your goal is to quit video games, the chance you have of success is much greater by filling the time with an activity with similarities, albeit one that is productive and towards your purpose as I stated above.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m happy this conversation is continuing.

visitor December 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm

>By its very nature escapism is vague because it is personal what causes the switch in your mindset that allows you to get away from the stress of the real world. There are escapes that work for one group of people but not another. Playing guitar might allow you to get away whereas I can care less. So really you can only list common ones as examples but it could be anything.

It could be anything, but most people tend to engage in the common ones such as watching television, reading fiction and playing games. In my opinion these are all as bad as each other in terms of practical value generated.

>As far as shifting the addiction, the addiction is not just the act of escapism. Video games provide escapism but it is their combined components that can lead down the path of addiction for some people.

I disagree. Any activity that provides escapism is usually addictive. Watching television or reading fiction for example can be very addictive and destroys lives.

>Working out, sports or social dynamics might allow for escapism but it is not often that they become compulsions leading to not socializing, not sleeping, poor diet or ignoring things that would make the rest of your life better.

I don’t think working out provides escapism for many people, I find it difficult to imagine how people can become lost in the “world of working out” as opposed to the World of Warcraft.

>As much as some games have broken systems regarding the leveling or stats, most games do allow for you to keep track of how you have personally progressed. In addition most people have some idea if they are getting better at something even if growth slows to a crawl or effectively hits a ceiling. Like the counterstrike example, I knew I was getting better for a long time based on the increasing situations that I could survive through or how many people I could mow down without dying. Honestly by the time I was no longer getting better the addiction hooks were in and all the other points in the article still applied.
If you are getting better at performing a static task or able to accomplish an increasingly difficult task then that for all intents and purposes is measurable growth.

You have defined not Constant Measurable Growth but Measurable Growth. For Measured Growth to be constant there must be an external as opposed to internal mechanism of checking progress. RPGs and MMORPGs provide this in the form of player stats, which improve with more play. Multiplayer FPS and RTS games can often have a ranking system but as I said this is most often broken. For example in AoM players are usually asked “rr?” after entering a room, where “rr” stands for real rating (a likely estimated value) because the AoM rating system completely fails. Also in Starcraft, the vast of majority of UMS players (and I only play UMS) have the same rating of 1000, thus making it impossible to know who is a pro and who is a noob. Even in ladder games, players with low ratings very often beat players with high ratings. Your mental idea of your skill level is neither Constant nor is it Measurable.

>The difficulty of a task has to scale to the current ability of the person. It has to be challenging but doable. If I am starting to workout for the first time ever, put 300lbs on the barbell and then try to bench press it, it will not be long before I give up on working out. Immensely difficult or seemingly impossible tasks are not ones that we continue to pursue unless it is absolutely necessary(survival). The examples listed are beyond the scope of the vast majority of humanity. People want something that is hard but not too hard.

This does not invalidate my point. Maths problems can range from easy (1+1=?) to impossible. There is a wide range and available of problems to pick from, easily accessible from the internet.

My point is why do people play video games instead of doing maths problems of equal difficulty? Most people are not addicted to puzzle games and are instead addicted to FPS games which do not really provide much of an abstract challenge, only activation of the sympathetic nervous system. RPG and MMORPG games do not provide any mental challenge at all and are basically just mindless grinding for XP and items.

>Video game addictions seem to be able to bypass some social needs but I can’t help but imagine that when looking for new activities back in the real world most people would be more enthusiastic about socializing over going at it alone. Also how many funny or incredible stories start or end with the person telling the story not interacting with any other people around them?

Telling stories is an inherently social activity – you are telling a story to amuse someone else. Playing Space Invaders or Pacman is definitely not – you are killing aliens and eating ghosts by yourself.

>In my opinion the article and the advice don’t necessarily provide or duplicate all the reasons why video games are addictive, but then again I don’t think that is the point.

Causes of video game addiction should first be elucidated before a cure can be established.

>It does provide great advice towards using some of the similarities between gaming and new pursuits.

And the similarities may be so great that the new pursuits are not much more productive than gaming itself.

>It is easier to create a new habit that pulls you in positive direction than it is to destroy an old negative one.

It is always easy to shift addictions, not so easy to break them.

>Also breaking down the points separately (like I am guilty of here myself) weakens their synergistic effect. No activity that provides only one of the listed points would be as successful as any pursuit that that combined more of the points. Which is also the reason that some chores do not become addictive.

Breaking down the points separately is how science works. You have to be controlling for all variables EXCEPT the one you’re trying to investigate, otherwise you do not know which variable caused the result, thus making any conclusion useless.

>I agree that everything can be defined as “temporary escape”. The argument isn’t about whether the majority of popular past times are also temporary escapism or not. That is without question true. As is the fact that *the majority* of people who play video games are also using it as a way to escape. Something to understand about the post is that these points on their own will lack the ability to stand firm and be the singular cause of someones addiction to video games. It’s the combination of them all.

RPG games lack both the social and the challenge aspects. RTS and FPS games lack the constant measurable growth aspect. Perhaps the only thing RTS, FPS and RPG games have in common is the escapism aspect.

>You should not, and I do not recommend this in my article, simply shift from one temporary escape to another. When you quit video games, it’s incredibly important to fill that newly found free time with something of importance. Something productive. Something you are passionate about, and something that leads to you working on your purpose. The purpose of life is a life of purpose, after all.

In other words you are recommending breaking the addiction instead of simply shifting it. Whilst this is the ultimate solution, it seems to be beyond the ability of the majority of addicts. How many times have your parents told you to stop playing games and do something productive with your time? How many times have you actually listened? I suspect not many. The same is true with the vast majority of addicts. You see, an addiction is not just a habit, it’s an extremely persistent habit that actively refuses to be exterminated. When you quit an addiction for even a few days, you experience withdrawal symptoms that make you think twice about quitting that addiction. Eventually the temptation is too great and you relapse. The cycle continues.

>In the end, I think “Dunno What to Say” nailed this all very well. I completely agree that this is not the one and be-all post about video game addiction. It’s merely 4 components that, in combination, are a major reason why it does exist, and why it’s so hard for people to get out of it. If your goal is to quit video games, the chance you have of success is much greater by filling the time with an activity with similarities, albeit one that is productive and towards your purpose as I stated above.

As I have already said, these 4 components are not present in all video game addictions, the only factor in common with all video game addictions is escapism.

Dunno What To Say December 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

Video games are a catch all term for a delivery method in the same way that a bottle can carry beer, water or soda.

The things that make them addictive are not going to be the same from genre to genre. They all would have different aspects that would make them addictive to different types of people.

This would probably be the reason that I was bored by puzzle games, liked regular RPGs and strategy games, while I loved FPSs and equally loved the shallow RPGs (here’s looking at you Diablo!). Likewise your favorite genres could be completely different.

It seems that certain genres lead to addiction more than others, which probably has to do with certain traits that are hardwired into most people to some degree or another.

Two reasons that I can think of that video games are addictive other than what is listed in the article are probably not what you want to bring to future endeavors:

Delivery Method- Internet use by itself is found to be habit forming for a lot of people. Video games use the same method but amplified. Rewards for actions tend to be immediate, extravagant and frequent. As your brain grows accustomed to this type of feedback other real world feedback can feel slow and numb.

Gambling Mechanisms- Grinding out your WOW character long after the rational side of your brain would love to do something else ? WOW/Diablo type games piggyback on the same principle that causes gambling addiction. But instead of once every couple of minutes it then hammers your brain with it a couple dozen times a minute.

Also something to possibly add as a positive thing to add:

Competition- Who doesn’t give a little something extra when they are competing against someone? Even friendly competition adds the amount of focus that someone brings to an activity.

You could break down each genre separately and based on personality type.
Lets say WOW for example. Someone lonely might grow addicted to the escapism and the social aspects of the game. Someone predisposed towards gambling addiction or maybe likes the feeling of succeeding would fall into the measurable growth and item grinding aspects of the game. A FPS is escapism, challenging(competitive) ,social with some measurable growth which delivers feedback at a quick and consistent pace.

I don’t believe there is a magic bullet for what makes games addictive. You can break them down to their individual variables but that doesn’t mean it is only one variable that makes them addictive. It might depend on what the persons personality is combined with a certain type of game.

Think of it this way. You ask me why I like my girlfriend. I tell you that she is hot, sex drive of a rabbit, funny as hell, doesn’t lose her shit over small things that don’t matter. I broke down why I like my girlfriend into four variables. You can’t insist on which one is the reason I like her because one without the others and there is a good chance I don’t feel the same way about her.

Much like which game mechanics encourage addictive behavior varies from game to game, there are probably different life circumstances as well as genetics that make someone more susceptible to addiction.

Which is why I would think there are two sides to quitting an addiction. One is the withdrawl symptoms that can persist for awhile after. Those are things like the itch to play again even when you know you shouldn’t, everything feeling boring ect. Thats why people say you need to actually be ready to quit. You need to be vigiliant on keeping away from games and be willing to push through the uncomfortable feelings. It will subside but it can take time for some people.

The additional things to deal with would often be loneliness ,depression, bordom or whatever it is you need escapism and gaming for in the first place.

You cannot back away from the addiction without replacing it with something. If video games were what you did with most of your free time then you better have something in mind to replace it. You can only stand to be bored or lonely out of your mind for so long until you will boot up your favorite games again.

Having a new passion to move to doesn’t only keep your mind distracted from the games it also establishes new habits other than gaming to throw your energy into.

This is what article attempts to address.

One other thing I speculate about is that the more interests you have the less susceptible you would be to a mental addiction. If I play in a band, work out and occasionally surf, I would be less likely to have video games ever be more than a distraction in my spare time.

Cam December 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Great comment. :)

Will January 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Hey Cam,

Happy New Year. As 2012 started, I vowed to myself that I would stop gaming once and for all. For a while now I have been gaming and have only just recently admitted that I am addicted. This article (especially how you were in my position) has given me the strength that I need to really quit. You have changed my life, thankyou.

Yours,

Will

Cam January 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Hey Will.

Thanks for commenting. Happy New Year to you as well. You’re going to do great. Keep me posted on your progress. :)

visitor January 3, 2012 at 4:12 am

Dunno what to say – I disagree with most of your points but I no longer think it’s worthwhile to debate them, since they are not really relevant.

I agreed with “Those are things like the itch to play again even when you know you shouldn’t, everything feeling boring ect. Thats why people say you need to actually be ready to quit. You need to be vigiliant on keeping away from games and be willing to push through the uncomfortable feelings. It will subside but it can take time for some people.”

I am a recovering addict myself and have felt these feelings, and they have now mostly subsided.

I have made the decision to quit games forever so I will never be a game addict again. Or an addict to anything that I can identify.

I now fill my time with everything I had put off – exercise, reading, writing, socializing etc.

The most important thing is that you quit the addiction. New hobbies will automatically fill the void. Don’t expect an addiction to quit by itself – it won’t. You actually need to be continuously denying the urge to play. It is at first hard and it will be painful – accept it.

Rob January 3, 2012 at 6:46 am

So heres the thing man, I just quit gaming for the year of 2012. Just to see what happens. And with my spare tie I decided to do a little research on others who have quit gaming and came across this page. And wow, so if I quit gaming I could become a whoremongering, over-ego, disc jockey who proclaims his righteousness in the fact that he quit looking at something that intruiged him. I was rooting for you at the beginning of this article, but holy shit man. All the pictures of hot chicks playing games I thought you were building up to a point, but it turns out your just another dude chaising tail, and games were getting in the way of another addiction.
-This article made quitting that much harder. Thanks for that.-
You want to do something worth while with your time? Help one of those chicks whose life you’ve fucked up just a little bit more. Think about that shit. Woman want to please, and they will do so to theyre own ends. You take advantage of that, and honestly the world was probably alot better when you were harmlessly gaming day in and out.
You aint nothing more than a crack addict whose found the light in meth.

seb January 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

Massive thanks to you CAM, made an actual difference. I’ve completely stopped. I’am Doing something I actually enjoy instead of wasting my time on games, which is DJing as well. This article is really well worded and works, instead of all the other ‘obvious tips’ bullshit that you mentioned

Thanks

Seb

Dunno What To Say January 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’m not sure where you disagree Visitor. I actually appreciated the questions because if anything they further refined what I think about gaming addiction. I don’t think I ever tried to indicate that quitting was easy or that being dedicated to quitting wasn’t the most important part.
It is ridiculously hard at first. At least it was for me. When I tried quitting for the first time I actually can remember where everything else I tried doing just felt boring and lifeless.
You picked up good hobbies but it is just as easy for people to fill their time with tv watching ,more mindless web surfing or maybe just wasting more time with friends. Actually you said something similar yourself.
Awesome that you quit either way.

Cam January 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Hey guys. THanks a lot for coming by and commenting. I appreciate all the feedback!

Visitor- I agree with what you say. Although the 4 areas are important to fill, you still need to make sure you make the decision to quit the addiction too, and continue to deny that urge. Activities alone won’t do it. Conscious effort is the only way.

Rob- I appreciate you coming by and commenting. I have to admit, I’m somewhat confused with your comment. I don’t know what girls you are speaking of that I have “fucked up”. I’m currently in a very good healthy committed relationship, and definitely am not out there chasing tail. I’m unsure what part of my post was misunderstood, but I’m happy to clarify it if you help explain yourself better. Either way, I wish you the best of luck quitting video games.

Seb- Happy to hear the post helped you out. Stoked to hear about another DJ! What kind of music are you spinning? I post my mixes up on soundcloud, and would be happy to connect with you and listen to your stuff. Let me know. :)

Dunno what to say- I really appreciate you taking the time to help reply and contribute more to the conversation. Your insight is valuable to me. :)

Dan January 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm

thank you for writing this. I was playing hardcore the same as you, but after reading this article i decided that i need to do something with my life, and to really start having a life, instead of just letting it pass by me when i sit every day and night playing video games.
I started exercising, and i have more time to study and develop a career, so thanks for the eyeopening article.

Cam January 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Hey Dan. Thanks for popping in and leaving your comment. I appreciate you taking the time. Exercising is a great start. Now that you are getting active, you’ll find you have that much more energy to work with. Great job.

When it comes to wasting time, something that really hit home with me was this:

“You can waste money and get it back, but you can’t do the same with your time.”

Have you had the chance to check out any of our other articles??

Jordan Classen January 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

Cam, I’m very happy to have found this article. It almost scares me how alike me and you are.

I progressed through my gaming career the exact same way as you did. I started with 1.6, competed in CAL/LAN’s, ran a team, developed strats for a couple hours a day, practiced controlling recoil and twitch shots for an hour a day, put said strats into practice with my team, then practiced them to perfection in countless scrims a day. When CAL died I moved to CEVO, as well as starting up with my DOTA career. I’ve lost many relationships to gaming, and I used to boast this to people, as if it made me that much better of a human being.

I managed to quit for a year when starting up a new career, but unfortunately this career is seasonal, and sometimes the work runs out over winter. That happened this year, and over Christmas I reinstalled CS, reunited with my old friends/teammates, and in the last month I have done nothing productive, gained weight, found my teenage zits to be returning with a vengeance, and failed to do any work on the car I’m attempting to restore for spring this year.

I’ve re-read your article 3 times now and committed it to memory, and applied 90% of it to my own situation. I do however have a few more issues that I would love to get some feedback on.

First off, I’ll let you know what I PLAN to do to fill the void. In my younger years, I used to play soccer. Not just play it, but compete at a national level, and play in the top division and premier league here in Saskatchewan. That was until a minor knee injury that should have only put me out for a few months. Unfortunately I discovered smoking and Counter-strike in those few months. I hope to get back to that level of play, although I know this will take a couple years.

My other hobby is fixing old imports/drifting. I’m an enthusiast, but unfortunately, my gaming career put a major halt on fixing my car, let alone driving and competing with it. Another major issue with that plan is being in Saskatchewan. Unlike Victoria, we don’t have year round drift events. We don’t actually have a track that allows them.

My third issue, is my current girlfriend is everything that a gamer wants, not someone who plans to have a life. She’s pretty, nice, understanding, but terribly addicted to video games/social media(tumbler, twitter, facebook, thedailywh.at, cracked.com etc..), and she is very lazy/messy. She doesn’t clean, she doesn’t eat healthy, she’s never played sports, but aside from her bad habits, she’s an incredible girl.

Now, putting all these issues together, I’ve got quite the pickle. My soccer team/league is 4 hours away from Saskatoon, in Yorkton. Drifting/Car culture is pretty much non existent here in Saskatchewan, and BC or Alberta seem to be the only logical choices. (Victoria would actually be my first choice, due to year round events and plenty of people to mingle with). But then there is the girlfriend. I love her, but I don’t think she will be willing to/able to change her lifestyle, or fit mine into hers.

What is a guy to do?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Jordan

Camila January 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hello and I need some advice. Im a girl, 13 years old. I spend alot, alot of time playing video games. And its for a long time. 2-4 years around. I just play play and play. And those games are usually non-multiplayer games, because when I play multiplayer games, they quickly get boring, then I jump to single-player. After few days I decided to cold turkey, and look for some advice in internet. I stumbled upon your article, and it helped a bit. Im still lost, I really want to start studying, because I know my grades had dropped, and I don’t know what to do. I’m not lazy, I go doing sports (swimming). I played Runescape, CS, MC(minecraft), and lots of shooting games, which are all single-player. Its the thing I don’t have a giant motivation to drop it, and my self-esteem is low. I have few friends, but I don’t really hang out with them. Please help if you can :( Thanks alot.

sage January 10, 2012 at 8:04 am

Camila – Only you can choose to stop playing games. Make the choice and stick to it.

You’re welcome.

Dunno What To Say January 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Hey Jordan. I’m not Cam(er obviously) but I have been following the comments to this article lately as it is a topic that I have a lot of interest in. Hope you don’t mind me giving my two cents on your questions. Actually hopefully Cam doesn’t mind either for that matter.

Is it possible to reach out to others to see if there are like minded people that have an interest in drifting around you? At the very least you can find others that are looking to work on cars or possibly travel to events with? Is it at all possible to convince any of the local tracks to allow drifting if there was enough of an interest? Is it possible to become the catalyst for such a community?

Regarding your concerns about your girlfriend, I can think of two angles to this. Apologies if these are harsh in anyway.

First is to imagine the kind of life you want and then to ask yourself how much personal sacrifice is your girlfriend worth to you? Is she special to the point you are willing not to push forward with the things you listed if it meant losing her?

Secondly and regardless of your answer to the first question, realize that you never know how things will unfold. If you succeed in reaching your goals you don’t know how that will effect your girlfriend. She might be motivated by watching your success and realize that she wants her life to have less internet and more of other pursuits. The two of you move forward branching into new directions and have an amazing life together that makes all the people around you envious. Or maybe she will grow to resent your renewed interests and your relationship will crash and burn.

I’m guessing you are moving forward one way or the other so why not try to bring her along?

Cam January 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Jordan- Thanks for popping by and commenting. It’s funny man. There’s been a lot of comments on this post (this will be #70), and more so I’ve received a countless number of e-mails from readers of the article, and the same parallel is drawn each time: how much we all have in common.

Reader Dunno what to say (I wish I had a name for him- haha) nailed everything on the head well already. The one thing I will add to his comment (and Jordan, I will still be responding to your e-mail shortly), is that if there’s one thing more important than anything else in a relationship, it’s your personal happiness. So the big question you need to ask yourself is: are you happy? If not, then you need to make decisions – whatever they may be – to make sure you are, in fact, happy. That always has to come #1. If you aren’t happy your relationship won’t be successful, that’s a guarantee.

So maybe you just start focusing on you more and focus on growth instead for now, and that inspires your girlfriend to follow suit. And if she doesn’t, maybe that makes it easier to move forward without her. If she does, perfect. Just make sure you aren’t staying in a relationship out of fear, or staying in it because it’s comfortable. The difference in your life’s success will be determined by the amount you step up to the plate and face adversity, with an unwavering relentless pursuit of success. Failure isn’t an option in your growth.

Camila- Thanks for stopping in and commenting. There’s nothing more inspiring to me than seeing someone of your age being assertive to reach out for help. You are an inspiration to me.

What I would suggest is similar to what Sage said: make the commitment to quit 100%. Now, what other activities do you enjoy? Do you enjoy drawing? Writing? Reading? Are you interested in music? Playing an instrument? What about art? Painting maybe? These are productive activities that you could spend time on that could make you happy. You need to focus on finding something you are passionate about. I would suggest trying many new things. Find a few that you enjoy and focus on those. As for studying, the motivation to study needs to come from a desire to learn. If you focus on your interest in learning and growing, studying becomes much much easier. Learning is FUN because learning expands your mind and makes your life better. Develop a love for learning and school will be much more fun.

Sage- Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the support. :)

Hope that helps you all. Definitely keep me updated. You can send me an e-mail if you want: cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com

Jordan Classen January 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Thanks Cam and DunnoWhatToCallYou,

It’s funny, before either of you responded, I already came to the same thoughts and plans.

As for finding like-minded car enthusiasts here, I already know of some, and I plan to make an attempt to become better friends with them. As for the getting practice time/events anywhere, that is a next to impossibility. We’ve tried many a times over now, and none of the major venues will consider.

The one small town place that we had an event at before was actually a go kart track (Although big enough for 4-door sedans to slide sideways through), and was a really great turn out and event. Unfortunately, one of the drifters was dating the owners daughter, and things went sour. Now the owner hates everyone and everything that has to do with drifting. Saskatchewan has no hope of future events aside from circle tracks on the occasional unbooked time slot at a major venue.

As for the girlfriend, I came to the same conclusion as you two. I need to change, I already know this, and I will do it regardless of what may happen. I will wait and see, and lightly push her in a similar direction if she seems to like the idea of it. However, if she doesn’t change and doesn’t plan to well.. so be it. She’s great, but she won’t be what I’m searching for after I’ve changed the person I am today.

It seems all I needed was other logical human beings to validate what I already knew had to be.

Thanks again for the help guys.
Jordan

Jambo January 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Hey CAM, thank you very much for this article. You really found the main reasons why playing that stupid shit. I´ve googling for more than one hour and this is the best article I´ve read.

Now, that I know what it is happening, I would give a try once more I hope I can stop playing once and for all.

Thank you, man.

Jambo

Cam January 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Jordan- Sounds wicked man. You’re on the right path. “After enlightenment, the laundry”

Jambo- You can do it man. You just have to commit once and for all and it will be a piece of cake. :)

Darwi January 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

Hey Cam. Great article, and I found my self completely agreeing. My problem is that I over the last 1½ year has played way too much starcraft 2. I guess i am compltetely addicted to the game. Reading about, watching, discussing games, and of course playing. However I never played enough to actually become a “pro”. I used to use around 20 % of the time playing 1on1 games, and 80% of the timer doing other sc2 related stuff (love to watch). Over the last year though I began playing more and watching less, but still it was never really enough to give me the edge to get better relatively. Sc2 (I guess unlike CS, WOW and Dota) is tougher from a metnal perspective to mass game (as it is so competiviely). And I often need to take like a 30 min break after a win. So in the end I never really got that good at the game, just kinda good, which lead me absolutely nowhere.

Obv. when thinking back one could argue that my mistake was not playing even more (and watching less), but what would that accomplish? So what if i became a top 200 european player (isntead of a top 1.000). What would that change. How would that improve my life in any way? Meanwhile my life outside gaming is kinda a mess. Im currently studying finance and accounting, and to some extent these subjects are really interesting and I definitely want to work with stock andm arket analysis. Problem is that I dont have any job experience, as I have been playing games. And now I dont really know what to do, because in these times its kinda hard to get a relevant part time job that is relevant for your studies. SO while i need job experience, its hard to get job experience so I am already so far behind.

But anyway I decided from today that I will stop playing and I will stop watching starcraft 2. This at least will let me focus more on my studies, and while my grades aren’t terrible, they definitely could get alot better. If my grades get better I proably have a better shot at getitng a job. I think may combine this with just getting some “brain-dead/boring job”. Even though they aren’t really relevant for my studies, it doesn’t hurt in anyway and I need the money. Maybe i should try to find a voluntary job.

Cam January 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Hey Darwi. Thanks for popping in and leaving your feedback.

I definitely think you’re making the right decision. What I would suggest is to try and avoid feeling guilty about the past year and a half. Are you behind? Absolutely, but all that you can do is control the “controllables”. The past year and a half is out of your control, but thankfully how you move forward IS within your control. So move forward appropriately. Remember it won’t be easy to quit but if you COMMIT to quitting 100% no ifs ands or buts, you will succeed. Also, studying is good and will help you get job experience, but don’t forget to let loose and have fun too. That balance is essential. So instead of playing games to let loose, how are you going to do it? What’s your plan for activities you can do in your down time? Share these with me, I’m curiious.

Anyways, thanks for commenting and I hope you send me an update. As always you can reach me personally via e-mail any time: cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com

Good luck!

harish January 16, 2012 at 1:51 am

hello cam,
this is harish and I will comment on your article NEXT WEEK if I was able to quit playing video games.

Shaq January 16, 2012 at 2:54 am

NOTE: I was nearly finished writing my huge 40-minute-long response to this Article when I get called out to help my Mum move some shit. When I get back 15 minutes later, I see Dad has turned off the damn computer, and all my type has gone. I still love you Dad!
What was in it was like my lifestory in the gaming world, starting from Runescape when I was 9 to Heroes of Newerth on the 31st of December. Also in it was my expressions of gratitude to you, Cam, for writing this incredible passage. It has enlightened me.
Anyways, instead of rewriting the entire piece, I thought i’d just cut it down a bit.

My name is Shaq, and I am 17 years old. I have played game’s since 9, and have only just recently quit them on the 1st of Jan 2012.
I had been planning on quitting on the 1st of Jan for about 5-6 months. I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t play games after that date. I had been searching for advice all throughout that period of time, to see if I could help my passing easier. All the stuff would say was shit about going “Cold Turkey”. Instead this Article actually show’s us WHY it’s affecting us, and how we can make the addiction stop. I wish I stumbled upon this sooner.

2 weeks on from quitting, and I hit a speed bump. Cam, I need some advice.
Just last night I had a whole lot of mates round. We went swimming, longboarding and played Singstar (so much fun)
The next morning after some of the mate’s had left we played Grand Turismo 5 on the PS3 for about 30 minutes.
That afternoon we played MW3 on a mates PS3 for about 30 minutes.
Afterwards I felt incredibly guilty. I felt like you would feel after eating chocolate when on a diet.
Does this mean i’m already loosing my nerve? Only been two weeks -.-

Even though i’ve never been much of a console gamer, I want to know.

Does console games count towards my computer game addiction? What if it’s in a Social situation? (I dont mean like LaN’s or anything) I just mean that if you have a few mates round, and your bored.

I know i’ll never go back to computer games, that’s for sure. They were such a huge part of my life, but that’s been life wasted in my opinion. There’s so much other shit to be done. I’m going to get back into bodybuilding so be what I want to be when I leave school :)

But thanks again Cam, you’ve done more for me in this article than any other article did in 6 months. You rock.

Cam January 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Harish- I better see that update you promised me! Remember, the only factor that determines whether or not you are successful in quitting video games is YOU. :) Thanks for stopping by to comment, I love hearing from you.

Shaq- Sucks to hear you lost the 40 minute response but the key is that you wrote it, and thus, whatever you were saying is engrained into your mind even better increasing the chance you will be successful! I’m happy to hear you found value in the article. There’s no doubt that there’s many ways you can quit video games… but if you can get right down to WHY you play them in the first place and WHY you end up getting into the trap than you can actually solve the REAL PROBLEM.

I don’t think you have to make console games with your friends THAT big of a deal, but if you’d rather not play them (and be safe) next time you could suggest a different activity. You could suggest you and your friends go to a park and play basketball, or frisbee. Or if it’s cold you could go to the mall. There’s things you can do when you’re bored that don’t involve video games. Even just socializing, and talking about deeper topics can be good. What do you think?

Stoked to hear you are getting back into body building. That will be a great use of your time and you will feel better because of it. Remember: don’t regret the time you spent playing video games because you cannot get it back. It is what it is. You can only move forward properly. :) Good luck!!

Shaq January 18, 2012 at 3:29 am

Thank’s for replying Cam!
Haha I’ve been checking back everyday since I posted it ;)

I think I played game’s as a way to pass time at the start, then I progressed to it being an escape. When I knew I was aloud the next say 1hour+ on the computer without Mum or Dad getting angry, I’d feel a release of tension, like you would when you knew you were getting your next fix of weed or something. Not that I do that stuff haha.

Also, what about iOS device games? iPad, iPhone and iPodTouch. They’re becoming a problem. We have 1 iPad, 5 iPhone’s and 2 iPodTouch’s all throughout the house (large family + $$ = this) and they all have the same apps/games. I’m slowing down my computer use, but now I tend to spend a lot of time on the iOS devices, whichever they may be.
I haven’t lately, because we have had good weather and good friends to keep me outside, but boredom and a rainy day will be the bane of me I think.

By the way, I don’t live near a mall, and no one really likes Basketball haha

I also have a mate who played the same amount of game’s as me per day. (This was a shitload) and I have been instructed to try and help him out from his Mum. Any advice? Could I direct him here maybe? I don’t know what to do haha.

Speaking of Socializing, any tips you could give me? I don’t feel like an awkward guy, but i’m about to attend a new school, in which i’m going to have to make new friends. I was talking to a mate, and she just think’s that I should be open and friendly, and i’ll be sweet. What do you reakon?

Cam January 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Hey Shaq!

I’ve had an iPhone for 4 or 5 years now and I’ve never put any games on the device. Those games in my mind serve no real productive purpose on my phone. The way I view it is like this: I have a hard enough time finding time to sit down and read books that I know are super important for me to read, so any time spent playing useless games on my iPhone could be spent reading an important book. Make sense?

I definitely encourage you to spend as much time with friends outside doing activities, but you also need to find a better solution for your day if it’s rainy and you’re bored. What else are you passionate about? What are you working towards? Do you have a purpose right now? On a rainy day I might spend that time inside reading, DJing, working on the business, etc.

With your buddy you could direct him here and say that this was something that helped you out. Make sure you stay somewhat chill and easy going about everything. Don’t come across like you are TELLING him what to do, more just opening his eyes to other possibilities.

Here’s a comment I wrote on reddit to someone who was asking how to get his friends and how to bring the subject up:

The best way I’ve brought this up is to have a discussion about where the world is “socially”, and bringing him to a point where he agrees – because it logically makes sense – that fundamental problems in our world occur because we lack understanding of our social relationships, and further, that this is not even a fault of ourselves as individuals: it’s a fault of society as a whole. Nobody ever taught you social skills.

The way I usually bring is up is by mentioning how it’s so weird that the education system always talks about how “it prepares you for the real world”, yet, the real world is a social place, and the education system does nothing to prepare you for the world, socially. You aren’t taught how to develop your social skills. This is crazy and absurd. If the world is a social place, which it is undeniably, it would be kind of important to understand and develop your social skills. There are few things more important truthfully.
Once he understands this, I usually talk about how when I realized this, I started studying, like you would any other skill-set (relate it to something he studies currently), and he will understand that studying social skills is just as normal and common sense as studying “martial arts” for example.

Then you can share with him some resources that you have found valuable.

– –

What do you think? Is that an approach you could try?

When do you start school? I agree with your friend. Be open and friendly. Be ASSERTIVE in meeting people and use the excuse that it’s a new school year to introduce yourself to everyone. From here you just need to keep having conversations with people and maintain and continue to build the connections. :)

Shaq January 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thanks for the great advice Cam!

Yeah it does make sense, it’s just hard because I have 2 younger brother’s who enjoy mucking around on the iOS devices. If I say deleted all the games, my brother’s would get angry and redownload them. I do feel that it isn’t that much of a big deal, and on speaking with friends, they think the same. If I can keep usage under control and keep playing time to a mimimum, I think i’ll be fine. What do you think?
Something that’s still nagging me is the Playstation 3. We have a game called Oblivion, and I played on that for about 30 minutes by myself yesterday. Not good, I know. Then my brother started getting at me saying “only been 3 weeks and your already playing game’s again”
What can I say back to him? I feel now that, even though I haven’t broken the addiction to video games, I HAVE broken the cycle in the amount’s of which I play video games.
(Remember that I never played a lot of console gaming, it was always computer games, and I haven’t touched a computer game for 3 weeks)

Yeah, I agree. If I can find something that i’m quite keen on, I think i’ll be sweet.

Mhmm, i’ll do that. I was going to send him this link anyway, but I thought i’d ask you first.

Man, I wish some of my friends would see part of what you were saying about “researching social skills”. Heap’s of them gave me shit about googling “how to make friends at a new school” and also “how to quit gaming”. They thought it was weird as, even though I thought it might help me in those respective areas, you know? They still bring it up every now and then.

I realise something about myself that you might’ve noticed back when you were playing games. It’s something me and some gamer friends were talking about 3 months ago. It’s called a “Delay”
I’ll give you an example: Your talking to a person you have only just met. You’ve just come off a 3 hour sesh of games, and your feeling pretty tired. The other person on the other hand, is feeling upbeat and knows how to converse. He tells a funny joke, and you try to think of a witty reply, but you cant. It takes you around 2 seconds to say something, but by then the raport had gone, and it just gets awkward. (Is raport the right word?)
It has happened because of how when your typing in the gaming world, it takes you around 3 seconds to reply. You are thinking of the reply AS YOU TYPE, and if you don’t think it’s a good reply, you can BACKSPACE.
Anyways, I am realising that I used to do this, due to the overwhelming time I spent on computers. Cam, did this ever happen to you?
What I am also realising is that this “Delay” is going away. I was wondering if that was because of the fact that i’m spending heaps more time socialising. I almost think of it as a “Practice makes perfect” situation, so I can get better at talking. What are some technique’s, Cam. Do you know?

I start School in 5 days. It’s a flash as School, one of the top in the Country. It is my last year though, so I won’t have to endure it for long ;)
Nah, i’m going to make the most of it. I’m actually going to try this year. I nearly failed last year, because I spent 0 time studying and 32494235802454353 playing games haha :(

By the way, thank’s for the Add :)

Ryan January 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Yo!

Thought this was a great read. I myself have been stuck in the ebb and flow of abstinence and complete indulgence in video games. I’ve looked towards the future and envisioned the person I want to be..and that ideal self is not like the weak-willed one that needs a crutch in the form of video games, drugs, anything of that sort to get through the day.

I’ll be sad to leave my dear friends behind, but in the end I’m the one person that I have to please. After all, I can’t make others happy if I’m not happy myself; that’s just supplication.

Instead, I’ll find and make my own happiness and share it with them.

Best wishes to all who are battling against this nebulous, deceptively powerful addiction. Take your time to find the way; you’re going to find it in the end.

Cam January 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Hey Shaq!

If the devices aren’t yours don’t worry about deleting the games. I would instead, use it as a way to practice discipline. Just make sure you keep usage down and remember, any time you spend playing those games could be spent on other things… so the question is, what other productive things could you focus on instead? Now, right now that might seem like there isn’t other things to do, but I would challenge you to try new things and gain new experiences. Things you enjoy now are because you’ve spent time building a relationship with them, and the things you currently don’t enjoy can change very easily if you actually spend the time building that relationship.

Don’t worry about your friends being critics. Working on your social skills makes sense to YOU, and you are going to see results because of it. Your life is going to only get better. Society as a whole doesn’t exactly view social skills as an important skill set right now, but that’s part of the problem. Focus on what you can focus on, which is yourself, and view it as you leading by example. As your life gets better and you improve, your friends will begin to take notice.

I definitely agree with the delay. Your perspective should be that your social skills are a bit rusty and you just need to spend more time practicing them, and that delay will go away just like you noticed.

I’m excited for you to start school. You are going to do great and enjoy the newfound energy you have for learning. Don’t get me wrong, school is going to be a bit of a pain as well, but if you view it as a process and take a serious discipline to ENJOY LEARNING, you can gain a lot of value from it.

Looking forward to seeing you progress.

Ryan- Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you found the post valuable. Your happiness comes first ALWAYS. Although it will be tough to move on from your current friends, you will also be meeting a lot of new people and developing friendships with many others. This is OK. I’m excited to follow along your journey, please keep me updated – the good, the bad, the ugly. :)

harish January 24, 2012 at 9:12 am

thanks for sharing your experience

Cam January 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Thank you Harish. :)

Ola January 27, 2012 at 9:07 am

Everyone likes being good at something, which can be addicting itself. And competitive games ARE challenging as you say, it takes many hours to become good and even more to become the best. I dont like playing games at a casual level. Its like an urge to become the best, and without being the best i dont feel. Well what can i say, complete mabye. This has affected my attendance to my school and the though if i even want to graduate. I’ve always been lazy at school but never had the though of not graduating, right now that’s the scary part.. Not caring that much.

I used to be a good football player some years back but i started to get unlucky with injuries and got another sickness aswell, which lead to more video games because i quit football and my job. At first i though this was a good solution because, well i felt like it helped me staying healthy. I would give the world to go back some years and continue my football carrier. I guess its a lot easier going back into video games than it is to go back into sports. Its hard finding something else to spend time on when all you really want to do it keep on playing video games.

This article was just breathtaking, thank you so much Cam. my first goal now is to finish school, and my second one is to get a new hobby. i dont like being bad at stuff so the part where you said that you need to go in with 110%. Well that seems about right. Sorry for the longevity but this article really gave me the urge to write something back.

Cam January 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hi Ola! Thank you for commenting. I appreciate you taking the time to leave your feedback.

Something important to remember is that you cannot regret your time playing video games. You must instead simply understand that back then you made certain life choices and now you are making different ones. Now you have different goals, dreams, and aspirations that you want to accomplish, and video games simply don’t fit into the picture any longer.

Best of luck and please keep me updated on your progress!!

Eric January 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm

What about iPhone and android games, does this count? I read this and realized that I am actually addicted. I didnt know that I was. I play roughly 2hrs a day.

Cam January 30, 2012 at 12:17 am

Hey Eric. Thanks for leaving your comment. I definitely think iPhone and Android games can become addictive too. Playing 5 minutes here 5 minutes there easily turns into an hour here and hour there. It piles up over time for sure. Everything in moderation is fine. ;)

Jer January 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Love the article. I have been struggling quitting games for a while now. I’ll quit cold turkey for a couple of months then binge for a week or two straight, get fed up, uninstall my games, then start the cycle over again.

This year I told myself that I would change. I’m close to being a published writer and have NO time to play video games, but still, sometimes they creep in. Either I’m drunk, with friends, or just bored. I tell myself I’ll only play it for a few minutes. Then it turns into an hour then an hour the afternoon and so one.

After I play video games it’s even hard for me to focus on my writing. My brain is wired in “zombie” mode while my mind needs to be “creative.”

Here’s to this year of stopping the addiction forever!

Cam January 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Hey JER, thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.

If you find one of the times you resort to playing video games is when you are bored… what are some activities you could do instead during that time? Figure out those answers and quitting (and staying video-game free) will be a breeze. :)

Please keep me posted on your progress.

Shaq February 1, 2012 at 2:42 am

Hey JER, your not the only one. I felt exactly the same as you do after playing games. I couldn’t concertrate, socialize or anything

Hey Cam.
Life’s pretty good eh, haven’t touched a single computer game for a month!
I’ve totalled about 4 hours in total of PS3 usage this month, and most of it was with friends. I mean, that should be find shouldn’t it?

I’m at that new school now, and SHIT it’s hard.
I’m so behind in like everything, it’s a huge wakeup call.
Now I’m at another problem
Social Networking.. :(
Because I’m new to the school, I don’t know very many people. I have made 2 or 3 good mate’s and I know about 1/8 of our year already (decent feat for the 1st week)
BUT problem is, I miss my family and my other mate’s like crazy. Now I find myself spending 2-3 hours on the Laptop after school talking to everyone, asking questions, getting advice etc.
This doesn’t help me at all, as I have a LOT of homework already.
I know I need to prioritize. It’s become an issue and it’s only the 2nd night
Only reason I’m bringing this up is because I’d like to “Squash it before it starts” if you know what I mean.
Gaming had a snowball effect on me.
Game —> No sleep —> No growth —> Tired —> Can’t concerntrate
Last night I was talking to friends till 11 at night, then proccedded to look at “SmarthphOWNED” fails to 1:30.
I don’t want to make it:
Facebook —> No sleep —> No growth —> Tired —> Can’t concerntrate
So, what do you think I should do? Remove Facebook alltogether?

Cam February 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hey Shaq. Thanks for adding your input into the discussion.

Congrats on your first month video game FREE! With friends is fine, just remember not to use that as justification to play. If you end up playing 4 hours a month with friends that is FINE. If it’s 20 hours with friends that’s a different story all together. :P

Could you setup a limit for yourself that you will do X amount of hours of homework before getting on Facebook to talk to your friends? That might be an approach that could ensure you don’t get behind on your schooling but still get the chance to talk to old friends. Remember it’s only the first week so I would assume you’d miss your friends the most right now, but if you focus on staying on top of school and making new friends at your new school, things will be ok. :)

The other approach you could try would be setting a time you want to be IN BED. My rule is that by 11pm ideally I get INTO bed, with a fallback of midnight if for some reason I end up getting super busy or whatever. I don’t think you need to limit Facebook because talking to your old friends is important. You just need to be more disciplined and structure your day a bit better. If you finish your homework/studying for the night, Facebook it up! That way Facebook is more of a reward and not something hurting you. BEst of both worlds. :)

Jeanseb February 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Great article, I have decided to stop playing video games too, it was eating my time, which I could have spent with my fiancee.

The one thing I liked most out of video games is the thrill of taking quick decisions and the maths behind it, as well as how they make me use my brain to the point it could explode. That was a sensation I loved.

I suffer from a pretty bad ADD and the only times I can concentrate is when information keeps flowing and I have to organize it. You have no idea of how joyful I was when I first was able to concentrate on one SC2 game for a whole 20 minutes.

Since I stopped playing, although I did play alot of guitar and saw my girlfriend much more often, there’s this feeling that something’s lacking, I haven’t been able to focus on anything longer than 1 or 2 minutes, I don’t want to restart playing and waste all my time on games again, but I can’t find this feeling of being a normal person that can be focused on SOMETHING.

it’s alright when I’m with my girlfriend, or playing guitar, or working, but after 11 PM, when I can’t find sleep, my girlfriend’s sick and she sleeps in early, I can forget about playing guitar, don’t want to wake her up, and it’s friggin cold outside out here in quebec. That gap, I can’t find a way to fill it.

Shaq February 8, 2012 at 1:38 am

Shot Cam!
Haha it’s sweet. I just recognised some of the symptoms I had when I played games. Feels so GOOD! Haha.
Yeah bro, and it’s only on the weekends.
Only thing I ever need to do now is knuckle down, not procrastinate ;)
Hmm, I red something a while ago where if your IN BED for a while reading/studying/facebooking/texting, you actually loose comfort, and tend to wiggle around trying to find a better spot to sleep. If you do all of those things OUT OF BED, and get into bed when you actually plan on sleeping, you’ll go to sleep quicker. What do you think?
But bro, I actually can’t thank you enough.
I think my sister is even gonna write something to you privately to say thanks, you don’t know how many scraps we had to try and get me off the games!

Cam February 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Hey JeanSeb, Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving your comment. I definitely agree that video games can be a great way to activate your brain. What time do you typically go to bed? Do you enjoy reading? That might be a great way to help yourself fall asleep while staying quiet and still activating your brain because reading is a very good activity for that! Plus you’re learning AND relaxing so it’s a big win-win across the board.

Keep me posted on your progress. I’d love to hear more!

Shaq – I definitely try to keep my bed for sleeping only. It’s the same advice as not watching TV in bed or any of that, because your mind will not be able to relax and focus. I keep my bed to sleeping only and it’s been working out very well for getting to bed quicker. Would love to hear from your sister. :P

Sam February 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Hey, i’ll share you my story !

When i was about 10 i thought i had a bad life, poor family and that nobody liked me, i had only a few good friends, i started playing computer games in times when none of my friends wanted to hang out. That became into a habbit, when i got older, 12 or 13, i discovered im gay, i felt i wanted to kill myself because i live in a homophobic society, i just thought: “There is no other way, im just gonna play games and have no life until i finish college and move to America or UK”. after 4 years of wasting my life on stupid mmorpg games and other shit the only thing im now good at is photoshop (a skill i got by) and a bit of other computer skills. These days i decided to change my life, putting my suicide thoughts into a fucking what the hell was i thinking jar and moving on with my life. Im going to get really healthy, run every day, go to a forest, minimize my computer time from 10 to 1 hour a day, i’ll have a lot of time to do yoga and athletics (i just love beeing able to do cool stuff). When i was young, i drew a lot, i was almost the best in my class without even trying, i think could be a really good artist, writer or something else that includes creativity.

Also when i was young i always wanted to help other people, never to lie, never do bad things to others, i wanted to make this world a better place, but now i realised the society is fucked up, now even more than before, i would be respected more if i bullied people, spoke like a drug dealer and had bitches and drunkers instead of real friends.

My only problem now is what can i do? I know if i dont choose one thing now that im gonna pay badly. My questions to you are:

-Im 17, do you think it’s late for me to start beeing good at something?
-How should i decide? I really have no idea.

I hope you can help me, or else im probably a fucked up case.

Oh and here is how my dailiy rutine looked like:

-wake up at 9
-eat something and play video games until i need to prepare for school
-at 12:30 i go to school and stay until 6
-when i get back from school im dead tired, so i go play video games
-i go to sleep at midnight

Pretty much whenever i say:” im gonna change my life todayz!!” tomorow is a rainy day, i need to stay at home and cant even go to my yard.

I think i told you more than i told anyone :D

Cam February 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Hey Sam,

Thanks a lot for dropping by and sharing your story. I know it takes courage to share personal details about your life.

First and foremost, you are definitely NOT a fucked up case. Your case is what it is and that is fine. Understand that before you are able to grow, you must ACCEPT where you are at and decide to move forward from that point and only that point.

You are 17 which also means it is definitely not too late to be good at something. Regardless of age, the only difference between someone becoming good at something and not is them making the decision to pursue it. Once you decide to pursue it, you will begin to find solutions to your problems. So what’s your current problem and how do you fix it?

The answers are in your comment. Focus more on drawing and writing instead of playing video games. Set some goals and challenge yourself. Instead of playing video games before school, spend that time making a good breakfast (this would be an opportunity to develop your skill set of cooking), and then instead of playing video games, draw or write instead. Maybe what you can do is wake up, eat a good breakfast, and then write in your journal for X amount of time. Then go to school and come home around 6. Now you’re tired so you won’t want to do much, but I’m sure you still have enough energy to draw. Spend time drawing and then spend time in photoshop.

Now, doing this every day and every night might end up being a bit boring over time. So how can you fix this? Add a goal to develop your social circle. How is your group of friends? Could you spend time meeting more people? Maybe you could volunteer since you mentioned you want to make the world a better place. Volunteering is a great way to tap into that vision.

Feel free to e-mail me and keep me posted. cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com

Remember, you can do it, because it’s only up to you to decide what your life looks like. Proud of you for sharing, hope you keep me posted on your progress.

Cold turkey February 12, 2012 at 3:28 am

AY niggah!

TO even begin with my life story, I have to start wayyyyyy back when i was about 13-14 years old.. Started playing RUNESCAPE constantly till about the age of 16-17 years old…Of course still pursuing my education without a doubt… But recently, I went away for residence at my university and had a BLAST for approx 5-6 months..Then something weird had happened.. I came back home during weekends to just Surround myself in my old aura of the old days (playing video games, etc..) THIS WAS THE WORST DECISION EVER. then december break came along and I got pretty much hooked…I felt like i was at the peak of my life while in res (girls, parties, socializing nonstop — never even came back to my res). But then I made a decision which had turned my life upside down in a way..I decided to stay home the following semeter instead of continuing my education.. So that semester flew by (still taking online courses), then the last semester did aswelll…and then i decided to go back to this game but a private server so i wouldnt be too addicted. SO then, I was playing that nonstop, exercising, and smoking madddddddd weeed with my bro who was also commuting. But the reason for all this was mainly because I felt like I had socialized so fuckin much that i was SICK OF it. LOL, as stupid as it may sound..Then relationships slowly deterred and not much time was spent on my family members either.. felt like i was UP IN SMOKE for a good year. Im 19 now, and its fucked up that my sister is already turning 27 and i dont even know a single thing about her? Dayummm.. So now im picking my confidence back up..slowly…the weed really left me in a depressed, lazy, unmotivated and overthinking type of atmosphere..SO i cold turkeyed that, and just today, im gonna cold turkey these stupid games. Going through facebook and seeing everyone progressing just really turns me off. I need this. Im actually on vacation as we speak in INDIA, and hell, i just started playing this stupid game just to fly away 2 hours here and there while i wait for my mom to get lunch ready, etc.. and shit, then i started playing again until about 3 am..waking up at 12 pm, then getting out the house at 4 pm. So i could kinda see how it was taking control over me in a way…or at least my mind. I’ve felt that even being 19, my mind was always at least 5-6 years older than i was..I would talk to even my Aunty’s and they would get in a flirty type of mood…WTF? LOL. So socializing isnt that much of a problem for me, just that I get these stupid fixes…I REALLY like the idea of DJING or something, but i need something to do on a daily basis to keep my mind preoccupied.. Exericisng, yes. BUT its hard to find a gym without knowing mumch about the language here in INDIA. <— major typing mistakes,etc …im saying this as if I was speaking to you L. Other than that, im just glad im progressng slowly, and YES INDIA was an escape of that redundant lifestyle of gaming i had in Canada. I went back on my runescape acocunt to check how long i had been playing, and it read: 256 DAYS . multiple that by 24, and thats how many hours I played…(me and my bro and some friends on my account). THIS IS NOT INCLUDING XBOX (halo 2,3, all of call of dutys, and 47832472043 other games , PS3 or god knows what else.. But i am a very confident person, and I kNOW i can reach my potential or even BEYOND very soon if i have my MIND RIGHT.

Ultimate goals: Bodybuilding, army, COP if anything, GOOD Accounting career etc..with my BcoMM degree…

oh and btw, i took this semester off basically…so i will be returning to school in september
SO yeah, i have a long way to go.

I await your response and i really enjoyed reading this article !! SICK JOB BRO.

P.S. I overthink situations, and tend to weigh my options on whether to meet someone or save myself the stress and just relax at home at times . hmmmm..

Cam February 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Hey Cold Turkey,

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Where abouts in Canada are you from? I’m in Calgary! :)

India sounds awesome. Live it up. How long are you there for? It seems like you have some good goals, so what are the steps in between that you need to accomplish in order to get there? Have you looked up the requirements to become a COP? Or the army? etc?

You can definitely do it. Success comes down to creativity and persistence. If you are persistent in being creative you can find a solution to any problem. I really believe that.

You’re 19 which is the exact age I was when I decided that I wasn’t O.K. with my life being in the state it was anymore, so I quit gaming all together and went after my goals and dreams. Keep me posted on your progress. I’d love to hear how you are doing.

Tim February 17, 2012 at 6:51 am

Excellent advice. I myself have cycles of being addicted to video game, when im off them i stay fit and healthy, i read a lot more, i practice musical instruments, I am more social, I am more motivated, basically i am levelling up in life.

I mean instead of doing unproductive things like playing games i could be doing so much more productive things that get me places and increase my skills in a broad range. Success is easy it’s all just about doing, just do it.

Motivation is key its just hanging on to it that seems to be the problem for me. I think the only way is to eliminate video games completely from my life even though i have good friends far away who i play with i will have to sacrifice that aspect to i guess. I have been thinking about doing this for a long time so before i do it should i have one last haul at it you know play for like 10 hours and then sell it all on ebay?

Cam February 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hey Tim.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know what you think about the post. We love the phrase “levelling up your life”. This is actually a phrase we use a lot every day here. Mikey B actually recorded a really cool video blog about how “Social Dynamics is the Ultimate Video Game.” It’s here: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/social-dynamics-is-the-ultimate-video-game/

If you want to do one last haul that is fine. I did something similar and I’m glad I did. Motivation is something I struggled with for a long time, and then I had a breakthrough. A simple quote caused it:

“Motivation is like bathing, do it daily.”

Motivation is hard to maintain because the perception of motivation is that it is there or it isn’t. The perception isn’t that it’s something that needs to be WORKED on every day. Work on your motivation every day in all the small different ways and that will be the difference between it lasting or it fading away once again.

Hope to see you comment on some of our other articles Tim. Your insight is valuable. :)

123451 February 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

one thing I do not understand is why would I want to quit videogames if I enjoy them?

how is playing guitar going to be any different from playing videogames if I enjoy doing both?

Cam February 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Thanks for commenting “123451”. Definitely something to understand about this post is that it’s intended for people who DO want to quit playing games.

However, if you enjoy playing games I think it’s fine to play them. The reason you would want to stop is if it’s affecting other areas of your life. The typical situation that happens with video games is that you enjoy it so much that it takes over your whole entire life. Also, as outlined in the article, there are a few reasons WHY you enjoy playing games. This may cause you to realize that you don’t enjoy the games as much as you think, or it may not, it really comes down to why you play games and what the rest of your life looks like.

Everything in life is good in moderation. The problem with games is that it’s so common for it to NOT be in moderation. If you are one of those people who can play video games and it isn’t affecting anything else in your life, than playing games is definitely something you can do.

Cam February 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

No

TheMoon February 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I have a problem with this statement: “this last piece is the real x-factor: all good games are SOCIAL”

I totally disagree with this statement, all games that have had any impact on my life and any games that I can say I truly love have one thing in common: they are single-player. I hate social interactions in video games and I hate competitive gaming, its very shallow. There are some fun ones out there, but when I play them I treat them as single-player with (sometimes) smarter enemies. In general, I hate the social aspect of them (other than trying to make people who take them too seriously mad by camping, cheesing, breaking unspoken rules, team killing, etc). Anything that requires team based gameplay I can’t stand, much prefer deathmatch type games – if I feel like multiplayer. Single player games are definitely superior as you don’t have to deal with dumbass people. Am I broken?

vidya February 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

>Play an inhumanely excessive amount of video games.
>Play none.
>Play inhumanely excessive amount.
>Play none.
>WHY AM I UNHAPPY???????

Also, projecting. Projecting everywhere. e.g mentioning fat, mentioning lazy, mentioning insecurity, self esteem, etc.

What an interesting and valuable tale! My favorite parts were the many cases of “110%”! and bold text like the whole article is a fucking passive-aggressive laminated memo left in the break room kitchen by some female co-worker.

vidya February 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Why would you want to stop playing video games?

social-lite February 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm

why is there this societal pressure for everyone to be these social demigods? what about the people who enjoy spending time alone, or the people who don’t really feel the need to constant human interaction? Why do people get so worked up about other people wanting to stay home instead of going out and clubbing or some shit? Seems like a giant case of societal “stop liking what I don’t like” if you ask me. If you don’t follow the herd, people hate you for it.

