If you are the parent of teens – or work with young people – you may feel alienated from their world due to the words and phrases they use. Every generation has its unique expressions but today’s youth seem to have more teen slang than ever before, mainly due to the minefield of texting acronyms. They use these terms as shorthand, to express emotions and to create a sense of community with peers.

Many of the words and phrases are fun and harmless but others can be toxic and mask risky behavior. It’s helpful for adults to know what teens are saying – even if they don’t intend for you to understand – in order to break down communication barriers. When you know what their jargon means, you can engage with them more easily and look for warning signs that they are struggling and may need support.

Although there are some words and phrases used by youth across the world, slang is not universal. Expressions may vary from country to country and culture to culture. So, what are some teenage sayings in 2022? We have created a slang dictionary to help you decode the most widely-used terms.

A-Z of the most popular teen slang words and acronyms

teen slang meanings

Here are some of the most common teen slang words and acronyms explained. Many of them are used by gamers when playing video games or streaming.

AF — as f**k

AFK — away from keyboard, meaning the person is unavailable

And I oop — surprise, shock or embarrassment

And that’s on [something] — to show something is final and needs no further discussion

ASL — age/sex/location

Awks — short for awkward

Bae — before anyone else; a significant other or term of endearment (like babe)

Basic — used to describe someone or something that is mainstream or unoriginal

Bet — an affirmative reply: “Wanna hang out?” “Bet.”

Bih — abbreviation of b*tch

Body count — number of people someone has slept with

Boujee — aspiring to have higher social status

Breadcrumbing — sending occasional flirtatious messages to someone without putting in much effort

Bruh — another way of saying bro; used to address someone

Bussin’ — when something is really good

Cake — another word for bottom

Cappin’ — lying

CEO of [something] — someone is the best at something

Cheugy — someone who is uncool or trying too hard to be trendy

Clout — a person’s follower count or influencer status

Code 9 — warning that parents are around

Cursed — something that is creepy or unsettling

Cringe — someone or something that makes you feel awkward or embarrassed

Daddy — a dominant (usually older) man who conveys a sense of power

Ded — something really funny or outrageous

Dope — cool or awesome

Drip / Dripping —as in dripping with money, style or confidence

DTF — down to f**k, meaning someone is willing to have a short-term sexual relationship

E-boy / E-girl — young men and women who spend a lot of time online

Enby — short for non-binary

Extra — trying too hard, being over dramatic

Facts — agreed

Fam — close friends

FBOI — f**k boy, a male looking for sex

Finsta — fake Instagram account (sometimes hidden from parents)

FOMO — fear of missing out

Fire — amazing or exciting

Flex — show off

FWB — friends with benefits

Gas — marijuana; or to describe something that’s great

Ghosting — when someone ignores you for no apparent reason

Goals — something desirable that you want or aspire to

GOAT — greatest of all time

GTG — got to go

Gucci — fashionable or cool

Hentai — graphic anime pornography (Japanese cartoon characters having sex)

High key — intense and out in the open (the opposite of low key)

Hits different — when something is better than normal due to different circumstances

ILY — I love you

I’m dead — something that’s so funny you could die laughing

In my feels — strong emotional reaction to something

IRL — in real life

ISO — in search of

IYKYK — if you know you know (implying there’s an inside joke)

JK — just kidding

Juul — vape device that’s small and discreet

Karen — demanding or entitled woman

KMS — kill myself

KYS — kill yourself

Left on read — when someone has read but not replied to a message

Lit — exciting or excellent; can also mean being drunk

LMAO — laughing my ass off

LMP — like my picture, like my post or like my profile

LOL — laughing out loud

Low key — have a low profile; or keep something secret

Meal — someone who looks attractive and appealing

Mood — relatable feeling or situation

Mutuals — people who follow and engage with each other on social media

Netflix and chill — euphemism for sexual activity

NGL — not gonna lie

No cap — saying that someone isn’t lying

NP — no problem

NSA — no strings attached

Okurrr — ok but with more sassiness

OFC — of course

Ok boomer — calling out an idea that’s out of touch

OMFG — oh my f**king god

Periodt (the t is silent) — conversation over, there’s no more to discuss

Plug — someone who can access hard-to-find items such as drugs

PMOYS — put me on your story or put me on your Snapchat

ROTFLMAO — rolling on the floor laughing my ass off

Salty — to be bitter or irritated about something

Same — I feel the same

SH — sh** happens

Shade — expression of contempt for or disgust with someone

Ship — short for a romantic relationship

Shook — to be in shock

Sis — short for sister but can be used to address close friends

Skeet — to ejaculate

Smash — to have sex

SMDH / SMH — shaking my damn head / shaking my head – meaning you don’t approve of something

Snack — an attractive person

Snapstreak — when friends message each other via Snapchat on consecutive days, creating a streak

Snatched — amazing, attractive or well styled

Spam — fake social media account; or unwanted messages

Squad — close group of friends

Stan — excessively devoted fan

STFU — shut the f**k up

Sus — short for suspicious

Swoop — getting a ride from someone

TBH — to be honest

Tea / Spill the tea — gossip

TDTM — talk dirty to me

Thicc — attractive, full-figured body

TF — the f**k, used to express disgust or disbelief

Thank you, next — when something useful has passed

Thirsty — need for approval or attention

Thot — that ho over there, often used instead of slut or whore

Throw shade — criticise someone

Totes — totally

Trash — something that is bad or unacceptable

TT2T — too tired to talk

Turnt/Turnt up — excited, wild and crazy, often with the help of drugs or alcohol

V — very

Vibing — chilling and hanging out alone or with others, sometimes listening to music

VSCO girl — a style characterized by crop tops, scrunchies and white Vans, an avid user of the VSCO photo editing app

WAP — wet-ass p*ssy

Woke — politically or socially conscious

WTF — what the f**k?

WYA — where (are) you at?

WYD — what (are) you doing?

Yaaasss — a very definite yes

Yeet — exclamation of excitement or approval, or to throw something very hard and fast

YK – you’re kidding

Zaddy — attractive, fashionably-dressed man

420 — marijuana

Further Reading: 45 Emoji Slang Meanings Explained

Need help with your teen’s tech use?

girl addicted to tiktok

If you’re still struggling to engage with your teen – despite gaining an insight into their world – and you’re concerned about their gaming or tech habits, we can help.

At Game Quitters, we’ve developed the Reclaim program to help families reduce conflict, manage problematic gaming and get their gamer back. And our Respawn program helps gamers quit or moderate their gaming habits.

You can also book a Gameplan call to discuss your situation. Limited spots are available.

Gaming is often promoted as a fun way to connect and relax from life. But can playing video games actually relieve stress?

The answer is not so clear cut. Some studies have found video games reduce stress, while others may induce stress such as competitive games where you play to win, and if you lose you experience negative consequences.

In this article we look at how video games can provide stress relief, why they can cause stress, and suggest effective ways to reduce stress that don’t involve gaming.

Gaming out of control? Get immediate help for you or your loved one’s gaming problem. Book a free Gameplan call now to learn if our program is the right fit for you.

The negative effects of stress

The impact of stress on our physical and mental well-being is significant. It has been shown to cause or exacerbate several illness and diseases including muscle tension, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

Stress can also increase the risk of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and sleep issues. Are video games a way to reduce stress and the risk of physical and mental illness or do they make it worse?

How can video games reduce stress?

Let’s look at some of the advantages of playing video games and how they can relieve stress:

Video games are relaxing

After a long and stressful day at work or school, picking up the controller and playing a few rounds of your favorite video game, can be a great way to relax and unwind.

Video games offer escapism

Getting immersed in a video game can be a diversion from real-life issues and unwanted thoughts that are causing you stress. Gaming can be an escape into a different world, a psychological detachment that can reduce stress.

Video games build resilience

Video games with a strong social element, particularly multiplayer games that require cooperation, will enable you form to meaningful connections. Having a support network can feel empowering and help you build resilience to stress.

Video games are fun

Most video games are fun and engaging. Gaming produces a release of dopamine (the happy hormone) which will make you feel good and help you cope with the stresses of everyday life.

Dive Deeper: How Dopamine Impacts Gaming

Video games are rewarding

Many video games present a challenge – when levels are completed or awards are earned – and give you instant rewards for overcoming it. This provides a sense of achievement which can have stress relieving benefits.

Video games create a flow state

Gaming is an immersive activity that can get you into a flow state, similar to meditation. You are completely present in what you are doing and nothing else matters. This state of mind can be a great stress reliever.

Video games build skills

Video games can enhance problem-solving skills and logic. These tools can be used to resolve issues and overcome obstacles in your daily life which can help relieve stressful situations.

Video games are a creative outlet

Gaming can be an outlet for self-expression and creativity which can help relieve stress. Video games like Minecraft allow you to think outside the box and design whatever you want – the sky’s the limit.

Find out more about the positive effects of video games in our article.

5 online games to relieve stress

5 relaxing online games

If you, or someone you know, is looking for the best games to relieve stress, here are five recommendations:

  1. Personal Zen – a relaxing game designed to break the cycle of stress and anxiety.
  2. SuperBetter – take on challenges to build resilience and improve mental health.
  3. Bejeweled – a casual puzzle game to reduce anxiety and boost your mood.
  4. Stardew Valley – involves a daily routine that is calming and cathartic.
  5. Flower – a journey through nature with restful music and calming visuals.

How can video games cause stress?

fighting over gaming

Although video games can be an effective form of stress relief, there are several ways that gameplay can increase stress levels:

Gaming communities can be toxic environments

While many gaming communities are friendly and supportive, there is a dark side to gaming. Players can be exposed to online toxicity, discrimination and harassment which can cause high levels of stress and anxiety. Find out more about toxicity in gaming and how to stand up to it.

Dive Deeper: Toxicity, Hate and Harassment in Gaming

Excessive play can lead to gaming disorder

Playing video games in moderation can be a good stress buster but there are risks from excessive play. An increasing number of people – around 3% of the world’s 3.2 billion gamers – are suffering from gaming disorder, a behavioral addiction that is recognized by the World Health Organization.

Research has found a higher level of chronic and everyday stress reported among young males with gaming disorder. Check out our screen time guidelines to help keep your gameplay in the healthy zone.

In-game purchases can cause gambling problems

The lines are increasingly blurred between gaming and gambling, with video games containing many gambling-like features. Games labeled as ‘free-to-play’ are designed to get players to spend as much money as possible. This can lead to gambling problems, financial issues, family conflict and stress.

Highly competitive play can be stressful

Many video games are highly competitive, which (as mentioned above) can provide a sense of achievement when you are performing well. However, it can also be demotivating and cause stress when you are performing badly.

Escapism is not a long-term solution

Although gaming may take your mind off the stress in your life for a brief time, as soon as the game ends your problems are still there. Stress is something you need to learn to manage in healthy ways, instead of escaping from it with video games. See our tips below.

7 ways to manage stress without gaming

Although video games can help relieve stress if played in moderation, they don’t provide solutions. There are other ways to manage stress, so you feel happier and more fulfilled:

  1. Exercise – Physical activity is proven to be a stress reliever and it is highly accessible. Find an exercise you enjoy – go to the gym, join a group class, walk your pet or just get out in nature – and make it part of your regular routine.
  2. Practice gratitude – Being grateful for what you have will help shift your perspective from negative to positive. Practicing gratitude is proven to have stress-busting benefits and it is easy to do. Recognize a couple of things you are grateful for, including those you might take for granted, particularly the aspects of your life you can control.
  3. Help others – Volunteering can help you move away from seeing the world through your own lens. By supporting other people, you will realize that you’re not the only one dealing with challenges. It can help you feel better and reduce the stress you are experiencing.
  4. Journaling – Writing down what is going on in your head can enable you to process your thoughts and experiences. It will also help you explore different viewpoints and solutions so you can focus on what you can control and let go of the things you can’t.
  5. Call a friend – The old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is still very relevant today. Find someone (or several people) you can rely on to provide a listening ear and provide perspective when you are feeling stressed.
  6. Find a creative hobby – Take part in a creative activity (like learning a language, playing an instrument or painting) that will give you a break from stress but won’t numb it altogether. Afterwards you will come back recharged and refreshed ready to deal with the challenges in your life head on.
  7. Meditation – Taking time to meditate and focus on your breathing will help your body relax and improve your emotional well-being. It will help quieten the stream of thoughts that may be crowding your head and causing stress by channelling your attention onto something more calming.

Need help to control gaming?

level up irl

Are you concerned that you may be addicted to video games? Is your excessive gameplay having negative repercussions, including stress? If so, take our short online video addiction test for gamers.

We also have a video game addiction test for parents and a video game addiction test for spouses and partners.

Plus, we offer specialist courses and coaching programs for gamers, parents and clinicians to reduce gaming problems.

Or you can book a Gameplan strategy call to discuss your situation. Limited spots are available.

As the number of gamers worldwide continues to increase – including a high percentage of children and young people – the impact on their developing brain and cognitive abilities is a hotly debated topic – do video games make you smarter?

This article examines the specific ways video games can make you smarter and looks at the positive effects and potential risks of gaming. You can read on below or jump to a specific area of interest using the table of contents.

In short, the key will be in you or a loved one’s relationship to gaming and how their gameplay is affecting their quality of life. Balance, not just with gameplay but also with gaming-related platforms such as YouTube and Twitch is crucial for overall wellness and to gain the most benefit from play while reducing or eliminating the associated risks.

Gaming out of control? Get immediate help for you or your loved one’s gaming problem. Book a free Gameplan call now to learn if our program is the right fit for you.

5 ways video games can make you smarter

ways video games make you smarter

When played in moderation, video games can increase intelligence, enhance attention, boost memory, improve learning and have a positive impact on problem-solving:

Video games increase intelligence

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam studied the link between the screen habits of 5,000 US children and how their intelligence developed over a period of two years.

The results showed that those children who spent an above-average amount of time playing video games increased their intelligence by approximately 2.5 IQ points more than the average. Whereas, watching TV and videos, and engaging with social media had no significant effect on their cognitive abilities.

However, the study did not consider the impact of their digital habits on other areas of their life such as school performance, physical activity, sleep or emotional well-being.

Another study supports the above findings about video games and IQ. The University of York found a link between skill at two multiplayer video games – League of Legends and Dota 2 – and high intelligence levels

Video games enhance attention

Researchers in the US and China looked at how video games effect attention.

They studied students who were either expert gamers (2+ years’ experience playing action video games and in the top 7% of League of Legends players) or non-expert gamers (less than six months’ experience and in the lowest 11% of players). The students’ visual selective attention (the brain’s ability to focus on relevant information and disregard less relevant details) was assessed before and after gaming.

They found that both expert and non-expert gamers demonstrated improved attention skills after just one hour of playing video games. However, they emphasized that more in-depth research is needed to establish how long these effects might last.

Video games boost memory

First-person shooter games require players to rapidly react and respond to fast-moving situations. A study by the University of Leiden investigated whether playing these types of video games can boost memory. The research compared people who played for five hours per week with people who had never played video games.

They found that gamers outperformed non-gamers in the task they had devised and concluded that playing video games trains the brain to become more flexible in updating and monitoring new information, thus enhancing memory capacity.

Video games improve learning

Video games are increasingly being used to engage and motivate students, but do they lead to learning gains? The American Psychological Association (APA) has looked at how video games effect learning and recognizes that more research is needed.

In 2015, they reported that over the last 20 years, there had been nine major reviews of research into the effectiveness of educational video games which had found the research to be “highly diverse, disorganized and unfocused, with a significant number of methodologically flawed studies.”

A subsequent study by Robles and Quintero in 2020 found that video games can be effective for teaching high school math skills. The students studied showed an improvement of around 14% in the topics covered.

Video games increase problem-solving ability

Many video games require planning, strategic thinking and logic to succeed but does this result in gamers developing better problem-solving skills than non-gamers?

A 2013 Canadian study of 1,492 students over four high school years found that playing strategy games was positively linked to better problem-solving abilities and school grades in the next academic year.

The benefit of problem solving in video games is that players can try different ways to solve a problem without any long-term consequences. They may lose that game but can re-think their tactics in the next game or level. This trial-and-error approach is a useful life lesson – decisions may not be immediately obvious but trying out various options can be beneficial.

Read our article to find out more about the positive effects of video games.

The risks of video games

fighting over gaming

While gaming is a fun and positive experience for most people, it can have negative consequences for those who game excessively. Here are some of the impacts you may experience if gaming starts to dominate your life:

  • Mental health conditions including anxiety, stress, depression and, in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts
  • Physical health issues such as obesity, heart problems, dehydration, disrupted sleep and exhaustion
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Loss of interest in other activities
  • Relationship conflict
  • Missed educational or career opportunities.

Read our article to discover more about the negative effects of video games.

The bottom line

As this article has shown, playing video games can make you smarter and have a positive impact on your life, when played in moderation. In order to keep your gameplay in the healthy zone, check out our daily screen time guidelines.

If you play games in moderation – in conjunction with other hobbies and activities – you are likely to enjoy many benefits and video games can make you smarter. However, if the balance tips and video games start to take over your life, you may begin to experience problems and, in extreme cases, develop gaming addiction.

If you are concerned about your gaming habits – or a loved one’s behavior – take our short video addiction quiz to find out if you (or they) meet the criteria for problematic play.

Need help to control gaming?

If you, or a friend or family member, are experiencing any negative effects of gaming, we have several resources that can help:

You can also book a Gameplan call to discuss your situation. Limited spots are available.

Although TikTok is a popular social media platform, it can be highly addictive and lead to individuals struggling with TikTok addiction.

Many users – particularly teenage girls – are spending too much time compulsively consuming content to the detriment of other interests and activities, their education, relationships, and mental health and well-being.

In this article, we take a closer look at TikTok to help you understand more about the app, the risks involved and why TikTok is so addictive.

Get immediate help for your loved one’s TikTok addiction. Book a free Gameplan call now to learn if our program is the right fit for you.

Who uses TikTok?

tiktok users

TikTok is an app for making and sharing video content. Since its launch in 2017, and subsequent merger with Musical.ly in 2018, it has become one of the world’s largest social media platforms.

There are currently one billion users worldwide, more than 100 million in the United States and 23 million in the UK.

TikTok is banned in five countries – China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh – on various grounds, including the promotion of indecency and cyberbullying. Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, is the only permitted version in China. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, TikTok has banned new Russian posts and livestreams.

TikTok is most popular with teenage females aged 10 to 19 who account for 16.4% of active users in the US. Females aged 30 to 39 were the second largest group, representing 13.8% of users. Across all age groups, the female/male split is approximately 60%/40%.

Why is TikTok so popular?

tiktok popularity

The main reason why TikTok is so popular is apparent as soon as you open the app. Unlike other social platforms, the first thing you see isn’t a feed of your friends’ posts, but a button called ‘For You’. It offers the type of content you want to see using an algorithm based on videos you’ve watched or interacted with previously. And it never runs out of content.

The short videos available on TikTok can cause viewers to lose hours of their day to the platform. Data shared by TikTok in January 2022 revealed that the average user spends one hour and 25 minutes on the platform every day and opens the app to watch videos 17 times a day. Many users spend far longer on the platform.

What makes TikTok so addictive?

tiktok addictive by design

For most people, TikTok is a harmless distraction from everyday life but for others it can become as addictive as drugs or alcohol.

Dr Julia Albright, digital sociologist and lecturer at University of Southern California (USC), explains that TikTok has adopted the same principles that have made gambling addictive. In psychological terms it’s known as ‘random reinforcement’ (sometimes you win, sometimes you lose – just like a slot machine) which is how platforms like TikTok are designed.

Dr Albright says that in a sense she got addicted to TikTok the first time she used it. She started watching 15-second videos one afternoon and totally lost track of time:

“When you’re scrolling … sometimes you see a photo or something that’s delightful and it catches your attention. And you get that little dopamine hit in the brain … in the pleasure center of the brain. So, you want to keep scrolling.”

It’s not just watching video content that causes the brain to release feel-good neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. When a TikTok user gets a like, comment, share, save, view or follow, it can release the same feelings of euphoria. Over time the brain becomes reliant on this type of stimulation to induce pleasure and it needs more and more TikTok videos and engagement to get the same rush of excitement. Undoing the damage done to the brain because of TikTok and other social media addiction can take months to correct.

Learn More: What is the Dopamine Theory of Addiction

Risks associated with TikTok

girl addicted to tiktok

As well as addiction, there are a number of other risks linked to the overuse of TikTok:

Lower attention span

A major concern is what constant interaction with digital technology, such as TikTok, is doing to the brain, particularly young brains that are still developing. Dr Julia Albright says that “our attention spans are lowering”. There is so much information to consume and so little time to consume it in.

Education and career opportunities

Overuse of TikTok can take attention away from learning, reading and doing homework. The consequences are poorer performance and lower grades at school, and ultimately fewer career opportunities later in life.

Neglect of other interests and activities

Constant scrolling through video content is a distraction from other interests and activities that can help young people develop confidence and life skills, to create a strong foundation for a happy and fulfilled future.

Family conflict

Too much time spent on TikTok can cause family conflict. Parents may become worried that too much screen usage is negatively impacting their child’s education and social development. Constant arguments can lead to a breakdown in relationships.

Read More: Screen Time Guidelines by Age

Physical health

Children and teens who spend hours in front of a screen have lower levels of physical fitness, higher obesity rates and less healthy eating habits than children who spend less time scrolling through social media platforms.

Mental health and well-being

A study among teenage TikTok users found that those who are addicted to TikTok experience higher rates of anxiety, stress and depression, and weaker working memory than those who use the app less frequently.

How to stop TikTok addiction

happy teens

If you’re concerned that your son or daughter is addicted to TikTok, it’s time to take action. Here are a number of steps you can take to shift the focus away from screen time to other activities:

Understand your child

Start by asking your child about TikTok and their underlying motivations for using the app. What drives and motivates them? Ask them open-ended questions but don’t argue with them; try to develop a connection, not create tension.

Build a rapport

Showing interest in TikTok without judgment is a good start. Building trust and rapport is key. You can then gently nudge them towards other hobbies and activities and even suggest doing them together.

Free Tool: Find New Hobbies (60+ Ideas)

Create a plan

Set goals with your child – are they going to stop using TikTok altogether or just reduce the amount of time they spend on the app each day? To do the latter, you’ll need to set limits for screen time use – see our screen time guidelines by age. Agree on daily TikTok limits with your child and discuss the consequences of breaking the agreement.

Implement the plan

They may experience withdrawal symptoms in the first few days. It’s important to be aware of these symptoms and have strategies in place to address them. See our how to reduce your child’s screen time article for advice. The next step is to find replacement activities.

Evaluate the plan

We recommend evaluating your plan once per month and making changes and adjustments, if necessary.

Get expert help

If you or a loved one are suffering from TikTok addiction, help is available. Our coaching program is designed to help individuals and families regain balance with technology.

Get in touch today to book your gameplan strategy call.

Looking to delete your Rainbow Six Siege account?

Then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll show you the steps of deleting your R6S account and quitting the game for good.

Steps of Deleting Your Rainbow Six Account

Deleting your Rainbow Six Siege account is quite a simple process, but you will need to keep in mind that you’ll need to delete your Ubisoft, or Uplay account for this to work.

Even if you play the game from Steam, you’ll need to go through the process of deleting your Uplay account anyway.

The reason for this is that R6S requires Uplay to run, so even playing from Steam will require you to have an Uplay account.

So this is how to delete your Uplay account to stop playing Rainbow Six Siege.

Step 1: Log in to Your Ubisoft Account

The first step of the process is to go to Ubisoft’s website and log in to your account.

Now you’ll be able to open up the settings and start the closure of your account.

Step 2: Open Account Management

Now that you’re logged in to your account, it’s time to go to the Account Management portion of your account, where you’ll be able to delete your account.

To do that, simply click on the head and torso icon in the top right corner of the screen.

delete rainbow six siege account

After that, a tab will show up with all the options. Near the bottom of the tab, you’ll see the option “Account Management”. With this option, you’ll be able to open up the settings of your account and change them.

delete rainbow six siege account

Click on Account Management to proceed with the deletion of your account. A separate tab in your browser should now open up.

Step 3: Go to Account Information and Close the Account

Now that you’ve opened the account management screen, you’ll need to go to the “Account Information” tab.

rainbow six siege account

This will again open up a separate page where you can manage all the information of your account. It is also where you can request the closure of your Uplay account, which will help you delete your Rainbow Six Siege account.

Once you click on Account Information, scroll all the way to the bottom, where you should see a button that says “Close Your Ubisoft Account”.

rainbow six siege

The last step is to request the closure of your account by clicking on “Close”. You’ll be prompted with a window where you can read all about what you’re going to lose if you delete your account.

To confirm the deletion, tick the box in the window and click on “Close my account”. After this, you’ll have 30 days to reactivate your account, or else you’re going to have the account fully deleted.

Need Help with a Gaming Problem?

If you suffer from poor gaming habits, we offer guides and resources to help you get your life back on track:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

If you’re looking to quit playing Genshin Impact, then the best way to start is to delete your Genshin Impact account.

When you want to play Genshin Impact on any platform, you’ll first need to create an account. And once you want to stop playing, you can also delete your account if you request its deletion.

Genshin Impact is a popular game available across different platforms, including Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

The good news about deleting your Genshin Impact account is that you only need to delete your account once, even if you have it connected to different platforms at the same time.

The steps of deleting your Genshin Impact are quite simple. Just follow them and you’ll get it done in no time.

Step by Step Instructions to Delete Your Genshin Impact Account

Step 1: Log in to Your Account

The first step is to go to the Genshin Impact website and log in to your account.

delete genshin impact account

Simply enter your credentials when you’re asked and you’ll be logged in to your account where you can start making changes.

Step 2: Go to Your Account Settings

The next step is to click on your account and go to account settings. You can do that by clicking the name of your account in the top right corner of your screen.

Hover with your mouse over your account’s name and then click on Account.

genshin impact account

A separate page will now open where you might need to log in to your account again to access the settings of your account.

If you’re prompted to log in again, just enter your credentials again to proceed to the next step.

genshin impact

Step 3: Go to Account Security Settings and Delete

Next, you’ll see that the account management portal will open. On this site, you’ll be able to manage your account and change its settings.

You are interested in the deletion of the account, so the next step for you will be to click on the “Account Security Settings” tab on this screen.

instructions to delete genshin impact account

Under this tab, you should be able to see the “Delete Account” button on the bottom right corner of your screen. Click that button to proceed.

genshin impact

Step 4: Verify Your Account and Complete Deletion

The last step of the deletion process will be to verify your account through the verification code you’ll receive on your email account connected to this Genshin Impact account.

genshin impact

When this screen opens for you, click on “Send code”. After that, you should receive the verification code through your email address connected to the account. Enter that verification code and click Next.

The last step will be to confirm the deletion of your account, which you can do by clicking on “Ok” in the last window.

genshin impact

This is the complete process of deleting your Genshin Impact account. After you have requested the deletion of your account, you’ll still be able to reactivate your account by logging into the account. After 30 days, your account will be fully deleted.

Need Help with a Gaming Problem?

If you suffer from poor gaming habits, we offer guides and resources to help you get your life back on track:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Valorant is an addictive game produced by Riot Games. Released in 2020, Valorant quickly became a hit among the competitive players, as it offers numerous tactics to outplay the opponents and win the game.

It has millions of players around the world – the problem is the game is highly addictive, so many people are looking to quit it altogether.

Are you one of them?

If that’s the case, then one of the best places to start is by deleting your Valorant account. And to delete your Valorant account, you’ll need to delete your Riot Games account.

Do you want to know how? Just follow these steps and it should be easy.

Step by Step to Delete Your Valorant Account

Step 1: Go to the Valorant Support Page and Sign In

The first step is simple: go to the Valorant support page. You can reach this site by typing “Valorant Support” into your preferred search engine, or by simply clicking this link.

This should take you to the Valorant support page, which looks like this:

delete valorant account

Step 2: Submit a Ticket to Support

To delete your Valorant account, you’ll need to submit a ticket to the customer support of Riot Games.

This process will take some time to complete, but you can start it by clicking on the “Submit a Ticket” button in the top left corner of your screen.

get rid of valorant account

After you have clicked on that button, you’ll have to choose the request type. In this scenario, you’ll have to select “Account management, Data Requests, or Deletion”.

riot account

Step 3: Fill the Information and Submit the Request

The last step of the process will be for you to fill in all the details that you’ll be tasked with in the next step.

Here, you’ll have to fill in that you need to delete your account, the subject of your ticket, and you might also leave any notes or additional reasons for deleting your account.

valorant account deletion

Under subject, you’ll want to put “Account Deletion”, and in the description, tell them that you want to delete your Valorant or Riot Games account.

You can also submit additional information and files, such as images or other types of data that might be useful for your request. But since the information we’ve filled in here should be enough, you don’t have to do it.

What Happens Next?

The next step is for you to wait for the support to process your request. This might take a few hours up to a few days, depending on the availability of the support agents.

After your request has been processed, you’ll have a 30-day grace period where you can stop the deletion. If you do nothing during this period, your account will be fully deleted.

Read More: Valorant: Parents Guide to the Next “Fortnite”

Need Help with a Gaming Problem?

If you suffer from poor gaming habits, we offer guides and resources to help you get your life back on track:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Do you want to delete CS:GO permanently from your computer and stop playing it? Then you are probably wondering how you can delete your Counter-Strike account.

Counter-Strike is one of the most popular games in the world. The game has almost one million users each month, and the numbers are steady since they’re not going down any time soon.

It’s also a highly addictive game. Counter-Strike addiction is very common, so many people are wondering how to delete your CS:GO account – and if it is even possible.

Read all about it in this article or watch the video below:

Two Options to Delete Your Counter-Strike Account

The thing with Counter-Strike is that it’s tied to Steam, so deleting your Counter-Strike account might not be as straightforward as you might think.

Essentially, you’re going to have to pick from one of the two options:

  1. Ask Steam to delete Counter-Strike from your Steam account
  2. Delete your Steam account

The second option is far more radical since you’re going to lose all of your other games and stuff you have on your Steam account. But it’s also far more effective.

The first option is also decent, but one of the problems with it is that you can always easily add Counter-Strike back to your account at any time.

In December 2018, the game is fully free to access and play for anyone, so you can easily add it back to your account for free. This means that if you want to fully delete your Counter-Strike account, the most effective option is to delete your Steam account.

Let’s take a look at how to do both.

Option 1: Ask Steam to Delete Counter-Strike from Your Account

You can opt to delete your game from your Steam account so you can never access it again unless you add it back.

The way you do this is you need to go to the Steam Support page and request them to remove Counter-Strike from your account.

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Go to the Steam Support page
  2. Log in to your account using your Steam credentials
  3. From the list of your games, choose “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” (or another version of Counter-Strike).
    delete csgo account
  4. Scroll down and select “I want to permanently remove this game from my account”.
    delete counterstrike account
  5. Last but not least, select “OK, remove the listed games from my account permanently”.
    counterstrike

Note that if you choose this option, you should also delete the game from your computer for the changes to take full effect.

Option 2: Delete Your Steam Account

Deleting your Steam account will be a more effective solution, but also more radical. You’re going to lose all of your games and achievements if you select this option.

Deleting your Steam account is quite straightforward. You can do it from your account’s settings, but there are some steps along the way that might seem a bit complicated.

That’s why we’ve prepared a full guide on how to delete your Steam account along with a video showing you the steps you need to take.

Need Help with a Gaming Problem?

If you suffer from poor gaming habits, we offer guides and resources to help you get your life back on track:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

FIFA is one of the most popular games in the world. Over promoting gambling to people who play the game, including children. Learn more about dangers of FIFA loot boxes and loot box addiction.

Have you gotten fed up with FIFA and you want to delete your account for good?

The method of deletion will depend on which platform you use:

  • PC players will have to delete their Origin account
  • Console players will have to delete their EA account.

Let’s take a look at how to do both of the two.

For PC/Mac Players: How to Delete Your FIFA Account (Origin)

If you’re a PC player and you want to delete your FIFA account, then you’ll need to delete your Origin account for good.

Origin is a gaming platform developed by EA. This platform offers some of the most popular EA games, such as Battlefield, Star Wars: Battlefront, and of course, FIFA.

To delete your FIFA account, you’ll need to delete your Origin account completely.

Here are the steps that will help you do that.

  1. Open Origin on your computer
  2. On the left-hand side of the screen, click on the Store tab
    delete fifa account
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the window
  4. Click on the “Contact Us” button
    delete fifa account
  5. The next step will take you to EA’s page. You’ll now have to select the platform that you’re playing on (PC or Mac).
  6. Under “Select Topic”, you’ll need to choose “Manage My Account”.
    fifa account deletion process
  7. Next, choose “Delete Account” from the list of options.
  8. Last, you’ll need to enter all the information required by you to complete the deletion. After you have filled this form in, you’ll have to wait a few days to up to a few weeks for the deletion to be complete.

Since 2021, FIFA is also available through Steam. So if you own FIFA on Steam and you want to delete your FIFA account, your only option will be to delete your Steam account and do it that way.

Read our guide on how to delete your Steam account.

For Console Players: Deleting Your EA Account

If you’re a console player and you want to delete your FIFA account, you’ll need to delete the EA account connected to your console.

To do that, you’ll want to go directly to EA’s help site.

From there, you’ll need to follow the same steps as seen above to delete your account.

Note that you can also unlink your account from your console, but that won’t completely delete your FIFA account for good. The only way to completely make sure you’ve deleted your FIFA account is to delete your EA account permanently.

You can also deactivate your account, but if you’re looking to quit playing FIFA for good, then this method is also not great since you can always activate your account back at any point.

Need Help with a Gaming Problem?

If you suffer from poor gaming habits, we offer guides and resources to help you get your life back on track:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Discord is a popular communication tool for everyone who’s looking to chat with their friends and gaming pals. It’s primarily geared towards gamers – both for playing games together and communicating and simply for hanging out.

If you’re looking for ways of how to quit playing video games forever, then one of the most effective steps you can take is to delete all of your games and their accounts – and of course, this includes apps like Discord.

The reason for that is that Discord can be an easy gateway for playing some more games.

You find your friends online, start chatting to them, and before you know it, you’re playing games again, and the vicious cycle of gaming addiction continues.

That’s why it’s effective to also delete your accounts for apps like Discord. Wondering how you can do it? Simply follow these simple steps to complete your account deletion!

Step 1: Log in to Your Account

delete discord account

The first step will be to log in to your Discord account. You can do that by going to Discord.com, or you can simply open the Discord app and log in from there.

For the purposes of this article, we’ve used the Discord browser version, but you can follow the same steps and get the same results if you use the app.

Note that if you decide to use the app for the deletion of your account, don’t forget to delete the app from your computer for the best effects possible.

Step 2: Go to User Settings > My Account

As you’ll see from the next two steps, deleting your Discord account is really simple.

All you need to do is go to your account’s settings. You can do that by first clicking on the gear icon in the bottom left corner that says “User Settings”.

steps to delete discord

After clicking on the gear icon, go to “My Account” tab of your profile.

discord screenshot

There, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you should see two options: Disable Account and Delete Account. Obviously, if you want to delete your account, you’ll want to select “Delete Account”.

disable discord account

Step 3: Delete Your Account

The last step is simple: to complete the deletion of your account, simply enter the password of your account.

discord

Lastly, click on “Delete Account” to complete the deletion. After that, you’ll be logged out of your account and you won’t be able to access it again.

As you can see, deleting your Discord account is really easy. But what if you happen to own a server?

If You Have a Server (or Several)…

Before you delete your account, you’ll need to also delete your servers or transfer them to another person.

If these servers are active and your friends are using them a lot, and you delete them, it will probably leave them wondering what the hell’s going on.

So it’s best to transfer the server or the group to another friend or person that is likely to going to continue using this server.

If you don’t want to continue the server going, then it’s best to delete the server completely before you proceed with the deletion of your account.

Read more about Discord: Discord App Review: A Guide for Parents

 

Need Help with a Gaming Problem?

If you suffer from poor gaming habits, we offer guides and resources to help you get your life back on track:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Having no friends sucks. 

Nobody likes spending Saturday nights alone. So even if you’re the biggest introvert in the world, socialization remains one of the primary human needs.

When I was addicted to video games, they became my go-to replacement for any social activity whatsoever. 

And after a few years of neglecting my social life and prioritizing video games, I came to a horrific but grounding realization: I have no friends. Nobody to talk to, no one to do fun stuff with, and nobody to crack jokes together. 

You might have read the classic advice you get online – stuff like “just get out there” or “find a social activity,” but you haven’t had any success.

It’s time to change this for good.

Having No Friends Isn’t Necessarily Bad.

As you reach adulthood, it’s normal that it gets increasingly harder to find new friends. Most of your old friends move away, get married, or have jobs that “force” them to live in another city.

Even young adults struggle with this sometimes.

But having no friends doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or you don’t know how to socialize. 

Often, life’s circumstances lead to you having no friends. It’s not personal or something “wrong” with you. But just as life can take your friends away, it’s also possible for you to change it.

If you have no friends and want to change this, it’s time to start focusing on yourself first. Since you probably have enough time to focus on yourself, it might be wise to invest time into your physical and mental wellbeing.

The more comfortable you can become with yourself, the easier it will be to make friends in the future.

Is Video Game Addiction Preventing You From Having Friends?

The first step to finding new friends is to learn what is stopping you from having them.

If you are suffering from video game addiction, you may be isolating yourself from social opportunities to make good friends.

Many people develop their addiction because of past trauma, such as being bullied in school. Video games become their escape from reality where they can’t be bullied. It becomes a coping mechanism for them.

And this creates a never-ending loophole of wanting friends but not having them because of an addiction. 

One of the most common symptoms of video game addiction is jeopardizing relationships and friendships to play video games. As a result, gaming becomes the dominant activity in your life, and you neglect other activities, including socializing to play.

Suppose you’re suffering from video game addiction and don’t have friends because of this. In that case, it’s best to talk to a therapist or consider our Respawn program, which will provide you with scientifically-based action steps to get gaming back under control.

But how do you know if video game addiction stops you from having friends? Be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Playing video games is the dominant activity in your life, and you start to neglect other activities like school and work.
  • You start suffering in your personal and professional life.
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t play video games.
  • You need to play more and more to satisfy your need for gaming.
  • You’ve tried to control your playing time but weren’t successful.
  • You have no friends, lost old friends, and burnt down relationships to accommodate your video game playing habit.

Other Possible Reasons for Not Having Friends

If you have no friends, then there might be other reasons for it as well. Here are some of the most common reasons for not having friends.

Shyness and Social Anxiety

Do you have social anxiety, and that’s what’s stopping you from having friends?

Social anxiety is the feeling of discomfort and extreme fear in social situations. For example, you don’t like being judged by other people, so you avoid possible interactions.

Social anxiety is a common comorbidity of gaming addiction. And these two go hand-in-hand. Those who are socially anxious are more likely to become addicted to video games and vice-versa. 

Shyness and social anxiety are often lumped together as two disorders because they are closely connected. 

Suppose social anxiety is the main reason you don’t have friends and why you might revert to playing video games so much. In that case, it might be time to start therapy, which can be quite effective through cognitive-behavioral therapy. Read this article on how to find a good therapist online.

Moving Around a Lot and Life Circumstances

If you move around a lot due to your family or career, it will also make it more challenging to have friends.

Or maybe it happens because your old friends have moved away because of jobs or their lives, and you’re left friendless.

If that’s the case for you, you shouldn’t worry that much. It happens to everyone who changes their surroundings.

It will take you some time to meet new people and make friends with a bit of effort.

You Don’t Know Where to Start.

This is a common reason why many people might not have friends. You might want to find new friends, but you don’t know where to start.

Maybe you have a lifestyle that doesn’t allow you to meet new people all the time. For example, perhaps you’re working from home, as many people do nowadays, and you don’t go to other activities that would allow you to meet new people.

This might leave you wondering where to start again. If you don’t have a lot of experience with socializing, then it might all be baffling for you.

The good news is that you can always change this. All you need is to take action. Do things you like doing and meet people doing those activities. But, of course, you’ll need to be the one to take the initiative to meet new people.

This issue can easily be solved by doing new activities or trying a new group hobby.

The Benefits of Having Friends

The first and the biggest reason why having friends is good is because it leads to a happier and more fulfilled life. This has heaps of research and studies behind it (1,2,). One study by Harvard Medical School even found that having a happy friend can increase your happiness by up to 15%!

Having many friends also helps you build your social skills, an invaluable life skill. It will lead to more satisfying relationships and new interactions, which will allow you to constantly meet new people and build that social muscle that you need to develop to be happier and more successful in life.

Another key benefit of having friends is their support in your life. You’ll be able to let your feelings be known to the friends that are close to you, which is one of the crucial steps of overcoming future problems in your life. This is an important aspect to consider if you’re fighting against video game addiction, for example.

To meet others working on getting their gaming under control, join the Game Quitters Forum.

Last but not least, having friends is linked to better physical and mental health, according to a study done by Casie McMillan in 2019

How to Find New Friends and Keep Them

So now that we’ve gone over why having friends is beneficial, let’s look at some ways to improve your social life.

Always Be on the Lookout

If you’re serious about meeting new people, then you should always be on the lookout for new friend opportunities, wherever you may be.

Whether it’s the library, cafe, church, gym, grocery store, or even your neighborhood, you should always be open to meeting new people. So talk to them, see where that leads you. Being a bit more friendly than usual can bring good results.

The more people you meet, the higher the likelihood you’ll meet someone who would be interested in becoming your friend.

Go to Activities

Now, this might sound like a cliche piece of advice – try a new group hobby or activity, but it works.

You can try our hobby tool to see if there’s something you like there. For example, you can select filters for the kind of activities you have, and then you’ll be able to see a list of some great hobbies you can try based on those filters.

Game Quitters Hobby Tool

Just do something you like, and eventually, you’ll have a lot to talk about with new friends you’ll make doing that activity.