Mike February 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Hey Cam,

I’ve been all over the place looking for a nice answer or motivation for this topic for a while. I’ve been playing video games as long as i can remember. When i was really young i used to watch my brother play them and always thought they were cool, then i eventually started. This is how i believe that i formed my addiction to video games. For some reason quitting really doesn’t seem like an option to me. I’m 15 years old and not real popular around my school. I have 4 really close friends and then a few others spread around that i don’t talk to half as much. My friends are all into video games just like me. That seems like its our main interest that keeps us together. So about a month ago i quit World of Warcraft and my friends seemed really proud of me. After i quit it seemed like there was less and less to talk about to my friends. So eventually i got addicted to Rift… Another MMORPG. This would all be okay with me but the more nights i think about this the more I realize that if i don’t quit i’m going to end up flunking out of high school. Whenever i get home i always run straight to my computer and jump right on and play right away, and i keep coming back day after day. Every year my grades go down farther and farther. Now that i’m at a point in high school where the grades matter for collage, i just wanna do better. I really want to just flat out quit video games but i have a really hard time getting around to try new things to see what i like. I know some things i like but they aren’t things that i could do everyday for fun. Also since i live in a small town there’s almost no kids my age around. I would have done sports but i used video games as an excuse to skip out this year. I honestly feel that if i don’t find something else to do I wont be able to turn my life in a good direction. Do you have any advice on what to do in my situation?

AV February 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Dude, no fucking way, I play Sc2, play cs 1.6, played wow starter edition and made a hunter on it (fav race). But yh, I think It’s weird how we play the same games, and I too googled “how to quit gaming” and was pissed with the bullshit advice I.e. ‘limit your time’ – ROFL, If only I could limit my time. Truth is yesterday, I realised that the actual makers of these games probably haven’t even played the game, all they do is make millions of it, and your on your computer for hours everyday helping them get richer, productively wasting time. Regardless, well written article, first time actually I’ve ever read every word on an article. I agree with your theory that these games are multiplayer to cover social aspects. All in all, happy I came across this now than later, I’ve deleted all my games and giving 110% :)

Cam February 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

@ THEMOON – Thanks for dropping by and commenting. That’s cool that you don’t enjoy multiplayer games, and I’m sure there are many other people out there that are similar to you… but in the event that you don’t enjoy multiplayer games than the social aspect just doesn’t apply to you, and that’s ok. Your comment makes it seem like my analysis of the social aspect is wrong… which I don’t think is true. Many of the most popular games out there right now are incredibly social and addicting because of it. The point is a valid one.

@ Vidya, The article is for people that want to stop. If somebody doesn’t want to stop, all the power to them.

@ Social-life, Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your input. Here’s the thing: social doesn’t only apply when you’re interacting with people. It applies when you are interacting with ANYTHING. Social = where there is interaction.

One example of this is the relationship you have with yourself. You talk to yourself all day. You are talking to yourself. It’s a social relationship. If someone gets that much internal enjoyment from playing video games or, in all honestly, anything at all, that’s awesome and I would encourage them to continue it. Do most people that play video games get that internal value from them? No. Most play because of the reasons listed above, and, amazingly, when their life changes a bit, video games are usually the first to go. They no longer have “time” or they no longer truly give a shit. I’ve seen it many times.

But I definitely agree with you that if they aren’t someone like that, and they enjoy being alone at home that much more, all the power to them. I also think, and this is speaking from my OWN experience here, that when I was playing video games a lot I was also depressed, but masked it with the enjoyment of video games. They didn’t make me any happier, they just filled up a lot of time, and in my mind, I could easily justify it as having no desire to go out and hang out with friends or do anything else. Just something to keep in mind. Doesn’t apply to everyone but definitely applies to some.

@ Mike, Thanks for dropping by and commenting. What are the things that you enjoy? You mentioned you knew a few. One solution to implement right away is to study when you get home instead of playing. Set a time limit. When you first get home from school, you’re going to eat a snack, and then study for an hour or two (recommend 2) before doing anything else. Then have dinner and do a few things before bed. The things you do you don’t need to feel guilty about, because you’ve already studied for 2 hours. It will help your grades a lot. Keep me in the loop, I’d love to help you anywhere I can. E-mail me. :)

@ Av, Thanks for commenting. I’m very glad you found value in the article. 110% let’s go. :) Have you had a chance to check out any of our other articles? I’d love to hear your feedback on them too!

Niles Nillingtonian February 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

Great article. Very hands-on, which is helpful. My self-esteem has been shot in the arse over the past couple years, due to some poor career choices made, leading to lack of confidence, embarrassment etc. The internal motivating drive was gone. Video games have been the escape mechanism to fill that void. The hours playing games gave that sense of accomplishment, quick fix. Although, those hours become days, months and so on. I found my social abilities decreasing, almost to the point of feeling really awkward around new people, or even friends of old.
Two weeks ago I uninstalled all my games, shredded game codes, deleted my game login/password file, grabbed a garbage bag and threw out all the games. My house is now game free, which actually gave me a sense of relief.
I’d say that’s a step in the right direction. The key now is to fill the void with productive, motivating things that I’m passionate about. Or, just try something new. I know I used to be a happy camper, I just need to find myself again and keep pushing forward. Most importantly, keep busy. I know it’s a challenge, yet I’m finally ready to tackle it once again.

Cam February 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Hey Niles, Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Sorry to hear about your rough past couple of years. But happy to hear that you are recognizing your situation and working to improve it. What are some activities you have always wanted to try? What are you passionate about currently? Growing up what did you want to be when you got older?

I’d love to hear more about your situation. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail: cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com

Jeanseb February 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Alright, here’s some input. It’s been what, 2 weeks since I stopped playing video games? At first, I had trouble finding something to do, as I said in an earlier post.

Well I actually decided to not give up video games, although I wouldn’t play them anymore. I’m in the process of creating a text based RPG, while learning a programming language. Hopefully, this game I’m making can teach me some basic programming skills, as I can’t afford to go back to school anymore.

It had a very positive result. I sleep better at night, as it’s very tiresome. I also can stop whenever I want, so my schedules aren’t messed up. Those who are complete nerds like me should try that out

Cam February 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Hey Jeanseb! Super excited to hear your update. That sounds like a cool solution you came up with. Getting into the entrepreneur side is $$$$. That’s what I did and it’s paid off big time in my life. Just don’t forget about the social side. Have you been going out and socializing with more of your friends lately? Making new ones?

Jeanseb February 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Well right now my girlfriend’s in the hospital since a month and a half ago, so my evenings are pretty much “write a software that’ll cheer her up”, eating, visiting her, then working on my rpg, and sleeping. Occasionnaly I’ll have a beer with an old friend, but I don’t really have much time for any new friends.

Cam February 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Ahhh that’s alright then. Hopefully your girlfriend recovers soon. Sounds like your schedule is as good as it can be right now. Respect for being there for her. :)

Jake February 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Hey, I found real inspiration in your story and advice, but am confused with myself on how to know when I have control or not on when I play xbox. I have a LIVE account so yes, that doesn’t help forgetting and stopping the competing, but I don’t plan on quitting! I know I’m addicted because when I become tired of school at the end of the day (9th grade), I come home from school and procrastinate, not forgetting about that controller and that awesome game I have or one I’ve preordered.

I do have a few social problems like wanting to choose music in class over conversations in my easy periods, and the biggest problem is my social life and thinking about relationships; not necessarily wanting one, but being able to not loath every hand in the hall being held, and serious depression at times where I can forget what I’m doing and stare off, thinking of something random, like my mind on other things to forget!. Focusing in class isn’t as much of an issue whereas I am a latch-key kid so I can do what I want for a few hours, which sadly is you-know-what when I get home before dashing through my daily chores before my guardians come home. this has effected studying for tests, relationships with friends, I stay home every weekend, no relationships for a whole year, friend list-not many, not fighting with parents but not getting along either, and more.

I want to be more productive at nights for something in the future, or at least for friends and et cetera. I don’t know if I have the will to quit altogether but I definately need a better lifestyle and videogames counters social relationships that will build if I can conquor this spreading problem of laziness. (procrastinativeness as apposed to fat, junkfood laziness)

some possible candidates of substitutes are: learning on my ibanez guitar, and thats it): if you can relate any of the most relative advice to me you think of, I’d really appreciate it;)

sorry if I am confusing, I’m tired from a project. -Jacob Tyler Thomas

Cam February 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Hey Jake, Thanks for popping by and commenting.

I definitely understand your situation. I was in a very similar one when I was in the 9th grade. I think learning more on your ibanez guitar is a great start. What about doing this:

When you get home from school, eat a snack, then study for 1-2 hours (set the time based on how much you need to study, not how much you want to), then eat dinner, then practice on your guitar for 1-2 hours, then it should almost be bed time. For now maybe limit video games to the weekends only, as a reward for working hard during the week on your schooling and your guitar. This could be a good start, although I definitely think increasing the amount of social interaction you have is important. Are you interested in sports at all? Any activities outside school you could get involved with? Maybe find some people at school that play guitar and you can practice with them! That would be great. What do you think?

Jake February 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm

That’s great advice, thanks!

jake

SHYGIRL February 25, 2012 at 3:54 am

I just wanted to thank you for your great article. Very insightful!

Keep up the good work.

Cam February 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Thanks for commenting SHYGIRL. I hope the post helps you out and you also have a chance to check out some of the other ones we have here on our blog. :)

Caj March 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Hey Cam. Awesome read. Just wanted to thank you. I’ll be trying to break my WoW addiction today. In fact, started off by quitting guild mid progression. Ill definitely followup with you through email.

I certainly commend your efforts in helping people. Video Game addiction has only been recently considered to be an official diagnosis in the psychology world.

Downloaded the book here and I’m looking forward to making changes. Left a bad 4 year relationship and in a new one now. You’ve reminded me that change must be present and that you must be proactively creating it if you expect the future to be different.

Thanks again and talk soon!

Cam March 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

Hi Caj! Thanks for popping by and commenting. I’m super excited that you found value in the article. I’d love to hear how you enjoy the book so definitely e-mail me and keep us in the loop! :)

Boris March 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hey Cam, I’m really glad I found this article. I am in a stage of my life where I am really trying to find ways to grow myself as a person and things to motivate me. For most of my life, I went on without any real purpose, and did not really accomplish very much. About a year ago however, I found the game starcraft 2, and until seeing this article, I thought of it as the “thing” I need to make my life complete, for the exact reasons you described in here.

My question to you, specifically as a former starcraft pro, is why is starcraft less fulfilling than other activities that require a high amount of skill? For example, how is learning to play the guitar any more fulfilling than learning to play starcraft, aside from it being more socially acceptable? As you know, being good at starcraft requires a lot of skill, intelligence and speed, and it seems to me right now that the skills I would get from starcraft are actually more beneficial than the skills from guitar (I played guitar for years, but only with a small fraction of my heart).

Interestingly, I think of other games like LoL and modern warfare as being a waste of time, but I consider starcraft to be some thing more than just a video game. In reality, I don’t get much fulfillment from it, as I play in infrequent bursts, cannot choose a race, etc. I know in my gut that it is just a game, but for some reason I see it as something more. It is a hard feeling to describe, but I am sure you can relate.

You’ve helped me a lot by writing this article, and I would really appreciate if you could give me some advice to help me even more. I am really confused, as I am having trouble see what it takes for an activity to really be worthwhile and beneficial to growth. Thanks again for your help! :D

Cam March 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hey Boris. Thanks for popping by to leave a comment. I think the main difference between Starcraft and any other skill is that the reason you are playing Starcraft isn’t (in 99% of cases) because it brings that passionate internal fulfillment, but because of the areas I listed above. If guitar isn’t something that you get that passionate internal fulfillment from, than I would not recommend putting your time into it either. The danger with Starcraft or other video games is that they tend to mask how you truly feel about your life, and don’t encourage you to put the work in to actually find that activity you truly are passionate about.

Nobody can say that games like Starcraft don’t require a lot of skill, intelligence or speed.

However at the same time, when you’re playing these games, if in the back of your head (and in 99% of cases this is true) you are thinking about whether or not you are doing the right thing, or if playing video games is actually what you want to do, or if you have that feeling of being trapped in the game, or if you want to quit but don’t know how – the list goes on and on – than it’s clear the game isn’t what you want to do, it’s merely what you feel you need to do because you don’t know what else to do.

The other danger with video games is that because it fulfills so many necessary areas in your life, it has huge potential to throw you off balance, causing you to not live the life you actually want. Hope that helps.

Boris March 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Thanks for the response, it definitely helps. Since first reading this article, I’ve checked out a bunch of other blogs on this site, and I’m starting to get a better idea what you guys are all about. It’s definitely true that there is something about games that is extremely addictive has the potential to really harm your lifestyle.

One specific difference between Starcraft (or any game) and playing musical instruments is the level of appreciation that people in the respective communities have for each other. In Starcraft, if you are anything less than a top Korean, your level of skill will be seen as unsatisfactory. Even though it takes a lot of time and effort to get to learn any amount of the game, I almost NEVER see people give each other sincere and honest appreciation for their effort. Everyone who doesn’t choose to devote their ENTIRE LIVES to the game is just a scrub. With musical instruments, on the other hand, people tend to be much more friendly and cooperative. Instead of seeing beginners as retard bronzies, they offer support and show honest respect.

I feel that the reason for this is that as you said, people who play video games use them as a substitute for life, and are clearly going to be unhealthy individuals. Why would I ever want to surround myself with people like that? Even if Starcraft and other video games have the potential to be a valuable activities, there is just something that is off about them that quite simply destroys lives.

Thanks again man, and keep on spreading the value ;)

Cam March 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

One of the interesting concepts in Social Dynamics is that “the flaw you see in others is the flaw you see in yourself.”

I think the Starcraft community showcases this concept very very well. I’ve never seen a community so critical of others, but it’s also because every critic is also that critical of himself. The reason this negativity breeds more in the Starcraft community instead of, say, one of a musical instrument is because, like we’ve talked about, people playing Starcraft aren’t happy with themselves, so they push that same negative vibe to others. Negative people want to be around other negative people, and you are a product of your environment. :P

Dunno March 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I would say it is the compulsion factor as well. There are few things in the world that you continue to do long after you are bored with them as much as video games. Like it has been said, how many times have you played games not because you wanted to, but because you couldn’t think of anything else to do?

It isn’t as if video games are completely without merit. Hand eye coordination, memory, reflexes, problem solving with probably a dozen things beyond those mentioned that games can help you with. The problem in my mind is how much of detriment games can be to growth in other real life areas. Your growth/loss can add up heavily in the loss column .

Gamers do seem to be an introverted and/or negative bunch. At least the compulsive ones do. You could have a chicken or the egg argument about which causes which but it seems often enough people that give up the games seem to branch out noticeably after giving them up.

Cam March 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Great comment ‘Dunno’. I agree with everything you said. Thanks for leaving your thoughts. :)

Boris March 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I agree too dunno, maybe you should call yourself “donno” haha. I have come to believe that video games are inherently limited to the point where no one would really be interested in their content, and is simply drawn to them because of flashy lights and superficial rewards. They have been growing in popularity because developers have been learning to attach more “rewards” that are quick fixes for the four needs Cam described in this article.

I feel that there is definitely potential in the video gaming industry, but in its current state, it is not producing anything I deem to provide true value.

Mike March 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Not sure if anyone still checks this due to the fact that comments are not dated.

I’m 14 and a freshman in high school, video games have been a part of my life since my dad got me a Gameboy advance for my 5th birthday. I have always been socially ackward around people a don’t know, but it’s not like I don’t have friends. However, video games have been taking up too much of my time and have been getting me some bad grade (a bad grade for me is a B or under) and I want to change that. But it’s so difficult to quit playing video games especially when your mom thinks it’s a good way for me to stay connected with friends I don’t see often anymore. Any tips on telling her I’m done (assuming people still comment here)? Sorry for any grammatical errors, writing has never been my strong point…

mike March 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm

hey Cam,
This is mike from a few posts back. I really want to thank you! The night i posted my comment i deleted all my games. In less then a week i was feeling better. I even wrote a paper on it and my teacher asked me for a second copy to show as a class example! I decided that i liked music again and started playing piano and guitar again. I also got a program to make my own music. My grades went from f’s to an A and three B’s. I honestly think that this has helped my life a lot! thank you so much.

Michael March 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm

*sees last two comments with name Mike* fuck this is gonna start confusing people.

Cam March 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

@ Mike. I always love it when I get comments from our younger generation. It’s so cool for me to see people in their teenager years being assertive to google around for help and even leave comments asking for more feedback.

I would just let your mom know you are going to spend your time doing other things instead of playing video games. Now the question is, what do you plan on doing instead? Do you have any other activities you enjoy? Are their any activities you are interested in trying out? I would just be honest with your mom and say that you want to try new things other than video games, and with Facebook it makes it easier to stay in touch with friends now. How does that sound? I’d love to hear more about how this situation plays out. (PS. Thanks for pointing out that the dates weren’t showing up on comments. I’ve added it back now.)

@ Michael: Haha, the names can definitely get a bit confusing. I’m super stoked to hear that you were able to quick playing video games and spend your time doing other activities. What program are you using for music? Do you have a soundcloud account? I’m a DJ and am learning how to produce as well. My soundcloud account is: http://soundcloud.com/camerondare

Sam March 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Thanks for the article. I was also looking on google on how to treat my effing game addiction but yours was the most blunt, and straight to the point and helped me find my resolve to effing quit games.

Cam March 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Hey Sam! Thanks for stopping in and commenting on the blog. I’m excited you found value in it. Good luck quitting, keep me posted on your progress!

Peter March 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I just found this via a reddit post and your history is very similar to mine. Gaming as much as possible for some 15+ years, quit out of disgust for myself from the 16 hours a day WoW, then successfully going about two years without games. Somehow here I am, playing League of Legends all day long wondering how I got in this position.

So thank you for giving me the motivation I needed. I’ve been uninstalling and reinstalling trying to quit for a few months now, but I just went nuclear and uninstalled everything. I deleted my games folder on both computers, and both of my backup hard drives. It was just about 500gb worth that I’ve been collecting for some reason. Having that looming in the background was me admitting that at some point I’d go back to play them. I’ll be getting rid of my controllers and custom keyboards later this week.

It’s insane how I took two years away from games and that was the best time of my life, yet still it’s so hard to get myself to do it again, even though I know for a fact it will improve everything.

Cam March 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Hi Peter! Thank you for taking the time to respond and leave your input! Keep me posted on your journey. If you need an answer to any questions you have any time, relating to anything, reach out. I’m happy to help!

ChalkyJones March 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Hey. Good advice bro, I was just curious how you got into DJing? I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but the equipment is really expensive. Any advice?

Cam March 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Hey Chalkyjones, thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.

Equipment can definitely be expensive, but if you search around for a used pair of more beginner style turntables it can help bring the cost down a lot while you save up to upgrade to newer equipment. But when you’re first starting out and learning, you don’t need much. If anything having the nicer equipment will just cause you to learn poor fundamentals.

I got into DJing one day with a few buddies when we simply asked ourselves why we hadn’t ever bought gear before. We knew we’d enjoy it, we knew we’d use it, we just never actually bought the damn gear. Never had the thought really. So one day we just went and bought gear and here I am 2 years later loving it more and more every day.

My soundcloud is: http://soundcloud.com/camerondare if you want to check out any of my mixes.

Lobster March 28, 2012 at 11:47 am

Hey, Cam! Nice article!
I have a question. I have uninstalled all the games on my computer recently. Do you think I should start giving away all my game accounts and for example selling my gaming stuff (like game consoles)?

Cam March 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Hey Lobster. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your feedback. That’s something you can do if you want. I don’t think it’s necessary, but I do think it can be a good step in the right direction… especially if you find you are continuously going back and wanting to play them. Getting them out of sight – out of mind – is always a good approach.

Dunno March 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm

When I quit I uninstalled everything too. Any games that were downloaded I compressed and saved onto dvds if I could. Then I put all my games in a box and moved them to a location away from computer. Do you ever really plan on going back to them? If they feel like a waste of time and they take up a little too much of your time when you do play them then what is the point in keeping them around? If quitting something is hard why make it easy to fall back into it once you have made the choice to get away from it?

Cam March 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Exactly, great comment Dunno.

Lobster April 1, 2012 at 5:38 am

Hey, Cam!
How did you deal with the urges to play video games? I think I am having the urge right now and I need an advice.
P.S. I didn’t play any video games for a month or so already. This is a very long time for me :P.

thanx to cam April 2, 2012 at 2:39 am

thanx to cam for such a great article,
little bit about me im almost 37 yeah old i know and have played video games since i was 8 so thats 29 years wasted in video games. played every waking hour that i wasnt working and spent countless £1000s on games still owe £2000 in debt buying games and consoles on credit and never keeping them.
the problem with other articles on the net is none are from the gamers perspective, they are all to help a parent stop there childs video game addiction.
after a 12 hour session yesterday on borderlands on onlive i came looking for help again and found this great article, am 110% on board have deleted all my accounts associated with games or gaming.
have masses of time on my hands as im a full time house husband and look after 2 kids, good thing ill get so much more time to spend with the kids than telling them to go away and entertain themselves.
my heartfelt thanx goes to cam from this 37 year old, great article keep up the great work that your doing, helping gamers to stop gaming, so many more things to do in life.

Cam April 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hey Lobster. The way I deal with the urge is to just have other activities to do instead. Whenever I got the urge to play I would just go do something else. Go to the mall and look at clothes, go for a walk, go to the gym and work out. I would do something else and after awhile the urges disappeared for long periods of time. Instead of resisting the urge, just accept it as an urge and move forward accordingly. The key is to mentally commit every time you have the urge to continue your commitment to moving forward in life video game free. Thanks for commenting, best of luck!

@ Thanx to Cam: Thanks for commenting. I’m excited to hear how this impacts your life. The amount of time you can have when you don’t play video games every waking hour is amazing to take advantage of, because now you have so much more time to do the things you actually want to do. Keep me posted on how it goes.

jed April 3, 2012 at 2:22 am

I read trough all the comments and I can honestly say that I relate to each one of them. I got my first computer at the age of 15 and things just started to snowball from there. I dropped out of college, my self esteem is at an all time low and I’ve never experienced a healthy relationship with the opposite sex. My lack of social correspondence made me feel extremely disgusted about myself whenever I was faced with a new, uncertain situation, like talking to a total stranger at a bar. I would only leave my house for daily necessities.

On a certain Saturday night, it all changed though. I was listening to Joe Satriani’s If I Could Fly after playing hours on of various games and yet again feeling bad afterwards. It struck to me like a vision given to me by a higher entity, and I realized that I didn’t want to spend my days like this. Who knows how many we got them left. My aunt had recently passed away after fighting years with cancer and that alone had made me question my lifestyle. Following this streak of clarity I sold my desktop pc and gave my xbox and ps3 to a local youth center. I intend to lead a happy and balanced life from now on. For the first time in nearly a decade I feel sincerely happy.

This is more of a personal testimony than a comment on your original article but I felt the need to tell my story out loud for the first time. Maybe someone struggling with a similar situation can gain something out of this and maybe, just maybe, be able to overcome the addiction.

Autum April 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Hi! i like your speech as well as the others and i would really like to start reading more of your speech’s.This website really gives me the chance to realize how many things you can change while going through the life cycle.I have a story of my own as well and it took a long time to finish.If you keep reading I can tell you the story.

THE STORY by:Autum Trio
One night I was playing games and I started getting bored of playing them and went to my computer to look up how to quit video games and I saw some pretty shitty stuff there (like once it said to get off your fucking ass)and I saw and did so many things that just didn’t turn out to be so great (like once i ended up getting the boyfriend i never wanted) and i got so fucking tired and decided to do something of my own so i called mom and asked her what she would do and it really didn’t work at all (she said to cuss all day) I made up my mind to just go to you and i wanted to see if you had advice and luckily you did i tried it and it really worked! THANK YOU CAM!

Snuggles,
Autum <3

Cam April 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm

@JED – Thanks for popping by and leaving your comment. Amazing that you spent the time to read through every comment, since there’s a lot of them! Your story is incredible. It’s inspiring to see how you’ve taken the challenge on and committing to seeing it through. I love how you donated your gear to a local youth center. That’s a great idea and next time someone asks me whether or not they should sell their xbox, I’m going to suggest donating it. Thankful you told your story. Have you had a chance to check out any of our other articles? Would love to hear your feedback on them as well.

@Autum – Very happy to receive your comment. Thanks for taking the time. I’m glad you are enjoying our website, and hope to see you comment on many more articles to come. Best of luck in your journey, be strong! :)

CJM2719 April 10, 2012 at 10:06 am

Did you think putting in pictures of hot girls playing games was going to STOP people. No.

Lobster April 14, 2012 at 3:11 am

Do you guys hate it when you browse 9GAG and then some troll posts about gaming appear?
I have just had such a situation recently, and it made me want to play some video games. But I won’t.

YOLO April 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Yeah one suggestion is: Tone down the cursing it gets very FUCKING annoying… =/

Anothergamer April 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Wow, story of my life(almost)

Nice article. I used to be a Call of duty 4 – Promod champ, won tournies, came close to winning many (lost 3 finals), that game used to be my life.

But I’m glad that I quit, I just realized serious gaming is not going to get me anywhere in life.

Cam April 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

@ AnotherGamer: Happy to hear you were able to quit and start focusing on living your life to the fullest. What is your plan now?

Mark April 21, 2012 at 10:01 am

Fantastic article! One of the best around. I agree with many of the posts here regarding the amount of junk articles that helped no one quit. I found this link on a web page of some big website showing people how to quit video games go figure…

I won’t get into the details of my whole life story, but I was very addicted to video games since 14. I have a gaming pc and all the consoles and a handhelds. It’s the only thing I looked forward to in my day. Some days I would play all night or even all day depending on what I had going on. I dont know what clicked for me and said this is a waste of time and money but something did. It has probably been about 8 months now since I quit and I am so much happier than I was before. I sold my gaming pc for a nice laptop and iPad. Gave my consoles away to my little brothers and I kept my ds because my girlfriend likes to play Mario at night.

I haven’t really found that new hobby quite yet, but I think I’ll find it when I am ready to find it. I have been focusing on going to gym and hiking at a local trail of mine. I also kinda got into air soft and air guns. I am having a blast with them! I justed wanted to thank you for the great article and let everyone know that you can do whatever you set your mind to! If you think your wasting time then you probably are! Get up off your butt and do something about it. No one controls your life. You do!!!

Julio April 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

Well there’s your problem. Starcraft counterstrike wow. Popular does not mean ‘best’ this are in fact in my opinion the worst type of games there are(starcraft maybe not so much). I love video games, and I do not plan on letting them go anytime soon, but I am not addicted.
I’ve seen a pattern in people that are “addicted” to games, and those are only the ones into competitive playing, those who teabag in fps, those who grind for loot in wow-type mmorpgs.
That Fd up part of human nature trying to screw the rest of the world that they find in online gamming is what they are addicted to.
I hate playing with other people, they get in my way, and I’m not saying im “so good”, I’m saying my playstyle is very systematical, I just don’t enjoy other people getting in.
So I love playing solo games, and that means I can play them whenever I feel like without the urgency of not being the “number 1 hunter in wow” if I don’t grind 16 hours a day.
Once you kick out that inherent douchebag-competitive-behavioral-tick, video games turn out to not be addictive, just incredibly amazing hobbies, just as much as reading a book or watching a movie.

Either way, great article, and hope you don’t fall into addiction again. Good luck~

AnotherGamer April 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm

@CAM Thanks for asking, but first I just want to write about my gaming “career” now that I see so many people have done it in the comments section :D First, I’m asian and I dont want to give away my alias, my old clan mates might be reading this article haha;D So, Heres my story: )

2007 – I was 13, I got my first gaming computer. I had games like GTA San Andreas, Need for Speed and so on, then my dad bought internet to our home ….probably the biggest mistake he ever did. I mean that, I remember when I was in school way BEFORE we got internet – I had so many friends, I used to be one of one of the most popular guys in my grade. I spent most of my free time hanging out with friends, so much fun we had laughing and doing crazy shit. However, my exam results in school were not good.. this is because I didn’t study much and it made my dad rage. Trust me, it really hurts inside me to look at what a cool outgoing guy I was ..and to look at what I have become now.

So, around this time we had internet at home..this is when I moved into the “multiplayer” side of gaming..oh and what a long LONG ride! I couldn’t get good grades to make my parents proud so I just played video games all day long in my holidays..it helped to get my mind off my studies.

The First FPS game I played was Swat 4, I joined a multiplayer server(VIP mode) and straight away joined a clan called “FAB”..they were really impressed by my style of play so I became popular in the Swat4 community in no time. Yes, it is a small community, I don’t think anyone even plays that game now. My clan had over 30 members who actively played in 5v5 wars and ladders.

So, I gave up a little on Swat 4..I was really good at it but it stopped being fun when there was no competition. All other teams were crap, it was too easy for my clan. Here is a video of some frags of my clan.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl5v8M2xeN8

2008 – One day after school, me and some of my friends found a gaming cafe with a bunch of people playing this game called “Call of duty modern warfare”. (Cod4). We played some games 3v3 and there was one guy who was really good, no one could kill him, I had this weird feeling inside me that told me one day I will be a godlike COD4 player. I was obsessed right there right then. I found a new challenge!

For weeks and months we used to play in this gaming cafe, around 10 computers, me + my friends + random people playing for hours. I started getting pretty good, sometimes I lied to my parents so I could sneak out with my friends to play this game.

2009 – I found out that I could play COD4 multiplayer at home through the internet. I went out and bought the game, got a gaming keyboard+mouse, better video card and I started playing the game online in pub servers, I read about a competative mod called “promod” so I joined a promod pub server. I was invited to join a clan after 2 weeks in xfire, I accepted. A lot of people in my clan kept complimenting me just how good I am for a starter and one day I will be an amazing player, when people stuff like that to me I wanted to impress them even more. I started playing scrims, mixes and instantly became popular, I was invited into other clans(skill level – high), II switched clans after few months and thats where my amazing online journey in COD4 starts.

2010 – I joined my new clan and started practising day and night, I was a natural at the game. I started watching demos of top EU teams playing and I tried to learn and improve my game. Strangely enough I was top fragging in all scrims for my new team in no time, it was the 3rd or 4th best team in the country at the moment and my team mates were trying to learn from me! How weird is that? I had only been playing for few months and I was already a pro.

My team started participating in tourenments, it wasn’t until the 3rd tourny that we actually won. But anyway it felt good to win after coming so close to winning a tourenment. From there onwards, I was easily one of the top 3 players in the country. I don’t mean to brag, but I really was what many gamers would say – “godlike”. Its almost as if I was hacking, I had amazing game sense back then, I could kill off the entire enemy team just by predicting positions with my experience.

2011 – My team participated in ACL – A tourny organized by power(pwr) gaming asia. This league/tourny had ALL the asian COD4 teams(over 80 teams) and there was a prize for the winning team. We made strats day and night, however my team broke down because most of the players had to put real life matters ahead of gaming. So we dropped out of the league. At this time I had enough of COD4, my team was easily the best in our country, it started to get boring so we all went our own ways, college, abroad studies, work, etc

2012 – I stopped competative gaming, I knew I was obsessed/addicted to gaming, I wanted to go back to having real life friends, and real life achievements. I got a laptop for my college work and decided thats it. I left the gaming scene. It makes me feel really bad when I look back at those wasted 5 years of my life. Its amazing how gaming addiction can destroy a person, yes, I mean from the inside, I don’t have the witty and unique personality I had when I was 13 that made me popular and made it easy for me to socialize and make new friends. But whatver, I’m going to keep trying till I succeed. Good luck to all you gamers out there :)

AnotherGamer April 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I’m going to college now and maybe going abroad for further studies to get my business degree + masters. Thats my dream right now :)

Aric April 21, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Video games are my escape and to relax when I come home from work. I used to be a “gaming addict” playing them for 18 hours a day. I realized that was a waste of time and started working and enjoyed making money more than I did playing games. I’ve come to realize that I’m a workaholic and need to get back into gaming, as my life isn’t that fun anymore.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is, everything in moderation. You cannot have too much of one thing. Hell there for a while, I thought being a workaholic would complete me. I can’t tell you how dull working 14 hour days – coming home to eat and sleep is.

Coconut April 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Very nicely written Cam, people that were addicted to video games themself can describe it much better.
I have been playing video games my whole life, from the N64 to World of Warcraft. I’m 19 years old now and it feels as if I have been stuck in time since my childhood. A half year ago I quitted WoW, cold turkey. It was a hard decision, but after playing it everyday for over 2 years I was just fed up with it. I deleted everything and there would be no way I could ever play that game again. So for the next few weeks I felt a huge burden was off me. I had LOADS of free time and improved my sport significantly. However I did not have a hobby to ditch the downtime. Then one day an old friend from WoW invited me to play League of Legends. I thought it wouldn’t be that bad considering I have stopped gaming and was pretty bored. Unfortunately, the game was a bit too much fun and it again turned out to be another daily addiction, to this day. Months have passed playing that game and I stumbled upon this article on how to quit gaming completely. Right now I am a bit fed up with the game, just as I was like the day I quitted WoW, but tomorrow I would most likely play it again.
I have to quit gaming some day, I have many things that I want to do. Get my driving licence, study more often, becoming a better athlete and especially becoming more social. All that is possible if I could just get my arse off the computer. I just can’t find the courage nor discipline to quit yet.

anonymousgamer April 23, 2012 at 2:35 am

*This comment wasn’t easy to write..* And the funny part about this comment, i never was and never will be good at video games lol. Total time taken to write it :40 minutes.

Basically what your saying is that us as humans, got no option but to go from one addiction to another, a more positive addiction/hobby one might say.

I went through all the fazes of being addicted – playing 15-16 hours a day, to staying up from 10 pm till 7 am or once even till 12 in the afternoon the next day just playing a clan vs clan activity, but this all started when i was 14 in 2004, before that i was an average gamer sure i was a nerd that played a lot of games and downloaded many pirated games and bought bootleg Cd’s/dvd’s – i had limits because..

I had my older brother around to stop me, in 2004 he went to a special ‘gifted’ kids high school in Jerusalem (which was majority jewish and hes arab) and after that i had no limits, and very shortly after i became mega hooked to playing online games, mainly medal of honor allied assault..

I’d play till 3-4 am and fall a sleep during all classes.. I was eventually removed from the game by my parents whom took away my modem, but they made a huge mistake later on.. They gave it back to me during summer vacation of 2004.. I started playing Mohaa again but this time i didnt stay up late during week days – i’d stay up late during week ends only.. I played till 2005 – and thats when the clan leader had a life altering event, his cousin died in a car accident and he quit the game and passed on leadership to another person…
I was immediately kicked for being ‘foreign arab’ (this is one thing we have to remember, no matter how much effort you put into a clan/game, it means nothing! so its pointless!!) i quit the game all together after that and never played it again.

but that didn’t end there, i started focusing on Runescape more now (i started the game 1 year before, its an MMORPG and jagex just released rs2 for free, so i gave it ago) i got involved in clans and social events and few years later became a leader of one clan.. I only started staying up late for Runescape during 2009, before that i’d just play a lot (started 1 hour a day, became 5 hours a day and stayed that way till 2008 – where i eventually quit the game for a year and focused on my last year of high school and thankfully got good GED diploma)…

During that year (2009) i had a crappy job, i was a graduate of high school but there was the economic recession and the hotel i worked in closed, i spent the next few months looking for work and occasionally working in small ‘gigs’, i traveled the region around me and never found a steady job, nobody could find a job.. I turned my attention to Runescape and became very involved in it, after a year or so of break i came back to the game and found out all the friends i made online quit, and i had to start making new ones all over again.. i did that, and spent the next few months playing the game and the way to do that was by joining a clan, which is what i did, right away i joined an EST based clan and started staying up late till 4-5 am.. I became a leader.. It was a lot of fun and very addictive.. And very hard and CHALLENGING… Thats what kept me playing.

Later on i signed up for college, and got accepted.. And this addiction went on with me..

For my first year i continued to play and lead the clan i put so much effort into it that i neglected so much of my homework/studies, eventually i got an average of 80 just good enough to pass to second year, i didnt complete all the mandatory studies for first year.. So during second year i continued the studies.. And just obsessed with Runescape, this caused so much problems for my room mates, as i would be ‘leading’ and ‘calling’ on teamspeak for my clan while their trying to sleep, this drove them crazy and they hated me because of it.

For me, gaming was NOT a private ‘secret’ every one in my village knew i play video games and ever knew i played runescape, and every one around me knew am a gamer, i just cant believe so many people put up with it..

Anyway, during second year, i went to do Excavation and that’s where i basically got my rehab- when i came back from that month of amazing experience i loaded up my computer to play runescape to attend some clan events, i never managed to do so.. i have gotten used to waking up at 4 am daily so i failed to attend my clan events for the next few weeks – as i would go to sleep at 9:30 pm my time, and the ‘events’ would start at 12:30 midnight (est clan), eventually i was moved into retired and relinquished of leadership position – which is what i am today, a retired member of the same clan i have been in since december 2008/January 2009.

During the vacation of last year from college, i spent most of my time working in a hotel till next college year started, i showed up always on time and always did my work well, i spent no time playing Runescape or attending any of the events (i had to wake up at 5 am daily, so staying up late was impossible), and till this day i got used to waking up early and for that i never stay up late anymore.

Now i am still curious about gaming and i think every one should play games they want to play and avoid addictive MMORPG’S, personally i love singleplayer games it takes me now days weeks to beat a game (where in the past it would take me a day or two) i still download torrents from tpb and try out the ‘hot’ games, but all i get out of it now is just BOREDOM i hate it, and i eventually delete the game after few minutes of gameplay.

For my third year of college i did a total 180, i started studying hardcore and spending more time with friends, more outgoing, hanging out etc.. I still need more hobbies though, i still download video games but i never play them And frankly…

i spend more time POSTING and typing about VIDEO games on forums/blogs than actually playing them, i think all the new games suck, and the only game i truly enjoy playing Is Counter Strike 1,6.. I have never been in a cs clan and i never will join 1 because i know i’ll just get hooked again. So after 12 years, from playing the game on a bootleg Cd to a none steam client to actually buying the steam pack in 2009, i play so little (total 127 hours on cs 1.6 since 2009) and just for the pure fun of it, i never compete and i never try to be #1 on any server i just play and close it when am bored.

Overall i think every one should play games they want but must remember to keep it in moderation, now that i’ve grown up i understand that, but sadly when i was young i didn’t, i just knew i was addicted and didn’t care.. AM going to try even harder since this year i complete my B.A and next year i start my M.A in archaeology, i just want to do whats right, there is so much temptations in life and there is so much bullshit, and gaming has truly distracted me from whats important in life, for instance i have over 200 days gameplay in Runescape on my main account, had i spent that time being politically active or socially active am sure i could of helped CHANGE THINGS AROUND, and thats what i wanna start doing.

Cam April 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

Thanks to everybody who has commented recently for stopping in and reading the article. I appreciate you leaving feedback.

@Mark: Love your post. I completely agree with what you’ve said. Check out the post by Alden Tan on our blog called “4 Step Guide to Find Passion”, http://kingpinlifestyle.com/4-step-guide-on-how-to-find-passion/, it might be able to help you find that new hobby you love.

@Julio: Haha it’s pretty true man, good observation, thanks for the feedback.

@Anothergamer: Try not to view the last 5 years as a waste of time and something you now regret. Instead, view it as merely the amount of time it took you in order to figure out what it was that you truly did want out of life, like you said: real life friends, real life achievements. Now my question to you is this: What are some of your other goals? How do you plan on having real life friends and achievements. I’d love to help!

@Aric: I don’t think the solution is either in video games or being a workaholic. Definitely everything in moderation. To me it seems like you are searching for something to make you happy, but you tried to fill it with video games initially – which didn’t work – so you went to becoming a workaholic but realized that wasn’t working either. What else do you enjoy other than games and work? What are you PASSIONATE about? The answer I believe lies within that.

@Coconut: Success never comes from a lack of commitment. If you aren’t 100% committed to making the necessary decisions to achieve your dreams and do the things you want you’ll never do them. Straight up. You just got to commit and be relentless about that decision moving forward. There’s always going to be a reason or excuse to continue playing video games, but at the end of the day, the only thing you need to actually quit is to make that decision and stick to it. :) Good luck.

@Anonymousgamer: Really appreciate you taking the time to spend 40 minutes writing out your comment. I appreciate your effort! I don’t view it as going from one addiction to another, whether it’s more positive or not. I view it as going from one addiction to video games to actually spending your time doing the things you love to do. The article was trying to show that many people THINK they truly enjoy video games, but it’s because video games are filling the 4 needs I described above. If you fill those holes in your life, you tend to no longer have much of an interest in playing video games. Something we like to say here at Kingpin Social is this: Why not play the ultimate video game? It’s called Life. http://kingpinlifestyle.com/social-dynamics-is-the-ultimate-video-game/

I’m excited to hear that you want to start doing other things, trying harder and making a difference. What’s important to people is different for everyone, but I think spending time on the things you find important is the most rewarding way to spend your time.

Gerald April 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Great article. You really helped fully realize what the insidious nature of these games are.

I was going through a bit of a struggle because I’d find myself playing rfactor, mindlessly driving around Nordschleife. I guess I had fooled myself into thinking that since it’s a “simulator” and not a “game” that somehow it was less harmful than the FPS games I had been addicted to. Well, not really. Seriously though, like I am going to invite over a woman and say “Hey, ride with me on this simulated Nordschleife… it’s based on CAD data… just like the real thing. You’ll love it!” Ummm… yeah fucking right, huh? I never got hardcore into the social side of sim racing but I did end up getting into the modding part, so it -was- a nice way to introduce myself to 3ds Max but after 6 months of working on this “virtual” race track I realized that nothing I was doing was very important actually, and that I should apply 3d design skills to something else more relevant. The part I did not get into were the leagues in sim racing… wow… those are some hardcore folks… building “virtual” race cars right in there bedrooms or basements, spending up to thousands on setups. Perhaps it was good I never got too hardcore.

Anyway, I ended up deleting my games recently but I had that strong withdrawal and felt so proud of myself that I “undeleted” my “important” files. So I played for a few more weeks. Then the other night I was thinking about my life as I was, like a zombie, doing hotlaps and realized that I too had to make that commitment.

31 years old, life going nowhere fast… got to fully make a change… no half ass stuff anymore… no time for it.

Once again, great article! I will definitely be checking out this site more.

Cam April 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Hi Gerald. Thank you very much for leaving your feedback on my article. It means a lot. It’s amazing how many hours you can spend engaged in these games, whatever it may be that you’re doing: farming in WoW, FPSing it up in counterstrike, building virtual race cars, all of these games are just endless amounts of hours.

I’m happy to hear you were able to delete the games. I’m glad you were able to understand the commitment to quitting and staying game-free is the most important.

I’d love to hear more about your story and help you out. E-mail me. Easiest way is by going here (it comes right to my inbox): http://kingpinlifestyle.com/submit-question/

Jake April 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I am full blown addicted to gaming…from RPGs like Mass Effect and worst of all…COD…im ready to give it up and just posted my ps3/xbox 360/wii/nintendo 3ds to craigslist…this will be the third time I have up and sold everything cold turkey…the past 2 times i lost 24-30lbs and was a much happier person in every aspect of life. I find myself subconsciously making excuses not to do things…soo here we go again. My biggest issue (advice?) Is when i sell everything…ign and other gaming sites/apps are easy to access so its taunting..ya know

Cam April 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Hey Jake. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. As I’ve said in the past few replies to comments, selling your gear, uninstalling, quitting, etc etc are all important steps, but the most important step is to actually COMMIT to not playing ever again. Failure is only an option if it’s an option you are leaving on the table. If you make the commitment to not play any games ever again, and you do not compromise on that decision, you’ll be good. Remember, success never comes from a lack of commitment.

Remember Me April 28, 2012 at 6:46 am

Any one can do it, I grew up with video game all around me, with over 12 years of gaming experience, I’m currently 16 turning 17 and over a year ago I stopped. I started eating healthy, working out and socialising (with girls). I now play basketball and keep playing and playing, I have dreams of making it big, and I mean really big. When I get there I will give half my profits to help the poor. What I want to say is drop games, just walk away, become a better person.
Remember Me

Cam April 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Hey ‘Remember Me’, thanks for leaving your comment. That’s an awesome comment, you’re going to do amazing things!

roygolan May 1, 2012 at 2:14 am

this guy decided to make an experiment – 31 days without computer games. Working great. http://en.changegarden.net/category/experiments/31-days-without-computer-games/

Adrian? May 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Thanks for the advice dude, you really helped me change my life. I’m 16 years old and i WAS addicted to League of Legends and most importantly Call of Duty Blacks ops

I’ve played Blackops for 40 days!

And League for like 25 days.

You are right that games are addicting mainly because of the social part

I DELETED all my friends online, i didn’t even said a word at all.

Cold turkey rules!

I hope to be successful like you =P

Good luck XD

Cam May 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Hey Adrian?, thanks for commenting! Good luck man. Stay committed! It’ll pay off.

TheInterwebs May 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Hey man, I’ve been playing games for a very long time and although I had the grades in high school, it started to take a toll on me in college. I started playing games more and more and somewhat neglected my studies. Even though I still have great grades, my social life sucks. I tried joining some clubs, but I was too nervous and socially awkward. The funny thing is that I’m outspoken at home and can articulate my thoughts with real friends from time to time. There’s still a part of me that’s addicted to a competitive arena mode in the Witcher 2.

About that organizations situation, you mind giving any tips to be more confident in approaching both girls and interesting people who could enrich my life? College is way too bland if I keep studying and only respond to people via email. I try to be interesting around people but my self esteem sucks (being a fairly slender dude and really quiet everywhere) and then this impacts me in class as well, since I never speak to new people or don’t know how to correctly make a good impression on others.

Dunno May 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Theinterwebs. There are a lot of articles that address what you are looking to fix on this very website.
By no means am I an expert or anything I can think of a couple things that helped me to expand my socializing.
Push yourself. If you don’t speak to new people then start. Don’t have high expectations at first but at least force yourself to say something to someone. Doesn’t need to be extensive but at least a hi can be a start. It is ok to be nervous. Expect it to be awkward if you aren’t used to doing it. Once you start getting over that nervous feeling talking to someone you don’t know it will slowly get easier. You feel more and more comfortable talking to people the more you do it.
Don’t over emphasize each possible encounter. The more weight you place on not screwing up or looking stupid the more likely you will come across as nervous or weird.
People are just people. They are just as concerned about what you are thinking about them as the reverse. Most people are willing to talk if you are.
Don’t be self defeating. You are who you want to be. If you walk up to someone thinking that you don’t make good impressions it doesn’t exactly set you up for success. If you tell yourself I can talk to anyone you just might be able to fool yourself.
No one will notice you being slender if you speak and act confidently.
Stop worrying about failure. The sooner you start trying and accepting the possibility of failure the sooner you realize that it is the quickest path to growth and success. This is not to say that you shouldn’t try to maximize your chances of success but learn to never let the possibility of failure stand in your way. The more you are subjected to it, the more you realize that more often than not there are no lasting effects. Just stand up, dust yourself off and try again.
You will slowly change if you put a concerted effort to do so. Best of luck!

Lobster May 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hey, Cam!
Do you think only online games are addictive, and singleplayer ones are not? Because in the online games you chat with other people and make some friends. Plus you want to better than everyone else ingame.
And in singleplayer games you just play with yourself.
Please let me know what you are thinking.

Cam May 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

Thank you to everyone who dropped by and left their comments recently. I really do appreciate you taking the time to leave your feedback.

@TheInterwebs – Definitely check out the rest of the site for some articles related to those topics. Also, you can send us an e-mail here: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/submit-question/ and we will happily help you out over e-mail. What do you think is the cause of your low self-esteem? What areas of your life are you currently proud of? What areas of your life do you wish you were doing more? Is there a hobby (other than video games) that you’ve always wanted to go after?

To start socializing like “Dunno” said, keep things easy. Even a goal of approaching one person per day can do a lot of good over time. NExt time you go to Starbucks and order a coffee, genuinely ask the Barista how her day is going. Add more enthusiasm in your voice when you ask and you’ll notice an immediately difference in how the person reacts to you. A good article to check out for someone new starting out is here: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/newbie-goal/

@Dunno – Thanks for the help answering questions. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to help out.

@Lobster – I don’t think video game addiction only applies to online games. I do think there’s a decent chance that online social games are *more* likely to have you become addicted simply because they involve the social side, however I do still believe single player games fill necessary areas that, if you do not have filled in the rest of your life, will cause you to become addicted to the games. Can you escape by playing single player games? Absolutely. Are they a challenge? For sure. There is constantly measurable growth as well. I do think that someone spending a bit of time here and there playing single player games is ok (everything in balance is ok right?), but I always ask the question: is there something else you would rather be doing than playing that game?

ADRIAN? May 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

Umm hey cam is it k to play video games in moderation???

My guidance teacher advised me to play video games on the week end, when i have acomplashed everything. Ex: school, work, etc.

BTW i posted a something here a few days ago stating that i stop playing video games.

It’s really hard, now i play them in moderation when I’m done everything

Tl;DR their just games, don’t fail school and be like this guy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcWlkZSfey8

I’m 16 btw

Cam May 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Hey Adrian,

I think games in moderation are fine, however consider whether or not they are productive. In my opinion and as I state in the article, people that generally play video games are using them to fill their boredom instead of spending that time doing activities and things they are passionate about. Once you have accomplished everything, school, work, etc, what can you do? Sure you can play games and that might not be a bad thing, but a question worth asking yourself is:

Do you really want your life to be this schedule day in and day out:

Work/School 9-5, Study/Eat for a bit in the evening and then play video games until you sleep, rinse and repeat every day? I don’t know if that’s TRULY what people want to be doing. Downtime is definitely key without a doubt, but what other activities could you use in your downtime instead of video games?

Lobster May 12, 2012 at 3:59 am

However I still think it is possible to earn the addiction even when playing video games only once you have accomplished everything.

Lobster May 13, 2012 at 7:37 am

Is it just me, or at some point in quitting playing video games you start thinking, that you didn’t have the addiction, and it won’t be bad to go and play video games again ?

tonio09 May 14, 2012 at 2:56 am

What if nothing comes close to the experience video games offer? I used to be a hardcore gamer, then I learned pickup too. Now I’m focusing on my studies and want to go into finance. But I was thinking of becoming a video game developer.

Problem I have is that I quit games two times already. First, I played from age 11-16. didn’t play age 16-20. Played again 20-21. Didn’t play 22-24. I’m 24 now.

I have really tried a lot of stuff in my life, except for drugs, smoking and alcohol. I drink sometimes, but I got drunk only once. Problem I have is NOTHING comes close to the experience videos games offer, especially games like CSS or Starcraft. NOTHING. Not even sex with a hot chick.

You just keep on going, improving your life, earning money, hoping for a better life. But what if what you really want is right in front of your face? I have a really hard time telling the difference between PASSION and ADDICTION. If I could choose, I would start gaming again in an instant, but I’m afraid that would ruin my life. But again, in the end, we’re all dead anyway. So I guess my question is:

How do you tell the difference between PASSION and ADDICTION?

ANOTHERGAMER May 14, 2012 at 6:57 am

Hey Cam,

I replied to this article few weeks ago about how I wasted my many years of my life playing COD4 on a competitive level with clans and how I quit. Last week one of my old team mates talked me into playing an online tournament with 25 other teams or so and I said yes I will write why later in this post. I already played 2 games in the tourny and I don’t like where this is going, my team is close to winning this tournament but I don’t want to get back in to gaming…but then again I am not happy with my social life I can’t help but get back to playing this game once every 2 days so I can have some fun.

I’m a football(soccer) fan and the premier league season just ended, I got nothing to watch on TV for 3 more months and I got nothing to do when I get home., I got a few friends from college only one of them is really a close friend but I don’t feel like hanging out with them. How can I be less socially awkward and stay committed to what I want in life ? Please help :) thx

tonio09 May 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Just to let you know, I read all 184 comments on this post and bookmarked it. You had some good advice and I appreciate the fact that you reply to each one.

PASSION vs ADDICTION continued

I finished university and I need to decide what to do with my life. I thought a lot about it, what’s the purpose of it all and the fact that I’m going to be dead anyway in 60 something years, after which it doesn’t matter a bit.

Since I quit gaming, I have been focusing on self improvement like crazy. I have graduated from university with really good grades and I have a job offer from a bank where I could earn shit loads of money. I also have a girlfriend of 2 years. Before that I partied a lot, did lots of different sports, basketball competitively, learn PUA, and tried to get as much experience as possible, all the different tastes of life.

I am amazed by my friends who manage to focus on studies while still play video games every now and then. This is something I find very difficult to do. I am still feeling the same thing as before when I was 20 and started to play again. No matter how good my life is looking now, I feel I have a void inside me. Nothing can fill this void. For some reasons, video games likes Starcraft where one plays in a team using skill and intellect have extreme effects on me. I don’t get this experience anywhere else in life. NOTHING comes close. I would describe it as euphoria, immersion and flow.

I need to know what is this, because it’s still making me have dreams about Starcraft at night after all these years of not playing. Is it Passion or is it Addiction? I cannot tell. Sure I could go on, have a successful life, work myself to death, but what is the point of it all if what I really LOVE is play video games? On the other hand, what is the point of it all if I only feel good when I play, but otherwise I am depressed about how my life sucks in all other areas because I neglect it?

Since I completed a computer science degree, I was thinking of going into video game development instead of banking. But I don’t know if the voice that is speaking to me is that of PASSION or ADDICTION. So my question is still the same, what is the difference between PASSION and ADDICTION?

Lobster May 15, 2012 at 9:49 am

Wouldn’t that be great if there was something like a website where you can sign up, enter the date when you quit playing video games. For example there could be some forums and of course the system which congratulates you each month you don’t play video games. You could chat there and all that stuff.

P.S. Is there a way to play videogames with passion and NOT the addiction when you are already addicted. Maybe sometime in the future ?

Lobster May 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

It takes almost one day for somebody to post a comment or reply. :(

Gerald May 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I think some differences between PASSION and ADDICTION are that passions add to your life whereas addictions take away many things.