Take Time to Get To Know Acquaintances

I’m sure you have many people on your contacts list or friends on Facebook that you’ve been friends with before, and you haven’t talked to them in a while.

Well, maybe it’s time to check up on those people to see what they’re up to. Who knows, perhaps some of them will make some time for you and become friends?

Stop Playing Video Games!

Last but not least, if you’re addicted to video games or suffer from other forms of tech addiction, the first step will be overcoming that addiction.

Gaming addiction might be the biggest reason why you don’t have friends. If you prioritize video games over anything, including your social life, then it’s time to change it. 

Your best course of action is to consider therapy.

Here at Game Quitters, we also have tons of other resources that you can use, including our Respawn program. This program is specifically aimed at people like you who suffer from video game addiction and don’t know how to find friends.

We also have other types of content, including:

 

Loneliness is an ever-increasing problem, especially among young people.

In October 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, 61% of people aged 18 to 25 reported high levels of loneliness, with up to 36% of the entire population feeling the same.

It’s so easy to feel lonely nowadays. We’ve been stuck inside and hooked to screens and digital entertainment. Two years of little to no in-person interactions has led to poorer relationships and worse mental health.

Many people who play video games see them as a solution for their loneliness. 

Maybe you’re just the same; you escape from feeling lonely by playing video games, but eventually, you find that’s not helping. On the contrary, it can make you feel even more lonely as a result.

Suddenly, you realize one thing: “I feel lonely, but I don’t know what to do about it.” If this is what you’re feeling at the moment, then we have some possible solutions for you to try in this article.

Feeling Lonely and Video Games – A Never-Ending Loophole?

Playing video games can become your coping mechanism if you’re feeling lonely. 

It provides you with a safe space to be yourself without being scrutinized by people around you. Plus, you might have friends online that make you feel like you’re in good company.

These positive social experiences can lead you to play video games more and more, especially if you struggle with friendships in the physical world. However, spending more time online can lead you to neglect other parts of your life in the process. Eventually, it can even lead to video game addiction, which means gaming severely impacts various areas of your life.

One such example is Anthony from Philadelphia, a Game Quitters member who isolated himself more and more from friends and family as a kid with gaming, only to feel the consequences later in his life.

Bullied as a kid, he started to isolate himself, which led to severe consequences on his well-being.

“As I became a teenager, I started to isolate myself more and more from my peers and family. Video games became the only thing I enjoyed doing. Things like reading, family vacations, and spending time with friends were boring. I could only think about the next video game I wanted to play. I would stay up for hours gaming and then be extremely tired the next day.

Eventually, this all caught up to me. I was lonely and depressed. I was exhausted from having no goals or vision for my life. I felt I wasted my life in a virtual world while the real world was out there waiting for me. So when I started to experience suicidal feelings, I knew I needed help.”

Does this sound familiar to you? Is this something you can relate to if you’re feeling lonely? For example, are you turning to video games because of loneliness? Do you want to stop feeling this way? Then we have some great solutions you can try.

Reasons Why You Might Feel Lonely

First, you’ll need to analyze why you feel like this. There can be underlying reasons that make you feel lonely, so let’s take a look at each one. Knowing why you feel lonely will help you understand why you feel this way and look for solutions.

Past Trauma

By far, the most common reason why you’re feeling lonely is past trauma.

Childhood trauma, in particular, is the most common type of trauma that can cause you to feel lonely. This type of trauma is also called severe adverse childhood experience (ACE) and might come in different shapes and sizes.

For example, you might have experienced bullying from peers, family members, or siblings in your childhood. 

Other types of past trauma we see commonly include abandonment, sexual and physical harassment, emotional harassment, witnessing abuse, being raised by a mentally ill parent, and other types of abuse. Trauma can also occur while playing video games through the toxicity, hate, and harassment you can experience from other players.

If you have this type of trauma, the best approach is to talk to a therapist.

Lack of Vulnerability

You might have difficulty accepting other people’s opinions about you because you have a hypothetical “thick shield” around you that protects you from any feedback from the environment.

This can also occur because of past trauma; as we discussed before, you become defensive and don’t do things that will help you feel less lonely as you fear the consequences.

You might have trouble forming deeper relationships because of this, leading you to feel lonely.

It’s easier said than done, but being more open and vulnerable to connection while engaging in deeper conversations will be the key to overcoming your loneliness. We have found the work and books of Brené Brown (affiliate link) to be particularly helpful to improve in this area.

False Narrative About Yourself and Others

If you were bullied or experienced adverse events in your childhood, you might start to believe you’re not good enough or develop a fear of rejection, creating a false image of yourself and the world around you.

Perfectionism

If you expect every interaction, every relationship to be perfect in your life, then you’re going to end up disappointed, eventually.

You might be so afraid of having a negative interaction that you avoid them in the first place.

You don’t show your true character to other people, and that might well be the reason why you don’t have genuine connections in your life.

Gaming or Tech Addiction

Last but not least, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – tech and gaming addiction.

Although some studies show video games have positive effects and might help people with loneliness, it is often only when playing prosocial games in moderation.

On the other hand, excessive gaming may lead to severe negative effects, including making you feel more lonely.

Your gaming addiction might prevent you from going out and speaking to other people, trying new hobbies, and experiencing the beauty of the natural world.

If that’s the case for you, then you’ll need to get gaming under control.

What To Do When Feeling Lonely

Now that you know potential reasons for feeling lonely, here are some things you can do to stop feeling so lonely.

Reach Out to People Around You

The first and most important thing you need to do is let your feelings be known to someone – whether it’s your friend, family member, or another person you trust.

If you don’t have anyone to talk to, I suggest you speak to a therapist who understands and guides you.

Just letting other people know about your feelings can help you get the weight off your shoulders. 

Call That Old Friend

If you haven’t been socially active in a while and you would like to try it out again, then you might want to connect to your old friends.

Just a quick chat might help you feel better, and who knows, you might even arrange some things to do with that old friend of yours.

Even if you send a text message or a chat – it’s better to keep in touch rather than lose all of your contacts. It can also be helpful to find community groups in your local area, such as Meetups.

Get Active

It might seem like such a stereotypical piece of advice, but it truly works. You might have read elsewhere to “get moving or join a gym,” but getting some fresh air into your head can do you a world of good.

Whether it’s a short walk, a run, or a workout at your local gym, you’ll be able to get much-needed oxygen, and who knows, you might even meet someone new.

A good thing to try is group workouts or sports. 

You will find many different activities to meet other people and potentially meet new friends.

 Try a New Social Hobby

If you play video games too much because you feel lonely and want to change this, an important step will be replacing some of your gaming time with new hobbies where you get to socialize.

There are tons of different ideas you can give a go; if you don’t know where to start, try our hobby tool. It will provide you with some excellent options for discovering new hobbies and activities.

Get Help

Last but not least, we must not neglect the importance of getting help when you need it.

You might feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea of asking someone for help, but sometimes, that’s the best and quickest way towards overcoming your loneliness.

At Game Quitters, we have developed a science-based program called Respawn that will help you, particularly if you’re addicted to video games and feel lonely. With it, you’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone.

For help with anxiety, depression, severe levels of loneliness, or other mental health challenges, we strongly suggest you consider therapy. We have a long list of verified therapists and experts worldwide to help you out. You can also read about the common fears people have for starting therapy.

“I feel like I have no personality.”

“When I’m in a conversation, I just sit there and listen to others, laughing at their jokes.”

“I have no interests and hobbies, so I don’t have anything to talk about or anyone to talk to.”

“Everyone else seems to make friends easily, while I can’t even talk to anyone else without worrying about myself.”

Do these quotes sound familiar to you? 

We all sometimes feel like we don’t want to talk about ourselves or that we don’t have anything interesting to add to a conversation. It’s just that some people feel it more often than others.

I used to have the same problem as an addicted gamer. I used to feel like I had no personality, so I’d better not get involved in that group conversation, meet new people, do new stuff, and learn new skills. 

But with some hard work and determination, I managed to solve this problem, at least to an extent. 

Why Do You Feel Like You Have No Personality?

At one point in my life, I decided to stop putting other people on a pedestal and stop caring about what they think about me.

When I used this mindset, the results instantly improved.

But I still felt as though something was missing. I didn’t have anything going for me in my life – no hobbies, friends, or adventures to talk about.

And that is the main problem why you might not feel like you have personality – you don’t have enough life experience.

If you sit in front of the computer all day as I did, you’ll start feeling sorry for yourself. You don’t have anything interesting going on in your life, so the only thing you can talk about or express your thoughts about will be your favorite video games.

You don’t try new things, see new places, talk to new people, do hobbies – all of these things will allow you to discover who you truly are.

And consequently, you’ll start feeling as though you have nothing meaningful to add to this world, so you’ll start avoiding social interactions, events, or adventures with your friends. You fear getting rejected, so you reject other people in the first place.

It’s a dangerous slippery slope that can lead to low self-esteem, depressionsocial anxiety, and you’ll end up in a maze that’s harder and harder to get out of.

Many Gamers Have this Problem

gamer

At Game Quitters, we get many stories from gamers who have suffered from depression and felt they lost their personality or didn’t have it.

  • Jack from Michigan spent his entire days playing video games. He neglected the things he used to do previously, such as playing the guitar or going out with friends, which made him depressed. He didn’t have the chance to expand his personality or express it because of video games.
  • Anthony from Philadelphia played video games from the age of 7. Video games were his escape because he was afraid of expressing his true personality as a gay kid in the nineties. It all started catching up with him until he felt suicidal, so he started seeing a therapist who worked for him.
  • Vadim from Russia played video games as a coping mechanism for his failing life. He had no friends, hobbies, or goals for the future and felt like he didn’t have a personality. He managed to turn things around by doing a 90-day detox and staying determined to try new things and not play video games as much.

Hopefully, some of these stories (and many others) show you that you’re not alone with your problem. Everyone gets the feeling of having no personality from time to time, not just gamers.

And it’s entirely possible to get out of it with a change of mindset and actionable steps that we’ll show later in this article. But for now, you should know one thing…

Everyone Has a Personality

Here’s something that might shock you – you already DO have a personality, you just haven’t discovered it yet, or you shy away from expressing it fully.

Everyone has a personality. Even you! 

Nobody is just born without a personality or personality traits. So even if you’re depressed or you have low self-esteem, and you can’t express your feelings effectively, you have your likes and dislikes about the world.

You have your opinions, ways of doing things, things you like doing and things you don’t, your friends, the foods you like, the foods you dislike, the music you listen to – all of which are part of a personality.

Now, it’s just a matter of realizing those likes and dislikes and putting them out there more often without feeling shame or regret.

And there’s something else that might surprise you: you CAN develop your personality with new experiences. So if you play video games all day and don’t do anything else, you don’t have a chance of expanding your personality. 

It’s possible to expand your personality, but you already have that base you can build on. The main problem is that you might not realize that you already have it, so your first step will be discovering what you’re all about.

What to do When You Feel Like You Have No Personality

no personality

Here’s what you can do if you feel you don’t have a personality. You can do this in the step-by-step order, which I would recommend, or you don’t need to follow the specific order and instead focus on one or two of the suggestions to get started.

Stop Playing Video Games Excessively

Playing video games so much is preventing you from developing or finding your personality.

So the first step is to stop playing video games excessively. Now, it might sound easier than it is, but quitting cold turkey for 30-90 days is an effective solution from our experience. 

When you quit this habit, you’ll have a chance to try new things. Of course, you must know that this will be a long process, so be patient. But patience will be rewarding in the long term, and you’ll be able to develop your personality more easily.

Now, if you’re not playing video games a lot or at all, it might be beneficial for you to play in moderation. Ideally, you want to keep gaming less than two hours a day and not every day. The important thing is for gaming not to be the sole focus of your life.

But if you’re addicted to video games, we can help you out. You can either talk to a therapist, which is an effective solution. Or, you can try our program called Respawn, where you’ll learn every step you need to take to stop your gaming addiction.

Get to Know Yourself

The second step might sound a bit cliche, like something you would find on WikiHow. However simple or cliche this tip is, it is an essential part of finding your personality.

Think about it for a moment: what does it mean to have a personality? Is it having interesting things to talk about? Is it having interesting hobbies or traits? Or is it the ability to share your thoughts about current events, things in life, or various things in life?

It’s probably a combination of all of those, but the most important part is the latter.

And the good thing about that is that you already have it. You simply need to discover it. 

Or you might already know it, but you’re too afraid or shy to express when push comes to shove.

If you don’t know what your thoughts or feelings are, then you need to discover them. And to do that, you’ll need to get to know yourself better. You do that by doing things. When you’re put into a situation where you have to engage in other activities, interact with people, or be challenged, you’ll learn what you are all about.

For example, you can do this in your everyday life. Think about what you like eating, what you don’t like, what you feel about current events, or even consider the simple things in life that you previously took for granted.

If you listen to some of the best comedians you might like, they often talk about the most mundane things in life, don’t they?

So it’s all about finding what you value in your existing life already. Journaling is one way you can reflect and discover more about who you are. You can get started with journaling today on our community forum.

Try New Things

california surfer

Having confidence and developing character comes from doing things. Only action can get you out of your mindset. 

The first step is to find a new hobby to replace your gaming. You can find a new hobby using our hobby tool

Now, if you don’t like a hobby, you can try another one. The key is to find something to fill up your time.

The problem is that if all you do is play video games, you don’t have a chance to immerse yourself fully in life. You don’t get to experience new things, and as a consequence, you don’t have anything valuable to add.

But you can apply this tip to almost every part of your life. You have to challenge your old beliefs (or a lack of them) by doing things you never even thought about. These things can be as simple as:

  • Trying new foods or diets
  • Buying different clothes than you usually do
  • Listening to new music
  • Traveling to nearby locations you’ve never been to
  • Solo travel
  • Reading books
  • Learning a new skill

If you think about it, the options here are endless! And every time you try something new, you’ll expand your personality and mold it according to your beliefs and wants.

Stop Giving a S#*t About Others

One common problem people who feel like they have no personality face is that they give way too much emphasis on what others are thinking about them.

If that’s you, then you need to stop doing that. 

You might not have enough confidence to get out there and express yourself. But with time and determination, things will get easier, I promise.

The key is to stop paying attention to what other people might be feeling or thinking. It can also be helpful to work with a therapist on reframing your beliefs and anxieties so you can live your life to the fullest.

If you’re going to spend your entire life worrying about what others think, then you won’t be able to develop your true personality. Instead, you’ll always cater to others, say what you think others like to hear, and do things you think others will like.

And that’s no way to live a life.

You are you, and other people are themselves, so why would you craft your entire character so that other people like it? The most important thing is what you like and love doing, so do that instead.

It’s also worth noting that you are not the only person who worries about what other people think about them. Many millions of people struggle with these same thoughts. However, it is possible to overcome and to live your life more freely.

Additional Tips

These are the main things you can do to discover your personality, but there are also some other things you can try, such as:

  • Start meditation. It’s the most effective way to tap into yourself and be aware of what you’re feeling. With mindfulness, you’ll be able to see what you truly think, and you’ll also get rid of the brain fog that might develop because of playing video games so much.
  • Develop your personality. If you apply the tips that we’ve provided in this article, you’ll be able to get a good basis to get to know your character, but you’ll want to expand it further for the best results. And you can do that by getting out of your comfort zone and doing things that seem uncomfortable.
  • It’s never too late! If you feel like there’s no help, you’re wrong. You can still develop your personality even if you’re 30 or older. 

We Can Help!

  • We can help you in your quest to develop your personality. For example, if you play video games too much, you can try our program called Respawn, where you’ll find proven techniques that have helped thousands of gamers all around the world kick their gaming addiction and live a life worth living. For families, we have our Reclaim program for parents.

It’s also possible to work with our team privately in our coaching programs. So apply today to get started on a 90-day plan to turn your life around.

Parasocial relationships are a form of social interaction where one party knows a lot about the other, but the other party doesn’t know anything about them. Often these relationships are one-sided.

Despite the rise of parasocial relationships with Twitch streamers, TikTok stars, and Instagram influencers, these relationships are not new – they’re just more intense and more common than ever.

Covid-19 and social isolation are two major factors that led to the further rise of parasocial relationships. Studies show that this is closely related to higher depression and anxiety among younger generations. 

With this in mind, let’s examine parasocial relationships: what are they, are they healthy, and how to stop them if they become a problem.

What are Parasocial Relationships?

Parasocial relationships occur when an individual interacts with a media figure as a friend or even a sexual partner. Media figures can include reality TV characters, video game personalities, and social media influencers.

The degree of these relationships vary. Some fans are simply interested in the actions of their “friend,” while others become obsessed with them to the point of imagining being in a relationship with them. Parasocial relationships happen without the influencer knowing that it even exists. 

Once the person adoring their idols becomes obsessed, parasocial relationships can become toxic and detrimental to their mental health. While these relationships can decrease loneliness and fill the gap for social interaction, they are by no means as effective and satisfactory as real-life interactions. Furthermore, these relationships can escalate to stalking and harassment concerns.

History of Parasocial Relationships

Parasocial relationships have been around since the invention of books and later television.

The earliest forms of this type of interaction were between book readers and their authors. But it wasn’t until television that parasocial relationships were in the spotlight.

Early on in the era of television, there were no reality shows, social media influencers, or video games. Instead, the only way to build this kind of relationship was through watching TV or movies. 

For instance, people would watch the same actors over and over again. As a result, they would build an attachment to these characters and feel they knew them personally. 

Today, the relationships are slowly shifting from having relationships with TV stars to social media influencers, Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and online personalities. 

Dive Deeper: What is Twitch?

The main difference between early parasocial relationships and today is that these relationships are becoming much more common and intense, thanks to the easy availability of online entertainment.

Streamers, YouTubers, and Parasocial Relationships

A few decades ago, parasocial relationships were the only way to have a relationship with a media figure. Today, social media has allowed fans to interact with their idols on a greater scale. 

YouTubers, Instagram influencers, and Twitch streamers are some of the most common “targets” of parasocial relationships. For example, a Twitch streamer might interact with their audience more than a TV movie actor would 20 years ago because it’s easier to respond to their fans in the chat or through messages.

However, this can also be a double-edged sword. For Twitch streamers and YouTube stars, it’s not always easy to deal with their obsessive fans. 

Watch: Asmongold on Parasocial Relationships:

Take Pokimane, the most popular female Twitch streamer in the world, as an example. In 2020, she revealed how she was stalked and harassed for years by obsessive fans to the point that she felt as though she was sexually harassed by them, even though they didn’t even meet in person.

Attractive streamers and YouTubers tend to get the most attention, and sometimes, they are overly sexual. A modern term for someone who stalks an online personality and makes sexual comments about them is “simp.” 

Some fans get so engrossed by their online idols they start caring about their lives more than about what is happening in their own life. They enjoy watching for entertainment, and at the same time, they’re prepared to defend their idols by any means, even by attacking fans of other streamers or influencers, creating a toxic online environment.

The biggest problem with this is the illusion of having a friend through a parasocial relationship that you can trust. However, most viewers use Twitch to cope with difficult periods in their lives, and by watching their favorite streamers, they have a way of forgetting about their real-life problems and “trusting” in their idol.

Again, these relationships serve the purpose of replacing the missing real-life relationships and achievements, either by having friends or by having a girlfriend or boyfriend. And since these online personalities have millions of followers, the scale of parasocial relationships today is bigger than it has ever been.

Parasocial Relationships with Celebrities

The effect of growing up in a world where celebrity culture is prominent is that older generations are much more likely to have parasocial relationships with celebrities. Some adults also develop parasocial relationships, and some of these continue from their teen days when they used to watch their favorite idol in their TV show or movie.

In the past, teenage girls developed parasocial relationships with musicians like Elvis and movie stars like James Dean. They showed their attraction by constantly following these stars when they appeared outside.

Today, fans can interact with their favorite stars through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and other social media platforms, creating a feeling that they’re closer to their idol.

Even some of the most well-known celebrities in the world suffer from stalking and online bullyings, such as Lorde, Malik Zayn, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and many others. 

Who is Most Likely to Develop a Parasocial Relationship?

The most common population groups that develop parasocial relationships are teenagers and young adolescents. These relationships also happen with people who feel lonely or lack self-esteem.

It is also possible for adults to develop parasocial relationships, although it is much less common than in younger populations.

The parasocial relationships between teens and social media influencers are growing faster. In 2015, nine percent of teens aged 13 to 17 had a “media influence” online. This number increased by 12 percent in 2017. 

Young people who experience bullying are also more likely to develop parasocial relationships.

Online platforms like Twitch or Instagram offer a much friendlier environment and a lower risk of feeling rejected. Most of the interactions with their idols are passive, and if, by any chance, their hero responds, the response will be friendlier than the interactions they may experience in real life while being bullied.

Why Do People Develop Parasocial Relationships? The Psychology Behind Parasocial Relationships

Watch: The Parasocial Problem with Livestreaming:

The most common reason for developing a parasocial relationship is the need for connection and belonging.

The need for connection and belonging is one of the most crucial aspects of living. It comes right after your basic needs, such as food and water and security.

Many young adolescents have those basic needs covered, but their need for belonging is often not fulfilled. This applies even more to young people who tend to be alone and don’t have many friends in real life.

Many young people are not comfortable with establishing relationships in real life. They don’t have a social circle or a group of friends they can rely upon. Therefore, they turn to their online idols as a form of self-esteem boosting and social interaction. 

Other people use parasocial relationships to broaden their social interactions and not to replace face-to-face interactions completely. For example, a study by Rubin et al. from 1986 reveals that the degree of loneliness does not increase the intensity of parasocial relationships. 

This suggests that parasocial interactions are often a way of broadening social interactions and not replacing them entirely.

Addiction can also lead to parasocial relationships, as some unhealthy behaviors can lead to poor mental health. In this case, the parasocial relationship is simply a substitute for unhealthy behavior, such as video game addiction or social media addiction, for example. 

In China, video game players developed a relationship with the main character in Travel Frog. A study from July 2021 reveals that the main reason for this relationship is that young Chinese players wanted to replicate the perfect parent-child relationship. This again shows that parasocial relationships primarily developed because of a need for socialization.

Another big factor for developing parasocial relationships is physical attraction to the characters in question. 

Other possible reasons for parasocial relationships include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Past trauma
  • Lack of security at home
  • Negative experiences with relationships with other people

What is a Parasocial Breakup?

A parasocial breakup is the discontinuation of a relationship with a media figure. For example, the fan will move on to another person to who they can get closer. In this way, the parasocial relationship helps the person let go of the other person and start afresh.

Constant parasocial breakups create a vicious, never-ending cycle of toxic parasocial relationships, harming the person engaging in them.

Some websites collect breakup stories from fans who have been in parasocial relationships for years. Several of these sites allow people to anonymously share their experiences and then find others with similar experiences.

Some people that experience these breakups even experience negative symptoms of a breakup, such as aggression, depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, and insomnia.

This study investigating parasocial relationships between the fans of the TV series “How I Met Your Mother,” and the main protagonists of the series found the stronger the perceived relationship, the stronger and the tougher the breakup will be.

Are Parasocial Relationships Healthy?

Parasocial relationships can be toxic and unhealthy, especially if the relationship is strong. 

Many of the fans in these relationships want to have real interaction with their idols, but they will never have that. Even if they do get a response from their idol, the responses are usually shallow and impersonal. 

If the parasocial relationship replaces all other forms of social interaction, then the person is isolating others from their social world and real-life interactions. They find refuge in the parasocial relationship, which is certainly not as deep and satisfactory as the two-way, real-life social relationships.

Creating a parasocial interaction is much easier and more comfortable than going out, meeting new people, and putting yourself at risk of being scrutinized by others. With a parasocial interaction, you don’t get that risk because it’s a one-way interaction.

While this might be an advantage to those who suffer from loneliness, these parasocial interactions are not adequate replacements for real-life interactions. Instead, they create a false sense of having friends, but those friendships are imaginary in reality. This can even deepen a sense of loneliness in the real world, which might lead to depression.

On the other hand, if the parasocial interaction augments the existing real-life friendships and relationships, and if the parasocial relationship is moderate and not extreme, then it can enhance one’s social life.

Parasocial relationships can also be harmful to streamers, celebrities, and influencers. Their admirers and fans create a great deal of pressure, which can be too much for some celebrities to cope with.

Dive Deeper: The Hidden Mental Health Problem in Streaming

Do I Have a Parasocial Relationship?

Do you have a parasocial relationship? 

Here are some common signs that it is indeed the case.

  • Following your favorite celebrity or streamer all the time
  • Caring more about their life and their achievements than your achievements
  • Donating to their cause
  • Commenting on their social media accounts
  • Feeling offended, sad, or hurt if someone insults your favorite streamer or celebrity
  • Feeling as though this person is your only friend and someone who you would trust with your personal stuff
  • Always making sure you have time to watch their stream or show, no matter what other activities are happening in your life
  • Neglecting real-life relationships and tasks for following your idol
  • Following their lifestyle and making similar decisions as their decisions
  • Spending money on merch
  • Having no other meaningful connections in your life except for the parasocial relationship

Now, you might not have all of the above symptoms of having a parasocial relationship. But if you have at least a third of these symptoms, you do likely have a parasocial relationship.

If you have such a relationship with someone, it’s best to acknowledge how it impacts your life.

If this is your only way of connecting with other people and replacing other relationships in your life, then it might be time to reconsider it.

How to Stop a Parasocial Relationship?

Not all parasocial relationships are bad. A parasocial relationship can be a good addition to your social life. The key is to do it in moderation and have other meaningful interactions in your life with other people.

However, if you overindulge in this relationship and replace all other forms of social interaction, you need to do something about it.

The most important thing is to acknowledge it. You don’t have to feel bad about it, but you need to be aware that it’s happening. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about this and feel like it’s not good for you, you might want to speak to a therapist.

It might also be worth looking for ways of how to socialize with other activities. For example, you might benefit from trying a hobby that requires social interaction with other people, which will help you build real-life connections instead. Try our hobby tool to see if you can find something that helps you.

If you’re addicted to gaming, we’ve prepared a practical step-by-step program called Respawn to help you get your life back on track. You can also try our other resources, such as:

 

Video games and depression are two widely debated topics amongst academics, parents, and the media. The debate consists of a question: do video games cause depression? Or is gaming disorder a consequence of depression? 

The Chicken and Egg Problem

When we’re trying to understand the relationship between disordered gaming and depression, one of the most important things we consider with problem gamers is the following: 

Did the gaming disorder come first, or did you have depression before developing the gaming disorder?

Depression is a common comorbidity with problem gamers. When two disorders are comorbid, it means they are more than just a co-occurrence – instead, they interact and affect each other.

The most common comorbidities that occur with problem gaming include:

  • Anxiety (up to 92% of problem gamers have it)
  • Depression (89%)
  • ADHD (85%)
  • Social anxiety (75%)
  • OCD symptoms (75%)

As you can see, anxiety, depression, and ADHD are the most common comorbidities of video game addiction.

Many gamers that we interact with at Game Quitters report that they turn to gaming because they’re depressed, but this can make their depression worse as well. In addition, excessive gaming creates an environment where individuals are often isolated in the physical world, such as in their room a lot; they may have withdrawn from friends and family, and often, exercise is sparse. This environment and lifestyle can lead to feelings of depression.

From our experience, each case of gaming disorder is different; some problem gamers might not suffer from depression at all, while others turn to video games to alleviate their symptoms of depression. On the other hand, many gamers develop depression because of their unhealthy gaming habits.

Do Video Games Cause Depression?

Currently, there are not many studies that confirm that video games cause depression directly. Most studies so far, however, show us that excessive gaming can lead to depression.

You need to know that not all video games and gaming will lead to depression. For example, suppose you play video games sporadically for an hour a day or so. Still, you have other activities in your life that fulfill you, and you have an overall stable life (a safe job, healthy relationships, and hobbies). In that case, video games will probably not cause depression.

The problem with gaming, however, is that it can be addictive.

If you suffer from gaming addiction, you get stuck in a vicious cycle of gaming too much and not having time for other activities and friends. As a result, you start to neglect school or work, and your relationships begin to suffer.

The result of this is the deterioration of your quality of life, which leads to depression. And once you’re stuck in this cycle, it’s can be hard to break out of it.

It’s important to know that if you are struggling with a gaming problem and experiencing depression, you should focus on resolving both aspects of your life. Implement strategies to reduce your excessive gaming while also addressing the underlying reasons for your depression. 

Do Video Games Alleviate Depression?

Many gamers turn to playing video games because they feel stressed or depressed. They use games as a form of escapism to forget about their everyday problems and life struggles.

In moderation, this can be helpful, and video games can provide a means of relaxation or temporary escape. But it’s important to proceed with caution because although games can give temporary relief, they won’t solve the issues. And often, create new ones.

At first, you’ll feel immediate relief and pleasure. Then, you’ll release tons of dopamine, which will make you crave games more and more. The next time you face a difficult period in your life, you’ll turn to games again, and before you know it, you’ll be addicted to video games.

If you turn to video games instead of addressing your real-life problems, you become more and more isolated. As a result, you start to lose friends, your school or job performance starts to suffer, and inevitably, your depression starts to get worse, not better.

This is also what many recent studies confirm:

  • Adams et al. (2019) show us that addictive behaviors generally provide us with immediate relief but are harmful in the long term. When people turn to addictive behaviors to treat anxiety or depression, the treatment becomes maladaptive (harmful) instead.
  • Abbas 2020 examines gaming disorder and depression. The study found that gaming disorder and depression co-occurred in 526 participants of the study. It also found that most of these gamers used video games to alleviate depression, making depression even worse.
  • Ko et al. (2012) were one of the earliest studies to study the links between depression and gaming. It found that playing video games excessively was often linked with other mental health problems such as depression, and the evidence showed that gaming made the symptoms worse.

If you play games to escape from the world, then you need to be cautious. You can get addicted to video games very easily, and once that happens, you will find it hard to come out of this vicious cycle.

How Do You Define Depression?

Before you decide what to do next, you must understand whether you’re depressed or just sad.

It’s normal to feel down or sad from time to time. But depression is a more prolonged feeling of sadness or depressed feelings that causes you to lose interest in activities that you once loved. It can also cause you to turn to addictive behaviors such as gaming.

Other common symptoms of depression include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of energy, fatigue
  • Mind fog
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you experience suicidal thoughts, call the suicide hotline right away!

To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms need to persist for at least two weeks. And this is the main difference between depression and sadness: depression is a long-term problem that spans several weeks, months, and even years, while sadness will be there for a few days to a few weeks.

For a proper diagnosis, please seek the help of a medical professional. You can find a therapist near you in our directory.

Types of Depression

There are also different types of depression:

  • Episodic – depressive episodes come and go, and the symptoms of this type of depression might be present for two weeks or longer at a time. These episodes may come at particular seasons or times of the year, or they might be tied to certain events in your life.
  • Repeating – repeating depression is the type of depression that occurs constantly. This is perhaps the most common type of depression, and this type of depression can last several months or even years before it is diagnosed.
  • Bipolar – bipolar depression is a part of bipolar disorder. This disorder is known for having episodes of extreme highs and episodes of extreme lows. When the episode of extreme lows kicks in, this is called bipolar depression.
  • Moderate – Severe – severe depression is linked to heavy symptoms of depression that might cause you to feel like you cannot live your life normally any longer. The most severe symptoms might include suicidal thoughts, extreme fatigue, disinterest in life, food, and other activities.

Do You Play Video Games and Are Depressed?

If you suffer from depression and use video games to treat the symptoms of depression, then the best way to address your issues is to talk to a therapist.

We have therapists that understand gaming addiction very well, and they know how to treat gaming disorder with comorbidities such as depression.

The key is to treat both comorbidities equally and not just treat depression or gaming disorder separately. Because doing that may only solve one problem while the other issues remain.

We also have a program called Respawn that will address your depression and gaming disorder directly. In our program, you’ll learn how to slowly shift from depression and gaming disorder to more healthy activities and establish a life worth living. You’ll rediscover your passion for new activities, become more productive, and get your life back on track.

We also have other resources that you can use, such as:

Anxiety is a common symptom gaming addicts experience. When mental health professionals are treating gaming disorders, they often treat underlying anxiety, which this study found 92% of all cases of gaming disorder, the patients also presented with anxiety.

This leads to a question: do video games cause anxiety?

While there has been no scientific evidence showing video games cause anxiety directly, the two are most certainly correlated. 

This means video games might not cause anxiety directly. However, many people turn to video games as a refuge from their stress and anxiety, which may worsen their anxiety.

In this article, we’ll look at the relationship between video games and anxiety and how the two work with each other.

Which Came First?

Often in the debate about video games and anxiety, the question becomes: Which came first, the gaming disorder or the anxiety?

Do you play video games to escape from the stress of anxiety, or are you so anxious because you play video games so much?

It’s a chicken and egg question that we need to solve for each case individually. For some people, gaming is one of the main reasons they experience anxiety, but for most people, we work with, video games become an escape from reality.

According to Adams et al. (2019), playing video games and other addictive behaviors are often a refuge from distressing thoughts and anxiety and offer a means of escaping having to deal with problems in your life that cause you anxiety. As a result, your problems seem to melt away.

However, the problem with that is that the underlying issues remain. You didn’t eradicate your anxiety and other issues, but you’ve numbed them temporarily.

In this case, video games can become a maladaptive coping strategy for your anxiety that makes your anxiety even worse over time.

The Correlation of Video Games and Anxiety

The correlation between video games and anxiety is much deeper than you might think.

Many people who suffer from anxiety are far more susceptible to becoming addicted gamers than others who don’t experience anxiety.

People who are genetically predisposed to anxiety and nervous behaviors often find games as a coping mechanism. Many people who have anxiety also have a personality type that is more prone to anxiety. This personality type usually has high levels of neuroticism, which is one of the five major personality traits.

People with higher levels of neuroticism are more prone to developing a gaming disorder. People who are more nervous and suffer from stress tend to gravitate towards video games more often. However, this doesn’t mean that anxious people are also more likely to play video games.

Gaming is a form of escape that might help you forget your problems, and it may help you reduce your anxiety, at least according to some studies.

However, the relief you would find from video games for your anxiety will be short-lived. The underlying reason you’re anxious will still be there, whether it’s a life situation, stressful events, high neuroticism trait, or other causes. Plus, it makes you more likely to develop gaming disorder, as well.

Do Video Games Cause Anxiety, Then?

The one lesson we can take away from all of that is: video games might not cause anxiety directly, but they may worsen it significantly if video games are used as a treatment for anxiety if played excessively.

Some of the main reasons why people suffer from anxiety include:

  • Chronic stress
  • Trauma
  • Personality and personality trait
  • Other mental health issues
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol (withdrawal from it)
  • Illness

Most commonly, many people suffer from anxiety because of their personality traits. Unfortunately, this is genetically predisposed, so this is an unpleasant life situation that they have to deal with for many people who suffer from anxiety.

For others, anxiety is caused by the buildup of life problems. For example, it may be difficult events, stressful situations, negative experiences in life, trauma, and often a combination of all that might lead to anxiety in the long term.

One of the most unfortunate things about gaming and anxiety is that video games offer an easy and comfortable exit from the difficult situation caused by anxiety. But, unfortunately, this creates other problems, such as a worsened case of anxiety and other mental health issues and problems with physical health.

As such, video games do not cause anxiety directly. Most people who have anxiety and play video games were present much earlier than the gaming problem developed. 

Can Video Games Help with Anxiety?

Video games can alleviate anxiety symptoms and might help you recover in the short term if you play video games. It’s an effective way of escaping your problems, but only in a short period.

And that is where the problems come in.

Video games can be highly addictive, and because they can effectively alleviate anxiety in the short term, they end up becoming the primary problem instead. 

Because video games are so addictive and easily accessible, you might start to turn towards them too much, which can cause video gaming addiction

And as you might already know, gaming disorder can cause further damage to your mental and physical health. Video game addiction has a bunch of negative effects on your mental and physical wellbeing, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Physical health atrophy
  • Exhaustion
  • Poor sleep
  • Obesity
  • Aggression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Social anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor emotional regulation
  • Suicidal thoughts

To summarize, the current research body shows that video games, in moderation, can alleviate some of your anxiety symptoms. However, excessive gaming can cause all types of other mental health problems, and it may make your anxiety even worse, so it’s best to proceed with caution in using games as a treatment for your anxiety.

What To Do If I Have Anxiety?

The most effective way to reduce or try to combat your anxiety is to consider therapy. However, there are other ways that you can use, such as trying meditation or other hobbies that will keep you grounded and taking breaks while gaming.

Let’s break down each method to see which one is best for reducing your anxiety while also staying away from getting addicted to video games.

Therapy

As we’ve already mentioned, considering therapy will be your best course of action in this case. However, if you decide to speak to a therapist, you will have a plan made specifically for your case. That’s very important since not every case is the same, and your causes for anxiety might be different from someone else’s.

We have a comprehensive list of therapists that operate all around the world, and you’ll be able to find one near you if you have anxiety and want to quit your gaming habit as well.

Keep Your Gaming in Check

Another important thing you need to do if you have anxiety and like to play video games to treat it is to keep your gaming in check.

It would help if you kept yourself from getting addicted to video games, which will cause you to have other issues that come with gaming addiction.

An important thing here is to keep breaks while gaming and ensure that you don’t play too much. Try to keep your gaming to 2 hours a day or less, and ideally not every day.

Try Hobbies and Meditation

One of the most important ways to manage or reduce your anxiety is to keep yourself grounded.

This means that you should stay more connected with the world around you. The more present you are in the current moment, the better you’ll be able to manage your thoughts and feelings.

Meditation can be incredibly helpful, especially mindfulness meditation. However, you can also try other relaxing hobbies instead of gaming as your go-to method of relieving your anxiety.

We Can Help

At Game Quitters, we have a program specifically tailored to help you get your gaming under control, including managing issues such as anxiety. It’s called Respawn. Inside, you’ll learn how to cope with your anxiety while also making sure you can recover from your gaming addiction and start living your life on your terms.

We also have other programs and resources, such as:

Deleting your gaming account is a big step towards overcoming your gaming addiction. It takes a big decision to do that, but you also need to know how to delete it.

One of the best ways to quit gaming is to start by uninstalling your games and deleting your accounts. This will reduce your cravings and temptations to play.

If you play games on Battle.Net, then in this guide we will show you how to delete your BattleNet account forever.

How to Delete Your Battle.Net Account

To delete your Battle.net account, you’ll need to request the deletion of your data from your account. Follow these steps to do it.

  1. Go to Blizzard.com and sign in to your Battle.net account.
  2. Once signed in, click on Support in the top right corner, and then click on the Contact Support button again on the next page, located in the top right corner.

  3. Click on the icon that says “Account, App & Shop”.

  4. Click on “I would rather categorize the issue”.
  5. Then under the category, select “Data Protection”.
  6. Click on Remove my Data, and then select Remove my Battle.net Account and game data, and select Continue.
  7. The next page will tell you what you’re going to lose if you decide to delete your account data. Once you’ve read the text, tick the box and click on Proceed.
  8. Next, you should receive a verification code to your email account that you’ve used for creating your Battle.net account. It should look something like this:

    Copy the verification code you’ve received in your email (you’ll have a different code than I had), and paste it inside the box in the next process.
  9. Lastly, click on Submit to complete your ticket. Your process will now be processed by the Blizzard team, and it might take a few days for the request to be fully completed.

In my case, it took 5 days for the deletion to be completed. On average, this process will take up to 10 days. Note that in some cases, Blizzard says that the requests might take up to 30 days, depending on whether the customer support is busy or not.

What is Battle.net?

Battle.net is a popular gaming platform created by Blizzard Entertainment. It acts as a social networking service and as a gaming platform at the same time.

This means that users can use Battle.net to manage their games, purchase them, make in-game purchases (such as loot boxes), and connect with friends by chatting to them or playing games with them.

On paper, it’s a neat concept that aims to bring gamers together.

However, one of the major problems of Battle.net is the addictive nature of the games that it offers games such as World of Warcraft (arguably the most addictive game in the world), Overwatch, Diablo, Hearthstone, Warcraft and Starcraft… all of which are fairly addictive games as well.

That’s why one of the best ways of overcoming your gaming (or gambling) addiction is to delete your BattleNet account first, and then look for ways of replacing the time you spend gaming on other activities.

Need Help with Your Gaming Addiction?

If you suffer from a gaming addiction, we offer guides and free resources to help you get your life back on track:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Note: If you’re a mental health professional and want to learn more about gaming addiction and treatment, you can do so with INTENTA’s Gaming Disorder training for professionals.

Nintendo is one of the most popular video game companies in the world. This Japanese giant is well known for its electronics, such as Nintendo Switch, which ranks in the top 10 most sold video game consoles of all time.

In addition, Nintendo stays in gamers’ hearts thanks to the many endearing, yet addictive titles it creates. The Super Mario franchise, The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, Splatoon – these are all fun games designed by Nintendo.

However, these games can also be highly addictive, so many people are looking for ways to stop playing Nintendo games (and Nintendo consoles).

If you’re looking to learn how to delete your Nintendo account, read this article.

How to Delete Your Nintendo Account

Deleting your Nintendo account should be a straightforward process. Just follow these steps to delete it.

  1. Sign in to your Nintendo Account.
    delete nintendo account
  2. Click on your account’s icon in the top right corner, and then select Settings.
    delete nintendo account
  3. Now a Settings page should open in a separate tab. The next step from here is to click on Other Settings on the left-hand side of your screen under your icon.
    nintendo account
  4. On the next screen, you should see a button that says “Delete account” in the bottom portion of the content of the screen. Click on it to proceed with the deletion.
    nintendo account
  5. After clicking the Delete account button, you’ll be prompted with a page where you’ll be able to read what will happen if you delete your Nintendo account. Note that after confirming deletion, the account will enter a period of 30-day deactivation inside which you’ll be able to reverse the process of deletion. After that, your account will be deleted for good.
  6. The last step is to click on Confirm and Proceed to complete the deletion of your Nintendo account. You’ll have to re-type your password to confirm the deletion.
    nintendo account deletion

After completing the deletion process, your account will enter a period of 30-day deactivation.