For instance, I have missed much socializing because I would do things that are addictive, like play games for hours on end. I think you have to draw the line at whenever something stops being enriching and starts consuming your life. It’s difficult… I actually started working on my Nordschleife mod again, but after 1 month of not touching rfactor I realized that it wasn’t totally a bad thing, but I just need to not let it consume all my spare time. One thing with this though is that by modding and being actively involved in CREATING something, I am learning skills that can be applied elsewhere and I am not just mindlessly consuming something or just burning time with nothing to show for it.

I guess you just have to analyze for yourself exactly why you do what you do. You have to ask yourself what each and every activity you do in your life actually adds to it. I guess with me I started observing that I was just falling into the same old habits when I was younger of just mindlessly “playing”… actually my “playing” was getting in the way of continuing the progress on the mod. I would think to myself “Okay I need to update this, and this…” but then I would just drive lap after lap and never do it. So when I started on my mod again after the 1 month hiatus, I ended up completing so much in just a couple of days that I had been putting off for a couple of months! Turns out I was just stuck on some sort of auto-pilot but wasn’t actively involved in the hobby… like imagine someone who builds model trains but never completes the model and just plays with the train.

So anyway, I guess I will just see how it goes. I try not to be too pedantic about anything but follow principles instead… so I guess I can’t say “No games or else!” but I can say “Try to create and not just consume.” “Don’t waste time.”

Gerald May 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm

“Consumption is fleeting but creation is lasting.”

“A wasted minute is a minute lost.”

Gerald May 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Oh yes, I will also say that I don’t think all recreation is a waste. Actually I think overworking yourself is a waste. Recreation makes people happy because it can be enriching. I think if you’re really honest with yourself you can tell if what you are doing, recreation or work-wise, is fulfilling or not.

Lobster May 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

I don’t get it. Are people addicted to all the video games at once? Or are they addicted for example to just 1 or 2 games?
Which of these is most common?

Lobster May 16, 2012 at 9:51 am

For some reason when I used to play video games I was bored pretty often and I thought it would be great to go and do something else.
But, when I went to do something else I immediately started to think that playing video games is so fun and that something I was doing instead of playing video games was so boring.
However, when I got back to playing I was bored again. And then the cycle just repeated and repeated.
Could anyone tell me why was that happening?

WoodenKettle May 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

Hey Cam,
I’ve been a pretty intense gamer for over a decade. I used to splash out on extravagant computer systems and then sell them a year later to try and break away from the habit. My problem is I’m obsessed with the competitive outlet PC games provide. I find without that outlet I have no outlet. Although I’ve been without games for a whole year (traveling the world) i find the desire to play games never goes away. My friends and brothers are all playing Diablo 3 and DOta 2 together back in my home country and telling me it is the most amazing game and even though I’m traveling the world and doing amazing things I can’t shake the feeling that I’m actually the one missing out. It sounds crazy but it’s the plain truth, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. life after being addicted to games often seems dull. I miss it and I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget it.

ADRIAN? May 17, 2012 at 2:13 am

Hey cam, YOU ARE RIGHT VIDEO GAMES SUCK. The only reason people play them because they are a temporary escape to reality, such as heroin and dangerous addictive drugs. After like 2 weeks of moderation. I am getting so sicko and tired of video games. I like the social aspect of video games( THAT’S WHY THEIR SO ADDICTIVE). Chilling with friends and socializing with people in real life is way more rewarding and fulling. although their is more stress in real life and more frightening. IT IS WORTH IT.

VIDEO GAME ADDICTION IS LIKE A HEROIN ADDICTION

IF U WANT TO QUIT play in moderation first. then video games will start to stuck then your good

TOOK ME 1 MONTH to quit

THANK U CAM ^_^

ADRIAN? May 17, 2012 at 2:41 am

P.S

dude is it cool if i tell u my life story and how it relates to my past gaming addiction =

I think it i will help me move on

WoodenKettle May 17, 2012 at 2:46 am

@lobster aka Dirty Lobbo,
That feeling is all too familiar with me. I don’t know why it is. Maybe its a case of greener grass, or perhaps I’ve developed ADD. Unfortunately it is more than likely just addiction. Smokers know smoking is bad for them and sometimes no longer enjoy smoking, but that doesn’t stop them. Picture a fat man eating cake and crying. That’s us.

tonio09 May 17, 2012 at 7:07 am

@WOODENKETTLE
“I’m traveling the world and doing amazing things I can’t shake the feeling that I’m actually the one missing out”
“life after being addicted to games often seems dull.”
“I find without that outlet I have no outlet.”
“I miss it and I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget it.”
“i find the desire to play games never goes away”
“extravagant computer systems and then sell them a year later to try and break away from the habit”

This post could have been written by me, haha

Lobster May 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

@ADRIAN? Do you mean that if a guy who played games for like 10 hours per day for years, starts playing them in moderation, for like 2 hours per day, he will get tired of them?

P.S. How did you quit exactly ? What exactly did you do to quit them for 1 month? I didn’t play video games for 3 months already, but still want to play them.

ADRIAN? May 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

@LOBSTER

umm dude i asked my guidance teacher at school about my addiction. She said to only play on the weekends when I’m done everything (school, activities). Eventually video games will start to SUCK.

I started to play only on Saturdays. After like 2 – 3 weeks video games started to lose it’s “high”. On the weekdays, when I’am not allowed to play video games, i tend to spend more times on better things such as studying, sports, A SOCIAL LIFE.

Eventually, i didn’t need that “high” from video games, that escape from my sucky reality.

I’m 16 right now.

I started gaming when i was like 9. Grade 6.

I only started to play video games when i lost all my friends =(
yeah, i moved to a new school where my older brother tormented me and made a bad reputation of me. Before i moved to this place i had a few good friends. we would play football and basketball. When their was ALOT OF snow. We would go tobogganing on that big hill where not so posed to go on ^_^. Good times.

Tl:dr

If u just cant go cold turkey (Quit).

Play in moderation (via Saturdays only)

Eventually you’ll find another way to escape

or

love your new reality =P

Lobster May 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

@ADRIAN?
Few questions:
By saying “weekends” do you mean Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday? Or just Saturday.
Also did you play for like 2 hours at the weekends, or as much as you want?
Did you do all the other stuff except gaming at the weekends too?
Were you having super fun when you just started playing them at the weekends? And then you simply started getting tired of them?
Btw, is there any difference between playing them with friends on Skype and alone? Because when I’m playing them with friends on Skype I’m having super fun and laughing all the time with them, maybe it makes them more adictive?

lucas leach May 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

just sayin if you physically and mentally cant stop and need help, well i mean i can’t take this seriously its just laughable.The terms you use also just show a lack of concern for the metal state of others. So in conclusion your article is laughable, your to upfront with your opinions, generally understand close to nothing real and are just plain rude kudos your now on the list of people i know i’d never enjoy being around

Clarke May 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Hi Lobster! What help me quit was to see that games really don’t help me increase any useful skills. After I realized that sitting at the computer clicking a button a bunch of times seemed like such a waste of time. I started to look at other aspects of my life like a game where I need to challenge myself and level up. I started to enjoy the challenge of getting go grades in school and almost lost interest in games completely because i was actually doing something beneficial. Its good to find something else you enjoy to replace games completely. I have a high addiction to being the best at games so I can’t even play them for a little while. Quitting cold turkey was the only way that worked for me.

Andy May 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm

This was a very good article, i have read about video game addiction and related topics for a month or so now, this is because i have noticed that i think way to much about video games.
I don’t actually play all that much but i think and read about video games more than i wold like..
The last 5-6 months i have sold/deleted 99% of my games, because i realize that games are just a temporary escape, i don´t do anything while i play games.
Basically i sit in front of the TV and push buttons on a plastic controller.
I feel like i am wasting my life, and i don´t like that.
Last week i moved to a new apartment and i don´t have a TV here so i have no way of playing on my video game consoles which is a god thing right now, and i am bored of video games anyway.
I don´t think i will stop completely because i do like games, but i will play less.
I do not play online because i do not find it fun, i do not like competitive gaming.

– Andy

Cam May 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Hey guys,

Apologies for the late replies to all of your comments. It’s been a wild week for us here at Kingpin Social so I haven’t had a chance to sit down and respond to all of you, until now. Either way, thank you very much to everyone who has left comments and also taken the time to help me out and answer other peoples questions. Your efforts don’t go unnoticed, I really do appreciate the support.

@ Lobster – I definitely think it’s possible to have the feeling that you weren’t that addicted and you can play again. It’s a mind trick! But the key is to remember this: You didn’t decide to quit playing video games because you had an addiction or anything else, you decided to quit because you wanted to get more out of your life and playing video games is something unproductive and isn’t an activity that is moving your life towards the direction that you want. A question I would like you to brainstorm and respond back with is what other activities you enjoy doing. Also, what are some NEW activities you’d be willing to try. Get creative. For me, I’ve taken salsa lessons, hiphop classes, I’ve gone bungee jumping and taken up DJing. All of these helped push me in a direction to try new things and take more risks, instead of staying in my house playing games all day. Remember, the key to quitting is to fill that time with more productive activities. If you are just sitting at home bored all day, you will start playing again. You need to have new activities.

@Tonio99 – It’s a tough question to have an answer to. I think some activities you can look into may be within the sports realm. Have you ever played any sports competitively? The vibe I got playing video games was very similar to when I played hockey, so maybe sports might be a good avenue for you to consider. I feel like the best way to know if something is a passion or an addiction is the affect (positive or negative) it has on your life. Addictions take value from your life and passions make it better. That might be a good initial indicator. Becoming a video game developer could be an interesting job for sure, but if all you do is play and make video games all day, are you truly happy? This answer is completely relative, but I think moderation and having other things going on is very important. The issue isn’t in the games itself, it’s in the way they consume every aspect of your life. Also, THANK YOU for taking the time to read every comment on the post. There is so many that it’s hard to keep up, but I’m very thankful for everyone who has commented so far. I think there’s been very good discussions in the comments of this post.

@Anothergamer – Definitely a good sign that you aren’t feeling the same value from video games as you did previous. Sounds to me like you need to get your lifestyle going more. Sitting around watching TV all day isn’t any better than sitting around playing video games. We need to get you out doing better activities. Send me an email: cameron@kingpinlifestyle and I’ll help you out more with specifics. Also, if you haven’t already signed up for the newsletter (to get your free ebook), make sure you grab it. It’ll be a good start for you.

@Gerald – Thanks for adding your insight into the conversation. You hit the nail on the head for sure. I completely agree with what you said. Great advice.

@Woodenkettle – HAha love the name. Very creative. I’m also a VERY competitive person. Probably the most competitive person out there, in my eyes. You need to find an outlet for that competitiveness because it’s something you need. The way I’ve been doing it is viewing “creating the life I want” as the biggest competition I have, and it’s a competition against myself. My commitment to being the most badass person I can be is essentially a competition I hold against myself as a way to play my ego against myself in a way that encourages me to grow and go after the exact life I want. As an example, if I want to be a world class DJ that travels the world, if I’m truly a competitive person, wouldn’t I put in all the hard work to make it? Of course right. Something to consider.

@Adrian – Happy to hear you have been able to quit. It’s a very positive step forward in your life. Definitely cool to post your story. I’d love to hear it.

@Lucas Leach – Thanks for taking the time to comment. The post has been a massive success, and has helped many people be able to quit video games and begin improving their life. I guess real success like that is laughable. ;)

@ Clarke – Thanks for commenting. Focusing on studying and viewing it as a challenge and a game is a great way to see more success. Proud of you. :)

@ Andy – What are other interests you have that you could read about instead? if you don’t know what interests you have are, consider going to a book store and just browsing around, checking out the different sections and seeing which ones peak your interest. I don’t have a TV in my house and it’s great. Don’t even have a microwave either: it forces me to cook much more often. I like these changes. Good luck, and feel free to email me if you have any questions!

Cliff May 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm

CAM – Thank you for your insight and effort to help others. Like you, I’ve been addicted to hard core, competitive gaming for the better part of the last decade and casual gaming for another decade beyond that. I spent a couple years developing my skills as a PC builder, eventually creating cutting edge machines which completely owned the most expensive PC’s available at retail. Three weeks ago, I put an ax through my $6,000 PC and had a funeral service for my Wii, PS3 and Xbox at my local dump. My friends think I’m INSANE. What they do not understand is EXACTLY what you have laid out in your article. Cutting back on a drug doesn’t solve the addiction. If anything, it probably just makes the situation worse. Cold turkey was my only option. Now I find myself extremely bored and desperately searching for hobbies/activities to fill the time void left by quitting my addiction. I found your article because I was searching for support on this very real addiction. Your article was very helpful and I will be taking your advice on focusing on growth everyday and being more social. I don’t know if I will ever lose the craving to game but I do know that I am done with the addiction and I am, as you say, willing to work to improve my life. On a more personal note, I am finding it difficult to enjoy some of the hobbies I used to participate in before I started gaming competitively. I used to LOVE fishing. Went to the store yesterday and spent $100 on fishing gear only to realize later that day that fishing is VERY boring and I simply do not enjoy it like I used to. Strange. My struggle now is finding who I am and what I want to be and do in life. Awkward that I am just getting around to this at 28 years of age, but when all you do is stare at a pretty picture on a screen for 20 years, real life obviously suffers a great deal. Thanks again.

Cam May 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm

@ Cliff – Thanks for commenting! Haha putting an axe through your computer must have been a fun experience. Did you record it on video? To deal with the boredom you need to try new things, new activities. What interests do you have? What are things you’ve always wanted to try? Remember that before you started gaming you were also potentially a different person, so the activities you liked previously may have been different than where you’re at now. I’d love to talk to you more about finding out who you are and giving any advice I can!

Andy May 19, 2012 at 3:06 am

Well i am very fascinated about psychology and i love to improve myself if there is something i am dissatisfied with.
I am actually planing on studying psychology by the end of this year, and i am very exited by that :-)
But i am kind of a introverted i have been all my life, and i have only a few friends, but the only problem is that they are all gamers.. i am a little tired hanging out whit them.
I know exactly what we will do every time i go to them, we play games and watch movies, and yes.. thats boring fore me now.
But i have a golden opportunity by the end of this year to make new friends, when i go to university.
I have decided to take a break from gaming and shorten my time on the computer, i know it will be hard but i really want to do it, like you say i have to find other things to do to fill the void, and fore now that can be my challenge.
Listening to music and learning more cords to play on my guitar can be my temporary escape, this will not be so hard :-) thank you.

Lobster May 19, 2012 at 3:14 am

Lots of people post the their story of how they became addicted to video games. So here is mine.
I started playing on the computer when I was like 4 or 5 (Now I’m 14). It was one of my favourite activities, but I wasn’t addicted to it yet, no, I enjoyed doing all the other stuff too. In the beginning I was playing on cartoon network website. All these Kids Next Door, Dexter, Ed, Edd and Eddy games. It was fun.
Then I started playing something bigger, like Master Rally and mostly important: Heroes III. The game was my favourite. Back then I used to play for like 1 or 1 and a half hour, a day, that was a lot for me.
After that, when I was like 7, me and my best friend were super excited about Serious Sam and Serious Sam II. I used to play for like 2 and a half hours a day, already. (See? The amount of time begins to grow)
Then I was obsessed with Runescape and World of Warcraft (Me and my best friend enjoyed it since we were little kids, and I was always jealous of him because my parents didn’t let me to play it due to the monthly fee)
After it, when I was like 10 or 11 I finally got to play World of Warcraft. I was super, ultra happy about it and played for like 8 hours a day in summer, other school-free time and weekends, and for like 2-5 hours on weekdays.
After it, things got real, I could play for like 12 hours a day (On day offs, and for like 2-4 hours on weekdays due to the lack of time because of my homework), however on day offs it was more often like 6-12, not just 12. I played World of Warcraft and League of Legends mostly but, sometimes even some Steam games. I started disliking it a bit, I felt like I don’t want to play the games as much, but when I tried to stop playing them, I was getting really bored. The problem was that I didn’t hang out very often with someone, sometimes I did, but mostly not. I didn’t think that video gaming is the most awesome way to spend your free time, but still I played them a lot.
So here is my story.
Btw I didn’t play video games for 3 months already :D.

BattlefieldGamer May 20, 2012 at 3:58 am

CAM: Thank you. I’ll keep it short even though I would love to share my full story like others have but it’s almost 3am and I’m really tired so here’s how tomorrow morning I’m going to do something that’s going to make my life better: I’m going to throw away my PS3 copy of Battleifeld 3. I could sell it but I’ll get more joy out of seeing it being tossed into the garbage than getting couple bucks for it. I’m not quitting gaming but I’m getting out of one type of gaming that has consumed too much of my free time: multiplayer competitive gaming. Other games I could do in moderation, Battlefield got out of hand. I may lose a friend over it (the one that texts me every couple days to see if I’m going to go online with him) but I finally realized “you have to know when you’ve taken it too far” and I have. Battlefield: Bad Company 2: 350 hours and now in Battlefield 3 having just hit 200… I know to probably a few people that’s nothing compared to the crazy hours they’ve put in but for my schedule and lifestyle it was a big part of my life. Time to move on. I’m 27 by the way.

To the younger people just now realizing they’ve “taken it too far”… good for you, you’ll either quit or tame it down and keep it in a healthy moderation and still have your whole 20’s and older to enjoy of hopefully healthy living. I loved how Cam the author always described his reason for quitting as a way “to better your life” and it’s true. We should all try to better people. Cheesy, I know. Maybe I’ve been watching too many TED Talks on Netflix, inspirational stuff (highly recommended).

Kurt May 20, 2012 at 9:23 am

Well, this is the best article I ever seen… If you want to know the truth, video games addiction is just like drugs addict. In our body system, when we play video games, we will be rewarded, and the rewarding chemical involved is called as dopamine. As we play more games, this chemical dopamine will be increased, saturated, which will cause us the urge to play more games and eventually lead us to have dependency on the games.. Therefore, in order to eliminate this excess chemical, we need to use cold turkey way, in which we force ourself to stop the games completely and survive all the withdrawal symptoms such as craving, agitation at least 2 weeks period due to the dopamine effect. I had tried this before, it was the hardest ever time for me just to survive this 2 weeks and after that, I don’t have the urge to play games anymore. However, from onwards, all you need to do is just keep tell yourself that don’t ever EVER touch games again… Otherwise you have to suffer all your hardwork to get rid of the addiction again since you’re injecting dopamine to your body again by playing games and it may not work again without a strong will… Sometime, it’s not our fault since we don’t really understand how our body work… even gambling, drug addict have the similarity… and we keep repeat the same mistake again and again… We are just human and uncontrollable…. To conclude, life is too short for us… so stay out from games and live a healthy lifestyle…

Anonymous May 21, 2012 at 9:33 am

Dear Cam, I love what I’m reading here. I used to be a computer game addict until age twelve when I just got plain sick of playing and quit.

I just don’t know how to get my brother to stop playing massively multiplayer online role-playing games. He’s so addicted to them, he’s failed three out of four subjects in school. And he’s only ten years old. He doesn’t have the determination to quit himself.

ADRIAN? May 23, 2012 at 4:44 pm

So here it is,

I was born in the Philippians 15 years ago. I came to Canada when was like 2. I went to a lot of public schools. When i was in gr5 – 6 i had a lot of friends and played tons of football =P. Things started to suck next year in gr 7 when i had to move to a different school, which is catholic . At this school my brother was here who, in fact tormented me and bullying me. I got a bad reputation at school. It’s really hard to go to church when everyone would insult me =(. Then came high school. It was really hard to make friends especially with the Filipinos because everyone knew me from elementary. I failed school. I was in the lower level called ( applied). I was ashamed because i was with the dumb kids at school. Now I’m in gr 11 and i.m failing this semester ={. The only people who are nice to are my “online friends”. I’m good at speaking with people but its been really hard with my super bad reputation :S.

I started playing video games when i LOST EVERYTHING. I gave them up fro about a month and a week working on other hobbies and catching up in school. It’s nearly impossible to make friends at school and in the local community.

WHAT SHOULD I DO HELP

I’ve quit video games. Now i need help after VG (video games)

ADRIAN? May 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm

One important question from all of us.

What do you do after when u quit and have no friends?

I need answers from everyone especially from Cam! XD

Theinterwebs May 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

@Adrian?

I think you should focus on other hobbies you have. Things like playing the piano, guitar, and even joining outdoor clubs are a good way to start making friends. I’ll start learning how to play the piano again and make friends with the people there. Try maximizing an outlet of your life that you had an interest in before video games became the main source of enjoyment in your life. To tell you, I’ve been hanging out with my friends at Barnes and Noble and going to local shops to browse interesting things. This is a start for me and now I’m going to join some clubs that will let me meet different individuals who will become my friends down the road.

I wish you the best of luck!

DirtyAuction May 24, 2012 at 4:22 am

I have been playing video games since I was around 4 which started out with the old grey gameboy. Since then I have been playing games, writing guides, teaching people h2p, and even currently selling games for Gamestop.

I have come to the conclusion games to me seem boring and no longer provide the thirst I once required. Sure, I have played the new D3 I have 4 lvl 60’s on D3 with almost all the best gear you can find and over 200million gold in under the first week of release.

Played WoW since before raids even existed. I remember Mara “dungeon in desolace” was the top dungeon to even play until raids were created.

I have recently been diagnosed with depression and insomnia because not much gives a challenge anymore.

I’m in a dilemma were I want to quit games completely but with working for Gamestop it’s hard. My boss and co-workers just laugh at me maniacally and tell me it wont last.

I have quit games a number of times and similar to how you talked about the SC encounter it has happened to me a number of times.

ADRIAN? May 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

@THEINTERWEBS

It’s more complicated then that. IT IS NOW IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE FRIENDS where i live. Everyone has a bad impression of me. Everyone hates me, at school, at church.
=(. Tomorrow I’m ask if i can switch schools about 100 miles from here :S.
I don’t need video games in life anymore. I have other hobbies but NO FRIENDS!

Please i need constructive criticism

Paul May 28, 2012 at 6:20 am

Ok. You guys need to wake up. There is nothing wrong with playing video games–even if you play them a lot. If you have problems in your life with social skills, 99% of the time the problems stem from something OTHER than your video game playing (poor family dynamics is usually the big root cause). The video game playing is a symptom then of another problem–you are compensating. So why would you give up the only thing that brings you joy in order to force yourself to do what is more “socially acceptable”? I think this website is a crock and is only trying to make money off desperate people. I love to play video games, and I’m married (with a hot wife) with a great job. I probably play more than most people too. And I can hold a proper conversation with someone if I want to (I’d just rather be playing video games lol).

tr May 28, 2012 at 8:02 am

Thanks man i was gonna get diablo 3 and waste my summer again but this woke me up you really got a good point

David May 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I can relate with you. I played games my whole childhood. All my friends play games together and its hard to break out. I just now decided with a all of my heart to stop. I´m 22 years old. And had not real progression on my life which makes me sad now and then. And its time I get a jumpstart to my life! thank you for this… it helped alot.

Gerrit May 31, 2012 at 6:21 am

Hi Cam. I played games 25 years and when offline..indeed I lost interest soon enough, but the latest gulf of online games fucked me up completely. I now work from home, am not tired from 9 to 5 job…hell no..I just work.., read books, do sports..and manage to have satisfying days at the beach like with my kids…I fully agree with full stop. Even when you play 1 hours a day and maintain that ( what I tried succesfully, The dopamine gets hammered in and the emotional exhaustion takes place…But quiting is fucking hard..EVen when I am motivated I need to fight each day to bump my ass out of bed, and do stuff… Those games really kill …its hard to get to enjoy things I used to enjoy before.

Mark May 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm

After commenting and seeing all the new comments–I still agree with the article. You can play for 4 hours or 20 minutes a day. You still get sucked in going right back to your old ways. No matter how normal one thinks he/she is. I still think it’s a problem for a majority of players. I’ve even got caught up in it. There were days when I was bored out of my mind and I said okay just one computer game, which later turned into 3-4 games and me playing a couple hours a day. I love Kurt’ comments. That makes a lot of sense and probably explains a lot for many of us struggling with maintaining a life with video games.

Tom Gallagher June 1, 2012 at 5:40 am

Hi there Cam. I’m 15 years of age and I attend a high school. I’ve been playing games since year 5. I started with Runescape and now I’m onto World of Warcraft, which I’ve been playing for 4 years. A few of my friends play WoW and it’s really fun. We quest and trade together and we have an awesome time.
I read your article and the only problem I face is that I don’t know if I’m 110% committed to quit gaming. I just don’t see myself without it. I want to quit WoW because it’s an RPG but I want to keep playing Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike.

I want to focus on becoming a professional gaming programmer. My ultimate dream would be to work any of these: Valve, Microsoft or Mojang. But I just can’t seem to break away from gaming to focus on learning programming. I really want to learn to program, but gaming is getting in my way and I can’t help myself.

What do you think I should do?
Thanks

Gerrit June 3, 2012 at 9:38 am

Tom.
You mind gets mixed up , actualy, the games seem to brainwash the part of the brain where choices are made. You already say…I cannot imagine to do anything else. This is how far brainwashing goes…I have had the same, so no blame and shame.
If you cannot control the number of hours to less 1 per day, or when you think all day of gaming…when not playing then you have only one choice. Quit gaming before it quits you.

Cam June 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Hey guys,

Sorry for the late response to your comments. I took the last week off for a vacation and had no internet access. I do appreciate every single one of you who commented, and everybody who helped answer other peoples questions while I was gone. If you have any specific questions, you can always E-mail me if you have any questions: cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com

@ Andy: Hey Andy! I think studying psychology is a great idea. Many of the students I’ve worked with are studying psychology and they enjoy it a lot. Don’t limit yourself by thinking that you have a great opportunity at the end of the year. You have a great opportunity NOW. You don’t have to wait until you get to university to start working on developing a more congruent group of friends who have other interests with you than simply video games. Since you play guitar, you could find some other friends that play guitar and start playing with them. Maybe you’ve done this in the past and it hasn’t worked out, but remember, you were at a certain point in your life back then, and now you’re at a new one, so you can have different results! If you can make your guitar playing social, challenging, measurable and get absorbed into it, you won’t even notice you aren’t playing games anymore, because guitar will be your new love.

@ Lobster: Congrats on 3 months!!! I’m super proud of you.

@ Battlefieldgamer: I don’t think you can ever watch too many TED talks. I plan on being a speaker for TED next year. This is very exciting. I’m happy to hear that you have managed to come to that point where “enough’s enough”. What is your plan now? What are the goals you’re working on? The year is about 6 months done, so in the next 6 months what do you want to have accomplished? I’d love to hear more.

@ Kurt: Thanks for the kind words and your very valuable insight into how dopamine affects the process of quitting video games. I’m definitely going to keep this in mind in the future if I ever need to quit another addiction. Your comment was very insightful, thank you.

@ Anonymous: Sad to hear about your brother. At this point I don’t think a ten year old has likely matured enough to be able to make these decisions on his own. I think the solution needs to come from your parents? Could they put him in other activities so he doesn’t have the games? Could you ask your parents to take games out of the house? I don’t know if a 10 year old should have the responsibility to make certain life decisions. I think this is a time to get creative!

@ Adrian?: Sorry to hear about your situation. I empathize with you because I too was bullied when I was younger and it caused me to have a harder time making friends. What I can suggest is this: make the best of your situation and control the things you can control. You can’t control what other people think about you, so don’t start there. What you need to do is start focusing on yourself and your grades. If you started to get better grades by studying more, you would start to feel more pride about yourself right? This is a positive step in the right direction. The other thing you can do is make friends with the people you are currently in class with. You called them “dumb kids”, and that type of thinking isn’t going to help. Think about it like this: you are in that class feeling like you don’t deserve to be there (victim mindset) because you were bullied and it caused you to fail school. So do you think you’re the only kid in your class that doesn’t feel like he deserves to be in applied class? I’m sure the other kids in your class have reasons and excuses too, but at the end of the day, they are there and you are too. The only person that can dig themselves out of the hole is themselves. Is it fair? No. But what I CAN tell you definitely is that if YOU DECIDE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF, you can do anything. I was also in applied classes, not because I was unintelligent (and I assume your situation is the same), but because I was bullied and stopped caring, and instead of taking responsibility for my own grades and fixing my poor study habits, I blamed everyone else. But nothing changed and my grades only got worse. It was only once I stopped blaming everything else on everybody else and instead took the responsibility for myself, that I started to improve, and guess what? As I started to feel more of a sense of pride within myself, I started to make more friends. It’s all connected! Just think about it like this: if you’re in applied classes and you aren’t one of the “dumb kids”, then the class should be that much easier!

Now other than that, you definitely want to start focusing on other hobbies you have like theinterwebs said.

@ TheInterwebs: Thanks for helping to answer questions yet again. Your advice was spot on. I definitely like the idea of going to book stores and browsing around. I think this is a great way to find other hobbies and interests you may not have known you had! What are your other hobbies?

@ DirtyAuction: I definitely think your best bet for being able to successfully quit video games is to also get out of your job and into a different one. Don’t quit yet though, find a new job first. What other jobs interest you? One of the jobs I had when I was younger that I actually learned a lot from and enjoyed more than I thought I would was being a cook at a restaurant. This can be a great way to develop a new skill (cooking), it’s a challenging job because it’s fast paced, it’s social (you work with lots of people), and the types of people that work in the restaurant industry are more social types, so it’s easy to make friends too! I’d highly recommend that.

@ Paul: I don’t disagree that video games aren’t a problem but a symptom, however I think you miss a point that most of the guys commenting here aren’t actually enjoying the games as much as you would think. A lot of them want something else, they want to quit, because the games aren’t giving them the same enjoyment they once did. The reason for this is because they were playing the games as a mask of the real problems in the first place, instead of for the love of the game (as you are).

As per the website being a crock and only wanting to make money off desperate people… it’s just simply an uneducated opinion. The website is simply a medium to help educate and push the Social Dynamics Movement forward. Yes there is a business, and it’s there for the people that want to learn Social Dynamics from us. Our clientele is very diverse. We work with people starting from the ground up, we work with people that are already extremely successful. We work with successful law firms, engineering firms, construction companies, accounting firms, restaurants, business owners, managers, etc. These are not desperate people, these are people and businesses that see the value in having an in-depth and deep understanding of the social side of your life. Being social is NOT a choice you have, you have to be social at all times of your life. Social is where there is interaction. You interact with yourself all talk, you interact with your family, your friends, your co-workers. Being social is not a choice. How well you do it is a choice, and the people that work with us are making the choice to take advantage of that in-depth understanding we can provide, in a personalized fashion that is hard to do in an article on a website.

@ TR: Happy to help, thank you for taking the time to comment.

@ David: I started this journey when I was 20. I’m not 24. You are starting at a perfect time, work hard on yourself and you’ll enjoy the results you get. E-mail me if you have any questions: cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com

@ Gerrit: I’m glad you mentioned how dopamine was affecting you, because I was going to mention that. THanks again to Kurt for providing that information. As a fellow entrepreneur working at home I understand how it can be difficult when you have a lot of freedom and flexibility on your hands. When I was first stating out working at home I wasted a lot of time playing games and procrastinating. What I learned I needed was to have another hobby to keep my attention when I was done work for the day. I’d highly recommend this to you as well. Thank you also for helping to comment and answer questions.

@ Mark: Exactly Mark, Kurt’s comment really hit him. :)

@ Tom Gallagher: It’s tough for sure. My recommendation would be to try using: http://www.codecademy.com/. This is a free online resource to start learning how to code, that teaches you how to code by building a game. Pretty cool and it starts out at the basic levels and progresses forward as you learn. Try that out and let me know how it goes. ANother way you could help yourself do it is by scheduling time to learn how to code. Now you just have to keep yourself disciplined and accountable to it, which you CAN DO if you decide to. :)

Mark June 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm

So it seems that I keep coming back for advice more than I should be. :(

I’ve come a long way and no longer feel the need to play PC/Console games. I do play 5 minute fixes on my iPad with my 4 year old brother, but nothing by myself and I don’t have that “urge” to play. The problem that I have been having is that I keep go to forums and gaming sites. I stay up to date with games, talk and post on forums about them, even though I don’t play or have any consoles anymore. I try to avoid it and do other things, but for whatever reason I keep coming back to gaming sites and forums and participating like I did when I played games all the time.

I don’t know why I am doing this. I know it is a problem and I can’t seem to figure it out. Anyone know what I am going through or going through the same problems? Any help is much appreciated!

Cam June 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

Hey Mark! Don’t worry about this too too much, it’s very common. The main reason it happens is because it’s a habit you’ve created. When you browse the net it’s a habit to browse those forums and talk about games. Gaming is an interest you have, so it makes sense to be reading up on it and all that jazz. It happened to me too, but what I found was as I continued to *not* play any games, my interest in gaming and the forums that gaming is discussed on went away slowly as well, to the point now where I no longer check any forums at all and could honestly care less about anything related to Gaming.

Try to focus on other interests you have as much as possible, but remember, the most important thing is that you don’t PLAY any of the games. Let the forums and stuff fall by the wayside over time. Don’t worry about it too too much.

Andrew Jacobs June 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

Hey Mark, I feel somewhat qualified to lend a suggestion.

I was going through the same problem that you are experiencing.

(1) I admitted to myself that I had/have an unhealthy addiction to video games. So, I uninstalled, sold, throwout, whatever needs to be done. Deleted all username/passwords etc.

(2) Look at the computer as a tool, not an escape mechanism. Now I only use the computer for email, news feeds, stock research, whatever you deem productive. This applies to facebook as well. Careful, it’s a real time wasting addiction for some people. Yes, my computer components are far more than what I now use it for, but who cares, I’m happier.

(3) Here’s the kicker: fill that void (or consider it an opportunity), to do something fun or productive. Heck, I’m now back to mountain biking and I haven’t done that in so many years. Feels so good to be riding through woods and enjoying good ol’ mother nature once again. My back is already feeling better, as I was definitely hunching over while playing games, for far too long. My appetite is coming back as well.

The desire to revert back to games is less and less everyday. There have been many days in which I’ve been so busy doing other things, I didn’t even think about video games. Now, you may revert back to playing. I did for ~ 3 days, then realized the enjoyment just wasn’t there anymore.
On the whole, I’m happier not playing these games.

It’s still a work in progress and I’m taking it very seriously. I’m trying to try out new things to see what peaks my interest.

Old habits die hard; your habitual routine of looking at gaming forums/sites is a part of your life. If you recognize this as a problem, seriously stand up, close the browser and walk away from the computer. Basically you need to form new healthy habits.
It’s a long road and I’m still on it.

Cam June 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

Great advice Andrew. Thanks for helping to answer Mark’s question! Here’s a good TED talk on habit building: http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days.html

Young Giac June 8, 2012 at 12:46 am

Great article. I never actually thought about how useless video games were. I read this article at the perfect time, because in the past week or two, I’ve slowly but surely quit playing Starcraft 2. Not even because I wanted to, but because I really didn’t have time. I work a 3pm-12am job, and I’ve been working out rigorously for the past 2-3 weeks after I clock out, so I don’t get home until 1-2 AM, which leaves very little or no time for Starcraft, and plus, I’ve really grown bored of it.

With Starcraft, I’ve been losing nonstop in 1v1s, and I strongly feel that the reason why is because the other players in my league play a lot more than I do, and study the game like it’s a college course. The only way I would be able to beat them and be move up a league would be if I did the same. But it’s a fucking game, why in fuck would I waste hours of my day learning a game?

So basically I’ve just switched to watching TV, because I really couldn’t think of anything else to do. Also my energy is so low from working and then working out at the gym that its all I want to do. However, every once in a while my roommates have their friends over and I socialize with them.

Basically, I’m really fat. I have been for a while now, and I just decided to lose the weight a few weeks ago. I was at 265 then, and I’m 248 now. (I was originally 310 in August.) I was really pussy footing around when it came to losing the weight.

I was really heavy before in high school, and playing video games, WoW specifically. One day, like you, I quit cold turkey and lost 60 pounds. I went from 250 to 190, and I was running track. I was in the best shape of my life, and my life had never been better. But these last two years, I let myself go, I can’t say why.

Needless to say, I strongly feel that when I’m “skinny” again, my life will be better. My main focus for when I lose the weight is to pick up girls, write a novel, and tackle a new career path. In the meantime, I think I might just start writing that novel right now… You’ve inspired me.

WoodenKettle June 8, 2012 at 2:31 am

@ YOUNG GIAC

Good luck with the weight loss. Make sure you educate yourself. Weight loss is mostly about diet. Too many overweight people just start jogging. Look into a raw food diet, invest in a vita mix or blendtec. I have friends who have been trying to lose weight for as long as I can remember, and whenever I try to help them they snap back “I know what I’m doing”. Well if they did they’d have lost weight by now…

And if you can’t lose the weight, it’s no big deal. Write a kick-ass novel and be the next George R. R. Martin.

Young Giac June 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I know what I’m doing :P. Like I said, I lost 17 pounds in two weeks. My normal diet is cereal for breakfast, a pb&j for lunch, and 2 packs of ramen for dinner. I’m going to switch out the ramen with 1-2 chicken breasts (when I can afford it.) Thanks for the good luck man. Take care.

ADRIAN? June 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Thanks cam ill try that =) I’ll tell u of my sucess XD

WoodenKettle June 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm

@ YOUNG GIAC

You’re diet is all heavy carbs, protein and fat. Losing that much weight in 2 weeks probably means you dropped a lot of retained water from a previously high sodium diet. I know it’s annoying to have someone poking in your business but I’ve always had a soft spot for people trying to lose weight, being a PT in the past. Anyway, do your thing, but if it doesn’t work be open to switch up the game. Peace.

Young Giac June 9, 2012 at 12:37 am

Yeah, I’m aware of this. Part of the reason I’m on this diet is because I’m broke. Ideally I would eat more fruit, protein and very little carbs.

Cam June 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm

@ Young Giac – Thank you for taking the time to respond and offer your feedback. Congratulations on quitting Starcraft 2! Good luck on your journey to lose more weight. From the sounds of it you’re the type of guy that can do anything you set your mind to. My only word of advice would be to try and dive deep into why you quit working out and staying in shape last time. This is important to learn more about so it does not happen again. I also agree that paying a lot of attention to diet and healthy weight loss is important. If money is the problem, feel free to e-mail me and I’ll do what I can do help you out to make some more.

@ WoodenKettle – Thanks for taking the time to offer your advice to Young Giac.

@ Adrian? – Looking forward to it.

Young Giac June 10, 2012 at 1:25 am

I appreciate the advice, Cam. I do plan to eventually analyze everything that happened at that time of my life, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Or at least if it does happen, I can control it. It’s really complicated, and I can’t exactly divulge what happened. But for the time being I don’t think I’ll be having that problem for a long time. I’ve been watching my diet really closely, and I’m taking every precaution to make sure I don’t overeat. I’ll email you right away, because money is definitely an issue right now. Any help or advice you could give me would be greatly appreciate in that regard.

Lobster June 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Yay! 4 months without video games ! :D

Cam June 12, 2012 at 11:38 am

Sounds great Young Giac!

Lobster, I’m incredibly proud of you! Keep going, you’ll love it.

Jeff June 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

Great article. I’m thankful I never got into crap like World of Warcraft or Starcraft or the like. On the other hand, I’ve been hooked since I was six, and I had actually gone through college to get a job in video game design thinking that I could do that (I have my degree hanging on my wall right now). Maybe if I lived in California or the Pacific Northwest I could, but not where I am.

I’m trying to quit myself, and your article provided quite a few good tips for how to quit. Your suggestions for deciding what activities to fill the void video games used to fill are excellent. I will take your advice.

But my situation is a little trickier.

You see, I want to do web design/development for living, which requires me to be on a computer for at least 8 hours per day. And every passing second, temptation taunts me, calls out to me to “just relax and play for a bit”. Next thing I know, half my day is gone. After a long series of events I don’t care to detail, the elephant in the room has become impossible to ignore, and I’m taking steps to deal with my addiction.

Wish me luck.

ADRIAN? June 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Ummm

Is it okay to pretend to be happy even when your sad?
When I’m outside i always pretend to be happy instead of sad.
If I’m sad i might turn to video games =(
Is it healthy to pretend your happy when your sad?

charlie June 16, 2012 at 2:14 am

@adrian
yes. in the psychiatric world this is known as ‘fake it ’til you make it’ and it can be a huge help. sounds dumb but it works.
pretending to be happy, as odd as it sounds, makes you happy. you do not need to walk away from games if they make you happy, it is when they become work/an escape that you have problems (don’t play WoW seems to be the gist of the article since missing out on something as amazing as Portal or Batman: Arkham anything would have felt like a loss).
set small, achievable goals toward self improvement and use games as a reward.

Lobster June 16, 2012 at 11:41 am

Do you guys think that Reddit or 9GAG can be as addictive as video games, or even more?

Will June 16, 2012 at 11:45 am

Hey guys,

A great way that I found to overcome my addiction was in two ways:

i) Started learning a language (Russian)
Meeting people through this

ii) Still play a game, Arma 2, but only one installed so when i get bored after an hour dont play it for the rest of the day

ADRIAN? June 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm

@WILL

I’m learning ASL (American Sign Language)

It’s hard but worth it, try learning it with a friend

gl and hf =P

Cam June 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

@ Jeff – Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Good luck! Something to understand is that I too spend a great deal of my work in front of a computer, but my call to play video games is pretty low. I think it’s because the last time I played a computer game was so long ago that it’s just not something I really associate to the computer anymore… instead, when I’m working on the computer I’m thinking about the work I’m doing or other uses I have for the computer. Not video games. Good luck!

@ Adrian? – I think instead of “faking it till you make it” you should “act as if”. This is a subtle difference but in my experience I’ve found it to be significant. What do happy people do? How do they behave? What are the actions they take to be happy? These are all things you should consider. The advice Charlie had was great, definitely consider it!

@ Charlie – Thank you for taking the time to help respond to questions. It helps me out a lot!

@ Will – Learning new skills is definitely a good activity to fill your time with. Great advice Will!

Shaq June 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Been reading everyones messages, and @Cam, I’ll give a proper update when I get back home. Im on vacation at the moment :)
I’ve been off the games for over 6 months, and it feels amazing. I’ve accomplished so much, and I owe it to you Cam! Thank you so much :)
I just red @will’s comment, and I thought it would be great to reiterate.
I’ve recently become near obesessed with Ireland, Irish culture, and the language. Learning a new language helped so much. Make sure its a country you feel passionate about (like, my home country played Ireland last night. I cheered for the Irish).
If you can do that, it’ll take your minds off games :)

Will June 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

@Adrian

That sounds very interesting! Thanks, you too man!

@Cam

Cheers Cam! I have found that as well as learning Russian I actually really enjoy teaching English. You get a lot of satisfaction because, you feel that you are actually making a difference. Especially when they are like ‘Thank you so much William!’.

@Shaq

Yep, sorry it was so poorly worded :/ Was actually speaking to a Russian person on Facebook at time, so wasn’t really concentrating! After reading ‘ I’ve accomplished so much ‘, I decided just now to delete Arma because, even playing for an hour, is a waste of time. In that time I could have learn five more Russian words for example. Woot! Go Ireland :P

Will June 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

‘Thanks, you too man!’ ……….. ignore the splice comma! :)

Lobster June 17, 2012 at 4:56 am

What about my comment about Reddit or 9GAG? Reddit seems kind of funny, but first I want to know is it addictive or something. Please, someone who has is either signed up on Reddit, or knows some stuff about it, reply.

Thomas June 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

Hey there Cam, this article, its one hella good at motivation. But im a student in a really good studying school, and ive already become somewhat close to a loner in the school because i dont study. I dont play games all the time, but i play it a LOT and im in this complex situation where im busy trying to get friends and im also busy trying to get rid of my passion to play games. I wish i could get rid of the invention ‘computer’ because its so wonderful but i spend so much time on it i look like a complete faggot. How should i solve this? the most popular guy in my class plays games to the hardcore, and most of them folllows him. Fucking wierd, they are good at studying and good at playing at the same time. Please HELP

Thomas June 17, 2012 at 8:30 am

Oh yeah, and do you have a facebook account? i wish i could be friends with you :P

Will June 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

@Thomas

Yes, he does. I am friends with him! :P You jelly ahahaha?

Lobster June 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Someone plz tell me, is Reddit addictive?

Thomas June 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm

@ will

Oh comeon my name is thomas kang my email is thomaskang@Hotmail.co.kr :( please send me an email or something i really find interest in this dude no homo

MARK June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Cam, first I’d like to say that this was a great, well thought out and motivational article. I’ve been dealing with a videogame addiction ever since I was 5 and never really thought about how it was affecting my life until late last year. Ironically your article relates to what I’ve done these last few months (read this article for the first time today) and I’d like to share you and the other readers my interesting journey and add in some insight. So, here we go…

Before my mom and dad had given birth to me and my two siblings they lived in South Africa. My dad was on his way to become a surgeon and my mom was a nurse. They met at a hospital they worked at together and later got married etc. My dad’s father was never around and today, none of my uncles (his brothers) have children. My mom’s family was very strict and uptight. A “proper” english family… My mom and dad left everything in pursuit for a new, and better life in the Americas.

I, along with my younger brother and sister, were born in Canada. My first game systems were a PS1, Sega GameGear, and N64. I even had my own computer… at 4 years old. You could come to say that I had been very spoiled as a child, but that didn’t come without a price. I never saw my dad or got to spend much time with him. He was always working, working, working. My mom was the only person that was ever around. My mom never invited friends over to hang out with her…I went over to friends’ houses in my neighborhood to play or had them come over to swim, play videogames, etc and my mom had my brother and sister to take care of. It made understanding friendships and the value bonding almost obsolete.

They stressed about education being the number 1 priority ever since I was born. I grew up going to private schools. I’ve been in private schools my whole life which also made understanding the real world a lot harder because of being close-knit, and sheltered. I resent my parents for ever sending me to them. I hit it off with all the girls and remember having a lot of friends in Canada and I played sports too…but when I moved to the States in 1998, that’s where whatever life I once had went downhill.

Of course, once we had moved to the states I was put into a private school. Almost instantaneously I was outcast from the main group of kids in my class (class size was about 30 students). I grew up at school feeling alone and left out of a lot of things because I was a little different. I got bullied and teased etc. The only friends I had growing up here were the friends in my neighborhood. As the years went by, I continued to play my videogames, doing what I was always brought up doing, while having as bad as a social life as ever. When I hit 6th grade and I had my first computer with an internet connection, the way I played videogames and interacted with people was revolutionized.

My social life had transferred from the real world to the computer now. I didn’t know what I was doing was wrong, I was never told or taught otherwise. My mom has always been too nice and undisciplined enough to make me and my siblings do chores. So we’d sit around and play videogames, watch tv, do whatever all the time. I met kids at public schools through AIM and that’s how my social life kept itself afloat somewhat. From the time I had gotten internet up until about 8-9th grade I had 3 relationships which ended somewhat fast, mainly because I didn’t exactly know how to spend time with them/friends/etc. So I had some friends at public schools but never had the courage to invite them over and if I did invite them over what would we do? My parents dont ever invite people over, so you see where I’m going with this…

Anyway when I first got that computer with internet I began to play a shooter called America’s Army. When I found out I could play with people online, oh my god did I get hooked. It was a free shooter made by the army and it worked perfectly on my eMac. From there I spent monstrous amounts of time playing that game. Eventually, in 2008, I hit what I had always wanted, pro status in CAL. I had set out to become one of the best in America’s Army and I did. I felt accomplished, but at the same time as I had been playing America’s Army, I had been hanging out with my next door neighbor (moved in around 5th grade) who also played videogames and loved yugioh etc. We became best friends. He had an xbox which I had not played on much before, except playing Halo 1 at a friends house once and falling completely in love with it. He had Halo 2 which I would spend a lot of time playing at his house whenever I wasnt on America’s Army, and when he got a 360, with xbox live, and halo 3 in 2007…we played together…and I knew that I had to get a 360 as well with Halo 3. So Christmas 07 I got that 360 with Halo 3 and started to play almost non-stop along side playing America’s Army.

My competitive America’s Army career ended when I attended my first Major League Gaming tournament. Being at a place full of other gamers life myself was awesome. I finally felt like I was somewhere I belong. Playing alongside the people I spend so much time socializing with online was such a good feeling. Like a breath of fresh air after so many years. I figured that this was my thing to do. So, from there on out I continued to play Halo 3 and whatever so called friendships I had before Halo 3 evaporated to almost nothing. I’ve never taken my education seriously just because my parents, who over the years I had grown to dislike as a result of their poor parenting and bonding (which I didn’t realize until a few months ago), had emphasized that it is the “only thing that no one can take away from you.”

Well, education isnt exactly that important when you hardly have a social life to hold you up and keep you going…Whatever friends I had at my school I was ashamed of because they were unattractive, losers, that played videogames to play videogames. I played videogames (once I was older) for the competitive and social aspects, unlike my classmates. So I had one person who I thought of as a close friend and lost because of the introduction to Halo 3. I stopped caring about my family, I stopped caring about friends, I stopped caring about myself. All I cared about was the game and becoming a pro. I went to college doing the same thing. I felt embarrassed by it as well because my roommates weren’t exactly the hardcore gaming type. Later that year I placed top 16 for Halo Reach. A professional placing under Major League Gaming. I had done what I had wanted to do for so many years. It seemed as though from that point, anything I had set my mind to, I accomplished (with that being said, I was also won multiple county/regional chess tournaments so my accomplishments weren’t restricted to videogames).

I became to realize that I was a pretty smart kid, having spent so much time alone and on the internet. Tracking back a little bit, and a little off course from the gaming life, whatever social life I did have outside of videogames was with people I started to do drugs with. I got into smoking weed and eventually went to Orlando the summer after senior year for a 4th of july party with some of my gaming buddies and rolled for the first time (ecstasy). From then on I loved drugs and spending time with the people I did them with. I always wondered why not everyone at least tries ya know. From then on I made myself only do drugs in moderation. I wanted to be smart about rolling etc. Unfortunately the days of which I took off between smoking/rolling/tripping became fewer and fewer. At one point I was actually dealing DMT, weed, and beans to make money because I’ve been unmotivated to get a job.

Which led me to the day I thought that I might have ADD and that maybe that was why I didn’t care about doing anything, couldnt concentrate, etc. That decision helped save my life from going down into an inescapable hole. It was the end of my first week of being on vyvanse and I had just had thanksgiving dinner with my family. Me and one of my newly made drug friends were going to go to a club to rage and sell beans. We went had a good time, rolled, and then went to an underground rave afterwards…now you know those commercials about drugs that you see of kids that look like complete fucking shit…yea…those are the kinds of kids that were at this rave. It was some freaky eye opening shit. I was in the middle of selling beans to someone when all of a sudden my vyvanse took control and I had some crazy realizations about my life and where it was headed. I told the guy I was selling to that I left the beans in my car and left. While walking out I grabbed my friend and told him that this all wasnt me. My parents would be proud if they saw what I was doing or what I was, that I need to get back to school with some real people.

My friend couldnt of been happier that I had told him them. He started shouting with excitement, “DUDE THAT’S THE BEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD SOMEONE SAY!! YOU KNOW HOW MANY LIVES IVE RUINED BECAUSE OF DRUGS?! I’VE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE I WAS 14 AND TO SEE YOU JUST WALK AWAY IS BLOWING MY FUCKING MIND MAN!!!” What a response. At that time it was about 7am and we had a music festival to get to in Ft Lauderdale. A 5 hour drive. I made it my last drug filled night. After that, I started to make changes. Started up on anti-depressants to help the anxiety I’ve had and tried to make all the changes in my life I had hoped to make.

I dropped videogames pretty much completely and tried to stop the drugs. Problem was, I enjoy DJing…but everyone that I wanted to work with, whether it was producing or DJing, did drugs…or was weird…which had made chasing my dream extremely fucking hard…even after I had quit playing videogames I haven’t had any trouble talking to people or girls…but I don’t know how to hang out with people and whenever I do, if we’re not having an amazing time, I think the encounter is going bad. I have a lot of acquaintances but no real friends…a lot of girls I talk to and fuck, but no real feelings for them. I felt like I had a huge challenge ahead of me…but with no one to help motivate me, it makes it really fucking hard to want it. Both my parents dont do anything and my brother and sister are just like me… Now it’s summer and I’m back to playing videogames…being playing a ton for the past month and now realize that I’m getting back into it again. I want to stop. Problem is I have absolutely no motivation to do anything else. I’m just not satisfied with anything or anyone. Shit sucks. Plus I’m going to university with no direction. I’m indecisive on what I want to do for the rest of my life. Basically I’m very frustrated because I have no sense of direction. I feel like I like a lot of different things and cant settle down on a job for just one…

ADRIAN? June 21, 2012 at 12:52 am

@Mark

Wow interesting story bro.

Well you should fill your time with different hobbies, i know this sounds plain but try different things and don’t care what others say about.

The hard thing about life is that when you do something bad and people want to know why your not successful it is hard to tell the truth.

P.S

How old are you now?

P.P.S

@Cam

You know that life story i sent you about a month or 2 back. That was only part of the truth. Soon i will post everything and i mean everything XD

good luck Mark =)

Cam June 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm

@ Shaq – Thanks for the kind words! Enjoy your vacation and stay out of trouble… but I’m super proud of you for getting to 6 months! Apparently I need to start learning a language? :)

@ Will – I really should start learning French again. I used to be fluent but I got away from it when I was younger. I fixed your comments that you asked me to.

@ Lobster – Sorry for the late response, I really do try my best to respond as quickly as possible. Reddit is a good resource but like anything, if you spend your whole day on it that isn’t healthy either. I know Reddit is a very big site with a lot of interesting information, so just be careful not to spend your whole day on it!

@ Thomas – Nice to meet you! I do have Facebook, you can add me: http://facebook.com/elekt. What is your schedule every day? Do you have one? Do you follow a calendar? Something along those lines can help if you schedule the time you are allowed to do certain activities. What are you having trouble with when it comes to making friends? Also, what struggles do you have with studying? Have you considered checking out our post on studying habits? If not, here it is: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/three-easy-ways-to-improve-studying-and-get-the-grades-you-want/ Hit me up on Facebook and I’ll try to help you out more personally.

@ Max – Amazing post. I’m very proud of you for making the decisions you have and sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage to do so. Can you send me an e-mail? cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com, I’d like to share with you some important insight I learned about myself when I found I had no motivation and didn’t care about anything else.

@ Adrian? – Thanks for continuing to check in and leave your feedback. You guys don’t understand how much I appreciate your contributions! Looking forward to the rest of your story.

Ralph June 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Well did you at least make Masters league in Starcraft?

Cam June 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Hi Ralph, thanks for commenting. I quit playing before Starcraft 2 came out.