Note that you can still reactivate your account in the next 30 days – you can do that by simply trying to sign in to your account, and then insert the verification code you’ll receive via the email account you’ve provided during the creation of the account.

Further Steps

As you may see, the act of deletion of your Nintendo account is a pretty simple one. It will take some mental resilience to stop yourself from accessing and reactivating your Nintendo account once you decide to delete it, though.

If you’re tempted by the reactivation, note that this is completely normal but try to resist it for 30 days until the deletion is complete.

At Game Quitters, we’re dedicated to helping gamers just like you quit gaming and fulfill their goals in life.

If you’re struggling with a Nintendo addiction or simply playing games too much, then head over to our guides and resources:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Rocket League is a free-to-play game where the goal is for players to score goals in soccer using their cars.

It’s a simple concept, but one that has caught on massively in the past 6 years. It has almost 100 million users monthly, and the numbers are still going up.

In 2019, Psyonix, the company that created Rocket League, was purchased by Epic Games, which means that at the moment, the game is only available through Epic Games launcher for PC players.

However, we know many people still use Steam for Rocket League, and many people play Rocket League on PS4 and Xbox. That’s why we’ve prepared guides for all types of users in this article.

How to Delete Your Rocket League Account – Epic Games

If you use Rocket League through Epic Games, then you’ll need to delete your Epic Games account entirely if you want to proceed with the deletion.

Sadly, it’s not possible to just delete your Psyonix account as the company has merged with Epic Games, so the only way to delete the Rocket League account is to delete your Epic Games account as well.

Let’s take a look at how you can do that.

  1. Sign in to your Epic Games account.
  2. In the top right corner, hover over your account’s name and then click on Account from the drop-down menu.
  3. Go to the General tab of your account page.
  4. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page until you reach the portion named “Delete Account”.
  5. Click on Request Account Delete to request the deletion of your Epic Games account.
  6. Insert the security code you’ve received via email into the next window and click on Confirm Delete Request.

This will delete your Epic Games account for good. Note that if you decide to take this step, you’ll lose all the games you have on your account, including all purchases, in-game purchases, and all achievements that are tied to your account.

Unfortunately, this is the only way to delete your Rocket League account at the moment if you use Epic Games.

Alternative Option

There is one alternative option to deleting your Epic Games account completely – you may want to ask Psyonix Support to delete your personal data from their database, which might be sufficient to help you stop playing Rocket League.

You can try sending the customer support a message at Psyonix through this page. Ask them if it is possible to delete your Rocket League data and account and if that will stop your access to the game for good.

If You Use Steam

If you use Steam for playing Rocket League, then it’s likely that you’ve purchased or acquired Rocket League before 2019.

For deleting your Rocket League account when using Steam, you’ll have to consider deleting your Steam account.

If you want to know how to delete your Steam account, please read our full guide or watch the video below:

For Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PS Users

For those who play Rocket League on consoles, the only way to delete your Rocket League account is to follow one of the following guides:

Of course, that might not be a viable option if you also own and play other games on those accounts, so you might want to look for other ways of controling your Rocket League playtime.

Need Help to Control Your Gaming?

If you play video games too much and want to get in control, read our guides and free resources:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Note: If you’re a mental health professional and want to learn more about gaming addiction and treatment, you can do so with INTENTA’s Gaming Disorder training for professionals.

Looking to delete your Roblox account? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of deleting your Roblox account in just a few simple steps.

How to Delete Your Roblox Account

To delete your Roblox account, you’ll have to contact the customer support of Roblox, as there is no dedicated way of deleting your account through the account or user page like there is on most other sites.

Luckily, this process should be simple enough to handle for everyone, as you’ll only have to go through a few simple steps.

Here are the steps you need to take to delete your Roblox account:

  1. Log in to your Roblox account at Roblox.com.
  2. After logging in to your account, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page until you see the link that says “Help”. Click on it.
  3. You’ll now be redirected to the Help page of the Roblox site. You’ll now again need to scroll all the way to the bottom where you should be able to click on the button that says “Contact Us”.
  4. A new page will open where you will need to open up the customer support form for contacting customer support. Click on the “Support form” link that is located in the text on that page to open up the form.
  5. After clicking on that link, a customer support form should open in a separate tab. You’ll now need to enter the details into the form to contact support regarding the deletion of your account.
  6. Enter your first name, email address, your username, and select the issue details. Under the device, select the device you use for playing Roblox. Note that there is no direct choice for deleting your account, so you’ll have to choose the category of “Billing & Payments”, and then under the subcategory, select “Cancel Membership”. Lastly, under the description, tell the customer support that you’d like to delete your account and thank them for their help.
  7. Lastly, click on Submit to send the contact form.
  8. After a few days, a member of customer support will contact you with further instructions and details. Note that you might have to verify your account before deleting it, so you might need to provide some additional details to complete the process.

About Roblox

Roblox is one of the most widely played games in the world. Part of the reason is that it’s so easily available on all platforms and it’s also free to use.

Roblox addiction is a serious problem especially among children and teenagers. If you or someone you know is struggling with a Roblox addiction, we’ve prepared a complete guide on how to overcome your Roblox addiction and begin living your life in a new way right now.

We also have additional articles on Roblox such as:

At Game Quitters we are dedicated to providing you with the best resources and guides possible to get gaming under control and live a great life. Our programs include:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Note: If you’re a mental health professional and want to learn more about gaming addiction and treatment, you can do so with INTENTA’s Gaming Disorder training for professionals.

Ah yes, World of Warcraft.

Also known as WoW, World of Warcraft is one of the most addictive computer games in history. It’s a highly immersive computer game where you build a character, offering you a (seemingly) worthy escape from reality.

Millions of people around the world play WoW daily, and a small percentage of those people are addicted to World of Warcraft.

So if you’re looking to kick your WoW addiction, then a good way to start would be to delete your World of Warcraft account to prevent you from coming back.

How can you do that? Find out below in this article.

How to Delete Your World of Warcraft Account

To delete your WoW account, you will need to delete your Blizzard account completely.

Another option is to cancel the subscription to World of Warcraft inside Battle.net if you don’t want to delete your Blizzard account completely.

Let’s take a look at both options.

Option 1: Delete Your Blizzard Account

Arguably the most effective way of deleting your World of Warcraft account is to completely delete your Blizzard account.

Note that if you decide to take this step, you will lose all data, games, achievements, and items that you own on your Blizzard account, which can be a bummer. But at least you’re taking a HUGE step towards overcoming your WoW addiction.

To delete your Blizzard account, follow these steps:

    1. Sign in to your Blizzard account.
    2. In the top right corner of the page, click on Support.
    3. Next, click on Contact Support in the right top corner again.
    4. Click on I would rather categorize the issue.
    5. Click on Data Protection.
    6. Then select Remove my Data, and then select Remove my Battle.net account and game data.
    7. Then, you’ll need to read the text on the following page where you’ll learn what you will lose if you decide to delete the account. Once ready, tick the box and click on Proceed.
    8. The last step is to insert the verification code you’ve received via email into the box and complete the process for deletion.

The deletion will now take anywhere between 10 to 30 days, depending on how quickly the customer support handles your request.

Option 2: Cancel World of Warcraft Subscription

The other option is to cancel your World of Warcraft subscription inside Blizzard’s account. This is an effective step, but not as effective and complete as deleting your Blizzard account.

If you wish to cancel your WoW subscription, then follow these steps:

    1. Log in to your Blizzard account.
    2. Click on your account name in the top right corner, and then select Account Settings from the dropdown menu.
    3. On the left-hand side of the screen, select the tab that says “Games & Subscriptions”.
    4. Select the game you want to cancel the subscription for, and click on Manage.
    5. Click on Cancel Subscription to complete the process.

After this, your subscription to WoW should be canceled and you won’t be able to access your WoW account any longer.

Need Help?

If you suffer from a gaming addiction, we’ve prepared guides and free resources on Game Quitters to help you get your life back on the right track:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Note: If you’re a mental health professional and want to learn more about gaming addiction and treatment, you can do so with INTENTA’s Gaming Disorder training for professionals.

Dota 2 is one of the most popular games in the world, and arguably among the top 3 most popular Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games of all time. 400,000 to 500,000 people play this game monthly, putting it high on the list of the most played games.

It’s also a very addictive game. Once you get sucked into the progression in this game and improving your skills, it’s hard to get out of it.

That’s why deleting your Dota 2 account is one of the best strategies to quit playing Dota 2 cold turkey.

To delete your Dota 2 account, you’ll have two different strategies – we’ll go over each one in this article.

How to Delete Your Dota 2 Account – Best Option

The best option for deleting your Dota 2 account is to contact Steam support and ask them if they can delete your game data and erase your Dota 2 profile.

When you do this, you’ll be able to get rid of all of your game data and you’ll have your profile deleted. This will guarantee you that you won’t be able to use your profile anymore, even though you can still have Dota 2 installed on your computer.

To do this, you’ll need to log in to your Steam account and contact customer support using a contact form that you’ll find on Steam.

Just follow these steps to complete the process:

    1. Log in to your Steam account using your credentials.
    2. Next, click on the Support tab once you’re logged in to your account.
    3. Then, you’ll find a list of games below under the “Recent Products” category. Pick Dota 2 – if it’s not there, scroll all the way to the bottom and select “Games, Software, etc.”, and type in Dota 2. Then, click on Dota 2.
    4. Next, click on “I’m having trouble with items”.
    5. Then scroll all the way to the bottom and find the “Contact Steam Support” button. Click on this button to open up a dialog box.
    6. Inside this box, type in “I’d like to delete my Dota 2 account, game data, history, and access to Dota 2.” Also, include your reason for the request of deletion, and hit send.
    7. Hit Send. You will have to wait around 72 hours for customer support to respond. Note that you might have to provide some additional details if they ask you to do so.

Alternative Option – Delete Steam Account

The second option is a bit more radical – but perhaps even more effective than the first one, especially if you’re addicted to Dota 2 and other games you have on Steam.

That option is to delete your Steam account.

Luckily, the process of deleting your Steam account is not very complicated. We’ve prepared a complete guide for deleting your Steam account.

Of course, if you decide on this option, you should know that you will lose all of your games and everything you own on your Steam account, so only take this step if you’re prepared to lose everything you own on Steam.

Need Help?

At Game Quitters, we’re dedicated to helping gamers from everywhere to quit their toxic gaming habits and build better habits, which can help you get your life back on track.

If you suffer from a gaming addiction (or other digital addictions), we’ve also prepared many other guides and free resources on Game Quitters. These include:

If you appreciate our content and what we do, feel free to share it with other people who might find this article (or other articles) helpful. Our mission is to help as many people overcome their gaming addictions and get their lives back to normal.

Note: If you’re a mental health professional and want to learn more about gaming addiction and treatment, you can do so with INTENTA’s Gaming Disorder training for professionals.

Have you ever wondered what draws you into playing video games every time, even if you don’t want to? Before you start blaming yourself for this happening, you need to know how dopamine impacts gaming and, thus, your behavior.

How Dopamine Impacts Gaming

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain which is responsible for the feeling of pleasure. The way video games are designed, you experience feelings of excitement and stimulation. They accomplish this by giving constant rewards for your effort, which leads your brain to produce dopamine.

Because video games produce a dopamine release in your brain, they have the potential to have a similar effect on your brain as drugs and other substances.

After playing more and more games, your brain can seek to produce dopamine – but the only thing that seems to do it is playing more and more of your favorite game.

So how does dopamine impact gaming, and why is this crucial for your understanding of video game addiction? Continue reading.

What is Dopamine?

dopamine theory of addiction

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in our brain that is responsible for sending messages between nerve cells.

It used to be referred to as the “pleasure chemical.” 

However, in more recent years and with more research, we’ve learned that dopamine acts more as a motivating agent for completing certain pleasurable activities – for example, eating, having sex, playing video games.

Dopamine is closely connected to the reward center in our brains. So whenever we see a reward worth chasing, our body starts producing sufficient amounts of dopamine to motivate us to complete the task, no matter how strenuous or difficult the task might be.

The dopamine theory of addiction finds most addictions are caused by the brain’s inability to produce dopamine naturally without the drug or substance that someone is addicted to. 

Instead of feeling pleasure doing everyday activities, the addicted person will feel bored. Only the substance, video game, or the drug they take will provide enough dopamine to feel pleasure and excitement.

Thus, the more of the substance or drug an individual takes, the more of it will take to feel the same levels of pleasure as before. Eventually, repetition leads to addiction. The same can happen with video games.

What Triggers Dopamine?

Almost every pleasurable activity we do will trigger dopamine.

Whenever your brain is expecting a reward from a certain activity, it will start producing dopamine, which will motivate you to complete the desired activity.

This includes everyday activities such as eating, drinking, sleep, exercising, listening to music, running, walking, and other activities that you find fun.

For instance, when you feel hungry, you will start to crave food. When you order food and you see it coming towards your table, the dopamine levels in your brain will rise. After taking the first bite, you’ve gotten your reward, so the dopamine levels start to decrease slowly.

Dopamine will also be released when we do addictive things or take addictive substances. 

And because these activities make us feel pleasure, we start to associate them with positive feelings; we see them as rewards. 

What are the Side Effects of Too Much Dopamine?

Both too much or too little dopamine can have serious consequences on the quality of our lives.

Too much dopamine in certain parts of our brain can lead to aggression, competitiveness, high libido, stress, and poor impulse control.

On a more severe level, excessive amounts of dopamine can lead to long-term conditions, such as:

  • Addictions
  • Gambling
  • ADHD
  • Binge eating

On the other hand, low levels of dopamine in your brain can also have negative side effects. Addictions are particularly responsible for leading to low levels of dopamine. That’s because our brains cannot produce sufficient amounts of dopamine without the needed substance or drug.

Low dopamine levels can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis

Many gamers report having problems with anxiety and depression, and low dopamine levels can be why. 

For example, Vadim from Russia, one of our members, says he was extremely anxious and exhausted when he played games excessively, yet he kept on playing them, which caused his health to decline.

Read more: The negative effects of video games.

Dopamine detox can work well to fix the addiction-induced dopamine deficiency, as we have seen in many cases with our members and clients. We’ll talk more about dopamine detox later on in the article.

Dopamine and Gaming Addiction

gamer

Now that you know what dopamine is and how it functions when exposed to over-stimulus, let’s focus on how dopamine impacts gaming and gaming addiction.

study from 1998 has shown that when you play video games, your brain starts producing dopamine. As you get excited about the potential rewards of killing the next boss or the thrill you get when you kill an enemy, your brain starts working overtime.

If you think about it for a moment, games are designed to be addictive. Some of the main addictive elements in games include:

  • Excitement
  • Instant gratification
  • Fast pace
  • Virtual goods (read: loot boxes)
  • Rewards and reinforcement for playing (and punishment for not playing)

Each time you want to kill an enemy, your brain releases dopamine. Each time you want to open the next loot box, score a goal, win a game, kill that boss in the game – you release dopamine.

And getting that dopamine spike has never been easier than now. You can pick up your phone or open up your computer or console, open your favorite game, and boom, you’re feeling great. All your attention is now on the game.

What happens when you stop playing? You want to go right back to your favorite game! You need another surge of dopamine, like a drug addict looking for the next hit. Before you know it, you’re addicted to the game, and you can’t live without it.

Gaming companies are implementing more and more of these strategies as we speak. They want you to play as much as possible so they can keep making a profit from your money and time.

The Impact of Dopamine on Gaming

When you play video games, you get a rapid rush of dopamine

This makes video games several levels more exciting than other activities, like studying or exercising. With video games, the gratification is instant – you don’t need to wait weeks or months to feel the satisfaction. This is one of the main reasons why you might prefer gaming to other activities.

Research has shown that playing video games releases the same amounts of dopamine as when you take drugs like ecstasy. Scientific studies have confirmed this as well.

These are worrisome findings; even though you might not believe it, gaming changes the structure of your brain. This is the best example of how dopamine impacts gaming.

When you play games, you’re exposed to an overwhelming number of stimuli, which all impact your brain. This is especially true if you play games daily for an extended period. The more you play, the more you want to play.

Yet even though video games can impact your brain, they still don’t get the same treatment. Instead, gaming is often dismissed as a harmless activity. Of course, not all gaming is bad, and there are pros and cons of gaming, but moderation is key.

The problem is that things can quickly spiral out of control.

Why Gaming Addiction Hurts Young People Most

screen time guidelines

Young people under the age of 25 seem to be the most affected group regarding gaming addiction.

After all, the average age of a gaming addict is just 24 years old, while around 8.5% of all children worldwide might be addicted to gaming. And the problem here is that these percentages are growing year after year.

Dive Deeper: Video Game Addiction Statistics

Why do games mostly affect younger people?

One reason is their prefrontal cortex might not yet be fully developed. This brain region is responsible for decision-making and judgment, and it only develops fully after the age of 25. 

The draw of video games and the dopamine they release might be too strong for younger people to resist.

Screens are everywhere. You can play games everywhere you might be – even in school. Video games are easily available, regardless of where you live or how powerful your device is.

Additionally, studies (12) have also shown that playing violent video games deactivates the prefrontal cortex region of the brain to a large extent. This impairs the decisions made by the individual and significantly impacts their actions, which might exacerbate the gaming addiction.

Games that Increase Dopamine

There are hundreds of thousands of different games currently out now. Some are offline; others are online; they span through different genres and have different objectives. Yet the goal of all of them is the same – to keep you engaged and spending money.

Some do a better job at this than others. Those that are more effective tend to be more popular and also potentially more addictive.

Competitive games tend to release the most dopamine because they are full of fast-paced excitement and action. Studies (1,2) show that highly competitive games release as much dopamine as psychoactive drugs – and in some cases, even more.

Some researchers also argue that online games have the potential to be more addictive than offline games.

It makes sense if you think about it: you can’t pause an online game while you can do so in an offline game. And when you play online, you can also play with friends and against others, which provides an extra layer of achievement.

Based on current research, it seems as though competitive online games tend to produce the most dopamine; however, almost any game that you play will release a certain amount of dopamine as long as the game feels rewarding to you.

Do Dopamine Detoxes Work?

Since dopamine motivates you to play more and more of your favorite game, what can you do to reverse this process? Is it even possible?

Luckily, it is possible to reverse it, and there is always time to do it with a dopamine detox.

What is a Dopamine Detox?

how to do a dopamine detox

I’ve always been a fan of the 90-day detox method

Dopamine detox means quitting gaming cold turkey – deleting all of your games and accounts and not playing them for 90 days straight.

Why 90 days? Because that is how long it can take for you to reverse the changes to your brain from excessive gaming.

With the dopamine detox, you’ll be able to feel pleasure in everyday things again. You’ll be able to enjoy hobbies and things that seem like they’re taken for granted, such as food or relationships. 

You’ll no longer need to play video games to feel pleasure again because your body will start to release enough dopamine through other activities.

Does a Dopamine Detox Work?

Yes, a dopamine detox will work, and it will be effective as long as you stick to it.

In the first two weeks, it is going to be tough. You may feel depressed and anxious, and you can feel irritated when you don’t play games. These experiences are normal, though.

Once you get through this initial period, things start turning for the better. You begin to appreciate things that you previously took for granted. You’ll start living your life again.

Need Help?

Starting a dopamine detox can be great, but inevitably, you might feel like you’re stuck along the way. That’s when you might need some extra help from someone who’s been there and done it.

If you need someone to talk to, it might be helpful to speak to a video game addiction therapist. We have a database of therapists at Game Quitters you can contact, no matter where you live.

At Game Quitters, we seek to help gamers, and people close to you cope and overcome their gaming addiction and related problems. We’ve prepared science-backed guides and content, such as:

If you’re a mental health professional and would like to learn more about gaming addiction, we offer internationally accredited gaming disorder training for professionals who want to become better at treating gaming issues.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in our brains that motivates us to do activities that make us feel pleasure. When you engage in a pleasurable activity, dopamine releases in your brain.

Pleasurable activities include simple things like eating, drinking, watching your favorite movie, listening to music, to “artificial” stimuli like playing video games, binge-watching Netflix, or gambling.

Too much dopamine, however, can lead to addiction, including drug addiction and video game addiction.

The more video games you play, the more you can need to play them to satisfy your needs, leading to disordered play or addiction. 

In recent years, a new solution suggested by mental health specialists is a dopamine detox. Dopamine detox, or dopamine fasting, is a term first coined by Dr. Cameron Sepah, a Harvard psychiatrist from California.

In this article, you’ll learn how to do a dopamine detox, what dopamine detox is, and what positive effects it can have on your life.

What is the Dopamine Theory of Addiction?

gaming and dopamine

The dopamine theory of addiction suggests an imbalance in dopamine production in the brain causes addictions.

Instead of getting enough dopamine from everyday activities, individuals suffering from addiction rely on receiving dopamine from drugs, alcohol, video games, or other external stimuli instead.

The addicted individual requires more of their stimuli of choice (drugs, alcohol, video games) to feel satisfied. 

According to Mellis et al. (2005), the dopamine theory of addiction goes like this:

“Decreased DA (dopamine) function in addicted subjects results in a decreased interest to non-drug-related stimuli and increased sensitivity to the drug of choice.”

The dopamine theory of addiction suggests that dopamine is at the center of the addiction. With research suggesting that dopamine is the driver behind addictive actions, professionals have started treating addictions by addressing dopamine.

What Triggers Dopamine?

dopamine theory of addiction

Dopamine is triggered by any pleasurable or rewarding activity we do. This includes everyday activities like eating or drinking to more addictive activities like taking drugs, alcohol, sex, or playing video games.

The key difference here is that some activities release more dopamine than others.

Taking drugs and playing video games produce an instant rush of dopamine. According to some studies, video games release large amounts of dopamine in our brains – comparable to when taking drugs like amphetamine. And because these activities release more dopamine than others, we feel more pleasure doing them. So, consequently, we do more of these activities.

Our brain gets used to the stimulus after some time, which means that we’ll need to take more and more of the drug or play more video games to satisfy our needs. Other activities start to feel less enjoyable compared to our desired stimulus.

In addition, playing video games is convenient and sedentary, and it doesn’t take much effort to experience pleasure. You only need to open your phone or computer and start playing the game, and you’ll almost instantly begin experiencing stimulation and pleasure.

If we compare gaming to less convenient or higher effort activities that produce dopamine like going to the gym, playing video games starts to feel more comfortable. We can justify neglecting other activities for the instant gratification of gaming.

What are the Side Effects of Too Much Dopamine?

Dopamine is one of the most important chemicals in our brain. Its presence is required for normal functioning and often affects our mood and how we feel.

Having optimal amounts of dopamine is crucial for the normal functioning of our body, and it also helps us feel satisfied. Optimal levels of dopamine can contribute to being more alert, satisfied, productive, and motivated. 

Having too much or too little dopamine can drastically change the way we live and feel.

The side effects of too much dopamine include:

  • ADHD
  • Addictions
  • Binge-eating and other binging behaviors
  • Gambling 
  • Obesity

High levels of dopamine can also be a contributing factor to many states of mind, including:

  • Mania
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusion
  • Schizophrenia

Often, these conditions can present when someone takes a drug that increases dopamine levels. If the stimulus produces too much dopamine, then you may end up feeling like you’re on top of the world to the point where your brain can go into overdrive, leading to mental health issues and the potential conditions above.

Low levels of dopamine can also be problematic. Some of the potential side effects of low levels of dopamine include:

  • Reduced alertness
  • No motivation
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Possibility of depression, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety

When doing a dopamine detox, you must keep a good balance in your dopamine levels. Since you’ll stop doing activities that produce high amounts of dopamine, you’ll need to replace them with activities that will also produce enough dopamine to satisfy you, such as exercise.

What is a Dopamine Detox?

A dopamine detox is abstaining from all addictive activities that raise your levels of dopamine too high. 

The idea behind the detox is to stop being dependent on activities like social media, video games, gambling, and other addictive behaviors. You’ll abstain from instant hits of dopamine and replace them with healthier activities that produce dopamine.

With the detox, you’ll stop doing these addictive activities for a set period, which is often recommended to be around 90 days. 

Dr. Cameron Sepah created the original concept of dopamine detox. His idea was to help tech workers and venture capitalists stop dependence on social media and phone notifications.

The detox aims to prevent addictions to external stimuli and become less dependent on the dopamine produced by social media, video games, gambling, and other similar activities.

According to Dr. Sepah, there are six key areas that the dopamine detox targets:

  1. Emotional eating
  2. Excessive internet usage and gaming
  3. Gambling and shopping
  4. Porn and masturbation
  5. Thrill and novelty seeking
  6. Recreational drugs

At Game Quitters, we offer a program for gamers called Respawn. In it, you’ll find a 90-day detox method that helps you to stop your gaming addiction.

For 90 days, you’ll stop playing video games and replace them with other activities to reverse the changes to your brain because of dopamine addiction.

Dive Deeper: How Dopamine Impacts Gaming

Even though we support the theory of video game detox, you can also choose other activities that you find addictive and start a detox for them as well.

Now, it’s impossible to do a true dopamine detox. Your body will not instantly stop producing dopamine as you enter detox, as it will still get produced by other activities you do. But the goal of dopamine detox is not to eliminate all pleasurable activities but to stop the ones that get you addicted and cause problems in your life.

The key here is that you get dopamine from activities that truly make you feel happy and satisfied and the ones that make you healthy.

So that’s what a dopamine detox is, but can it be effective?

Do Dopamine Detoxes Work?

Dopamine detoxes have been proven to work countless times for individuals worldwide, as long as you have the determination to stick to them.

Addicted people’s brains adapt to the drug or video games. They become dependent on these activities to produce dopamine to help them feel happy.

With time, the brain starts to change:

  • Your reward system becomes numb to exposure to activities that might otherwise be pleasurable. To feel pleasure, you’ll need to play video games more and more, and no other activities will be able to match the dopamine rush provided by video games.
  • The extended amygdala is also affected, which causes you to feel anxious or depressed when you don’t play games. 
  • Additionally, your prefrontal cortex may not function properly when you’re addicted to video games. This impairs your ability to think and make the right decisions, which might worsen the gaming addiction.

When you start a dopamine detox, these changes in your brain will begin to reverse. However, they will take time – and a lot of effort. 

Inevitably when you start the detox, it is going to be tough. The first two weeks will be the hardest. You might feel some withdrawal symptoms like depression, lack of motivation, anxiety, or headaches.

However, that is when you need to double down on your detox. But, again, these signs are positive, and they show that the detox is working.

Eventually, you’ll start to feel and think more positively, you’ll have more energy, and your cravings will begin to diminish. After some time, you won’t feel the need to play games anymore, and your life can change completely as long as you stick to the plan.

How to Do a Dopamine Detox – Step by Step

So now that you know dopamine detoxes do work, how do you proceed from here?

We’ve prepared a step-by-step plan on how to do a dopamine detox properly.

Step 1: Decide to do Dopamine Detox and Commit to It

The first step begins with your mindset. Make sure your mindset is one where you believe in this process and believe in yourself to be successful with it.

But you must know that starting a dopamine detox takes time and dedication. You need to know it will get tough along the way, but you MUST be willing to stick to it. It’s the only way.

Think about your current situation if you’re addicted to video games. Do you want to continue like this? No motivation or energy to do anything else but to play video games all day?

Take a moment to think about why you want to quit playing video games. Then, imagine the life you want to live without your addiction. Then, please write it down and remember it. Writing out how you want to feel, your goals, and what you dream for your life will help keep you going when things get tough. 

The detox is only going to work if you commit to it 100%. No “just one game” or “just one scroll of my Instagram feed.” 

Step 2: Delete Your Games and Accounts

Now that you’ve decided to stick to the dopamine detox, it’s time to delete your games from your computer—all of them.

It might even be helpful to delete the accounts for the games you play most. If you have a lot of stuff on your account and you don’t want to delete it, one option is to sell it.

The reason why deleting your games and accounts is effective is that after you’ve deleted them, you won’t be able to jump into the game instantly.

You’ll have to re-install the game, which can be too much of a bother for some people. But deleting your account will be even more effective since it might take you longer to create an account, so you might refrain from doing it altogether.

If you don’t know how to delete your game accounts, we’ve created a series of helpful tutorials on Game Quitters that you can check out, showing you how to delete your accounts for various platforms.

Step 3: Start the Detox

Then it’s time to start the detox.

Mark the happy day on your calendar and observe the changes that it brings to your life.

Step 4: Stick to It for 90 Days

Now you need to stick to it for 90 days.

Why 90 days? 

Because research suggests, that’s how long it may take for changes in your brain caused by addiction to begin reversing.

You might start experiencing some withdrawal symptoms, which is when it’s good to remind yourself why you started the detox in the first place. It is also a good time to develop new coping strategies and learn how to navigate challenges in your life without escaping into games.

Also, you’ll want to find replacement activities that will help you replace your gaming habit. Use our hobby tool to find a hobby that you like and try it. If you don’t like it, you can always try another hobby.

Step 5: Continue or Stop

After 90 days, you should be feeling better with your cravings and urges to play significantly reduced.

You now have two options:

  1. You can continue the detox and living a life without your gaming addiction.
  2. Or, you can start playing games in moderation, as long as you have other things going on in your life.

If you don’t know if you can’t play in moderation, then it’s up to you to try it. But it’s better to be cautious if you’re not sure, so you don’t get drawn into an addiction cycle again.

Access Our Full Guide on Dopamine Detox

Now you have the basics of the dopamine detox, but if you want to be truly successful, you’ll want to know the science behind the detox in more detail. You might also struggle to fill the void at times, and when it gets tough, you’ll want that extra bit of support.

That’s why we’ve prepared Respawn, where we feature the full guide on a 90-day detox. The vast majority of our users have great success with this method, and so could you.

“Having goals and watching yourself achieve them is the most satisfying feeling in the world. I don’t even think about gaming anymore.”
– Zachary

“Since I gave up video games I have started to learn python and begun a yoga practice.”
– Holly

“I reached 90 days and it’s the longest I’ve gone without playing video games my entire life.”
– Jack

“Yesterday I finished my 90 days!!! The first week was hard but worth it!!”
-Epicness

If you feel the need to, you can always talk to a therapist near you. We have a database of video game addiction therapists from all over the world, so contact the one near you and talk to them.

We’ve also created other pieces of content that you can check out:

If you’re a mental health professional and want to know more about gaming addiction and how to treat it, we’ve prepared a 15-hour virtual training on gaming disorder for professionals.

Your kids can’t seem to put their phone away? They’ve broken some rules? Easiest solution? Just take it away. Best solution? Maybe not.

The newest study from Common Sense Media, suggests taking teen’s phones away as a method to control use or as a consequence for breaking rules may in fact not be such a good idea.

Parents – I know this is really hard to figure out. I know you are getting lots of mixed messages too. Watch for predators, watch for hate speech, watch for inappropriate content, social media is why our youth are depressed and anxious, etc. You’ve been told to be afraid of too much screen time and the long term impact of screens but in schools and as a way to stay connected (not even necessarily to socialize) screens are the norm. Homework is on a computer, class is on a computer, your kids teachers and coaches communicate on FB and Instagram. Hours in front of screens are nearly unavoidable.

Social Media Has Benefits & Risks

The good news is young people are far more likely to say that using social media makes them feel better rather than worse when they’re depressed, stressed, or anxious, and the number who report that has substantially risen since 2018. And young people are starting to be significant users of digital health resources like meditation, nutrition and fitness apps.

So now what? I’m all about harnessing.nadja streiter

1) Ask yourselves this: How will we as a family extract the positives and minimize the negatives of digital technology? This includes gaming and platforms like Discord.

2) Turn more attention to HOW best to use this powerful tool instead of only HOW MUCH it is being used.

3) Teach critical thinking, teach curating, and teach self-awareness around digital use.

Screens are not going away and they will continue to grow in use. You can’t and won’t always be there to monitor and intervene. That’s ok… and it’s important that we are working with our children to help them learn how to moderate and maintain healthy technology use.

Having trouble navigating that? Having trouble figuring out what to do instead of taking the phone or games away? Ask for help. We are here.

Get help: Get a copy of our Reclaim Family Program or book a coaching call.

Below I will list some key findings from the Common Sense Media report on Coping with COVID-19: How Young People Use Digital Media to Manage Their Mental Health.

Key Findings:

  • Not surprisingly, many teens are currently in the midst of a significant mental health crisis.
  • Social media platforms have become even more important to young people for support, community, and self-expression over the past two years, especially for those experiencing depression.
  • Many are using social media and digital health resources to cope.
  • Many report finding relief and support by having a place to share their pain.
  • Many are connecting with health professionals on their phones.
  • For many it is a life line.

Please note I am in no way suggesting abandoning time limits or that it is a good idea to be online all the time, I’m suggesting the driver’s license model, the tech like you eat model and the mentor not monitor model.

“I knew I needed help.”

My name is Anthony, I’m 23 years old and reside in Philadelphia. I began gaming at the age of 7 and my first console was the PlayStation 2. I absolutely fell in love with it and enjoyed all the incredible games that were popular at that time. Little did I know it would lead to addiction.

During school I was bullied a lot for being gay, so video games became my escape. I could be accepted and validated in a virtual world, while the real world felt harsh and unsafe for a gay kid raised in the nineties. Doing well at first person shooters made me feel in control and gave me a purpose.

Teenage Isolation

As I became a teenager, I started to isolate myself more and more from my peers and family. Video games became the only thing I enjoyed doing. Things like reading, family vacations, spending time with friends, was boring for me. I could only think about the next video game I wanted to play. I would stay up for hours gaming and then be extremely tired the next day.

Related: Find new activities to replace gaming

Eventually, this all caught up to me. I was lonely and depressed. I was exhausted of having no goals or vision for my life. I felt I had been wasting my life in a virtual world, while the real world was out there waiting for me. When I started to experience suicidal feelings, I knew I needed help.

A Life Worth Living

I began seeing a therapist and she encouraged me to unplug from video games and begin to build relationships with other people and take up some new hobbies. So I took a leap of faith. I sold and donated ALL of my gaming equipment. I completely deleted every single of my online gaming accounts.

After that everything began to change! I suffered withdrawal for about 3 months and then it got better. I joined a book club that met at a local coffeehouse and began to make some friends. We started sharing our lives together. I started to physically exercise and my health improved! Depression, suicidal thoughts, and loneliness began to disappear as I gained new hobbies and connected on a deep level with people.

After all this, I’m so grateful for the life I have discovered for myself! I have no desire to go back to video games when the real world is so much better! If you’re struggling with addiction to gaming, please know this: you’re not alone! You WILL get through it and find a life worth living beyond video games! Hope this is an encouragement to all of you!

Written by Anthony.

I grew up as an average kid riding bikes and playing soccer. I got good grades in school, and never had a gaming console growing up. Sure, I played video games with the family PC but my gaming was kept in check by my strict parents. I never thought I had a gaming addiction.

Then university came along.

I purposefully chose a school far away from home to experience independence. While I did grow tremendously living far from home, there were no parents to tell me to stop when my gaming got out of hand.

I played all sorts of games (mostly MMO RPG’s, and League of Legends) and would often skip lectures to play. The only thing that kept my gaming in check was the very real fear of dropping out of school, and I would somehow not game during key points of the year such as midterms week, finals week, and the few days before a big project due date.

I had bad grades, but somehow, I didn’t fail any courses. I consider myself VERY lucky that it wasn’t much worse.

I Was Given a Second Chance and I Almost Blew It

Despite my bad grades, I managed to land a summer internship. Even to this day, I have no idea how I landed that job, and I honestly think all the other candidates chose another job, so the company had the choice of having no intern or hiring me. Lucky for me that they did, as my bad grades were preventing me from finding anything, and I was heavily regretting my gaming habits through university.

The internship felt like a 2nd chance. I worked hard. Sometimes, crazy hard. I would average 60-80hrs of work a week. While the other interns were out enjoying parties or travelling, I was working hard, determined to not let my 2nd chance escape. My efforts paid off, and I got a full-time offer. I was due to start after my graduation.

Fast forward a few years. I was working full time, and was ‘gaming in moderation‘. There were a couple of sleepless nights of gaming here and there, and the job kept my gaming in check, but that was about it.

My schedule was work, sleep, game. I would attempt to get out and socialize but would soon give up and go back to gaming. And, now that I was getting comfortable with this new life, I felt my gaming time was slowly increasing.

I just got accepted into Grad School, which I had planned to attend part-time after work. However, seeing how my university years have gone, I knew that if I continued to game, I would get horrible grades again, and would be wasting a lot of money to not really learn anything.

Now, let’s take a breather from the story for a moment. Seeing how gaming was wrecking my grades, and I was stuck in this boring routine, I attempted many, many times to try and quit gaming in college.

Here are the methods I’ve tried:

  • Gaming “in moderation” by sticking to a schedule – didn’t work. I would always say “1 more game”.
  • Deleting games – With modern internet, it is so easy to reinstall games. With a fresh PC, I can get a solid high-quality game up and running in less than 30min.
  • Try other things like exercising and studying – gaming is more fun and rewarding
  • Switch my PC operating system to Linux – This actually worked for a few weeks. The problem is, if your machine is powerful enough, there are plenty of Linux games available, and with the right set of knowledge, you can get most Windows games to work on Linux no problem…

gaming and college

It Was Time to Turn My Life Around

Back to the story. With Grad School just around the corner, I knew I couldn’t stick to the methods that have failed for me in the past. I needed to quit COLD TURKEY.

To me, this is what it meant:

  • Ask Riot Games to delete my League of Legends account. They will do this for you, after warning you that there is no going back.
  • I had NDS and 3DS console and games at the time. I gave them all to friends that wanted them.
  • I reinstalled Windows on my laptop and gave it to my parents who live a couple of thousand miles away.

Also, since I can’t not have a laptop, I got a crappy $250 Linux laptop that can watch videos and do office work. Most 3D games will probably not run on this system.

I found this step to be the most crucial. It’s very hard to stay connected with family and friends and do basic photo/file management without a computer, but not have the temptation to game. So I found this to be a good middle ground. Also, once you get used to a Linux system, it’s no different than using Windows.

The first couple of months were the toughest. I craved gaming so much and was depressed for long hours, but I had gotten rid of all temptations to get through it. After doing this, I successfully quit gaming for a whole year!

And this is what I accomplished in that year:

  • 4 quarters of grad studies with A’s in most of the courses
  • Went on 5 separate camping trips
  • Learned rock climbing. The highest level I succeeded was a V4 in bouldering (climbing without a rope)
  • Went back-packing to the lovely Havasupai Falls
  • Watched the first 6 seasons of Game of Thrones (ok, this has nothing to do with quitting gaming).
  • Tried Surfing. I managed to stand up twice!
  • Visited Sedona in Arizona.
  • Paddled in a Whitewater Rafting trip, twice.
  • Ran 2 Half-Marathons (a full marathon is still too much for me…)
  • Went Skydiving from 13000ft
  • Logged an average of 1.5hrs of biking EVERY DAY (totalling your car helps, though I don’t blame that on gaming)

Amazing right?! And I was just an average single guy working a 9-5 job and gaming for the remainder of the day. I was literally at the height of my physical performance, at the ripe old age of 28.

I am so glad that I quit gaming.

Then I Met My Girlfriend…

I wish that the story ends there, but it does not. After 1 year of no gaming, I met the girl of my dreams. She is funny, smart, cute, shares a lot of my hobbies, and is overall, an amazing person to be around. I also found that she is a gamer that plays League of Legends. The game whose account I deleted a year ago!

I wanted to share as many hobbies with her as much possible, so I got another laptop and installed League back on it. I argued that this was to get closer with the girl I liked and that I would only play with her, and never alone or with others.

It worked for the first few months. Sharing a hobby with someone you like is an amazing feeling. Eventually, I asked her out, and we became a couple. Naturally, our game time together increased.

However, as we played, I noticed a lot of toxic players which brought my mood down.

I especially hated when a mistake I made led to her death (in the game of course). In an attempt to compensate for this, I wanted to play more, to get better.

However, unlike me, my girlfriend is someone that can actually game in moderation. She would only play a few hours a week, and there would be days when she simply does not feel like playing, so I started to also have times when I played alone. This time gradually increased, and when I met especially toxic players, I switched to other games. This went on for about a year.

After a year of gaming again, I noticed a change in my behaviour. I noticed that I was less and less patient with people around me, including my girlfriend. When I was at work, I was secretly searching for gaming strategies. When I was not gaming, I was thinking about gaming, and when my girlfriend was talking to me, it was getting harder and harder to focus. After 20 hours of gaming in a weekend, I knew that I had become addicted again.

I told my girlfriend that I was going on a video game detox.

It is a shame that we can’t enjoy video games together anymore, but I got some key takeaways from this experience:

  • For some people, gaming relapses can come in huge waves. For me, it was subtle. So subtle, in fact, that I didn’t even realize it until I was addicted again.
  • Some people are more prone to gaming addiction. My girlfriend has been gaming since she was a kid, and even now, she can game in moderation and has a healthy relationship with this activity.
  • I was much more willing to do chores and be helpful to others since I have a lot more time.
  • I did my homework early! I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever done that in my life.
  • I was more attentive and focused on the present. Daydreaming about gaming was also an addiction. But without gaming, the endless daydreaming had also gone away.

I plan to continue with this detox, and the eventual goal is to never play video games again. I know I will get urges, and I may reason myself back to gaming again, but this 2nd time is much easier than the first, and I know if there ever is a 3rd time, it will be even easier.

Story submitted by Jason.

Today I’m 1 year free from video games. 52 weeks. I’m not stopping here.

I’m also 54 weeks free from social media. I’m not stopping here either.

I was so hesitant to sign up to Game Quitters and commit to quitting video games because it was all I knew in life. Nothing made me happier or filled me with purpose like gaming. All my friends were gamers and my whole world was on the computer. My video game addiction had control over me.

I never left the house, never dated, never developed myself into much aside from going to college and getting a job. I just looked forward to being home and playing games and not living my life.

At first, I was ashamed of that, but shame is a word you learn to say as little as possible when you’re in therapy and trying to improve your life. Shame and regret are two of the biggest negative emotions you can feel and they often contribute to relapse and emotional spirals into deeper depression and anxiety.

Quitting video games would force me to confront these emotions, develop strategies to deal with them, and studying myself to be truly introspective.

The Harsh Reality of Pro Gaming

Quitting games is something special for me. With my childhood, comeback story, dealing with abuse, and my insane year its been one hell of a journey. Gaming was my crutch. It was my place to hide. It was my place to live when I couldn’t live and felt trapped. It was the outlet for all of my frustration and the source of my power. For me to turn away from gaming after it brought me this far has been so difficult.

I just refuse to be controlled and dependent on something that isn’t me. When people, companies, and societies failed me and left me alone I couldn’t take it anymore. I got so angry with the routine of being depressed, anxious, angry, filled with hate, and sad only to retreat to my bedroom and play on the computer. I’d play games with other miserable people. I’d throw myself into the toxic communities of gaming. I was so tired of people picking fights with me in random games because they thought it was funny.

I was tired of trying to do amazing things in games and not have it matter to me. I was the best player in EA Sports NHL for 4 years, ran 2 clans on RuneScape for 11 years, and I was the best Grifball Player in Halo Reach for 2 years. I was on an elite team for Halo Swat mode on Xbox LIVE and was about to make a push to study and dedicate my time to trying to become a pro Overwatch player.

None of it mattered.

Nobody cares when you’re that good at a game. They want you on your team, they want your attention so they can get attention from others that they’re playing with you, they pretend to be your friends and abandon you the minute you’re not the best. Being the best in the world meant nothing to me. I got nothing out of it emotionally.

I reached my plateau in gaming when my college friends were meeting women, getting married, having kids, and traveling the world on vacation. I was alone with fake friends. Even my friends from college who played video games were fake friends. They just want to have me over, play Super Smash, beat me in it, get angry at me if they lose because they are judging me and want to put me down, and then drink beer after.

I detached myself from this.

pro gaming dangers

Gaming Had Taken Over My Life

I was tired of playing games for 18-24 hours straight from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon and then 16 hours on Sundays. I was tired of going home after work and playing for 6 hours and not sleeping. I was tired of feeling numb afterwards and turning to porn to feel a little more alive. I was tired of not eating 3 meals each day. I was tired of having physical and mental withdrawals from not getting instant gratification. I was tired of being lonely and knowing my friends were pathetic. I was tired of how lazy video game players are. They don’t clean, they don’t cook, they don’t socialize in real life, they don’t pursue hobbies, and they don’t care about you. Some do, but most don’t. I don’t care if you’re one of the few who do care. I’ve been gaming for 20+ years and know enough to be satisfied with my statement above.

I want love. I want to love life. I want to wake up and know in my heart that nothing is pulling me to play games. Addiction has this invisible force in our brains which gives you anxiety if you’re not playing games. You feel like you can’t stand the quiet of being alone. You can’t stand the fact that you’re going to have to deal with your thoughts and your pain without drowning it out and forgetting.

I grew tired of the cravings. I went into my own detox out of anger. I was tired of failing. I was tired of not being confident enough to make friends and find more well rounded hobbies. Never again was I going to lay in bed at 7 AM trying to fall asleep after playing games for almost a day straight. Malnourished from not eating food or drinking enough water. Physically confused and mentally exhausted due to too much focusing on games and dopamine rushes and depleted serotonin levels. I was tired of crying myself to sleep in the morning when others were waking up about to start their days. I was tired of letting myself down and harboring thoughts of myself being a failure.

Shame, regret, and failure. It’s so easy to blame yourself and hate yourself. I learned a long time ago that I loved myself. When I was at my worst I was there to pick myself back up when I had nobody. This gave me confidence in trusting myself to get through addiction. When I have nobody I’ll have myself. My spirit is stronger than anyone else’s spirit because I believe it and proved it to myself. That’s the attitude I needed to quit gaming.

Quitting an addiction is tough. Most of the time you fight these demons alone. Communities like Game Quitters are important in giving people structure, community, and hope for when we absolutely need help.

If someone were to ask me how I have been able to quit video game addiction I would say a few things.

4 Steps to Quit Gaming

Recognize You Have a Problem

Are you hiding from your life and yourself? Are you playing so much each day that you neglect everyone around you and your life? Do you continue to play even though you don’t want to play anymore? Do you suffer withdrawal when you’re not playing? Is it all you can think about? Is it what you turn to in life for happiness, success, friendship, and purpose? Are you filled with in-explainable brain fog when you’re not gaming and don’t feel mentally clear? Then you have a problem.

Stop Playing Cold Turkey

Don’t try to quit for 30-90 days and then go back to it. It won’t work and you will fail. Eventually you will recede and go back into bad habits of gaming, escapism, and depression.

I’ve seen so many people on this website, including myself, say with confidence that they are going to try gaming in moderation and they all fail. They all come back and say they failed. I failed.

I quit gaming from April of 2018 until September 1st of 2018. I did it and then just went back to old habits. By October I was playing 18 hours straight again and getting so angry. In the middle of October I had such an enraged moment where I just removed myself from gaming and realized I let myself down.

I knew I had the power to quit gaming if I made it 4 months before this. I needed to keep going. I loved my life when I quit gaming and wanted the rest of my life to be even better.

Understand Why You Play Video Games

If you consider your emotional/mental balance to be a building, then consider video games a support column holding up that building. If you remove the column the building will fall.

You depend on gaming for happiness and emotional balance. That’s not healthy.

I played games because I wanted friends, needed to feel purpose in life, wanted something I could do that I was good at, and wanted a place to escape.

To counter this, I found multiple hobbies that are only done in communities such as yoga, rock climbing, board game nights, recreational sports leagues, group hiking, book clubs, movie nights, cooking parties, boxing, you name it. Some stuck and some I hated.

I now have tons of friends though and they all care about me more than my gamer friends. The hardest part of finding a new hobby is being bad at it.

We all used to suck at video games at first, but eventually we became great. It sucks being bad again – especially if you were the best in the world at something else. Allow yourself to fail at a hobby and be bad. We refuse to because we are ashamed of ourselves in the first place.

Behavioural therapy has taught me how to deal with embarrassment, shame, regret, and failure. I also took my job more seriously and became a lot better at it. I’m professionally recognized now.

Don’t Rely on Willpower

Willpower only gets you so far. If you don’t study yourself and have introspection then you will fail at quitting an addiction.

You have to do what I mentioned in step 3 in order to quit. You have to understand why you are addicted.

I haven’t craved video games in over 8 months because I replaced my sources of friendship, success, and happiness from gaming to other things. I no longer crave games and don’t need to rely on willpower at all. I no longer crave anything.

Final Thoughts on Quitting Gaming

I’m very proud of myself for quitting this far and continue to keep going. Gaming is evil in my eyes. I dislike most gamers. I dislike the gaming community, and I dislike game companies. I want my mind to be free for the rest of my life and I’ll make sure it happens.

Thank you everyone for being here along the way with me. If I can do it so can you.

Matt.

“It became impossible to disconnect from my devices.”

My name’s Jack and I’m from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’m 16, and I’ve been playing video games since I was 8 years old. Up until I was in the 6th grade, I’d play games on my Nintendo DS for hours every day. Not much changed after that, but the DS got replaced by the Wii U.

I loved gaming because I could just switch off while playing. It didn’t take much brainpower and it would keep me entertained for hours.

Things got worse when I bought an Xbox One. It became impossible to disconnect from my devices.

When Gaming Takes Over

bored

I realized gaming was a problem because I started spending more time in front of a screen instead of doing what I really loved – playing the guitar. I began spending more time at home playing games than going out with friends.

My typical day while gaming:

  • I would wake up and play video games for a couple of hours while still in bed.
  • I’d get breakfast and come back up to my room to play more games.
  • After lunch, I’d get back to gaming in my room or on my DS.
  • Then I’d spend time playing games on my phone.
  • Finally, I’d head back to bed.

Looking back it’s pretty clear I had a problem. I started sleeping less and found myself not enjoying life as much. I became depressed and anxious.

Related: Video Game Addiction Test for Gamers

Finally, I decided something needed to change.

I had to remove myself from gaming completely. For me, there’s no such thing as moderation. I sold my Xbox One and finally bought that second guitar I wanted. I had to sell my DS and all of the games for my consoles. I even got rid of all the games on my computer.

What really helped me was replacing urges with going outside or hanging out with a friend. It’s a lot easier to overcome the cravings if you get yourself out of the house.

Life is Amazing Once You Escape the Virtual World

amazing life

My typical day now includes more activities like biking, taking pictures of nature, and playing the guitar. I even joined a band!

I have learned so much more about myself than I thought possible, like finding out that I’m great at photography. It’s now one of my deepest passions.

My advice for someone else who is in the same position as me is to find other hobbies and talk to friends. Try to find some friends that don’t play video games.

Related: 60+ New Hobbies to Replace Gaming

Respawn is also a very helpful program and there’s a great community to talk to when you’re struggling, especially on the forum.

This has been a long journey, but I am finally free from video game addiction for good.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the self-improvement space on the internet, you’ve probably heard people mention that you should find a mentor.

You’re told that you can’t become a better person without one, and you need one to achieve your goals.

Now, it sounds great on paper. Having someone guide you through the pitfalls in your life, and knowing how to get you to where you want to be.

But if you’re like I was 5 years ago, with no knowledge of mentors, then this article is for you.

What we’ll be discussing:

  • what is a mentor
  • should you get a mentor
  • why the internet is your most valuable tool
  • how to find a mentor for free

Let’s jump in.


 

Oh, and if you prefer to listen instead of reading, check out the Life Unlocked podcast episode that goes along with the post!


 

What Is a Mentor?

Aside from stating the obvious that they’re someone who mentors you.

A mentor is someone that provides coaching or advice on anything from business and mindset to motivation, fitness, health or money.

There’s no end to the number of things you can be mentored in.

It’s just about finding whichever one is the right one for you based on where you’re at the moment.

For example, it could be an online chess teacher reviewing your games or it could be a freelance writer you meet for coffee once a week.

That’s all there is to it.

Now that you know what a mentor is, it begs the question…

 

Should You Get a Mentor?

 

how to get a mentor

 

It’s difficult to give an answer to this question that isn’t just – it depends.

Usually, you’ll know if you need to seek out a mentor. You might encounter a specific problem that needs the right guidance. Or you just want advice on how to proceed with a difficult situation.

It’s entirely up to you.

I’ll give a few examples of situations where you may want to consider finding a mentor:

You need guidance for your business: This will only apply to a small minority of people, but if you’re in that position then it’s very to get advice from someone who has been down the same road you’re on. Usually, it comes from someone who is a key figure in the industry you work in.

You want very specific coaching on a skill: This is very popular in sports. Every top athlete has a mentor, although they’re usually known as a coach, to keep on the right track. However, it can be applied to any number of skills, depending on what you want to make progress in. Due to it being more niche, it’s generally higher in price.

You want to improve your mindset: This has become a lot more common over the years. Mentors will often help you to see things in a different way, offer clarity on particular problems, or help you make an important decision. Mindset is a big part of self-improvement, and you’ll often find other mentors helping you build up your mindset to go along with their coaching. Despite this, it’s still possible to find dedicated mindset coaches.

Now, you might be wondering – what if I’m a complete beginner and want to begin improving myself as fast as possible?

Before you start thinking that you need a mentor in order to get anywhere, you’ll be much better off in the long run if you try to work through your problems alone. At least in the beginning.

Fortunately, there’s an amazing wealth of knowledge available to you; especially in the modern era.

Introducing, the internet!

 

How to Become Your Own Mentor Using the Internet

 

The internet has become an amazing place over the last 30 years. You can find the answer to any question you have. You can connect with anyone in the world no matter where you are.

This is what makes it the perfect tool to start your journey into personal development.

You can get invaluable advice from:

  • Books
  • YouTube
  • Google
  • Courses (free and paid)
  • Social media

You’re only limited by your imagination.

Now, one thing that’s important to note. There’s definitely a right and a wrong way to go about using these tools. The majority of people use them for entertainment, instead of helping them to become a better person.

Instead of watching videos on mindset and business, you mindlessly browse the internet.

You choose to follow ‘influencers’ and celebrities instead of experts, entrepreneurs, and people who are giving out amazing advice.

You can gain insights into the minds of billionaires. Yet most people would rather read fiction books and escape the real world.

Now, there’s definitely a place for all of the things I’ve mentioned. I’m not saying you abstain from everything you enjoy. Who doesn’t love a good fantasy book?

But, it ties into the mindset portion I mentioned earlier.

The first stages of personal development are about evolving your mind. Learning to go from a fixed to a growth mindset. Finding the right people to follow, and removing any boundaries you might have put on yourself in the past.

With the power of the internet, the sky isn’t even the limit anymore.

It took me a long time to realise that the people I was following online were actually acting as mentors. However, once I opened myself to the possibility that not every mentor needs to know I exist, I noticed a big shift in my mindset.

Suddenly, they were no longer people I was just taking advice from. They were people I could study and model my life after. I could follow in their footsteps, and learn how to fast track my way towards building a business.

What we consume determines the lives that we live.

how to find a mentor

I’m always reminded of this quote when I find myself wasting a couple of hours on some mindless activity.

I know that if I continue down that path I’m not going to make any progress.

However, if I become mindful of what I consume then it will have a knock-on effect on the rest of my life. I’ll be more likely to stick to my habits, I’ll be more productive, and I’ll get to where I want to be much quicker.

So to summarise, the internet has an unlimited amount of potential to help you create the life of your dreams. Just make sure you don’t consume the wrong material too often, or you’ll find yourself taking 2 steps forward and 2 steps back.

 

With that being said, what if you feel like you’ve exhausted the free resources available to you? How do you go about approaching someone to mentor you, and how much should you pay them?

Let’s find out.

 

How to Find a Mentor for Free

 

By this point, you’ve probably found some people in your industry that you would love to learn more from.

But how do you go about approaching them?

There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way – and it’s all down to creating value.

You have to remember, the ones at the top of their industry didn’t get there by building poor relationships and wasting their time.

When you’re considering someone to be your mentor, think about how you can offer something to them in return.

The most straightforward way you can do this is by offering your skills.

If you haven’t got any skills, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Click here to learn why.

If there’s something you can offer that will allow them to get more out of their business, they’re going to be much more receptive to you asking for help.

For example, maybe you’re skilled in marketing and have seen a way that they can optimize a huge part of their sales funnel. Or you might be a graphic designer that wants to help them create social media templates and improve their branding.

That doesn’t mean you should send them a message straight away saying “hey I’ll improve your website if you mentor me”.

Lead with value and focus on building a relationship.

lead with value find a mentor

So instead of saying what I just mentioned, you could send them something like:

“Hey, I really enjoyed your book on A, and it really helped me develop my skills in B. Especially where you talked about C. Speaking of which, I’d love to be able to give back to you in some way, and I think my knowledge in B would be very beneficial to you – especially when it comes to designing your adverts. I think by doing ‘so and so’ you could really get a lot more out of it. I’d handle the whole process, at no cost to you at all. Let me know if you’d be interested in exploring it further and we can jump on a call and get things moving.”

Right, there’s a lot to that message. So let’s try and break it down.

You start by letting them you know you’re a fan of their work, and bonus points if you can point to something specific from them. If they don’t have a book it could be an e-mail they sent, a course they’ve created or something else.

You don’t want to waste words, so don’t spend ages gushing about how much of a fan you are. It doesn’t look good.

Then you mention how you can be valuable to them. Emphasise the fact that you care about their time, and again, don’t waste words. Give them a specific way that you can improve their current situation with as little effort from them as possible.

Notice how at no point did we mention we want them to mentor you?

Like I said earlier, you just want to add value in the beginning, without expecting anything in return.

More than likely they’ll know what they’re doing, but one thing I’ve noticed about people in that position – they love to share their knowledge and help people.

They’re usually some of the most giving people you can find, and if you can build a relationship with them in the long-term you’ll get so much more value out of it than you put in.

Finally, it should go without saying, but don’t just copy what I wrote. Adapt it to suit you and your situation.

Just remember the three key principles:

  • lead with value
  • don’t waste words
  • give more than you take

And before you know it you’ll be well on your way to success.

What If I Want to Pay?

Of course, you can also go the route of paying for someone’s time. If you want to speed up the process and have the capital to invest in yourself, feel free to go that route.

Again, just contact the person, and see if they offer coaching services. If not, see if you can pitch them on a 1-hour call each week for $X. Just make sure you put the advice they give you into action.

The teacher can only be as good as the student wants to be.

So don’t waste their time. Come prepared for each session with questions, struggles, and solutions. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money – and nobody wants to do that.

 

Mentors can be an invaluable, and almost necessary, resource to catapult you towards success. You just need to know when and how to make use of them.

The rest is up to you.

 


 

Hopefully, this article has given you the information you were looking for. If not, let us know and we’ll see what we can do to help!

Remember to listen to the podcast episode and leave a review if you enjoyed it. It really helps us out!

 

As always, thanks for reading.

Until next time.

how to find a mentor things you should know

How many of you have ever taken up a new activity, only to find yourself lacking motivation and discipline after a few weeks?

You’re definitely not alone.

It’s perfectly normal and is even a necessary part of the journey to overcome gaming addiction.

That doesn’t make it any less annoying to deal with.

But why is it that you can go 6, 10, or 18 hours straight on a video game without breaking focus for a few minutes?

That sounds like the opposite of laziness to me.

In this post, I want to share with you how I channelled my obsessive energy from gaming into pursuing my passions.

Hopefully, by the end of the article, you’ll have a better understanding of why you feel unmotivated to pursue new activities. As well as learning how to focus your energy into meaningful tasks, and really take yourself to the next level.

 


Be sure to check out the accompanying podcast episode on Gaming the System. Listen as you read!


 

Gaming Has Numbed Your Emotions

 

It’s very hard for people to find that same energy and passion they have for games and apply them to other activities.

I’ve experienced it a lot, especially as someone who loves learning as many skills as possible.

However, I always find myself burning out after just a couple of months. It doesn’t sound too bad, I’m pretty knowledgeable in a lot of different things.

But, I know that if I want to be successful I need to focus on one thing and become as good at it as I can.

So, why is this happening?

You have to remember that you’ve been playing video games for a long time.

Most people I know started playing video games when their age was in single figures. In my case, it was around 4 or 5 years old.

When you consider how addictive video games are, and how stimulating they are compared to anything else, you can see how it would have a major effect on the way your brain functions.

While it might seem complex, your brain is actually pretty simple.

busy work productivity

At the end of the day, human beings are animals. Which means we have an animal brain.

This brain has been trained to seek out enjoyment through whatever means possible. In the past, think back thousands of years ago, this hit of dopamine would have come from hunting all day and securing a meal for your family.

Now, you can just turn on your console or whip out your phone and it’s like you’ve been injected with 200 CCs of straight dopamine into your bloodstream.

After continued gaming, your brain becomes hardwired to expect this kind of rush from anything you do.

Therefore, when you take up a new activity and it’s not as fun as you’d like it to be, your brain feels starved.

It’s longing for that hit of dopamine from gaming because literally nothing else can compare to it (apart from perhaps drugs but that’s a different story).

That’s also why we recommend people try to take 90 days off gaming when they want to overcome their addiction. This gives your brain time to reset back to normal levels of dopamine and allows to finally start enjoying things again.

Ultimately, it becomes a battle of how much of a fight you can put up against your own brain. Will you give in to the boredom? Or, will you use your ‘passion’ for gaming and channel it into something productive?

 

Understanding Why You Play Video Games

 

We covered this in detail on our recent article about how to quit gaming in college.

To put it simply, the reason why you play video games so much is that it fulfils specific needs. Not just that, but it does so extremely well.

These needs are:

  • Temporary escape
  • Social connection
  • Constant measurable growth
  • To be challenged

It’s pretty difficult to think of a video game that doesn’t fulfil at least 3 out 4 of those needs.

Now, can you think of any activities you do in real life that come to close to that?

You might be able to hit 2 or 3 of them if you’re lucky, and even all 4 in some rare cases. But the path to getting the same dopamine hit from say, running a marathon, compared to beating a boss in a video game is much longer.

Your brain is always going to take the path of least resistance.

So, what you need to do is identify the main reasons why you’re playing video games.

In my case, it was the need to escape.

I wanted to escape from my problems and struggles in my real life, such as my university work.

For you, it could just be that you’re lonely and when you’re online you feel part of a group.

Just take a few minutes – or thirty – to come up with the specific needs you’re fulfilling with gaming, and then when you’re ready, move on to the next step.

 

Finding the Right Activity For You

 

You might have already come to this conclusion by now, but the answer to this question isn’t as easy as you’d probably hoped for.

There isn’t one magic activity that will be the perfect mix of socialising, challenge, growth or escape (except for maybe chessboxing, no seriously have you seen this?).

Ultimately, it comes down to one simple thing:

The right activity for you is the activity you choose to do

That’s it.

The truth is, no matter which activity you choose, you’re probably not going to enjoy it at the start.

It’s a matter of sticking with it through the struggles, so you can get to the point where it turns in a passion.

But, it’s not all bad news…

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to speed the process up a bit.

It’s a process I’ve used in the past to become a full-time web developer within 5 months of learning to print “Hello World” in HTML and got my first photography gig within 3 months of picking up a DSLR.

I explained this in a bit more detail over on episode 6 of the Life Unlocked podcast, which you can listen to here.

Basically, it all stems from using the same obsession that allows me to play games for 12 hours straight and channelling it into a particular skill.

It will vary from person to person, but it generally looks like this:

4 things gaming addiction superpower

 

  1. Become interested in a new skill
  2. Learn a bit more about it by reading and watching content online
  3. Start picturing what it would look like to be an expert
  4. Become obsessed with learning as much as I can in the shortest space of time (courses, books, articles, videos etc.)

Also, if you just want to take something up as a hobby for a couple of hours a week – like learning a language – this probably isn’t the best approach.

This article is about using the same passion you have for gaming and putting it into something else.

So, let’s quickly break down each step one-by-one:

 

Become Interested In a Skill

For me, the desire to learn a specific skill happens seemingly at random.

I might see something online that catches my eye, and end up going down a rabbit hole of guides and videos. Before you know it I’ve got 3 books about how to forage wild mushrooms getting delivered to my house.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to pursue a particular activity or skill for a while. It could something you’ve wanted to do since you were a kid, or maybe someone you know has become interested in it recently.

You can also check out our list of 60+ hobby ideas if you’re struggling.

Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that will be productive and fulfils a specific need. Watching Netflix isn’t a hobby…

Learn More About It

I like to call this the tutorial phase.

You’re basically trying to understand the mechanics and logistics of learning a skill.

It might seem amazing on the surface, but if it turns out you’ll have to dedicate an entire floor of your house to it then it’s probably not feasible. An extreme example, but you get the idea.

The best way to learn more about a skill is through a combination of the following:

  • books
  • videos
  • articles
  • workshops

If it exists, there’s more than likely a book or video about it. Spend a bit of time learning and then you’ll get a better idea of whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

Again, even if you’re someone who’s creative and are interested in learning high-level calculus, don’t get put off just because you ‘think’ you’re only limited to creative pursuits like art and music. You might be surprised what you learn about if you push your comfort zone.

 

Picture Yourself as an Expert

This one’s pretty simple.

I’ve talked before about the importance of visualization, and this is no different. I’m always finding myself imagining what it would be like if I was fluent in Japanese or a guitar wizard.

As a result, I get an intense desire to pursue the skill further. Knowing what’s possible and seeing myself achieving it makes a huge difference to whether or not I stick to the activity over the long-term.

 

It’s Time to Get Obsessed

This is where you start taking it seriously.

Not only are you learning through a few articles or videos, but you’re also learning from courses and might even hire someone to help you.

There a ton of free or paid courses on the internet, so make sure to do your research. Reddit is a great resource, as well as Udemy and Skillshare.

Once you’ve found your path, it’s just a matter of walking it.

Dedicate some time every day devoted to learning and practising your skill. It’s important to get real-world experience as fast as possible.

Even if you only have an hour a day to spare, use that hour. Take some lessons out of Deep Work, and make that hour the most productive hour of your day.

As long as you keep this up consistently, and practise properly, you’ll find yourself becoming a pro in no time.

outdoor photography hobby

 

Next Steps – What To Do When It Gets Hard

 

Look, it’s going to be hard.

There will definitely be times where you want to give up on your skill and just try something else.

But you have to avoid this at all costs.

The best way to do it is by building your awareness.

The next time you feel the urge to go back to gaming or quit learning your hobby, try to stop yourself in the moment and think for a second.

Why exactly do you want to quit?

Are you bored? Is it too hard?

What needs are you missing out on?

Perhaps you’ve been so focused on solo skills, and haven’t made any new friends. Or, maybe it’s not challenging enough and you want something more difficult.

Whatever it is, try to become aware of your feelings and desires in the moment. Then it’s just a case of looking for ways to change it.

Just remember to try and remind yourself it’s about the long term.

Really focus on wanting to become the best version of yourself and make it your priority. Make it impossible for you not to become that person.

Eventually, as you phase out gaming for new skills, you’ll see what you were really missing out on in your life. All the missed opportunities and experiences.

After a while you’ll become so in love with the new life you’ve created, you’re probably not going to go back to gaming.

But if you do, just go back to what I said about thinking in the moment. Process your emotions and eventually, you’ll become unstoppable.

 

As always, thanks for reading.

Until next time.

 

What is Busy Work?

Busy work is where you trick yourself into thinking you’re being productive.

But, in reality, you’re accomplishing meaningless tasks that aren’t getting you any closer to completing your goals.

Compare that to deep work.

Deep work consists of focused, intentional sessions of work on high-impact tasks.

For example, I’ve recently made a shift towards starting my own digital marketing business.

Every single day I’m having to face a decision about which tasks will bring actual results which tasks make me think I’m being productive.

Sure, I could fine-tune my website or send some tweets.

However, in reality, I’m going to get a lot more benefit if I cold-email 50 people and land one client.

That’s not to say some of the tasks that count as busywork aren’t necessary for a business.

But at the end of the day, you have to consider what the most optimal route is that you can take from where you are now to achieving your biggest goals.

 


If you’d rather listen to your articles than read them, don’t worry! You can check out the podcast episode all about escaping busy work and using deep work to transform your life.

Listen here!


How do I Know What Counts as Busy Work or Deep Work?

 

More simply, how do I know which tasks I should be avoiding?

In my case, I’ve got a list of goals of where I want to be three months from now.

It could be something like getting X amount of clients or making a certain amount of money.

Then I work out how to achieve those metrics.

I’ve worked backwards from back-to-front to create a step-by-step process to take me to those goals.

So what does that process look like?

It all starts with a master to-do list.

These are the end goals that you want to complete within 3 or 6 months.

Then ask yourself the question: “What are the exact steps I need to take to achieve these goals?”.

If you want to get 1,000 monthly visitors to your website, what does that look like?

It doesn’t need to be too detailed at this point, just come up with basic steps.

Are you going to post more content, optimize your website and social media, run promotions, paid advertising?

Then it’s just a case of breaking it down into shorter objectives or goals that you can achieve every day.

Following on with the traffic example, your daily task list could look something like this:

 

Busy work productivity schedule

This took around 15 minutes to make, and I now have an exact task list that I can work on every single day.

 

A failure to plan is a plan to fail.

That being said, there is still a time and a place for ‘busy work’ in your daily routine.

You still need to do admin work, reply to e-mails, or send some Tweets. However, you should try and schedule time in your day where you’re usually at your least productive to complete these tasks.

Personally, I always hit a slump in the afternoon and am at my most productive in the morning and evening.

Therefore, around 3PM is the perfect time for me to indulge in some busy work and go and hit the gym.

Do what’s best for you though, and if you have no idea what works – try a bunch of things!

Keep testing until you discover your optimum working routine, then it’s just a matter of getting into a deep work state and smashing your goals every day.

 

Deep Work – A Quick-Start Guide

 

Deep work can mostly be summed up by one word: Intention.

When you work with a deep intention to be focused and wholly devoted to the task in hand, you’re going to find yourself in a state of deep work.

However, saying it’s about intention isn’t very helpful.

motivational quote game quitters

Fortunately for you, I’ve done the leg-work and read through the amazing book by Cal Newport devoted to this idea of deep work.

Have you ever heard someone tell you to work smart instead of hard?

Well once you start implementing deep work into your daily routine you’ll be the smartest damn worker around.

Just don’t expect it to work straight away. Think of it like a muscle.

The only way you can build it up is by repeatedly training and improving with consistency. You may only be able to hit 30 minutes to start with, but within a few months, you could easily hit 2 hours.

 

The 4 Key Principles of Deep Work

 

Single-Tasking

You’ll never get anything done if you’re trying to complete half a dozen tasks at once.

Stop jumping between multiple things, and stop thinking having 20 tabs open is productive.

Yeah, I’m looking at you.

You need to dedicate yourself to focus on one task and one task only.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

 

Remove Distractions

Have you ever had your phone next to you while working, only for the screen to light up?

“It’s just a harmless text message, I’ll reply real quick then get back to work.”

Then, before you know it, you get a notification from Twitter and after 20 minutes of scrolling, you accidentally close the app and realise what in the world you were doing.

My personal pre-work routine is:

  • Make sure I have some water
  • Noise-cancelling headphones with non-intrusive music
  • Turn on Do Not Disturb on my e-mails and on Windows
  • Put my phone on silent and zip it away in my bag
  • Review my task list and then get to work

Your mileage may vary, but the most important thing is to make sure your phone is out of sight.

You need to get rid of any and all temptations.

 

Less Social Media

On the topic of smartphones, social media is another thing you need to clamp down on.

Not only is it an incredibly addicting time-sink, but you’re killing your attention span.

It’s already going to be hard enough for you to focus for extended periods of time, don’t make it any harder for yourself.

Try setting up app timers or locks to ensure you don’t spend more than 30-60 minutes a day on social media. Also, don’t use it at all after a certain time.

You need to wind down at the end of the day, and that involves getting yourself away from needless stimulants like your phone and your TV.

I like to set an “Amish Time” alarm on my phone to remind me when to settle down with a good book and start relaxing.

deep work productivity

Creating Routines

We’ve got a great guide on how to build routines in our recent article on how to quit gaming in college.

But, in Deep Work, Newport outlines a few ways you can introduce the deep work philosophy into your routine without it being obtrusive.

These are as follows:

Monastic Philosophy. Cut out your distractions completely like you would if you were a monk.

Bimodal Philosophy. Alternating between a normal and monastic life. You may have a specific place you go for extended periods such as a remote cabin with limited infrastructure. Carl Jung was a famous example of someone who lived the Bimodal Philosophy.

Rhythmic Philosophy. My personal favourite. This is where you create a fixed time for deep work every day, or on specific days of the week. I like to work between 11am and 4pm, then from 7pm to 11pm.

Journalistic Philosophy. Cal’s favourite. You do deep work whenever you get a chance. Works especially well if you have a busy or unpredictable schedule e.g. journalist.

 

Lastly, I haven’t included it in the list but a good thing to do is put on a timer.

I like to put one for 90 minutes, and then focus the entirety of those 90 minutes working on a task.

Then you can see how much work you can actually get done, and compare it to how much time you think it takes you.

These are usually vastly different!

 

Now you’re ready to take on the world.

Well, not quite. But, you can certainly implement the principles in this article in order to create massive change very quickly.

It’s something I’ve used to great effect in my day-to-day life, and I’m sure you’ll get a huge amount of value too.

Don’t forget to check out the podcast episode on deep work here, and let us know what you think. Are you going to implement deep work into your routine? (I hope so)

 

As always, thanks for reading.

Until next time.

It seems like every other week you hear about how another celebrity or athlete is struggling with addiction.

Usually, the spotlight is on drugs or alcohol. But, more recently, gaming addiction is starting to show up more and more.

You might argue that gaming addiction is preferable to drugs, and strictly from a health standpoint, you may be right. However, there are numerous stories coming to light about how video games have ruined careers, torn families apart, and even caused deaths.

The problem is, while gaming addiction only affects a small portion of the population, there are almost 2.5 billion gamers worldwide.

Couple this with the ease of access to thousands of games thanks to smartphones, it’s no wonder sports stars are turning to gaming as a means to escape their real-world pressures and responsibilities.

What is Video Game Addiction?

Video game addiction is a real mental health condition affecting millions of people around the world.

The World Health Organization recognizes it as gaming disorder and it is “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

The difference between a healthy fun gaming hobby and an addiction is the negative impact the activity is having in your life.

Related: Take our video game addiction test

Why Are Athletes Turning to Video Games?

juju smith schuster gaming

By their nature, athletes are very competitive people. Sports psychotherapist, Steve Pope, spoke about this in an interview on the gaming epidemic plaguing English football:

Footballers have an addictive personality because that’s what makes them good at their job.From an early age at academies, they are conditioned to work for a high, whether that is making a great pass or scoring a great goal. That is the work-for high.

The brain likes that feeling, likes that elation, likes that rush.

But if they are not getting that high from football, they are getting it from something else – alcohol, drugs, gambling or gaming. That is the lazy high. Footballers are trained to be competitive and with the kind of games they are playing, Fortnite or Fifa, they are continually in a competition.

It’s a follow on from playing football.

You could argue that gaming addiction isn’t as serious as an addiction to drugs or alcohol. That just isn’t the case. Regardless of what you’re addicted to, the impacts on your life are still real.

So why video games?

Competing at an elite level is an incredibly high-pressure job.

You’re constantly under the spotlight, have scrutiny from fans, and if you don’t perform you could lose your job and career. Couple this with increasingly stringent rules, testing, and regulations for drugs and alcohol, and you find that athletes are finding other outlets to escape in.

At the end of the day, athletes are people too. They need ways to de-stress just like anyone else. However, as gaming isn’t regulated nearly as much as other vices, the habit often goes unnoticed and untreated.

Players are staying up until 4am the day before a match, which undoubtedly affects their performance.

Can you see the problem there?

Players don’t perform so they escape through gaming. Gaming affects their performance so they escape further into gaming…

You get the idea. It’s a constant cycle of self-fueled negative energy that’s only becoming more prominent as time goes on. When 83% of teenagers play video games regularly, our future professional athletes are developing gaming problems early in life.

Athletes Struggling to Escape the Game

professional athletes addicted to gaming

You might think gaming addiction is an issue that only effects a few amateur athletes.

You couldn’t be more wrong. Even players that are at the top of their game are becoming stricken with gaming disorder.

Neil Robertson

We recently featured Neil’s story on our website, it’s a powerful read and definitely worth your time.

Neil was, and still is, one of the greatest snooker players in the world. He became the world number one three times between 2010 and 2014.

Currently, he is sitting at the 4th ranked spot in the world, but his journey hasn’t been without its downfalls.

On the surface is the story of a man riddled with talent, success, and everything he could want out of life. However, strip back the exterior and you find a different tale.

A tale rooted in addiction and neglect.

In one interview, Neil commented on his addiction to gaming:

I probably could have won more tournaments […] I was spending time playing video games when I should have been spending it with my family and on the practice tables. I was addicted to League of Legends, World of Warcraft and FIFA. It was ridiculous. I was staying up all night playing these video games.

Neil has a self-acclaimed addictive personality.

When he was younger he became addicted to snooker, and simply replaced that same addiction with gaming. The rest of his story is truly fascinating, so make sure you read the whole of it here: “Neil Robertson Gaming Addiction

Quinn Pitcock

Quinn Pitcock

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

In 2007, after being drafted by the Colts out of Ohio State, Quinn Pitcock was showing all the signs of a promising defensive lineman about to make his mark on the NFL.

This made it all the more puzzling when he unexpectedly announced his retirement before the 2008 season. But it wasn’t drugs or alcohol that had caused the demise of his career, as is so often the case.

As it turns out, Quinn had found himself at the mercy of video games. Surrendering his entire day just to get his fix of Call of Duty – his preferred vice at the time.

He’d even spend up to 18 hours a day gaming, at which point it had taken complete control over his life. In an interview with ESPN he discussed the power of his cravings to play games:

The only way I could get my endorphins was by playing video games. I would break the games, try to get rid of them, but I couldn’t stop. I’d say, ‘Quinn, what are you doing?’ Physically, I could not put down a video game.

This is a struggle faced by everyone that suffers from a video game addiction.

That intense desire to play games, to the point that you physically can’t put the controller down, is hard to describe to people who have never suffered.

Related: How to Deal With Cravings

This is why, despite it possibly being detrimental to their careers, we need more athletes and celebrities to speak out about their problems. It helps to raise awareness of the situation, which is one of the most important things we could be doing to speed up the introduction of treatment for gaming addiction.

Top Players in the English Premier League

soccer

Top athletes like Neil and Quinn are not alone and in recent years a new epidemic of gaming addiction is starting to spread throughout English football.

Top players, who competed in the World Cup for England and play in one of the best teams in the world, are finding themselves spending the entirety of their free time playing games.

One player, who wanted to remain anonymous spoke about the effect of his gaming addiction on his career:

When I get back from training, the first thing I do is turn the Xbox on to play Fortnite.

I play for about eight to ten hours a day, but I once played 16 hours non-stop the day before a match.

It is quite normal for me to stay up playing until two o’clock or three o’clock in the morning.

I get a lot of eye strain, I am tired the next day and I miss training sometimes.

This isn’t an isolated case, either.

Three of Tottenham Hotspurs’ best players – Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Kieran Trippier – racked up almost 400 hours on Fortnite between them during the World Cup in Russia.

These are players that are under tremendous amounts of pressure, and they should be allowed to de-stress in whatever way they see fit.

However, is spending the majority of your time playing Fortnite the most optimum thing a player at the very top of their game should be doing? When they stay up late playing it brings on eye strain, lethargy, and even back problems.

Related: Parents Guide to Fortnite Addiction

A Prominent NHL Draft Pick

nhl hockey player addicted to gaming

In 2018 a story broke that a prominent young prospect has likely jeopardized their hockey career because they couldn’t stop playing video games.

I’m not gonna say the player’s name. I really doubt he’s going to make it to the NHL, and it’s because of a video game addiction. […] He’ll play until all hours of the night and into the morning and then he’ll have no energy the next day. Like, he’ll be a write-off. And it is that bad.

As a first-round draft pick for a top NHL team, the player was likely going to become a big name in the sport.

It’s not uncommon for NHL players to unwind with a bit of gaming. Josh Hart and Larry Nance Jr. played Fortnite together for over 10 hours straight before a game. Hart even went on to say that his win on Fortnite almost meant more to him than winning the title.

It raises questions as to whether or not gaming will be banned by teams in the near future. It’ll no doubt increase their performance, but at the same time will likely lead to higher levels of stress and frustration from the players.

Especially with athletes starting to stream on Twitch, they’re dedicating less of their time to their sport and more to gaming.

It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Does it Really Matter if Athletes are Addicted to Gaming?

gaming

You might be reading this and thinking “Who the hell cares? They earn millions a year they can do what they want.”

In one sense, you’re right. They can do whatever they want. But should they?

Consider these athletes are respected and looked up to by a large number of young people. If they see that their favourite sports stars are playing Fortnite for 10 hours straight every day, they might not see any harm in doing the same.

The risks posed to children who spend an excessive amount of time in front of a screen are well documented. It results in lower psychological well-being, exposes kids to gambling, and even affects mood with links to attention-related disorders.

There might not be anything wrong with an hour or so spent playing games every day, but children are incredibly sensitive to over-stimulation. They don’t know the difference between healthy and unhealthy, all they know is that games make them feel great.

When you try to reduce the amount of screen-time, after a child has become used to a certain way of living, it usually ends with extreme mood swings and even violent tendencies.

In our parent support group on Facebook, we see countless stories from mothers and fathers about how their child has threatened all manner of things if they tried to take their gaming away.

It’s easy to blame the parents for not being more strict, but it’s very different saying that and actually being in the situation.

No doubt kids will use their favourite athlete’s gaming habits to justify their own. Something we commonly saw with the Fortnite World Cup.

What’s in Store for the Future?

All that we can hope as a result of athletes struggling with gaming addiction, is an increase in awareness and support of a problem that affects millions of people worldwide.

Once the proper support systems are in place, we can go about developing treatment programs for those in need.

The WHO’s decision to classify Gaming Disorder was a huge step forward. We’ve also seen a huge increase in exposure from the media and celebrities about the extent of video game addiction.

Even so, we’re a long way away from where we want to be in the future.

There’s still a lot of work to do. Not just here at Game Quitters, but for families all around the world who are affected.

“What started as a harmless hobby, transformed into a life-destroying addiction. One that ultimately led to me getting discharged from the military and having a marriage ending in divorce.”

I’m from a small town in Virginia. There wasn’t much for us to do apart from the annual get together at the local park.

I remember my dad bringing home a PlayStation one day when I was four years old. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.

Best of all, I was allowed to play pretty much anything.

What started as a harmless hobby, transformed into a life-destroying addiction. One that ultimately led to me getting discharged from the military and having a marriage ending in divorce.

I don’t blame my parents one bit, though. They didn’t know. How could they?

Gaming Was Always A Part of My Life

playstation controller

Since the original PlayStation, I always had a gaming console. I went from that to the original Xbox after I was introduced to Halo. That’s when it really took a hold of me.

I played non-stop some days – even during the school year. It really affected my grades.

This was before parents could go online and see a detailed report of their child’s schoolwork so when I told them my homework was done, they had to believe me. I never failed a grade, but I certainly didn’t live up to my potential. I always passed with C’s or D’s.

In 2004, Xbox Live was introduced, and I could finally compare my skills to other people around the world. I loved it, and I thought about it constantly.

I craved it.