Thomas June 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm

@cam

well i dont do that but i take the IB course so im always on my computer doing essays and PPT presentations for school projects. Once im on my computer, the temptation to play games come from there, so i found this program on the internet which doesnt let you go to certain websites for a certain amount of time :p its called ‘self restraint’ and it doesnt go off even if you restart your computer. Other things than games like youtube and facebook also disturb me badly so i used this.
Oh yeah, and its been around a week since i have read this article and i haven’t played games since. I tried to add you on facebook but i remembered that i deactivated my account after reading this LMAO XD anyway, im always reading it when i get the temptation. You have talent on motivating people, so i recommend, if you are interested that is, on writing a book on things like this. I will find it totally interesting

Jacob June 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Thanks for the article Cam. I find it cool how we’re about the same age and in the same City, with very similar circumstances.

kalin bell June 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I started gaming at a young age when i was 11, played the hell out of World of Warcraft until i was 16 then decided that i had to go cold turkey to improve my social life and family life since i was shut up in my room 12 hours a day and only came down for dinner. I quit with much success since my father also went cold turkey with me and he stopped paying for are accounts and i found it easy to handle since i did not have the choice to play. But summer has arrived and im out of school and have picked up Modern warfare 3 and play that alot. I can feel myself slipping back into my old life but i cant figure a way to get out of it. I love to skate but its 108 degrees outside everyday so an hour is the most i can spend outside. I cant find any other outlets for my energy and im going crazy. I cant slip back into the hole and i want your help. Should i just snap call of duty in half so i cant play it? or give it to a friend? i have looked online for a outlet and want to learn to play guitar but dont have money to buy one. Hope you can give me a suggestion to help me.

ADRIAN? June 23, 2012 at 4:03 am

@KALIN BELL

OMG dude im going through the same thing. I used to play call of duty black ops all day ( at least before). My user name is: APP_Adrian

It sais i have played 40 days. Which means i have played 40 days in a row. 24 hours per day bro. This is how gave up cod

1. Snap all video games

2. Use your ps3 for internet (Music, Entertainment, Educational videos)

3. Don’t waste your time

4. If you feel like gaming read a book at the library

5. If you feel like gaming leave the house

6. ???

7. Profit

gl

Cam June 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

@ Thomas – Thanks for the positive feedback. I think using the program self-restraint is an awesome idea! Remember, every day it gets easier. Nobody said it would be easy but everybody said it would be worth it. I will consider writing a book, now I just need to work on my writing. Haha!

@ Jacob – If you’re in Calgary I’d love to meet you. Send me an e-mail: cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com

@ Kalin Bell – Thank you for commenting. This is the first step towards taking your life more seriously. I definitely think getting rid of call of duty is a good idea, but remember, you need to replace the habit with another, healthier one. Maybe you could ask your parents to help you with getting a guitar? Maybe you could pick up a part-time job and start saving money to get a guitar? Those are 2 options I can think about. Other than guitar, what other activities do you have an interest in?

Marcus June 24, 2012 at 3:50 am

Hi there,

thx a lot for this really good article. Stopped Playing World of Warcraft 2 years ago and had a really good time at university and social life. Really enjoyed other things like meeting friends or playing board games together (have some drinks also, makes it really enjoyable).

Last month Diablo 3 stepped in my life and I played the shit out of it, until I realized it is just the same item grind and waste of time like WoW was. I am really into this online RPG thing and I felt how it took control over me (again). Searched a lot on the Internet until I’ve found your article and hey, it reminds me so much of myself (also played Starcraft but also Warcraft 3 really competitive).

But back to Diablo – I sold my Items, deleted my toons and quit this dumb game (which isn’t really good either^^). Now I can focus back on my bachelor’s degree :)

If you feel the need for playing – try board games. They are enjoyable and if you have some friends, who share this interest, you can have a really really good time. Combine it with some BBQ or dinner / cocktail evening :p
Also it has a huge impact on your social interaction skills, because you actually see the people you play with, instead of just using a chat-system on the internet.

By the way – sorry english is not my first language ;)

Lobster June 24, 2012 at 5:20 am

Back to Reddit. Reddit also has karma points and upvotes, can’t it be considered lika a primitive video game? I mean you post something and get karma points and upvotes as rewards. You can also say that it’s something else to fill the voids. But if you think, isn’t it like treating drug addiction with alcohol?

ANOTHERGAMER June 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I see a lot of people have quit gaming but somehow started playing games again. I wrote my story earlier so I’m not going to write all that again but here’s the thing…

…The reason we get back into gaming is because we are fucking bored with real life, online gaming is an amazing escape from reality, sad to say but I “grew up” with some of these gamers I met on the internet..3 years ago I started playing COD4 online and I made some friends, we made a team and had tons of fun over teamspeak, I quit from time to time, they did too, and went their own way, but right now, at this point, I’m talking to them on xfire and teamspeak, I came back why? Because I don’t have any friends I could hang out with, I’m not good at socializing, gaming is something I love to do, I just don’t understand why I want myself to think what I’m doing is wrong.

Anyone else feel this way?

My advise to those who want to permanently quit gaming and have a life – Sell your computer/xbox/ps3/Wii, that way you can’t go back.

Jacob June 25, 2012 at 7:43 am

ANOTHERGAMER^

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with gaming so long as it’s not inhibiting you from doing what you want to do in life.

I have been gaming all my life and I recently decided to quit because I’m in the middle of post-secondary, while working within a big company. I’d like to develop some of my own personal skills to give me an advantage when I’m done my degree.

Gaming gave me years of happiness and belonging, it even helped me meet people during my everyday life that had a similar interest. There is nothing wrong with doing something you love, as long as it’s not getting in the way of your objectives in life. Only YOU can decide if this is the case or not, not some article on the internet.

Good luck,

Zack June 26, 2012 at 5:51 am

Hey Cam! I’ve been playing video games for about 6 Years now and I always say to myself I will just play a little bit today then I always stay on for 8 hours… Do you have any advice like how to fill your day when your off from school and you can’t hang out with any of your friends?
Thanks, Zack

Cam June 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

@ Marcus – Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from each of you. Board games is a great suggestion. It’s similar to a video game but it still focuses on the social side. Most people don’t play board games alone right? I’m happy to hear you are focused again on your bachelor’s degree. Your english is very good for someone who doesn’t have it as his first language. :)

@ Lobster – I definitely think Reddit is something to keep in check and not get too carried away with. This isn’t about going from one addiction to another. It’s about replacing one bad habit with a productive one!

@ Anothergamer – I want to make it clear that I do agree with you to an extent. Like Jacob said, as long as it isn’t inhibiting you from doing what you truly want to do in life it isn’t a big deal. The problem comes in because many people who truly enjoy playing video games take that as a sign that video games are their purpose, when as I describe in the article, the reason they feel that way is because of certain areas of their life being fulfilled within video games…. when, most of them aren’t very happy playing video games day after day and want to do other things.

Something else to keep in mind is that I too had a lot of “friends” online that I held dearly to my heart (no homo). I was friends with some of them for many many years. The interesting thing was that when I quit games I didn’t feel like we had all that much in common anymore, because truthfully the only things we had in common were video games.

If you are someone who struggles with socializing and you don’t have friends you can hang out with outside of the games, I definitely think this is an area to start working on, because unfortunately, you can’t spend your whole day online away from the real world. Being social is not a choice that you have, how well you do it is. It’s a skill like everything else.

@ Jacob – Thank you for sharing your perspective with Anothergamer.

@ Zack – Thank you for commenting! What other activities have you tried? Do you have anything else like guitar, learning another language or something like that? Those are some of the suggestions people have left in the comments that have worked out for them. Sports are a great option too. A big key is to schedule your time as well. Do you use something like Google Calendar? If not, check out this post: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/how-to-use-google-calendar-to-take-your-lifestyle-to-the-next-level/

It can be tough at first but if you stick to trying new experiences and working on other skills you will be ok. :)

Lobster June 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

English isn’t my first language either. Do I sound good ? :P

Cam June 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Absolutely! :)

Lobster June 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

@Cam
Thank you! :D

sar June 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Hey, great post! I’m just like you were. I’ve had a gaming addiction for a very long time. Hopefully I will get out of it soon! The challenge, constant growth and competitive nature of it all always drags you in.

Cam June 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Hey Sar! Thanks for coming by and commenting. You sound like you’re on the right path. Find some new activities and you’ll have no trouble with it!

Christopher July 4, 2012 at 10:02 am

Hey there. Love the article, I was google searching for something else, but this came up, so gave it a look. I think you should add a step though, or at least give it some consideration. I personelly consider myself a casual gamer, but have had plenty of hardcore gaming in my past. I previously played anything I could get my hands on, but after high school, I was too busy to dedicate too much time to it. I double majored in chemical engineering and physics, but still played a good amount of World of Warcraft in college, and ran my own guild.

The cold turkey method is great, for a time, especially to start out. Lets face it, playing games is enjoyable. For anything in life, giving up something fun completely is just as insane as playing too much. If you simply replace the one addiction with another addiction such as playing in a band with others, you really have the same problem, just a different outlet. We are wired to have fun. What you really should do is try to balance different hobbies instead of just 1, and not giving up anything completely.

For me, graduating college, moving, and starting my career forced a period of cold turkey, and it taught me a good lesson. I actually like having time to do other things. I attempted playing World of Warcraft 3 different time since then, but it just turned into a short term thing and I quit again. Having a baby also impacted my time for gaming. Now I play Starcraft 2, but casually. I play 1-2 game a week, and sometimes skip a week. When I first started playing against people on the ladder, I spent extra time reading strategies and learning the game, and now I dont. As a casual player, I perfected 1 build for the first 8 minutes of the game, then react to what the enemy is doing after that. I have other hobbies I give attention to as well: reading, lockpicking, drumming (I was state champion in high school), watching movies/shows, playing with my son (who keeps making me play skylanders with him, so I give him about 2 sessions a week where we play it together).

The long-term key was not cold turkey, but I think it is a necessary step to get a reboot. After that, the long-term fix is balance. Dedicate attention to multiple hobbies, and improve yourself in multiple areas. You become more well-rounded, and are not overly obsessive on anything. If you go more than 2 weeks of hardcore studying/playing when you pick up a new hobby, you then need to start scaling back. Anytime I start something new, there is a learning curve to get up and running, which means other hobbies temporarily stop. Plan for this learning curve, set a date, then spread back out to other hobbies. Balance is the key, “never touching it again” is not. Thanks!

Cam July 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Hi Christopher! Everything you said is true. I think going back to gaming is ok within balance. The only problem is that the vast majority of people that need to quit gaming (such as the ones who read this article) have a hard time understanding when the right time for balance is. Once they’ve quit cold turkey and developed other interests, it’s easy to go back to games and be balanced with it, because your life is now in balance.

However telling people this sometimes can actually hurt their progress, because they believe they’ve achieved balance much sooner than they have and thus, fall back into the same bad habits again. I remember when my cousin went to a rehab center to recover from an addiction to alcohol. When he came out he looked and sounded great, but one thing really struck me wrong: the doctors had told me he would be allowed to drink again – casually.

Hearing this I knew was the worst thing for him to hear. And to no ones surprise, within 2-3 weeks he was back drinking “casually”, and quickly that turned into drinking more heavily again like before. 2 months in rehab down the drain.

I don’t think the advice you have is wrong by any means, I just wonder if the message you are trying to communicate could be interpreted effectively by the audience reading the post, instead of someone coming to that conclusion on their own once they’ve already achieved balance. Many things to consider for sure.

Thanks for your feedback.

Eijas July 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

This is by far the best advice & most practical advice on how to quit Dota forever. Need to fill the void!

Cam July 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Hey EIJAS! Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you found value in it. :)

Marcus July 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Great great article.
I’m trying to quit playing video games and focus more on my guitar playing. But I dont know if I can let go of the games. I find myself browsing for games and Pc parts to buy. Instead I should sell the Pc and buy guitar stuff instead. Any advice you can give me? I feel I can acomplish more playing guitar and its something ive always loved doing. But games ar getting in my ways of practising and fullfilling my dreams of starting a band.

Rob July 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

This is an excellent piece, been struggling the past week with thoughts of “logging in” I even installed the beta invite for Dota 2 tonight thinking that it would be a better alternative, time wise, than WoW/Rift. Started playing for 10 mins logged out and found this web page.

Cold turkey or nothing, that’s the only way I work. I can’t have just one cigarette, or one game, I need the whole pack.

Sucks! but it is what it is.

Thanks

ANOTHERGAMER July 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hey Cam, I have already read and commented this article a few times before I just have to ask about few more things if you dont mind :) I find myself more similar to you than anyone else who has commented on this article, like you, I was highest level in terms of skill at the game I played (COD4:Promod) I have quit gaming for long periods of time and got back into it, but when I make the commitment to quit, I really do, that, I am really proud of myself, but the problem is I get back to gaming when I am frustrated with reality..

1. Do you have any tips on how to resist the temptation to play video games? I’m doing a degree on business, believe it or not I started a foundation course in an university at the age of 16 and I started 1st year of uni at the age of 17 because of my qualifications, age is on my side in what I want to achieve that is graduating at the age of 21 or before, and finishing my masters degree before 24. I have these goals but I think you already know what I’m about to ask.. when I quit games and study hard I get top marks..but I ask myself then “Fuck this, why cant I have some fun” and I start playing games, What activities do you recommend that I do to kill off time ?

2. I’m 18 right now and I have been single all my life, I have received compliments on my looks and I’d consider myself to be a decent looking guy, but I lack confidence when I talk to girls..a lot of my friends are in relationships and I get depressed when I can’t find a girlfriend. I’m horrified to ask a girl out with the fear of rejection..ikr I’m a fucking coward. What’s the advise you can give me here? Thanks again :)

Sergi July 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

Not playing videogames in this day and age is as stupid as saying “I don’t watch movies” well, you would be missing out on something. Videogames are the best kind of entertainment we have today. I mean home entertainment. It’s much better than watching TV. Yes there are other things to do. Today I have noone to go out with, I have went for an hour run and did a lot of exercise so the rest of the day I’m gonna play videogames, why the hell not?

Sergi July 9, 2012 at 11:29 am

Also this idiot is suggesting to stop playing videogames, something we love to attract women? OMFG, get some self esteem, keep doing what you like and if they don’t like it fuck them. Stop telling men to not be men just to attract women, they are the ones who need to understand that men are men, we won’t fuckiing change because a few idiots think a misandrist society is the way to go. Please.

Theinterwebs July 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I think you’re missing the point, Sergi. This article isn’t made to dissuade people from playing them at all, in fact it’s written for an audience who is too bent on its consumption during their everyday lives. People who play for hours and hours, and ultimately whose productivity decreases as a result. For them, it’s time for a change of lifestyle, which is precisely what this site specializes in. Now it’s fine for the average man or woman to enjoy this form of entertainment without reducing one’s daily productivity or capacity for maintaining healthy relationships, but when that fine line between balance and overconsumption manages to be crossed is when this particular article assists those seeking to rebalance their life.

Now in regards to your previous comments, maybe you’re right Sergi. I can’t say, as that doesn’t apply to me in particular, but try not to resort to personal insults to further your own argument. There are lots of people here trying to seek a healthier balance in life. Maybe you should help those Cam isn’t able to at the moment?

Jon July 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm

God I hope this works. Ive been sabotaging my work ever since middle school. I am now a senior in college. Its like an itch that can’t be scratched, all I want to do is play. I’m going to make a damn good effort to quit for good because I can’t keep doing this to myself. I cannot keep hurting my future and my social life. I have high aspirations but I keep fucking myself over. It kills me, but I keep repeating my mistakes. I’m no longer going to play video games. This is the fucking end, July 9th, 2012, the day of reckoning. Bring on the junkie itch. Bring on the pain, this is fucking go time. Wish my luck ladies and gentlemen.

Cam July 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thank you everyone for taking the time to leave your feedback. I appreciate it all very much!

@ Marcus – Thank you! Guitar is a great skill to develop. Do you play guitar with anybody right now? That would be a really good start. Find some friends who play guitar too and start jamming together. You don’t need to start a band right away but simply jamming with other guys is a good start. Do you hang out where other guitar players hang out? (Music stores, rock shows, etc?) Get involved in the guitar community. Find forums online about guitar and all that jazz. Set some goals and start working towards them. When do you want to form a band by? Where is your skill level right now and where do you want to progress it to?

@ Rob – Thank you! Cold turkey is the best way. Best of luck! You can do it.

@ Anothergamer – What frustrates you about reality? This would be important to identify in order to be able to move forward. If this is where you tend to get stuck, how could we fix it? Having fun is important. Just what you have identified is that having fun by playing games isn’t the productive activity you want to do. How else do you have fun? What other hobbies could you try? I know you’ve heard me say this a million times but it’s because it works. You NEED to have fun too, you can’t just study every day all day. You need that time to relax. So what do you spend your time on to relax right now? Also, something to keep in mind, is that although you are young, don’t view this as an excuse! Being young and as driven as you appear to be is a BLESSING. If you get your life together right now, when you are young, you’ll be glad you did when you’re older. Believe me! I started my own business when I was 19 and now I’m 24 with a successful business of 5 years. Compared to most other 24 year olds, they aren’t doing the things I’m doing. AND I LOVE IT. Don’t wait until you’re older to start living your dreams. Start now. Also, don’t focus on getting a girlfriend. Focus first on just meeting and having some female friends. There’s no rush to get a girlfriend. Being depressed because you don’t have a girlfriend is being attached to the outcome. Once you have the outcome you will feel better right? But what about if you break up? Will you be depressed again? This isn’t the type of cycle that is healthy. You must be INDEPENDENT of these outcomes in order to succeed.

@ Sergi – Thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback. Like “theinterwebs” mentioned, I think your expectation of the post is different than what it is. The post isn’t to tell people to stop playing games (although, I do think it’s a good thing), the post is for people LOOKING TO QUIT and don’t know how. It’s to a different audience. Maybe you aren’t looking to quit and that’s fine. Maybe spending your day working out for an hour and then playing games is exactly what you want out of life, and that’s awesome. But not everybody is like that right? This article is for those people. Best of luck to you!

@ Theinterwebs – Thank you for taking the time to help with comments. I appreciate it a lot. I think you nailed it perfectly.

@ Jon – Hi Jon! Best of luck! You can do it. Remember, the pain you will feel from *not* playing video games is significantly lower than the pain you have from how much you sabotage your life when you do play them! This is significant! You can do it, I believe in you.

Chris July 15, 2012 at 12:36 am

You know, a few days ago it’s finally hit me to stop playing video games. I’ve already begun to sell all my consoles and games and have decided to purchase a handy camera with the money. I feel like this will thoroughly influence my future in a positive manner and I will be able to move on with everything else that I want to do. I can finally start reading and training for an Iron Man. I can start becoming cultured and feel like I’m worth something to women. Nostalgia has been hitting me and reading your article just made me that much sure of what I’m doing is the right thing to do. I’m so glad that there are others who have done what I’m doing now and have succeeded so much in life. Thank you for your strong words, and kudos on continuing to respond to all of the comments here. It’s truly a wonderful thing you’re doing by personally urging people on! Continue having a great life!

Dirtyauction July 15, 2012 at 4:08 am

So it has been a while since i last posted. I no longer work fpr gamestop, been cold turkey for games for about four weeks. Feels hepatitis good. I now go spend more time with family and go out bowling or to the movies now. I am 25 and a total of about 4 years has been with games. If anyone needs ideas or help getting out of the gaming life just respond to my post I am always reading updates and posts. Later.

Cam July 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Hey Chris! Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. You’re on the right path, you’re now making the right decisions. Enjoy the ride!

@ Dirtyauction, happy to hear that the progress you have made has been rewarding for you! Also appreciate that you’re willing to give back and help others too, it’s a very good trait to have! :)

jake July 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

“There’s nothin’ like the rush of hunting people down and killing them” – FPS Doug
“You’re either pro or noob, that’s life” – Athene

Where’s your desire to pwn noobs. Have you completely lost your mind ? The noobs are waiting for us, what are we gonna do, DJ and talk with friends about it ?

For me, i’m passionate about smokin’ bud, pwning noobs, and getting big crits. I make online friends in the process.

Yeah, I like music, eating, sleeping, playing instruments, talking to friends, and I even enjoy working jobs. What’s the matter with being a gamer who pwns some of the time, and studies/socializes the rest of the time ?

You didn’t even mention other pro gamers besides yourself.

Where’s your #1 hunter now ? Just wasting away, wishing you would play him and start being number one again.

If you spent so much time (16+ hours a day) playing these games, what have you got to show for it ? Friends and DJing music are great, but at the end of the day, you haven’t pwnt anyone and you sure as hell haven’t done something you’re truly good at.

You talk about being busy all the time. What could possibly be more relaxing than a game of pwning some noobs — it’s exciting and more thrilling than any DJ session or whatever you’re doing in your busy time.

To me, this whole article just sounds like an excuse : “I’m weak and can’t make time for video games anymore.”

I’ve played WoW, CoD, BF2, sc2, dota, hon, lol, TF2, and plenty more since I was 13. Now, i’m 21 and I quit WoW two months ago. I’m having huge desires to play again because I want to pwn noobs and play with my online friends so bad. Reading your article made me think about all the weaklings out there just waiting to get stomped. Pwning has become a part of my lifestyle, and I can’t just give it up completely like you talk about in your article.

Good luck to you, and I think it’s just unfortunate that the online community lost such a great gamer as yourself.

Cam July 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Keep pwnin’ Jake. :)

zachary July 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I really appreciate the help with this addiction. It has been about a month since I touched a game controller.

Cam July 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thank you for commenting Zachary! Congratulations on your first month. Enjoy your journey, life can be so much better than it was!

Jason July 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

This was a great read. I’ve known that I was addicted to video games at a very early age, starting with the first day I ever played Centipede on my dad’s atari. I started doing poorly in school, I stopped playing flag football and baseball, I stopped playing outside. It’s been 15 years now, and I’m still heavily addicted to video games. I still manage to get out and do some things with friends, but most of them have grown and gone their separate ways.

I’m really just posting this to let the young teenagers reading this know just how serious an addiction like this can get. You will watch all of your peers slowly get ahead of you. Your close friends will get a life, a good job, and start a family. You’ll be left with nothing but your online friends and the closest friends that would stand by you through anything. It’s a pretty harsh reality. I wouldn’t say that it’s too late to break your addiction, but it only gets harder as time goes on.

Since I played video games and did nothing else throughout my entire social developmental stage, I’m left with subpar social skills. It makes job interviews more difficult. It makes getting rejected a stronger possibility. Many things that snowball to create a feeling of worthlessness. When you feel worthless, you start to no longer love yourself and you lose all motivation to progress in life. This perpetuates a continual downward spiral. It may get to the point where you don’t want to leave your virtual world, and that makes it harder to find things you truly enjoy.

When friends or family ask me what is it that I like to do, the only answers I can give them are sleeping and playing games. Imagine if the happiest moments of your life were confined to playing video games and not having to deal with anything else via sleep. You’ve got a long life ahead. Far too much time to deal with not being happy. It’s worth thinking about the future since it’s all you’ve got, and video games will not bring you to a happy future.

I know that my life can only get better, but the motivation to do so just isn’t there and time’s only making it worse. Sorry this was such a depressing post, I just felt the need to get this off my chest in the hopes that it might help someone in a similar situation.

Eddie Emerson July 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm

This article is the best one on quitting gaming FOR GOOD. I started to stop for one day, then a few days, then a week, then a month.It was damn hard but believe it or not, I actually started to lose interest in gaming. I eventually sold by Xbox! I started to play real basketball in a local league, and I’m one of the top players now. If I didn’t read this article, I would still game and I would have never found out that I was actually a really good ball player. You are one of the people who changed my life, this is the most inspiring article I’ve read on the web. Thank you, thank you for everything…sob…

Tim July 28, 2012 at 5:03 am

This article is interesting. Does nobody else see what’s going on here? You’re just replacing one meaningless escape from reality with another one, seemingly only because society thinks the new one is ‘cooler’ and more acceptable. Video game addiction too nerdy? Why not get addicted to picking up women instead?

I don’t want this to sound scathing, this is me genuinely questioning. Let’s take a look at the four things you highlighted:

A temporary escape
Constant measurable growth
A challenge
Social

I think these are all fair factors in video game addiction (by which I mean – they match my experience), except possibly the last one. I don’t think playing video games really counts as social, unless you’re playing a football or racing game or something with some friends physically there next to you playing on one screen and laughing about. But you might have meant that and I misunderstood.

I actually would change the last one to ‘alone-time’ or whatever. For me, it’s that I’m selfish with my time. If you had a genuine desire to be social, you would have spent time with your girlfriend, not gone online with people you don’t REALLY talk to, just swap spells with or whatever.

Isn’t the issue here those desires? Your article helpfully brings them out, but then instead of tearing them down, we try to replace what we do to gain them? Huh?!

A temporary escape
Constant measurable growth
A challenge
Alone-ness

Temporary escapes? Why do we need those?
Constant measurable growth? Yet another burden of our society I think… Unconditional love tears this apart. Why are we so competitive with each other?
A challenge – this one is good I guess, and this is the one reason I don’t think video games are bad in and of themselves. If they are relaxing and fun, and we learn about ourselves/the world from them, then great. Same reason a movie, or a rubix cube aren’t bad. It’s when we abuse those things I suppose…
Alone-ness – think this one hits hard. It’s precisely because we have destroyed real relationships/friendships that we don’t know what social is anymore, so we think swapping spells and talking about world of warcraft is social. Why can’t we genuinely interact with each other?

Thoughts anyone?

Cam July 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

@ Jason – Thanks for taking the time to read this and leave your feedback. Your message is important. Thank you for sharing it! I don’t think the post was depressing at all. If anything it was uplifting because you shared with everyone that there are other options out there than a life full of video game addiction.

@ Eddie – Thank you for commenting! I appreciate the compliment. Stopping the addiction is very difficult so you have earned my respect for your perseverance! I’m happy to have been able to help guide you!

@ Tim – First I just want to say thank you for leaving your feedback. Although anything in this life could be defined as a meaningless escape, I do not believe this is what I have done. There is potential for their to be a degree of truth that I did this initially, but over time my life has moved in a direction where I am more in line with what I ACTUALLY want to do with my life. There is nothing wrong with playing video games all day long if that’s what you truly desire, however 99% of people commenting on this post are stating it is NOT what they desire. It’s something they do out of habit and because they don’t know how to change their situation. Breaking away from video games is a catalyst to opening up our eyes to finding what it is that we actually want to do with our time, instead of being a prisoner of our own addiction.

Social is anything you interact with. Even if you play video games by yourself you are interacting with the video game, however, for clarity sake, in the article I was implying multiplayer gaming.

The 4 points I list aren’t negatives. They are motivations. I was motivated to play video games because it was social, an escape (meaning, it gave me a break, it helped relax me, etc), it gave me a way to see growth and it was challenging. None of these things are bad (at least within reason and balance). It’s not that we NEED them, it’s that they are motivating factors behind the scenes. You don’t NEED to have constant measurable growth, but then again, you don’t need the clothes you’re wearing right? The goal here isn’t to label things as good or bad, it’s to bring awareness so people can make the decision they want to make for themselves.

I think a desire for genuine interactions with each other is absolutely what we should pursue. Many people who have commented have talked about how they don’t know how to socialize, and it’s a major reason why they play video games instead. The mission of Kingpin Social is to help people understand (and then be able to implement) the social side of their life. Many many things are relative to each individual person though, and of course, this post is completely irrelevant if someone doesn’t actually want to stop playing. However as many people have testified in the comments, if they ARE looking to quit, this gives them an avenue. Success is not defined here by them going from one addiction to another. It’s defined by them living a life that brings them more happiness, joy and fulfillment. Balance in life is a great way to achieve these.

Paul August 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Hey man I liked your article I’ve been extremely addicted to quake live (quake 3, 4 and qwet) I’m just tired of that game being all I do. I use to have friends and I was good with people but, now seems like I practice this game more than life :( I’ve stopped for 4 monthes only because I was away and had no internet, and now I’m playing again…. I want it to stop

Michael August 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Hey Cam,

First of I want to say very nice article! I can see what you’re trying to say and I totally agree with you.

I too am/was a video game addict and I do feel I should stop it but there are a couple things blocking me from doing so. My parents are always talking about doing something else because I spend 8 hours a day playing video games but I really cannot figure what to do. I’m the type of guy who’s not really with the “popular kids”, instead I have my own group of friends so to speak and they are gamers as well. So things like going to the mall and or loitering (I guess? lol what do teenagers do I don’t even know) are not really my type of thing. I try doing sports, and I know I have not tried all of them but the ones like soccer, basketball, hockey seem to be going OK with me. The point is I need some help on FINDING what I love to do which I have not exactly discovered.

Do you have any tips on what I can do to help myself find something I love to do? Or would that be something I have to do myself?

dan August 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Hey Cam, great article but I have a question. I am considering selling my ps3 and buying a laptop for building my own games. Do you think this is solving the problem or just a way that I am making myself feel like I am remedying my situation?
I understand that buidling video games could be an addiction as well, but would you consider it more productive since you do learn things like programming and 3d modeling?
Thanks.

Rob C August 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I play way too many video games because I don’t have any passions. I know there is a better way to live, but changing is difficult when playing computer games is so easy. I have a wife and a 5-year old son and am fortunate to have them. Playing too many computer games contributes to my selfish behavior – I don’t pitch in enough around the house and let life keep sliding by. I know there is a better way. Thanks for the article Cam. It gives me hope that I will eventually find the strength to change and take responsibility for living my life instead of just muddling through it. I hope I can do it sooner rather than later.

Rob C August 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm

@ Michael: I’m a 42-year old guy who still hasn’t found any passions, so I can’t offer any advice – but I can tell you that you aren’t alone in your struggle. I have read countless self help books and don’t feel any closer to finding something. My difficulty in trying new things and putting myself out there in different ways is surely an obstacle. Try not to let that be your obstacle too. Good luck!

Cam August 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Hey Paul! Thanks for commenting. When you stopped for 4 months, why’d you go back to playing again? What did you spend your time doing instead during those 4 months? Why do you feel like it failed?

Hey Michael! Thank you also for commenting. I love hearing from each of you. Finding your passion is definitely important. Consider writing down a bucket list – things you’ve always wanted to do but have never done. For me that included things like learning piano, making music, travelling, becoming flexible, being in great physical shape, reading books, etc. This helped give me some direction for things I’d enjoy. DJing was also on the list. Another great post to definitely check out is by Alden Tan on how to find passion: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/4-step-guide-on-how-to-find-passion/

Hey Dan! Thank you! I think it can be more productive for sure, as long as you keep everything in check. I could see how it would be easy to use that as an excuse to play a lot more games, BUT, it doesn’t have to be like that. The passion of video games isn’t the problem, it’s the amount we play them that is.

Hey Rob! Thanks for coming by and leaving your feedback for others as well. You can do better RIGHT NOW. Remember, everybody always says doing the right things is easy. But the reason they’re so hard to do is because they are equally as easy to NOT do. A great book to read on this subject is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Check it out, I bet it will help! I’d also recommend the bucket list idea to you. This will give you a huge list of things you’ve always wanted to try, and then you just need to have the courage to do them. Start with easy ones if you need to and work your way up!

Rob C August 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm

@Cam: Thanks for the book recommendation. I just downloaded the sample to my Kindle now. Take care!

Ollie August 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Hi Cam,

I must say what an article, thanks for the advice! It’s really knocked some sense into me. I’ve been playing the 360 past 4-5 years, playing around 90 odd games with just under 28,000 gamerscore.. it’s really quite sad! I’ve met some good friends on Xbox Live but I’ll have to say “goodbye” at some point, as this nonsense needs to stop, I’ll have to force myself.

But I’ve recently purchased a PS3 in a bid to slow my gaming down, 360 was addictive because of it’s online service. PSN is apparently not so good, so I’m sure it’ll slow me down and lure me off the console and SP don’t last long in games these days.

I had a deep think about my current games situation, and realised I should be out there doing other things like running, cycling, being more sociable. I’m 21 now and SHOULD BE LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX!

Cheers again Cam, very much appreciated.
Take care :)

Cam August 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Hey Ollie! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback. Better to realize this now and make changes than wait 10 more years! You’re still young, go make the most of it! (BUT, don’t use the fact that you’re young as an excuse to stagnate!) Good luck, let me know any way I can help you out!

randomdude August 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I don’t get why should I stop playing games especially if I got like nothing to do what I like, I like to play games, as you said “pure enjoyment of gaming” isn’t it something worthy? I mean very essense even of life is nothing and thus nothing in it carries any sense while the fun is about to have sense. Say someone got job/is studying, what he can do except it? Everything is just has no sense to do, totally. Why not escape from life and have some fun? You say do something like: learning to play guitar/pick-up girls, but really is it something better than just playing? You DON’T NEED all this shit and it’s not even profitable, so playing is kinda safe and harmless aren’t it? Well my problem is I got quite nothing worthy to do except playing sometimes.

Markus August 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Thank you soooooo much forth is I have a major addiction ever since I was 8 15 now I played video games 15-20 hours a day sometimes not sleeping today my mom had a talk saying if I didn’t get off she would sell them and it terrified me I went in my bedroom and cried! I was so desperate I looked at the Internet for an awnser and they all says the same thing exercise limit ur time, well I already tried that and oh guess what it just made it worse for a week I was on the computer 23 hours a day I fell extremely sick of the lack of sleep and the doctor wanted to no why I wasent sleeping I had to tell the truth so I told him (with my mom near by) I played video game he told me what everything els does limit your time IT DOSENT FUCKING WORK!
So I saw ur article and man that’s intense it really moved me I have also been trying to loose weight as I am 15 weighing 210 and no advice ever worked but yours I’m gonna spread this to my friends because you really changed my life and Probly saved it thank you so much
Kind regards
-markus

randomdude August 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Must note that: who plays WoW and cs? Retards! Who plays games almost all day? Retards! Who has fun from playing crappy game whole day? Retards!

Doktor Jeep August 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Interesting article. I must say that I worked at video game addiction from the wrong direction: have so much to do in the meantime that in order to play I would have to go out of my way to do it, but still tried at least. So the idea of “filling the void” as a means to quitting video games is valid, and probably the least difficult.

In many respects, if you stick to the concept of “why am I doing this so much?” instead of “I just need to use sheer willpower to stop”, you can quit just about any “addiction”. I knew a drug couselor who was very successful at getting teenagers off drugs by addressing why they were going to the drugs in the first place and putting less energy into just stopping the intake.

I have played COD2 since it came out, but maybe for an hour at most in a day. I actually have to force myself, because I am so busy I don’t otherwise relax. Go in, smack a few heads, log out. Been killing the same people for years.

The advice in this article is sound. I have lived it. Get out the door and find other things to do. The hold that the electronic world has on you is not as strong as you think once what feeds that hold is denied. When I hear of people playing for hours upon hours a day, I think “heck, wish I had that kind of time”.

Spencer August 8, 2012 at 7:03 am

I’ve played video game pretty much all my life. You can still play just don’t let it overtake you. It’s stupid to give up something you like doing. Playing for 16 hours a day every day at one point you say? You have so self control at all. I intend to play for as much of my life as possible.

I like video gaming a lot but I have other things I can do. Control your impulses and you’re fine.

Cam August 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

@ Randomdude – Thanks for commenting man. If video games is what makes you feel fulfilled than that’s absolutely what you should do. But the point I feel like you’re missing in this post is that all the guys commenting on this post are saying they DON’T want to continue playing games, because it doesn’t actually make them happy. But yet they can’t quit and don’t know why. This is what I’ve explained in the post – the reasons why they keep playing. That’s why as soon as they find other activities that they actually enjoy and gain fulfillment from, they no longer want to play video games. If this person isn’t you, continue playing of course! But like you said, all you do is play games and you have nothing else to do, which is why you play games. So I’m unsure what you disagree with? Technically, you don’t need to do anything at all. You can go be a monk on a mountain and just meditate all day long starring at the sky doing nothing at all. Who cares right? But my goal isn’t to be a monk on a mountain, and neither are the 300+ guys who have commented on this article.

@ Markus – Thank you for commenting! I’m glad you were able to find value in it. Best of luck! I recommend reading books like the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and Mastery by George Leonard. They will help you!

@ Doktor Jeep – Thank you for commenting. I definitely agree with your input on filling the void. It can be a step in the right direction but the types of activities you fill your time with is also very important. You have to find activities that you truly enjoy and become fulfilled by doing. Ones that make you more inspired to live life to the fullest every day.

@ Spencer – Thank you for commenting. Everything in moderation is fine. I’m not against video games, and think if you can keep it in balance it’s completely fine. That’s the part that 99% of guys addicted to video games have trouble with though, and that’s that they can’t actually manage it properly. I’m happy to hear that you can! :)

Limb August 9, 2012 at 3:51 am

The biggest problem of getting over a video game addiction is being in denial.

Shaq August 10, 2012 at 4:22 am

Cam! I thought it be about time I gave you an update :)
God where to start!
I feel I have changed utterly and completely. I am a totally different person, and it’s all thanks to you and this incredible article.
I am doing really well at school! I stuck at it and it’s paying off. Because I had all that free time (time usually spent playing games), I actually did the homework, went over my notes, and remembered the stuff at home.
I have picked up a couple of new skills! Like I said, i’m learning Irish Gaelic, which is bloody awesome. I’ve just started learning Guitar and I attend Toastmasters (a programme aimed to better public/impromptu speaking) every week.
I’m socially confident, I can drift from group to group and get on with everyone. You don’t know how much this has changed my life.

I hit a few speedbumps along the way, of course. About two months ago I found myself playing a game called Dragonfable. I don’t know the reasoning behind it. It was probably because of the ease of access, and anonymity you had while on there. Anyway, it wasn’t good. It lasted for two weeks, then my sister found out and killed the internet for the next week and a half. Taught me a lesson. All the while playing, I felt guilty. Like I was cheating myself. I assume it’s the same feeling people get while smoking or drinking? someone enlighten me :)

I also found quite a lot of the time while at home (and not doing homework) I would be social networking. About three weeks ago I recently got quite addicted to the site Tumblr, i’m sure you know of it. It grabbed me and didn’t let me go for about 7 days. I was stuck inside it, trying to get more followers/learn html/rip coding off others. It almost was as bad as gaming.

Anyone else having the same problem? Because I started falling behind again, I decided to “squish the bug before it reared it’s head”. I found this programme amazing, especially for teenagers with end of year exams looming who find it hard to study. Try it out, it works like a charm :)
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji
It basically is a blocker of websites. Really handy for Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Youtube!

By the way Cam, for my Graphic Design subject at school, I actually have been designing an Anti-Computer gaming campaign. Could I possibly email you my brand and get a bit of feedback? All my contacts got deleted, what was it again? Would be excellent for referencing and stuff :)

I am amazed you’ve continued to support everyone else during the course of this article too Cam, you are one of a kind. Well done
go raibh maith agat bud!

Cam August 10, 2012 at 9:51 am

@ Limb – I definitely agree that accepting where you are at is crucially important in order to grow! You can’t grow from somewhere you’re not.

@ Shaq – Stoked to hear about your progress! I’m very happy to hear your progress at school has been good. This is something hard to understand earlier in your life but I can tell you from experience, doing well in school is never something you will regret. The opposite however is definitely leaving things up to chance, so please continue to work hard at it. School opens many doors you won’t be able to see right now, but even more so, teaches you valuable traits like work ethic, focus and perseverance.

I’m also relieved to hear that you’re also doing well on the social side. Toastmasters was a great idea. I will use you as an example in recommending Toastmasters to other people that need to become more socially confident but may not be able to afford my 1 on 1 coaching.

Self-esteem is defined as one’s pride within themselves. So when you aren’t doing the things you say you are going to do when you say you’re going to do them you feel bad, and this hurts your self-esteem. This is the feeling of guilt you felt while playing Dragonfable. You felt guilt because you knew you were going against the word you had with yourself, and you are correct that this is a similar feeling to smoking and drinking.

Site blockers are great, thank you for the link. If coding is something you are interested in learning, check out codeacademy.com. It teaches you how to code by building games. You can definitely e-mail me! cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com. One last thing: If you are finding yourself having too many open blocks of free time to get sucked into things like social networking, dragonfable, etc, consider setting up Google Calendar and scheduling your time more effectively. I put everything from my reading time to my time to work on graphic design, to learning a language and my school time. Of course I also schedule my free time so I’m not just working 24/7. Check out this post: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/how-to-use-google-calendar-to-take-your-lifestyle-to-the-next-level/ Using Google Calendar changed my life completely. Maybe it’s what you need to take things to the next level!

randomdude August 11, 2012 at 4:24 am

Ok then I had no idea that someone that gets totally no profit from gaming(not even some fun) wouldn’t stop doing it.

mel August 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Oh my gosh, I am literally in tears while reading this article and your comments. I’ve been trying to get my husband of over 10 years to understand how badly his addiction to video games is destroying him and our marriage but he doesn’t get it. Maybe ill send him this article and hope he reads it. I’m so tired of competing with a game. I’m at my wits end. Thank you for this insightful article. I will come back to read more of your comments after I have a good cry. It’s midnight and he’s still up playing warcraft instead of coming to bed with me. I’m so ticked off and tired of it.

Shaq August 13, 2012 at 2:51 am

Oh shit Mel, honestly send him here. It has helped me so so much, and my friends also. My family had to put up with my midnight sessions for years, and now I see how much it had hurt our family unit. Trust me, it’ll change him.
By the way Cam, thanks for that!
I realised that a little while ago eh, like, that you’ll be judged on your school results even when your an adult.
Mean! If you need I have an Email too, so I can share some experiences with them personally if you don’t have the time?
Ahh that explains it. Like, I knew it was a time-waster, and the time could be spent learning new things.
Yeah bro i’ll definately give it a go! Can you attach it to your mobile too? Because that’ll be really handy.
Honestly though, the thing that inspires me, and i’m sure others, is the Olympics that’s just about to finish.
Makes me want to get out there and run/throw/jump/sail etc. Funny how that stuff works eh? Like in school, when they put in the hard yards they reap the results.
SUCH a shame about Canada though… ;)
NEW ZEALAND 5-3-5 :D
IRELAND 1-1-3 :D

Cam August 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

@Mel: Thank you for posting your comment! I hope this article is able to help your husband. Remember, someone needs to want help before they are able to receive it. But maybe this is a step in the right direction. I wish you and your husband the best of luck!

@ Shaq – Google Calendar is compatible with many mobile devices. I have mine sync’d to my iPhone and it is awesome! Any time I make plans with a friend or see a cool event or have an idea for something to do, I whip out my phone and put it in right away. I also always check my calendar before I go to bed and in the morning as well, just in case I forget I have something planned.

Shame about Canada indeed but we are more of a Winter Olympics country than Summer. But that’s no excuse for our poor performance. The problem is our Government doesn’t put very much money into Olympic athletes so it’s hard for them to train as much as they need to, since most of them have to have jobs too. Hopefully the Government continues to put more money into Olympic athletes over the years.

Dustinsanity August 16, 2012 at 3:05 am

Hi. I’m a 27 year old addict to League of Legends and Grand Fantasia. Grand Fantasia has been my escape form the rage that League of Legends induces for lack of what I label as “Skilled Teammates.” When I play League, it’s a temporary escape from all the badgering I go through during the day from customers or family, depending on which of the two are heavier, if anything. Mostly, I play out of sheer boredom and lack of drive to do anything else. I’ll play all night and all day when I can, especially on days where it’s a work day with a day off next day after. I’ll play from morning, to night, into next morning, forego my own appetite, and fall asleep. During that sleep, I’ll sleep so long that I forego yet another set of hours where I would otherwise be awake and eat. This often gives me migraines and nausea, obviously because well, there’s nothing in my stomach except for stomach acid. This is obviously telling signs of a true addict.

I’ve been playing League since almost beta, and I have an embarrassingly high number of losses over wins, and with that knowledge, having over 1850 wins isn’t even impressive. I’ve told myself time and time again that I just need to practice and improve my micromanagement skills and I’ll become an overall better player, which will cause me to rage less, which will cause me to win more, which will cause me to become more confident and play ranked, which will cause me to rage more because the trolls and bad players and bad plays happen at every ranking latter in equal servings.

League of Legends was my escape from my addiction to Magic: The Gathering – A money sucker that had its clenches on me for over 7 years, at least. I played from Urza’s Legacy all the way to Betrayers of Kamigawa. It took my cards being stolen to stop playing and “investing” in that game. Then I find myself playing League, a FREE TO PLAY game in a genre I didn’t even know existed until my friend introduced me to it, and I find myself spending real live cash from my debit card just to LOOK COOL while I play poorly and insult everyone. It’s retarded at best and I never knew why it even fulfilled any sort of desire I had.

The reasons why I don’t outright QUIT League of Legends is that winning in that game, even if it’s a close match feels great to my ego and makes me feel like I’ve helped accomplished something big – “Working as intended.” Well, this supports my want for more skins and features to pay for, for no actual non-aesthetic reason. Maybe I’m just a collector at heart. But that’s a dumb reason to invest actual money into a game I actually suck at. =/

I work at Walmart as a cashier, my car is dead and needs to be sold, I lost my title, I can’t afford to buy a new one, I come home wanting to kill something after work because my superiors are so dumb and bad at solving customer problems, and I’m always angry – if not from work, then as the result of playing League of Legends or Grand Fantasia – It is SO HARD TO LEVEL in that game without dying a million times or botting. I hate it. But I’m an addict to what I see as “semantically effortless self-improvement.”

I used to spend all my time playing drums instead of playing video games, and when I couldn’t play, I’d play Super Smash Bros. Melee, Soul Calibur III, or some action shooter like Siphon Filter.

I need some incentive to just stop playing and do something else with my time, rather than just refill my rage meter. >:C

Cam August 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Hey Dustinsanity!

Thanks for stopping in and leaving your comment. What activities would you do if you could? What job would you have if you could? These are the right types of questions to ask, because you can work towards those. I think you’ll enjoy these posts, so check them out and let me know what you think:

Social Dynamics is the Ultimate Video Game
http://kingpinlifestyle.com/social-dynamics-is-the-ultimate-video-game/

Increase Motivation Levels
http://kingpinlifestyle.com/the-4-step-process-to-creating-a-vision-for-yourself-increased-motivation-levels-guaranteed/

How to Stop Self-Sabotage
http://kingpinlifestyle.com/how-to-stop-self-sabotage-forever/

Najib August 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Cam, you have changed the course of my life. Thank you.

neet August 19, 2012 at 12:43 am

I started gaming after i got in a fight with my neighbor @ 5 and got banned from there house well my best and only friend lived next door and my neighbor gad a kid my age so he would always bring my friend over to his house knowing i couldnt go over, abd my brother had a n64 with golden eye my life for the next few years but eventually i made friends with another video game lover who got me hooked on mmos. A year later he moved away and then a fews after that i moved too. And then i got hooked on another strategy mmo where i created a fack facebook o i could talk to my friends, well i quit that thankfully no longer play mmos but havr been stuck on minecraft and my 360 and i have to say i am ready to talk a good after thanksgiving meal of cold turkey, now im not social never have been ever tells me to ask about the person im talking to but they never works bcause im the only one trying most of thr time so any help in the social department would help

Cam August 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

Najib – You don’t know how much it means for me to hear that. But only because it makes me so happy to hear that you are that much closer to living the life YOU want. And you deserve all the credit. You’re the one who will put in all the effort after all. :) Best of luck!

Neet – Thanks for commenting. There’s a ton of articles on this site that will help you so I definitely recommend signing up for the newsletter and also reading as many articles as you can. I’d also pick up the book: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. It’s a great book to help you get started being social. I’d also recommend joining social clubs. What are some activities you enjoy? Are there any clubs for them? I participate in yoga classes, book clubs, chess clubs, etc. These help me be in social environments where I have something in common with them. I’d definitely suggest joining some. Things like a dodgeball league!

KeithE August 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Great article. After I finished reading this I uninstalled all the video games off my computer. I need to be done with them. Too many hours sitting idly in my computer chair, self stagnating, making excuses and ridiculous justifications in my head to keep gaming. I’ve been weening off the past couple months. Finally ended my WoW subscription after 5 years. All the time I logged into that, I think about how much better I could be at guitar, being social, and at life if that crack pipe of a video game hadn’t diverted my focus and attention for so long. But now I’m making the conscious decision to quit all together. Tomorrow my college classes start, which I need to take seriously for once. I also just signed up for jiu jitsu classes so I should have no problem keeping busy and both of these will provide me with some opportunities to meet new people. Thanks for the motivation.

neet August 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I have always wanted to be a carpenter and learn wood carving. My dream is to some day own a guitar shop where sell my own jand made guitars and to run a mile in 5 minutes on 4 limbs

Cam August 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Keithe – Thanks for dropping by and commenting. The steps you have taken are great to start! Being busy will help you a lot. I’m excited to hear how your school year goes this year without video games. Your grades will thank you for it!

Neet – Wood carving sounds fun! You should definitely check it out. I’m sure there’s a class nearby you could take! Opening up a guitar shop would also be cool. Do you play guitar right now?

neet August 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Yah i have for a year but video games became my life so i haven’t been playing as much as i should.

Cam August 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Do you have any friends that play guitar? That would help a lot!

Dustinsanity August 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Yeah I watched those. I quit playing League all out. 4 days so far. Sometimes I’ll play Grand Fantasia when I’m extremely bored and have literally nothing to do.

Jonathan August 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Quitting video games has been on my mind for quite awhile now. I’ve begun noticing other guys I know going cold turkey in which shortly after their life flourished tremendously. It has inspired me to quit as well, but it was something that I’d give it a quick thought for a moment and then dismiss the idea of it. I can relate to this article so much that it is almost a direct reflection of myself because I too have played CS 1.6, Star Craft, and Modern Warfare 2.

Video games has been a large part of my life ever since my parents bought me a Sega Genesis when I was 7 years old. As you mentioned in this article it’s always been there for me as an escape or to simply kill time. Growing up I had very low-self esteem, terrible social skills, and not one constructive hobby. This allowed video games to continue being a major part of my life. Slowly though throughout high school I made progress towards self-improvement, but the effort so far [I would consider] has been minimal and it has now come to a halt within the past year (I am now in my mid 20’s).

As of lately, it has utterly consumed me. I gave up going to college halfway through the spring semester this year (which resulted in me failing all my classes) and I refused multiple job offers to commit myself fully to playing video games. So I’m unemployed and in debt (because of college). So because I have put video games above everything; my life is in shambles. I am now trying to correct my mistakes.

This article has helped empower me to quit video games. To kick it completely out of my life and seriously begin the road to self-improvement. Today I’m going to unplug my Xbox, pack it up, and take it to a pawn shop. I will uninstall all the games off my computer. I’m also going to start going back to the gym with more ambition than before. Coincidentally, I too have had dreams of becoming a DJ since my freshman year of high school and I recently found a local DJ school where I can become a professionally licensed DJ. Which I will attend in the future, after I get a job (lol)! I also started having talks with an Army Recruiter to join the reserves and help pay for college and the debt that I’m in.

I want to sincerely and with my deepest gratitude thank you for posting this article. It has proven to be a serious, logical, and mature way in giving up the obsessive behavior of playing video games. It is finally time for me to move forward with my life in a positive direction!

Andrew August 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Yep, ditto. I’ve been playing games a long time. I used to feel more at home in a good CS map than in real life. DOTA is the only one I really play a lot these days (that’s a lie) because a game only takes 15m to an hour. Then I can start a new game or take a quick break if I need to. I’ve tried to reduce the amount of play but the urge to play just grows stronger everyday. I’m going to try and quit cold turkey starting tonight. I’m going to delete the game from the computer (yikes) and break the disk (cry). But the HARDEST part of all this is not starting some new random game on the internet because there are so many and they are so accessible all the damn time. I joined a soccer team, first game is Sunday and I’m so out of shape. Wish me luck (not with soccer, with quitting).

Reed August 24, 2012 at 3:51 am

This is the day when I stop gaming.

Since I was a little child I’ve been playing games. At this age I’ve been competitive in almost every game I touched such as DOTA, LOL, WOW, CS etc. But after recent events (just started in a new school) I’ve decided to get a hold of my life and stop playing games. I’ve realised that there’s more to life than gaming, I just gotta go out there and go do it. I hope that I will be able quit the whole gaming thing and start doing RL stuff instead.

Bogdan (Lobster) August 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

6 months since I quit. Still experiencing urges to play, mostly LoL, and some Minecraft. Just missing all the fun I had with friends while playing LoL and talking on Skype. Being really good in it. But still, the urges are NOT EVEN NEARLY as big as they were like a week after I quit.
Anyways, thank you, Cam, you have done a great job for all of us. You are the one who changed my life :D. Thank you.

neet August 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

@cam no i have no friends. I cut ties with them because they would drag me down

Ashley August 25, 2012 at 4:57 am

I looked up on this because i feel horribly ashamed of myself, i have been playing video games for the past three years since i was 13 and for the past two years i have been doing my gcse’s and exams. Two days ago i got my results back and i found that i had only one c grade and the rest were very embarrassing, i feel the reason for this is because of my addiction to gaming and the fact that i have been playing them for about 13 hours a day everyday, i played video games instead of concentrating on my exams and studying and i strongly feel that i need to kick video games for good because so far the only thing they have given to my life is negativity. Soon ill be starting college and i really dont want gaming to get in the way of my further education and lifestyle choices, i am going to try some of the ideas expressed in this article and am going to try to sell everything to do with gaming i own altogether, i really want to get into a career of engineering and i really hope ill be able to quit the gaming life forever. Wish me luck!

Frederik August 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

Hi there! I just stumbled upon your website. I turned 16 this Summer and I’m using all my time on the PC! When I get home from school (9th grade) I play all day and usually never with friends. I play a lot of Counter Strike 1.6 and I feel like such a loser in school. I mean my friends at school they appreciate me as the funny little guy (I’m small in height compared to the others). I feel like I could make so much more out of my life. I love playing Football, but It’s so hard to play because I’m so small. I don’t know what to do, I have an impossible time trying to quit gaming.