It even took precedence over football, which was my main focus at the time. I was offered scholarships from major Division-1 schools.

But I couldn’t escape video games. I couldn’t leave my house for more than a day. When I went on family vacations the Xbox came with me.

Related: How to Deal with Cravings

Gaming Addiction Caused My Divorce

gaming addiction divorce

It took a divorce to make me stop gaming. I didn’t really take notice until I enlisted in the military, and my thinking was “if I’m forced to do something, then the issue will take care of itself.”

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After two months, I was deemed “unfit for service” in the Army. My addiction ruined any chance of a successful military career.

After getting home, a short time after, I met my now current ex-wife. If you couldn’t already tell, we ended up in divorce.

We had a child, a house, and everything seemed to be looking up. I did this all while gaming in my spare time. However, gaming was always my number one priority. Over my wife, my child, and the countless jobs I had squandered away.

The divorce was mainly due to my video game addiction. I was neglectful. To her and my son. This is when I finally said, “enough is enough.”

Breaking Away from Video Games

outdoors

After the separation, I decided to do three months of “no gaming detox”.

With help from friends and family I sold about $20k worth of video games and separated myself from technology completely. I didn’t even use my smartphone during this time. Friends had to fill out my job applications on their own computers

I bought a house. A new car. I even restored my relationship with my son. My ex-wife and I are now some of the best co-parents you’ll ever see. I even felt comfortable enough to buy an Xbox again.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Are you crazy? You’re going to fall off the wagon!!”

Those 90 days did wonders for me. 90 days turned into 180 days. 180 into 245. I picked up a controller for the first time in April and…

It just didn’t feel the same.

I didn’t have the competitive drive I once had. I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove. It didn’t feel like an escape. I enjoyed it for what it was for about 30 minutes. I sat the controller down and went outside to join up with some friends to play basketball.

My life is finally back under control.

Sure, every day is a struggle. And the temptation will always be there. But I won’t let it take control of my life again. It’s meant to be a hobby and enjoyed in small segments. That’s all it’s going to be for me.

Sure, I might play once a week. But I have found that it’s much more rewarding to be an outstanding father, to have a career, and to have a meaningful relationship with someone.

To live a real life.

It’s Possible to Make Real Change

father surfing with son

Gaming addiction is real and it won’t go away until you decide to take control.

You have the power to do it.

Here’s how my life has changed since I quit:

  • I own one Xbox, and I use it mainly for Netflix.
  • I’m an Engineer for a building supply company.
  • I own my own house and brand new car.
  • I have my son every other day, and he loves to spend time with me.
  • My ex-wife is proud of my accomplishments.

I even have a girlfriend who’s supportive and understands my daily struggle.

Life is so much bigger and more rewarding than what any game can offer you. I’m living proof that you can overcome your addiction and really create a life worth living.

Thank you for reading this. I hope it helps you in some way.

Need help?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Welcome to our guide on How to Quit Gaming in College. Use the table of contents or continue reading…

On college campuses around the world, millions of students are being impacted by a silent phenomenon: Problematic gaming.

Student affairs departments are under more strain than ever before and technology has become a central part of the student learning experience.

It’s no wonder then that with this increased reliance on technology, many people have turned a blind eye to the negative consequences beginning to arise.

But, what if you’re one of these students?

You know that you’re spending too much time in front of a screen, and you want to make real, actionable, change. But, you have no idea how.

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You don’t have as great a social life as you’d like, and you’ve been suffering from depression or anxiety
  • You’ve stayed up late playing video games because you were procrastinating or just wanted to escape real life
  • You’ve halfheartedly attempted to complete your work the night before but knew you could do better
  • After a spur of motivation, you vow not to stay up late again, and try to reset your sleep schedule with an all-nighter
  • It works! But a few days later you’re back to your old routines

Let’s face it, if you’re in this position it’s not easy to escape from. Either you have all the knowledge but lack the discipline to make it work, or you are disciplined, but you have no idea where to start.

Fortunately, this article exists. Don’t just read it and expect your life to change, though. You have to go all in. You have to commit to making your life better.

How to Quit Gaming in College: An Overview

Before we get started, I wanted to remind you that this isn’t go to be easy. There are going to be times where you want to give up. Times where you want to do nothing else but go back to your old routines.

This isn’t a sprint. You can’t do 30 days of hard work and expect everything to be perfect.

This is a journey.

Don’t let this put you off, though. Myself, and thousands of others, are proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

My College Gaming Addiction Story

james goodI’m James. I played my first video game when I was 4 years old. Super Mario 64 to be precise.

Initially, gaming was a family treat. Once a week we’d get a console out, either the Nintendo 64 or SEGA Megadrive, and play for a few hours in the evening.

As time went on, and as technology became more powerful, I found myself spending much more time in front the screen.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had an incredibly active life.

Growing up in a small rural town in England ensured I had my fair share of the outdoors. I played football with my friends at the park, I rode my bike down to the shops, and I was even a part of the local Scout group.

It wasn’t until the Xbox 360 came out, and online gaming took over, that I really started to get hooked.

I still remember the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion coming out. Watching the sweeping panoramas of the introduction cutscene is a memory that still remains to this day.

Combine the immersive RPG gameplay of Oblivion with the cutting edge multiplayer of Call of Duty 4 and I was in heaven.

It wasn’t just me and my cousin trying to avoid screen cheating, I could play with anyone. Anywhere. It was incredible.

As soon as I got in from school I’d meet all of my friends and we’d waste the evening away ‘fragging noobs’ together. The next day we’d reminisce some of the epic moments that happened the night before, and come school ending, we’d repeat the process all over again.

For me, however, gaming was always something more than it was for my friends. I was great at it. I enjoyed it.

More than anything, though… I escaped in it.

Related: How to Avoid Escapism

Gaming was a place for me to escape my real-world problems; overdue homework, bad relationships, a deteriorating mental health.

That’s when it became a problem.

Once I got to college, I suddenly found myself inundated with responsibility. I’d never been in a position where it was solely up to me, and me alone, to get my work done, to cook, clean and do laundry. I was in over my head.

What did I do? I played video games.

I wasn’t even enjoying them at this point. They were just a means to escape from all of the problems that I’d caused. When I was inside that world these problems disappeared.

I was in control.

Nothing can harm you when you’re inside a video game. Sure, you can die or lose the game, but in reality what really happens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all.

You simply hit respawn and you’re alive again.

The real world isn’t like that, but I never had anyone tell me. I had to find out the hard way.

Before you get too down, this story does end well… Eventually.

How Tai Lopez and His Garage Saved My Life

tai lopez

Yes, you read that correctly. Sometime in my second year, something changed inside me.

You might remember a certain sleazy-looking businessman standing in front of a new Lamborghini, talking about how he reads a book a day and has gained so much ‘knawledge’.

I don’t think I’d ever watched an entire YouTube ad, not least one that is 10 minutes long. But there was something about this one that made me stay. 10 minutes later and I’d been introduced into the world of entrepreneurship.

I had always had a traditional view on life. Get good grades, go to college, get a good job, buy a home, etc. After that one video I realised an entirely different path existed. One where I could be free to do what I want, where I want.

I always think of that day as the time I stopped caring out university.

I spent a lot of time blaming depression, gaming, or anxiety on me dropping out of university. In reality, however, I think I just stopped putting my heart into it. I knew I wanted something else.

It was after being made aware of the world of personal development, that I decided to look at what I could change in my life.

The first thing to go? Gaming.

I did a quick Google search on How to quit gaming in college, and up popped Game Quitters.

Everything I read in the Respawn Guide resonated with me on another level. It was as if Cam had the script to the last 6 years of my life.

I immediately started a journal on the forums, and started my journey into overcoming video game addiction.

What a journey it was.

Fast forward 4 years, and after countless times going in and out of gaming I finally managed to beat it.

During that time I’d been in deep pits of depression, I became a Twitch Streamer and #1 player in the world, I tried playing in moderation, and I even deleted all of my games.

It was an uphill battle. One that took much longer than I initially thought it would. Despite all of that, it did eventually end. I overcame my addiction, and I don’t think I’ll play video games again for the rest of my life.

Now I’m writing this article having just started a new life in Thailand. I get to travel the world, work from wherever I want, eat meals for £1 and meet amazing people.

Real-life is definitely worth fighting for.

How to Quit Playing Video Games in College Now

A quick recap:

  • This isn’t going to be easy, you will struggle at times.
  • Quitting gaming is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • You have to be willing to commit 100%. No half measures.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It helped me through my journey, and it will help you too.
  • Make sure you start today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Understand Why You Play Video Games

In our experience, we’ve found four specific reasons why we game:

  1. Temporary escape.
  2. Social connection.
  3. Constant measurable growth.
  4. Challenging.

These are all basic needs, and it’s more than possible to fulfill them all in your everyday life. However, gaming is so good at doing this already, what’s the point in doing anything else?

Let me ask you this.

Do you think you’d be happier if your only social connections are online, or if you met up regularly with friends in-person at bars, cinemas, dance classes and on hikes?

Would you be healthier if the only goals you achieved were higher levels and better equipment, or if you ran a marathon and became a black belt in jiujitsu?

Where’s a better place to escape – inside a video game or at the top of a mountain looking across endless valleys watching the golden sun settle down beneath the horizon?

There are plenty of ways to fulfill those four needs, but it’s up to you whether you choose the healthy or unhealthy ones.

Knowing why you’re so drawn to gaming in the first place is the key to being successful. Once you identify the individual needs you’re fulfilling, you can work on replacing gaming with other activities that meet those same needs.

Related: 70+ New Hobby Ideas to Replace Gaming

Eventually, you won’t even enjoy gaming anymore. You’ll have created a life so extraordinary that gaming will feel boring in comparison.

Remember, you’re quitting video games because you want to. Not because anyone else wants you to. You’re in control, and you don’t need to justify this decision to anyone else.

We want to help you quit gaming in college and start living a life you can be proud of. You should wake up feeling excited. Determined. Fulfilled.

Step 2: Identify the Reasons Why You Play Video Games

You’re going to want to get hold of a pen and paper, or your favourite note-taking program. I know, we didn’t tell you there’d be homework.

We mentioned the four main reasons why people play video games in the previous section, but everyone plays for different reasons.

Maybe you’re trying to avoid a specific problem in your life, be it in college or at home.

Perhaps you’ve just had a break-up and find yourself feeling depressed.

Or maybe you just feel like a loser. Gaming is the only place where you can be who you want to be, without anyone telling you otherwise.

Action Step: Take 10 minutes to write down the specific reasons why you play.

Spend some time thinking. It’s okay to go away from this article – find some headspace, go for a walk, get a coffee at your favorite café and really think about this.

Try to be as clear as possible with your reasons. It’ll make a big difference later on.

This is an important step, albeit a small one, that will help make sure your journey to quit is as successful as it can be.

Once you’re ready, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Filling the Void – How to Find Fulfillment After You Quit

When you quit gaming in college for the first time, you’ll start to realise just how much free time you have.

We like to call this ‘the void’.

As you know, gaming fulfills certain needs. However, not only did they fulfill these needs, they also took up a lot of free time.

We’ll be going over how to set specific goals later on, but in this chapter we want to come up with some activities to fill up your free time.

These activities will have to fulfill the same needs that gaming did.

As it turns out, there are three types of activities you’ll need to successfully replace the void created by video games:

  1. A Mentally Engaging Activity – Video games are mentally stimulating. No one can argue that. It’s the reason why 6 hours can go by in the blink of an eye. Finding a mentally engaging activity is crucial to give you something to pursue, something to improve. It enables you to see real growth and progress every single week.
  2. An Activity for Resting – When you come in from a busy day in college or your job, what’s the first thing you do? Sit down, turn your console on, and spend the evening playing video games. You’ve done everything you need to do for the day, so why bother doing any more work than you need? Resting activities require low investment of energy; for example reading, podcasts, documentaries.
  3. A Social Activity – Gaming has only grown to the size that it has due to the presence of online multiplayer. The social aspect of video games is taken for granted now, and it definitely wouldn’t be the same without it. Most likely, all of your friends are online. So, when you quit, you lose touch with these friends too. Human beings are social creatures, and finding activities that let you explore this further are ideal for making the journey as smooth as possible.

Action Step: Write down at least 3 activities for each type

If you’re stuck for ideas, here are some things you can do to conjure up some activities:

  1. Use our hobby tool to find some new and interesting activities to try
  2. Think back to what you enjoyed when you were younger; climbing, soccer, drawing etc
  3. Your college will have dozens of clubs where you can not only discover new and interesting hobbies, but also meet like-minded people that could become great friends in the future.
  4. Do you have anyone you look up to or admire? Celebrities, athletes, writers. Do they have any interesting hobbies that you can try out?

You can also use this strategy in the next step when we cover goal-setting, which is crucial to ensuring success. By doing this now, it’ll help to give you more direction when you start your journey later.

It’s also worth noting that you’re not going to enjoy every activity as soon as you pick it up. Gaming has desensitized you to finding enjoyment in other things, and true passion is developed over time through challenge and experience.

Don’t give up too quickly. You will regret it.

Finally, we’re going to whittle down your activities into specific situations. Here’s a great template from our Respawn program that we’ll share with you today:

  • To be mentally engaged my go-to activity will be:
  • When I’m tired my go-to activity will be:
  • To make more friends my go-to activity will be:
  • When I feel bored my go-to activity will be:
  • When I’m feeling stressed my go-to activity will be:

Oh, and try to come up with backups for the main types of activities. Some times you simply won’t want to do your main one, so it’s always a good to idea to have something to fall back on.

Changing Your Environment Is the Key to Your Success

You might not realise it, but the places you spend most of your time are having a profound effect on your motivation, your productivity, and your mental health.

I found it much easier to avoid gaming if I simply avoided the environments where my video games were.

If I had the urge to play, I’d go to a coffee shop, or the library. When I was at home I had a tendency to mindlessly browse the internet and watch YouTube videos.

Related: How to Deal with Cravings

Try to think of a few different environments you can go to if you start to feel a bit stuck. What situations would you go to each one?

Once you’ve brainstormed a few ideas, you’re ready to move onto the next step.

Step 4: Goal Setting: Why Do You Want to Quit Gaming in College?

The goal is to look back at these notes in 3 months time and reflect on your journey.

It’ll give you an idea of how far you’ve really come. As humans we tend to underestimate how much progress we really make.

This is your chance to determine the kind of person you want to become. You quite literally get to shape your life into whatever you want it to be.

Without a clear vision of where you’ll be in the future, you’re unlikely to succeed.

I’m a big proponent of visualisation. I often find myself imagining what it would be like to live in my dream house, the feelings I’d get when I’m lying on a tranquil beach, the feeling of waking up next to someone I truly love.

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it. -William Arthur Ward

You don’t have to think too big to start with. As long as you have some concrete goals in place, you’ll be 10x better off than without them.

How to Create SMART Goals

SMART simply stands for:

Specific.

Measurable.

Attainable.

Realistic.

Time-sensitive.

It’s a common method of goal-setting that will really help you follow through on what you want to achieve.

For example, you might want to start playing the piano when you quit gaming in college.

But, having the goal to “play piano” won’t be taken as seriously as “within 3 months I will be able to play Clair de Lune by Debussy.”

See the difference?

“I want to learn Spanish” VS “I will take 2 Spanish lessons every week and pass the B1 conversational level test within 6 months”.

Use this framework to set some goals of your own. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do since you were a kid, this is the place to put it into writing.

If you have absolutely no idea what you want to do, that’s OK. Take some time off to have a think. Start small. What’s a project you could launch? What’s a new skill you’ve always wanted to learn?

Action Step: Spend some time writing down what you want to achieve after you quit gaming in college using the SMART goal formula.

This step might take the most time out of all of them. But, as we said, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

In a months time, you might even find yourself wanting to do something completely different.

All that matters is you hit the ground running. The easier you make the start of this journey for yourself, the more successful you will be.

A failure to plan is a plan to fail.

If you start without any clear directions of what to do, you’ll spend your time watching YouTube or mindlessly browsing the internet.

Now’s the time to shape your future.

Step 5: Overcoming Poor Mindsets

Did you know there are over 2.5 billion active gamers in the world?

Gaming has become so common, and the barrier to entry so low, that everywhere you go you have access to video games.

This where is where creating a greater barrier of entry, through the understanding of two specific cognitive biases, comes into play.

“Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment.”

Although there are many cognitive biases, we’re going to focus on two of them:

  • The sunk cost fallacy
  • Loss aversion
Sunk Cost Fallacy

This bias is commonly misinterpreted as the idea that you make rational decisions based on the future value of objects and investments.

In reality, your decisions are tainted by the emotional investments you accumulate. The more you invest in something the harder it becomes to abandon it.

As a gamer, this is something you’ve experienced a number of times. Think about how it would feel to lose a character you’ve spent hundreds of hours working on. All the gear you’ve collected and levels completed, all gone.

Not to mention people that have an extensive library of games in their collection. PC gamers are especially guilty of this. How many steam sales and Humble Bundles have you taken part in only to never play any of the games?

Therefore, even if you want to quit, you’re worried about losing your characters, your progress, all that time invested. You can’t just give that up.

The sunk cost fallacy is incredibly powerful, but when you overcome it, you will experience a sense of freedom you’ve likely never felt before.

Loss Aversion

Loss aversion is the psychological tendency to avoid losses, instead of acquiring gains.

Instead of going out there and taking control of your life, accomplishing goals, and becoming more fulfilled, we prefer to play games that are familiar.

We’d rather avoid losing our beloved characters, than level ourselves up in the real world. Despite knowing, deep inside, that making better choices about our actions will make us happier in the long run.

Understanding these biases is key to understanding your emotional state.

You might think you’ve got the strongest willpower on the planet. But you should never underestimate the power that your emotions can have on you, especially during a detox.

You’ll find an endless number of ways to justify your actions, justifications that, in the moment, will appear completely logical. Yet when you reflect back on it you’ll wonder why in the world you acted on them so irrationally.

However, if you’re aware of what you’re doing, you can steer yourself in a direction. You can learn how to consciously affect your actions. The power to become who you want to be now lies directly in your hand.

I want you to take a deep breath, because the next step is going to take some time to process.

You’re going to delete your video games.

This is truly the defining factor as to whether you’ll be successful. I know that a lot of you will read that and stop.

You’re never going to get rid of your games, this guide is stupid, you know better blah blah blah.

Don’t be one of these people. You’re stronger than that. You’re better than that.

Remember why you’re doing this. Picture your ideal life. Truly imagine it.

Does the person in this future life play video games for 10 hours a day?

Hell no.

So now we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff, we can move onto the defining moment of your future.

It’s time to power off.

Step 6: Delete Your Games

I’m sure you’ll agree that avoiding video games will be much easier if you don’t have any video games to play, right?

Here’s a checklist of what you’re going to do by the end of this section:

  1. Uninstall all games
  2. Delete all of your accounts
  3. Decide what to do with your gaming consoles
  4. Find a way to avoid gaming-related content (YouTube, Twitch, music)

Let’s tackle them one by one.

Uninstalling your games

If you’re a Steam user, this one’s pretty simple.

Although it might be tempting to delete the steamapps folder on your computer, that can still leave game files lying about.

All you have to do is right click on each game in your library and delete local files.

For external games, such as Fortnite, Path of Exile, League of Legends, you can usually find an uninstall button on the launcher.

It’s a similar process on consoles. Just go to your library, select each game and press uninstall.

Deleting your accounts:

This one takes a bit more time, as you might have quite a few accounts.

For PC users, we have some useful available on YouTube:

How to Delete Your Steam Account

How to Delete Your League of Legends Account

For most other games if you do a Google search for “X account deletion” you can usually find a guide available.

This step might have been quite difficult for you, you probably even felt the sunk cost fallacy taking effect.

Taking care of your consoles

Most people have at least one console lying around the house.

Whether it’s shared by the family and used for watching TV/movies, or you have a Wii U for those Nintendo exclusives, deciding what to do with them can be a tough choice.

Personally, I decided on locking my consoles away. I put them in a cupboard and then gave the cables to my parents to hide somewhere.

I can quite happily have the Xbox One sitting in the lounge being used as a media center. But reaching that point can take a lot of time and effort.

Some other things you can try:

  • Give them to someone else
  • Sell them (recommended)

You might be surprised at how much money you can get for them.

Avoiding game-related content

This is an incredibly important, but undervalued, step.

Imagine putting all of this effort into quitting video games, only to spend the next 90 days watching Twitch streams and highlights of eSports tournaments on YouTube.

You will never get anything productive done, all you will want to do is play games.

That’s why it’s crucial to put a block on anything that might cause you to relapse (more on relapsing later).

Our favourite ways to block websites on your browser are:

  • BlockSite
  • StayFocusd
  • Cold Turkey

I found it helpful to put a total block on sites like YouTube, Twitch and Reddit. Then, after a few months I allowed myself an hour a day, usually around lunch, where I’m free to watch something as long as it wasn’t gaming.

If you still want to watch YouTube, I highly recommend installing the Distraction Free YouTube extension.

That’s it. You’ve successfully powered off.

Step 7: Building New Habits and Staying Productive

Before we go any further, I want you to take a moment and congratulate yourself.

You deserve to feel proud of what you’ve done, it’s a huge step to undertake. You had the courage to make a positive change in your life.

Better yet, you did it all on your own. Sure, we provided some guidelines, but you actually followed-through and took action.

Recognising what you’ve done is an important habit to introduce to your life. It’s crucial for helping to build your confidence and self-esteem.

Both of which a lot of gamers, myself included, are lacking.

Here’s a great sentence from our Respawn program, where a lot of the ideas in this guide have come from:

Recovery begins by acknowledging that you’re closing a chapter — one where you played games — and starting a new one — where you don’t.

Most people know what they need to do, but it’s only the few who do that live truly remarkable lives. So from this point forward let’s continue to be honest with ourselves.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT: Take your life to a new level with our Respawn Program which contains an additional 75 pages worth of content, helpful worksheets, and video guides to quit gaming in college. Receive 20% off by clicking this link.

Let’s have a quick recap:

  • You’ve learnt the exact reasons why you play video games
  • You have a better understanding behind why you get addicted
  • You’ve created some kick-ass SMART goals to really give yourself direction
  • Came up with some hobbies and activities you want to try out
  • Deleted all of your accounts and games, and removed distractions from your life

I don’t know about you but to me, those don’t sound like things a lazy, ‘useless’ gamer could. Right?

You’re a damn superhero. You’ve taken your powerful video game character and brought it into the real world. Except it’s not a character, it’s you. You’re the one that’s in charge now.

Let’s take this motivation, this urgency, and this longing to be better and start really taking steps to transforming your life.

The first item on the list – Habits.

How to Build Habits the Right Way

Will Durant, a famous historian and philosopher, once said:

We are are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

It might take some time to internalise, but you need to realise wherever you are in your life right now, is the result of every decision and habit you’ve acted on throughout your life.

There are some situations that are quite clearly out of your control, but you always have a choice to make.

None of these decisions are unimportant. Every single one is either a positive or a negative. With each decision you make, you’re building up or breaking down your character.

So how can you begin making the right decisions? It all starts with your habits.

Have a quick think. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you pick up your phone and check your e-mails, or do you get up, grab some water, and go for a run?

The problem with habits is that you don’t realise you’re doing them. But what exactly causes us to build these routines?

game quitters habit loop

This won’t make much sense at first, but let’s use our previous example of waking up.

In this case, the trigger might be your alarm going off and you picking up your phone to silence it.

When you pick up your phone to silence it, you see that you’ve got some notifications so you decide to unlock your phone and read them.

Finally, the reward in this scenario is that you get to catch up on everything you might have missed after you went to sleep. Memes in your group chats, a new video from your favourite creator, whatever it might be.

Before you know, it 60 minutes has gone and now you have to rush to get ready for your lectures. You might skip showering, choose an unhealthy breakfast, or forget something important.

Now let’s look at it a bit differently.

Your alarm goes off, like normal, but instead of checking your notifications you put your phone back down, get out of bed, slip on your exercise gear, and go for a 20 minute run.

Imagine how much more alert and focused you’d feel in your classes if you did this every day.

I reckon you’d see your grades, health, and relationships improve within 6 weeks, no questions asked, just by replacing 1 or 2 of your habits.

Action Step: Spend 10 minutes writing down your current habits

What do you do when you wake up? What about before bed? Do you automatically watch a YouTube video when you sit down to eat? What do you do the moment you get back to your room after college?

Once you’ve done this, try to go through the habit loop with each one. What are your triggers, your actions, and your rewards?

Done? Great.

Now we can go about creating some awesome new habits.

How to Replace Old Habits With New Ones

As empowered as you might be feeling, we’re not actually going to do too much at this point. You see, if you try and do too much at once, after a week or two you’re almost guaranteed to fail.

The key to building habits is to take them one at a time, and build them up slowly. If you managed to create a new habit every 60 days, imagine where you’ll be in 10 years time.

Remember what we said earlier?

This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s better to take it slow, than to burn yourself up in a month and get angry because you think the process doesn’t work.

I’m here to tell you that the steps outlined in this article 100% work. I’m living proof of that. But ONLY if you take it slow. Grow over time, and don’t try to take on too much at once.

You might be a real life superhero but that doesn’t mean you’re invincible.

Action Step: Create one habit that you want to introduce into your life

It could be as simple as:

When I wake up I will drink two glasses of water.

or

I will read at least 5 pages every night before I go to sleep.

The key here is to make them simple enough that you can do them every single day.

Once you’ve decided on your habit, set an alarm or a reminder either on your phone or on a sticky note attached somewhere you’ll see it every day.

Another great thing to do is get a calendar with those big square boxes, and every time you successfully complete a habit, put a big X in today’s date.

Eventually, you’ll have a long and (hopefully) unbroken chain made up of X’s. You’d be amazed at what kind of psychological effect seeing that chain grow every day has on your ability to maintain a habit.

Read more about the X effect here.

After you’ve successfully completed one habit for 60 days, you can either choose to chain it with another habit, or create a new one.

For example: If you decide to chain –  “when I wake up I will drink 2 glasses of water and do 10 pushups” or if you choose to create a new one – “Once I brush my teeth, I will floss at least one tooth.”

Floss one tooth, I know what you’re thinking. That’s so ridiculously easy. It’s not easy if you’re going from 0 – 1 overnight.

The likely situation is that you floss one tooth, and then decide to floss the rest of them. The important thing is to initiate the habit. Eventually you’ll floss every night without fail.

And it all started with one tooth.

I know what you’re saying as you read this…

“But James, whenever I’ve tried to make habits in the past I couldn’t stick to them… I just don’t have any willpower.”

You’re not alone. I used to think I had the smallest reserve of willpower that’d ever existed in the history of humanity.

It may not have been the smallest on record, but it was pretty close.

Willpower is a skill that can be learned. It’s a muscle that can be trained.

The only reason why you don’t think you have any is because of one of two reasons:

  • You didn’t try hard enough and failed to hold yourself accountable
  • You tried to take on too much at once and burnt out

Why am I placing so much emphasis on habit forming?

When you quit gaming in college you’ll find yourself feel urges to play far stronger than you could imagine. It’s as if you’re being physically pulled back to the games.

When you find yourself in a position like that, all you have left to fall back on is your mindset, willpower, and your habits. As long as you have some constant in your everyday life, you can take this journey one day at a time.

Heck, even just one hour at a time. If you can build a solid foundation now, you’ll never fail again.

I won’t go into anymore detail on habits here, you’ve got enough to take you to where you need to be.

A good book to read on developing habits is Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Your Life is In Your Hands

There we have it. Your ultimate guide on how to quit gaming in college.

You’ve taken the first steps that few others dared to take. In years to come you’ll look back on this moment as the day your life changed forever.

Your days of being a ‘gamer’ are over. You’re not going to settle for anything less than greatness, and you’re never going to back down from a challenge.

You’ve done the hardest part, but what happens from here is entirely up to you.

A big part of quitting gaming is learning how to effectively deal with relapses. They happen to everyone.

I think during the last 5 years of my journey I’ve relapsed in and out of gaming a dozen times.

It’s all a part of the process. Just remember, there will be tough days and there will be easy days.

There will be days where you’re practically unable to get out of bed, and days where you’ll be bursting with energy.

All you can is to trust in what you’ve learned. Maintain good habits, focus on building awareness of your situation, and eventually the good days will start to outweigh the bad.

Think of it like a wave. Try not to get too attached to how you’re feeling in the moment, just try to be present and aware of what’s happening.

Let the emotions come and go. They’re an experience to learn from.

If you feel trapped or stuck, come and read through this guide again.

Post on our forums and ask for advice. There’s a huge community of people that are willing to support you, no matter what the problem might be.

Check out some of the stories of ex-gamers and learn to understand what’s truly possible if you put your mind to it.

This is your time. Real life is worth fighting for.

Want Additional Support to Quit Gaming in College?

Respawn is a step-by-step program to help you quit gaming and get your life back on track. It contains the latest scientific research and best practices.

  • Insanely Practical: No fluff. This guide is for action takers.
  • Module 1: Learn the fundamentals of quitting video games
  • Module 2: Breakthrough the psychology that keeps you gaming
  • Module 3: Build a new identity in the real world
  • Module 4: Avoid boredom by finding new activities and passions
  • Module 5: Stop wasting time on the internet and finally be productive
  • Module 6: Increase your energy and improve your mood
  • Module 7: Finally feel confident and proud of who you are
  • Module 8: Defeat relapse and other common mistakes
  • Bonus: Make new friends and avoid loneliness
  • Bonus: Worksheets, priority email support, community, and so much more.
  • Click here to gain instant access to our practical action guide to defeat video game addiction

“The best decision I have made in my life, honestly.”
– David

““I grew my YouTube channel to 432,700 subscribers. Trust me, doing a double backflip is cooler than getting an epic mount.”
– Gerard

“I have lost 40 pounds, become a model, and broke up with my fiancé.”
– Faris

“Got me a 4.0 in college after quitting games. No regrets and no fear.”
– Matt S.

PewDiePie’s net worth is currently estimated to be: $30,000,000.

Back in the day, PewDiePie was simply known as ‘that Swedish guy who screams at horror games’. Fast forward to 2019 and who would have guessed a random YouTuber playing Amnesia in their room would turn into one of the most widely recognized sensations on the internet.

With almost 100,000,000 YouTube subscribers, PewDiePie has no doubt seen his fair share of controversies. However, type ‘PewDiePie’ into Google and the first term that comes up is related to his net worth.

Why are people so obsessed with how much money it is? Unfortunately, we haven’t got an answer for you here. What we can tell you is how he makes his money, and a bit about his rise to fame from hot dog salesman to internet stardom.

Who Is PewDiePie?

PewDiePie

PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, was born on 24th October 1989, in Gothenburg, Sweden. He had always been a keen gamer and had a deep interest in art from an early age.

After graduating high school he went on to study industrial economics. But, not long after starting, Felix felt that he didn’t belong there and made the decision to drop out. He wanted to focus on what made him happy and at the time that meant recording himself playing video games and uploading his videos to YouTube.

He managed to get by initially by selling art he’d created on Photoshop and even worked at a hot dog stand to make some extra money. Despite that, he has said in the past that the start was definitely a difficult time for him. However, I doubt he has any regrets about sticking with it through to the end!

Unbelievably, just over a year after dropping out he gained his first million subscribers in July 2012. Something that seems almost impossible in today’s world.

His popularity increased rapidly from that point onwards, becoming the most talked-about internet personality around the world. You couldn’t mention YouTube in school without hearing the name PewDiePie, and it seemed like everyone you spoke to was subscribed to him at some point.

How He Makes His Money

pewdiepie net worth

It’s probably not that surprising that bringing in YouTube views can bring in a hefty income alone.

Since starting his channel Felix has amassed more than 22 billion views across his entire channel and pulls in over 420 million views each month.

These views alone are responsible for the majority of his income, pulling in estimated monthly earnings of $500,000 per month or $6,000,000 per year. That’s definitely not chump change by any means.

However, on top of his crazy viewership numbers, there’s no doubt he also receives money for sponsorships. PewDiePie doesn’t have a reputation for selling out in every video, but he does do paid promotion at times. It’s impossible to know how much you’d have to pay him to promote a product, but I’d wager it’s a small fortune.

PewDiePie’s Net worth

PewDiePie's net worth

It’s fair to say $30,000,000 is a fair estimate of PewDiePie’s net worth, taking into account the amount of money he has earned, as well as the cost of gaining YouTube numbers of this magnitude.

Are his earnings more or less than you thought? Whatever the true number is, it’s a lot. Amazingly, Felix isn’t the highest-earning YouTuber. That title goes to Ryan ToysReview, a 7-year-old kid that reviews toys for parents.

Crazy, I know.

It goes to show the opportunities out there for people to make money in the modern age.

We have teenagers becoming multi-millionaires overnight playing Fortnite and kids earning tens of millions making YouTube videos.

morning consult report

The idea of becoming famous on the internet, whether it’s on YouTube or as an influencer, has soared to a new level of popularity in recent years.

A recent report from Morning Consult titled “The Influencer Report: Engaging Gen Z and Millennials” has brought out some pretty shocking figures.

For instance, PewDiePie has the same name recognition as Lebron James, with 95% of Gen Z men saying they knew who he was. Not only that, but PewDiePie even topped out the list of the most-liked celebrity on the list with 62% favourability.


 

If you’ve ever dreamed of having more in your life; be it money, happiness, or friendships, but you’re stuck in the virtual world, you should consider taking a 90-day no-gaming detox.

Thanks for reading the article, and don’t forget to check us out on social media everywhere!

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Peace.

Last week, Kyle Giersdorf AKA Bugha won a record-breaking $3 million in the Fortnite World Cup.

Imagine being 16 years old, and in the blink of an eye you’re the most talked about teenager in the world – oh and you’re also a multi-millionaire.

It wasn’t without its issues, as Kyle’s parents have stated they tried to take his games away from him because he was playing too much. Sounds like a familiar story, right?

Now, how many kids out there are going to be telling their parents that they want to become the next Fortnite world champion? How many are going to use it as an excuse to justify their excessive gaming?

Esports undoubtedly has its positives, and at Game Quitters we’re not against it at all. However, there is definitely an ugly side to the sport.

No idea what eSports are? Check out Beginner’s Guide to Esports.

Fortnite World Cup Recap:

The Good

As the global eSports market breaks through the $1 billion revenue mark, it’s clear that there’s a huge amount of support for the industry. Up by 27% from last year, there’s no doubt that it’s a market on the rise.

With this increase in popularity comes a range of benefits for gamers all around the world:

  • Gaming is a viable career option. Whether you want to become a competitive player, a commentator, a coach, or even work behind the scenes on marketing or lighting. There are loads of opportunities for you out there.
  • Traditional sports have always been an option for people who want to go to college, and now gamers can join in too. Esports scholarships are becoming widespread throughout universities all over the world.
  • More awareness will lead to more support for people pursuing this kind of lifestyle. A greater emphasis will be put on the health and wellbeing of the players, and we can eventually move away from the idea that you have to spend 16 hours a day playing video games to become the best. Regardless of the mental and physical health problems that this lifestyle might entail.

Esports is the perfect setting to spread these messages that you can do whatever you want in your life and achieve your dreams while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and most importantly – have a backup plan.

kid playing video game

The Bad

Without a doubt, the number one concern that has popped up since the Fortnite World Cup has been about excessive gaming.

Young people are already spending way too much time on Fortnite, and now – in their eyes – they have a reason to play even more.

Fortunately, Bugha was one of the few people able to balance gaming and school. He managed to achieve good grades while still becoming the best Fortnite player in the world.

But, for the majority of kids, something like that is impossible. It certainly was for me back in school.

We’re starting to hear stories of young people playing for over 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and choosing to neglect their real-world responsibilities.

This is where the bad side of the Fortnite World Cup comes into play.

If you’re a parent reading this and want to get help for your child’s excessive playing, check out our Parent’s Guide to Fortnite Addiction.

More children are using this $3 million prize as a justification for their excessive gaming habits. Which wouldn’t be a problem if you were guaranteed to earn millions.

However, the chance of becoming an eSports pro is much lower than any other ‘traditional’ sport. Not only that, but the average age of the players in the Fortnite World Cup was 14. This might seem shockingly low, but when you consider the age of retirement in competitive gaming is 22, it makes much more sense.

The Ugly

This is where we move away from the individual players, and instead look towards the industry.

Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, have made over $4 billion from the game already. Therefore, it makes sense that they can offer $30 million dollars for the biggest eSports tournament of all time.

However, they also stated that they don’t do any research on the potential harms of the games. Epic are happy to promote their game to millions of people around the world and hold huge events, but they can’t spare any resources to help the minority that truly struggles with gaming.

It’s been stated time and time again that the industry should take more responsibility for the well-being of their players. It would be a drop in a bucket for these companies to invest in research and provide helpful services to those in need.

There’s a vast array of data that would be invaluable for professionals to provide better treatment for gaming addiction, but the industry remains silent.

Related: The Future of Gaming Disorder Research and Player Protection: What Role Should the Video Gaming Industry and Researchers Play?

Some countries have even stated that the classification of gaming disorder by the WHO will put a dent in their gaming profits.

When industries start putting their shareholder’s pockets above the health of their players, that’s when you know there’s a problem.

This is the story of how I stopped being addicted to Neopets.

After some 10 years, 10,000 hours, and millions of points won in various online games, I finally accomplished my dream of becoming an elite gamer…

Okay, I wasn’t an “elite” gamer. But I did make it to 100 gold trophies on Neopets.

In the end, all my trophies were gold, with not a single silver or bronze. I’d set my sights on this target for so long — and I was proud of how I reached it.

Gaming Was My Escape

neopets logo Explaining why I gamed is hard to do without spilling some of my most personal details. But, I’ll do my best.

First, I’m transgender – male-to-female. I was born as a boy and wanted to be a girl.

If life wasn’t difficult enough, it became much trickier in middle school. Then there was the impending doom of male puberty… I wanted to escape my body.

Then, there was the teasing at school… “that’s so gay” reverberating in my head like a corny pop song lyric. In games, I could escape that judgment too.

It soon became obvious how un-alone I was. Browsing the forum and beautiful stories at Game Quitters, it was clear how much I had in common with other ex-gamers.

So many people feel like they can’t be who they want to be for all kinds of reasons. In games, we get to choose our own character and it can feel like a miracle.

As Cam talks about, we all want a meaningful challenge. That’s another reason why I gamed.

If the 26-year-old me could mentor my preteen self, she would have gotten lots of words of reassurance… along with a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People, and about eight dozen other books!

Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to turn my passion into a meaningful challenge. I felt alienated from society, ready to plunge head-first into a fantasy.

I Was At Home Inside the Game

inside the game

Despite playing a variety of online games, Neopets was the only one where I really found a home. The place was populated with cute creatures and their stories, and a wide assortment of games and activities to never get bored.

Each player on the site had a page with their stats and accomplishments. I was struck by the shimmering stacks of trophies that adorned other users’ pages, and soon was hooked on winning them myself!

It was kind of like being in school, where we vied for A grades (now, trophies), only the atmosphere here was more playful. Plus, participation was optional; you could play whatever you wanted! In that way, Neopets felt familiar, yet new and self-empowering.

Amid being addicted to Neopets or any game, sometimes it’s hard to say if you’re happy or sad. You’re flooded with euphoria the moment you hop back on the computer. You’re ecstatic over every in-game escalation. But at the end of the night, you can’t shake the feeling that this techno-bliss rests on a real, physical world – where the evidence says you’re not thriving.

Overcoming My Neopets Addiction

neopets addiction

Comparing myself through the years, I could see that gaming hurt me socially, mentally, and physically. It weakened my patience for dealing with life’s imperfections. The sheer time-suck prevented me advancing towards my real life dreams.

Dreams like solving the confusing enigma called gender. Of one day having a joyful relationship. And the dream to help humans be more compassionate towards animals.

I realized at age 11 that I didn’t want to eat animals anymore after learning about factory farming, and about what is involved in bringing animal products to the table.

I wish I could have devoted my energy to promoting a plant-based diet – but gaming always got in the way.

Another thing I realized is that some dreams are already right there in front of you… like having a family. Family can be tough, but being lost in a game world made it tougher. My mom was dying of cancer, and I wish I had supported her and my other family members more.

Those bigger dreams take thoughtfulness and concentration. I knew that if my gaming addiction persisted, the years of little progress would keep rolling by.

As my depressed teen years turned to a better early adulthood, I managed to quit gaming completely several time.

Video Game Addiction Test for Gamers

I also tried to game just one hour per day or one day per month, but the intrusive thoughts were just too much!

So I recommitted to not gaming and I’ve been free since the spring of 2017. Over two years!

Turning My Dreams Into Reality

purpose

Spring 2017 was also when I got my first paid job related to protecting farm animals. I’ve stayed in the movement and kept finding work ever since.

Meaningful challenge – complete!

Currently, I work part-time for a plant-based meat company that you may have been hearing about in the news. It’s exciting because it helps people who want to eat less meat, but still want that awesome taste!

Meanwhile, I live as a woman in a very LGBT-friendly area. When you’re transgender, I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to walk around and have people see you as the gender you feel you are. Times have changed and I’ve gotten acceptance from my family too.

I’ve lived a very lucky life, and count my Neopets experiences as a part of that. Still, there’s no denying the losses I’ve incurred, by so much gaming during those formative years.

Finances got off to a rocky start, and I’m in debt. My knees are in bad shape, exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle and poor physical alignment. My passions for tennis and for writing fizzled out. It’s just generally disappointing to feel I didn’t give things my all and wasn’t fully “there” to experience them.

Fortunately, the success that I enjoyed on Neopets gives clues, clues about how I can live the rest of my life to the fullest.

Download: 60+ New Hobby Ideas

Life Is Just One Big Video Game

Whenever I get nostalgic now, I ask myself what I’m missing from the game. How can I create a real-world version of it?