Bernard August 25, 2012 at 11:07 am

For background I started when I was about 10 or so with atari NES and that other old system voyager or w/e the thing that looks like a typwriter lol. (just looked it up the odysee) Anyways since then I moved through the Final Fantasy era with a huge addiction to RPG’s as a kid and teenager. I dropped out of school in the 7th grade with straight A’s and was homeschooled from then on. (IE I didn’t do anyhtign but play games day and night. no homework got done till they eventually gave up.) that continued till about age 17 when I picked up pot as a pastime which just supplimented my games because it was my fav thing to do while high. I have continued to play them just as much through my life despite a couple jobs here and there none that lasted too long as u can imagine I spent alot of nights up late and was always tired at work. today I am 30 years old. I have a 1 1/2 yr old and a 5 month old and have been married 4 years living here without a job the entire time. I have been a full time student for about 2 years. (microsoft Networking) anyways, I still to date play games every possible moment of my life. when I had kids it was my grades that suffered not my games. I started with 99-100% classes today they are often dropped or b-c’s barely making my prereqs. which is really sad in my mind since I have a high IQ and have always been regarded as the most intelligent person of pretty much anyone I know, both by myself and others. Despite my social problems. I have tried many times to stop. I got drunk one night and after fighting with my wife for a bit I tore a 5k dollar macintosh into shreds I was so sick of listening to her hate on it. and I truly want her to be happy you know. I was drunk but it was a choice I made soberly. I didnt regret it in the morning or resent her for it or anyhting. I was off for a year or so. then I got in school and I need a pc to do that now. And I am back on them. I can barely wait for her to get home from work every day to get me off kid duty so I can do somehting “fun”. I feel so stressed constantly any time other than that liek all of my personal time has been stolen and it is extremely stressfull for somebody who isnt accustommed to it. you’ll just have to take my word for it. Being a bum is not always the easiest thing int he world on people mentally. This is not where I want to be. Not even close. I want my wife to be happy and I want to stop being stressed constantly. I gave up drinking and smoke a little here and there to help me stay off the drinking because it is worse in my mind it makes me violent. No matter how I look at the games though I only fight with her more if I dont “use” them. (“use” as in an addictive substance because that IS what it is.) there is no suppliment pill to help me get off this drug and no psychologists are trained in this matter. My biggest problem is I don’t have ANYTHING I enjoy doing at all. I hate it outside. I am not prone to social interaction in the least in fact I have extreme social anxieties to be honest. I do not like board games dice etc. anythign involving luck bothers me alot. It’s like betting on a clouds formation ten minutes form now. It’s pointless. My wife likes it outside she likes board games etc. She likes hanging out with family and stuff. I cannot do any of that without it immediatly starting to stress me. The longer I do it the more I stress untill eventually I am ready to snap at anyone or anything in my path.

The interesting thing is after a fight with the wife last night I wnet to bro’s house and he made some comments about how he had moved out of our place because he was tired of the arguing about that topic because he fealt I was i the wrong and couldnt say so because he is my brother. so i went home kiss kiss make up all that jazz woke up this morning and randomly stumble across this article. Coincidence? Possibly or maybe fate or maybe god or who knows but here it is and so I will post.

I am not a perfect person in the least. I am a terrible husband without argument. Maybe I don’t deserve help on this but if u have any ideas I want them because I need to do something and I need to do it as fast as possible. My life is steadily losing its grounding comepletely. I really don’t know how to do anyhting else though. This is all I have ever done my entire adult life. My work history is soo bad right now that nobody in their right mind would hire me for any reason. Hence the schooling and hopefully some help at the end of that getting into somethign to get me started on a new history. (hopefuly)

any help is welcome, thank you. sorry if this is wrong place to ask for help but I thought it was worth a shot. I’m not familiar witht he web site at all. I’m not big on social networking etc. (may seem odd for a video game nerd but im kinda old fassioned.)

Bernard August 25, 2012 at 11:19 am

I should have specified what I am playing now prolly I guess. Dota 2, WoW, Diablo 3, PWI, Rohan, still cracking away at Wc3, Warhammer RTS version, and alot of EMU games. The main thing is though. I am sick to death of all of them. I switch games constantly from sheer boredom and aggrivation now especially with the MMO’s. but there is always another one I haven’t played in a while to pick up and play when I am sick of one. sorry for the double post.

Cam August 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

@ Dustinsanity – 4 days is a good start. Keep at it, you won’t regret it!

@ Jonathan – Thanks for commenting. There’s definitely an interesting correlation between quitting video games and your life improving tremendously afterwards. I think a big reason for this is because video games tend to make you very passive, so you don’t put very much effort into actually doing anything else with your life. I wish you the best of luck in your journey. Remember this is the right action for you to take for a better life – a life you deserve to have! Definitely check out the rest of the articles on the site and sign up for our ebook. These will be positive steps as well. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

@ Andrew – Thanks for commenting! One of my clients has over 1000 hours played in DOTA 2. Pretty crazy stuff! Soccer is a good place to start. What other hobbies could you pick up?

@ Reed – Congratulations and thanks for commenting. A new school can be a new start, but only if you change the habits you have. You can do it. Look at all the comments of people doing this successfully. :)

@ Bodgan – 6 months is awesome! I’m super proud of you. The urges continue to get less and less intense as the time goes on. Take the urges as a major sign that you NEED to continue to not play.

@ Neet – It’s time to find some new friends for sure. :)

@ Ashley – Thanks for commenting! No need to feel shame. This is a very common problem, and it’s not even your fault. There’s a reason you started playing video games in the first time, and do you think when you were 13 you really had a chance to do anything else? You weren’t old enough to make your own decisions about games. You just thought they were fun. No way for you to know the long term damage it could do! Here’s an awesome article on studying: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/three-easy-ways-to-improve-studying-and-get-the-grades-you-want/

@ Frederik – Thanks for commenting! What other hobbies are you interested in? Write down a list of 15-20 and that will give you a good idea of where you start. Is there an instrument you’ve been interested in learning? What about a new language? If football isn’t motivating, you just need to find something else that is!

@ Bernard – Thanks for commenting! I appreciate the amount of detail you’ve gone into. I definitely relate to the whole dropping out of school and playing video games all day thing. I did it too. It’s difficult to quit when you don’t know what else you like, and this is definitely the place to start. Something that has helped me a lot is working on my self-esteem, because when your self-esteem is low, you don’t really care about much and resorting to what’s familiar (video games) is the easiest option. So then the question becomes: how can you improve your self-esteem? To me this starts with every action you take. Every action you take either creates positive or negative momentum, and this momentum is what decides the course of actions you continue to take. It’s important for you to understand (yourself) that things need to change, and I believe you understand this. It’s probably a time to focus on being more selfless then selfish. It’s not a time to focus on what makes YOU happy but what makes your family happy. It’s apparent your family has been behind you and has allowed you to do your thing, so now maybe it’s time to repay them by doing what you need to do for them.

One major thing I’ve found that helps me grow and become a better person is reading. There’s many great books out there you could pick up, and one of them is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. I’d also look into things like exercise and meditation. Yes meditation may seem a bit lame (it’s common for guys to view it this way), but meditation can be a great way to learn how to control your emotions, and as you mentioned, not playing games causes your emotions to get wild. It’s time to make some real life changes. The definition of Maturity in my mind is being able to understand the bigger picture. The bigger picture in your life right now is the long-term success of your family. Obviously if you continue to play games and behave the way you have you will continue to get the same result, and from what you’ve said, things with your family aren’t very good right now. It’s time to try some new things, and I think meditation would be a great one. It will help keep you calm and focused on what’s important: the success of your family.

I’d also recommend writing down a list of 15-25 things you want to experience. A bucket list of sorts. This may give you more direction for activities you can try.

Last thing: When making a big change like this it’s easy to feel resentment towards the responsibilities entities who caused you to have to quit something you enjoy. The best way I’ve learned to deal with this is to switch the perspective of quitting video games to simply starting a new chapter in your life. It’s not that playing video games wasn’t fun or bad, it’s simply a chapter in your life that has now closed, and you’re starting a new one. This next chapter doesn’t involve playing video games. This has helped me not have to deal with resentment and negative views, and instead, has allowed me to move on properly.

Hope that helps!

Bort August 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

Your advice is as laughable as it is bad. I hope you don’t take yourself seriously. If you feel shame for being a Starcraft addict and think that turning yourself into a bullshit pickup artist makes you a better person, well bully for you I suppose. I don’t really need narcissistic pricks like you telling me how to spend my time or chastising the hobby for making us into cheeto-eating mutants. We have already have scores of base-level douchebags lining up for that position, we need no more.

I kind of feel sorry for the people buying into your “advice”. But I’ll probably feel more sorry for the people who they end up bullying, just like you bullying them into changing. Because to describe Cam in one word? Bully.

Cam August 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hey Bort. Thanks for commenting. I’m a bit puzzled by your comment because I’m not a “pickup artist”, nor do I have any idea where you got the idea from. In fact, I think pickup is completely retarded and flawed. You can hear more of my thoughts here: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/pickup-is-flawed/

Not sure what part of my advice is “laughable or bad”, nor how I’m a bully or anything along those lines. But I wish you the best of luck. :)

Mike August 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Thanks for making your article as articulate as it could be. It was interesting to hear your gaming background, how extensive it is, and especially how you were able to get rid of your gaming addiction.
I am also addicted to League of Legends. I’ve been playing it for the last two years and have been going up in the ELO ladder considerably. While the pros are at 2600 ELO, I’m around 2400 ELO. I am entering my junior year of high school and seeing that next year is going to be very important for college, I realized I need to quit games altogether. I’ve tried to uninstall the game, but the day after I do that, when I’m doing homework or something, I will have the urge to play. This sensation usually comes after about two hours of homework or something. I’ll be writing an essay, then I’ll be bored to death. I will automatically start thinking about games, and as a result re-install it again. Do you have any suggestions on how to get rid of my addiction?

Myxa August 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hey Cam great read!

My situation was pretty hopeless, I am 27 right now finishing my last year of bachelors and working 2 jobs with 3 kids at home.

I was playing video games since I was 13. Age of Empires (1998-03), poker 03-04 (real money), Dota (04-05, 06-10) Counter-Strike (05-06, 10-present). I was always engaged into sports, Ice hockey since I was 6 years old through college, soccer/lacrosse in high school but was never really part of the team or had any close friends who I would do things with all the time, just adequateness. I had few serious relationships while in high school/college. I have always had a job after graduating high school. I end up dropping out of college (2004) my freshman year due to staying home and playing games, that was a carry over my senior year in high school where I just didn’t bother going to classes most of the time as I thought I was too smart. From 04-08 I did nothing but go to work, I had 8am-3pm and 6pm-10pm job and game 3pm-5:30pm and 10pm-12am weekdays and whole weekends through if my parents didn’t b***** too much. I had complete lack of goals during those 4 years, with a brief thought of going back to college eventually but it was getting pushed into unknown day after day.

In 2008 I end up meeting my wife (I was not looking for gf at all, she found me on a social website and things took of from there), shortly we decided to get married. I end up going to community college that summer for summer classes, then fall semester and spring. In 09 I was readmitted into university because I had all As and Bs in community college. My wife hated video games from get go, so I did not play around her much at all. As I got to college I started to take laptop with me and play there instead of classes, staying late after classes claiming I had a lot of school work, etc. It lasted for whole year, I somehow managed to get Bs and Cs at college but end up telling the truth to my wife, because I was simply tired of lies and was discussed with myself. My wife and I worked together on this, knowing I have very little to no control over myself. We set up strict schedule at college eliminating any possibility of me playing. It lasted few months before I just told her I will find a way to sneak out and play so I rather do it at home and she must allow me to do it. It went from 2-3 hours/week to 5-10 hours/week 10pm-12am nearly every day, after kids were asleep. It was rough time for a year, we argued a lot, as she hated me playing, and I wanted to play, telling myself that I need to play to keep my sanity (14 credits during Junior year at college, 20 hours/week of day job doing engineering projects, 15 hours/week evening job, 2 kids at the time, some house chores and 10 hours/week of gaming), I was not giving up my gaming even at the cost of marriage. She kind of gave up, which lessened my urge to play as I had freedom of choice now. I often started picking going to sleep early if I felt tired instead of religiously playing every night.

So now I am back to playing Counter Strike:Source/GO as it is less time restricting/demanding I can quit any time I need to in case kids get up or whatever. I play around 6-7 hours/week, 3-4 times/week for an hour or so.
Reason I play right now: to keep my sanity, get my competitive fix.

My plan was to quit gaming once I graduate and get a real job in about a year now. As it is very difficult in my situation to find other activities I might enjoy as much as gaming since my only free time is 10pm-12am due to the business of my schedule.

Pros: Entertaining, competitive fix.
Cons: Dissapointed wife, lack of sleep at times.

neet August 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Mike hes a idea dont know if its possible for you but try not using it for a week and giving it to your parents for couple a weeks make aure to tell them to not give it back for the set amount of time

Cam August 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm

@ Mike – Thanks for commenting! It’s really cool to see so many high schoolers leave their feedback. What I would suggest is deciding on a new activity to do when you’re bored.

Think about it like this: When you are studying and you get bored, you go play games. That’s your autopilot response. The key isn’t to study more, it’s to do something else when you take a break so you can get back to studying again. What’s something else you could do instead? This doesn’t have to get too complicated. Even for me, when I’ve worked a few hours straight… I need a break! So I get up and go for a walk, call a friend, play on my DJ decks for a minute. It helps to give my mind a quick rest and then back to work I go. You have to view defeating your addiction as a habit like everything else. Lastly: What other goals do you have other than school? What do you want to do with your life?

@ Myxa – Thanks for commenting! Cool that you played lacrosse! It’s a great game. Definitely sounds like a tough situation. If you can hold it within 10-12 I don’t see why it would be so bad, but you’ve also shown that to be difficult. I appreciate you sharing your story with me and hope writing it out helped you see things with more clarity. For fun, what are some other activities you could have between 10-12 that aren’t games?

@ Neet – Thanks for helping give other people advice. I appreciate it!

Ben August 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Hey Cam. Great article. I really enjoyed it as I am always looking for ways to self improve.

I am a bit older then your average reader. I am 42 and will be 43 years old this Monday! Life does fly by! Anyway, I started gaming at the age of 12 on the Atari! I played a few games and it was never really a problem, because I would get out of the house and play sports with my friends. I stopped gaming for a bit and picked up the Nintendo. I played Mario, but my passion were the sports games. I went to the Art Institute in Florida. A school mate had the Sega Genesis and Madden! I would skip school and I played for hours. I would try to study formations, etc… It was really ridiculous. I dropped out of school and ended back home in New Jersey. I stopped gaming completely and went to community college. In 1999, I found computer gaming, Half Life and Age of Empires! I was hooked! At this time I was living with a roommate and working for the US Post Office. I’d stay up until 4am playing AoE, and I would have to be at work by 10am. This continued for a bit. I quit the post office, went back to school and started to work at the mall doing midnight security. I would work from 12am-8am, come home by 9am and I would start to immediately game! I would normally drink 2 cups of coffee. There were a few times that I stayed up all day and I would have to be back at work! I didn’t even get 10 minutes of sleep, and I had a 1 hour car ride to work. When I look back I can’t believe that I put myself in such a dangerous position. This continued until 2005 when I graduated from college. From 2005-2012 I have owned 2 Xbox’s, 2 PSP’s, and a PS3. I am typing this comment on a gaming laptop that I bought from IBUYPOWER.

I have a love hate relationship with gaming. I hate it. I will game for a long while, get discouraged with gaming and sell everything that I have game related. Then a month or two will pass and I will get the itch to game again. I will go right back out to Best Buy and purchase another system! Then the cycle repeats itself. The same thing is happening now. I have since deleted everything on my laptop and I had deleted my Steam account. But what do I do? I downloaded Steam again last night! I haven’t re-installed any games yet though. My bad gaming habits have started to kick in and I found myself playing for hours on the weekend. It’s a beautiful day and I am inside playing video games! Does that make sense?

My life has actually turned for the better. I am now in South Korea teaching English at a private school. I went to Thailand last month and I met a beautiful Thai girl who is 10 years younger then me. I actually look a lot younger then my age. Anyway, I have been here a year now and it has been a wonderful experience.

I have 2 books that I would like to recommend to your readers. These have helped me in my quest for self improvement 1) The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. The author Stephen Covey briefly discusses the inside/out approach to progress. He talks about how we are not our habits! We can change. He states “We need to be proactive! As human beings we are responsible for our own lives!” I love this classic book 2) Life’s Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter. The author, Hal Urban goes 20 life lessons that we should incorporate into our lives so we can be more productive individuals.

Cam, I think you should discuss porn addiction as well. I do believe that porn and video gaming are intertwined. Staying inside for long periods of time can be quite frustrating sexually. And with our high speed cables and the ease of porn, I can see a lot of young people gravitating towards it. Excessive gaming and porn both make the perfect partner. Just my opinion…

Thank you,
Ben

Tiago September 3, 2012 at 7:41 am

I did a good thing this year, I sold my video game (XBOX 360)!

Cam September 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

@ Ben – Thanks for taking the time to comment. Very cool to hear your history with gaming. Thank you for opening up and sharing with me. It’s also interesting to me how many of the readers who have commented and sent me e-mails have also went to South Korea to teach English. How do you like it? Do you think it’s a good idea for younger people to do?

I definitely relate to you about not being able to get away from games. It truly does come down to developing other passions. Because of the popularity of this post I’ve decided to write an ebook on the subject. I’m currently working on it. I have many different topics to add onto the post, including porn addiction. I was happy to hear you suggest that topic. I’m also going to add an additional resources section and add the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People into it. I think it’s a great idea.

I haven’t heard of the second book but I will definitely check it out. It looks like a great resource. Have you been to this site? http://yourbrainonporn.com It’s enlightening about porn addiction.

@ Tiago – Booya!

Amrani September 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Hey All!
@Cam : Thank you so much for this great article :)
Well, I started playing video games since 2008, when my brother bought a PC. Now, I have 17 years old. I played almost all Need for Speed series, Counter strike 1.6, Call of Duty 1,2,4 and GTA III,Vice city,San Andreas, and so one..
I want now to leave video games. The principal reason that it can help me is in my new pc, I have a conflict between my USB internet modem and my graphics card drivers. When i install the newest drivers, my USB modem can’t work. You know, I can’t stay without internet, and still pay it. ;D
It’s time to stop video games, I’m going to buy an acoustic guitar, I love it because it’s the title of the all romantics melodies. So I can find a Girlfriend ! :)
Thank you again CAM for your great article, and sorry for my bad english, Because i’m from Morocco in North Africa, and our second language is French, after Arabic.
Greetings :)

Note: I didn’t used any translator, is my english good ? xD

RobertKumo September 5, 2012 at 1:53 am

I use to play WOW a lot 12-15h a day everyday in highschool , evan quited school , unfortunaty i finish school with low grades and cant go to collage becose of that , and im from Romania and here you have to work 12h a day loading a truck with potatos and do back braking work for 100$ a month . Cus highschool diploma count for crap here . I fail at my driving exam in highschool cus i was to fuking busy playing WOW ! Now my life sucks , have huge bils , live with my mom in a broken appartment , have no PC im writing from my low tech phone , no GF , no future and i regret every single moment of playing gamens and thinking of suicid !

Cam September 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

@ Amrani – Thank you for commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Acoustic guitar would be a great alternative! Your english is quite good. Good job :)

@ Robertkumo – You do have a future. You have to start working towards it now. Can you go back to school and upgrade your classes so you can get into college? I know there’s a lot of people in Canada that have to do that. No need to feel shame about it, it’s just the step you need to take in order to build yourself a better future. You can do it! :)

Jake September 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Ever since I was 4 years old I have been surrounded by video games. The first moment I sat down and my dad showed me Starcraft it has been a part of my life. I didn’t view it as anything but fun until a couple years ago. I built my own gaming computer and committed to gaming competitively. A couple times since then I have tried desperately to drop it but it is SO HARD. All of my friends love video games (although they are not as big a gamer like myself) and my dad, and much of my other relatives play them all the time. Every time I socialize in a game or pass a milestone in the video game I feel great. Now that I’m starting to realize that I’m in high school and need to take life seriously, I really need to quit. It’s difficult when I get texts from people asking if I’m getting online or getting notifications from my games to drop them. It’s been ingrained in my brain that my happy place is sitting at a computer screen. I don’t know where to turn.

Tiago September 6, 2012 at 5:29 am

Show me someone who spends hours online playing Mafia or Farmville, and I’ll show you someone who probably isn’t very successful – Mj DeMarco.

Cam September 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

@ Jake – Thanks for commenting! It’s crazy. Right now I’m writing an book on how to quit video games because of the popularity of this article, so lately I’ve been doing a lot of research into it. Did you know that in the U.S. 91% of kids aged 2-17 are playing video games? Thats 64 million kids!

But that’s not the scariest part. The fastest growing age group of gamers is 2-5 year olds, so it makes sense when you say you started at the age of 4. Video games have just been what you’ve always played.

Picking up other hobbies is the best approach. If you read through the comments of this post you’ll find a bunch of suggestions, like guitar or learning a new language. Just know, you aren’t alone. You can do it! :)

@ Tiago – That’s a great quote. Thank you for sharing it.

Thomas September 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

i just know i cnt keep myself from playing games forever
becouse its the only thing i like and where im good at ..
the nicest ppl i met where in an mmo theyr not real but evryone is just nicer in games .

i dont know about you but i would rather live letting games fu*k up my live then living a fu*kt up life

life su*ks and im just better off playing games my whole life i guess.

Cam September 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm

@ Thomas – What else have you tried to be good at? How much time did you play video games? Did you ever start playing a video game and not be very good at the start… but get better over time? You have to approach other hobbies like that too. They take time to develop into skills!

If living a life where games fuck it up IS the same thing as living a fucked up life. Neither is better than the other, they are both the same.

Life doesn’t have to suck. You can decide to make it better, but YOU have to be the one willing to put in the work. Taking the easy road is always easy. ;)

Marcus September 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Hey Cam,

just obtained my bachelor’s degree in business informatics :D I’m so happy!
(I’m the guy who wrote sth. about board games some time ago^^). I also got a really nice job, beginning in october. Now it’s time to learn new things every day :)

Stop wasting my time on computer games definitely helped a lot ;)

Toby September 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Thanks for the column. Its nice. I myself am on day 1 of going cold turkey on games. I started gaming when I was 5, I’m now 21. I stopped enjoying gaming about 2 years ago, but by then I was too addicted to quit, even if it wasn’t any fun. On day 1 of going cold turkey I have had one of the best days of my life. I have done so many things I’ve wanted to do for ages, I’ve eaten great food, gotten back into my old hobbies and started a new one. Sure, I’m a little sensitive from the withdrawals, but spending a day completely alone and not getting even slightly bored isn’t something I’ve been able to do for almost a decade. I love how insightful this article is. It really makes me feel like I’m going to get through the other side of this.
Toby

Cam September 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

@ Marcus – Thanks for letting me know how you’re doing! I’m super proud of you. Keep kicking ass. :)

@ Toby – Thanks for commenting! I always appreciate when guys leave their feedback. Congrats on taking the first step. You’ll be fine if you commit 100%. Just remember how good your first day was when you stopped playing games. You can do it! :)

Ali September 11, 2012 at 6:10 am

Hey Man This is a great article i am 16 and I’ve tried to quit playing video games before but i always got the same crap advices like you mentioned at the start but after reading this article things changed. i thought a lot about what you mentioned in your article i said to myself if i had these advices before i could have quit playing long before.overall i just wanted to thank you for helping so many of us trapped in our monotonous world but before i go i just wanted to say that the things you said are only suitable to the people who have freedom like in America or England but in my country (Iran) we can’t do everything we want to we can’t go out with girls we can’t wear short pants… basically we can only think about studying so i just wanted to say we are not as free as you are in replacing video games

ROH September 11, 2012 at 6:57 am

Hey CAM, nice tutorial, i came in after reading 2 or 3 other ones that are pretty unuseful.
I was a hardcore gamer when i decided to stop and go to netherlands from italy by bike. that was my great dream, and now i know why.
I needed exactly what you described… fun, competition, escape from a computer, and growth (in kilometers! :D). well… i didnt see a computer for the 20 days of the travel, i was 10 hours on the bike everyday and i finished everyday lying destroyed on a bed in a random german hostel. then i arrived there… no house, no friends..nothing.. well, i got a house, i got friends in a dutch course, actually i made more friends than in the rest of my entire previous life. now that im back in my house, with my pc, i felt how the gaming competition is so poor compared to the epic things you can do outside! now im full of ideas and projects for my future, all thanks to that experience.

So my tip is: best way to stop playing games is take your bike and go for the longest trip alone of your life.

Cam September 11, 2012 at 8:51 am

@ Ali – Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you found the article valuable. It’s definitely a valid point to mention about the differences between countries. Something to take into consideration for sure.

@ ROH – Thanks for commenting! That sounds like a really cool dream! I’ve always been into biking too. It’s amazing how much of a difference there is between the thrill of playing video games vs. the thrill of going after an epic dream. :) Best of luck to you.

Stevie September 14, 2012 at 6:42 am

wow this is very interesting im 17 ged no job I have nothing to do but play video games help me!!!7

Nathan September 15, 2012 at 1:12 am

I once knew a man who watched a lot of movies, even went out to the theatre on Friday! He was probably addicted to those movies! Video games are a source of entertainment. You can have some pretty rad experiences with them. Not trying to be the nay-sayer, but I have developed comprehensive social skills, self-awareness, and independence all whilst having a flourishing “career” with video games.

Stevie September 15, 2012 at 1:56 am

im way confused I came herr to quit gamed but I dont get any resplnses:(

Bogdan (Lobster) September 15, 2012 at 3:24 am

@Stevie You will get them soon, they don’t appear everyday. sometimes not even every 2 days. So just wait. :)

Cam September 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm

@ Stevie – Thanks for commenting. Sorry I didn’t get back to you right away, but I hope you’re having a great week! You have lots you can do other than play games. You just have to decide a few things to do first. What are other activities that interest you? Meaning… what kind of activities have you thought would be cool to try? Guitar? New Language? A sport? If you search through the comments here you’ll find a lot of ideas of other things you can do.

Mikey B has a post coming up about how to find your passion, here’s his main points about it, maybe this will help you:

“Step 1: If you can’t find your “passions,” start by listing your “interests” or anything that you have a remotely intrigued with.
Ex: Reading, writing, working out, swimming, dancing, socializing, DJing, volunteering, cooking, etc.

Step 2: Experience these interests in any way, shape or form. Think of them like potential-passions.
Ex: Spend a day at the library on a search for the most interesting books, write out the short story you have always thought about, free-style a dinner at home and create something new, etc.

Step 3: Select the interests that you get the most value from or that are the corner stones for your preferred lifestyle.
Ex: You loved free-styling dinner, and you love being in control of what you eat, so you make the conscious choice to level up your cooking skills.

Step 4: Incorporate them into your lifestyle by exposing yourself to “a chance of failure” or a “test” of your potential-passions.
Ex: You freestyle a whole dinner for your friends and cook a unique once in a lifetime meal for them.

Step 5: Increase the challenges that you take on through your potential-passions until you can feel your “burning desire” to motivate you.
Ex: You enter in cooking competitions, have your dishes eaten by a food critic, you start your own following and blog to share what you have learned and increasingly expose yourself to the risk of rejection and failure.”

@ Nathan – Thanks for commenting. I definitely don’t disagree with you that it’s possible to develop social skills, self-awareness, independence etc while playing video games. That’s not my argument in this post. It’s definitely possible without a doubt, BUT, for many (just look through the comments on the post) that’s not what they are capable of, because video games are their whole entire world, and it’s the thing holding them back the most.

That’s not to say they can’t go back to games and achieve balance, but playing games is one of the obstacles standing in their way of making progress. Yes games are entertaining, but through research I’ve done, they’re much more than simple entertainment. However, using entertainment as the example, think about this:

Research says 91% of kids in the US between the ages of 2-17 play video games. That equates to approximately 84 million kids. The fastest growing age group within this range is kids aged 2-5. Yes, kids aged TWO to FIVE. 2-5 has had a 17 percent increase from 2009-2012. That’s pretty big.

Now, let’s analyze further. When a parent needs to “entertain” his kid nowadays, as early as the age of 2 they will toss him a video game. Think: smartphone, ipad, etc. (For us a bit older, this would have been a gameboy.) So you get a gameboy to entertain yourself, then as you get a bit older, you get a playstation or xbox. Once you age a bit more, you start playing games on the computer. Next thing you know, you’re now 18 years old or older and all you’ve ever done in your free time is play video games. Any time you’ve needed to be entertained it’s been your go-to. You’ve never developed other hobbies.

Diving into the research and other stats is a scary thing to do when it comes to video games. The popularity of this post alone is a good example.

Anyways, I definitely agree that video games aren’t necessarily the only problem, nor am I suggesting it’s never ok to play them. But my goal with this post wasn’t to focus it on the minority of people who CAN play them within balance. It was to focus on the guys who WANT to quit because they know they can’t continue living their life the way they are right now.

Thanks for your input, I appreciate the feedback.

@ Bodgan (Lobster) – I have a question for you, can you e-mail me? cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com

Someone Random September 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Gaming is hard to quit because of boredom, I had many times when I quit and because of boredom I went back to it and being addicted all over again even when I regretted it the first, second, third and even fourth time. You might not believe me but I just decided to quit gaming forever, I even made an oath to myself, but I broken oaths like these so much I can’t even count them all. But fuck it this time I’m serious, but if only I could quit boredom. There are many things I like to do like, running, boxing, lifting weights, I started gaming again thinking I could limit my time like those stupid articles online, but I cannot limit addiction and I gained the 10 pounds I spend so much time losing. Now back to doing something other than gaming and boredom, fuck boredom. If i am bored I will counter boredom with boredom meaning what the fuck is wrong with being bored, if I am bored I will stay being bored. No more games, I rarely even wright on websites, actually I never do.

Robert September 16, 2012 at 12:29 am

Hey Cam, good article, it came up first in google when I typed in “quitting video games” in the search engine and it seems pretty popular too with all these comments that you are getting!

I’ve been playing video games since I was 5 years old… I’m in my late twenties right now, my only other interests is playing guitar, fitness, and reading. In the future, I want to study a martial art, I have a place in mind nearby. Video gaming is a habit that is very hard to break, it’s what I turn to when I’m bored. I don’t necessarily enjoy gaming anymore, maybe on an odd occasion, depending on the game. Most of the time, it feels like I’m trying to fill an empty void inside my chest with these games. I updated my gaming rig for Guild Wars 2 that just came out a couple of weeks ago, however, I find it very hard to play mostly because I don’t see what the big deal is, and I got snuffed out by my online friends just because I’ve been absent for 3 months trying to fix up my life. It was kind of an eye opener.

I realized for awhile that video games isn’t going to get me anywhere (duh), I am completely area that gaming, in itself, is not a bad thing in moderation. But most people, me included, do not play video games in moderation, and when it’s the only hobby that you are investing your time into, other areas in your life will suffer. It’s getting towards the end of 2012, and I think it’s time to pack it up. To be honest, I am not sure how long I will last before I relapse, as I am unemployed and have a lot of free time on my hands…so I’m a little scared. I exercise an hour a day, practice guitar an hour a day, and read an hour a day…that’s 3 hours out of the day, what should I do with the rest? I guess I could just read even more, and practice even more. We’ll see how it turns out. I think once you’ve gamed for 20+ years, it’s time to pack up, you’ve seen all the stories, twists, and gameplay, that it’s almost impossible to get that edge and euphoria you felt as a child, when it was new, and something new was always coming out. Now it’s whatever. Either that or my dopamine levels have been fucked up from constantly gaming daily for 20-something years.

There should really be counseling for something like this, lol. Or a forum or something.

Cam September 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

@ Someone Random – Thanks for commenting! It can be hard for sure. If you check out my comment above I talk a lot about how games have always been your go-to entertainment activity, and because of this, you’ve never had to develop other hobbies. What are times of the day you find yourself most bored and wanting to play games?

@ Robert – Thanks for commenting! The post has been popular enough that I feel obligated to write a book on the subject. There’s so much more I want to go into, like how to specifically find your passion, how to deal with negative emotions of quitting, the affect porn has on video game addiction, etc. It should be interesting so keep your eyes out for it.

It’s crazy that you’ve been playing since 5 years old. If you check my comment above this one I share some of the research I’ve found about video game addiction, specifically about how the age group of 2-5 is the fastest growing age group of kids playing video games. I can’t imagine a 2 year old playing a video game… it’s crazy!

You can last forever if you commit to making that happen. If you go into your journey with the attitude of “I’m not sure how long I’ll last”… you’re going to have a harder time quitting. Go into it with a mindset that you can do it and push every day to push one more day, and you’ll get there! Getting a job would be a good place to start because it will take up a lot of your time. Plus you’ll feel better having a job and making money. I’d start there and then you’ll only have 4-6 hours of free time per day, which you can use to read, play guitar and go to the gym.

I think I’ll be starting a forum for this soon. :)

Cedric September 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Fantastic! Very nice and interesting post , I agree with everything. I was addicted to many games AT THE SAME TIME : WoW , LoL , DotA , Crossfire , MW3 ; played them all at the same time , failed a year in school , didn’t communicate with the outer world and didn’t do family stuff. I am not trying to look like a saint or to make you believe in anything , but I prayed and got what I asked for. I found the will to stop playing games , to do sports and to socialize , heck I even got my Aikido black belt and I’m so fucking proud. Now I have tons of friends and 4 packs lol. My life was changed because I had that commitment not to play , I eventually began to find the games REALLY BORING AND MEANINGLESS , seriously , in WoW , WTF do you do? What is the goal? As a conclusion , just do something else , and you won’t find time to play and you’ll quit playing.

Max September 19, 2012 at 10:56 am

Hey dude! This article is really powerful! I’ve tried quitting VIDEO GAME like 5 times (that’s right, not games, but game, I find all the video games completely boring and pointless, except 1: Diablo 2), and after a break of up to 3 months, I would always come back and play over and over again. Well, a few days ago, I’ve quit Diablo 2 again (FOREVER! FUCK!), but there it is… the temptation, but yeah, I’m strong xD
But why am I writing all of this, will you ask me… well, I still need some help. The thing is, I’ve filled 3 aspects already, I’ve been playing guitar like for 1 year already, but, I can’t seem to fill the social aspect. The thing is, I’m extremely shy (no, I’m not fat, and I’ve been practicing martial arts since 2008), and I can’t seem to find a subject to speak with a person for more than like 30 seconds… especially girls :( I can’t even start a conversation… party will you say? I can’t see going to a party alone (I have almost no friends). I know that if I get a girlfriend, some friends, I’ll quit playing games for sure, FOREVER, but… how the heck some ppl can just come and lead an interesting conversation? And I know a few guys, who simply attract ppl to them, without doing anything, especially girls. DAMN! 18 yrs old, and I’ve never had a girlfriend… it kills me the fact of being so extremely shy! Srsly, how to start a conversation that actually IS interesting, and LASTS for more than 30 seconds… I’ve tried, believe me, many times… and we just end up looking down on the ground in silence. so… 3 holes filled, one last hole to fill, the social hole…
Help me please…

Brady September 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Whats the difference in DJing and playing video games?

Cam September 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm

@ Cedric – Thanks for commenting! That’s awesome that you got your Aikido black belt. I’m going to add martial arts to the list of ideas for people who want to find other passions or hobbies they could try out. I totally agree with what you said. Games seem much more boring now. :) Thanks for adding your feedback.

@ Max – Thanks for commenting! The best tip I have for having more interesting conversations is doing more interesting things. Send me an email (cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com) and I’ll help you out more.

@ Brady – Thanks for commenting. The difference for ME between DJing and video games is that DJing leaves me more fulfilled. I feel better doing it because it’s something I’m actually passionate about.

Now, can you be passionate about games? Can games make you fulfilled?

Definitely.

But if you look through the comments, there are hundreds of guys commenting saying that they WANT to quit (meaning, they don’t get fulfilled by the games, or aren’t passionate). If I DJ for 16 hours in a row I feel GREAT. I feel empowered and like I’m moving closer to my purpose in life. (Not that I DJ for 16 hours in a row ever, but I use that merely as a parallel to video games).

This article’s purpose is to explain to people who want to quit why they aren’t able to. The people who want to quit are the ones who feel like shit when they continue to play, because they don’t feel in control of their own lives. They feel like their lives control them.

Hope that helps clear it up for you. Thanks for your question.

Max September 20, 2012 at 4:32 am

There must be something wrong. I’ve seen lots of those extremely addicted ppl in my school, like those guys who during the breaks just stand in the middle of the cafeteria looking dumbly at the ground O_o don’t care about how they look, and don’t shave…
But I’ve never seen such girls… I mean, there must be a great difference between girls and guys for this fact. Girls do never get addicted to games, they don’t even play them. Srsly what’s wrong with us -> guys? Or maybe girls don’t have the challenge -> improvement thought? :D
This is just a subject I feel interesting to discuss HERE. But anyways, just pointing out the facts.

Dylan Pope September 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Hello Cam, I am currently 18 years old, in college, and have a loving and understanding girlfriend.. I am also addicted to gaming. I read this article because I am aware and I don’t want to feel as if its a job for me anymore. It really doesn’t help that I am OCD and I must have everything in a certain way. An example would be I must have Third-Person games rather than First-Person games in my own mind. I also want as much realistic and historical experiences in life. That said, I have always looked toward Video Games to give me that experiences, and it just feels like a job to me. For example: To shoot a bow and arrow in a game, or to swing a sword or drive a vehicle. I have always wanted to experiences as much as possible what could resemble or closely resemble that experiences, during my free time. The only way to truly experiences anything is to personalty act it, at least thats the conclusion i came up with. I just do not wish to just sit there and be same person I was whenever I’m done gaming, like you said in your article. I feel like for many years I haven’t gain much and I have lost money and more because of gaming. My real problem is just what could I replace gaming with? I like movies, but I am not sure if that is almost as bad as gaming. Reading Perhaps? Taking walks with one or the other? I just know that I must stop with gaming and find a new hobby, a suitable one. and no, I am not that much into music. I would like to hear your opinion and any advice, thank you. :)

Max September 21, 2012 at 4:40 am

@Dylan Pope
Dude. I know what you feel. And imo, the best you can do, is, to do that thing you want, but not in video games (well, swinging a sword… hm… ;D). For example, shooting with a bow and arrow, well, I’m sure you can find an archer’s club nearly. Drive a car? Well drive your father’s car once you get your driving papers, if not, just go to a small village with your father and the car, and drive with him in a deserted field and so on :D You see what I mean. Maybe you like some sport? imo oriental martial arts are far more interesting than a video game. Just trying to help.
Peace.

Stevie September 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm

I’m back cam and I took your recemendation to account I quit playing video games (xbox live)(black ops) so I went to the library and got some non fiction books. , Boston masurcure Lincoln n Douglas world war 2 book n devils deciples n 5 dvds, some chuck norris volume 5 and the final seoson lol but its interesting forreal. N I got ancient newyork and two volumes of world war 2 ima info maniac. I want to thank everybody encouraging me getting me thru my addiction. Let me say this I graduated from juvenile probation from age 15 to 16 I graduated from a drug rehabilitation class (reefer) which was tramatic because weed. Should not be illegal so it was tuff so here I am 17 just 2 days of no gaming gladly after having a non stop addiction to games my history of gaming is severe playing 007 at age 5 or 6 truthfully I cannot tell you each game n how long I playedthem because I don’t really remember but let me cut it short and sweet I rap and I want to be a comedian someone getback at me holla if u hear me cam??

Mark September 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I pop up here every once in a while especially when I get the itch to start looking at video games again. I found this article that I agreed with 100% and thought it might be interesting for some people to see.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-to-tell-youre-getting-too-old-video-games/

Cam September 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

@ Max – Thanks for commenting! Actually, the second fastest age group of kids in the USA playing video games is teenage girls, so in the next few years you’ll see more of them!

@ Dylan Pope – Thanks for commenting Dylan. What about finding hobbies that allow you to experience all of those things you mentioned you wanted but in real life? Climbing a mountain would be pretty crazy? MMA could be like your fighting games, you know what I mean? I’d write down a list of things you want to accomplish and start there. A bucket list! What about learning a new language or skill? Reading is great but I’d add some more active activities too.

@ Stevie – Welcome back! I’m stoked to hear about your progress. Join a stand-up comedy club! One of my friends did it and he was performing on stage within a few months, AND HE WAS FUNNY! Do it.

@ Mark – Thanks for popping in and leaving your comment. I’m glad you’re still pushing strong. :)

Bernardo September 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm

CAM

I don’t know much about you, but what i know is that thanks to you i believe i can kick out of my video-game addiction, and that is more than anyone else ever managed.

For too long i’ve been playing and trying to make myself believe i was doing ok, but the truth is video-games have been hindering my studies, pushing back my social life and not allowing me to pursue the life that I seek.

I’m glad I found this page, It is saved on my favorites and I will definitely change, not just for the good of myself but also for those that I love and don’t wish to lose.~

Thank you for sharing your experience, it will make a difference in my life and the very least i can do is say:

Thank you.

Bernardo September 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Ps. I’m going to dedicate more on studying psychology, and for entertainment and social interaction i’m going to turn to cooking! It probably isn’t the most interactive thing to do but it allows me to escape reality for a while like games did, and if it allows me to bond more with my girlfriend and/or mother and sisters then it can only be a good thing.

Thank you again!

Jerry September 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Hey CAM! Thanks so much for this article. A year back, i began playing the game “Minecraft”. You will not believe what i have to say on this story. Every night, from 4-6 Hours, I would play this game instead of homework. I would play mine craft on this guys server and eventually became admin. He lived in a time zone 3 hours behind me. So I would play until he had to go to sleep (Usually around 2 AM my time, and then do all my homework. Eventually, school became too overwhelming for him and he stopped his server. I was so addicted that I went to another server only to see the process start again. But there was one thing that kept me from playing full time with the new server and thats the fact that I felt so loyal to my own server and it did’nt seem like any fun. I spent no family time together and every time my mom asked me if i wanted some food or if i needed help, I always said “Im doing homework, no, leave me alone.” Eventually I overcame my minecraft addiction because the other guy stopped it. I guess insted of me playing minecraft, minecraft was controlling me. I Got lazy and decided to play another game and one my other freinds IRL were were playing was Starcraft 2. Im still insanely addicted to startcraft 2 and Im willing to do anything to get off. Gah, its b=only been about 3 months, but I cant let my grades suffer. All day in school, all I think about is corrupters taking down carriers, or new Zerg strategy instead of listening in class. It looks like its gonna be really hard to stop, but im gonna have to find some way to do it. Thanks a lot of this article though, Ill try to follow the steps.

J

Jerry September 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Hey CAM! Thanks so much for this article. A year back, i began playing the game “Minecraft”. You will not believe what i have to say on this story. Every night, from 4-6 Hours, I would play this game instead of homework. I would play mine craft on this guys server and eventually became admin. He lived in a time zone 3 hours behind me. So I would play until he had to go to sleep (Usually around 2 AM my time, and then do all my homework. Eventually, school became too overwhelming for him and he stopped his server. I was so addicted that I went to another server only to see the process start again. But there was one thing that kept me from playing full time with the new server and thats the fact that I felt so loyal to my own server and it did’nt seem like any fun. I spent no family time together and every time my mom asked me if i wanted some food or if i needed help, I always said “Im doing homework, no, leave me alone.” Eventually I overcame my minecraft addiction because the other guy stopped it. I guess insted of me playing minecraft, minecraft was controlling me. I Got lazy and decided to play another game and one my other freinds IRL were were playing was Starcraft 2. Im still insanely addicted to startcraft 2 and Im willing to do anything to get off. Gah, its b=only been about 3 months, but I cant let my grades suffer. All day in school, all I think about is corrupters taking down carriers, or new Zerg strategy instead of listening in clasHey CAM! Thanks so much for this article. A year back, i began playing the game “Minecraft”. You will not believe what i have to say on this story. Every night, from 4-6 Hours, I would play this game instead of homework. I would play mine craft on this guys server and eventually became admin. He lived in a time zone 3 hours behind me. So I would play until he had to go to sleep (Usually around 2 AM my time, and then do all my homework. Eventually, school became too overwhelming for him and he stopped his server. I was so addicted that I went to another server only to see the process start again. But there was one thing that kept me from playing full time with the new server and thats the fact that I felt so loyal to my own server and it did’nt seem like any fun. I spent no family time together and every time my mom asked me if i wanted some food or if i needed help, I always said “Im doing homework, no, leave me alone.” Eventually I overcame my minecraft addiction because the other guy stopped it. I guess insted of me playing minecraft, minecraft was controlling me. I Got lazy and decided to play another game and one my other freinds IRL were were playing was Starcraft 2. Im still insanely addicted to startcraft 2 and Im willing to do anything to get off. Gah, its b=only been about 3 months, but I cant let my grades suffer. All day in school, all I think about is corrupters taking down carriers, or new Zerg strategy instead of listening in class. It looks like its gonna be really hard to stop, but im gonna have to find some way to do it. Thanks a lot of this article though, Ill try to follow the steps.

Js. It looks like its gonna be really hard to stop, but im gonna have to find se way to do it. Thanks a lot of this article though, Ill try to follow the steps.

J

Cam September 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

@ Bernardo – Hey! Thanks for commenting. I’m super stoked to hear you’ve been able to kick your addiction and move past games. Keep me posted on your progress. I think learning how to cook is a great skill to have. Think about it: EVERYBODY in the world needs to eat, so being a badass cook means you can give value to anybody in the world any time. Pretty valuable right? :)

@ Jerry – Thanks for commenting! I definitely relate to you about how strong the addiction can be, but if you follow the steps you will be able to do it. Just look at ALL the comments from guys just like you who have had a big time addiction but been able to quit! You can do it just like them if you want to. Let me know any way I can help you out.

PTT September 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Cam this is a fantastic article. I’ve always been the emotive impulsive type, and I’ve always played games dating back to the NES (even tho i class myself as a casual gamer tho i own alot of games and movies). though I wasn’t an addict, lately at 31, I’m feeling that lately I’m more into games than I was before (forza4 is a prime example), and having a quick fix when im down either buying moves, buying games, was also a problem. Having realised im getting nowhere, and those aspects of the dream girl im crazy about, and ballroom dancing which i took up recently, i was pissed that I was thinking about forza and car specs when i should enjoy something real, like the ballroom dancing and whatnot, and not like just play xbox days on end, and worry about my hobby for only 2 hours a week. great article. soothed me, cos i broke my tv as well (accidentally) after i realised my xbox gaming time/fondness was not ideal. now i left my consoles at my brothers, and i will concentrate on dance, maybe even converse with that girl. Thanks Cam!

PTT September 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm

ps. i mean i will converse with that girl!

Shaun September 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I found this article inspirational. I have tired several times in my life to quit. I even went as far as tossing over $3,000 worth of games in the trash (this was back before everything was digital!), only to rebuild my collection again.

You know why I want to quit? I just want to read. Reading, and furthering knowledge was my favorite thing in all of life to do before Video games. I love and miss it so much, but I just can’t get back to it. I read maybe 5 books a year if I’m lucky. I spend way too much time on video games to read.

I have always wanted to be a writer as well, and guess what…I commit to that either, and I’m afraid that I will never know if I had what it takes; all because of some stupid virtual world I can’t pull myself out of.

Shaun September 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Needs to be a way to edit posts. Oh well, first lesson for writing, proof read before you publish! :)

PTT September 29, 2012 at 10:28 am

@Shaun, I feel for you…Why don’t you try removing your 3d Graphics Card from your PC?

Max September 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

GUYS! Here’s another tip to quit video games for sure, and it actually works!
Let’s start by the obvious: you play video games because it’s the actual only way of having fun in your life. And here it’s said to find other ways of having fun and so on. Yes, this is a great post, excellent even. But, not everyone can do it, and, if you’re too tempted to play video games, well… you just have to beat that temptation out of you.
How to do it will you ask? Here’s the answer: fall in love with a girl. exactly. I mean, falling in love isn’t something you do like BAM, LETS FALL IN LOVE! idk, it’s just a tip that actually works, because you’ll think about her all the time, and games won’t give that feeling you want, and, well, you’ll feel like shit by staying at home friday night. Result: you’ll try to improve yourself to conquer that beloved holy creature, you’ll go out because you feel like shit by staying at home, and you’ll always be thinking about HER, which will prevent you from playing video games, ’cause they’ll be boring for u.
Allright dudes, peace.

PTT September 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

@Max- i can agree to some extent. tho you need to be careful as well to a) not look like weird infront of her b) not have your mind go from one obsession to another.

building upon social skills and making yourself attractive to the opposite sex and building upon yourself i(integrity, character, presenting yourself, care, clothes, combing hair, deoderant) is something now im really looking into, of course we can think about a particular special someone-let’s just say dont go overboard either (stalkerish).

Cam September 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm

@ PTT – Thanks for commenting! It means a lot to me that you found it valuable. Awesome that you have joined ballroom dancing, I think it’s a great activity to join. If you need any help with girls, let me know, I’d be happy to help.

@ Shaun – Thanks for commenting! Reading is a great activity. Will Smith says the 2 secrets to life are running and reading. I need to read more so I definitely relate to you that it can be hard to do, but, it’s only a matter of making time. Glad you found the article inspirational, it means a lot.

@ Max – Thanks for taking the time to leave another tip for other people. I’m actually currently in the process of writing a book on how to quit video games that will expand on the topics I talked about here. I’m excited to release it to everyone! Ironically enough my brother was very addicted to games but when he met a girl he quit. It worked really well.

G. Lima September 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Hey Cam,
So I’m 13 and looked at 80% of this entire page, and I fully understand what to do to stop my gaming addiction to Halo, however I still need help on one thing: How can I get friends with similar interests? Because my neighbor is my best friend and he is also addicted to Halo, and i’m in eighth grade so there are about 150 kids in the same grade. I am extremely dedicated in Tae-Kwon-Do when other people play football, I have no interest in instruments while other people do, and I’m not very talkative. I only talk at lunch or passing periods with my friends(about 20 in all) and am not good a socializing.

I thought gaming was affecting my grades, but its been 3 weeks and nothing changed. I want to be a engineer doing stuff related to new energy sources. I want to get a good college like Princeton, but even that isn’t enough to motivate me.

Do you think I should continue gaming until high school where my GPA counts or should I try to develop good study habits now? I really think i’m too young to quit playing social games on my Xbox 360 and continue enjoying my video game life just a bit more.

I am glad to see your dedication to this page, it’s also great to see someone reply to other people’s meaningful questions and comments for over a year.

PTT September 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm

CAM thanks for the reply. as you know i go ballroom dancing twice a week, one hour session each or so. and i see her once a fortnight. she is kinda advanced in dancing, so tho shes not the official teacher, shes more of a mentor guide. she comes in on the dot, and she has to do another dance class, and i feel i should go cos im the beginner.

What advice can you offer?

also meeting that life partner involves networking and expanding horizons. my friends confirmed as theres these audio tapes-esque preaching on ‘finding your partner’ my friend showed me on his ipad. It talked about some previous things like integrity/honesty/listening skills and whatnot. quite good. I have taken a year off from study because i was sick of studying (this is my 3rd qualification in australia) and my friends told me i should do more than just dance, so i’ve decided to learn cooking as well.

PTT September 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm

One last thing, I had to cut ties with my cousin who is a videogamer addict, and that is a harsh decision i had to make, but we were bad influences on each other.

its good that you set the record straight, that my life is most important compared to other people, tho of course within balance, … and wife and kids are most important!

Cam September 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm

@ G. Lima – Thanks for commenting! I definitely think developing good study habits now is the best idea! If I could go back and change things about how I approached school growing up I would have developed better study habits earlier in my life. I didn’t finally start working hard until I was like 23!!!

What do you think is the part of socializing you’re most unsure of? Where do you get stuck?

@ PTT – You’re welcome! Definitely expanding your horizons is good.. and cooking is a great way to start that. Remember not to fixate on one girl too much – even though she might be really cool in your eyes – you should still try and meet other girls too. It’s easy to focus too much on ONE girl.

Where do you feel like you get stuck right now with this one girl? Do you talk with her on a regular basis? If not, start there. Catch her before/after class and just initiate a conversation. IT doesn’t have to last long, even 1-2 minutes every time is a good start. The more times you guys have conversations the more open she will become.

PTT September 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Thanks. Just want to spread it out there that people should visit meetup.com which is a place where people of the same interests and hobbies meet up! (I’ve joined it for photography and cooking). (don’t join up for the movie watching one its too weird sitting in the dark with people u don’t know, and def not anything about videogames!) One year break allows me just to go crazy with trying new things.

Yeah i know about the focussing on one girl thing, tell me about it. especially if shes like super dooper; so thats good advice as well. It’s a farcry from me back in the day, and whether its a conservative Asian thing..who knows..

I have spoken to her very little (her dancing shoes was causing pain to her so i asked and showed some care) (which in itsef alot better than absolutely zero.) I dance with her, because she mentors the beginners tho the culture is to obviously concentrate on dance on not “chatting up”. The biggest problem: the culture of concentrating on dance, and the routine, and how amazing she (looks, figure, dancing skill) is that i get nervous, and don’t know what to say. (I don’t look all that bad myself, but i could lose 8 kilos to look better(a by-product of videogames and other factors). Speaking of which, the withdrawal of videogames, has made me ‘need’ to exercise, well walking/jogging a good 5km usually more on a regular basis. So main problem are “skills of dancing, weight” I’m gonna fix my weight problem w more regular exercise and healthier food intake, practising more on Jive/ChaCha. Speaking 1-2 minutes should be quite ok for me so thanks for setting a benchmark.

(I now think I was still a blu-ray/game addict, even tho i sucked at them (comparatively) it didn’t matter, the escapsim of reality, and social life reduction and a reduction of other hobbies was there). For those who don’t know if they are or not-Dont stress/obsess too much whether you are or not, it’s just a word at the end of the day. Just seek advice from CAM!) I spoke to two friends I haven’t seen in years and I had the most fun talking about these issues (attracting girls / socialising and whatnot).

Thanks a tonne, What you are doing is amazing. If only you could expand your services of videogame addiction advice somehow…If the Virtual Reality headset (Oculos Rift?) side of things takes hold, and just natural progression of graphics (new videogame consoles/PC) then I can only see an exponential number of addicts out there). I’m glad I’m just old enough to stop at a good time! I feel sorry for the younger generation who would struggle alot more and need to find balance sooner or will be sucked in. Breaking my $1800 AUD Samsung 1080p was the best thing that happened to me.

Ben October 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

Hey Cam, thanks for responding to my comment. I do appreciate it.

Teaching in South Korea can be worth it for young people. It’s a great way to save money, and meet new people. For me, teaching abroad has given me confidence that I never had before. I don’t have to pay for rent, and I don’t have car payments and insurance to worry about. I also got $2,000 for completing my one year contract. Also, my school paid for the plane ticket to South Korea, and when I depart for home they will take care of that as well.

I am in a rural area of South Korea, so it’s not that exciting. I am not in Seoul. If you are looking to save money I would stay out of the Seoul. It’s too expensive and you can easily spend your entire paycheck in one month. Plus, people tend to party a lot in Seoul. I am over the party scene so it doesn’t bother me too much, but for the younger guys this can be a huge issue. You really do need self control, and how many 23 year old guys have it?

Your experience in South Korea is going to depend entirely on your experience at your work. There are two main type of schools. Hagwons and public. Public schools are the safest route. People wanting to go directly this route need to sign up thru Epic. I work at a hagwon. They are private schools. This type of educational institution can be either hit or miss. There are really good hagwons and there are really bad ones. People need to pick carefully and they need to research their school. I work at a decent hagwon but my hours are a bit much. I normally work 10 hour days. I know someone who only teaches for 6 hours and he gets paid just as much as me.

I just wanted to briefly touch on gaming. I do believe that people can play video games and have productive lives. The important ting to remember is if you are going to still game you need to schedule it in your daily calendar. For instance, if I wanted to play Call of Duty for an hour I would schedule it in, and when the hour was up I would turn my system off. Forget the just another 30 minutes attitude, because we all know where this leads. Also, this is where self control comes in. Second, I would only play FPS and sport games. I would stay the hell away from RPGs and MMORPGs. You need to devote too much time. With a FPS single player game I can play for an hour and that’s it. Try to do that with World of Warcraft.

Time is the only commodity that you can’t get back. It’s a precious resource that should be cherished, because once it is gone that’s it. I really feel bad for people who have sunk in 2,000 plus on games like World of Warcraft. Only to one day wake up, look around and realize too late that the best part of their life is over. To wake up and realize that it really is game over.

PTT October 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

@Ben- i really do believe time is precious- haha prime example time it more precious than my LED TV that i accidentally broke. sure if it was rationale enough i should have given my TV away or sell it before accidentally breaking it. as soon as it broke tho, i notice i eat less, and need to exercise more, and my insomnia problem has vastly umproved.

Cam October 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

@ PTT – Meetup.com is a great site! Thank you for sharing. I’ve known about the site but I hadn’t been recommending it. I’ll be expanding on the topic of video game addiction a lot more in my upcoming book. I’m excited to get the book out there! Also, I did receive your emails and will reply today.

@ Ben – Thanks for following up. Teaching in SOuth Korea sounds like quite the experience. I’m even going to consider it myself. I think it could be great! Thanks for expanding on it. I definitely agree with your approach to scheduling your time, this has made a big difference in my life.

PTT October 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

@cam- still waiting on your reply, your replies are quite insightful that’s all :) theres a ballroom special event- going to that..

PTT October 7, 2012 at 12:49 am

my videogame cousin (and i) have been recently trading insults, sad, but i still think if this is how its going to have to eventuate then so be it. think of the two swear words that starts with ‘f’ ; and the other swear words that starts with ‘c’ and ends with ‘t’. it is quite awful, and i believe its that extreme attachment we have as friends previously. hope to get your e-mail soon CAM.

PTT October 7, 2012 at 4:03 am

let it be stated that he swore constantly before i couldn’t take it anymore. sad.

Kerim Dzindo October 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

Wow. Awesome,I actually stoped playing today Im still have that iching feeling to play a little but I did throw everything out so take that mind.I did write a few rap songs and I played one or two for my friends and they loved it so I think Im gonna take life a little more seriously now and just put this (no)life behind me for good!

PTT October 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

yes removing ‘STEAM’, removing equipment-consoles, 3d cards, tv’s, and not socialising with friends who are avid gamers, are a good means..i think the latter is especially hard because well they are human.

Bogdan (Lobster) October 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

Hey Cam,
You wanted to ask me something about 20 days ago, and you told me to e-mail you.
So I did, and in case you haven’t seen the e-mail yet, I am reminding you :P

PTT October 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hey Cam,

yeah same, my email is
tpat@deakin.edu.au

PTT.

Cam October 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm

@ PTT – it’s coming tomorrow. sorry for the wait. been travelling.

@ Kerim Dzindo – Thanks for the comment! I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. Taking life more seriously is exactly what you should do. it helps a lot. Look at life as the ultimate video game :)

@ Bogdan – I got your e-mail thank you. Will respond tomorrow.

Jacob October 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Hey, Cam I stumbled across this website somehow and immediately got interested. I recently got a job where there literally teaching me how to better and easier talk to people and be more confident since I have to teach people on a daily basis. So a lot of this has a great relevance and I’ll be working on reading through this as much as I can the next few days.
However I have a question. I wouldn’t say I play video games as much as you or some others have. There was a time when I was younger when I was addicted to runescape. And I was addicted to mw2. And now my friends have been playing League of Legends which I had kinda quit till they started again. The problem is the game is an ESport and watching the championships makes me want to play that much more but I know its dumb. I generally don’t play so much that I’m doing nothing else where I’m foregoing hanging out with friends so I can play video games-in fact a lot of the times my friends and I all play at night and skype eachother. But I have like 2 hours here, maybe 2 hours after I get home from work late at night and I don’t really know what else to do that’s as enjoyable. I have passions. Something called tricking but I have to have good weather or be in a gym for that. I used to play basketball a LOT- same situation. A lot of my favorite hobbies require a bit of time and for certain conditions. So when its 11 at night what else can I fill in my time with instead of playing …? Thanks for the article it’s great.

Fred October 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Hi Cam

I just finished reading your article and I am very impressed on your advice. Everything you have mentioned and stated is correct. Somewhere about a month ago (September 4th) I was forced by my parents to stop playing a video game known as “League of Legends”. This really sucked for me because this was what all my friends were playing and I felt excluded. For a few weeks I fell into a depression which eventually led to me making bashful and hasty decisions. My parents were EXTREMELY strict about me not playing. It would seem like no matter what I did they would just not let me play at all. I even suggested to them to only let me play on Fridays, but they refused because they wanted me to stop cold turkey. Somewhere deep down though,I am somewhat grateful. I never had a problem in school however. In fact all my marks were in the high 80’s and 90’s and I am an honors student at my high school. Anyways back to the story.

Right now I really don’t care about playing video games because all I really wanted to do was hang out with my friends and feel social. Playing League was obviously something that my parents didnt like but I LOVED it and it was so much fun to play with my friends and talk on skype at the same time (it filled the social gap). My friends though are confused as to why my parents have told me to stop playing even after I have told them countless times “I dont know why they have told me to but they are super strict about it and I can’t persuade/fight them about it”. I have asked them if they wanted to do other activites with me (watch a movie, go outside, etc..) but alas it seems as if when I do they are too busy playing League with each other and hearing this just makes me want to play League again.

Btw, I was also wondering if playing Minecraft with my friends was alright too because the way I see it, Minecraft is an imaginative world where you can do anything and create anything which helps the mind in creative ways. This could also be a fun past-time to talk and enjoy with my friends.

Anyways my whole point of this comment was to ask you if theres anyway I can get back to enjoying time with my friends and having fun at the same time?

P.S my friends are very passionate about League and will not stop playing it no matter what :(

Cam October 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Hey Jacob. Thanks for commenting! Sounds like your job is awesome. What is it? I think reading would be a good option… I find most of us don’t read nearly as much as we should and reading is a great way to increase our intelligence. Meditation could be a great addition to your life as well. Maybe a mix of reading + meditation and then some relaxing? I really enjoy watching videos on TED.com and sites similar that push me to the next level.

Cam October 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm

@ Fred – Thanks for checking out the article. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I definitely relate to you with your parents making you stop. I had the same thing happen during my teen years. I resented them for a long time because of it too… but looking back I can see why they did it.

I definitely think focusing more on doing other activities with your friends is the best answer to give. Now… if your friends are unwilling to do other activities with you… the simple answer would be to find a new group of friends.

One of our core concepts at Kingpin Social is that you’re a product of your environment. Your environment (your friends) influence you in every way. You either shape it or it shapes you. So if your group of friends consists of people who sit around all day playing video games… what are you going to become? Someone who sits around all day playing video games.

The easiest answer is to think about what you want to become… then surround yourself by people doing it. There’s a great video blog on this topic by Mikey B here: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/environment-win-fail/

Hope that helps!

Jacob October 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Actually I’m a ballroom dance instructor. Kinda of a long story but I’m currently in training and I really didn’t know how hard socializing with strangers can be. I’ve always been slightly shy so it’s been interesting experience. I actually read quite a bit. It can be kind of expensive though lol. Don’t get me wrong, I read some of these stories and I’m not that bad. I play basketball, trick, get good grades, have a job, read, all sorts of things. I’ll check out that site though. I’m surprised you respond so fast to so many comments.

Tempe October 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I really like what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and
reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

Cam October 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

@ Jacob – That’s awesome that you’re a ballroom dance instructor. Sounds like things are decent for you. Definitely check out some of the other articles.

@ Tempe – Thanks for commenting! It means a lot that you value what we’re doing.

WIRED October 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

First of all, thank you so much for spending your time sharing the knowledge you gained with your own experience. Second, congrats because this is a brilliant analysis of how a gamer’s addiction works. I had never done such a deep thinking about the matter, even though I was experiencing the same symptoms as you described.

Below I will shortly share my experience. I don’t think that I have been a hard gamer, but I’ve been spending my hours :)

The games that have made me feel addicted are some browser games, real-time strategy games and shooters. The browser games are specially dangerous because you can easily end up spending more money than you do with the others, it all depends on your addition and if you really get obsessed about “progressing”.

I think that not everybody has the same potential to be an addicted gamer, and this potential depends on your need to prove that you can be good, better than the rest, your need to see a visible progress, to be respected by a virtual society of “friends” who just share a common interest of playing the same game as you do. All that is what I experienced and what I needed. In fact, it’s been easier for me to quit games after some setbacks, like being owned by another player, or noticing that I had not improved in a long time and I was never going to be a specially good player. But in those games where I had been one of the best, it’s been REALLY hard to quit, and as you said, it had to be done cold turkey. That happened to me in one of the browser games I was playing, I had already spent some money I had a great empire meticulously built, and I was actually fighting everyday to keep this advantage over my enemies like if it were a job. It was even worse if we consider that these browser games are played all over the world and anything can happen in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping, you can be attacked by your enemies, this my friends, this is HELL, it absolutely interferes in your life until a point that even I, being addicted, noticed it. When I had to quit (if I wanted to have my own life instead of being a slave), I started thinking about all what I had achieved, my “friends” who “needed” me, which make that decision really hard and took me more than one try.

Lately, I’ve been playing almost everyday to a shooter, especially with a modification who make possible to set record scores, record times in “capture the flag” games, etc. This records thing has been another of my weaknesses, I always felt this feeling of being the fastest or best player highly satisfactory. After years playing, I ended up feeling satisfactory even to see other skilled people playing as an spectator, and have been happy doing this, just looking at the screen, chat with the other spectators, and doing nothing else during hours in the night. But lately, I have always felt a bitter regret when I turned off my computer and went to sleep, knowing that the next day I would either get up late or be sleepy.
Nowadays, I stopped playing by uninstalling the game, I am also living abroad while finishing my studies, but I still feel the need to be there with my gaming acquaintances. Yesterday I started installing the game, convincing myself that it would be just like watching a film sometimes, and that I could control it, but I know it’s not like that so… I aborted it. It would take a lot of my time, and probably satisfy my social needs, so it wouldn’t really help me to meet new people here. (This little crisis made me find your amazing article, so… bless it!)

I’ve always wanted to do many different things, writing, learning to play a musical instrument, travelling… and somehow I feel that all these things haven’t been done because of my uncontrollable desire to play and to feel this deceitful comfort with your gaming social life. However, I also had good times with the video games, and I think that apart from the video games which caused me these addictions (repetitiveness which can’t teach you anything), other adventure games have greatly improved my imagination during my childhood.
Now I would like to ask you, do you ever feel regret about what could you have done?

Thanks again! ;)

Jacob October 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I just read back a few of the things and realized PTT is going for ballroom classes and likes one of the girls. I can maybe give a little insight into that. If she’s good at dancing it means she’s into it. She started right where you are. Try talking to her about how she got better, things she did to learn a particular pattern or get a style right. And honestly just try and learn to dance more. Do it for yourself of course you obviously enjoy it, but also try to impress her. That sounds bad sometimes but its not really. People who like dancing like others who can dance well. to repreat its ok to learn something to impress people but you have to enjoy it yourself too which it sounds like you do. Then you guys will have common ground. If she starts to see you progressing faster it helps her notice you. Other than that just have fun, get to know her, but like Cam said don’t focus too much on her. The best way to get out of addiction is to find something your passionate about. Dance or cooking can definitely fill that role

Gotta start livin October 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Hello I’m 19 years old and I could go on about my video gaming history so I will sum it up in two words “Competitive Gaming” that is what kept me going. Anyways as of today 10/12/12 I have took my Xbox and stored it away in my closet. I want to actually start my life and improve my life in every aspect possible. My management teacher told me today “You never grow or develop if you aren’t put out your comfort zone.” That made me think that I’m not growing because I’m in my comfort zone(video games)24/7. My skill in video games is ridiculous that makes me think that if I find a talent that actually has a meaning in life that I can do big things!

Love this article by the way,
Going cold turkey wish my luck,
Mike

T October 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Really great article,
I used pc gaming for escapism, to get away from reality as i grew up, still play them now but very tame like. I naturally got off playing so much without thinking due to a life change a few years ago and now its just casual, still have a social life style !
Though a childhood friend of mine worrys me,
he literally does nothing else. He never talks to any of his friends any more, even me and I’ve known him on birth.. If we ever do talk its on Steam instant messenger when i send him the odd message but its only ever game related otherwise he wont respond.

The worst part about all this though is that he rarely EVER playes MP games, or even Co Op. For example,
Borderlands 2 recently came out, hes amassed nearly 200 hours in the past 2 weeks.
I dont own B.Lands 2 but we had played B. Lands 1 together, and when we did we would play for an hour, then pretend he had ‘things to do’ then go on steams ‘offline mode’ and continue playing single player.. (you can tell by clicking on a games steam profile and it shows you which friends own it and if they’re online or not).

Its gotten to the point, this second where i had to do some google searching on it, I came across this, I almost 100% give up on him.
He is completely fucking oblivious as to how its effected his friendships, he is just so exited to talk about a game and just leads me to believe he is completely un aware of his problem..
Its not even the social side of it like i mentioned..
Such a sad case.

PTT October 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Thanks Jacob for the advice. I was surprised somebody other from the KingPin Social team would give me advice, so Kudos for that :D

Sometimes i can get extremely moody so jogging and practising dance in my backyard helps. and yes dance is also for self-improvement, and the advice was really good.

I was watching this video the other night and i thought it was also good..in that maybe i should be overly thinking of what i should say, and have faith the things will eventuate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oVSfdzrflc

(and if not, sigh, it aint the end of the world) lol.

i was a bit moody last night so i started this 10 year old game called star wars battlefront 2 on PC, luckily i didn’t uninstall thinking it wont be addictive, after 20 seconds i quit, because it was so boring, and monotonous…(thank goodness i uninstalled Counterstrike Source).

Oznerol October 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I stopped playing video games because of basketball, but i got injured, i got nothing better to do so I always think about playing videogames… help?

Brandon the Crusader October 13, 2012 at 1:32 am

well, that was a nice article. A real analysis of why we like, or liked videogames so much…

I always knew that videogames were fun, but I was hiding from myself the truth… i was a total loner, and i wasnt making progress in life.

i played this game, back in 2011, League of Legends, I like ninjas and teleporting, of course, the expressions of power were atrracting, with Karthus I could kill five people at once, universal range, kassadin, he *blinks* riftwalks, and Shen is a ninja!

Yeah, i know that sounds tempting, but its all crap food for your joy gut.
what you put in, is what you get, play lots of games, youre a gamer, play even more, read guides, take classes….on gaming, you may be a pro gamer….

WOW GJ! you gamer, you’re on top of the world, you can actually fly…no, literally you can fly, and shot lazers out of your mouth when you say, “trololol”…

no, you cant, being at the top of the gaming world…okay, lets just say i was, what then? Is the job to just stay at the top? effortlessly? no, there are others and i must crush them, familiar? yeah, the desire to rule! to conquer all, to be King!
warning!
Warning, I believe in God. If anyone is going to bash this, go ahead, the bible speaks of you, and if anyone has questions email me at yellowjacketninja@gmail.com

Well, let me tell you this, being the most pro gamer in the universe means absolutly nothing becuase you and I and all of the world will die, even sooner maybe if we sat at a computer screen for over half a day while we were young.
we will die, count on it, i know people who have died, personally, and im going to pass away from this earth too…and there will be no videogames in hell if you’re going there, for future residents of hell maybe you’ll just be the blue blinking ghosts from pacman for all eternity, with no pacman to eat, or any fruit or pacdots…i cant imagine those four eating anything but pacman…but you’d just be blue blinking ghosts, except, on fire, and it hurts, and it sucks….how about no social life either, you got your sections walled off, no progression, no fun, just crap. Crap…. and what sucks more is that your eternally stuck in a box similar to the one the ghosts comefrom in pacman, and it really sucks. Evil deserves that.
so we’ll die, this is the real issue.
Not just in the videogame world of warcrap, lol, or LoL, but in the real world.
Do you seriously want your legacy, if you want one, be,”he was the best videogame player in the ehole wide world, ever” if you care about a legacy that is…i dont.
Who thinks, “when i die i want to be remembered and praised among all for all i did, being the greastest guy ever” well good luck on thay champ, first step, getting rid of evil….oh wait, i was thinking of videogames again, thats not going to happen on our part.

I’ll tell you this, if youre like me and you’ve realized its all crap, lol, you begin to ponder on death… I became an occultist, looking into Satan, and witchcraft…for a time, power and glory was something i craved. Im pretty sure i got a girl to like me from an ancient occult practice, i dont reccomend trying it but for the sake of truth, i did for a long period of time in my life, wish upon stars, and make wishes afters blowing out candles on a special day.

In a different area of my life, I got really twisted, and got my highs from porn, and more crap. I started that stuff when I was 13, it put a seed of wickedness in my heart, it twisted me. Videogames were the solution, lol, I can imagine some of the athiests here saying porn was thier solution to their videogame addiction. Anyways, I was still craving more and more, always hungry and thristy for whatever the world had to offer.
Then i got on omegle…social, right…asl?

So, it hit me, im not awesome, im poor, i suck, im a loser, what the hell am i doing here? Jesus Christ(used as an explitive)……Jesus Christ?(really?)….well someone had to have made all of this, or did it all start out of nothing and the laws of logic were not transendent, and there is no hell, no heaven, nothing but what we see and feel… You could tell me this, “hey Brandon, you were, or still are a loser, so you made up your imaginary friend Jesus, to get you up into shape. Stupid christian, there is no magic bearded white guy in da sky on your side, you’re still alone, still a loser, still nothing but a body, no soul, those dont exist, and we crave stuff becuase its in our DNA to want. You know what, you’re better off looking at dirty pics and playing LoL, hey you could go out and fornicate if you wanted, you got money, you dont look too bad. Just remeber, you can have all the fun the want, just ignore the part of you that says no to fun, that says no to the desires of the world.” (thats is what Satan sounds like, but he’s trickier than that, this is too obvious, he is a perverse character though)

What shall I say?
I shall say no to sin, and have my faith in Jesus, The one who was brutally beaten, the one who died for me, the Lord my God.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his names sake, ye though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil, for he is with me, his rod and his staff, they comfort me, he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies… surely goodnees and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and i will dwell in the house of the Lord all of my days…

He is my Lord, is he your Lord?
Im 19 years old, i was a lust addict, a video game addict, and im only a loner in my mind when i stumble, but Jesus is always there. If you are reading this now, there are about 2 or a few things you may think….
one, this guy is nuts
two, this guy is crazy
three, i like spoons
four, interesting points but your sob slash self help story is futile, there is no Jesus who died for your sins so you could go to heaven (i put the detail ther on purpose)
five, Allah Akbar, Isa was a prophet only, i get into heaven by good deeds
six, wait, this writer started watching crap at what age, im sure thats considered self child abuse…(this guy is seeing the moral problem)
seven, i think ill look into this Jesus person, i went through some similar stuff, this might be good

Now here ‘s the part where im going to be mean,
sinner,
you deserve hell,
what can you possibly do, you who are evil, to make things right?
A judge judges the bad you’ve done to sentence you to death. He takes no consideration of the money you donated to charity on christmas when you are being tried for crimes against God.
So what can you do? Receive faith, be born again…..opps, lol, what can you do is the WRONG question…rather what must happen? *receive* faith, and be born again, do you climb back nto he womb and out? no…eww
This saving thing is done by God alone, by His power alone, may you believe in the Truth, Amen.

stevie October 14, 2012 at 12:41 am

I’m back I relapsed I was playing gta 4 yesterday night but now I’m not going play no more I’m going to release a song on youtube called intellectual 2012 look for it cam and everybody

PTT October 14, 2012 at 8:23 am

@Oznerol- can you think of other hobbies that you can do whilst being injured? (tennis/table tennis/cooking/socialising/jogging?).. Will the injury heal back so you can play bball in the future? .. do you need surgery…a friend of mine can play netball once in a while while tearing his ACL after surgery.

@Brandon- I’m not here to bash or criticise. I have been to Church many times. IMO having a religion has little to do with videogames. many of my Christian friends happily play videogames. A pastor i once talked to, said there’s nothing wrong with games, and he has a wii at his house for people(he invites) to play.

PTT October 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

@Stevie – nothing to be ashamed about, if relapse. do you want to uninstall GTA4 tho..?
i tend to only have stupid games installed on my pc. if i feel moody i learned to go out and jog (i have a picture on my door in my bedroom of my running to remind myself).

PTT October 14, 2012 at 8:43 am

@Jacob- its really good to know a fellow ballroom dancer, though you are probably on the other side of the world. I know how hard socialising can be and only in my late 20’s and very early 30’s (im 31 now) have i been able to socialise adequately. so yeah you are not the only one. high school and university, i was very quiet. Now many of my friends are married or overseas. i have found meetup.com to be quite good for this reason (go for the youth, professional ones). it keeps you out of your comfort zone, so I need to talk (to both genders/some dudes just talk to the girls which is alittle obvious), and you see how some people can talk alot (and to the girls) and can hold a conversation more, just because they have a knack of maintaining interest in conversation. what i observed is that he is able to connect by hobbies, life experiences and relate to women on a slightly more emotional level, like saying how his emotions were when he works as a telemarketer. its something i have to build up as well, but we have a wonderful start already because we both enjoy dance, though yeah i’m a beginner at dance but i love it. ive taken your advice that you gave me, and im practising chacha and jive in my backyard.

book are still alot cheaper than a game (by product) and theres the library. audio-cd novels are not bad either..but its really hard to finish a book, i tend to lose interest. im gonna make sure i finish my education (primary school) qualification and find a job soon! good luck yourself.

mek86 October 14, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I would count yourself lucky that you have that much control over yourself. I’m 37. I’m married to a wife who has learned to hate video games with everyone ounce of her being. I’ve been playing video games since I was 16… I use to do other things, I met her, I was a social person. Married her. Then I had to move away because at the time I was in the navy. She couldn’t move because she was a student. I ended up in the ass end of Texas, place called ingleside. It had nothing to do, at all. It was a half and hour drive to the nearest town and there wasn’t much to do there either. Then Ultimia Online came out… played it every hour I could. I even got my wife to log in so we could be together. A year later I moved back and I was out of the military. Still playing UO , I attempted school. I moved on from UO to many MMO games. I’ve played them all at least once, years and years pasted. Now I have 2 kids, my son has my addiction at 7. We play together and its fun,but we don’t do anything else. I’ve forgotten how to be social, how to do anything else. I use to enjoy a lot of things. Minecraft is my newest game and league of legends. I’ve never finished school because I dropped out, no time , had to play. Now I’m almost done with my degree, I’ve managed to cut down but I still MUST play. I’m a old man now, this is a sad thing to see.

ak October 14, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Even though in later comments you clarify that gaming is ok as long as you don’t let it take over your life, your initial article doesn’t say that, just tells people how to quit and generally has a negative attitude towards games and gaming. You also heavily imply that other hobbies are just better than games – why so? You frequently mention sports as a replacement for gaming, but can’t sport take over your life e.g. if you spend so much time invested in sports that you lag behind at university? Of course gaming by its nature is more addictive but as long as you can control yourself and make sure it doesn’t take over your life, there should be no problem, and perhaps you should probably amend your original post to make this point clear. Even if you play games a lot, what’s wrong with that as long as, again, you don’t overdo it? You can play games with friends so you can still socialize while playing, some games give you the opportunity to learn new things, some games stimulate the mind to varying degrees, some games have amazing stories that rival the best books and films, some games discuss, directly or indirectly, complex issues (MGS4 on war, for example). Spending 10 hours a day playing the same game without friends or experiencing any of the above can obviously take away from the rest of your life, but barring such an extreme example, nothing wrong with playing games a lot regularly as long as you meet people, socialize with them, develop as a person and still experience other things that life has to offer.
My point is that games themselves aren’t necessarily bad, it’s how much we play them, with whom we play them, and what type of games we play. Different hobbies bring different things to the table – sports e.g. football allow you to exercise and socialize with others, but don’t really involve the mind. Mental sports e.g. chess is the other way round. Reading can stimulate the mind on various topics, be an amazing story which you can relate to or take valuable lessons from, any many other things. Movies can also show amazing stories but in a different format, the same with comics and webcomics. There are a host of other hobbies that I could mention but I think you get the point. Gaming can stimulate the mind, present an amazing story, allow you to socialize with others if you play with them, and/or just be fun, though you can’t exercise while gaming (I suppose something like WiiFit is an exception but then you don’t get any of the other benefits). As such you can mix hobbies e.g. gaming and sports, gaming, movies and sports, movies and sports (not saying everyone has to game) to get the best of everything. To encourage people to totally quit implies that gaming is entirely bad (even though you amend yourself in later comments), whereas gaming can be a perfectly fulfilling and good hobby as long as it’s done right, like any other.

ak October 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm

(sorry for the double post)
“The issue I have with playing video games is that it doesn’t encourage growth. You can play hours and hours and hours of video games all you want, but at the end of it, you will still be the same person you were. Instead if you spent the time you were playing video games doing something else to grow, by the end of all those hours you’d have spent playing video games, you could actually be in a much better position in your life, giving you many more options.” I disagree with this comment, as I’ve said already games can do more than just entertain, and even if all they did was entertain, a lot of the other hobbies you mentioned could be argued as the same, take most sports for example, sure you can socialize, develop teamwork skills and exercise, but you don’t really work on your mental aptitude and don’t grow in that respect. Video games can also change lives, you can meet new people, real-life friends have met via video games, so have couples, etc. I could go on but I think I’ve made my point clear.
“The post isn’t to tell people to stop playing games (although, I do think it’s a good thing)” Please explain to me why, as this comment implies, is it always good to stop play games, even if they haven’t taken over your life.
You generally contradict yourself a lot in your post-article comments. You state several times how gaming in moderation is ok, can be fulfilling etc. despite the above comment. You also congratulate anyone who’s quitting playing games, though they may not have been addicted/it may have not taken over their life/may have been fulfilling to them in a number of ways and perhaps they stumbled on your article (as I did whilst searching for a different thing) and were convinced wrongly that they had a non-existent problem, and that gaming is inherently bad.
You also congratulate anyone who picks up a replacement hobby/hobbies instead of gaming, without warning them to not let that take over their life – it’s like you think gaming is just worse than other hobbies and/or you can’t get addicted to other hobbies and/or if you do it’s not bad as how being addicted to video games is (I fail to see how spending all your time on any one hobby is not just as bad as spending all your time on video games if it takes away from meeting others, experiencing everything life has to offer and developing as a person). It just seems you have an inherent bias against video games because of your own experience, whereas others CAN get it right, as I’ve said before, without taking a black-and-white approach to gaming.

I’m really sorry for two really long posts in a row but when I stumbled across this article it just caught my attention, I’ve heard a lot of times people unfarily criticising games (though I understand that that’s not what you’re trying to do from your later posts your older posts and orginal article give that tone) after all there’s a general bias against games e.g in the media, how violent video games are talked about in a bad light far more than equally violent and sometimes even more violent movies, for example.

PTT October 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

personally i prefer to have hobbies compared to videogames, because a videogame itself is a elctronic representation of something, take forza the driving game which was my addiction. am i really driving a ferrari 360 modena, and putting vinyls on it? no…

im not here to tell people to never play the odd game (i have some installed on pc-just not the addictive ones)…

when i ballroom dance, i know when im dancing with a girl, or when im socialisingof i know its true and real (and even tho it aint as exciting as driving a ferrari and break neck speeds- at the end of the day i feel im doing my brain, and spiritual, and mental side of things justice knowing that im spending my time on something that is physically real.

I understand where you are coming from ak, but thats my personal reason why i dont play games much at all now. Many of the people are regretting or can forsee themselves regretting with their videogame habits. if you cant see yourself regretting videogames-studies, spouse, kids commitments, time for other things, you have a point. (i played gran turismo 1 for 12 hours straight at one point after i finished high school and i had nothing to do and had no commitments- but that was only for 2 days)..so yeah you have a point… i dont think i was adversely affected by it, given the circumstance of having absolutely nothing to do.

the article seems to be targetting major addicts tho…and his follow up feedbacks (after understanding each individual’s situation abit more, will always change here and there).

Matt October 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Hey Cam,
Right before stumbling upon this, I had just finished a 2 hour session of Halo, preceded by an hour long session of Left 4 Dead 2, which itself was preceded by 2 hours of a Dragon Ball Z fighting game. During that same time frame I was also already in the process of downloading the new Dishonored game I had just bought this morning.
Less than a year ago, I could still spend hours upon hours in front of the computer screen and still get away with a 3.89 GPA in school, a place on the Junior Varsity Swim Team, and plenty of time for other things I liked to do.
At present time, I’m a sophomore with four C’s and two B’s less than two months into school, and though I hate to admit it, things need to change.
Your article connected with me on every level; it made me realize just how much of my life I was wasting away by spending all my time playing video games. Starting tonight, I swear I’m not going to play video games again for an entire month. I’ve made this promise to myself countless times before, but I just know this time I can do it. I’ve already deleted every single game I have installed on my computer, and tomorrow I’m going to give half my life savings to a trusted friend. If I so much as touch a video game within the next 30 days, he will get to keep all that money. It’s an extreme measure, but I need the motivation.
Tomorrow, I’m also going to go to the library and borrow a couple of novels. I used to love reading, but video games have long since filled up the time I spent on books. It’s been years since I’ve genuinely read outside of school, and it’s high time I got back into the hobby.
Thanks man, you’ve really changed my life.

PTT October 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm

you gave half your savings! @Matt…give your tv/xbox360/3d card instead…

that’s what i’d do…you’ve already uninstalled the games. do you have loving parents, sibling…give it to them instead? my brother had a friend, who when faced with a dilemma of around two to three thousand dollars or so AUD (an I.T. job introduction bonus), broke up the friendship.

Matt October 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm

@PTT Haha not so much 2-3 thousand dollars as around $100. I spent the rest of my money on: you guessed it…video games. So really, the stakes aren’t TOO high. We’ve made this type of bet with each other in the past and it’s worked on virtually every occasion, which is why I have every confidence I can succeed this time.

PTT October 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

@Matt…haha in that case, that’s fine…

worse comes to worse, bet on your TV! joking, sortof!

ak October 15, 2012 at 10:44 am

@PTT (and Cam of course)
First of all, there are some things you can do in games that you simply can’t do in real life.
Even if video games aren’t physically real, that doesn’t necessarily make them lesser experiences to other hobbies. For example, video games with amazing plots, underneath the often fictional setting of the game, have moral values and/or plot lines with which you can parallel to equivalent real-life situations. Take MGS4 (amazing game) for example, though it is a fictional war setting, it has an underlying anti-war message, and makes you think about whether war is justifiable or not, in what situations etc.

You can also socialize in real life by playing games with you friends in real life, by doing other activites/hobbies with people that you meet through gaming etc. Just as how I mentioned in my old post, different hobbies bring different things to the table.

It shouldn’t matter whether an activity is virtual or physical it’s the meaning attached to the activity and how you can use that activity to gain/train real life skills/learn new things/think about certain issues etc. that matters. Reading a book, comic, magazine etc. can be just as virtual as any game, as all you’re doing is reading words and turning pages just as while gaming you’re pressing a few buttons. But what matters is what you learn from the book, what skills the book teaches you, the plot and how it and/or moral issues and/or dilemmas in the book make you think about parallel real-life situations.

A sport like football may be a physical activity, but is it the physical activity that allows one to grow as a person? Of course exercise is good for maintaining a healthy body, and so some form of sport or physical activity should always be part of everyone’s live just for that, but it’s the teamwork involved, and/or the strategy/tatics involved that make you use your mind, and the people you meet and socialize with and learn from and compete with, leading to self-improvement.

There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to just relax and have fun after an active day – you benefit from reflecting on what you’ve learned/developed on a given day, and some games are good for that. Of course it’s best when you have fun and develop and grow at the same time.

My point is gaming can be real, because even though the medium is virtual you can learn things from games that you can apply to grow and benefit you in the real world. You can socialize in real life whilst playing games, and it can be an avenue for discovering additional hobbies with people you meet through gaming. It can also be a way to simply have fun after an active day, though I do agree that, if possible, to have fun and be developing in some way at all times.

The only time it goes wrong is when people spend so much time playing addictive game which are only meant for fun so as to negatively affect their social life, skill-learning, ability to reflect on important issues, and personal growth.

I’m at University studying medicine, and I do tennis, table tennis, karate, fencing, technology society (which has some gaming in it), want to do sign language, I love reading, going out, have dabbled in comics and manga, I game, and there’s probably some stuff I’ve missed out. It goes to show that gaming can be part of and contribute towards a fulfilling and meaningful life, and that’s my problem with the original post.

He heavily suggests that everyone should just quit gaming as it’s just inferior to other hobbies/activities even though I do understand he clarified in later posts that this article is meant for those who do not play games meaningfully but just play it to procrastinate and have fun, and they do it so much it takes away from the rest of their life, and that gaming isn’t bad as long as it’s in moderation. It just seems that even in his later posts he contradicts himself by saying it’s good to quit gaming at one point, then says there’s nothing wrong with gaming – it’s like he’s changing his opinion on gaming over the past few months. His initial post would be so much improved if amended to adjust for his current opinion, clarifying that this article is aimed for addicts who’ve let it go out of control and not other gamers, and well as emphasizing that gaming can be good as long as it’s done right.

ANOTHER long post I’m really sorry but this topic has just caught my eye.
http://samanthaannewiebe.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/gaming-and-growth-the-right-to-be-nerdy/
Another perspective on this article and the good side of gaming, though I don’t agree that we should have downtime, I would rather grow and have fun at the same time, though of course sometimes you just need to take a break.

Jacob October 15, 2012 at 10:59 am

I agree with that a lot… games can have more in life lessons then other “acceptable hobbies…” and many topics of discussion are on games nowadays

PTT October 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm

@ak. my post dated October 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm sort of already agreed with you. I don’t regret playing games in my life at all. (i managed to do well in other aspects of life, to realise certain goals and ambitions).

There have been some games which i was in awe as how videogames can be a great medium of narrative and suspense, and lovely acted dialogue (take heavy rain ps3, and unchartered2.)

you definately have a point with reading fictional novels and if you compare reading to playing a game of unchartered2 with clever dialogue and puzzles even you’d be hardpressed to argue that games are bad for you. its also bad to think we should exchange reading for videogames either-which you’ll probably agree.

what i dont like to see is a person that i know who only likes two things, videogames, and modifying or meeting up with cars and that’s it..and doesn’t want to learn other hobbies.

but just remember carefully crafted games, like counterstrike, WoW, and starcraft really succeeds in maintain gamers to continously play once they started, and for that you need to give credit to CAM.

PTT October 16, 2012 at 3:58 am

i played tekken tag2 at my bro’s place, i didn’t see anything bad with that (for 15 minutes)…

alot of cooking, so its all about balance. most of the people who take heed to this article feel they need help with their habits…maybe it should be called “How to stop being addicted to videogames, and how to balance life”.

ak October 16, 2012 at 7:01 am

@PTT (and CAM)
That’s fine then, my point only is that CAM’s original post has far more of a negative attitude to games, and would give the wrong impression to gamers who have a diverse range of hobbies included but not limited to gaming, and even those who game a lot but still go outside, exercise, socialise, try other things out etc. I realise he moderates this negativity in later posts but that that may not be clear to someone who just reads the orginal article and doesn’t bother to trawl through the huge number of comments to notice the evolution and clarification of CAM’s stand on this issue and who this article is meant for.
“what i dont like to see is a person that i know who only likes two things, videogames, and modifying or meeting up with cars and that’s it..and doesn’t want to learn other hobbies.” This is fine as well, except this could apply to liking any hobby to the exclusion of all else – and that’s what initially annoyed me about this post. CAM seemed to imply to me that just having gaming as your hobby/passion is bad, whereas just having *insert any other hobby here* such as him DJing (which really sounds cool have to try it some time) is fine as long as you’re passionate about it. It’s like he views that gaming as a passion is somehow inferior to other passions, and it seemed to me like this bias stems from his previous experience with games and how they stopped him from pursuing what he really enjoyed and found fulfilling.
I do agree that diversification with your hobbies is best, as it makes you an all-rounded 3-dimensional being with multiple skills, as well as healthier if you incorporate sport(s) into your life, but I see nothing wrong with having gaming as your main passion or hobby, and his original article give the opposite impression.
I once again understand that his comments later on show that he doesn’t believe this and that he doesn’t view gaming so badly – but my problem is with the original post.

Cam October 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Wow. Thank you everybody for all the comments. It means a lot to me that you all take time out of your day to discuss this important topic in the comment. Thank you also to everybody who is helping others by replying to their comments.

I’ll do my best to reply to all the unanswered questions. If I missed yours please respond with it again.

@ Wired – Sometimes I’ve felt regret but now I really try to focus on just going after the things I want to do the most. Think about Felix Baumgartner. He had a dream to skydive from space. He didn’t sit around playing video games wishing it could happen, he went out there and made it happen. He met the right people who could help and worked towards the goal. If he sat around and didn’t do anything I’m sure he would have regretting it. Go after the things you want.

@ Jacob – Good advice. Finding out what people enjoy about activities they enjoy is a great way to start building a relationship with them. Thanks for helping out.

@ Gotta start livin – Congrats! You can do it. Let me know if you need any more help.

@ T – People can’t change until they decide they need to change. But you also don’t need to surround yourself by people who aren’t motivated to do things with their life. Check out this video blog on the subject: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/environment-win-fail/

@ PTT – you’re the man. I’m responding to your email right after these comments are done!

@ Oznerol – You need to find some other activities to do instead. Read through the comments, there’s lots of ideas (learning a language, reading, etc)

@ Brandon – Thanks for your input.

@ Stevie – I’ll check that out thanks.

@ Mek86 – It’s never too late to change man. You can do it.

@ Ak – The reason I imply games are a worse activity is simply because that is not only my experience but a vast number of other peoples experience too. That’s not to say you cannot become “addicted” to other activities that impact you negatively… I just haven’t seen it happen often. As an example, my Djing has not been unhealthy in the least.

I also don’t imply that someone *could* play games again because it would be bad timing. They are coming to the article to get away. If they are past their addiction they will be balanced enough to decide whether they want to go back or not. But to tell someone they could play games again (as explained earlier) would be like telling an alcoholic coming out of rehab they can drink again. It would encourage them to do it much sooner than is healthy.

The problem isn’t with the people who don’t over do it. This article is not for them. The article is for the people that can’t help BUT over do it. The thing is… it’s not really an “extreme” example… because there’s 400 comments of this article saying “Wow.. that’s totally me.” Video game addiction is a REAL problem that affects a HUGe number of people and is continuing to grow.

I don’t think it’s unfair criticism. Just look at the comments. This is a real problem.

If you think that sports don’t develop your mental attitude I don’t believe you’ve ever played sports to any quality level. Sports are 90% mental, 10% physical. A common argument is that games can teach you certain skills like other hobbies… and it’s true to a degree, but I believe a very small one. I don’t believe video games teach people nearly as much “life skills” as we would like to logically conclude.

I appreciate your feedback and input… but I feel like you’re arguing a very fine line. Your thoughts are great and not even entirely incorrect, they are just wishful thinking unfortunately. If this problem doesn’t affect you I’m happy, but it’s naive to say it doesn’t affect a massive amount of people who have a REAL video game addiction problem.

My opinion on games hasn’t changed. I think they are a massive waste of time. The only reason my tone changes in the comments is for people like you who are adamant that they want to play games and that’s entirely up to you to decide. I’m not going to judge someone for playing games, it’s their life. But I have been in the same position as each guy commenting saying games have overtaken their life and I have quit. I know my life is way more fulfilling and happier now without games.

@ Matt – Congrats! You can do it. I believe in you. :)

PTT October 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm

@MEK86- i am quite moved at how loving your wife is. my exgf would have stormed out within 2 days, no joke.

I understand if you are in a remote area with nothing to do, it is an environment inductive to videogame habits (take my example of having no friends(well 1) after high school and having nothing to do).

its not too late to change at wouldn’t it be nice to change before you turn 39?

And why not do it for your son? be a good example to him, have limitations. uninstall the addictive games, and only have the basic ones. delete the ultima online profiles. i know it would be hard but it might be a catalyst for better things to come.

think of a hobby you, your son, and wife can enjoy. son-baseball, soccer, wife-dance?

ak October 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm

@CAM
Regarding my comments on sports not devloping your mental attitude, I HAVE played sports to a competitive level (fencing), and what I actually said was aptitude, by which I meant mental sharpness, how fast you can process information, etc. rather than the mental qualities that are so vital to sport like determination, willpower, ability to keep calm, belief in onself whilst being honest about one’s own capabilities etc.
Sorry for the confusion there, that was my fault.

People who comment on this site, except for the odd person like myself who stumbled upon this site whilst looking for something else, are of course going to disproportionately represent people who have taken gaming too far, because they would’ve found this site whilst searching for advice to quit, having recognized their problem. Even if this wasn’t the case, 400 people can hardly be said to accurately represent with any reasonable degree of certainty the 100s of millions of gamers that are out there at the moment.

That’s not to say of course that gaming addiction isn’t a real problem, and that when it takes away from your life in the various ways that both you and I have discussed something should clearly be done about it, and I do appreciate what you’re doing by drawing on your own experience to help others in the same or similar situation as you.

You also just stated that you think video games are a massive waste of time, and only shortly after that you wouldn’t judge someone for playing games, and you’ve also stated previously that you wouldn’t think less of them. This is somehwat contradictory, because most people would negatively judge someone they thought to be needlessly wasting time when they could be doing something better.

“The reason I imply games are a worse activity is simply because that is not only my experience but a vast number of other peoples experience too.” The problem here is that your experience and these other people’s experiences are of those who let gaming take over their life or are playing it for the wrong reasons (e.g. to escape from reality, they have nothing better to do, afraid to socialize), NOT of people who’ve managed to incorporate gaming as part of a balanced and varied life where they do meet people, socialize, develop various skills, think about various issues etc. (these events aren’t mutually exclusive, for example playing MGS4 is thought-provoking, it makes you think about war and its various consquences) so to critique gaming based on your and similar people’s experiences doesn’t mean gaming is bad or worse than other hobbies, all it means is that gaming is worse than other hobbies when and ONLY when you let it go to that stage and NOT when you incorporate it into a varied, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle (My Family bought our first console (The PS2) so that we have something fun to do as a family (or more frequently as brothers) even when it’s raining – I fail to see how this, for example, can be construed as bad in any way).THIS is the distinction that you have failed to make, and why your arguments fail to successfully critique gaming but only gaming when it is taken to the level that you once took it.

You may well argue that there are a disproportionately large number of people who have taken it too far with games compared to other hobbies, hence gaming is worse than other hobbies. I have already stated previously that gaming is more addictive than other hobbies, and that can be a big problem. But some games are more addictive than others, so you critique only applies to gaming when such a game is played for too long and for the wrong reasons, rather than playing a good game (e.g. with a good story that makes you think and has parallels with real life – like a book or a movie, for example, except it’s a different medium and you play as well as watch the story) for a reasonable length of time. It can even be an addicting game so long as you don’t let yourself get addicted. It’s not that gaming is always bad, it’s when it’s taken too far.

I do understand that it is such people – the addicts – who this article is aimed for, but your original article doesn’t explicitly state that, and everyone else who comes across the article might take it as a swooping critique of gaming. I’m NOT saying you should tell the addicts they can still play games again quickly in moderation – I completely agree with your arguments regarding this. My point is only that your original article doesn’t explicity state that this article is for the addicts and not those who’ve got it under control – you only do this in later comments – and there’s a LOT of those so most won’t read it.

Finally, throughout your comment you somewhat praise my arguments and thoughts and to some extent acknowledge their legitimacy, and then just dismiss then as wisful thinking, for example, based on your feelings and without offering logical counter-arguments. What this shows me is that because of your gaming experiences and addiction (and other people’s on this webpage), you’ve become biased against gaming, or because your experience involved playing games without many of the possible benefits I mentioned – being made to reflect on relationships or certain issues, for example.

I certainly can’t deny playing a Call of Duty game 8 hours a day alone (or even with friends), isn’t a very healthy or fulfilling way to live your life, as that would certainly take away from other things you could be doing that could help you grow. But I ask you to admit the converse – that there’s nothing wrong with playing Call of Duty or some other game of that nature for a hour or so (or longer as long as you don’t do it too often) with friends to take a break and have fun after an active day doing sports and/or school/uni work and/or some other meaningful activity, or to play something like Heavy Rain for two hours or so, with a great story that can rival a good book and from which you can draw a lot from than just playing a game (you don’t so much play Heavy Rain as experience the story it has to offer anyway)… I think you get the idea.

Let me just say again that I don’t think you’re entirely wrong or anything like that. I do accept that gaming can easily be taken too far by people, and that gaming addiction can be something that can limit people’s potential and take away precious time from their lives that could be spent doing something more fulfilling. I am happy to see someone like you share your own experience and wisdom to help those who are now in a similar position to that you once were. My problem only lies in the fact that you have used the problems associated with gaming addiction (which are real and potentially severe), extrapolated from them, and used them to critique gaming as a whole, even when part of a balanced and fulfilling life, regardless of the type of game played, how much you play, etc. The addictive nature of many games today isn’t a problem with the concept of gaming but with game design, and this problem can be avoided by playing less addictive games (ones with less repetition, for example, or ones that don’t use randomization to keep people striving for certain arbitrary goals, like MMORPGs), or to simply have other things to do – a balanced, varied and fulfilling life – so that you don’t spend too much time playing an addictive game, which you may want to play because it’s good in some way(s) or another, so you don’t get addicted.

Just before I finish up this REALLY long post (really sorry about that just have too much to say, and it doesn’t hurt how fast I can type so I type with no consideration of being concise), I would like to ask you about DJing – how can I go about trying out DJing, how much would it cost, are there formal lessons you can go to, do you just learn informally e.g. at home, do you personally perform live DJ sets? I realize how cheeky I must seem to ask you for help when I’ve just written a mini-essay (or possibly a whole essay) critiquing your critique of games, but I would really appreciate it as it does sound really interesting and a bit different to what activites I’m doing at the moment, as I’m primarily doing sport,academic-related, and language activities, as well as some gaming (and going out of course), but nothing really music orientated.

PTT October 17, 2012 at 1:03 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE-5sm_Iqts

go to time: 6:20

i think this points a picture. this is a guy who wanted to quit WoW totally.

ak October 17, 2012 at 6:11 am

@PTT
If the video link was aimed at me specifically, then I agree with the message the video tries to get out, that gaming is fine – it’s those that have let it take over their lives that have a problem. I already knew about the variable rate of reinforcement, I mentioned it in my last comment: “randomization to keep people striving for certain arbitrary goals, like MMORPGs” – that’s what I meant by this phrase, just had forgotten the technical term for it.

I think the video itself concludes really well. He says how people tend to forget the benefits of games, how fun they can be etc. – I agree with this completely. He also states how he won’t stop his son gaming, but will keep a close eye on him doing so. I agree with this as well, you need to make sure your son/daughter/brother/sister etc. doesn’t spend too much time gaming to the exclusion of all else – I’m faily sure I’ve stated this point before and I’ve never implied otherwise.

Note how even the parents of those affected agree that the vast majority of gamers don’t have a problem, it’s a minority – this doesn’t mean gaming addiction isn’t a real probelm, just that gaming can and is being done right by most.

In any case, thank you for the video think, the video succeeds in pointing out the dangers of video game addiction whilst making sure to make the distinction that it’s perfectly fine to game, as most people are, as part of a balanced and fulfilling life, and that it does have various benefits, and that, of course, it can be great fun.

ak October 17, 2012 at 6:14 am

The video does spend too much time on the negative side of gaming, but considering it’s a video about video game addiction, that’s not hard to understand.

ak October 17, 2012 at 6:16 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5PfZj61X4w&feature=related
I haven’t actually watched it as I have to go to tennis now, but it’s a rebuttal of the above video. Once again, I don’t deny the problem exists.

Oznerol October 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

I cant play any sport right now, I have tried many things, learning to play the keyboard, learning the guitar,etc. but i get bored easily so i tend to lay down in bed and do nothing, so i think about playing video games when i do nothing. The only thing that I really enjoyed was sports and video games and nothing else…

honheyon October 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm

So a blog addict blogs about how playing games is bad for you…The irony…

PTT October 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm

@Oznerol- long distance walks, study, work to at least break the momentum? cook for yourself?- we all need to eat..maybe ask CAM because it’s his article space.

PTT October 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

@AK- I know how it feels when I write a facebook message, and the other person doesn’t reply. So this is my last reply to you, because reading, and choosing which arguments I agree, and which arguments I disagree- say for example I personally trying to support the target audience to quit cold-turkey (the people who probably typed “how to quit videogames”) and also respect the original article author’s perspective and purpose of the article. Eg. Alcoholics need not reminded about a red wine a day is good for you analogy. If in time the alcoholics heal and have a red wine that’s ok, but it’s probably going to take years for that to come about.

I am here to support game addicts with their problems here and there, and their wishes to quit. That’s really about it. It’s too time consuming, and potential confusing for potential game addicts to read anything else.

PTT October 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

ps. and choosing which arguments I agree, and which arguments I disagree is time-consuming.

ak October 18, 2012 at 6:16 am

@PTT
I realize that it can be tiresome to read my (very) long posts, dissect them, and tell me what you agree/disagree with, so that’s fine. I also understand that me being here and constantly arguing about the potential merits of gaming and critiquing CAM’s article may be taking away from both your efforts to help gamers addicts who genuinely need help to what I’ve already accepted is a serious issue.

My last few posts though, have been relatively short, and involve me pretty much completely agreeing with you, so I don’t really see what there is to disagree with there. If it’s about the rebuttal video I linked, I still haven’t watched it so it may not represent my views, just thought it might be interesting to link another opinion on the subject. If it’s about my posts before these, then I completely understand.

I’ve never really disagreed with you. I had slightly misunderstood you beforehand, but your post on October 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm clarified your position and I agree with pretty much all you said there. You don’t seem think that videogames are always a waste of time, regardless of how, what, from how long, often, and with whom you play, you accept that games can be more than just fun and an escape from reality, and you also promote the idea that people should have a varied and fulfilling lifestyle, not one where they spend all their time doing one thing to the exclusion of all else, such as video games.

My only problem is that CAM extrapolates the arguments he has against video gaming addiction and uses them to critique gaming as a whole, but once again, I understand this article is not for the ones who’ve got things under their control, but for the addicts.

Whether you reply to this post or not is not a big concern to me, as I respect your stance on the issue, respect what you’re trying to do in conjuction with CAM here, and you have made the distinction between video game addiction and gaming in general. As such we have nothing more to discuss/argue about on this issue.

Good luck trying to help those who are addicted, have a great day, and a varied, balanced, fulfilling and enjoyable life, whether you game a lot, a bit, none at all, you juggle, fence, join the circus, the police force, or anything at all (that’s morally good of course).

Ben October 18, 2012 at 10:26 am

@PTT

Thanks for posting that video. I am teaching in South Korea and I see kids like that everyday. In Korea they have internet cafes called norabongs. It’s a place where young Korean males go to game. These places are are all Korea. They are very popular because very few teenagers are allowed to play video games at home. It’s typically school, hagwon, another hagwon and another hagwon before they go home to 2 hours of homework. Repeat and rinse for 6 days. Sunday is normally a light day with only a 3 hour study session. lol…

I have also noticed that instant messaging through KakaoTalk is insanely popular. Also, smartphone gaming has really taken off. I was taking the Seoul subway last year and not one person said a word. Everyone was glued to their smartphones. Taxi and bus drivers will also watch tv while they are driving. Talk about addiction.

Cam October 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

@ PTT – Great advice for MEK86. You’re very wise.

@ AK – The line for me is this: who the fuck am I to tell someone HOW to live their life? If they want to play video games all day long that’s up to them. It would only be judgemental for me to consider less of them otherwise. This is a type of attitude I have no interest in embracing into my life.

This is one reason why it was very important for me to preface the article by telling people this is an article for people who WANT to quit but don’t know how. “How” to stop and be successful is the exact context of the article. That’s why further in the comments you will find me saying that balance is fine etc. WHo am I to say otherwise?

My own personal opinion, however, is absolutely that playing video games is a massive waste of time. This is my opinion and my experience. Since the days of playing video games all day until now, my life has drastically improved in every way – including in the amount of fun I have daily. Not playing video games and using that time in wiser ways has been a major influence on that.

In my book I go into the example of how, in todays day and age, playing video games is simply the default activity millions end up into when they want to “have fun”. I do not believe it’s even a very conscious decision anymore. 84 million kids in the USA play video games right now, between the ages of 2 and 17. The FASTEST growing age group amongst those 84 million kids is kids aged 2-5.

A study done in January last year found that 19% of kids aged 2-5 know how to operate a smartphone application… while only 9% know how to tie their own shoes. In the same study it was revealed that more small children (58%) can play a basic computer game than can ride a bike.

So we really think this problem is not going to get WORSE before it gets better?

It would be rather difficult for me to agree with the argument you would like me to, simply because in my opinion there are much better activities to enjoy that achieve the stated outcome you argue for. In addition, I believe playing video games to be a risky endeavour, that can easily turn from “an hour or two” to something more substantial. Of course, this is from my own experience and the experience I have learned of others.

Although playing a game like Heavy Rain may involve a story and rival that of a good book, I have a high degree of doubt that it would also bring forth the many other positive aspects accomplished by reading.