Gold trophies were an effective motivator of my behaviour (mastering the games). They were visual, memorable, and beautiful to look at. Most of all they were public. We could watch each other gain trophies, spurring on some friendly competition.

Neopets TrophiesI now have a printed list of my goals and commitments, kept in a (fittingly) golden folder. It’s inviting to pick up and glance at multiple times a day, keeping me focused on what matters.

I try not to overthink these lists, but do update them regularly as the vision for my life evolves.

Making friends with trophy collectors in the game was something I loved. Thus in real life, I pursue friendships that are centered around a shared goal. They keep me accountable, and it’s friendly competition.

On Neopets I learned ways to cheat and won with unscrupulous techniques. I eventually froze my account out of guilt and started clean with a new one.

On my last (and most successful) account, I was proud that I gamed honestly. I learned that it’s not worth it to taint a good thing with even minor disloyalty. Living truthfully has many obstacles, but it’s an amazing feeling and one we all deserve to have as much as possible.

If I catch myself “cheating” in real life I remember how I redeemed myself in the game and know that it’s never too late to correct a bad habit, make amends, and choose a more authentic path.

My message is this: Be your own real-life hero. Take on the real world’s juiciest challenges with integrity. Your long-term happiness – and the other beings you help along the way – will thank you.

Need help?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

I stopped enjoying gaming after I quit watching porn.

Hi, my name is Hayim and I’m going to tell you how I quit video games without even trying.

Like many other guys, my teenage years were filled with too many video games, porn and shitty habits.

I would spend countless hours in the basement with my Playstation 2 from the moment I got out of school until bedtime when my mother would coerce me out of the basement.

Joining the Army

hayim

When I was 18 I joined the Israeli Army in a combat unit. It was tough as hell and basically a constant state of exhaustion for years.

Even in the army whenever my buddies and I would get off for a weekend we would head home and play Battlefield 3. We were soldiers playing army games on the weekends.

Sounds funny I know.

We would spend the whole week in the field training for war and on the weekends we would get home, make some food and try to level up on Battlefield 3.

We’d resort to gaming because video games distracted us from the thought of having to return to base after a few days, and all the exhaustion that comes with it.

Related: How to Overcome Escapism

Long marches, sleepless nights, and the occasional action.

Gaming is Fun, But…

computer gaming

Video games are powerful, and I know why many of us play. I’m not going to go on and tell you how lame they are and why they’re ruining your life.

What I’m going to tell you now is going to help you quit because you won’t even enjoy the games anymore. Discipline alone is a tough way to attack any problem.

It’s a lot more effective when you attack the root of the issue, and that’s what I accidentally discovered.

Instead of putting the focus on quitting to play video games, we should instead focus on the question: Why do we enjoy video games so goddamn much?

Let me explain.

A few years after the army I started studying engineering. But after classes I would still play games up to three hours per day.

It may not seem like a lot but that’s three hours that I was not studying, in class, or sleeping.

The other thing that was holding me back might surprise some people, but in hindsight it was incredibly obvious.

Link Between Gaming and Porn

I used to watch porn, and porn and gaming are inextricably linked.

In Philip Zambardo’s TED talk The Demise of Guys he conflates video game pleasure with porn pleasure – Referring to them as Present Hedonism. Present hedonistic people live in the moment – seeking pleasure, novelty, and sensation, and avoiding pain. Philip Zambardo knows his stuff, he was the leader of the notorious Stanford Prison Experiment.

Video game addictions thrive upon a similar reward system that is very different from substance addiction but very similar to pornography.

Related: Why You Should Quit Gaming for 90 Days

The similarities between porn and gaming don’t end there. With the rise of high speed internet they’ve both earned their own disease classifications in the ICD-11.

The ICD is the International Classification of Diseases and was created by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The newest edition of their disease classification manual ICD-11, has included new diagnosis for both Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder and for video game addiction Gaming Disorder.

Both of these issues have had a notable uptick with the advent of high speed internet that allowed for extremely immersive media.

Digital Addictions

porn addiction

Digital addictions differ from that of substance addictions like drugs and alcohol in one very simple way.

When you’re enjoying a digital form of entertainment we seek different types of pleasure from that same source.

Our pleasure comes from something new and unique. That is why multiplayer gaming has caught on so much, with every match you have a totally new experience thereby creating variety and wanting different experiences with every round.

The same goes for pornography. When someone browses through online pornography, they’re constantly looking for new variety with every video. No one sticks to the same type of porn for long periods of time, they’re constantly changing it up.

This leads to desensitization of porn tastes and can lead to more and more extreme pornography.

But substance addicts?

Substance addicts just want more. They just need more alcohol, more drugs, more.. Whatever.

If you focus on quitting porn, your brain will start to enjoy life more and you won’t require the dopamine that can only be provided by the novelty of video games.

Porn addiction is massively understated in society. Most men have been watching it from as soon as they became old enough to search for it on the web and many go on into their 30s and 40s without ever noticing how dependent they are.

The core reason porn leads to increased video game pleasure is because porn messes up our dopamine reward systems.

We get so used to massive dopamine rushes when watching porn that very little else can compare to it. But video games? That dopamine hit that we get when we headshot that guy with a pistol at 50 yards on Metro?

That can compare.

I Quit Porn (And Gaming)

hope

I quit watching porn in February 2015 and within 6 weeks I went from playing three hours a day, to thirty minutes, to deleting my computer games within months.

I wasn’t even trying. I simply lost interest in them.

I accidentally discovered that video games were only enjoyable for me when I would watch porn.

As soon as I stopped watching porn my dopamine reward system didn’t need video games to enjoy things anymore.

I started to enjoy reading, meditating, working out, and doing more.. “mediocre” things.

I started a daily meditation practice that I keep to this day, and I’ve gained “superpowers” of confidence, posture, vocal tonality.

It’s been over four years and I still don’t own or play any video games or watch porn. In fact, I’ve decided to try to help as many men as possible and recently started a website dedicated to helping guys diagnose their potential addiction to porn.

I’ve turned my life around and so can you.

If you’re going to turn around your video game habit, take a look at your porn habits first.

Written by: Hayim Pinson

GTA Online – Is it an innocent video game or unregulated gambling?

Up until this week the answer would be gaming, 100% of the time.

However, a few days ago Rockstar released a fully-fledged casino into their already bustling world of GTA online.

This wouldn’t usually be a problem for an 18+ game except it’s pretty clear, if you spend any amount of time on the game, that it’s inhabited my children.

I don’t think I need to tell you that introducing kids to gambling is a bad idea. But if you had any doubts, a ton of research has been done on the subject.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the studies done on simulated gambling and young people:

1. Simulated gambling leads to real-life gambling
2. Simulated gambling normalizes gambling behavior
3. Simulated gambling increases your risk of problematic gaming or gambling

Hungry for more? Here are some great studies to read.

As you can see, the research speaks for itself.

However, due to outdated gambling laws this casino doesn’t technically count as gambling. Simply because you can’t earn real money.

You heard that right.

That’s the loophole of dated gambling laws gaming companies are exploiting for the purpose of skyrocketing profits.

By allowing you to purchase in-game currency with real money, but not allowing you to withdraw your earnings back into the real world, they give you a simulated gambling experience and profit off of your compulsion.

The House really does win every time.

GTA online casino exposing kids to gambling

Welcome to our guide on how to play video games in moderation. Continue reading or use the table of contents.

Life is too short, you should do things you enjoy, right? For me, that meant blowing off my work, and completely wrecking my sleep schedule. Why?

All because I wanted to play one more game, climb one more rank, waste one more hour.

The thing is, gaming is fun.

It’s a way to escape stress in your life, however, at some point you need to ask yourself… “Is this really worth it?”

After coming close to losing my job, I tried to find something, anything, to stop my compulsive impulse to close my work, and open up League Of Legends.

Believe it or not, being addicted to gaming is a real issue. The World Health Organization officially declared gaming addiction as a mental disorder in 2019.

Through this article, I want to share some of my tips to help others find the time to focus on more important things in life – such as your job, your family, and making new memories – while still playing some games on the side.

What Is Gaming Addiction?

The first thing to do is see if you’re actually addicted to gaming, right? I mean, an hour of gaming a day is far from addicted.

To give you some insight into my addiction, I used to play games for 15 hours a day, on top of my full-time job. How I managed that I have no idea. Just imagine if I spent that time on something productive!

Some common signs that you or a loved one is addicted to gaming include:

  • Compulsive/Obsessive Behaviour – As with most addictions, when you aren’t playing games, you may start seeing some red flags such as restlessness, irritability, and aggressive behavior.
  • Lack of sleep/signs of exhaustion – If you are addicted to gaming, you’ll know exactly how this plays out. It’s 12 in the morning when you see your cyber-friend from another country come online. So, instead of getting a good nights sleep, you decide to pull an all-night with them. Who cares if you have work or school in the morning, right?
  • Lack Of Interest In Other Activities – I struggled with this one first-hand. Working for myself, I always wanted to develop new skills. Be it programming or learning how to improve at my job. But, for some reason – I could never find the time. The problem was, whenever I was doing non-essential work, all I wanted to do was load up my favourite game and play until the early hours of the morning.

Now that we have a general idea of what it looks like to be a gaming addict, it’s time for you to figure out a strategy to help you break the cycle.

It’s time to focus on the things that really matter to you and take back your life.

Related: Video Game Addiction Test for Gamers

Tips to Play Video Games in Moderation

I’ve tried all of the strategies and advanced tactics to quit gaming. The problem is, you will never stop something unless you want it. Which means having the desire and willpower to stick to it.

Also, just like any other addiction, don’t expect to go cold turkey from day one.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t try cold turkey, a lot of our members have found great success with it. However, that strategy might not be for everyone, which is why it’s best to experiment and see what works for you.

Just remember to take it slow, make sure each day gets progressively better, and you can’t fail.

Step One: Identify What You Are Losing By Playing Games

Until we take a step back, it’s difficult to see what’s being taken away from our lives when we’re gaming. Think about it, is your girlfriend always complaining that you are never talking to them? What about work, do you blow important tasks that could lead to a raise just so you can play an hour or ten of games?

Life really is short. The only difference between the rich and the poor is how we capitalize on each hour, minute, and second. I want you to put thought into what beneficial activities could replace the hours you spend on games, and where those activities could take you in life.

Related: 60+ Activity Ideas to Replace Gaming

Step Two: Think of Something You Really Want to Work Towards

Are you tired of struggling financially? Do you want that new car, perhaps even your first car? Or are you trying to study a new programming language to help you land that huge promotion at work?

Guess what…

All of these things require time. The time that is being taken up by all those hours in front of your console or computer. That’s why in this step, I want you to think about that one goal in life that you really want, and start working for it. Make a timeline of when you want to achieve that goal and a strategy of how you plan to go about it.

Try picturing your life after completing that goal. From there, try working backwards to where you are now and reverse engineer that life you’re dreaming about. Break it up into small, manageable steps and you might realise you’re closer to achieving it than you think.

Step Three: Schedule Your Day For Balance

As fun as it is to play games all night, it really messes with you more than you know.

Did you know that no matter how long you sleep for, you can only recover one hour of sleep a night?

That means if you pull one all-nighter and lose 8 hours of sleep, for the next week you will be unable to work efficiently on your goals. That means you are putting your work at risk, your exams at risk, and even your relationships.

Moderation vs. Cold Turkey

life planner

For me, quitting cold turkey was too difficult. What I did instead was to learn how to play video games in moderation.

I would delete my games completely each Monday, and reinstall them on Friday evening for a weekend gaming session. This way they did not interfere with my work, which led to me being where I am today.

Find what works for you. It does not have to be perfect, and there will be slip-ups, but even cutting down 2-hours a day will put you so much further ahead in life than where you are at right now.

And if you are unable to play video games in moderation, you may want to try a complete 90-day detox instead.

Written by Thomas English

Welcome to our step-by-step guide on how to delete your Facebook account. Continue reading or find a table of contents to your right:

2.4 billion. That’s how many people log on to Facebook every single month.

Facebook has cemented itself as the biggest social media platform, and possibly the most popular website, that has ever existed.

They churn through 4 million gigabytes of data every day and have a comprehensive record of every user on the site.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing if they were using this data without any issues. But I’m sure you know that’s not the case.

Facebook controls what you see, what you buy, what you feel, and what you enjoy.

There’s a lot of money in data, and Facebook is doing their utmost to profit as much as possible.

It’s no wonder, then, that more and more people (including you) are wondering how to delete your Facebook account.

Fortunately, we’ve made this article as simple as possible for you to follow, including details further down on the differences between deleting and deactivating.

Before you know it you’ll be free of Zuckerberg’s shackles, and can start living a life where you’re in charge.

Let’s get started.

How to Delete Your Facebook Account

This might be the simplest guide I’ve ever written.

Facebook has made it surprisingly easy to delete your account – as you’d usually expect to be jumping through hoops to get there.

Step 1

Follow this link to get to the account deletion page. From there click on “delete account” at the bottom.

how to delete facebook step 1

If you want, you can download all of the information Facebook holds about you just for safekeeping. Be warned, it can be an extremely large download and might take a long time if you have slow internet.

Step 2

Simply verify your account by entering your password, and then click continue.

how to delete your facebook step 2

I told you this was simple.

Step 3

Finally, there’s one final confirmation box where you just have to press delete account and that’s it.

how to delete your facebook step 3

All Done!

Once you take that final step towards freedom you’ll get a popup telling you it’ll be deleted in 30 days, and that’s all there is to it.

how to delete your facebook step 4

You can now spend the rest of the month doing something productive. Like scrolling endlessly through Instagram…

Why Should You Delete Facebook

Now, you might be reading this and thinking that you don’t have a problem with Facebook, so why should you bother deleting your account?

There are a few reasons that I want to go through that might give you a different perspective on your Facebook account.

You don’t even have to delete it, just try and stay away from it for a couple of weeks and see how things in your life change.

You might be surprised.

Reason #1: You’re Spending Too Much Time on Facebook

Even if you don’t think it’s the case, you’re probably spending more time on the platform than you realise.

A few minutes can quickly turn into an hour as you’re recommended more videos and memes to keep you hooked. All of a sudden you’ve spent your entire morning or evening on your phone.

Are you the kind of person that wakes up and immediately checks your Facebook account?

Imagine how different your morning would be if you decided to spend that time exercising, meditating or doing yoga.

How many times do you find yourself rushing to get ready for work just because you’ve been on your phone?

Think about how much more pleasant your day at work would be if you got started on the right foot.

black and white cellphone

Reason #2: Facebook Has Total Control Over You

You might not know it but Facebook is controlling everything you’re seeing.

They control which news stories you see and which adverts you’re exposed to. They wrap you in this viewpoint of the world that is much different than it is in reality.

If you spend just a couple of hours every day scrolling Facebook, you’re much less likely to see the world in a positive light.

The world is dying, politicians are corrupt, people are evil and we’re all going to hell.

Sure, some of those might be true.

But if you’re exposing yourself to it every minute of the day it’s going to completely shift your mindset.

You’re not going to see any of the good that exists in the world – and there’s a lot of good to see.

No one wants to be a negative person. But, when you and your friends are all seeing and feeling the same things, it can’t be avoided.

You have to think about what kind of person you want to be.

Is spending hours on Facebook every day is conducive to that goal?

Reason #3: They Know More About You Than You Do

Facebook seems to have an obsession with collecting, and selling, as much data as physically possible.

They know what you like and dislike, what makes you happy and what you fear, they know where you go and what you buy, and most of all – they know how to manipulate you.

With all of this information, they can manipulate into buying what they want and thinking what they want.

You’re subconsciously being controlled by Facebook, and it’s not going to stop any time soon.

Data is a massive business all around the world, and the more time you spend on the site the more they’re going to collect.

It even has its own name, “Privacy Zuckering”. It’s just one of many dark patterns that exist on the internet designed to manipulate you into giving away your data.

Don’t know what dark patterns are? Check out our extensive article about every type of dark pattern you’ll find online.

You might not give a damn what they do with the data, but we have no idea where the industry is going to go in the future.

It could end up having some dangerous repercussions.

Reason #4: It’s Stopping You From Achieving Your Dreams

daylight adventure

It sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but hear me out.

Just take a minute to think about whether your current situation is how you want to be living 5 years from now.

Sure, Facebook might not be solely responsible for you being unproductive, or not achieving your goals.

But, what it is responsible for is a lack of control in your life.

You’re owned by your device.

You might think you’re different but, in reality, we’re all human.

We’re weak, and we’re easily manipulated.

Facebook is the complete opposite.

They want you to spend as much time as possible on that app, and they want you to be as unproductive as possible.

Once you realise that you’re in control, and you make that choice to take back the reigns on your life, you’ll realise that you get to control everything about your future.

Whether your goal is to become wealthy and happy and peaceful, you can do all of that.

However, you’ll never be able to accomplish anything if you’re being led by someone else.

You have to take charge, and that can only begin when you decide to take that first step.

That first step towards creating a better you and towards living the life you want.

As always, thanks for reading.

Hopefully, I’ve managed to convince at least one of you to change your perspective about Facebook. If you have committed to taking some time off, let us know by commenting on the YouTube video above.

At the very least you now know how to delete your Facebook account, so that’s something. Right?

Dark Patterns: a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.

You’ve probably encountered loads of types of dark patterns during your time on the internet, you just didn’t realise it.

Most likely because they’re designed to be deceptive, and quietly manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do.

There are plenty of ways that companies do this, 12 to be exact, and none of them has your best interests at heart.

It could be as simple as signing up to an e-mail list.

Or, you could sign away personal data that gets used against you when you try to purchase insurance in the future.

It doesn’t sound fair, does it?

I’m sure you agree that design should be transparent and user-friendly.

Unfortunately, companies trying to make a quick buck off you don’t care about any of that.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of 12 types of dark patterns so that you’re able to recognise them online.

Types of Dark Patterns:

Bait and Switch

This is where you set out to do one thing, but a different, undesirable thing happens instead.

You might remember back in 2016 when Microsoft tried to get everyone to upgrade to Windows 10.

Eventually, through incessant pop-ups, most people began to accept it.

As time went on, Microsoft eventually resorted to a tactic that had many users up in arms.

Since the 80s, the little X in the top-right corner was used to close the window.

However, they decided to replace the X to instead mean:

“yes, I want to upgrade my computer to Windows 10”.

It sounds too ridiculous to be true, doesn’t it?

Eventually, Microsoft changed it back to normal -but not until an angry crowd of pitchfork-wielding users threw them under the bus!

Confirm shaming

Confirm shaming guilts the user into opting into something by shaming them if they decline.

The most common example of this is when sites get you to sign up to their mailing list.

For example, here’s one on a financial website offering investment reports in exchange for your email address.

investment types of dark patterns

The sign-up gives you two options. “Yes! Count me In!” or “No I love being poor.”

Once you start noticing this dark pattern it turns up all over the place.

Whether you’re on Amazon, the high street, or using an ATM – you’re going to encounter this type of dark pattern everywhere.

Oh, and also, it’s probably partly to blame for you having 58,394 unread e-mails in your inbox!

Disguised Ads

This is where adverts are disguised as other kinds of content or navigation, in order to get you to click on them.

I know I’ve said it a lot, but this one really is everywhere. Noticing a (dark) pattern emerging?

It’s 2019, you’ve probably watched enough films online that you’d feel at home on Blackbeard’s ship.

How many times have you seen a big flashing button that says “DOWNLOAD IN HD”, right next to another 3 links saying the exact same thing?

One link takes you to a survey page, another to a pop-up ridden website, and the link to actually download it is probably a small line of writing so small it could fit inside a comma.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea.

Forced Continuity

You know when your free trial comes to an end and your account starts getting charged without any warning?

That’s forced continuity.

“If I had a dollar for every free trial I’ve let renew after the first month, I’d probably be bankrupt due to all of the subscriptions I forgot to cancel” – Confucius, probably

These companies not only aren’t reminding you that your trial is ending but trying to cancel it is usually extremely complicated.

This dark pattern is used commonly with disguised ads.

They promise you money off your order if you click this link and in return, you’re suddenly enrolled on a $30/m subscription to a service you’ve never heard of.

How nice of them!

Friend Spam

Some products ask for your email, or social media permissions, promising some kind of benefit.

It’ll then spam all of your contacts in a message claiming to be from you.

The dangerous part of this is that there’s no way of knowing what they’re going to send to people – it could end up being quite dangerous.

It isn’t as common with major websites anymore but is used frequently by app creators to get more downloads.

A lot of people, myself included, quickly skip through the permissions pages when downloading a game.

These permissions are abused, and the game or app will post on your social media and message friends without asking you first.

A popular example of this, which resulted in a multi-million dollar lawsuit, was LinkedIn back in 2015.

They encouraged you to give them access to your e-mail account when signing up.

This was on the premise that you could build up a strong network for your career. Something that sounds super enticing to a new user trying to build relationships.

It sounds harmless, right?

But, in actuality, those who went along with it inadvertently gave LinkedIn permission to spam every single person you’ve ever e-mailed.

Ever.

Unsurprisingly, this turned out to be illegal and ended with the company having to pay out over $13 million in claims to those affected.

Hidden Costs

You get to the last step of the checkout process, only to discover some unexpected charges have appeared.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine.

I just want to buy a music ticket, Ticketmaster, why is there an extortionate booking fee? Also, what’s the deal with a service charge for ordering things online? It just doesn’t make any sense.

Check out this example from ProFlowers, a flower retailer based in the US, demonstrating dark patterns perfectly.

proflowers types of dark patterns

When you go to purchase some flowers, everything seems to be in order.

All you need to do is head through the checkout process and you’ll be blessed with some beautiful flowers in no time at all. Right?

Er, no.

Once you make it to the final screen – after a very lengthy process – you’re suddenly greeted by extra costs that weren’t advertised at all.

proflowers types of dark patterns

Now you have to pay almost 50% more for delivery, as well as a care and handling fee. What in the world is a care and handling fee, anyway?

Misdirection

Misdirection, as the name suggests, is where a design purposefully focuses your attention on one thing in order to distract you from another.

Way back when I was less internet savvy, the number of extra programs I installed by blindly clicking through installations was ridiculous.

I recently tried to install BitTorrent.

Along the way, I had to expertly navigate my way through a maze of menus and checkboxes to stop any third-party programs getting installed.

They warned me that my download speeds would be painfully slow if I declined to install the Opera browser.

If you’ve ever wondered where that random extension on your browser came from, you probably clicked too fast to get something installed.

Another popular approach is to trick you into paying extra for a service, that you really don’t need to pay for.

This is incredibly popular with airlines. They set up their site in a way that makes it seem like you have to pay money to book a seat.

In actuality, if you just skip the process they’ll still give you a seat on the plane for free.

They try really hard to not make this obvious.

Price Comparison Prevention

The retailer makes it hard for you to compare the price of an item with another item, so you cannot make an informed decision.

Does a website really need this many subscriptions?

price comparison prevention types of dark patterns

As it turns out, free users are able to search for jobs on the website. But, if you want to apply you’re going to have to choose a subscription option.

All of a sudden it doesn’t seem like they’re as passionate about your career as they make out to be.

Also, check out this example from the popular supermarket Sainsbury’s.

They change the way that prices are displayed, whether it’s by weight or by volume. Making it incredibly hard for you to decide which option is the best value.

sainsbury's types of dark patterns

Privacy Zuckering

You are tricked into publicly sharing more information about yourself than you really intended to.

Named after none other than the king of data himself, Mark Zuckerberg, this dark pattern is used in nearly every corner of the internet.

Usually disguised within the small print of the Terms and Conditions, it gives the company the right to sell your personal data to third-party companies.

It’s not just personal information such as your age or your e-mail, it couldn’t contain details of your sexual preferences, and even your mental and physical health.

This could eventually lead to you being refused insurance or loans in the future.

It’s all very legal, and very disturbing.

Since data is a $200 billion industry, I wouldn’t expect this dark pattern to phase out any time soon.

Just try to be mindful of what you’re sharing online.

Also, check out stopdatamining.me to see how ridiculously difficult it is for you to opt-out of every companies data policy.

And yes, it’s next to impossible to delete your data entirely.

Roach Motel

This is where the design makes it very easy for you to get into a certain situation, but makes it hard for you to get out of it.

Common with subscriptions, it’s easy to sign up to something and then frustratingly difficult to cancel.

A few examples include:

  • Spotify having you press cancel 4 separate times just to be able to get away from them.
  • The Boston Globe making you go to their FAQ section, and then phone them up directly in order to cancel.
  • Ticketmaster signing you up to Rolling Stone Magazine, only to make you post them a cancellation within 30 days (more on this later).

It’s all just a competition to try and add in as many steps as possible since you’re less likely to go through with it if it takes you ages to cancel.

Sneak into Basket

You attempt to purchase something and, somewhere along the purchasing journey, the site sneaks an additional item into your basket.

Often through the use of an opt-out radio button or checkbox on a prior page.

I’m spoiled for choice on this one.

Our old friend Ticketmaster seems to think that everyone wants a subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine, and through the use of an opt-out checkbox on the order page, it’s more than likely a lot of people have signed up.

Oh, and if you want to cancel it, you’re going to have to print out the form, fill it in by hand and mail it with a stamp within 30 days.

Another great example is GoDaddy, the popular domain hosting service.

Search for a name you want to buy, and it flashes up saying “ONLY $0.99 for the first year”.

Let’s say you buy a few of these, and you’re expecting to pay around $17.

Now, when you go through to the checkout page it’s suddenly at $150?

OH, that’s right, you wanted 2 years instead of 1, as well as privacy protection on all domains.

But, we didn’t ask you, we just assumed. That’s cool, right?

Just a quick note, it’s now illegal to sell privacy protection in the UK and some EU countries, so if you are looking for a domain, don’t fall victim to this.

Trick Questions

You respond to a question, which, when glanced upon quickly appears to ask one thing, but if read carefully, asks another thing entirely.

Do you know those checkboxes that require a PhD in Quantum Physics to decipher due to how many double negatives they put in?

That’s a trick question.

Companies purposefully make these confusing, so that you’re more likely to sign up to whatever it is they’re offering.

Here’s a nice example from Currys, a leading electrical supplier in the UK.

curry's types of dark patterns

You’re most likely going to tick the first box, and out of habit will probably tick the second box.

I hope you love third-party offers!

Protect Yourself from Dark Patterns

As always, thank you for reading. I hope this article has given you some insight into how companies are manipulating you online.

Whether they’re trying to take your money, your data, or even your social media accounts – they definitely know what they’re doing.

The crazy part is that it’s all completely legal.

It’s going to be a mainstay on the internet for a long time to come, especially as so much money is involved.

The best thing you can do is keep informed and up-to-date on dark patterns, and share this article to anyone you think will benefit.

discord parents guide

Welcome to our Discord app review for parents. Continue reading or find a table of contents to your right:

If you’ve never heard of Discord before, you’re not alone.

Despite barely being 4 years old, the app already has over 250 million registered users. Most of whom are gamers.

If your child is a gamer, more than likely they’re using Discord.

But, what is it? And if it’s so popular how come I haven’t heard of it?

In this Discord app review, we’ll go over these questions, as well as many more.

We’ll also talk about how you can manage the time your child spends on the app, and make sure they stick to your guidelines.

Let’s get started.

What Is Discord?

Discord is a free-to-use voice and text communications app that can be used on almost every platform.

The vast majority of its users play video games, and Discord is starting to build up its platform to offer more rewards for gamers by partnering with gaming manufacturers.

what is discord

On Discord, users can create what’s known as a server which is only accessible through a specific invitation link.

Within this server, people are free to communicate in text or voice channels dedicated to different purposes.

For example, someone might make a server based around their favourite game.

Inside the server, there may be a general text channel, a place to specifically talk about the game, an area where users can discuss their favourite anime and even a section to post memes.

Alongside this, they’ll include a few voice channels to make it easier to communicate and share ideas.

discord app review

All of these channels can be locked to certain members of the server, depending on their rank, and moderators are able to keep an eye on the type of content that is posted.

Discord is incredibly easy-to-use, available everywhere, and offers a much-needed service to gamers around the world.

No wonder it’s so popular!

What Do Parents Need to Know?

In this section, we’ll give you a brief overview of the main elements you should be aware of in order to be able to keep your child safe on the app.

discord parents safety profile

Discord plays an important role in your child’s social life

Imagine if you were able to instantly connect, chat and share whenever you wanted with all of your friends. Now imagine you’re not just limited to friends, but can easily communicate with anyone interested in all of your hobbies. Therefore, if you’re trying to limit your child’s screen time by restricting gaming, you need to consider how they will react to their social life being taken away.

discord video chat

Poor age-restriction.

Discord states that their app is only for those aged 13 and up, and if you want to view adult content you have to verify your age. However, like most of these services, a simple checkbox bypasses any block that might be in place. This leads nicely into our next point.

Discord is home to a large amount of adult-only content

Firstly, we’re not saying that your child is going to stumble upon porn as soon as they download the app. The issue is, a large number of servers include an NSFW (not safe for work) channel for people to share graphic images and videos. This isn’t something you’re going to find on the majority of popular servers such as Fortnite, PUBG, or anime. But once you delve a bit deeper into more niche topics, it’s very easy to find.

Want to keep your children safe online? Our friends at Covenant Eyes provides device accountability and monitoring.

See what games your child is playing

As long as your child hasn’t disabled it in the settings, their current activity is visible to all of their friends and servers. It might say “currently playing Fortnite” or “listening to Spotify”. As a result, if you’re friends with your child on Discord (which we’d highly recommend), you can monitor their activity much more easily.

discord app gaming

The app is free-to-use, but…

That little b-word always makes its way in somewhere. Users can access 99% of all Discord features for free, but there’s also an option to subscribe for $4,99/m to Discord Nitro. This enables people to share server and game-specific gifs and emojis, as well as a unique username and animated profile picture. Only a small portion of the userbase subscribes to Nitro, but as more and more games are offering exclusive features to Discord users, that may change in the future.

How Can I Make Discord Safer for My Children?

This is a question we see all the time in our Facebook Support Group for Parents.

The problem is, there isn’t a simple answer – Discord is as safe as you let it be.

discord parents guide

As we mentioned earlier, it’s possible for your child to come across graphic imagery, regardless of how careful they are.

There are a number of servers which could introduce your kids to a very toxic environment, and that’s something we want to avoid.

Here’s what we’d recommend for a parent trying to make Discord a better environment for everyone:

  1. Have an honest discussion with your child about staying safe online, and understand why they’re using Discord. Don’t be confrontational with them, just let them know online safety is a family value.
  2. Make an account and take some time to familiarise yourself with the app. Try joining some servers by doing a Google search of “game + discord server”. Note: This will require you to download the app on your smart device or computer.
  3. If you’re worried that your child is spending too much time playing video games, let them know you’re interested in learning more about Discord and want to be their friend. It’s possible that they will be hesitant at first, but assure them you won’t join any of their servers, you just want to become more invested.

Unfortunately, aside from the few things I just mentioned, there isn’t much more you can do to monitor or limit your child’s Discord time.

There’s always the option of talking to your internet provider about app/website blocking, or time monitoring. But, that might be too extreme for some people.

You can look into Covenant Eyes, Bark, K9 Web Protection, Circle, or Family Zone for help with that.

Final Word: Discord App Review

Like with most apps, the issue isn’t with the program itself, it’s with the people that use it.

If you let your child join servers full of random people, then soon enough they’ll come across something they shouldn’t see.

If, however, you manage their time on the app responsibly, then it can be a healthy and effective way for your child to communicate with their friends.

An increasing number of parents are worried about how to raise their child in a world dominated by gaming. If you’re one of them, check out our article about How To Raise Successful Kids That Play Video Games.

The article is a summary of a recent interview with Jordan Shapiro, author of The New Childhood, and it’s a fantastic resource that every parent should look at.

If you found this Discord app review helpful, be sure to share it with other parents who are concerned.

I found myself in a bad place.

I was completely addicted to one particular game – an MMO called Black Desert Online.

The thing is, I was really good at it. I enjoyed playing the game so much I actually stopped working so I could play it 24/7.

Why would I do something like that?

I was trying to make sure my name remained relevant in my own little digital heaven.

I wanted to be remembered.

Turning My Back on Gaming

Black Desert Online

As expected, things went south fairly quickly. I soon had to find a job and get back to work.

This was the catalyst for change. I ended up selling my account and didn’t look back once.

Just like that.

I remember, in the interview for my current job, my boss was telling me that the job could be boring.

My reply: “Don’t worry, I’ve been known to do the same thing for 18 hours straight and even enjoy it”.

I still cringe thinking about it, but I ended up getting the job. However, like most jobs, I soon became pretty bored.

I wasn’t fulfilled and I found myself having way too much free time. So, I started using this time to go to the gym.

It turned out that I could carve out a decent shape if I just follow a good workout plan. While this was a great habit, it didn’t help with the boredom.

That’s when I started experimenting.

Firstly, I turned to audiobooks.

I’m allowed to wear headphones at work. So, I started listening to fantasy audiobooks like the Wheel of Time series and Brandon Sanderson novels.

Maybe I still had the bug for getting enveloped inside a fantasy world.

This newfound passion for audiobooks worked really well for about 8 months.

But not well enough, I guess.

I was getting bored. Again.

Life Became My Video Game

After a bit of searching for things to do, I came across an app called LifeRPG.

This completely changed my life.

LifeRPG allows you to track your habits and goals, but it presents them in a way that makes real life into a video game. liferpg example

You gain experience for completing missions and can earn real-life rewards once you finish a certain amount.

I spent a couple of days getting into the app and adding little missions for myself.

Finish workout = finish a mission.

Clean my car = finish a mission.

It’s like having daily quests from an online multiplayer game.

Complete missions, get exp, level up skills, and earn crystals with which you can use to purchase your own custom rewards.

I was using LifeRPG every day, for a time, but it really got interesting when I decided I wanted to get into programming.

I started to study a lot, and almost forgot about the app. Then, one day, I remembered it existed and decided to use it to encourage myself to study.

I added dozens of missions, even rewards and stuff for myself. Some of my rewards included a day off or an unhealthy snack, to more expensive things like buying a new laptop.

Real Life Gamer

Not long after I discovered something called litRPG books.

I still only really listen to audiobooks, but I noticed that there were a lot of them involving characters playing MMOs.

They’d have stats that level up during the book, and it was as close to playing an MMO as you could – without the playing.

So I started soaking them up. Awaken Online, The Land, Life Reset, The Gam3, The Way of the Shaman, and so on.

litrpg example

There are so many of them. Some are better than others, but I even enjoy the bad ones.

I’ve completely lost any urge to play MMOs because while I’m working and driving I’m listening to someone else play MMOs.

Positive thinking doesn’t quite work for me, but turning my life into a video game works wonders.

I’d rather randomly take out my phone to complete a mission and add rewards to purchase than start gaming.

My Life Has Completely Changed

man on top of mountain

In the past, my typical day would involve me waking up really late, playing video games all day, and then going to sleep really late.

I’d miss school, work, and whatever responsibilities I had in order to play.

However, now my day is completely different:

  • Wake up early for work
  • Weigh myself (mission)
  • Listen to an audiobook in the car
  • More listening while working
  • Go to the gym after work (mission)
  • Drive home, audiobook again
  • Study programming for a few hours (mission)
  • Browse the internet
  • If I have time I’ll complete some optional missions

I’m well on my way to become an experienced programmer, and I have a great routine and structure to my life. It’s been so long since I was a hardcore gamer that I haven’t got any issues saying no to games anymore.

My Advice for Someone Trying to Quit

just do it

Don’t expect to change your life without taking some drastic steps. You have to do more than just uninstall a game or two.

You’ll have to change as many things about yourself as possible.

Get rid of that ugly lamp. Buy a new mousepad. Toss your old clothes.

These things might not be holding you back, but being able to change these little things will make it easier to change yourself.

And remember – The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now. The worst time is never.

Thank you for reading my story. Hopefully, I’ve inspired someone else who’s reading this to turn their life around by quitting gaming, it’s well worth it.

Signing off – Herman.

If you want to find out more information about video game addiction, and how it might be having an effect on your life, check out the 90-day detox. Like Herman and hundreds of others on Game Quitters, you too can turn your life around.

An investigation into whether or not video games are designed to be addictive:

Video games have been around for over 50 years. They are meant to be simple fun and entertainment.

Previously, buying a video game meant buying a complete game.

There was no downloadable content (DLC), no cosmetic items, and most importantly, no loot boxes. Video game addiction didn’t even exist.

Developers were happy to release a full game with the knowledge that a good game would lead to a customer buying a sequel.

The more modern video game, however, is the opposite.

Games are now designed to keep you playing rather than rely on you buying the sequel.

Gaming companies are enlisting the help of PhD behavioural psychologists using state-of-the-art research and data to make their games as addictive as possible.

You’ve probably heard of games being labelled as ‘engaging’ and ‘fun’, but a lot of the time the industry chooses simple language to disguise the addictiveness of their video games.

Let’s go through a few examples of how modern games are designed to be addictive, and whether anything can be done about it.

Skinner’s Box: Addictive Game Design

In the 1950s, a well-known psychologist named B.F. Skinner discovered you could control behavior through the use of a stimulus and a reward.

You may recognise the famous “rat in a cage” videos where the rat has learned to pull a lever to receive food.

Well, believe it or not, the same techniques are used to great effect within video games.

A modern example of this is the Battle Pass system within Fortnite. The battle pass costs roughly $10 for 10 weeks, which is the length of one season in Fortnite.

This then gives you access to daily quests and objectives, which, when completed you’re rewarded with extra skins and emotes (dances/gestures).

It’s quite simple, really.

Would you rather pay $X to unlock everything or, a much lower $Y to unlock everything just through playing the game a lot?

You might be happy to pay $X up front, but imagine how a child is going to answer that question? They’ll take option B every day.

It tricks you into believing that you’re gaining a huge amount of value from a relatively small investment. When in reality, you’re trading large portions of your time just to make your character look a bit cooler.

Which leads us nicely into our next point.

Virtual Goods = Real Goods

Fortnite Virtual Store

As humans, we have an instinctive ability to tell if we like something in a split second.

For example, it takes one-fifth of a second to know if we are attracted to someone 1 1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01999.x × . Therefore, wanting something in the virtual world is akin to wanting something in the real world.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in South Korea. A law was passed in 2010 which states virtual items have the same value as real ones 2 2. https://www.adweek.com/digital/south-korea-rules-virtual-currency-on-par-with-real-money/ × .

These items are now acting as reinforcement for playing, as you’re likening your increased wealth in-game to being wealthy in real life.

Not to mention the attachment that most gamers feel towards their collection and ‘gamer lifestyle’.

For a lot of people, their online wealth is quite literally all they have. It’s an amalgamation of their life progress, achievements, and friends.

It’s no wonder that gamers are placing much more value on their virtual collection than their real-life achievements which, for a lot of gamers, is almost non-existent.

There have also been studies showing that addicts are more likely to identify with their online avatars, in an attempt to compensate for a poorer sense of self and lack of real-world progress.

Changing the Rate of Reinforcement

Reinforcement in video games is usually fast and frequent when you start playing.

“You levelled up! here is a reward!”

Receiving a reward every time you level up is known as a ‘fixed reinforcement ratio of one’.

This is manipulated a huge number of ways to keep you playing, such as:

  • Extending the time it takes to level up, therefore, increasing play time for the same reward.
  • Changing the reward rate from “fixed” to “variable” – this means you no longer get a reward every time you level up, or win a game, but at random intervals.

Studies 3 3. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-psychology/chapter/operant-conditioning/ × have shown that using variable reinforcement is by far the most effective (seen in red).

Graph of addictive game design feature variable reinforcement ratio

Unsurprisingly, it is also the one most commonly used in video games.

However, this isn’t to say that variable reinforcement is the only method used in how video games are designed to be addictive.

A number of developers combine variable rewards with constant rewards, to keep you coming back for more.

For example, in World of Warcraft (and most MMOs), you can always see your progress towards your next level. That way you’re still being rewarded for your effort, although you haven’t achieved that next level – yet.

Then, when you eventually level up you’re given a new reward each time. This is usually a new skill improvement, items, or unlocked quest(s). It’s this combination of the two systems that keeps you really hooked on playing every day.

Just watch this PhD Researcher from Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) describe how video games are designed to be addictive:

Loot Boxes

PUBG Mobile addictive design loot boxes

Game developers have taken this manipulation a step further in recent years with the introduction of loot boxes.

A loot box is a virtual item that can be opened, usually using real money, and contains a random virtual item with different levels of rarity.

Loot boxes provide another way of varying the reinforcement in video games.

Similar to gambling in real life, loot boxes give you a random chance to get a reward that. Loot boxes have been compared to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which have been linked to serious gambling problems.

There have even been cases reported of people losing their entire life savings on virtual loot boxes 4 4. https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/11/meet-the-19-year-old-who-spent-over-17000-on-microtransactions/ × .

Currently gambling law in most countries does not cover virtual goods.

Some video games reward you with loot boxes for achieving a level up. This gives you the chance to spend more money in the game, just to get a reward that you end up paying for anyway! It’s the perfect money-making machine.

Punishment for Not Playing

Farmville addictive video game design

A staggering number of popular mobile games such as Farmville and Candy Crush punish you for not playing the game.

Skinner referred to this as avoidance, meaning you perform a behaviour to avoid the negative outcome.

In Farmville, your crops will die if they are not harvested, even when you aren’t playing.

For example, you might plant some crops that take 4 hours to ripen.

If you don’t log back onto the game within 4 hours of them ripening, the crops will wither and die.

The only way to avoid this is to spend real money on ‘unwithering tools’, or to make sure you’re always logging into the game every day.

Avoidance has become one of the most widely used tactics in mobile games, keeping you as a customer, and increasing the chance that you’ll spend extra money on the game.

It’s these tactics that have led to the mobile industry becoming the most lucrative gaming market in the world, bringing in over 50% of the entire global revenue from video games since 2018 .

Streaks and Daily Rewards

PUBG Mobile Daily Streak

How many games have you played where on your first-day logging on a screen flashes up saying “Daily reward! Claim now!”?