I also have a difficult time agreeing with the argument that video games are an effective way of bringing family relationships closer. Although “effective” would be passable… I would argue about the long-term affects on the relationships when built upon a video game platform, and whether playing video games together truly builds relationships in a sustainable long-term way or whether it’s a short-term solution that falls apart once video games are taken out of the equation.

I appreciate your input and again, do not believe your arguments to be necessarily wrong nor off-base. At the end of the day, I simply believe there are better activities to do for all reasons than video games.

Regarding DJing – you can pickup a program called Virtual DJ that can be fun to play with. The best thing I did personally was buy some cheaper style DJ decks and a 2-channel mixer and start actually DJing. But my initial investment ended up being around $2000. I think you could get started for around $500 if you wanted to (with an all-in-one DJ solution) – Best Buy might have some of these. There are formal lessons you can take in your city I’m sure (if you live in an actual city).

I have performed at house parties and nightclubs. http://soundcloud.com/camerondare has a few of my mixes.

@ Oznerol – What do you enjoy about sports and video games?

@ Honheyon – I’m unsure where your conclusion that I’m a “blog addict” comes from but thanks for checking out the post regardless.

@ Ben – How do you like teaching in South Korea?

PTT October 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

i think Honheyon was referring to ak as the blog addict..

ak October 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

@PTT
I doubt it as I wasn’t talking about video games being bad for you, I was suggesting they could be bad or good for you depending on how you handle them, and besides this is one of the first (I’ve commented on a couple before, but not much more that that) ever blogs that I have commented on in my life, so there’s some irony for you.

@CAM
I have repeatedly said that video games is a potentially risky endeavour and that there are clear dangers associated with excessive gaming. There is absolutely no need to tell me that at all.

“The line for me is this: who the fuck am I to tell someone HOW to live their life? If they want to play video games all day long that’s up to them. It would only be judgemental for me to consider less of them otherwise. This is a type of attitude I have no interest in embracing into my life.”
Of course you’re not supposed to prematurely judge people, or judge them based on things you don’t understand – my point merely was that it seems a bit contradictory to judge what someone was doing (in this case gaming) as bad or wasteful, then say that you won’t judge the person doing that activity negatively in any way, and that some may view this as an insincere attempt to appease the gamers that visit this site.

You misunderstood my comment on relationships – all I meant was by viewing in-game relationships which parallel those in real life you can learn something there – a bit like if you read about some relationship in a book. The reason I make this comparison so often is simply because I love books, and have done since childhood.
However, you could replace ‘video games’ in your paragraph about relationships with many other single activities, and the same would apply – this doesn’t directly critique gaming, but just basing a relationship – platonic or romantic – on one thing/activity etc.

Considering how much I read, I am well aware that books have several advantages that games don’t – improved literacy for example, and of course with books you can start reading any section you like (assuming you’re finished it at least once if it’s a story book, for example), whereas with many plot-driven games you can’t. But there are certain advantages to gaming, and gaming doesn’t necessarily take away from activites like reading – read this for example:

http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/2012/07/25/whats-best-video-games-vs-books-vs-kick-the-can/

Though once again, I don’t think anyone should spend all their time gaming.

From what I can see you think that many people who default to gaming for fun don’t actually really have that much fun at all, or they can have more fun with other activities. I can see that, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, as far more people do, to genuinely have fun whilst playing games, or that it’s bad to ‘just’ have fun in some cases. Say, for example, you’ve read a book, discussing a complex issue (e.g. capitalism vs socialism, private vs public healthcare, the list goes on), has a complex plot, etc. A session of gaming can give you time to part-consciously and part-subconsciously reflect on what you’ve read, giving you time to really digest the information – all whilst having fun. You might say that you could do a sporting activity instead, as you could exercise at the same time, but what if you already have? What if you’re physically tired? Then you could both physically recuperate and reflect at the same time, all whilst having fun! On top of this, you could play with friends and/or family, so that you socialise with those you care about! Can you see why balance and variation is so much better than a policy of complete avoidance?

“My own personal opinion” “This is my opinion and my experience” “I appreciate your input and again, do not believe your arguments to be necessarily wrong nor off-base. At the end of the day, I simply believe there are better activities to do for all reasons than video games.”

I’m sorry, but I’ve already pointed out how your experience is clearly not representative of the average gamer. You spent 6+ hours a day gaming, you were a competitive gamer, you played games to the exclusion of almost all else. Of course once you realised what you were missing by playing so much in such a meaningless way, you were going to be sick of games. Of course once you quit, and found new passions, your life was going to improve drastically and you would have more fun, because you balanced your life, and there was meaning behind everything you did.

However, this doesn’t mean that video games as a whole are a waste of time; you cannot dismiss video gaming as a whole simply because of your own experience, or even the combined experiences of everyone on this blog, because they are not representative of the whole – even if you want to, even if they once ruined your life. This fact has clearly made you biased against video games, and has made you adopt a very black-and-white approach to the whole situation – even though you’ve accepted that there is a middle ground involved, you refuse to consider it as a viable or meaningful option in someone’s life, and this makes sense – after all you’d never go back to video games, after all your bad experiences with them, and you’d be afraid of taking it too far again like you once did.

Furthermore, once again, you’ve accepted that there is some legitimacy to my arguments – and then dismissed them due to your belief that other activities that more worthwhile. Do you see the difference here? I’ve tried to think and present you arguments using logic and, where possible, evidence, whereas you have just dismissed the bulk of my arguments, with one or two exceptions (the relationships bit for example) based on your belief, which has risen from your own bad experiences with video games, which are NOT representative of the whole, so you CANNOT use them to judge video gaming as a whole as bad. I’ve tried not to do this by not mentioning any of my own experiences, which I’m sure aren’t representative of the whole, and using logic, supplemented with evidence where possible, instead. That’s not to say I am not biased, but I’ve tried to discard those biases those biases by using logic. That’s not to say my logic is perfect either, but if you want to say that my arguments are somewhat legitimate but then dismiss them due to your belief at LEAST give me reasons.

You can criticize gaming addiction all you want, and rightly so, because there are very real and serious negative effects, as you know from experiencing them firsthand, ALL im asking is for you to NOT extrapolate your own experiences to criticize gaming as whole, and for you NOT to let your emotions over how they once affected your life to have an overly negative view on gaming as whole.

Once again I’m sorry for the very long post, and I’m sorry for my criticism, considering how much I sympathise with the problems you went through with gaming, how much I genuinely appreciate what you’re trying to do with this blog, and now you’re even given me advice on DJing! I hope you realise my criticism isn’t actually of you as a person but simply of some of your views. I live in London, and so I will probably give the formal lessons a try, and I will definitely pick up the program. From there I will decide whether I should invest more money into DJing.

Cam October 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm

@ PTT – Oh, haha thanks. Hard to follow along sometimes.

@ AK – For me it’s not contradictory. If you want to know my personal opinion on it, I personally believe that gaming is a waste of time, period. However, it’s not up to me to judge someone for gaming, so if that’s what one wants to do that’s entirely their call. The post is merely for those who want to quit that are unable to, but part of the mindset behind their inability to quit is the disconnection they feel between whether or not games are *good* for them or not. The post shows that although they feel (at the time) like games are good for them, I attempt to show the reasons why they feel this (ie: the 4 pillars gaming fulfills), and that once they fill those pillars their opinion of the productivity of games diminishes. This, however, does not take away from my opinion that if someone wants to game, they can game, because it’s their life and I won’t judge them for it.

I understand your assertion that their are certain advantages to games and know many people who hold a similar viewpoint. I, however, simply disagree with it. I believe “logically” the concept make sense, but disagree in the actual implementation of this type of learning – especially, as discussed before, considering the negative side-effects of playing video games such as it’s contribution to attention problems. http://archive.news.iastate.edu/news/2010/jul/TVVGattention

Here are some other stats for you to consider:

– We spend 3 billion hours a week as a planet playing video games.

– The average young person racks up 10,000 hours of gaming by the age of 21. (If you take the “10,000” hour rule into affect… imagine the difference in outcome with these two scenarios: 10,000 hours put into video games vs. 10,000 hours put into other activities. What outcome do you have with the video game scenario? It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. What skill is mastered after 10,000 hours put into video games?)

The difference in our arguments is that mine is black or white. If the choice is between playing video games or not, I will definitely choose not. That’s NOT because there isn’t a middle ground, but, as discussed previously, I would never recommend the middle ground – regardless of balance – because my opinion is that the time is better spent in other activities, period (and mainly for the all encompassing reason of: the potential negative side-effects gaming can cause – some of which I believe unavoidable regardless of amount of time spent playing coupled with my belief that gaming is not productive – especially in relation to other activities that accomplish the same result.)

Again, I appreciate your input. The mere difference between us is that I have a belief that gaming is unproductive in all senses of the word, and you believe the other. As stated previously, it would be impossible for me to agree with you simply because of this belief. You may believe this belief comes from my experience playing games, but you’d be wrong.

The main reason for this belief is because I’m an entrepreneur who enjoys the freedom of working for himself. This type of lifestyle compared to the typical 9-5 lifestyle is very different, and my idea of “success” is also different. To be honest, the whole 9-5, come home and hang out for the night to do it all over again is a painful reality for me to consider. The last thing I would recommend someone who lives this lifestyle to do would be to play video games – even for an hour – when there is so much more they could be doing to live a much more fulfilling life. I have a very hard time believing that many living this type of lifestyle are truly “happy”, even if they say they are, because I believe if they had the other kind of lifestyle they would realize how sad the typical life plan “9-5, hang out after work to do it all over again” really is.

Jim October 23, 2012 at 9:02 am

I’ve read the whole article and I have to say that the article was amazing. Yet still, I couldn’t find an activity which would fill up my time. Video games are such an essential part in my lifetime that I can’t even think of other activities. And when I can’t think of any activity, I end up playing video games. Video games are spread all over my computer. I have like seven video games in every Windows drive and my desktop is filled with video game icons. I have five gaming sites bookmarked in Google Chrome and have extensions in Chrome which mostly consist of games. When my Windows start, gaming softwares auto-start (Steam, X-fire, etc.). I even have gaming widgets installed in my desktop. So, when I can’t find other stuff to do, I can’t stop myself from gaming. That’s my problem. I have to read this article every hour to make me stop playing games. Otherwise, I’ll think, “Oh c’mon just once I will play video games and then never. Only one hour pleaseeee!”, and I end up playing them all day. I am 15 and am forced by parents to study, a lot, which I never do. I have like one or no friend. I am fat and sit in front of computers all day. I want to change my life. Help!

Cam October 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hey Jim!

Thanks for commenting. I’m really glad you’ve found the article valuable. What other hobbies do you have? What other hobbies are you interested in? Have you considered learning a new instrument? Do you play any sports? Do you exercise?

I’d be happy to help you out more. :)

PTT October 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm

i wasn’t trying to put anybody down or insult anybody, i was just thinking that a guy(who said something quite demeaning) was referring to a guy and not another guy.

PTT October 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

@ak – tho i don’t think CAM is in a mood to have a long serious debate. he has a point of view that has helped avid videogamers, and that’s really it. Imagine yourself writing a blog or article (say for example coffee is ok for you) and someone that you don’t know, who could be anywhere in the world, just cram that coffee is the worst thing in the world and has lead to caffeine toxicity and death of a 14 year old girl. I mean sure you have your opinion, and there’s freedom of speech. But would you be in a good mood, reading and writing several times to a person who sticks by his or her viewpoint…

It’s not like we are judges on x factor.. I think we need to treat bloggers differently they say something, if you agree that’s fine, if you think its slightly contentious, say it once, maximum twice, and leave it.

That’s my opinion.

Cam October 23, 2012 at 9:59 pm

@ PTT – I sent you an email reply. DId you get it?

PTT October 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm

continuation- i wasn’t trying to put anybody down or insult anybody, i was just thinking that a guy(who said something quite demeaning) was referring to a guy and not another guy -> it was to let AK know not to be hurt; i meant no offense.

@JIM- i certainly have bouts of playing games alot, prob not to the extent of yourself. To consciously recognise that you are overweight is a good start. The good news is that you are still young. I’ve had amazing results in the last few weeks with a combination of self-cooking. look at light choices like beef and vegie soup and rice paper rolls, salmon, and if eating out avoid junk food. if you have friends who eat junk (which should be alot at your age)- stop being their go out-friends, its hard to say this, but its true, they eat KFC, so you feel obliged to too. and not to mention my mind thinks its ‘good’..

i’ve lost a cousin friendship who played games, modded cars, and only ate maccas, kfc, or grilled. at the end of the day it was worth it. because it REALLY is my life and not somebody else’s.

I have found cooking, painting, and ballroom dancing to be my hobbies. Do you like any of these. Cooking, Painting may not be physically active, but it can calm and make your mind happy, which can prevent emotional eating/depression which i suffered from. Thereafter I’d feel more inclined to have a long stroll or jog, do burpees (kinda like a starjump mixed with pushups), or practise dance.

You are still young, but its fantastic that you want to change your life. Alot of vietnamese restaurants are quite healthy as well, or cafes. And if you have a secret crush, it’s always good to work on yourself, physically. how is high school going?

PTT October 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm

yes i received it, i have replied only because i haven’t seen the person yet. =)

PTT October 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm

@CAM- sorry i mean i have not replied…

@JIM- I wish you good luck.

PTT October 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm

@AK- Cam doesn’t have to be ‘the average’ gamer, because the target audience for this article doesn’t consist of the average gamer.

Jacob October 24, 2012 at 12:03 am

@PTT I think it’s actually quite good to see CAM and AK debate. You say the target audience is people with gaming addictions but I bet you more than half of the people who have seen this article and read it don’t have a gaming addiction. This is the top article on this site-anyone interested or who got here through all sorts of reasons may very well stumble upon it. I was searching about gaming myself and I am not addicted to gaming. Have I had times where I played games too much and sacrificed things yes. But it also taught me things. I’ll continue my own beliefs and logical reasoning in a bit after I respond to the others in turn.

@Jim Goodluck man! there’s a lot of support here if you couldn’t tell already. You should answer CAMs questions. My own brother actually it appears he doesn’t have any passions. He plays sports but I think mostly cause that’s “what people do” at my school and thats what I did. (im an older brother) Honestly just try as many things as you can until you find something your truly passionate about. Whether it be golf, bowling, skiing, reading, tricking, ballroom dance, etc. There are literally millions of things you can do even if your out of shape, Eventually I’d reccommend getting in shape for your overall health and then that also opens up a wide variety of more hobbies you can do that are extremely fun.

@CAM and AK I think its great how you guys can make clear concise points. It’s obvious you are both educated very well so it’s nice to get different viewpoints across and to know this isn’t some lazily thought out thing. I’d like to share my own viewpoints to any who will listen.

Okay, so first I’d like to start off supporting CAM in what he’s doing. I can tell many, many people have been helped throughout this article and I hope he gets a warm, fuzzy feeling at night because you are truly a phenomenal human being. I may have jokingly said that but the meanings still there. I legitimately think that. I don’t think anyone is disagreeing that addictive gaming is bad and needs to be stopped.
However saying all gaming is bad I do disagree with. And not just all gaming. Tv is something else that was argued before gaming got really big. I can tell you for a fact my parents didn’t want me to watch such cartoons as Pokemon when I was a young kid. And I will swear by it those type of cartoons made me who I am almost more than anything. I can be a realist but I tend to find that too depressing. I want to be an idealist. I want to believe in a good guy always getting a girl, believing if I work hard enough, or belief in something enough I can make it happen. That’s something that’s been instilled within me. It allows me to dream big and to keep fighting even if thinks get bad. Some games share that. (just one aspect of how it can be good).
Another argument I’d share for it is gaming can make you do school and problems for the brain without letting you think your doing work. Normally people in school don’t like doing math problems, or figuring out stuff. It’s too much work and not very fun. But yet Portal became a huge selling game and that’s based on puzzles. I find that a very productive way to teach people.
Games can be healthy and a workout. YOU EVER PLAY DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION??? aha, that game is a workout-and I played 2-4 sports every year throughout high school and still would have worked up a sweat.
I literally can keep listening different aspects of gaming that give you benefits. However one point you keep bringing up is that other things can do it better. Say learning about socializing with people is better to actually do it with people than in a video game. Well of course that’s true. But you need supplements and you can’t do things all the time. AK made a good point about reading something and having already done your workout. Video games are a good way to relax, have fun, and let yourself digest all of that. I can tell you I went to school at high school and learned, then had 2-3 hour practices (whether it be football or basketball) and by the time I was done with that and homework I was exhausted mentally and physically. Games were a great supplement to add. I’d like to see if you can show me what’s wrong with it in that instance or supply a viable alternative. Now before you say reading I already did a lot of that. If I had a great book to read sometimes I wouldn’t do games I’d read-I read a lot. But reading can get expensive and I’m the type that flies through a 600 page book in like 2 days aha. You wanna talk about slightly addicting?

Anyways I guess I’m getting at the point that I think games are great. Right now I have college and as I said before I’m a ballroom dance instructor. Both take up quite a bit of time and a LOT of effort. Ballroom even more so. It’s like the equivalent of maybe 20 college credits in my opinion. I’m learning much more than dancing, I’m learning how to teach, to socialize, to be professional, to learn current events, etc…. and then when I get home at night its already late and my friends usually worked too. So we all get on league and Skype each other and generally play 1 or two games and have a good time and get our “hanging out” without actually staying up too late or anything. So right now video games are great for me to relax and have fun when I’m already full.

Two final things. The dj’ing does sound really fun. I don’t think I have time for it right now but is like $1000 + pretty much start up cost if id want to do it the right way?

and AK, just curious what is your view on things like say.. smoking pot? You said earlier about not judging others based on what they do. And that you don’t have a right to tell people what they can do. This could be split to other things. Are you saying we as a people can’t tell our friends not to drink alcohol or smoke weed or ciggerettes or chew tobacco for instance? and If you can whats the point that it’s ok and when is it too much. I’m just curious cause from just what you said if it were an issue of legalizing illegal drugs you’d say yes? I know this is taken out of context it’s just something to think about. Anyways good day to you all. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyones articles the past few days.

ak October 24, 2012 at 12:24 am

@PTT
I wasn’t personally offended by the dude’s post at all, because as I said in my previous post it’s doubtful they were referring to me – doesn’t change the fact that it was a bad comment, and you rightly pointed out and I disliked it regardless.

I realize I’m possibly detracting from the purpose of CAM’s blog – to help the addicts that have come to seek help about quitting, and I am sorry that that’s happening. You’re right that CAM’s article targets the extreme gamer, so neither does CAM or his article have to represent the average gamer – or that would be right except he’s extended his critique of video game addition to all of video gaming, and it is only here wherein the problem arises.

I’ll try to comment less against him from now on, but I can’t just ignore his latest post, it would be rude (at this stage he probably expects a reply anyways! :p).

Also, just a note on your advice to JIM on his secret crush, perhaps he would do better working on his social skills, making himself a more rounded person, etc? To be fair, if he’s spent so much time gaming he’s likely not done any physical activity for a while, so perhaps fitness could be something to focus on.

@CAM
One can tell from reading what you’ve written that you make inherent assumptions about what gaming entails – some meaningless repetitive game, probably played alone, etc. You refuse to consider any of my examples instead, of different ways people can game, because that’s not how it happened for you.
I’ve had a VASTLY different experience to you regarding gaming, and there’s so much I could talk about in explicit detail – the people I met, the places I went, how I used gaming as a break from other activites, how I used other activities as a break from gaming, what I’ve learnt from gaming, directly and indirectly, and so on. It would provide in many ways a complete polar opposite experience as an example to those who visit this site. But I won’t, and that’s because I don’t want to use my BLATANTLY unrepresentative experience and try to use it to praise gaming, (I also don’t want addicts who come on this site to think twice about quitting, because they do need help). I understand why you’ve talked about your own experience – you were once an addict, and what better way to relate to the addicts ,make them understand their problems and how to fix them by providing an example of a similar experience (as well as suggesting you know what you’re talking about)? That’s a great thing you’ve done – but then you expanded your arguments (admittedly with some prompting from me) to include all of gaming.

Your belief may have not solely come from your own experiences, but there has been, from what I can tell, a very large influence. The very fact that you’ve adopted a black-and-white approach to the topic goes to show how unwilling you are to consider the other side. Almost nothing in life is black-and-white (would say everything, but it would be paradoxial), and gaming is no exception. You say it’s COMPLETELY unproductive – what a statement to make! After all, ALL games, including Heavy Rain, have terrible/nonexistent plots, whereas ALL books, including the Twilight series, for example, have AMAZING plots, right? And ALL games, including something like MGS4, do not tackle important issues like war AT ALL, or if they do, in a terrible away, whereas TV shows on the subject, like on Fox News, always present the topic excellently and in a balanced and informative way, right? Not to mention that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to socialize whilst playing games, whereas you can with ALL other activities, such as painting, right?

Do you see what happens when one makes a statement like that? Do you see how one cannot use extremes? Can you see how big a mistake it is to make a blanket statement like that, especially considering how it shields one from considering an opposition’s point(s) of view? And finally, do you see how it shows that you HAVE been influenced by your past experiences, and how heavily they’re influencing your opinion of games now?

I hate how so many things are treated as black-and-white. It leads to generalisations, stereotypes… It almost never applies perfectly.

At least you have the honesty to call your opinion regarding this specific matter a belief rather than a thought, but please don’t call what I think that. I have, and always have, admitted to the potential negative effects of gaming – I’m not purely on one side of the spectrum. Not only that, you yourself admit to me using logic rather than emotional claims/statements with nothing behind them – so I’m clearly thinking. That’s not to say I’m not biased, but I’ve tried to put them aside. My logic may well not be anywhere near perfect either – but I’m still thinking, rather than believing. And, ultimately, that’s what it’s come down to, hasn’t it? By your own admission as much as mine, at that. Thought vs belief. Sticking with exclusively 1 side of the argument, or accepting that there’s two sides to almost every arguments – even the ones where it’s heavily skewed one way.

Just a note on your last paragraph, where you discuss how your lifestyle and idea of success are different. You use the word different, but you clearly mean superior – especially when you add your last statement to the complex. Please don’t hide being neutral words like that, just say it outright. I can tell you’ve read How to Win Friends and Influence People (it helps that you’ve mentioned it at some point in this blog), so have I – a great book in general, though a couple of things in there I don’t entirely agree with.

Once again, reading over what I’ve written, I feel like I should rewrite it to moderate my tone somewhat – but I don’t have the time or energy for that, so here we are. Once again, sorry for the long post, sorry for my overly critical tone, good luck with your DJing, your book, and helping video game addicts reform and overcome their addiction

Jacob October 24, 2012 at 12:41 am

Interesting that he makes a post so soon. I’d like to add something. I feel like I have very similar style of thinking to AK. The whole not using extremes and black and white thinking and even to the extent of saying “not being able to say Nothing is black and white because that’s paradoxical in itself”. There’s a story that many people know a bit about from Greek Mythology. Icarus and his wings. His dad was an amazing architect/engineer kept captive to create things. Well he made his son and himself these wings so they could escape from their captivity. He told his son not to fly too close to the ocean or the water would mess up the feathers and not to fly to close to the sun because they’d burn. Basically it’s a lesson. Don’t go to the extremes in life or you’ll fail. One must try to be moderate and realize there are pros and cons to everything, grey-not just black and white. Now these theory could be flawed in itself but I don’t belief so because it makes sense and applies to a lot of real life applications.

PTT October 24, 2012 at 12:55 am

@JIM- if your parents are keen to sign you up to a hobby that requires human interaction that is also good, and i see ballroom dancing as prob the best. but for sure, u need to know what you like and don’t like.

If you are feeling you are overweight during high school, its important to break bad eating habits early. (I was quit skinny but maxed out to 84 kilo at one stage in my late 20’s, now im 75kg 167cm) keeping physically fit is alot to do with apetite which is affected by psychological requirement of food and is affected by emotions, and past childhood eating habits which is hard to break (but not impossible)..ie it has more to do with the brain, than the stomach.

@Jacob, and AK- fair enough… :)
Party games like Super smash bros, and Dance Dance Revo- esp if it helps lose weight..i can see some clear exceptions. The definition of ‘addict’ is vague. I play forza for a few hours (less than 5) a day and think about it here and there but how does that compare to a person who plays more than 8..and if it werent for forza4 i played a lot less on average say under 2 hours…can those 2 hours a day make me want to quit videogames forever still – yes it can..because at 31 i could see myself doing better things with my life…and in that sense this article can still apply. the ambition to quit entirely and notice games addictiveness can be applicable to an average gamer as well…(but i admit forza4 really is that good that it pissed me off).

PTT October 24, 2012 at 1:01 am

though i admit i can see myself playing left for dead 2 for 15 min once a week/fortnight, shotgunning a zombie in the head always soothes. to say that we are not going to play another game til the end of my day..is abit ambitious. esp the future we are having now..and how games are more widespread, eg. mobile gaming, or , for example, your nephews bday party who has a wii.

PTT October 25, 2012 at 12:02 am

@JACOB- the whole grey thing, and not thinking black and white…is a big element in the science of psychology. when you think black and white about a topic, for example, you can get annoyed if something doesn’t turn your way. much the same if you told yourself to ‘quit’ videogames, and played a game of LeftforDead for 20 minutes once a month. You may also be annoyed with yourself.

That’s not to say that videogame addicts should not try to quit in the first instance, to at least start breaking their behaviour. (I would lay in bed dumb-founded from the withdrawal symptoms, which is probably necessary). Once they have passed ‘a Quit’ stage or phase, usually at least a week or fortnight, they then prob need to reassess what their other hobbies are give these new hobbies/goals 100% effort(cooking, painting, dancing, losing weight, sign up to an education course, find a job even voluntary job); and decide which games they should never have installed (eg. WoW/Starcraft- the characteristics as described above- the need to level up etc…), or consoles or console games at hand (give the console away to a trusted family or friend if necessary)- And only play the odd game (‘non-addictive in their opinion’ games) <- That's how I did it.

Maybe other success stories should be written here as well. I'm sure other readers would love to hear more success stories.

Jim October 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hey, I successfully stopped playing video games, but there comes another problem. I chose an activity which satisfies all the four conditions and this activity is my hobby too. Now, I spent most of my time (like 10-15 hours a day) doing this. This creates another problem. I don’t get time for studying at all. Whenever I start studying, this distracts me. I wanted to leave video games, but not get addicted to another thing which proves time-wasting to me.

PTT October 25, 2012 at 10:24 am

@Jim- you mean reading the blog is your new hobby/distraction? or is it another activity all together…

lol i have the same thing, when i stopped playing videogames significantly i go on youtube and search for x factor or whatnot, or facebook…

or is it, dare i say p[]rn[]graphy?

anyway it takes time, but definately try a sport/or hobby that is not considered time-wasting… youtube is awful as well (not much better than videogames- heck i need to cut back on youtube as well)..

its quite likely once we quit games, we go on to something else that is a waste of time. though youtube can be quite insightful and information, factual, or humanly emotional, and on average, comparatively better than videogames in my opinion.

Jim October 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

@PTT – Actually I am talking about my graphics designing hobby. I sit infront of Photoshop and 3ds max almost all day now and it’s sucking up a significant amount of my time.

PTT October 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm

@JIM- have you tried cheaper neighborhood (usually elderly) Acryllic painting classes. It is hard for a person of your age to change so quickly, but try to be pro-active sooner (netball, table tennis, bowling, archery groups even). and maybe going to the library will help with the study, to prevent yourself from being distracted.

In all seriousness, the best advice that i can give you, is to speak to your school counselor. They are employed to handle a range of life issues.

Jacob October 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

@JIM I believe you said you were overweight earlier correct? Now it’s good that your doing graphic design-that can turn into a job someday-especially if you enjoy it. but you should also-for health reasons-find a hobby of some sort that gets you physically active. I know that’s hard for people overweight for a variety of reasons-you may be self conscious, it’s hard and really exhausting, etc. But if you can find that one thing you love no matter what then you can stick with it and get in shape.
Now with being distracted with homework to be completely honest you just have to build up motivation from within. There are going to be things in life that you have to do but don’t want to. You have to learn that O i really wish I’d be doing this right now but this 6 page paper is due tomorrow I gotta suck it up and finish this then I can have fun this weeekend or whatever. It might not even be school related-eventually it could be a job, helping a friend on something you don’t want to do but he’s your friend.

ak October 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm

@JACOB (and a small bit is for CAM)
I wasn’t actually responding to you with my latest post, but rather CAM, I spent 1/2 and hour or so writing it so I didn’t see your comment as I didn’t refresh the page whilst I was writing my comment.
It is nice to meet a somewhat similar-minded person on this issue.
Regarding your point on pot and judging people, what i said is this:
“Of course you’re not supposed to prematurely judge people, or judge them based on things you don’t understand” and perhaps I should expand on this point. Judging someone as bad or worse based on an action(s) of theirs is (in most cases) wrong, even if the action itself is bad. Take excess drinking, for example, which is a bad thing, just because someone does it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, and even though it might be damaging themselves and those around them you can’t necessarily judge them badly simply because they could quit, as addiction, genetic predisposition to drinking, financial situation as well as a host of other issues may be factors.
The exception to this rule applies when someone is doing something or several things which are wholly bad (or they outweigh enough any benefits of the action(s) – judging when this is the case can be problematic) to themselves and/or others, they are completely aware of what they’re doing and the negative effect(s) it/they entail, have complete control over their action(s) (e.g. they’re not addicted, no peer pressue, etc), and despite all this they still do the action(s). This is (almost) never the case, hence why you should (almost) never judge people regardless of what they do, and only judge what they’ve done instead.
(To CAM, this is one point of yours which I agree with, where you don’t judge the person, but only the action, though my exception above can apply to certain gamers – if we assume gaming is as bad as you say, of course, so something for you to perhaps think about there).
So, applying this logic to something like smoking pot, of course I won’t judge those who do as bad or worse people. There are many who smoke who believe that smoking cannabis is less dangerous than smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products, and as people are allowed smoke the latter they should be allowed to smoke the former. This is a logical fallacy – even if this was true, just because it is LESS dangerous to smoke cannabis does not mean it isn’t dangerous AT ALL – though many of cannabis’ effects, especially long-term ones, are still debated on to this day(more on this later) – and so based on this one would advise people not to smoke the drug. This is also the case when arguing for its legalisation, as just because we’ve made a mistake by legalising dangerous tobacco products, we shouldn’t do a similar mistake by legalising the less-but-still-dangerous cannabis. But is it dangerous? Can it be beneficial too?
One problem here is that with cannabis so many of its effects, both short-term and long-term- though more so long-term – depend on the person who’s smoking it (it also varies with method of administration, but as most smoke it, no need to go into that) – general factors such as age and gender are also something to consider, but there are many less easily identified variables that alter one’s reaction to cannabis smoking. As such, for example, for the vast majority, smoking once or twice in your life a moderate amount of cannabis will not really negatively affect you – but for a rare minority it will.
The question here, I suppose, is could you, as with something like alcohol, apply moderation and so nullify the negative effects (won’t get excessively drunk, liver can detoxify system etc), and even gain benefits (for example, a cup of wine a day is considered good for you)? The problem here is that so many of the negative effects, especially the rarer more dangerous ones, both long and short-term, differ from person to person (some may get them, some not), even with similar/same general factors like age and mass, and there’s so much which is not known for sure about the drug. . Now, if one day all the effects were known, and there was a perfect test to see if one would be susceptible to the negative effects, both the non-serious and serious ones, as well as the positive effects, then based on this test I would be happy with people smoking it providing they had agreeable results from this test. We’re not there yet, unfortunately, and so because of the element of unknown, and based on what I know and have read on the drug, I personally wouldn’t do it or recommend it to anyone, as the potential dangers, both known and unknown, outweight the potential benefits (even the unknown ones – no remotely likely benefit can outweigh a risk of death or serious mental illness, for example).
Do you personally smoke pot? If so, tell my why – what do you gain, have you read up on the subject, can you show me otherwise? I’m always open to change my mind, and I’ve already said I won’t judge a pot smoker as bad/worse.
Here’s a couple of links to start you off on your reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_(drug) (dat wikipedia is good)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_effects_of_cannabis (DAT WIKIPEDIA IS SO GOOD)
There are many other websites on the topic, but I know wikipedia is neutral on most things, almost certainly it will get the vast majority of scientific facts/evidence/theories on drugs like cannabis right – if you want to read more then there are other options.
If you come to a different conclusion than I, I’d like to hear why – I am human, after all, they may well be something e.g. evidence or a line of logic that I didn’t think about.

@JACOB still, but something for everyone to think about as well
Just a final note, I read that you believe in the good guy always getting a girl, and though I would think that they certainly can get the girl, and quite frequently at that, a good girl, unfortunately, can almost never get the guy without at least some decent looks to accompany it. I am a guy (Out of curiosity, I wonder how many of you assumed I was a guy before only confirming it now for the first time – try not to assume unless you have no choice), and this fact really saddens me. This is one mistake many (nowhere near all, but many nonetheless) nice guys do – they lament over how some girl chose a more handsome douche over them, thinking to themselves “I’m the better person, they should’ve gone for my personality rather than the douche’s looks” Yet they would never consider pursuing their counterpart, the good girl, if they’re not beautiful.

@PTT
Was the ‘fair enough’ comment of yours a response to the bit of my previous (very long) post directed specifically at you, or a response to the entire post, including the bit mainly directed at CAM? I’m just wondering.
Regarding your three comments between October 24, 2012 at 12:55 am and October 25, 2012 at 12:02 am:
In regards to your first comment, I see what you mean, and I do agree somewhat, I think the point here is that for someone to view their gaming habits as a problem is when they waste a significant enough amount of time playing such that they are losing out enough in various aspects of their life (think business opportunity cost) – of course this can mean that someone who isn’t addicted can still look to quit gaming, my main point merely has always been is that, so long as you’re not addicted, you can play games in such a way, for the appropriate length etc. that the above is not the case.
Also, Brawl and Forza 4 – excellent games.
As for your second comment, I agree pretty much completely.
Finally, as for your third comment, just in case it wasn’t clear, I agree that addicts looking to quit should do so completely, at least for a while, because, as you rightly allude to and have talked about before, an addict will struggle to play in moderation, and will probably slip back into addiction – quitting completely for a while gives them the clear perspective they need to diversify their hobbies and lead them to a more fulfilling life, which may or may not include gaming. In this case a temporary black-and-white approach is good, because it then leads the former addict to be able to choose the grey later on if they so wish ie to play games in moderation, without losing control. My problem is only when CAM uses a permament black-and-white approach to all of gaming.
Also, regarding your more recent comment on October 25, 2012 at 10:24 am, youtube is better than video games? I can see why you may think that – there are some really good videos on there, educational, thought-provoking, funny etc. but there’s also some TERRIBLE stuff on there, worse than the vast majority of games (and (almost) certainly all the popular ones that 95% of people play), such as extremely racist/prejudiced material, extremist views, some awful comments, the list goes on. Besides, as I’ve discussed before, gaming can be eductional and beneficial in other ways. I wouldn’t say gaming is better, but I wouldn’t generalise and say youtube is better either, depends on what you watch/play, how long you watch/play, and who you watch with/play – as with (almost) everything, there is no black and white.

@CAM
Glancing at my last post, though I’m not sorry for the message I was trying to get across, I have to apologize for the bitter,aggressive and/or confrontational tone, I did apologize already but still, should’ve have been like that.

ak October 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Also, JACOB, you thought my individual arguments or posts as a whole were concise? My arguments may be, but my posts as a whole? Thank you for the compliment, but they’re REALLy long – I suppose that could mean I have a lot to say rather than being inconcise, but still, found the comment quite funny.
Also, regarding being an idealist vs realist, being an idealist is important because it helps you realise what things (such as the world as a whole) should be like, rather than how they are now, so you know what to aim for when changing something for (hopefully) the better. However, (almost) always in life, the ideal is impossible to achieve, and so one has to be a realist to realise the best one can do about a given thing(s) given the resources and abilities one has. For example, unfortunately, hard work can’t get you everywhere in life, some (in some cases phenomenal) talent is required – I say unfortunate because whereas hard work is a matter of choice (though this can be debated – some would argue some are more predisposed to want to and/or have the ability to work hard than others, and other arguments exist as well), talent is something one is born with, and so a matter of chance for the given individual.

Jacob October 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Ok, there was an error in that comment aha. Consice is definitely not the correct term I was going for. Hmmm, I’m struggling for a word but you should know what I’m saying. Logical, intelligent debate instead of a lot of petty nuh uh, yeah huh and “because thats way it is” type arguments. Although you may argue that Cam doesn’t always follow that there. And I agree about the idealist realist. My personal viewpoint is too many people think you can’t. If you honestly devoted 20 years of your life to something your going to beat out people with way more talent if they’ve been doing it less and not as hard as you.Now are there exceptions of course. A 5’5 person won’t be making it to the nba-but he could become one of the best players in the state if he devoted enough energy to it. Granted a LOT of energy but its there. People think its impossible-but really they don’t want to try that hard. They may want it-but they don’t want it that bad. And of course being perfect is impossible to achieve. Some people argue that we shouldn’t even go for that we should go for achievable goals. Yes you should set some but what happens when you get those-you either stop or get better ones. This whole site touches on that idea. Trying to better yourself in all areas. Get better at socializing, become more literate, get more athletic, coordinated, balanced, find hobbies that allow you to relate and share with people. All of these leads to tryign to make a better YOU. And even though I know things like movies and cartoons rarely happen and some are impossible. Doesn’t mean I’m not gonna take that attitude and apply it to my own life.

ak October 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Yeah I thought so, my posts are really not concise, though I’d like to think they’re as concise as I could reasonably expect of myself, considering how much I have to say and that I kind of let myself go as there’s no word or time limit to this and it’s something that I actually want to write about, unlike many schools essays that I’ve written for example.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. Of course everyone should work as hard as they can (whilst allowing time for relaxation, hobbies, and whatnot) as that allows them to achieve the best they can. My point merely was that, unfortunately, the best that one can do may not be enough to achieve a certain goal(s) or ambition(s) in life. However, just because that’s the case, doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try one’s best, because of all one learns along the way, even if you don’t think you can reach the end, and just because I’m saying that everyone has different levels of ability in different things doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t find those levels and push them as far as they go.
The moral problem of talent is one that I’ve thought about for a long while now, but in fear of going too off-topic I won’t go into it now.
Anyway, what did you think about my thoughts on pot? I’d like to hear your answers to my questions in my previous long post, and did you check out the links?

Jacob October 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Oh aha, it appears I did the same thing that happened to you earlier. I replied not seeing your latest post. To start out with I’ll just kind of give my personal history with it. I played sports in high school and very competively. I wanted to be good and put in a LOT of time-hence my earlier talk about talent and trying. Anyways because of this I never tried weed, pot alcohol or any drugs until the end of my Senior basketball season. Afterwards I have consumed alcohol a few times but nothing serious like many of my generation. Still haven’t tried weed and its been one of the weirdest ones because so many people do it-its a norm now almost. And its weird for me to say I’ll drink alcohol but not smoke pot when alcohol can be worse-generally is actually. So even though I still haven’t, I haven’t found anything wrong with it-majorly-other than that it’s illegal. So sorry if you were hoping to get more information and another viewpoint from me aha. I’m basically in your situation although I did find your information useful. (btw enjoyed the “dat wikipedia” bit. nice to see your normal and have a sense of humor aha) But yea to conclude I also don’t really judge most pot users- I have friends who do it/tried it. I just don’t like being in situations when they are doing it and I’m around them.

Your comment: “I am a guy (Out of curiosity, I wonder how many of you assumed I was a guy before only confirming it now for the first time – try not to assume unless you have no choice), and this fact really saddens me.”
now if you take out the parentheses you get…
I am a guy and this fact really saddens me.
lol. found that funny even though I know the latter relates to your earlier bit about guys choosing girls on looks. First I did in fact assume you were a guy but if you had asked me before saying anything I would have reassessed and asked neutrally as to not making an embarrassment out of myself. Anyways what you say is correct. I do want a girl to look beautiful. But beauty is a relative term. I’m sure if you try really hard enough you can find things wrong with any girl. And vice-versa- you can find something really cute, and charming about each one. For me personally I’ve fallen for girls who aren’t “hot” or have a great body or anything. There face was beautiful to me and I absolutely loved talking to this person and enjoyed there personality. Once a variety of things happened and I got over this person I could easily see things that many could find “wrong” with this person. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess. If your going out with someone I sure hope you find your girlfriend beautiful and not just there personality. Yes, they can have flaws but you like the other things better-or you even find the flaws good in themselves. Hopefully that makes sense.
Now there’s a lot about good guy syndrome and things like that. A lot of guys who think there great have a lot more problems with their personalities than they’d like to admit. Confidence issues, jealousy, pettiness, not enough independence, etc. I’m not entirely sure all I can say on this I’m by no means an expert but I’ll say this much. I’m single and haven’t even been in a long term relationship. (im a freshman in college fyi) However I try for the most part to be independent. To work on me. to make myself a better person and to live how i feel like i should. And to eventually figure out myself enough to know what I want in someone. And if a girl comes in that I like and the feelings mutual well that’s a plus. But I don’t want to actively go after every girl that looks hot. I’m trying to treat every person I meet fairly and understanding that they have different views on life based on past experiences and that doesn’t mean they are wrong. That’s basically how I’m doing things now. And one last note before I end yet another ridiculously long post is just an addition. Why would so and so choose some better looking douche over me. First I’ll say im by no means-horrible. I played sports my whole life, and I’m tall so that helps aha. But I also am not some guy girls are instantly whoo’d by. I don’t really care that much. There are ALWAYS (note the black and white here aha), there is always going to be someone better looking than you or worse looking then you in the world. It depends on who you ask, and what they like. I’m trying to focus on things I can improve-my level of fitness is something I can change. My personality-trying to be kinder is something I can work on. Things like that. Don’t get me wrong though I do it for me to. I wouldn’t spend hours in a gym just for others aha- I like working out. But basically I try to never think a girls “out of my league” or I deserve her why isn’t she impressed by me, or “she’s way below me”. I think of it more as she and i get along well and match nice or i don’t think we really click. However I will end with one last thing. I do have an X-factor. Sometimes a girl you don’t think you’d like just suddenly impresses you. You see someone and your straight up attracted to them. Doesn’t always mean they’re good for you but it makes me want to get to know them more.
Oi I tried to figure out what I wanted to say on that last bit but it’s so hard because I don’t really know my opinion on it completely aha but maybe you can make sense of the ramble. We may need to figure out how to carry on these convo’s elsewhere…

PTT October 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm

The reason I say a school couselor is they can point you to the right direction with extra-curriculum activites, and i totally agree with JACOB, you need to motivate yourself. If something is bothering you to prevent yourself from studying well, you need to talk to somebody and if you think you need to talk to a health professional, ask your parents. It used to carry a stigma, but you know its a good way to offload, for them to set goals for you, and for them to try to figure out why you behave, in a certain manner. i wished i saw a pyschologist sooner approx your age.

PTT October 27, 2012 at 6:44 am

@Jacob and also AK:

i think its true the ‘out of my league’ thing, sometimes i think its true sometimes i don’t.. if she desires somebody nice, sacrificing, genuine, and somebody who holds an affection/appreciates.. and vice versa that’s what really matters. and i certainly believe in the ‘x’ factor you described, Here is my rough checklist in order of importance, if shes got some of the top, she definitely has the x factor.

1.She appreciates you.
2. Self-sacrificing.
3. Supportive cheers you on.
4. Agreeableness and ability to empathise
5. Ability to respond
6. Facial attractiveness.
7. Atheist

PTT October 27, 2012 at 6:46 am

ie. as in i don’t believe a person ‘is out of your league’…

Ben October 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm

@Cam

South Korea has been great. The people here have been very nice, generous and helpful. Also, you really don’t need to know Korea.. It’s very easy to get around South Korea and only a little Korean. Most Koreans know a little English and their stores are in both Korean and English. The only negative spot so far are the hours that I have to work at my school. I am easily working 10 hour days. On M, W and Fr I teach from 1:15-6:45 p.m. non-stop. I might get a five minute break but that’s it. Other teachers that I have met work fewer hours and they get paid the same. They might work from 2-10 pm or from 9-5 pm. If you decide to come to South Korea pick your school carefully.Do the research. Talk to other teachers who have worked at the same school.

I just wanted to state something very quickly in regard to gaming and life. Everyday we make decisions. Those decisions are going to move you towards and away from your goals in life. I’m just saying that we need to pick carefully what we do in our daily lives.

Time is the only resource that we can’t save. We use it second by second, and minute by minute. Once it’s gone that’s it. I feel sorry for people who spend hours playing video games and watching television. They probably keep saying to themselves that they will get to their goals tomorrow. Well tomorrow may never come. My mom passed away at 65 just last year. We didn’t even see it coming. Life is so short.

Ben October 28, 2012 at 6:10 am

Also, I just wanted to state that my sister is an avid gamer. She went o to Rutgers University and just a few years ago she was attending Harvard University. She is now working at Boston University in their Biology department while she pursues her PHD. She has written articles on research that she has participated in. She has managed to excel while being a gamer. I guess games aren’t all bad if done in moderation.

Max October 28, 2012 at 6:33 am

Hi, I’ve come here to share another solution (yeah, I’ve already shared a solution like falling in love, whatever):
If you’re obsessed with only one video game, then:
1 – start another game
2 – play this game for like one day, 2 days (like one 1 or 2 hours a day, WARNING: DON’T PLAY ENOUGH TIME TO GET ADDICTED TO IT)
3 – while playing the new game you’ll forget the old one
4 – come back to the old game, delete it.
5 – You’ll probably lose interest in the new game because it’s new, and you don’t know all the features, and so on, so, delete the new game as well.
PS: this solution works great for RPGs. It worked for me, I wasn’t expecting for it, it came accidentally when I was addicted to a PC game, and my Xbox was collecting dust with 3 or 4 crappy games. I bought a new game to play on my Xbox, and suddenly forgot the old one. Then, when I realized it, I ran to my PC to say goodbye to all my friends online, deleted my accounts, deleted the game (this part is crucial, to uninstall the game, because every time you’ll feel that temptation, you’ll remember that you’ll need to spend like 20 mins installing the game, entering the license keys, changing CDs, and so on) and came back to play the new game on Xbox… but when I turned the Xbox on, I realized that I lost interest in video games.
Yeah it sounds pretty much like fairy tale lmao, but it’s true.
Good luck mates.

Max October 28, 2012 at 6:42 am

@Ben
You’re so right about the time thing. Once you realize that time won’t wait for you, you must tell yourself that it’s now or never to do what you want, before it’s too late.

PTT October 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

I thought this was really information about Internet porn:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSF82AwSDiU

Alex October 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Hey Cam,

Just wondering what you think of the community of professional gamers who actually make a living off playing games like LoL and Starcraft? These people make very decent money (for example a recent tournament awarded US$1million to the winning team) simply through playing games all day. Furthermore, they live in gaming houses and are salaried, often regardless of success in tournaments, meaning that they earn enough to live on even if they don’t win big tournament. What’s is your opinion on people like this? Is this not a valid thing to pursue in life?

ak October 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I was about to finish up another post, then the browser crashes…sad sad days :(

Jacob October 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm

How long was it? lol. I think im gonna start writing my posts in notepad then copying them over aha.
Good point Alex

Jacob October 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm

http://kingpinlifestyle.com/4-things-to-look-for-in-a-manwoman/

I just stumbled across an article on here on just what we happened to be talking about earlier

Ricky October 29, 2012 at 6:03 am

hey ya’ll.. Well I guess I would start saying that I have an addiction.. and well I know this article is kinda old.. but I see people still posting comments & I just would like to share my story.. alright so I have been playing video games since I remember, I’m 20 years old now, in college judt enjoying life you know? but whats different from me is I don’t play WoW or other computer games I have been such a sony fan since I was little I had the psone ps2 and well now the ps3 & I love all the FPS games that I just can’t stop it.. after I played Call of duty Modern Warfare 2, I just started playing more & more. I actually do have a social life, I played baseball for awhile I didn’t quit that I just stopped and then all I end up doing was lift weights and keep doing that and it seems to keep me busy when I don’t have anything to do but once I get home and I don’t have anything to do, even when I finished my chores I just take a little bit of time and play some modern warfare 3 but then I notice I gotta do something & I just leave it for later and I always end up leaving everything for later but I don’t play as much as I used too because college, lifting weights & playing ball but then like I said sometimes I play sometimes and when I do I end up leaving other stuff because of it, some people might be asking what about a girlfriend or going out? well I had a girlfriend during my junior year in high school but she left me after a couple of months blaming everything on me because I wasn’t sure what I want.. like we still in high school we don’t know what we want during that time then I just cried my heart out playing video games not that much but I did but besides all this I’m fine with girls it just the fact I just want to be alone and have my own time but I just can’t find a replacement to playing videos and well going out to parties get drunk, smoke, and all that, well I do go out I have friends thats all they do but I don’t drink because it reminds me of my father and I just can’t do it, and smoke well I can’t either so I’m pretty much the designed driver when I go out because all my friends get faded and they can’t drive, anyways thats just a little bit of life, yeah I do have other stuff to do but sometimes I find myself not doing anything but playing & I remember stopped playing for almost a year and thats because my old ps3 broke and didnt have the money and I had stuff to do. I ended up buying a new one after awhile and since then I have been spent money on new video games and items for my ps3 till a couple weeks ago when I said to myself “STOP” this ain’t happening, and after that I play less & less time go lift weights more often & will start going out again, do homework, read, meet new people, meet new girls, etc
I actually think being a gamer isn’t a bad thing it just the effects it has in messing up your life sometimes.. after reading this article I could say it will help me more & will definitely put an end for my gaming life once & for all..
I did read most of the comments on here & they did surprised me how video games could change your life.

Unknown October 29, 2012 at 10:32 am

After taking weeks to read all the comments I am shocked! I am glad people are looking for help and advice. I’ve poked around here for a long time, but I never posted. I feel like I am selling myself short by not posting and maybe it can help some others as well.

A little back information about me. I started gaming (hardcore I guess) at 14 years old. I am currently 23 now. I’ve played everything from nes-to current generation of consoles. I personally liked and played pc’s more. I don’t feel that I was ever addicted to one specific game. I played more BF 1942, BF2, WoW, CS 1.6/CS:S, TF, etc… only because my friends were playing those games and it was easier to jump on with friends I knew rather with randoms. I could quit those games and move onto something else anytime I was bored or lost interest.

I felt that quitting was the easiest thing ever! Let me explain. I think we all grow in and out of hobbies as we grow and experience life. I started to notice my loss of interest around 19-20ish. Games started becoming boring, easy, forgetful, online was boring, too short, etc… I felt like it became more of a chore than a hobby. That is just part of moving on to bigger and better things. Not saying gaming is wrong or bad in any way. I know guys playing casually well into their 30’s and it works for them. I think this will be my last and final year of gaming. As mentioned before there is nothing left or desired in the gaming world for me.

There has been some pros and cons to gaming for me as well. Pros-I have developed social skills and friendships that would have been next to impossible without gaming. My typing and grammar have much improved. (more impacting my younger years) I do believe it has helped hand/eye coordination and team work/strategy skills. I think it can get you to think a different way, but games will only take you so far. You need to take your new found skill(s) and put them to use on something more challenging. Now for the cons-Gaming has crippled my eating/exercising habits. I started to develop small aches and pains in my wrists and fingers. I also had a semi-bad posture starting to develop in my neck/back from being hunched over the computer using bad forms of sitting. At the first signs of any of these is scared me straight! I am in my 20’s I don’t need to be having these problems especially if it’s my fault. I have corrected every single one of the problems I started to have and I feel a million times better.

It seems like the biggest problem is people don’t know what to do after they quit or are in the process of quitting. I am not going to post all the cliche things like school, work, family, friends, social events. I am going to focus on the smaller things that have helped me grow and ultimately become a well round person. I joined bodybuilding.com to help with my weight/lifting techniques. They have a great community and they’re willing to help if you’re willing to learn. I used to build and fly model rockets with my dad. I got into that again. I started building model cars/trucks/planes. Everyone reads, but it isn’t stressed enough! I started picking up books about only stuff I was interested in. I started reading about cars, bikes, greek mythology, laws, business…etc. I always had an insane interest in cars and mechanical stuff so I started picking up repair manuals and learning all I could about fixing and modding cars. This is just the beginning of what I did to replace gaming. The point is if you start replacing video gaming hours with small hobbies/arts/crafts gaming will be completely forgotten if you think gaming is an issue or you just want to do other things.

I think this is a great article and there are some great people here commenting and the comments are still very active. Don’t be afraid to post like I was!

Cam October 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Wow.. Great comments guys. It’s definitely difficult for me to keep up, but I will add my 2 cents into the conversation now.

Definitely don’t feel bad about the conversation going off topic… I think all of these discussions are important to have.

One question to you all: I’m considering a launch of a forum for this topic. Would you guys be interested in this? It would give us much more flexibility in approaching various topics, etc.

@ Ricky – Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you found the article valuable.

@ Unknown – I’m impressed you’ve read all the comments… and I can see how it would have taken you so long to do it. The crazy part is they seem to be getting more and more frequent every day (not complaining… this is an important topic for discussion). I like your point about growing in and out of hobbies throughout our lives. I’ve seen research on how every 10 years we seem to shift to a major new interest, and 10 years later a new one, etc.

The biggest problem is definitely what to do after you’ve quit gaming. It’s a hard question even for me to answer for others because what people will ultimately enjoy is completely relative. For me, it was socializing and DJing. For others, it might be ballroom dancing or guitar. It’s very difficult to pinpoint for each individual. Bodybuilding is a great suggestion, specifically because it gets a lot more physical activity in the mix. Thanks for posting, I appreciate you taking the time to contribute.

@ Alex – Great question. It’s a tough one to answer for sure. I’ve thought about it a lot. A few things come to mind: 1) Specifically in Korea, there’s been many reports of these houses being very bad for the players – long hours, etc. 2) Unfortunately, the percentage chance that a person will become professional and play on one of these teams is not very good. Not impossible but also very difficult, so it would be hard for me to encourage the pursuit… MAINLY because of the potential negative side-effects of extended video game play. In my mind, it’s a very different situation to pursuing a career in the NHL or NFL… but a difficult question no doubt.

@ Ben – Thanks for the tip about picking your school correctly. I’ve heard this multiple times. How are you finding the social life in South Korea? Some guys who have emailed me who are teaching English over there have said they had trouble socializing. Is this your case?

I really like what you said here: “I just wanted to state something very quickly in regard to gaming and life. Everyday we make decisions. Those decisions are going to move you towards and away from your goals in life. I’m just saying that we need to pick carefully what we do in our daily lives.”

@ Max – Thanks for your tips.