This is another common system put in place by mobile and MMO developers to keep you playing.

These types of game are reliant on you logging in every single day to level up your character, and they are going to do everything they can to ensure you do.

One thing they might do is show you a 30-day timetable of what you’ll receive if you log on for 30 days straight.

Initially, because you’re just starting out, that 30-day reward might seem incredibly powerful.

But after you play for a while, you will realise these rewards are actually quite useless. It was just a strategy to make sure you play that first month.

A lot of games also make use of a monthly subscription service, but include a 30-day free trial for their game.

Game developers know that if you make it through those 30 days, you’re much more likely to carry on playing and buy the game afterwards.

To top it off, developers will make sure you lose a portion of your items or progress unless you upgrade to the full version.

That first month is crucial for user retention and another place where video games are designed to be addictive.

In-Game Seasons

Seasons are a perfect representation of how the pricing model of the gaming industry has shifted over recent years.

Previously you would buy a game, play it, and finish it or trade it back in.

Today’s games are usually free-to-play and implement systems to keep you playing the same game.

One example of this, which is heavily used in Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, is in-game seasons.

PUBG Mobile Royale Pass comparison

If you weren’t aware, every 3 months games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile reset their progress.

This means that all of your hard earned levels and experience get thrown away, and you have to start from square one again.

However, you get to keep all of the cosmetic items earned through the battle pass system we learned about earlier.

If you don’t complete all of the quests available to you, you don’t get to unlock all of the rewards.

The start of a new season is also a great way for Epic, Fortnite’s developers, to introduce loads of new content in order to keep the game fresh.

In the past, they’ve introduced the infinity gauntlet from Marvel’s Infinity War, and whoever collects them all turns into a superhero wielding near unstoppable power.

They’ll also add a variety of new character customisation options such as skins, dances, and animations.

It’s this constant renewal of the game which keeps people enjoying it over and over again, and it’s been a huge contributor to Fortnite’s massive success – they earned over $2.4 billion dollars in revenue in 2018.

Video Games Are Designed to Be Addictive

You might not be aware of how video games are designed to be addictive.

are video games addictive

I hope this article has highlighted some of their tactics for you. Games are designed to keep you playing and increasingly, to get you to spend money.

Game designers are behavioral psychologists who are very much aware of the systems they’re putting in their games.

They’re implementing these strategies in games are marketed for children. With the explosion of the mobile gaming industry, it’s only going to get worse.

If you, or someone you know, might be struggling with gaming addiction, we’ve got loads of fantastic resources to give you the support that you need.

My name is Jaroslaw and I am from Canada.

I began my gaming journey at the young age of 5 with Final Fantasy 1 and Star Tropics.

For me, games provided a sense of achievement and a means of escape from the reality of my life. I wasn’t happy, and instead of dealing with my problems head-on, I escaped to video games to drown my sorrows.

About 6 years ago, I started realising that I had a problem.

Related: Video Game Addiction Test for Gamers

I was so miserable and felt like with all that I had suffered through, the world owed me something. I decided I didn’t like the direction my life was going and knew I needed to do something about it.

My Life As a Gamer

gamer

When I used to play video games, I’d wake up feeling groggy because I didn’t get nearly enough sleep and go to school or work.

I’d usually come home and immediately play games until 2 or 3am, if not later. I would only take breaks to go to the washroom or eat – the basics.

My relationships with my family were not good. I hardly had anything to talk about with any of my extended family and I had no social circle whatsoever.

My health was deteriorating, both in terms of my weight and my ability to do basic tasks.

To top it off my finances were a complete mess.

I Couldn’t Keep Going On Like This…

quotes about change

6 years ago I decided to make that decision to quit gaming.

It was tough to begin with. I didn’t realize there was help available for video game addicts, and none of my family really understood what I was going through.

One day I ended up googling “how to quit video games” and found Game Quitters. I learned about the 90-day detox and decided to try it.

I went through a cycle of quitting and relapsing a number of times, with varying amounts of time between each attempt.

My Biggest Hurdle Was Myself

self reflection

The number one issue I faced was a lack of self-confidence, which never existed while I was beating up monsters in video games.

When you’re inside a game you feel invincible and nothing can stop you.

So, what did I do?

Along with visualizations and affirmations, the biggest help for me was creating a playlist with positive songs such as Firework by Katy Perry and You Gotta Want It by Roberta Gold.

I listened to this playlist every time I was in my car. The messages started to sink in… I deserve to be happy and confident in life.

The single biggest strategy that helped me get to this point, however, was to never give up on myself.

Even through my relapses, I held on to the idea that I need to quit video games and work on my goals and dreams.

As long as you don’t give up on yourself, you always have a chance to succeed.

I’m not really a morning person, so I was still waking up groggy even with the proper amount of sleep! However, after some early morning stretching and eating breakfast, that usually went away.

After work, I would eat dinner and either hit the gym, read a book, go on a hike, or watch some Netflix.

My Life Has Improved…

hamilton ontario

Here are a few things that have gotten better since I quit gaming:

  • My social circle is much better now and I’ll occasionally go and hang out with friends.
  • I’m much more willing to try new things.
  • I have much more confidence in myself and my social skills.
  • I have more time to spend on the things that matter most, like my family and my goals.
  • I’ve taken back control of my finances.

Pretty much every conceivable thing that could be better, is better.

“As long as you don’t give up on yourself, you always have a chance to succeed.”

I also like to read books and make music. Something I never had time to do in the past. I’m exploring the idea of turning one of those into a career, either becoming an author or musician.

I’ve always thought of myself as more of a technical person but I think I enjoy the creative side of things a whole lot more.

My Biggest Piece of Advice

focus quote

Don’t try to take on too many things at once.

Quit games and immediately find one activity that you can do that isn’t gaming. Commit to doing that activity at least once a week.

Download: 60+ Hobby Ideas to Replace Gaming

What you do for the rest of the time isn’t that important as long as you stay away from games and everything gaming related.

As you move further away from games, you will naturally get interested and involved in other aspects of life, depending on what’s important to you.

You don’t necessarily need to know what those things are at first, just slowly work on figuring them out. It’s easy to get super excited about doing everything possible at first, but if you try to do too much at once, you’re going to end up relapsing.

After your initial excitement fades away then you have to rely on commitment, which might be much harder than you realise. Goal setting, multiple activities and all that good stuff will come in time.

You have to remember that it’s a process that takes time. You won’t see results overnight and you have to be comfortable with that.

A Call for More Help

therapy

Video game addiction is a serious problem that is only going to get worse, and the world isn’t nearly set up enough to tackle this issue.

The real-life resources available for video game addicts are next to non-existent, at least where I live.

I saw a psychologist for a while, but I didn’t get the sense that she was treating the video game addiction at all.

People just don’t have enough experience handling the problem.

I think what needs to happen is we, as a society, need to accept that it IS a problem, and then maybe we can get to work on developing real-life strategies that will work.

If you want to find out more information about video game addiction, and how it might be having an effect on your life, check out the 90-day detox. Like Jaroslaw and hundreds of others on Game Quitters, you too can turn your life around.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to delete your League of Legends account in less than five minutes.

Ready to quit League of Legends? One of the first steps you want to take is to delete your account.

As someone who struggled with a video game addiction, one of the games I found most addictive was League of Legends.

I spent countless hours destroying towers, pushing mid, and learning how to last hit minions. When I finally quit playing video games last year, League of Legends was the first thing to go.

If you’ve come to the realization that the game is taking over your life, and you want to know how to delete your league of legends account, then you’ve come to the right place.

I’ll guide you through the simple process, and within 5 minutes you’ll be well on your way to a game-free future.

How to Delete Your League Of Legends Account

In order to start this process, you’ll need to be logged in to the League of Legends website.

Step 1: Head over to the support section at the top of the screen, and click on ‘Submit A Request’.

Step 2: In the ‘Request Type’ box choose account management, data requests or deletion. You might need to scroll down a bit.

Step 3: I need help with – I would like to delete my account.

Step 4 – Important: In the subject field, make sure you write ‘Account Deletion‘.

Step 5: In the final box you need to copy and paste the following text and answer the questions as best you can.

Account Name (The name you log in to the LoL client with):
Summoner Name (The name your friends see in-game):
The server you play on:
Original email address used to register the account:
Location that you registered the account from (City, Country):
Have you purchased RP on this account? If yes, please list the payment methods used to purchase RP:

This information is also available on the Account Deletion FAQ on the League of Legends website.

Finally, just select your language and if you know whether or not you’re a PBE player you can fill that in too.

Once that’s all done click Submit and you’re good to go.

Account Deletion Takes 30 Days

Now your account is in Riot’s hands, and the process will take 30 days to complete.

You’ll be unable to access your account during this time.

The only way you can recover your account is by messaging their support directly, provided it’s within five days of the end of the time limit.

If you’re struggling to find something to do instead of playing League of Legends, check out our huge list of hobbies and start changing your life today.

Related: How to Quit Playing League of Legends

I’m James, a 40-year old Dad living in Spain.

I’ve always loved video games and have been playing since I was 8 years old.

Recently, I’d noticed that I was playing games more often – but I was enjoying them less than ever. I would feel compelled to fire up the PS4 or my phone after work and just start playing mindlessly.

I’ve always enjoyed playing FIFA 19. But more recently, I’ve played mobile games that I used to despise such as Candy Crush and Gardenscapes.

Can Gaming Ever Be Replaced?

piano

The fact is, game developers use smart techniques to hook you to games that you’re not even really enjoying. You just feel compelled to get that loot.

I was so addicted that I realized there was nothing else that could possibly give me the same level of gratification.

Crazy, right? You might think so. But at the time it didn’t seem crazy at all.

Mindless gaming seemed like the most normal way for me to have fun. Only by taking a step back have I realized how ridiculous this notion was.

I did the 90-day no gaming challenge and it opened my eyes.

I assumed I would spend my evenings and weekends sitting on the edge of the sofa waiting for time to pass since there could be nothing to replace gaming.

Wow, it feels weird saying that now but that’s really how I felt!

In reality, I instantly found new things to do during this time.

I started doing crossword puzzles. My son and I would go play soccer in the park. I spent more time with friends, took up swimming, and I’m proud to say I’ve learned the piano and can now play some songs.

It’s been a real eye-opener to realize how your sense of fulfillment can get twisted playing video games.

Download: 60+ Hobby Ideas to Replace Gaming

There’s More to Life Than Video Games

father son time outside in nature

It becomes easy to forget that the real world is, in fact, a massive multiplayer open-world sandbox. And one where you’ll find much more meaning and value than you will on a hard drive.

Since finishing the 90 days I have gone back and played a few games.

And you know what? They don’t really do it for me anymore.

I’m much happier spending my precious time on other pursuits these days.

I’d like to thank Cam for being such a wonderful inspiration for those of us who are needlessly losing huge chunks of their lives to gaming, never stop what you’re doing.

If this story has resonated with you and you think you might be addicted to gaming, take a few minutes to try out our free quiz for gamers.

Not a gamer? We also have a video game addiction quiz for parents that can support you if you are concerned about a loved one.

Giving up video games isn’t easy, especially when it’s such a huge part of your life. But once you realize you can spend your time leveling up in real life, you will begin to see that anything is possible.

If you want to find out more information about video game addiction, and how it might be having an effect on your life, check out the 90-day detox. Like James and hundreds of others on Game Quitters, you too can turn your life around.

Step-by-step instructions to clear your YouTube history:

Have you ever decided to watch one YouTube video about a topic, only to have your entire homepage become flooded with similar videos?

Unsurprisingly, YouTube is using their optimized algorithm to comb through your search and watch history, to recommend videos they think you’d like.

This isn’t usually a problem, but if you’re someone who has just started on your 90-day detox from gaming, it can be a struggle.

After people quit gaming, a number of them fill that void with YouTube.

I mean, why wouldn’t you? It’s an infinite trove of mentally stimulating content just waiting to be watched.

But, receiving recommended gameplay from your favourite video games can increase your cravings to play.

The best way to get around this is to learn how to clear your YouTube history.

And don’t worry, I’ve included the mobile version for you as well.

How To Clear Your YouTube History

Clearing your YouTube history is actually pretty simple. However, YouTube likes to hide all of your data (even the deleted stuff) behind another few steps.

How to Delete Your Watch and Search History

Step 1: Head over to your history tab on the left side of the screen

Step 2: You’ll see the two sections on the right-hand side. Click ‘clear all history’ in both of these and you’re good to go.

That’s it!

Now you get to admire your beautiful homepage in all of its glory.

Quick note – If you use the YouTube Music app you’ll have to go through the same process in that.

Clean YouTube’s Hidden Data

Now there are a couple of extra steps to take to delete the rest of your data Google has on file.

Step 1: Head back over to the history tab, navigate to the right-hand side and click on ‘manage all activity’.

Step 2: Click on the ‘delete activity by’ on the left side of the screen.

Step 3: Under the ‘delete by date’ section, change it to all time.

Step 4: Now press delete.

And, hopefully, you’re good to go.

Initially, this might not look like it has much of an effect, as your homepage has gone back to normal after clearing your watch and search history.

However, over time YouTube will feed recommendations back to you based on videos you watched months or years ago.

Mobile Version: How To Delete Your Watch History

The mobile version is pretty similar to the desktop version, it’s just laid out slightly differently. Follow the arrows and you’ll be all set.

Step 1: Click on Library in the bottom right.

Arrow Pointing to Library Tab on YouTube

Step 2: Click on ‘History’ at the top.

Arrow Pointing To History

Step 3: Tap on the three dots in the top-right corner.

Arrow Pointing To Three Dots In Top Right Of Mobile Screen

Step 4: On the pop-up menu, select ‘History Controls’

Arrow Pointing To History Controls Tab

Step 5: Now just click on ‘Clear Watch History’ and ‘Clear Search History’. Also, note that you can delete all of your YouTube data on this screen, similar to what we did on the desktop.

Screenshot Showing Clear Watch And Search History Buttons

And that’s it. Pretty simple.

If you find yourself giving into your cravings and end up binge-watching a bunch of videos, just go back, delete your history and reset.

If you’re looking to prevent these binge-watching sessions happening, we’ll be releasing a guide soon on how to get rid of all of the distractions on YouTube such as Recommended videos, Trending, and Autoplay.

So make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notified when the video goes live. And leave a comment on the video about your experience with YouTube after trying to quit gaming.

Step-by-step guide to stop wasting time on Reddit:

For the longest time I despised Reddit. It was poorly designed, didn’t make any sense, and was just boring.

Then, roughly 2 years ago, I decided to really give it a go.

I learned how to use it, got on board with the Reddit sense of humour, and followed all the subreddits I could think of, including /r/StopGaming

I Was Hooked

reddit

For me, wasting time on Reddit was almost worse than being addicted to video games.

I’d spend hours scrolling through the front page looking at memes, gifs, reading countless life pro tips, and even watching porn.

And yet, I don’t think I could recall a single piece of advice I’d read on Reddit.

I was doing all this reading, convincing myself I was learning and improving myself when in reality it was going in one ear and straight out the other.

I had managed to curb my addiction to other social media sites, but Reddit was a stubborn beast.

I’m here to tell you, however, that it can still be tamed. With the right systems and a bit of effort, you too can learn how to stop wasting time on Reddit.

Stop Wasting Time on Reddit

You’ve probably noticed in the past that you unconsciously reach for your phone to start browsing the internet.

I’m bored, time to get out my phone.

I’m waiting for someone, better browse Reddit.

You’ve done it so much now that it has turned into an automatic response… a habit.

The good thing about habits is that they can be changed, and that begins with awareness.

I want you to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What need is my device fulfilling? Is it to do with boredom? Sadness? Tiredness? Or am I just lonely?
  2. If I take a day off from my device, will I be holding myself back?
  3. Is it an absolute must for me to use my device to complete a task?

Take some time to have a think, and try to get as in-depth as possible.

The more serious you can take it now, the easier it will be to overcome the problem.

Now, we’re going to use these questions again, so keep them somewhere you can see them.

Mindfulness Is the Key

the habit loop

The first thing you need to do is learn to be aware of your usage, and start catching yourself before it happens.

From now on, every time you go to pick up your device, you’re going to pause and stop yourself in the act. Take a moment to breathe.

It’s going to be tough to begin with, and probably won’t happen until you’ve already opened Reddit. But, the trick is to keep trying until you’re eventually doing it before it happens.

Once you’ve caught yourself in the process, I want you to ask yourself those three questions from before.

All we’re trying to do here is develop some self-awareness to our habit.

The first necessary step in changing a habit is learning what the start point of that habit is. In the Habit Loop this is called the Trigger.

Once you learn what your Trigger is, you can begin to work on controlling it.

Replace Reddit with Something Meaningful

After a bit of practice, you should have identified which needs you’re trying to fulfill by browsing Reddit.

Now, the next step is to find an activity that can fill that same need, without incorporating any unhealthy technology habits you’ve already developed.

In the New York Times Best Selling Book, Atomic Habits, author James Clear shares three ways to break a bad habit:

Whether you decide to eliminate Reddit completely or simply reduce your usage, finding a replacement habit to counter Reddit will be crucial.

If you’ve got no idea what to do, try looking back to a time where you were happy without technology. It might be a past experience or hobbies you used to enjoy.

A big one for me was playing music. Something I’d fallen out of touch with over the last few years.

We also have a list of 60+ new hobby ideas here.

The important thing now is to begin associating the urge with picking up your device, with the urge to spend time on your preferred activities.

An example of what this might look like with practice:

  • I’m lonely but I don’t realize it
  • I want to interact with my favorite subreddits
  • I realize I’m picking up my phone
  • “Why am I doing this?”
  • Realizing I’m lonely
  • Instead of browsing Reddit I’m going to message a friend to hang out

This is a pretty simple explanation but I hope it makes some sense to you.

What If I Can’t Stop Wasting Time Reddit?

slow down quote

Most of the time we pick up our phone, we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

It’s at this point when following the previous steps becomes difficult.

It might sound like I’m repeating myself but again, the key here is self-awareness and practice.

The best way that I’ve found to take control of the situation is to use those momentary lapses in concentration, when your attention naturally breaks from the screen, and attempt to catch yourself in the moment.

Instead of going straight back to moving your thumb up and down your screen, you’re going to try to and regain a sense of awareness of your surroundings.

A few things you could try:

  • Stand up and take a few steps
  • Press the buttons on your phone
  • Look around and notice where you are
  • Kick your feet or stretch your body

The key to these movements is to snap you out of that technology-induced trance.

Once you’ve managed to snap out of it, you can start focusing your attention on any tasks or problems you might have, and work towards solving them.

Can’t I Just Block Reddit?

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it. It’s something that I’ve used to great effect in the past.

There are well-known blocking apps like FocusMe, or my personal favorite, the StayFocusd extension for Chrome.

I put all of the sites I want to block on there and hit the Nuclear Option for 1000000 hours.

Also, make sure to block the extensions page as well as enable the extension in incognito mode.

Sure, there are ways that any tech-savvy individual can get around them, but there’s one big advantage to using a blocker: It helps to refocus your attention in the moment and catch you before you start browsing.

For example, you’re bored and unconsciously opening Reddit. As you do, a big warning pops up on your screen telling you to get back to work.

This triggers you into becoming self-aware of your surroundings and can act as a great way to snap you back into focus.

However, while blocking apps is great, you want to develop the ability to remain mindful and aware of the situation at hand.

The sooner you can address the reasons why you’re starting to browse Reddit, the sooner you can start developing more healthy habits.

It’s something that will benefit in the future far more than you realize.

 

Read next: How to Delete Your Reddit Account

Ready to quit playing Skyrim? You’re in the right place.

I’m not sure I can name another game that’s as immersive, nostalgic, and downright addictive as Skyrim.

Skyrim lets you feel like you’re a part of a different world. You can choose to be whoever you want to be.

Want to play as a hulking barbarian that has a deep-seated hatred for the Elves?

Or maybe you’re on the peaceful side and want to hunt animals, fish, and make a living in a small cabin with your wife.

Skyrim lets you do all of that, and more. But what happens if Skyrim has taken hold of your life? How do you quit?

If you ask people online they will just laugh at you. “You can’t quit, it’s too addictive.”

Therefore that’s why I’ve created this guide: I want to help you quit playing Skyrim and take back control of your life.

I Was Addicted to Skyrim

james good

Hi, I’m James Good

I still remember the feeling of rushing over to my cousin’s house after they’d just bought an Xbox 360, and seeing the intro scene for Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

The sweeping views over the Imperial City were like nothing I’d ever seen before, and from that day forward I was infected with the Bethesda bug.

When Skyrim first came out I racked up 26 hours playtime in the first 36 hours of its release. I used to boast about it in school.

Since that day 8 years ago, I’ve explored every nook and cranny of the world, I’ve installed more mods than I can count, I’ve even role-played every class imaginable. I still kept going back for more.

I’ve spent thousands of hours in that immersive world, and I’d spend thousands more without batting an eye.

Even now, after being game-free for over 7 months, hearing any piece of music from an Elder Scrolls game makes me want to start a new character and jump right back in to that imaginary world of Dragons, Draugr and damned Dwemer ruins.

Getting Back to Basics

Before we dive head-first into this, we need to address the issue at its source. Is your problem with Skyrim itself, or are you just addicted to gaming?

Let me know if any of these sound familiar:

  • Gaming is the dominant activity in your life, and you’re preoccupied with what you’re playing or you’re going to play next
  • When you’re not gaming you’re anxious, irritable, bored or even sad
  • You aren’t satisfied with just an hour of playing. You need to push yourself further and further.
  • You’re not as interested in your other hobbies anymore, just gaming.
  • Do you keep playing games despite knowing they’re having a negative effect?
  • Has gaming significantly affected your personal relationships, school or career in the past?

If so, you might be addicted to gaming, and your problem might run deeper than just Skyrim. Check out these video game addiction signs and symptoms to find out more.

With this newfound knowledge in hand, we can begin addressing the problem.

How to Quit Playing Skyrim: Step-By-Step

When people begin their journey towards a life without gaming, some choose to quit completely and others try to play in moderation.

If you’re reading this article then you already know that playing Skyrim for a few hours a week just isn’t going to work. This might not be easy to hear, but you’re going to have to cut the game out completely.

All your characters, mods, quests, and even the hundreds of dragon bones you’re definitely hoarding in your house. No ifs or buts. The game has gotta go.

But deleting Skyrim and all of your games on Steam isn’t going to work unless we have the proper systems in place. You need to build your foundations first.

Step 1: Why Do You Want to Quit Skyrim?

This is the most important step, and you should spend time thinking about it.

Maybe you’re tired of feeling the way you do. Perhaps you’ve envisioned your life 10 years from now: still depressed and playing video games and it’s been a wake-up call.

Maybe you’re sick of being alone, and want to have a real group of friends.

It might even be as simple as having goals in your life that you know you won’t accomplish if you’re still playing Skyrim 30 hours a week.

The journey of quitting video games isn’t an easy one. It’s full of challenges and even cravings. Having a clear reason why will help you solidify your purpose for overcoming this addiction. It’s something you can look back to when things start getting rough.

Action step: Write down why you want to quit Skyrim. Then, post it somewhere you will see it to easily remind yourself.

Step 2: What is Your Vision?

Now that you know why you want to quit playing Skyrim, let’s figure out what kind of person you want to become.

One of the biggest issues when quitting video games is finding something to fill the void. You need to fill dozens of hours a week with activities that, initially, you won’t find entertaining at all.

The simple thing to do here is to pick a few different hobbies, perhaps ones you’ve wanted to try for a long time, and commit to working on them. You need to find activities that you like, that you like a lot. Remember, you’re trying to compete with video games here.

Sounds daunting, right? The reality is, once you start living without video games things will start to improve rapidly.

You’ll start to see the true beauty of real life, and realize that there’s so much more out there than completing quests and getting new gear.

Once you stop constantly bombarding your brain with happiness-boosting dopamine, you’ll start finding joy in places you never thought possible.

That’s when you start to make real change in your life.

You’re no longer a gamer. You’re a surfer, a musician, an entrepreneur, a climber, a writer, an engineer, a photographer or whatever else you want to be.

Tie these activities in with your ‘why’, and you’re going to be unstoppable.

Action step: Pick and write down three new hobbies you are going to try. Here is a list of 70+ replacement activities.

Step 3: Committing to Quit Playing Skyrim

You have to get honest with yourself. You’re embarking on a journey, and it’s not some level 1 escape-the-sewers quest.

This is serious stuff. You have to make a commitment to yourself, to your friends, and to your loved ones.

You have to decide to quit playing Skyrim. There’s no playing in moderation. You can’t use it as a reward. You will quit gaming cold turkey, 110%.

Make the decision not to touch them at all ever again. And most importantly, you have to mean it. Make the decision to delete your Steam account now.

If you’re not willing to do this, you’re just going to start playing games again, and find one of a thousand reasons to justify it. The excuses stop here.

Action step: Join us on our forum and introduce yourself. Document your journey.

Step 4: Level Up in Real Life

After quitting gaming 7 months ago, my life has changed in more ways than I thought possible.

I became a self-employed web designer, writer, photographer and musician. I’ve even got friends all over the world lifting me up to reach goals I’d only dreamed about.

The biggest change is that I finally feel content in what I’m doing. I’m not suffering from any more mental health problems, I’m working on something I love doing, and I’m actually happy.

For the first time in years I’m genuinely enjoying my life at the moment, and I’ve only just begun. I don’t care how realistic graphics have become. You will never find a more immersive and rewarding video game than real life.

You’ve been through the tutorial, beaten the puberty patch, and now you’re just about to embark on the main quest. There’s an infinite amount of skills waiting to be leveled up, you just have to go out there, and do it. You have to take action.

You’re starting a new chapter of your life, so make it a good one. Create something that you can look back on in 5, 10 or even 50 years and be proud of.

Think about how different your life will be if you make this decision today. How much smarter, happier, fitter, and better off will you be if you start now? Start now.

Need More Help?

Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

The digital age has changed parenting, and today over 83% of teenagers play video games. So how do you raise successful kids?

We interviewed Jordan Shapiro, PhD and author of The New Childhood:

Shapiro realized that the world his children are living in is much different than when he was growing up.

Their experiences are focused on digital media and he didn’t know how to deal with the issues that arose from that.

This is the first time in history where parents have to raise successful kids surrounded by technology.

So he set out on a journey to research and create the necessary tools to understand an electronic world.

Raise Successful Kids: Step 1

social media

First, you have to understand technology, video games, and social media. It’s no longer optional to avoid the conversation around screen time.

You need to be able to guide them through this new age and manifest your ethical vision of the world.

You need to get involved with your children and learn how to use the same tools that they’re growing up with.

It’s important to have the right attitude as you walk through this digital landscape to raise successful kids.

Responsible Use of Video Games

raise successful kids who play video games

While struggling through a divorce, Shapiro’s children were using video games as an outlet for their problems. But, he had to ensure that they didn’t become dependent on the online world for solutions.

He realized that he didn’t want it to become an escape.

Related: How to Overcome Escapism

To counteract this, he played video games with his kids. It sounds counter-intuitive, but you have to remember that children want to be like their parents.

By playing these games, he was able to control how often they were played and it became a tool to bond as a family.

In the Game Quitters Parent Support Group on Facebook a parent shared the story of how she tried to learn more about video games by playing them herself.

While her son was out she logged onto his account and tried to play. It was a terrible experience. Quickly she was exposed to trash-talk and hate messages for being a bad player.

In order to avoid having your child become addicted to gaming in their formative years,  Jordan recommends starting much earlier in the child’s life.

The sooner you can start to build positive habits the faster they will develop healthy attitudes towards digital media.

This is easiest to do during the phase your children want to mimic you.

Originally Shapiro’s children wouldn’t come to the dinner table when they were asked. But after years of building habits they eventually started changing their attitude.

Now, it isn’t even an issue trying to get them to listen to him. If you try to do this with a 13 year old it becomes much, much harder.

What If Gaming Is Already an Issue?

kid playing video game

If you’re struggling with a game-addicted child become interested in what they’re doing.

Ask them why they’re playing and what’s happening in the game. Ask them to tell you about the decisions they make and how it affects the game.

This helps to shift gaming from an escape, towards being an activity you can talk about as a family. As rapport improves between you and your child, you will be able to start helping them build healthier habits with gaming.

You don’t have to like the game, but there’s a difference between disagreeing with your child and trying to have a genuine discussion with why they like the game.

Need extra help? Purchase a copy of our video game addiction guide for parents.

Parents, PewDiePie and Pop Culture

youtube

There’s a whole world of online media that parents wouldn’t believe existed, even if you showed it to them.

The craze of YouTubers, Twitch Streamers, memes, and much more.

The biggest example of this is the YouTuber “PewDiePie”.

Children are sitting down and watching videos such as his “meme review” almost religiously.

How are you supposed to help your kids if you’ve got no idea what they’re doing in the first place?

Try asking them to tell you which videos they’re watching and why.

Instill a voice of reason in their head, so that you don’t have to constantly tell them to stop.

Raise Successful Kids: Shift Your Focus

youtube

We tend to fixate on how many hours of screen time should my kid have each day? How long have they been playing video games?

You have to remember that it’s not just about hours, it’s about everything surrounding it.

Jordan’s attitude towards his kids has always been that you have to go outside, read books, and talk to real people, and if you can still play games for a few hours after that… then there’s a bigger problem we need to address.

After hearing his child laughing to himself late one night, Jordan wanted to why.

He didn’t instantly shut off the internet as many parents would do. Instead, he asked his child what time he thinks is reasonable to go to sleep.

His son replied 10pm. So Jordan introduced an automatic cut-off for wifi in the house at 10pm each night.

By going through this process, and not being reactive, he allowed his son to make the decision and included him in the conversation.

It stops them from feeling belittled by your choice to talk to them, which only makes them go on the defensive.

A lot of children might feel bad about playing too many video games. It’s your responsibility as a parent to make sure they feel respected, and that they have a voice. Allow them to feel people are willing to listen if there’s a safe space at home to do so.

Be Mindful About Technology

mom on smartphone

Research shows kids have more behavioral problems when their parents are addicted to technology.

Shapiro notes that he’s mindful about his own technology in his household, but not necessarily for his children.

Through his actions and decisions, he tells them what they need to be doing and how to have a healthy relationship with technology.

He thinks that these devices are great for connection, efficiency, and developing social skills. But if that pulls him away from being present, that’s when he knows it’s an issue.

Using the example of friends coming over to play, Shapiro states that his children can’t just play video games when their friends come to visit.

They should have real conversations while in-person and they can keep in touch with each other via technology.

To raise successful kids is about being mindful of living in the present moment. It’s about realizing that if your child has a problem, it’s more likely that you have a problem too.

Read Shapiro’s book: The New Childhood.

Tanner Guzy

I just finished my 9-day social media and email fast.

And it was even better than I expected.

Significantly easier, much more satisfying, and even more relaxing than what I was hoping for.

I was nervous to do this because my business depends entirely on my contact with my audience.

If I’m not posting content – on social media or sending emails – I’m not getting new clients.

But I knew I had a problem…

I Was Always on My Phone

social media detox

In between sets at the gym, stopped at a red light, taking a leak in the middle of the night, it didn’t really matter – I was always on my phone.

All because I got a constant dopamine hit from it.

My twitter account is active enough that every single time I hit “refresh” on the notifications, there’s something new – even if I just refreshed a few seconds ago.

Any time I wanted to, I could pull that proverbial lever and get a punch of dopamine to my brain.

The problem is, like any other addiction, I was needing more intense stimuli to get the same effect. Likes and retweets were no longer enough – it had to be comments or quote tweets.

If my open rate on emails wasn’t high enough I was discouraged and my mood was affected for the day.

If an Instagram post had fewer than 400 likes I was so frustrated that I was ready to just bag that medium altogether.

I was no longer in control of social media – it was in control of me.

I needed to step back and recalibrate.

Social Media Detox

social media likes

When I first decided to do this I was planning on it being incredibly difficult.

And it wasn’t.

It helped that my first full day was also a day in which I had a client in town and shopping so all of my mental energy was there.

And day two was a Sunday where I was already used to logging out of this stuff on Sundays to spend more time with family.

But Monday rolled around and, surprisingly, it really wasn’t that tough.

I got a lot of actual work done because I wasn’t able to push it aside and procrastinate on Twitter.

I learned quickly that, as important as creating content and marketing are, I’d allowed them to become a crutch.

Why focus on the tedious, long-term things of my business when it was much more enjoyable and super easy to justify the work of creating more content?

It was work after all, but it often came at the expense of other things that were equally (if not more) important but weren’t as fun or as urgent.

Monday night I realized I was enjoying the process when we met my parents to pick up my kids.

They’d taken them for a couple of days and we were meeting up with them at a Wendy’s halfway between us to make the pass off.

We’d been in the restaurant for nearly 45 minutes before I realized I’d left my phone in the car and hadn’t even missed it.

That was a fantastic feeling.

It Wasn’t All Fun, but…

tanner guzy

There were a couple of times throughout the week where I’d catch myself sitting in my office and realize that I’d just been sitting there thinking for half an hour.

There were still too many times throughout the week that I’d check my phone for notifications out of pure habit.

And the last two days were actually really hard compared to anything prior.

If you plan on doing this yourself, I definitely recommend keeping some books or magazines in the bathroom during the first couple of days.

But all in all, it was totally worth doing.

So much so that I’m not adding these apps back onto my phone.

No I’m not leaving social media and I’ll be back to writing more frequent emails, but I’m not adding any of my social apps back onto my phone.

By just keeping them on my iPad, it means I only use them when I want to.

They won’t get in the way of date nights, or gym sessions, or traffic, or any of the other stuff that really should be getting my full attention.

I’m excited about that balance.

Tanner Guzy is the author of The Appearance of Power and a men’s style coach. He teaches men how to improve their lives by learning how to dress better. He’s based out of Salt Lake City, Utah where he lives with his wife and four kids.

I have been gaming my entire life. It has always been my true passion.

I’ve had other hobbies over the years to make my life more interesting and meaningful, but gaming has always been the thing I went back to.

I don’t regret this time. I have fond memories of playing multiplayer games with friends and cousins, and finishing single-player games with my younger brother watching.

I loved spending summers playing immersive role-playing games. I had a ton of fun in university playing multiplayer games; sharing adventures with online friends, being a valued member of my guild, and becoming a part of gaming communities.

Despite having spent so much time playing video games, I always had the discipline to not let them get the best of me.

I did well in school. I completed my master’s degree. I held several jobs and never had trouble keeping my bosses happy, or being a responsible adult.

I even got a girlfriend eight years ago who I’m now engaged to.

If gaming hasn’t ruined my life, why would I want to stop in the first place?

My Health Started to Suffer

mountains fog

As my interests in video games became more hardcore, it became difficult to find time to play without frustration.

With my work, relationship and other responsibilities, I didn’t time to play as much as I would have liked.

This worked surprisingly well for a long time.

A few hours every day spent playing during free time, or a Sunday afternoon here and there…

It still amounted to dozens of hours every month – just enough to keep up to date with the latest and most interesting releases in gaming for the past few years. I’d switch to a new game every few days or weeks, depending on the time it took to beat them.

In the case of games that you can’t really beat, spending enough time with them to get the gist, until you get bored and try something else.

But constantly being mentally stimulated and stressed about making the most of every single minute of free time, thinking about gaming all the time, normal responsibilities as an adult, and everything else life requires became stressful.

Both my mental and physical health began steadily declining.

I’m already spending all my day at work in front of a computer, and I’m doing the same at home when I’m gaming.

Every muscle in my body seems to be tense all the time, and I suffer from severe back pain.

Mentally I am a mess. Recently I started suffering from insomnia and panic attacks; I have more trouble concentrating, and feel like it’s almost impossible for me to just relax.

I feel irritable and depressed all the time and nothing about life seems fun or exciting anymore, even video games.

One Day I Would Have to Say Farewell

goodbye friends

Maybe some part of me always knew this day would come, but I don’t really enjoy video games anymore.

A few years ago my girlfriend went abroad for work. This left me with a lot of free time.

I had the idea of building a new gaming computer. I also purchased a Nintendo Switch to make the most of it. It was a lot of fun!

I played different games and got back into pure hardcore gaming. I took my passion to new heights and I loved every minute of it.

I beat the most epic boss fights by finishing the Dark Souls series and Hollow Knight. I explored the galaxy in Elite Dangerous, and sunk countless hours into Civilization VI.

I challenged myself with hardcore games like Celeste and Darkest Dungeon, and even tried to see why Fortnite is so popular by finishing an entire season.

I played the most incredible and immersive modern open-world games the world has ever known, and got completely lost in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

I got a rush from the past and became overwhelmed with nostalgia by beating the greatest challenges Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had to offer.

I took a look at the future of gaming by dabbling in virtual reality with an HTC VIVE.

I even got back into World of Warcraft – the game I spent the most time of my life on. After leveling up and exploring new zones, I took screenshots and explored old content before my subscription ran out.

Being a Field Photographer I gained achievements for exploration, as if I knew that this was some kind of farewell trip

There’s Only so Much You Can Take

man and woman holding hands

Like all the ones that came before, these memories are a part of me now and I will always cherish the music, stories, characters, environments, and mechanics that made all those games so great. But, there are only so many times you can save the world before you become cynical about it.

There are only so many seemingly impossible platforming challenges or difficult boss-fights you can overcome before you start becoming anxious and nervous about having to do it again.

How many epic hundred-hour open-world adventures can you finish before you’d rather not start another one from the beginning?

I am getting too old for gaming. I want to save my physical and mental health because I clearly reached my limit.

I plan on doing the 90 day detox which I will start today. It will finish on June 8th, 2019.

It’s Time to Level up in Real Life

level up in real life

I will use this time to focus on other hobbies I have; music production, photography, and video editing. All of which will benefit from my current gaming computer.

I will spend time renovating my home, and doing other stuff I never got around to doing these past few months.

I will get a Kindle and spend some time reading.

I will spend more time with my incredible fiancée who shows her love for me every day.

I’m tired of that voice inside my head telling me that I’m bored with her and that I would rather be gaming.

I am tired of thinking about gaming all the time and of challenging myself artificially on top of all the actual meaningful challenges life throws at you anyway on a daily basis.

I am tired of being depressed and bored all the time.

I am tired of being tired from gaming too much.

My 90 day challenge starts today.

Wish me luck.

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Ready to quit gaming?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Worried? Take a short quiz on PUBG Addiction

Before addictive games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, we had PlayerUnknowns Battleground, and “PUBG” addiction.

After its release in 2017 PUBG quickly became by far, the most popular game in the world. Two years later and it still remains a powerhouse in the gaming world.

PUBG Mobile, a free-to-play version of the game, has more users than Fortnite 5 5. PUBG mobile has more downloads than Fortnite’s population – on all platforms × due to its popularity in Asian countries such as India and China.

It has become so bad in India that a 20-year-old boy recently died after prolonged play over 45 days and suffering severe nerve damage 6 6. 20 Year Old Boy From Telangana Dies While Playing The Battle Royale Game × . This has led to extreme measures to be put in place, such as locking users out of the game if they play for more than 6 hours in one day 7 7. PUBG Mobile Testing 6-Hour Daily Limit to Combat Addiction in India × .

The game isn’t showing any signs of losing its player base, and PUBG addiction is as widespread now as it has ever been.

What is PUBG?

  • Rating: Teen due to violence and blood
  • Cost: $29.99/£26.99 or free for PUBG Mobile (both versions also contain loot-boxes)

PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS pits up to 100 players against one another in a winner-take-all, kill-or-be-killed battle royale. Where your main goal is to simply outlive the competition.

After being air-dropped onto an isolated island, you’ll have to rely on skill and luck as you scavenge what tools and equipment you can from the surrounding area in order to survive.

Of course, you’re not the only one in this game.

Other players are also searching for the right tools to take you out as well. It’s not just the other competitors you’ll have to contend with, either. The border of the play area sporadically shrinks, forcing players to occasionally sprint to a new section of the map or get trapped out of bounds.

Warning Signs of PUBG Addiction

Video game addiction is a real mental health condition recognized by the World Health Organization. They have a set of three criteria as warning signs:

  1. Impaired control: Your gamer is unable to control or limit their gameplay.
  2. Loss of interest in other activities: Your gamer’s life revolves around gaming instead of gaming revolving around their life.
  3. Continuing to play despite negative impact: Gaming is causing significant harm to their school grades, employment, or relationships.

These are the three biggest warning signs for PUBG addiction, but there are others as well, such as being deceptive, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, using gaming to escape, or being unable to focus without playing games.

To learn more about the severity of your problem, take our quiz:

Video Game Addiction Quiz for Parents.

The Danger of Loot-Boxes in PUBG

As the mobile version of the game is so easy to get a hold of, it’s possible for children to spend a lot of money on the game unknowingly.

Not long ago a 15-year-old boy stole over $700 from his father’s bank account to buy loot-boxes.

While you’re able to earn loot-boxes by playing the game, you can only unlock a small number in one week. If you want to open more, it will cost $2.50 to purchase a key. The only purpose of these loot-boxes is to unlock cosmetic items that have no impact on gameplay.

On top of this, you can spend money to level up your character and unlock new dances, weapon designs, and celebrations.

For example, you can purchase a Survivor Pass for $10 (similar to Fortnite’s Battle Pass), to level up faster by completing challenges.

Subsequently, you can spend up to $50 at a time to instantly gain levels up to a maximum of 100. There are different price points, but it generally works out at $1 per level.

Research has found loot boxes to be psychologically the same as gambling, and parents should not allow loot boxes to be purchased.

Related: Video Games and Gambling: An Introduction to Loot Boxes, Microtransactions, and In-App Purchases

How to Combat PUBG Addiction

Don’t wait for the problem to get worse. Take action now. Here are a few practical strategies you can implement:

Step 1: Limit gaming. If your son is over 12 years old bring gaming down to two hours or less each day. Require homework and exercise to be complete first before any access is granted. You may find it helpful to create a family screen time contract.