@ JIM – We have an online course coming out soon to help people socialize better in high school. If this is something you’d be interested in, shoot me an email: cameron@kingpinlifestyle.com, the course will be $97. No pressure. If you find you’re now spending too much time on graphic design, consider using a calendar to monitor and schedule your day, to achieve a better balance. Try to find a hobby outside the computer.

@ Jacob – There’s many TED (ted.com) talks on how the gaming platform is a great way to teach kids. I address this point in my upcoming book, but here are a few thoughts to share:

The gaming platform is a framework of teaching that is GREAT. Using things like a level-up system and making learning entertaining are without a doubt significant improvements to the current education system.

BUT, the only way people learn within this type of framework is if the game has educational content. Portal would be an example of that, but I don’t see very much educational content in a game like World of Warcraft… nor throughout any of these comments have anybody posted saying they’re addicted to Portal.

But I do agree with you that the gaming framework is a great learning tool… my only point is for it to be a great learning tool, the content has to be educational.

As per smoking pot. The line you draw is that if you don’t want to be around people who smoke pot/drink/smoke cigarettes, you can tell them you don’t want to be around it and if they want to continue, you don’t have to be friends with them. The difference comes into play when you are judging others for doing it. You aren’t judging them… they can do what you want. But you don’t have to choose to be around them. That doesn’t make them a bad person or anything, just someone you don’t want to hang out with.

The way I can illustrate it is with this:

What do hippy’s think of Donald Trump?
They think he’s a fucking idiot right?
What does Donald Trump think of hippys?
He probably thinks they, too, are idiots.

But who’s right? Neither group. It’s just the type of person they each choose to be around. Neither is better or worse than the other.

When it comes to legalizing illegal drugs… that’s a legal issue. The law dictates that, not personal opinion.

@ AK – I wouldn’t use superior because neither option makes you better or worse than anybody else. (Only that one does increase the amount of options you have.)

The black-and-white approach to gaming comes down to the increased risk of extended exposure to video games. Without a risk like that being so substantial, video games would easily fall into similar categories to every other hobby out there. FOR ME, it’s just too risky to encourage playing video games because the risk of negative side-effects is tremendous.

@ PTT – It’s interesting that you bring up porn because one of the sections of my book is on “What Video Games and Porn Have in Common”. Watching that TED talk was super valuable to be (the porn experiment one) and many of my friends have got off porn because of it. I encourage you guys to get off porn ASAP too!

Jacob October 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I think a forum would be a great idea. I personally think internet forums have been one of the things that has taught me the most. I see no reason why it wouldn’t work here and as you can see topics can rapidly grow and snowball.

Thanks for your input Cam. It made sense.

When is your book going to be coming out?

Cam October 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm

@ Jacob – Thanks for your feedback. It’s definitely something I’m going to entertain.

I’m hoping to have the book released within the next few weeks. It’s about 50% written right now so it shouldn’t take too too long to get it complete and ready to share with you all.

I’m going to include some cool bonuses with the book too, which I’m excited about.

Jacob October 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm

That sounds awesome. I must say with how old you are and everything you’ve accomplished a lot and have even more to go. Quick question. I see a lot about how much everyone grows when they start implementing Social Dynamics in their lives. Right now I’m trying to get rid of my “ego” and get out of my comfort zone. To be honest I feel extremely anxious and scared. Not to mention my job I’m learning how to be a “professional” which adds a whole new list of things that are maturing me. Did you or anyone else feel overwhelmed or scared at all when going through this? Is it just a phase?

OCD October 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm

how do you curb horny thoughts, insomnia, and sexual frustration????? :( , trying to quit, but within 3 days i go on it again.

OCD October 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

ps. esp. with no gf.

OCD October 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm

internet porn.

OCD October 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm

whats your thoughts of sexually relieving yourself before meeting a girl, is it an age-old myth you relax and don’t talk macho when you are relieved?

OCD October 31, 2012 at 4:58 am

@PTT

pls ignore the previous post. i was half-asleep at the time.

in theory if i only use one porn video and slow, its all good- thats what PTT’s TED video is saying.

OCD/PTT October 31, 2012 at 8:03 am

first of all i want to apologise that i used the name ‘ocd’ tricking you guys unsuccessfully into thinking im somebody else. i was embarrased to say it, but as the porn experiment says, all coomon-sense, all boys (and most girls) have either seen or are users of porn.

i find it impossible to stop using porn, a week doesn’t go by without it. i used to think its normal like everybody else did, but i see that video and i seen the many upon many porn addict forums that wreck peoples’ married life which scares me. in the first months of marriage, they tend not to need to porn, but then after awhile its put their married life to breaking point. my father used to have a suitcase full of magazines, and i do worry how i will control myself..i know when i get depressed i tend to go there (even my exgf commented on it)…

and i used to think about or typing FUCK at work(the OCD alias) cos well work was horrible at the time, office politics and whatnot..i understand how CAM can’t imagine himself to work 8am-5pm ever.

@Ricky- i used to be a sony(had all 3 consoles + Japanese NTSC (from Hong Kong) NES 1980s) fanboy then after a parking fine, the impulsive emotive side of me got the better of me, so to make myself happy i bought an xbox360, which led me to play forza. fancy i didn’t see any addictive games on PS3 (though GT5, Killzone3, CODMW2 wasn’t far off)…counterstrike source PC being the only somewhat addiction as well.

i also gained alot of weight during my time when i was depressed and lost a lot of self-confidence in my late 20’s. i think at 31 i have finally picked myself together, and enjoying dance, cooking, pushing towards being a primary school teacher, and painting. let’s just say, don’t lose sight of hope. because Resilience was the only thing i had. think all the Rocky Balboa movies! :D

PTT October 31, 2012 at 8:06 am

emotional eating / game addiction / depression / porn addiction / shopaholic eg. dvds / blu-ray..

let me know if you have any of these tendencies.

PTT October 31, 2012 at 8:20 am

@Ricky- if you want to quit videogames, in a way it’s simple and harsh, ‘permanently lend’ your ps3 to a brother/sister/relative.

case in point: I saw Spiderman (the new one with Emma Stone) on blu-ray and the only way i didn’t buy it was that my TV broke. this was in JB hi-fi Aussie Down Under land, which is similar to Best Buy in USA i presume.

Cam October 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm

@ Jacob – You’re definitely right that it can be overwhelming when you take on the journey of Social Dynamics… but it’s important to remember: the journey never ends. Personal development is an on-going journey, so don’t get attached to the outcome. Just keep pushing on and improving every day. Change can be scary, so focus on building momentum and you’ll be glad you put the time into your development as you improve! And of course, make sure you surround yourself by people who can guide you and add insight. This will help keep you stable and moving forward.

@ PTT – Part of my book is going to detail how I’ve dealt with negative emotions and resentment when you quit things (and relapses), so I’m excited for you to check that out… but the best way I have found is to focus on “beating my high score.”

So if you hit a wall at 3 days, try to beat it this time. But don’t just get to 4 days and then be like “ok i beat the score I can do it again”… you want to have the MINDSET of making the high score as HIGH as possible. Take it on as a challenge to see what you’re made of.

Here’s a private video blog I made for my students a few years ago about “a lesson I learned about a year ago that makes a MASSIVE difference in getting you to make the change you want to make INSTANTLY.” (The video is old and I was younger, don’t judge me lol.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7c2AYPo1kI

Make sure you study http://yourbrainonporn.com

Watching porn is terrible for your brain, and does real damage. YOu need to do the 90 day reboot challenge! I successfully completed it recently. The hardest days for me were day 11 and 12. Once I got past those days it wasn’t that bad.

As per relieving yourself before meeting a girl, it’s not good at all. Getting off hurts your natural masculine aura. You should read The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida. He talks about it in the later chapters.

One of the other Kingpin Staff members (Mikey B) has suffered from emotional eating a lot. PTT, I’m sure I could get him to talk with you on Skype about his experieces?

ak October 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I haven’t even been gone for a week and there’s so much for me to comment on…GOD DAMMIT

Cam October 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

@ AK – Welcome to my life. Now try doing it for over a year… every week.

haha.

Jacob October 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm

lol seriously CAM- I Don’t know how you keep up with it all but I’m extremely grateful and I’m sure we all are. So I thought I’d update my journey today. So to start off I took the original pickup Idea and went with that-just not pickup.

So I went to the mall after classes and I was hoping to try and talk to random people but I still have trouble with that. So instead I talked to like 3 of the employees working different shops. One we talked about halloween. Another about some thing he was doing to clean or w/e. And the last one I was talking to the manager girl of a new shop that just opened up. And I was talking to her about where she came from, how she got promoted and other things. So I learned quite a abit there. As good as the day went I still have problems talking to complete strangers. Especially people I’m not sure I have anything in common with just from a glance. Like I dont know how to break the ice.

Jacob October 31, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Hey Cam I’m starting to think the format of this site could be greatly improved. Liike you suggested earlier I think a forum would be a great addition. Also I think you should have like links or a video page with some of the vids you have on your youtube channel so that way people find it easier. Maybe eventually have an index somewhere so if people say want relationship advice-a lot of links are there all relating, if they want to know more about social dynamics- how it came ot be its all in one spot, if they want to know good ways to apply it- etc. etc…
Also is there any way you guys can like-market or advertise this better. I’m guessing a lot is through word of mouth and random google searches on articles on here. Anyways just some thoughts.

PTT November 1, 2012 at 7:03 am

@CAM- thanks for the great advice…

So what happens after the 90 days? haha.

i have a friend also who has had emotional eating problems. he used to eat when his knee got injured and when he broke his nose (in Brazilian jijitsu). he explains its hard because of the neuro-pathways are already set. i’ve managed to stop emotional eating by walking, then running. ive noticed lately (non-sexual) self-massage makes me feel better if i feel pissed off/angry/depressed so i dun need resort to emotion-eating or drinking. socialising and being creative such as dance and painting is fantastic as well. thanks for the offer, but i’m ok with my diet now. I’d also advice people to do burpees i used to be bad, but now im managing 2 sets of 12 burpees which is a big improvement.

@Jacob- do you teach dance? my suggestion is meet up with your fellow teachers after a class, the good thing is, you can take it slow and natural.

Jacob November 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

Well not quite yet. Still in training. I have an opportunity to get my first students next week. So for now I spend quite a fair amount of time talking to my teachers as they are still instructing me. What do you mean I do with them?

PTT November 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

@Jacob- i reckon its more than okay, to thank them (that’s what i would do). with a present or treat them to dinner in a restaurant. and just talk to them naturally. at the end of the day, they gave you a great opportunity to teach others and earn a living. and i wouldn’t consider it like ‘sucking up’ whatsoever. its just to say thanks. there you can talk about other things they/you do outside of dance, and at the end of the day, show your gratitude?

Are they similar in age? you will need to adjust the way you talk to them slightly. show more respect if they are older, or if they are peers, slightly ‘hang’ with them.

PTT November 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm

@Jacob- you’re not alone on this. I will try to make an effort to talk to one of the dancing students after class this Wednesday. it makes it easier knowing one of the girls spent some time talking to me after class last week.

Randonium November 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm

This advice was pretty good.

Jacob November 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Yes but I mean like i don’t know if I can really hang with some of the older instructors outside. Or even a dinner or anything like… they can be really uptight and strict and conservative in their views. The 2 younger ones I already went to wild bull with one once and the other I’m hoping once winter hits to go skiing with him sometime. and I do/have thanked them for the things there doing for me.

PTT November 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

i understand the uptight and conservative because my dancing studio’s owners are like that, in their 60’s, retired, and have their own ‘proteges’ who are teachers. The owners only do private tutoring which isn’t as physical for them. (hopefully at least they are not a pain in the ass at least). my ones are conservation, but not pain in the ass.

I don’t think you have to be friends with everyone. but that’s my opinion. be friendly to the younger ones. and go to the year competitions/dancing exams of students if its held of course (you probably need to anyway). Just find an outlet to socialise. It doesn’t have to be dance. you should try meetup.com; i was really quiet in high school, heck i stuttered, and sometimes if i tongue-tied i can still do. but its great, go to the ‘professional people’s one’. Definately should be one that suits you. I have 23 friends on FB, it goes to show you don’t have to be friends with everybody… I peaked about 150 friends on FB at one stage. but IMO you need only a few really good friends, and a social outlet to keep you on your toes with your social skills. meetup.com helped me. (movie then a restaurant after work; or a dinner and lounge)…

I don’t even think it’s too wrong to go talk to one of the students 10 minutes before and 10/15 minutes after, or even eventually going out with one of the students (who may fancy you or vice versa).

PTT November 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

@ Jacob- maybe talk to students five minutes before a class (10 minutes maybe a bit too much haha)…

PTT November 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm

@Jacob- one final thing- obviously you will know which students are mucking around and not taking dance seriously, and you will know the students who do take it seriously.

its easy to talk to them because they tend to stay 15 minutes or more past the hour of the dancing class. you can teach them further, and i have no doubt they would appreciate that. then it would be easier to talk professionally – then slide more to the – personal thing’s like what they do outside of dance/what they do for a living etc. etc.

Cam November 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

@ Jacob – Warming up using employees of stores is a great approach. Good job. Remember, this journey will take you time. Don’t be attached to the outcome. The way to break the ice is to ask something situational. So for Halloween as an example you could ask “Hey… I’m shopping for a costume, which costumes do you love?” Then expand into other topics from there. My favorite initial opener is “Do you know where the nearest Starbucks is?”

Also thanks for the feedback on the site. It’s definitely an evolution, and I’ll add your feedback into it! I appreciate that a lot.

@ PTT – After 90 days you will no longer care about masturbating/porn. For real. You’ll just be over it. Maybe not 100% but very very close. Have you tried meditation? Meditation is really good for anxiety (which is the emotion you feel that makes you want to eat emotionally and to masturbate/watch porn.)

@ Randonium – Thanks for leaving your comment!

Jacob November 4, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Thanks Cam. And PTT I won’t go into all the details cause I’d be here forever but my job description is literally to talk to these people. Like during a lesson I’ll go to someones students and talk to them. They literally make me.. aha. Also the studio I’m at is VERY high quality and professional. Everyone there loves to dance-its for sure because there paying like $100 an hour for lessons aha.

Also I want to share a success story. I told this to Kevin on skype. I was at hollister you know talking to employees like I said earlier. And the manager overheard me and later approached me asking if I wanted a job. I was literally stoked. Within a week of trying to improve something like this already happens. Weird thing was I had applied to Hollister earlier that year and didn’t hear anything of it.

One last question. So I’m wanting to talk to more people and such. But I feel the best way to meet people that will be relevant to me is through groups doing stuff I like. For instance a hiphop dance group or a tricking group. But where I am there’s like barely anyone. Trying to find hiphop is near impossible-I found one group but I can’t ever make there things cause of my schedule. And tricking I already know a lot of the trickers in a 100 mile radius pretty much. I know these 2 things could be my passion and I could see myself doing it for life. But I don’t know how to find more connections to make it happen. Maybe I need to move to a location where its more popular? For instance dancing (professionally at least) is more popular on the coasts. I’ve been trying everything I can these past few days. Searching google, reddit, facebook, whatever to try and figure out local jams and groups but there nearly nonexistant in my area…

Travis November 5, 2012 at 4:09 am

I’ve already taken a few steps of my own to quit gaming. I’m mostly a computer gamer, so I’ve uninstalled every video game from my hard drive, gave some of the console games I did possess to my cousins who live ~500 miles away from me, and deleted the characters that I owned on Role Playing games.

While I’m sure that my life will eventually change because of this (and hopefully for the better), the problem seems to be finding the drive to do something productive. Instead of video gaming, I find myself writing fantasies or reading the fictional works of other people. I want to get to the point where I can focus on the very necessary objectives in life. Do you have any suggestions for me?

PTT November 5, 2012 at 4:50 am

@Jacob- Are you thinking of working at Hollister,

My recommendation is to move, if you feel your area does not have the hobbies on offer (hip hop and tricking).
I remember a saying “The biggest risk is not to take any risks at all”.
Never live your life with “What if i did this, What if i did that?”. You need to plan, and you need assess your expenses, and other risks of course. Take calculated risks in life, esp if it’s for the better.

PTT November 5, 2012 at 4:53 am

@Travis, I would say network, and think about your future career. and take steps to follow your dream / change.

PTT November 5, 2012 at 6:06 am

I hope AK comments, because I opened a few lines of discussion recently.

PTT November 5, 2012 at 7:54 am

@CAM- thanks for the advice…

PTT November 5, 2012 at 7:59 am

@CAM sorry for so many short replies, i need to be less impulsive and be more patient and collect my thoughts- haha see my problem. anyway this is a really good porn/masturbation addiction forum, which is fantastic to read for myself… There is such a wide-variety of age groups, nerdy ppl getting bullied- to becoming more spiritual, earning a black belt in a Martial art., and meditation (1 hour a day) like you mentioned before..

usually its the ‘what the heck, what does it matter if i do it…thought/attitude” combined with being pissed off/frustrated (it might not even be completely rational emotion)…or it can be anxiety yes.

PTT November 5, 2012 at 8:00 am
juancito November 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Cam did you do this guide as an activity to escape videogames? to find something to do instead of playing?

Jacob November 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I have a new topic. I want to know Cam’s opinion on friends with benefits. Or one night stands. pretty much any scenario involving sex, or sexual ecounters related to the value system. Obviously If your using girls to do this its bad but what if your not really using them. It’s mutual or your both drunk etc. etc…

Cam November 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm

@ Jacob – That’s awesome about Hollister. This stuff makes a huge difference. Talking to Kevin I bet was cool to hear his perspective on it too. He’s developed a lot of the theory with me since day 1. Definitely small city’s have less options, which is what the big city appeal is… but it’s not always necessary, it just helps a lot.

The whole one night stand issue is a hard one to crack. My opinion is it really depends what you are going for in your life. If you’re focused on finding a long-term girlfriend, cut all the one night stands out of your life and focus on that. If you’re not looking for a girlfriend and just looking to gain more experience, then it’s not the worst thing…

… just remember: Always leave them better than you found them.

@ Travis – Adding some organization and structure to your life helps a lot. Use a calendar. Schedule IN ADVANCE events you’re going to go to like nights out with friends or a show or rock climbing or any similar activities. This helps because then you aren’t making decisions based on your mood, but on what you WANT to do. Email me and I’ll help you out more.

@ PTT – You’re welcome. Thanks for the forum.

@ Juancito – No. I wrote the guide about a year after I had quit gaming for good. I procrastinated on the article for a long time, so I was relieved when I finally got it done.

PTT November 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm

@CAM- that’s some really good advice esp about the one night stand thing. what’s your thought on the theory of “Nice guys come last”. Do you think super dooper honest guys comes last as in (ie. admitting weaknesses). I think the one place where I am comfortable to meet women are in dance or social dance. What advice do you have for a 31 year old Asian living in Metropolitan Australia? I take it, it would be similar to some cities in Canada..

PTT November 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I have noticed in some meetups(.com), the best social Asians are the ones obsessed about making money. and that shits me. haha. hahah I’ll stick to working on myself, such as dance, keeping slimmer, and be open-minded. I have had bouts of being ‘desperate’ for love, not for sex, do you have any thoughts on this?

Jacob November 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Well generally speaking my opinion has always been to go for a long term relationship. However lately I’m starting to realize how little I know a) like how to make a healthy relationship and be in one and b) what I want and don’t want in a girl and c) sexual experience in general. So I’m thinking maybe not necessarily friends with benefits but something along that thought process would workout for me. I just never, ever want to use a girl. That’s something I’m strictly against-I’ve done it before and that’s why I’ve been so put off from this before is because of those past experiences. So I just want to make sure I do leave the girl better off afterwards.
I think eventually I will want to move to a bigger city. For now though I’m content-there’s so much I can work on anyways.
Also I did want to say I am taking the job at Hollister. It’ll only be like 5 hours a week which actually is all I need on my schedule plus it’ll give me ample opportunity to practice social skills. I’m really excited. Plus to be completely honest even though it’s slightly dumb its a bit of an ego boost. I’ve always thought you had to be good enough looking to work there and even if it may not be true it’s kind of cool aha.

PTT November 8, 2012 at 6:26 am

I’m on the same page with you on your a) b) c). I never have and I never will use a girl. It’s easy for girls to use us as well, especially if she thinks shes attractive and ‘all that’. I don’t have much advice, I’m getting better and preventing myself from girls playing my heartstrings.

I’m a bit better now, a little more assertive and like “Whatever…take care of yourself. Bye”. I believe this is self-esteem and self-confidence was a major hindrance in childhood, and early adulthood. much like working in Hollister for you! nothing wrong with a good, well presented image/look.

I am working on taking my time, collecting my thoughts, and also noting I don’t have to say every thought in my head. It’s getting alot better!

PTT November 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I would like to add one thing, rather than being ‘desperate for love’, I have focussed on 3 things.

1. Keeping Physically Fit.
2. Do my Latin/Ballroom Bronze Exam on 8th December 2012.
3. Making sure I am a full-time Primary School Teacher as soon as possible.

These 3 things kept my mind completely away from being desperate, and the slight depression that goes with it. I have to say 31, when almost all my friends are in engaged, and married, and half have kids, me being single and doing Ballroom Bronze exams probably sounds just as good, if not better!

One of my chick friends, told me, you can’t love others, until you love yourself. I think this is absolutely true.

Cam November 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

@ PTT – The reason nice guys comes last is because nice guys don’t make an effort to be assertive… so they never end up making a move… or when they do, it’s uncalibrated. I don’t think admitting weakness is bad at all. The power of vulnerability (google Brene Brown vulnerability) is very attractive. I use it all the time.

@ Jacob – COngrats on the job! :)

PTT November 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

@CAM- that’s good advice. i heard also ‘hobbies’ play a part in the paradigm, “nice guys come last”. Thanks.

PTT November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

ie. common hobbies.. I’ll make sure I’m assertive when the time comes. Thanks for all your advice mate. Good luck on the book.

Harry Harold Balslanger November 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm

you had me till the moment you mentioned CoD, then i had realized how phony the article was.

Cam November 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm

@ Harry – Not sure what aspect of the post you found phony, but thanks for checking it out! :)

Mike November 13, 2012 at 5:04 am

just as i finished reading this running away AC/DC came on. Think I might actually stop playing video games now

Mike November 13, 2012 at 5:06 am

and then losing yourself by eminem (my computer knows what I need), which reminds me, music is pretty helpful at getting you motivated in my opinion

Vlad November 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

Hey CAM, before I write a few things I just want to thank you massively for letting me see my own life in a different perspective, as it made me think a lot .

Now, I know I have a massive problem. Before I ask for any help conquering it I want to tell you my gaming history. I’m 13 years old, when I was 4 years old I started gaming. My cousin introduced me to the very old sonic games which I enjoyed and played for 30-60 mins maximum daily. Then when at about the age of 5 I was introduced to C.S 1.6 by my cousin ( he the one who got me into gaming ). Yes, I played CS 1.6 at the age of 5 years old. I played for a few months and I always looked at games my cousin played, and he helped me to get them so we can play together through cracked servers etc. ( this is where my multi-player stage began). I played games with my cousin, Half Life Deathmatch , CS 1.6 , CSS , Starcraft came in somewhere too I think, MU Online, basicly I was just fucking addicted to games by the age of 10. However it wasnt as bad as it is now. I would go home from school , go to the park play with friends and go home play for 1 hour maximum on those games. Eventually over the years I lost some friends due to gaming addiction, I played more and more and its sad because I love football. I played football all the time but when I was about 10 the only thing I could think about was “when will i get home”, “when will i play this game” etc. It was scary. Now im 13, I have good grades, I do all my homework and I go to a school full of black kids. Now not racist here or anything, I got black friends, but all these chavs are just bullying me and even though i try to be like them I fail. So now im stuck. Im 13, I come home from school, rush my homework and then play for 4-6 hours before having a quick shower and going to sleep. On weekends it can end up being 8-12 hours of playing. Please help me CAM. I don’t know why the fuck im spending 100% of my free time on games. I love games , I love multiplayer games, I love to come home and play with my clan on mw2 . I used to lead a clan called Real, we had a huge youtube fanbase ( 1000+ subs) and thats where it got to me a lot. I loved to play with my members, we had 10+ group skype calls, It was so much fun until I came across your post which made me realise , I’m ruining my life. I dont know why though. I love games so much, all I do now is come home, go invisible on skype, call up my squad buddies and then we go into DayZ (mod for arma 2 ) and just dominate the whole server. I am a very experience player, I got known in the call of duty community as on the of the best snipers and was one of the most respected guys in the whole of the PC Cod community ( Snipers/Trickshotters/Quickscopers) and It was really great for me. But now once again, tell me what I can do to stop this addiction as its scaring me. How can i force myself to stop playing the game that I love so much with all of my skype friends that I dont even know in real life. Now im not fat, I’m a bit chubby and i dont worry about looks, but my IRL social skills are different than in my skype convos. In skype im confident and I feel great talking to all these guys around the world, but in real world I stutter to say Hey how are you to a girl. Its driving me mad and my mum is calling me a fucking robot. Please help CAM as im almost in tears from this…. thanks bud.

PTT November 16, 2012 at 12:33 am

wow i didn’t know mw2 multiplayer is still ‘playing’.

all i want to say is that if you truly feel depressed and feel left out in a school, then move to another one. It’s very important, one of my regrets..

i leave the videogame addiction advice to CAM; but hobbies (esp. something that allows you to interact with girls is good, sign up for Latin/ballroom dancing; then you’re mum wont tell you are a robot)… no robot dancing!

uninstall and delete profiles, … CAM should advice you more on this.

Cam November 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

@ Mike – AC/DC is great! I used to listen to them a lot during my hockey career. Eminem too, love that track. Good luck in your journey, thanks for commenting!

@ Vlad – You’re welcome! Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you found value in it. Something to pay attention to is that the recognition you get from playing games is very addicting. It makes you feel good right? When you are called one of the best snipers you feel very validated. I know this as I used to suffer from the same thing. It’s important to view your self-esteem and your self-worth from who you ARE not what you do on a video game.

Here’s a private video blog I made for my students a few years ago about “a lesson I learned about a year ago that makes a MASSIVE difference in getting you to make the change you want to make INSTANTLY.” (The video is old and I was younger, don’t judge me lol.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7c2AYPo1kI

If you’re doing the things you say you want to do you’ll feel better about yourself, whereas if you say you’re going to do things (quit playing games) but then you do, you feel worse.

It’s important to find other activities outside games. Do you play sports? Play an instrument? Want to learn another language?

Why do you feel like you can be confident on Skype but not in person? You’re the SAME person!!!

@ PTT – Yes, that advice is great. Breaking your games is very rewarding haha.

Ben November 17, 2012 at 8:14 am

Black Ops breaks sales record. $500 million dollars in such a short time. Insane.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/gaming/2012/11/16/call-of-duty-sales-record/1708927/

Cam November 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

@ Ben – It’s totally insane hey?

Ben November 18, 2012 at 1:08 am

@ Cam…

Those sales just show how much video games are ingrained in our culture. It’s not even an American thing. I have students in Korea who are glued to their smartphones. Are they calling mom? No… Are they doing some type of math problem? No… Do you know what they are doing? They are playing Minecraft! They could play that game for hours. If they are not gaming on their smartphones, they are spending countless hours in the PC rooms which are on every corner in Korea. They are usually playing Diablo or Starcraft. Most young people in Korea don’t own a PS3 or Xbox. Their parents would never allow them in their homes.

Cam, living in South Korea has been great. It’s very Westernized now. You can find most of the foods that you eat in the states, and you can still enjoy Korean fare. I still can’t find 100% whole wheat though! Peanut butter is a bit expensive. I shave to have my vitamins,protein and fish oil shipped from Vitamin Shoppe to Korea. I get hit with a $35 duty charge. I try to do this every 2 months. You can find Koreans who speak a little English and that’s going to depend on where you live. I live in the country so it’s a little more difficult for me to find people who speak English. If I was living in or near Seoul I would have no problem finding Koreans who speak English. In honesty, most of the foreigners who come to Korea hang out with other foreigners. Itaewon has a rather large foreign population, and it’s very common to see Korean women dating foreign men. Not so much where I live.

Oh, and most of the foreigners who come to Korea can hardly speak their language. I have met people who have lived in Korea for over 5 years and they can hardly speak Korean. Maybe it’s ignorance or laziness. I had a co-worker who was in Korea for 7 years and he was married to a Korean lady, and he could put together maybe 5 Korean words. No wonder people hate us. Ha.

I hope that helps.

PTT November 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm

@Ben- this is very interesting. I would like to go to Korea/overseas actually and teach.

I’m studying Primary school teacher in Australia, and the employment market is bad, well metropolitan full-time work. and theres no respect for teachers as much as Asian Schools.

Do you need to study TESOL? if so what are the best on offer (pricing and recognition)? And as a 31 Hong Kong born, Australian, is there a disadvantage. Any advice would be welcome!

PTT November 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

@CAM and @BEN- in addition to my comment to Ben, I’m frustrated to see bad reflections from teachers in Australia, take away marking work, and sometimes even bullying. I don’t know if I should try my luck at Teaching Dance in the far future, or go overseas.

I know you may not be an expert in Teaching in Australia, and I don’t expect you to read the list of comments in the URL below: (but if you quickly scroll from the top to the bottom, the career is far from enticing, esp having been ‘politically’ bullied out of an office job previously in my life)

http://www.badapplebullies.com/victeachersstories.htm

Do you think aiming to be a dance teacher, or teaching overseas at the age of 31 is a good idea. I am under workers compensation from my previous employer, so even though the pay is ‘survivable’, I can take more of a chance/risk to do something i really enjoy, rather than to go into another career which i need to survive one day at a time, and struggle to get out of bed.

(not to mention permanent full-time work in the metro area of Australia capital cities) are known to be hard to come by.

Thanks for any advice. I recall Japan shows some prejudice for ‘Asian’ English teachers. Is this the same as S. Korea?

PTT November 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

@Jacob- would you have any advice on Dance Teaching. I’m improving dramatically people say. Maybe in a few years time i can get good enough, to even consider teaching Latin Dancing.. What have been your steps to teach Dancing?

PTT November 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm

OMG one last thing- women(asian especially??) are not attracted to men, who want to pursue a career that is not stable…well maybe its just me…haha, advice @CAM on how to answer questions “do you own and live in your own home?” “What’s your occupation?”

Final comment, I promise.

William November 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm

First off i would like to say how amazed i am at your commitment to this

this is one of the only articles i have stumble upon the web so actively commented on and maintained

william November 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Being cool is something that everyone in high school wants. 10 years ago video games and being cool did not go together in the slightest. sadly this is changing. right now playing black ops 2 is cool, this worry’s me.

The more inactivity we see from the “cool kids” in high school the more everyone else follows suite. from what i have seen of movies that show 10-20 years ago being on the school football team affected you popularity status alot more than it does now. im the outside linebacker on my high school football team, i also play Black Ops 2 on Xbox League of Legends, and competitive SC2. i hangout with the “popular kids” and about 20% of them play football with me while about 85% of them play black ops 2. Weed is also pretty big in my town so that is also a huge aspect of if you are “cool” or not. Being inactive is becoming more and more sociably acceptable.

in short getting stoned and playing video games is becoming the new cool of my generation i want to hear your thoughts on this.

Personally i have had moderate success quitting video games, but with all my friends playing it is quite hard.

i started working out. A lot. surprisingly this gave me the same satisfaction as most video games. i could challenge myself with lifting more, and it had a social aspect of going to the gym everyday. when i first started doing this my parents thought it was a little bit weird, but slowly and surly they became ecstatic about my turn away from video games, and my interest in my own physical health.

Working out is just an idea, and by no means am i the biggest guy you know, im about the smallest guy on the foot ball team at 5’4 and about 130 pounds.

and a last thought is that this forum could be a form of social gaming in itself i am guessing Cam used this Forum to help Distract him from his own personal gaming, and what a success that was. Cam you have found a way to help out THOUSANDS of people who want to quit gaming, while helping yourself.

One last time i would like to tell you who F’in amazing you are Cam. answering all these comments is a life achievement, and you have helped change lives. hopfuly i can build up the determination to shred off the last bit of gaming i do dailey.

Cheers and to everyone all the best of luck, William 16

Jacob November 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm

@William I agree with you man. It scares me. Pot just got legalized in 2 states even though it’s still illegal at the national level. People already drink a ton and video games are getting much more popular. It’s really scary to think what the next generation is going to be like.

Working out is a great idea. I played basketball and football throughout high school and now that I’m in college I still stay active and workout. It really is enjoyable. Plus looking good is a benefit as well :P

@PTT On the dance instruction thing I’m not sure what to tell you. I got into it at 18 years old (my age now). I needed a job and this really high quality studio hired me I got lucky. They trained me and now I’m working on getting students of my own. My advice for you is to talk/ask studios if they’re hiring. Keep working on your own dancing making sure you learn good habits. I’ve been going for like 3 months and I dance technique-wise probably better than 85% of all our students even though some of them have been coming for years and years. They know more patterns but I have better technique, lead, and follow. And even then I’m still not great compared to other instructors. It takes a lot. Personally I could make decent money there full time. like $40,000 a year if I stuck with it long enough. However most other studios aren’t going to pay that much or give you enough hours I’ve heard… Maybe think of going part time?

Drew Lawrence November 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm

im 18 years old
i understand that creating a lifestyle helps… like if i were to decide that i wanted to lift everyday and intake lot of protein and calories to get strong… if i made a lifestyle around that while doing decent in school and work i wouldn’t worry about gaming. or if my lifestyle was getting into paintball hardcore or DJ’ing which whould cost alot of money which is why i dont do hobbies like that of which would help me not game, but honestly it costs to much.

so far i have a situation where i completely quit a game that took over my life for a year
, and i played it only because my friends played it. Right when i quit, a week later all five of my friends quit… then cod black op 2 came out and they are getting too serious into the game. i want to play and invite them over and play during the weekends because i know anything social during those days is not going to be fun, because if i go somewhere its all about getting women; even if i were to go bowling i wouldn’t go to bowl. Everyone in the world is so judgmental and so i feel like i have to look good. This is mainly why i hate going out to do social things, really just hate it. I do sports and im hilarious and fun to be around… i just dont like going out to be social because i cant pull bitches and really thats all there is to do…. thats why kids go to parties and social places. im not an emotional person so i dont know why im messaging you? so nvm, my life story is to long and complicated unlike a normal persons life…. all i see to life is pulling bitches, getting money(which can be achieved through school and college), and not really video games, but there the only fun thing to do. I dont have very much fun going to halloween parties or things like that cause i didnt gain much from going and talking to kids i always talk to at school.

so key to life is:
get women( i always get in the friend zone cause im so nice and im not that great looking)
get money( achieved through working hard at job, and doing good in school which i do)
have fun ( achieved through video games cause nothing is as exciting and challenging) i mean i cant go anywhere i want in the world to have fun, like if i like surfing wakeboarding and snowboarding… i cant make it my passion cause i live at home…. should i just wait to get out of highschool to do those fun things… do you think college will change my whole perspective?….

by the way im a really late grower for being an 18 year old, like ill be done growing when im 23.

PTT November 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm

@Jacob- thanks for the advice! I certainly want to pursue more of it.

@William- its kinda true- this generation ‘Z’ – i would hate to live in this generation, I’m generation Y heck im 31 so playing games back in the 80s/90s wasn’t especially cool, but it wasn’t seen as bad either. Can’t comment about weed, other than it obviously permanently damages your brain/body after continued use. To be honest i wouldn’t like to be any younger- Celine Dion/Mariah Carey over Justin Bieber and all the other crap music artists anyday. LOL.

@Drew Lawrence- hobbies good ones at that need investing, time and money. Here is a short list i wrote down for myself:

Basketball
Tennis
Squash
Soccer
American Football
(Meetups offer a great opportunity for this).
Salsa Dancing
Ballroom Dancing
Tricking
Hip Hop
Signing up for meet ups at Meetup.com
Calling and keeping in touch with friends on a regular basis.
Networking
Exercising and getting addicted to that: Burpees, Aerobics, interval based running.
Meditation
Networking (Entrepreneurship)
Martial Arts
Reading Books

and alot more if you think hard enough, some are cheaper than others, and you can ask your parents for cash/loan (you are still 18).

PTT November 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

i can sorta understanding friends ‘getting bitches’, well i dunno hang out with others maybe? at least ones that don’t have such a dis-respectful attitude towards ladies.

PTT November 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm

im 31, luckily i look like 23 so it can help with dancing not to mention im fitter now then i ever was in my mid to late 20’s..no joke. thanks @JACOB.

Cheers.

PTT November 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm

@ Jacob.

one final note, sorry guys, i am under the wing of one of the best commercial Dance Academy in the state of Australia, the owner is the president of Dance Australia and has a few Champions. Thanks for the advice, I will pursue this dream. and financially i can support myself anyhow already, so anymore more income would be a bonus.

40,000 that’s pretty decent. AUD and USD about the same now. Thanks once again.

Drew Lawrence November 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

well i go to a school where theres 60 kids in my senior class, so theres not very many choices of friends to choose from, and im friends with literally every kid in the school but no one at my school ever does anything! and maybe i havent tryed very hard to make true friends… so far ive hung out with the sporty kids who go to parties which they are sorta douches just a little :/ and then theres the sporty kids who play video games… and right when i quit this game they start a different game of which they want me to play otherwise we have nothing in common!?

im glad i quit this one game called (league of legends) but its because my parents forced me to… now they wont let me play video games at all (even tho im 18 and they still control me like crazy) … anyways i wanted to buy a ps3 because ive been going over to a friend’s house to play cod black op2 with him, and so i get to play probley 8 hours a week… but i dont want to keep doing this cause i feel like im using him to play cod black ops 2… i just want to buy a ps3 and get cod blackops 2(but parents wont let me!) i work right after school mon-fri and i make good money for being in highschool… after the weekdays im kinda tired and just want to play video games….
so my situation
-no good friends that ive tryed to find
-im always bored of anything but video games kinda

i know people say theres better things to do, but i dont feel like there is at the moment…. i mean im not going to go out and pull biatches , at least until im out of my awkeward stage, so im just not going to worry about women.

what would you suggest i do friday since its thxgiving week and i dont have school thursday and friday and i dont work…like honestly… and it has to be social because the only thing i can think of would take up an hour out of the day, which is weight lift at the gym with a couple kids that want to weight lift. otherwise i would have like 14 hours free which means i would probs want to spend it on like 5 hours of video games! but what if i were to not want to spend it on that, what would i do?

Drew Lawrence November 20, 2012 at 8:55 am

and by the way, if i were to do 5 hours of video games out of the 14 hours …. 3 hours would be spent on tv and computer, an hour would be spent on eating, an hour would be spent on playing soccer with my neighbors( who i would end up paying video games with) and i dont know what else i would spend my time on….

honestly video games are every where,
like as im telling you this with my school laptop at school…. the kid sitting by me is playing video games!

PTT November 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

at 31 im still having a problem not looking at BlackOps2 Wii-U with the remote and nunchuck being cooler than a controller lmao, and i am still pissed Counterstrike Global Offensive is not out on EUR PSN. I know when you mix good motion controllers and FPS i will be addicted as %^$#, mind the swearing but it helps emphasis my addictive nature, much like Forza4 and the microsoft steering wheel.

at your age Drew, i think its way harder still, with the social norms being there. there was a clip about videogame addiction UK “BBC`s panorama” Part 1/1. it showed a kid who was addicted CODMW2, and whatnot. A good mid-way is to only play blops2 at your friends house actually, its a good limiter, the UK youtube clip mentioned prior seemed to work wonders for the CODMW2 addict. (I dont think you are even addicted). Anyhow, this is prob a wiser choice than buying a ps3 (the whole reason you wanted to go on this site is at least limit your playtime, forcing yourself to be a friends house is a good way). Maybe when you go to your friends place to play abit of blops2, make sure you hang and eat well, do something outside throw a frisbee, play soccer, … if they are avid gamers tho, this is probably hard. wait for CAM’s response…but don’t scare yourself with videogames, the fear maybe causing you more anxiety than is necessary.

If there are no good friends, I would personally try to pursue myself to go to another high school. I regret going to a single sex elitest public school, when the co-ed was probably better and i seemed to have more friends. Going to the right school is more important than what people may perceive at the time, because your high school friends should stay for a decade or two, maybe even for life.

I have left my consoles at my brothers house, and i prob dont want to play hardly any games at his house tho because of my age, and niece and nephew to attend to.

PTT November 20, 2012 at 10:05 am

im gonna try my luck at being a dance teacher, and that takes dedication. that seems to be my driver now to really stop even thinking of getting CS : GO, or a Wii-U. What CAM says in his article is true, if you REALLY have an inspiration via profound hobby, videogames was slowly creep in your mind, as a total *beep waste of time.

have you tried Hip Hop/Latin or any other forms of Dancing i see kids the average child age of 9 or above dance very well. you get to treat ladies and women with respect and you can show the kids not to just see *itches as objects. :D

Maybe your parents would like it and may help pay for the Dancing. good things unfortunately comes at a price, and I think happiness that results is bloody priceless. getting a good killstreak in Blops-not so much. Cheers mate.

Drew Lawrence November 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

ya thats a good idea, im just going to drop it about getting a ps3 and quit fighting my parents…. ill just play black ops 2 for fun at my friends houses, we usually play zombies … playing only when im at other peoples houses will be a good limiter :) i think im just having a problem with it right now cause everyone at my school is playing blop2 because it just came out…. they’ll get bored of it in like a month :)

Jacob November 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

@Drew
Hey man it’s good that your talking here and communicating and trying to figure out what to do. That’s a good first step. Now for me personally do me a favor. However things work out for you the next few weeks or months even keep updating us on here. I have friends that are in the same position as you and I really want to get them off playing video games so much.

Alright first and foremost me and Cam disagree a bit. He wants you to quit completely-not even touch them. I rarely play video games however a couple weekends ago I had my buddies come over and we were dunking on our hoop outside, eating and then we played halo 4 for like 5 hours all on the same team. I had a blast I hadn’t done that in a long time. And I those 5 hours I just played were like the most I had played in 3 weeks or so. If you do things like that it’s much better than how things are going now. My own brother goes to school, has practice, than plays blackops 2 for like 5 hours everyday. Alone-not socializing just playing. This is bad imo.

How can you stop? Like we said find replacements. If you don’t know anything that you find more fun than video games TRY NEW STUFF. seriously its so fun to try and learn a new hobby. Sometimes I have too many things I want to do because its all so fun. And not all of it has to be expensive. I personally go tricking. Which once you get good enough you can literally do it for free on grass. Otherwise you can spend like $10 a week to go to a gymnasium open gym and spend 2 hours there.
Keep lifting, stretch and get more flexible.
Rock climbing, pool table, ping pong, learn how to do a handstand, practice singing, meditate in your room which sounds lame but if your stressed just focus on taking huge breaths in and out and you’ll relax. For me personally I relax by doing that and watching anime. which i do like 30 min a day not too much just enough to chill out. I also don’t watch tv at all so anime fills that.
become proficient in looking up songs. You could be that kid who is always showing others new music. search the internet all the tiem for it. read current events and news. go to the library and GET A BOOK. lookup info on wikipedia. these are all thigns you can do to improve yourself and make yourself into a better individual.
if you don’t find fun in those things then keep searching. keep working out. maybe try and play an instrument. literaly talk to kids at school and find everyones hobbies if you don’t know them. if it sounds interesting ask them if they can teach you or you can tag along sometime. I can tell you that you can do all these things on your own. I do-even though I don’t find it as fun. But if you can find a group of friends its sooo much more fun.
Lastly on the topic of girls and “bitches”. go ahead and keep being funny and talking to them and being “friend zoned”. its fine. focus on yourself instead. Make yourself better and people will start to look at you differently. You know the quote “You have to love yourself before others can love you” ? Think of it like that. But still keep talking to girls. There people too and you can get experiences and different perspectives on life from them.. I personally have one girl “friend” thats in college and I fb message her all the time and she messages me and we talk about girl or guy problems to eachother. It’s very good to have someone of the opposite sex for advice. And if you really like them don’t worry about it. Staying friends with them I’ve learned is a lot better than it seems.
If you have any more questions just let me know but hopefully that gives you a bit of hope.
Seriously spend that 14 hours researching stuff you can do or ways you can meet people. or evaluate yourself. then if your tired of thinking (which happens aha) just chill, relax and try to “not think”. or maybe watch 30 min of tv and start up again. or just listen to music. Alright-goodluck bro!

PTT November 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

It’s so true if you allow yourself that future, where you still can play videogames, but the way JACOB describes it, it takes out all the anxiety, fears, and obsessive worrying about something(videogames playing) that probably would have done less harm then your fears at the first place. I used to be until very recently that somewhat guy who wants to find love, loving yourself has done wonders for my self-esteem. I’d rather love myself and be single then have a partner who doesn’t respect me for who i am, because i didn’t even bothered to love myself. (a previous relationship)…and yes i have one chick friend who i fb’ed alot, its great, although now shes a bit busy but she still seems to reply eventually. (married and busy work-wise)..so i’m ok with that.

Good luck as well. if you consider the price of a ps3 and related games, you can prob find some activity that you can afford instead. :D

Vlad November 21, 2012 at 1:27 am

Hey CAM, thanks a lot for the fast response :) Ive read what you wrote to me and after a few more nights of playing i relised that video games arnt such a problem to me. Im young, im 13 and I see nothing wrong with playing video games. So then i promised myself i will find other things to do to cover up some of my gaming time. I already do thursday swimming and friday parkour for 2 hours but now I signed up for boxing on tuesdays (2hrs) and saturday kickboxing(1hr) also i got another private swimming lesson for monday and i go to sleep early because i started joging in the morning too. So even though i cant quit video games and i dont want too, I found activites that will moderate my time to about 30mins or less on school days. Im really happy now as I can build grt stronger throughout my activitee and enjoy a few hours of gaming on the weekend. So thanks a lot CAM im very happy but i still got 1 more concern , Im not confident talking to people irl and girls too.. i dont know why bro c: … on skype im so confident and. an say anything i want and we all just laugh. but other than that cam thanks man and il post an update in a few months if possible :P bb now and ty once again , u rock dude :]

PTT November 21, 2012 at 6:14 am

when it comes to addiction i think its also has to do alot with our personalities, whether you are impulsive and enjoy quick fixes. I think I do so now im more ‘addicted’ to go to all sorts of meetup groups (I want to reduce it though). lol, at least my social skills are improving. @CAM that indo girl i was mentioning about at dance, well i built up so many social skills over just a month at meetup.com; that i talked to her so well, its the confidence, and being engaged in her conversation. unfortunately i think she has a partner, oh well :D plenty of fish in the sea. Thanks CAM, things are turning around for me finally. that impulsive nature has helped me do dance even better. :D

Cam November 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm

@ Ben – It’s totally insane. And I believe the problem is only going to get worse. Doing research for my book has been terrifying as well. Seeing 84 million kids in the USA playing video games, etc… it’s a growing problem. I’m glad you’re having a good time in South Korea. I’ve met quite a few guys in these comments who are living in South Korea teaching English, they all seem to enjoy it. I was just in Costa Rica for a few weeks and I didn’t speak a dime of Spanish. This definitely made it more difficult to engage, so I understand how people must feel in South Korea.

@ PTT – Wouldn’t that be hilarious if you went! I bet you’d scare them with your accent.. ha! Teaching dance would be a great opportunity too! I know as a teacher myself I’ve developed the teaching skill… so it would translate to other areas as well. Women will naturally be attracted to “stable” type jobs… but at the same time many women can be very attracted to a guy who’s willing to be risky and go off on his own to live the life of his dreams. Also, sometimes it’s just that they don’t understand your career choice as much so educating them on it is key. I’ve written a post before about the myth of “job security”. Check it out here: http://kingpinlifestyle.com/job-security-is-a-farce/

Also thanks for your great replies to Drew. Your advice was spot on!

@ William – Thanks for commenting! I’m super glad you found value in the post. The only reason I’m able to stay engaged with the comments is because there are new comments by guys like you all the time. It means a lot to me that each of you continue to comment and discuss this topic. I definitely agree with you that there’s a weird social validation from being lazy and inactive. It’s part of our culture that needs to change, quickly.

A parallel I would draw is a recent segment on 60 Minutes about the jobs crisis in the USA. Many people think that the reason millions of people are out of work in the USA is because nobody is hiring… but this segment said the complete opposite: it stated that, in the manufacturing industry as an example, it’s not that there are no jobs – it’s that the industry can’t find qualified workers to fill the jobs! Interestingly enough… another crisis the USA has is the education system, ranking poorly in many important subjects. Do we really think this education problem wasn’t going to catch up to us? I believe the culture of being lazy and inactive is going to have a similar crisis in the future. (I do want to state clearly I’m not drawing the parallel of people being uneducated because they are lazy. I’m merely drawing the parallel between one crisis leading to another, as there could be MANY reasons why so many people are uneducated these days, such as high tuition costs, etc.)

I definitely think working out is a great hobby everyone should have. One of the reasons you get the same feelings from video games as you do with working out is because of the dopamine released when you do it! Thanks for the comment!

@ Drew – Hey! Thanks for commenting and opening up about how you feel… this takes a lot of courage. There’s many great ideas people have replied to you. Remember this: there is MUCH MORE to life than simply getting girls, getting money, and having fun. You should consider reading a book: “A Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl.

@ Jacob – Thanks for commenting and adding your input, especially for Drew.

@ Vlad – Thanks for replying! Have you checked out any of the other articles on the site? There’s lots of articles on how to talk to people and all of that jazz! Definitely check them out. Remember… on Skype you are YOU… so you just need to open yourself up and not be scared to show who you are in person! Good luck man.

PTT November 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm

@CAM- i did a quick google search on prejudice towards Asians and African Americans (stereotypes) that exist to teaching in South Korea. It certainly exists and I would probably have to work harder for a job there. Nonetheless one of the key elements of a job, and the values i look in a job is anti-discrimination; hence I would decide not to even bother! It would be hilarious, because of I have an Australian Accent(an Hong Kong(where i came from) American tourist in Japan said) and i say ‘mate’ here and there and ‘bloody’ once in a while. been downunder since 1985; so you get my drift.

the comment and article you linked was very insightful, and I couldn’t agree more. I totally agree I used to work in an organisation here that is similar to the IRS from the states, with more than 20,000 employees. Any person would think that this would be the safest and secure job out there- wrong. At the end of the day, If you don’t fit with the corporate culture eg. you think outside the square and the ‘IRS-equivalent’ wants you to be micromanages- they can think of all sorts of ways to a) make your life hobbile. b)find ways to sack you, and if they need to have a procedure to sack you, such as warning, and appraisals, – they will make sure they will do it.

It’s so true about skill building, and Dance is one of the reasons I want to pursue it as a teaching career path.

Fancy you talk about teachers union in the education. I don’t know about Canada, but here the teachers union is very fierce, having regular strikes at the expense of students. If you want to turn up to work to teach kids, while all the old fart women are striking- you’ll look like a dis-agreeing person.

One of the meetups told me to continue studying with my Bachelor in Education (Primary) degree and i’m quite certain I want to finish it. It will help in Dancing nontheless because im majoring in Physical Education. My dream job would be dancing, and Primary school teaching would be a good back-up.

Total Kudos to your article about Job Security is a Farce, it’s true, Primary school teachers who invested their lives in a career are now being kicked out due to age. So I totally agree. If you are late once in your career- they can pin it against you, much like many factors that they pinned on me while I was majorly depressed. even pinning me on things that I already improved upon, like being punctual. Job security- chuckle, there is no such thing. Self-improvement, and building skills- thats the security.

Right On! CAM.

James November 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Great article Cam, slapped me in the face with some things i kinda knew but didn’t want to acknowledge. I’ve never really gamed when I was a teenager mainly because my family never gave any priority to buying tech stuff (we still got a shitty T.V. and a windows 98, ha!). I used to compete in karate tournaments, workout, go out with friends, get top grades and never really cared for having a real relationship until later on.
But when I left home for college it was like a Pandora’s box was opened! At first my goal was to breeze through college and get a job and be independent ASAP and that was a firm resolve in my head, first two years I only got A’s and occasional B’s…
But slowly and surely the video-games started taking up more and more of my time. Eventually I got sucked into an MMO and from then on my life spiraled and crashed. Pretty much wasted this last year, dropped out of college (never ever thought it’d happen to me) and had to move back in with my folks… Right now I’m trying to get back on track, but it’s so HARD. I’ve already dropped the MMO and occasionally play a single-player game I have but I can’t seem to get back into the routine I used to have. I constantly find myself thinking about games and starting up a new MMO.
I was about to do that today but then I found your article. Thanks a lot for pointing out the 4 things I need so I can completely drop gaming. I’m thinking on joining a gym again, and if I pass my college entrance exams I’ll be sure to rework on my social skills.

PTT November 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm

@JAMES- the 4 things that were mentioned by CAM is great. Sometimes it can be purely how good the ‘gameplay’ works that keeps you hooked..you know the games that score 8 or 9 out of 10..i can get hooked by a singleplayer BOT match of CS-source, for instance, well at least some people do. singleplayer left for dead, not so much haha.

at the end of the day, I’m finding you just have sacrifice one love for another love (as in things to do- not relationships in this instance)..that love can be a hobby, or it can be that firm resolve to do well at college, and be independant, and being honest and transparent with yourself- self-esteem that you can follow through with your ambitions and goals etc. It’s tough to think you need to stop something like videogames which seems cheap affordable and a time-filler. I guess an analogy, bad as it may, are women who want kids, but need to have later in life, because of their career. I’m finding that ‘sacrifice’ and knowing at the end of each week, not having an xbox or ps3 at home, is better for me in the long run. Do I get tempted, do I think sometimes that sucks, for sure..but it’s a choice, and a rational choice at that.

also I wish you goodluck with getting into college, maybe choose another college, so that your future employee wont see your previous year’s results..I take it college=university?

Blake November 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Hey! Great article!! This was a tremendous article written by somebody who actually experiences the addiction which makes all the difference. I played video games casually growing up. My first online social experience when I was about 15 a game called runescape, I was constantly leveling up gaining weapons armor and making clan friends. We were the best”at least in our eyes” do to circumstances I had toget rid of the computer and later that same year bought a ps3. And that’s where my addiction exploded call of duty black ops1 I was there on the release night not even knowing anything about the game my friends wanted me to tag along so I did. Then I ended up liking it so much I bought a copy for myself until just 3 days ago I played it like a RELIGION for three years Id go to work come home and play. I grew to be an angry person a few examples my friends would ask me to go for a hike and such maybe get a bit stones and chill with some hunnies I’d be l