Step 2: Find more activities. Here is a list of replacement activities. Keep gaming from being the only thing they do. Make sure they are spending more time outside in nature, increase their face-to-face interactions, and find competitive outlets such as sports.

Step 3: Improve communication. Stop calling them an addict. Whether they are or not, this only creates more conflict in the family. Remember that rapport creates trust, trust creates leverage, and leverage is required for influence. Spend more time together hiking or doing activities together on the weekends. Consider changing up your communication and parenting styles.

Implement these strategies and they will help you turn your child’s PUBG addiction around. For additional support to help your loved one, purchase a copy of our video game addiction guide for parents and loved ones.

Google has launched their own gaming service: Google Stadia.

google logo transparentThe video game industry continues to grow rapidly and has surpassed the music and film industries combined.

As gaming becomes more accessible, the number of gamers will grow, and so too will those who struggle with video game addiction and compulsive issues.

Last month, Google announced its new games streaming service Google Stadia which is set to launch later this year.

We don’t know much about the service yet, but consider it a Netflix for gaming. Built into your web browser, Stadia will allow you to stream games whenever you want.

While this is an advancement for the gaming industry, it’s terrible news for those who struggle who suffer from an addiction.

It will be hard to keep gaming out of your life.

What is Google Stadia?

Stadia will allow users to play their favourite games with little more than an internet connection and a controller.

The games will be streamed from Google’s data centers around the globe in 4K resolution and 60fps. The service will be integrated with Google Chrome and YouTube.

According to Google’s Phil Harrison; “‘Stadia’ is meant to reflect that it will be a collection of entertainment, which the viewer can choose to sit back and watch, or take an active part in.”

Google is pursuing the community aspect of gaming, allowing users to share their experiences with each other with less friction.

Players can livestream their gameplay footage directly to YouTube. Anyone watching the livestream can then choose to launch that game instantly, without having to download it. They can even carry on from the same point they were watching from.

Stadia is a console built for the YouTube generation.

The Future of Cloud Gaming

google future of gaming

Unsurprisingly, Google isn’t the only major company trying to enter the cloud gaming market.

Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, Valve and even Electronic Arts will release their own cloud-based gaming services soon.

Related: Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million dollars in 2014.

Soon you will hear of Project xCloud, Project Atlas, and LOUDPLAY as game companies make an international push to make gaming available to as many people as possible.

For example, India has grown to one of the five largest mobile gaming markets in the world, with over 222 million gamers. However PUBG addiction has become a country wide epidemic.

Should Parents Be Worried?

Google Stadia

One of the biggest issues is that gaming has become normalized. Everyone is a gamer these days.

It’s important as parents to control what games your children play, and to use parental controls within those games.

Is this a foolproof solution to the problem? No. Restrictions like that will always have a workaround, especially as the service will be accessible on almost every computer and mobile device (Windows and Android only).

Until we know more about Stadia we recommend following the principles outlined in our video game addiction guide for loved ones. Tackle this issue before it becomes a problem!

The rise of PUBG addiction in India is one of the most shocking examples of gaming being taken too far.

It’s become an epidemic in India, receiving a huge amount of attention from the press.

The government has even attempted to put a stop to the problem, but with little success.

As I’m writing this, somewhere in the country there’s a child with a smartphone in their hands, trying to convince their parents that there are much worse things to be addicted to.

While that may be true, it doesn’t take away from the fact that PUBG addiction is having a catastrophic effect on today’s youth of India.

Why Are Kids Addicted to PUBG?

india taj mahal

As a member of the Game Quitters community myself, I can empathize with being completely oblivious to the effect of video games on our daily lives.

We all remember how hooked we were when we played our first online multiplayer game.

There’s nothing like that dopamine surge you get from the thrill and excitement of gaming. The same can be said here in this scenario.

In India many kids and college students have fallen prey to PUBG Mobile; most likely due to the easy accessibility of the game.

You no longer need to have an expensive gaming PC or console to play, just a smartphone and mobile data (which is currently very cheap thanks to a cellular company called Jio).

Number of smartphone users in India from 2015 to 2022 (in millions)*

Source: Statista

There are more than 222 million active gamers in India as of 2017, making it one of the top five mobile gaming markets in the world!

I thought that the “PUBG Craze” would fade in time but it looks here to stay.

Is PUBG Addiction in India Really That Bad?

india flag

I woke up to the news of the “Gujarat Govt bans PUBG in their state”, and I thought this was an extreme measure to take.

A lot of people were upset and many decided to keep playing. 10 college students were even arrested for playing PUBG.

A woman told the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, that her son used to be good in school but is now completely engaged in his smartphone and online gaming. This is just one parent among many others who are worried about their boys.

There are many more overlooked factors such as anxiety and depression, personality changes, and other health and social problems associated with gaming addiction.

A friend of mine told me that a guy living in his neighbourhood was addicted to PUBG, and had a mental breakdown after an argument with his parents. He ran away from home without letting anyone know.

I used to believe that this was just a temporary trend of gaming and people will just get bored with it, but I was wrong.

Seeing all of this happening makes me sad and concerned about the youth of the country.

Even the PUBG founder had set the game time limit to 6 hours per day. But, is that really a viable solution? Apparently not, because it was removed shortly thereafter amongst outrage.

Moving Toward Solutions

happy kids in india

Do we blame the Indian Government? Parents? Gaming addicts? The makers of PUBG?

Or, do we need to take a step back and address the addictive nature of these video games, which are now proliferating like bacteria to our mobile devices and getting us hooked?

In my opinion, the best way to come out of all of this is to be more self-aware and mindful of our own gaming and technology use. We need to come together and treat this as a real issue so we can combat it collectively.

We need to address the root cause of addiction and build awareness of the issue across India (and the world).

Only then can we start getting the systems in place to deal with the problem, instead of implementing temporary fixes such as bans.

I just want to say thank you to Cam for allowing me to share my story of what’s happening in India, and I hope that it helps you understand that the issue of video game addiction is widespread across the world.

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Ready to quit gaming?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Written by Skandh Dev | Edited by James Good

The idea of deleting your Steam account permanently would terrify most people.

Given how much money is usually spent acquiring a huge array of games – 98% of which you’d never play – it’s not surprising.

But, what if you’ve decided that enough is enough.

What if you’ve realised; you’re not most people.

You’ve taken our quiz, you know you’re addicted to games. Well, what now?

One of the first steps you should take into the world of quitting video games is to take away anything that may trigger you into playing.

This can include anything from gaming soundtracks, Twitch streams, Youtube videos, or more likely deleting your Steam account.

It’s much easier to resist the urge to play games if there are no more games for you to play.

In the past, You had to go through the process of using a 10-minute mail account and changing your personal details to something completely random. Thus, locking you out of your account.

While this worked in practice, it was easy to bypass. Either via account recovery or PayPal details.

Fortunately, Steam introduced a super simple way for you to delete your steam account. Permanently.

How to Delete Your Steam Account

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Open up Steam.

Step 2: Go to the menu at the top-right, where it says your name, and click on “Account Details”.

Step 3: Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click on “Delete My Steam Account”.

Step 4: The next page will give you some information on how the process will work.

Simply put, there are 3 steps:

  1. Fill in and send the verification form
  2. Steam will send you a message confirming the process
  3. After 30 days your account is deleted

The hard part is resisting the urge to game for 30 days. If you have no idea what to do, download our list of over 60 hobbies that you can get involved with right away.

Also, there’s a link to the FAQ section of the process. However, I’d recommend not reading it, as it doesn’t provide much useful information, and is more likely to make you change your mind if you spend too long on the process.

Step 5: Finally, proceed to account deletion. You’ll see a form that asks for the earliest e-mail address and phone number on your account. As well as a box for you to write a message in.

Interestingly, I wrote that I had an issue with gaming and needed to get away from it before it destroys my life. When Steam support wrote back to me, they wrote a heartfelt note wishing me the best in life and good luck on my journey.

Whoever is in charge of hiring staff deserves a raise.

Step 6: Once you’re done, hit send and voila! You’re all sorted.

Bonus: Now, remember to uninstall Steam from your computer, and do everything you can to avoid playing again.

Ready to quit gaming?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

The game that took hours of my life and made me return again and again was Lineage 2. I was drawn to the fantasy world of elves and dragons.

I used to play it in high school using the PC that my parents had gifted to me for my studies. Several times I stopped playing because of my exams and every time I returned.

There was a period of my life when I needed to find a job. I spent a lot of effort trying to pass software development interviews in order to get a good position. To make time to prepare for the interviews I quit Lineage 2.

After a while, I downloaded it again. It didn’t work on my PC anymore so I considered it a sign that I should stop playing the game and forgot about it for years.

Besides, I didn’t have the time to sit in front of my computer to play video games. I wanted a more active life.

Then I Got a Smartphone

lineage 2 revolution

After a couple of days using my new phone I discovered Lineage 2 Revolution. While remembering all of the great moments I had from Lineage 2 nostalgia got the best of me and I downloaded it.

I enjoyed the process of playing it wherever possible: on the bus, in queues, while eating, during meetings with friends, and even during work!

Every day I became more and more addicted to the game.

Related: Video Game Addiction Test for Gamers

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the game was P2W: Pay-to-Win. The more you invest (financially) in the game, the easier it is for you to win. I spent some money in the game, a little amount, just to thank the game developers, but I did not want to spend thousands of dollars as top players allowed themselves.

I tried to reach a gap in combat power between me and top players by doing all of the daily activities. One day I joined a powerful clan that motivated me to play more and more. But I was still worse than average.

I Decided to Quit Lineage

man playing piano

Why did I want to quit gaming?

First, I am annoyed by lugs and bugs in the game. I hate the rat race to get more and more combat power, and I don’t like the aggressive ways that the game creators make us spend an unreasonable amount of time and money.

I feel like I’m in a prison cell.

Instead of doing things that can help me to improve myself in my life such as painting, piano, and reading books, I must complete the game’s quests every day. If I don’t complete them today, then tomorrow it will be too late, and I’ll lose an opportunity to become a little bit stronger than I was yesterday. My friends and, even worse, my enemies will be ahead of me.

I want to stop it. Today is the day when I will say “goodbye” to my clan mates. I don’t care that I still have five days left on my subscription, or that I only need five more coins to upgrade my Lion mount from grade R to SR, or even that if I spend one more month in the game then I can upgrade my Strider mount from grade S to R.

I don’t want to spend any more time in the rotten fantasy world of Lineage 2 Revolution.

It doesn’t make me happier, and it definitely doesn’t make me better.

Thank you for reading.

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Ready to quit gaming?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Ever wondered how to quit playing League of Legends?

How many times have you come in from school or work, only to remember that you still need to get your daily reward on League of Legends?

How many times have you gone to get your daily reward, only to lose four games in a row (due to bad teammates) and before you know it… it’s 1am?

Now your assignment is overdue, you’re in a bad mood, and you’re not going to get any sleep anyway, so you might as well keep playing.

Sound familiar?

I’ve lost count of the number of times this has happened to me.

There’s something about League of Legends that keeps you coming back; despite making you feel angry, bitter, and stressed. It’s impossible to ask someone about the game without them mentioning how toxic it is. Not just the game, but the community as well.

You didn’t gank mid at the right time? Didn’t pull blue? Forgot to buy pots when you backed? Be prepared for shouting, insults, and even death threats.

What effect do you think this kind of stimulation is having on your mind?

Do you want to quit video games?

If you want to learn how to quit League of Legends because you’re sick of being angry for no reason, or tired of waking up at 1 PM because you’ve been playing all night, then you’re in the right place.

Typical Advice Doesn’t Work

If someone is overweight, what do people tell them to do? Move more, eat less.

If you’re depressed people say you should eat healthier, sleep more, and do some exercise.

If you want to quit playing League of Legends, what kind of advice do you think you’d get from people?

“Why don’t you just stop playing? It’s not even very good anyway.”

People in that situation don’t understand. They can’t understand.

They don’t know what it feels like to have an urge so strong to play that you can’t resist it even if you try. At the same time, you don’t even know why you have that urge.

You don’t like playing the damn game. It’s not fun anymore. Yet you keep coming back again and again.

My League of Legends Addiction

I kept coming back to League of Legends because all of my friends played it. I didn’t really enjoy the game, but I was good at it.

This led to me playing the game for hours on end, sometimes up to 12 hours a day, despite not having any fun.

I used to justify this by telling myself that I was laughing a lot, and I had always had fun with my friends. But it’s easy to laugh. It’s easy to feel a part of something when it’s so ingrained into who you are.

Even after I decided to quit gaming, my addiction to League of Legends was the biggest hurdle to overcome.

I’d get messages from my friends on Discord saying they needed me to fill in. My favourite positions as well, mid and ADC, to try and entice me.

It worked, eventually.

Initially I quit gaming for 90 days but then I decided to try gaming in moderation. Big mistake.

I was back to playing League of Legends all the time. My mental health declined rapidly, and I ended up sabotaging all of my personal relationships.

So if League of Legends is so hard to quit, how did I do it?

How I Quit League of Legends

In my experience, quitting League of Legends was a lot harder than any other game. As a result, I decided not to quit gaming straight away.

I did what I like to call a ‘Priming Period’.

I would continue to play video games for 30 days, but I wouldn’t play any League of Legends.

After the 30 days were up, I then quit gaming entirely for 90 days.

For me, this was a necessary step.

On top of this priming period I also recommend you do the following:

1. Be Honest

Have an honest conversation with your friends about why you’re quitting gaming. Let them know that you can still be friends, but ask them to stop talking about video games while you’re around.

That goes for Discord, too. Gaming might not be an issue for them, but they should respect your decision.

2. Find New Hobbies

We have a list of 60 activities to replace gaming. There’s a whole world of creativity, adventure, and discovery waiting to be opened up.

You might feel hesitant to start learning some of these hobbies. Perhaps you’re anxious about meeting new people. This is perfectly normal and is something that everyone experiences.

Start small. Commit to one or two new things to try. If you hate it, try something else. But remember it’s going to be a constant struggle to improve, and you’ll have to start somewhere.

3. Take This Seriously

It’s a big mindset shift to make, but a necessary one. You’re no longer a gamer who plays video games. You’re becoming a new person.

If you want to become a musician, a writer, a computer scientist, or whatever. Start telling people that. If you’re going to the gym, don’t be shy about telling people.

People think that playing video games is lazy, but that’s so far from the truth. You’re able to play for hours on end without losing focus. That doesn’t sound lazy to me.

Just imagine what you could do if you channelled that energy into leveling up your own life. You’d become a whole new person after three months, and your old gamer friends still playing League? They probably won’t recognize you anymore.

Start Today

I hope this has given you some ideas on how to quit League of Legends. Use this motivation to become something better.

What would it look like if you got YOUR ultimate? What would it look like if you were the hero you were playing?

Making money, being in great shape, mastering an instrument, or finding love are a lot more impressive to me than a Penta Kill.

You are in charge of your future. Go get it!

For more tips and practical strategies to quit gaming, grab a copy of Respawn. It’s the ultimate guide to quitting video games and will help you take your life to the next level.

My name is Jeroen, and I’m an addict. Well, I used to be.

Today I am a Belgian personal coach and IT student, I am 24 years old and I used to game 10 hours a day whenever I had the time.

In high school I didn’t really have to work very hard to get decent grades. Well, for the first few years at least. When I was 17 I had to stay in the same grade for another year, due to poor grades – mainly caused by my severe gaming addiction.

I would wake up early and game a bit before going to school. At school I would think about gaming and my goals (in the game), finally return home, and continue gaming until my parents arrived from work. I ate my dinner and then went back to my room, gaming until bedtime. Rinse and repeat. This was my typical day from the age of 14 until I was 21.

Gaming Had a Huge Impact on My Life

escapism

While there are negative influences that came from gaming, it did also have its benefits.

Gaming was an escape. I used to get bullied in high school, and that’s exactly when the addiction became out of control. Through my game I could stop thinking about the bullying and other stuff that troubled my mind. Online I was just an anonymous boy. I could be anyone, and I was respected (most of the time).

At one point I was so good at RuneScape that I was ranked 25th best in the world in PVP. This is the kind of hype that kept me drawn to gaming. The progress and sense of achievement is what makes gaming so addictive. The unlimited amount of dopamine that’s sitting right in front of you.

Related: Why You Game: Your Need for Accomplishment

College Helped Me Quit Gaming

denmark

While in college, and getting my Physical Education Degree, I had some experiences that caught my attention and got me away from gaming.

My favorite experience was the 6 month Erasmus studies I did in Denmark. While being there we had a lot of little projects, and I got to meet new people and interact with several different nationalities. It was a very cool experience, and it kept me from gaming. I think the main reason here was the fact that I actually felt useful, and I could really contribute to a lot cool projects that also had social value.

I’ve always been fortunate to have good friends around me and caring parents. I played soccer and went to the gym. These are things that really helped me when gaming started taking full control of my life. I mean there were still bad parts, where I would game 10-12 hours a day for a week, which is very unhealthy, but without sports or friends, it could have been a lot worse.

Is Productivity Sustainable?

productivity

3 months after my Erasmus experience I graduated college as a sports teacher and fitness instructor. I got my first job, and started my own business on the side as a personal trainer. The first month when I graduated I actually spent a lot of time gaming between looking for a job. Luckily it didn’t take me to long to find one.

When I signed my contract I made big decision. I was going to put all of my effort and time into this job, and creating my own business. Not one minute would be wasted. I was going to be successful in real life. I had never been so motivated.

6 months later I soon realized that this was not a sustainable pace to live my life. I would wake up at 07:00, workout, work on the business, go to work, and get home at 23:00. I also had to work weekends.

Most people would say I was doing amazing. Freshly graduated, got a decent paying job, and I was growing my own business on the side. What else could a man wish for, right? Well, that’s not entirely true. I just didn’t feel too well. The long hours, and tons of physical activity started taking its toll. I would have the worst migraines in the middle of the day, and sometimes even get dizzy when I stood up. I realized I was working too much and it was hard on my body.

Finding Balance

netflix

I needed to take some time to relax. Life is not just about working your butt off and making money, it’s about balance. Doing what you love, working on projects you’re passionate about, spending enough time with friends and family, watching a Netflix movie, or any other things that you may enjoy.

After spending 7 months without watching TV or playing a single video game, I started watching some Netflix shows and started gaming. Not when I had other things to do, but when I felt like I deserved it. I think gaming and watching TV are a good activity if they actually help you relieve stress and if you enjoy it. But one thing I have learned is that it is all about moderation and balance.

Related: How to Relax Without Playing Video Games

Present Day:

I quit my job as a fitness instructor 4 months ago. I decided to go back to college to become a front-end developer. This course will take me 3 years, but I know it’s the right choice. I am still working as a personal trainer for my own business, which I really like because I help people become more active. The goal is to one day combine these passions of mine and make a living out of them both. These goals are what keep me going.

This is my story, and this what I have learned from my addiction. I wanted to share this with you guys who are suffering from something like I did or who have been through this as well.

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Ready to quit gaming?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

I haven’t played a video game in two years and counting.

Quitting video games isn’t an unlocked achievement I put in my trophy cabinet to never think of it again. It’s an endurance training program. The goal of my program isn’t summarized in fighting back the craving every time I feel it until I win and relax (and repeat) – it’s how I don’t get used to relaxing because you never know when your gaming addiction will sneak back into your daily life.

I don’t mean that I’m at war 24/7 with myself, sweating anxiety and panic attacks. Things get easier when you do them on a regular basis. Gaming and not gaming follow the same rule.

My Gaming Addiction Started at 8 Years Old

teenager playing games

My gaming addiction started at 8 years old with Counter Strike. I loved how you could work as a team to achieve a common goal and have fun, show your abilities and self-declare ‘the best’. I desired to be the best at everything, recognized and valued.

As the majority of people who struggle with this addiction, I didn’t have an idea of how much games hooked me and made me believe they were the only ones who wanted to make me happy. When you’re a kid and a teenager, what matters is being recognized by groups. Why should I care about real life?

After Counter Strike I went to the world of MMORPGs. I still recall how sad I was because I couldn’t play a game because my PC specs were too low. At this time my parents never said a word about it – according to my mother, “it was fine because I wasn’t in danger outside.” We hardly knew the consequences of playing 10-12 hours per day.

I dedicated half my day, every day, for 15 years straight to playing MMORPGs. I felt I needed to play games for hours and hours – if not, someone would surpass me..

Grades Were Fine, Depression Was Not

teenager depressed

Games were a piece of my heart and soul, but my school life remained intact. My grades were great, I talked to people (although being shy) and had a minimal social life outside academic walls. When I got transferred to another school at 14 years old I met a new friend named Depression. We held hands for 6 years.

I didn’t want to talk to people, not feeling understood by society. Depression was now friends with games too, who could tell…They seduced me to play MMORPGs over and over. At 18 years old, I went to college guided by my mom’s feelings. I don’t blame her – how could I if I simply shut down my mind to live in a virtual world?

“My decisions were based on how I could be better at games, not at real life.”

I wanted to overcome depression. I sought professional help with a psychologist. She recommended posting more on Facebook to start making friends and being visible to the real world. I can’t explain how a professional would recommend the virtual world as the solution to the virtual world itself. I felt misunderstood and undervalued.

Note: Do seek help. Only you can solve this mess, however don’t neglect professionals. There are good and bad ones. Find one that works for you.

Suicidal thoughts chimed in. I was nothing in real life. I wanted to be a gamer, one of those streaming on YouTube and Twitch, or a professional gamer, winning millions of dollars and proving that I was ‘the best’ to everyone. I even told my mom I wanted to be a gamer, she was like: “do whatever you want, but I don’t agree with it”. Of course I interpreted as my family was against me and my ‘dreams’.

Related: Why Your Parents Don’t Believe in Your Dreams

I Decided to Quit Gaming

inhale the future exhale the past

At 20 years old I tried to stop playing games over and over, unsuccessful. At 23, I discovered Game Quitters. Someone decided to share his experience, to say we were not alone and yes, it was possible to stop for once and for all. I watched all the videos and interestingly, my doubts were answered where no one could help me.

November 1st, 2016: the last time I said ‘I won’t play games anymore’. Cold turkey, ‘all or nothing’. Each day taught me about who I was and what I could learn from others.

Not everyday is the same, so there isn’t a single formula to solve all your problems and questions. If you believe in a single formula, you get used to it. I adapted this sentence to ‘getting used’ to new experiences, solutions and interpretations about myself and my life everyday.

Even if you use an old formula today, you are actually using it for the first time. As, Heraclitus’ says: “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”.

When I finally started to live this phrase, I got used to learning everyday, to use my addiction to learn about myself, and about itself. It was hard, shaking in my bed and the impossibility to think about anything outside ‘you have to play games, you are losing time’.

Related: How to Deal with Cravings

Where I Am Today

man walking on hills

At 25 years old, reading books, walking for the sake of walking and gathering knowledge is what define me, for now. I study Psychology (oh the irony) because I love it, I want to help people live their lives with passion, with what they can and have in the real world. I’ve never been so happy and motivated in my whole life, virtual or real.

I have a path, I pursue goals, and I make decisions. Bad moments happen everyday, but now I have a choice in how I respond to them.

More than 2 years later, I still haven’t played games. I decided to quit games by sharing my story with you, as Cam shared his. Thank you, Cam.

Fifteen years later I see myself out of the world of games. As I said, I’m the ‘all or nothing’ person, dedicating my time and my life in goals that matter for the better of people. Please never give up. Thank you for reading my story. Thank you for those who choose to share their stories as well.

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Ready to quit gaming?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Playing games has been a huge part of my life since I was six years old. I started my gaming hobby at my early age, which later turned into addiction, from Playstation 1.

When I was first introduced to Playstation 1, the console looked nothing more than a mere gray plastic box which magically reads CD and displays moving pixels on TVs. Being a naive child I was at the time, I grew up fondly with Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Tetris Plus, Pac-man World, and many more.

Time moved on, and the golden times of Nintendo Gameboy, DS and Sony’s PSP came. I remember how everyone in my elementary school had a Nintendo DS and we played Mario Kart together. I also borrowed my father’s PC to play Starcraft: Brood War, and Age of Empires III. Those two games would later define Real Time Strategy (RTS) as one of my favorite gaming genres.

Early Signs of Gaming Addiction

ps1 controller

As I also had Playstation 2 and Nintendo Wii, I would go to a gaming store and buy around five games a week and play them one at a time. I remembered one moment where I woke up early in the morning everyday just to feed virtual dogs in Nintendogs. To this day I still cringe remembering that I would comply to my own addiction, and knowing that timed-event games just use their on-device clocks.

I carried my gaming hobby-turned-addiction to high school, where Starcraft II was recently launched. I was really happy at the time, and ended up playing the Wings of Liberty chapter immediately. This is where my addiction worsened. When I was on my campaign streak, my father came in and said something that would ring in my mind years later:

“You won’t achieve much of what you want in life if you keep on playing games. You are just sinking all of your time into games that do not translate into real life.”

Certainly I was pissed because he ‘ruined’ my gaming mood. I understood what my father was saying – I could be doing something more meaningful than just playing games. But if I stopped playing games, I would be losing one of my favorite hobbies since childhood. So I kept on playing quietly without my parents knowing.

Over the years, I also joined a band of friends playing Dragon Nest. I recalled the time where we spent sleepless days completing the highest raid available from 40 cap to 93 cap level era. I grinded gears, watched YouTube videos, read future content, and got as many achievements as I could in the game.

I did keep my school grades above requirements, but only for a short period. I was almost out of my mind at that time. I neglected my future academic life and only applied to one overseas university. The addiction hurt my grades badly and I barely passed my exams. Still, it was not the end of my gaming craze.

I Wanted to Quit Gaming

university cafeteria

Before going to university, I said to myself I won’t be playing video games anymore. One of my friends just said “That’s BS, you’ll be playing again in a few months. Otherwise you’ll burn yourself out.” Again, I brushed it off as if nothing happened.

Before ‘cutting myself off’ from gaming, I went on a full-gaming month playing Tree of Savior. I slept from 2am to 10am and played the game as soon as I woke up. I made sure I got the most satisfaction out of gaming before quitting. After leveling up my character to level 200, I stopped playing, but only for only four months before buying Overwatch and getting addicted for another year.

Initially I was enjoying the game, reliving the fun I had playing games with friends. However, as Overwatch is an online multiplayer game which is heavily dependent on teammates’ performance, its nature slowly drew out the toxicity within me.

I would get frustrated and often blamed strangers on our team. I tried really hard to not blame my friends, accept criticism and feedback from them, although sometimes the toxicity still got the best of me. This would go on for weeks. I was sleep-deprived, frustrated, and wanting more of those PotGs and worthwhile wins. Looking back now, I am still happy (and surprised) I did not flunk my grades during my addiction.

Related: How the Toxic Gaming Community Made Me Quit Gaming

Things Were Getting Worse

man working on startup

This continued on until summer 2018. I was doing an internship at a startup, while all of my university friends were having internships at big and well-known companies. I felt inferior to them. I was not even enjoying my internship.

What was I doing in my life? Just play games and sink all of my time in them? Those thoughts haunted my mind, followed by the insulting jokes from my university friends. On top of that, my family notified me that my grandmother recently passed away. I cried that evening, thinking of how all the life events turned around against me at once. I was burned out from my internship, looked down upon my friends, and lost a family member whom I was very close to.

I felt worthless and depressed for two to three weeks. It was my lowest point in my university life. I was helpless, and decided to seek help and shoulder to lean on from my friends.

Suddenly… It Happened

pursuing goals

I had no urge to play video games anymore. I stopped feeling guilty for not playing games. The whispers inside my head went from “Why are you not playing your games?” to “Those rewards and statistics you’re getting are meaningless in real life.”

One time my friend invited me to play Starcraft II and I joined. While I was clicking around, making buildings and controlling my army, I felt nothing. That proud feeling of having strong base and army, satisfaction when I crushed the enemy bases. Those feelings were just not there. I could not continue after around 20 minutes and I told my friend I was going to stop playing for a while. And that was the first day I stopped my addiction.

Results

guy meditating on mountain

Ever since I stopped my addiction, I have been meditating every morning, expanded my social circle with people and being in tune with my friends’ emotion. I listen more to my friends about their life and spend more time laughing with them. I also spend my time going out to live concerts, and I’m on my third book now.

Currently I am on exchange at a university with a rigorous Computer Science program. I struggled with the academics at first, and I felt like giving up. But I pushed on and kept going.

After getting a hang of my courses, I went on to meet people in tech events and conferences in various cities, while expanding my professional network. I also applied to tons of internships worldwide, and, to my surprise, I got my first interview offer from a well-known company. Even though I have not received the offer yet, I feel more confident in applying for internships around the world.

I was still shocked with the fact that anyone could achieve dreams that were once their fantasy. Applying for worldwide internships was never in my reachable goals while I was addicted to games.

What I am really grateful for is that, after putting my effort and time into real life, I get to see the tangible rewards and experience. My lifestyle and studying habits become more organized and productive. I become more confident. My emotions are more stable and I rarely lash out with anger at somebody else. Looking forward, I believe better things will come as long as I put in the effort into my life, families, and friends.

Conclusion

this is the sign you have been looking for

To those who are still struggling to end their addiction, I want to note that stopping addiction may happen differently for everyone. Some will stop when they are their rock bottom, and some will stop when shit just happens. Others will stop when they have something to fight for.

Stopping an addiction is not about ending the gaming streak glamorously, or saying “Just one more game and I’ll stop”.

It is about realizing the harsh truth, the negative impact you have been carrying along with your addiction. It is about confronting your real life fears. No more making excuses, no more what ifs, no more “what happens when I stop playing.” You need humility, mental resilience, and commitment. There will be people who disregard your addiction, and people who acknowledge your burden. Seek those who will help when you really need it.

I really hope what I share here will be an inspiration to those who are still finding the motivation to stop playing games and start a new phase in life. One way to picture life is as an MMORPG. You grind experience, develop skills, take on new challenges, and get the actual rewards. Real life, in my opinion, is more challenging, fulfilling, and rewarding if you put the necessary time and effort into it.

For those who are on their no-gaming streak, I also had moments where I relapsed within this period. I played some mobile games when I really had nothing to do and wanted to have a dopamine boost.

Upon playing for 15 minutes, I got bored, and uninstalled them immediately. Although I plan to play casual RTS games after my exchange, I also filled my future schedule with physical activities and socializing with my family because I know I get bored fast playing games now.

The important thing is when you realize that you can’t play games for extended hours without getting bored and you have more important things to do in life, you are already set for a better life.

Good luck!

Story written by Slitz_Treaver

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Need help?

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Take a Stand

Game Quitters exists to help those who need help with gaming addiction challenges to get the help, and to spread awareness about the negative impact gaming addiction can cause. Want to help? Grab a t-shirt or hoodie and show the world you care about this issue.

I booted up my computer. It was Friday and I had a lot of work to do, but hey, I kept the whole weekend free so it’s okay. I can start my work tomorrow, and play a game now. Before I knew it, it was 5:00 AM.

On Saturday I wouldn’t start on my university work either. I ate “brunch” at 2:00 PM and skipped dinner. I went to sleep at 7:00 AM on Sunday morning, and consequentially woke up at 2:00PM. By then I figured that my homework wouldn’t get done anyways, so I fired up my game. At 7:00AM on Monday “morning” I finally had a moment of clarity.

I Spent the Whole Weekend Gaming

dark keyboard

I skipped half of my meals and also a night of sleep. I failed to do my homework. I failed. But this time I didn’t return to the cycle of addiction. Normally I’d focus my eyes at the screen again to escape thinking about my gaming behavior. A paradox, but I fear a recognizable one.

Instead of running from the “fact” that I failed again, I put into doubt that conclusion. Was it fair to conclude that I failed? “To fail” means that you do not reach a certain standard. In this case, a standard that is set by myself. And that I had not met my standard was crystal clear: instead of doing homework, I wasted the weekend on a stupid game.

But this mismatch can also mean that the standard is the problem. And it was. Perfectionism is the disease of our time, and I am no exception. I wanted my life to be perfect, and in “reaching higher”, I had put so much guilt on myself that I went into hiding. Games merely gave me shelter.

So when I played games during the weekend, I didn’t fail. Demanding that I would do homework for the whole weekend at home was a ridiculous idea. Maybe the most disciplined among us can do such a feat, but it’s human to fail such a task. My standards were making me feel miserable so I did away with them and looked at my life. Without a standard, and without judgement.

My Life Was Miserable

man staring out the window depressed

I felt depressed. I seldom saw friends, or did anything productive. I skipped half of my school classes. And I played games, a lot of. And now that I wasn’t trying to hide from my own judgement I could finally look at this without fear. It was emotionless, rational. Gaming had numbed all my feelings.

Now for a solution I figured it would be too much to ask to shut down my computer right away. It would also leave me with a poor sleep schedule, going to bed at 8:00AM. So I decided that today would be the last day that I gamed. I also decided it would be too much to ask to not game ever, at least right now, so I decided to task myself with not playing any games for 30 days, after today.

When I shut down my computer at 5:00PM I felt a weird kind of energy. It was going to happen. I was going to break the cycle. And I was going to focus on that. Starting slow and easy: my goals for tomorrow would be to get out of bed, take a shower and not play any games.

30 Days Without Games

whatever it takes

The first day, Tuesday, was bad. Without my games there was no hiding from my loneliness. No reason to even get out of bed. No escape from the fact that I had about 3 weeks of homework waiting for me, due next week. But somehow I got out of bed and took a shower. Bought some breakfast at the grocery store, warmed up leftovers for dinner, and most of all, I didn’t play any games.

When I went to bed, for the first time in what felt like forever, I felt proud. Genuinely proud. And it felt weird, because by my previous standard I had achieved absolutely nothing. But for the first time in months, I made progress. And this feeling of achievement to look forward to is what got me through Wednesday. I was looking forward to lying in bed thinking: “today I didn’t play any video games”.

I Wrote My Family a Letter

writing a letter

On Thursday I decided that my parents and my brother should know about my situation. I shared details about my situation. About how terrible and lonely I felt. About my gaming addiction and interweaved depression, about my guilt. Writing this letter is one of the hardest things I did. It took me 2 days to write 500 words, but somehow I did it. I told my parents that I’d be coming home this weekend and I’d have something to tell them. They wouldn’t be too happy to hear that I might fail my class, but it had to be done.

I told my brother on Friday evening, I sent the letter to him online, and I called him on Skype. I read the letter to my parents on Saturday. I cried, my brother cried, my parents cried. But to have their support was important and the tears brought relief. With my parents watching me I made it through the weekend, and to my own shock that left me on Monday evening with the realization that I hadn’t played any games for a week.

Halfway through week three I was starting to struggle. The emptiness had caught up with me, and I still didn’t have a whole lot to do in my life. But I had something to look forward to.

I would go on a holiday to meet my brother who was studying abroad. I talked with him extensively about my problems, my addiction and depression. It made me understand my problems much clearer. And last, but not least, it was a break from doing nothing. Doing stuff is great, and my time with my brother was surrounded by his friends, whom I got along with.

With this newfound strength I finished the fourth week. My life slowly began to take shape. I went out for daily walks, I hung out with flat mates and I joined a club. Slowly but surely the void was filling. But also day 30 was coming up.

Resource: Need activity ideas to replace gaming?

I Tried Gaming Again

shiny computer

On day 32 I decided I’d play a game again, and it went quite well. I quit it exactly when I meant to. But on day 33 I didn’t. However I realized not all was lost. 30 days without gaming had taught me that there was something worth quitting for and I wrote a program that would shut down my computer if I exceeded a time that I set for myself. With this “gaming-clock” it was possible to moderate.

However I made sure that I kept filling the void. I signed up for a sport (a team sport!) and another club. I hung out with friends and flatmates. I even started being productive again. And by asking myself every time before I turned on the PC: “Is there something I could do that would make me happier?”, the time that I spent gaming decreased. And with that for the first time that year I saw a glimmer of happiness. But then Christmas came.

Christmas is great right? Well not for me. The holidays broke my rhythm completely and I stayed at my parents where there’s a whole lot of nothing to do. I went back to gaming out of boredom and frustration. It took me quite a while to recover, but the 30 days clean and subsequent introspection gave me the tools to do so. I never sunk as deep as I had in October. By February I returned to my schedule. Whether or not you beat an addiction is decided by how you bounce back.

Related: About to Relapse? Consider This First

In March I got a part-time job which started to take up more and more time, to my liking. With school I was starting to become a “busy” person. Things were looking up again. I started being invited to parties, being the “fun” person I once was. It’s funny to look at my calendar and seeing it fill up from February to now, getting busier and busier.

I had some more minor setbacks, but in general I always made more steps forward than backwards – progress. I filled up the summer holidays with trips funded by my job and I met a wonderful girl. (Too late) I consulted a psychologist who diagnosed me with “depression in remission”. And that brings me to today.

One Year Later

boy reaching for the clouds

Today it has been a year since I made that decision on Monday the 9th. A year since my moment of clarity. A year since the best decision in my life. And for the occasion I wanted to write out my story. To tell you, StopGaming, because hanging out in the discord is one of the many things that filled the void initially. Knowing that I wasn’t the only one kept me from going insane.

I hope my story helps at least one person. I wrote the whole story, not only the end result. Because I wanted to be more insightful. I wanted to explain how I was finally able to decide that it’s enough. And how I followed through on it, with both the ups and downs.

Questions I wish I would have been able to ask the future me a year ago:

  • Do I really have a problem? Yes. Unfortunately. You’re not a crazy person though, it’s common enough. And you can get out of it. But not without work and pain. Take it seriously, never let your guard down.
  • Shouldn’t I set myself the goal of never playing a video game again, instead of 30 days? If you can do that, go for it. But it is crucial that you believe, truly believe in your goal. 30 days seems like a good place to start for now. You can also do 30 and then evaluate!
  • What on earth do I do with my time? It doesn’t matter. Before you know it, another day is gone. But don’t play any games. In general: put effort into upgrading the quantity and quality of your activities and you’ll see that eventually your calendar starts to fill with appointments, meetings and parties. (There are a ton of ideas for new activities here.)
  • Is school important? School can help you get into a rhythm. Having some kind of rhythm is vital to recovery, attending a class in this respect is more important than finishing an assignment, because it gives a rhythm to your day. Recovery is the main objective, grades will come eventually. Contact your school about your problems (at least in my country they are understanding).
  • When will I see the light at the end of the tunnel? You won’t. It’s as if somebody slowly turns off the dimmer on a light. First you’ll see where you are, and then you’ll realize this place isn’t so bad after all.
  • What is the one thing you’d want to say to me? You don’t have to do it alone. Call your brother, tell your friends and go in therapy. And when you feel bad, tell someone before you feel the urge to fire up a game. And when you do feel an urge to, ask yourself; “what am I feeling bad about?’, then tell someone.

Join me for another 30 days without gaming.

Story written by OneYearAtATime0

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“Gaming was my escape. All I did was work and game.”

Since I was little I loved to play games. It became more intense when I played World of Warcraft in 2005 and since then, there were not two days where I did not play a game. At some point it did not even matter what I played, it was just important that it kept me busy.

I denied the bad side effects this addiction had on my life a long time. But it got more obvious day to day.

I had a relationship and a job which I really do like, however over the years I could really tell my social life was becoming near non-existent. I tried to stop, but did not manage to stop for more than two days. All the emptiness and loneliness became apparent when I had nothing to distract me. However, the last months of my addiction were the worst.

Panic Attacks

purple hallway

Every weekend after extensive gaming sessions I got panic attacks, knowing that this behavior leads to nothing and that it did not bring me any step closer to my dreams… to a life fulfilled with happiness and things which I really want to do.

I came to the sudden realization, with my age of 27, that if I do not stop gaming right now, this will be my life… forever. The panic attacks, the feelings of not accomplishing anything. I will get old knowing that I did nothing to become the best version of myself.

I Quit Gaming!

decision

Right there. Oddly with my sudden realization (which took me years to get to) I did not have any trouble with quitting.

On day one I went to the gym and got a workout plan. I had a gym membership for the past year I had only used twice. I had anxiety attacks just thinking of going to the gym, worried of embarrassing myself in front of others, however I pushed forward.

I also implemented other things in my life which helped me a lot and allowed me to stay focused. I thought of useful habits, and used an app to track everything. Besides tracking my fitness and no gaming, I implemented a morning routine (including a skin routine), and was got back into books and painting miniatures. For the first time in years I played board games at my home with some friends.

111 Days Later

freedom

For the first time in over 10 years, I really feel I have my life back. That I am in charge of my own fate. For the first time in years I know what I want to be.

I am proud of myself that I finally took this step. I know that it’s only small progress, but it’s progress. And this keeps me going. I will promise right here, to my future self, I will not stop! I will do my best to improve every day, one step at a time.

If someone is reading this, all I want you to know is if I could do this you can do too. It is never too late to claim your life back! I believe you can do it… so should you.

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“The online scene that swallowed me whole also provided the tools to get out of it.”

My name is Rou-Hun (Lowen Flowen) and I’m from the Netherlands. I started gaming around 6 years old with a Nintendo handheld, then the Atari came, Gameboy, Snes, and eventually PC with internet.

On consoles I played action games such as Mario and Zelda and RPG’s like Secret of Mana and ShadowRun. On PC I always played shooters: QuakeWorld, TeamFortress, Quake3, Q3: Urban Terror, and some Counterstrike.

I also played Magic: The Gathering for a couple of years and became a pro (top 50 in the Netherlands as a 13 year old). I wish I hadn’t sold those cards back in the day. What I liked about gaming was the challenge, the stories, and the community.

Escaping Online

“The problems really started when I got into online gaming.”

I was about 14 years old and I hated school. I hardly had friends, and the ones I did have were quite toxic and not very accepting.

Then I found online chat programs like ICQ and gaming communities where I could be myself. Nobody judged me, I felt accepted, and could just be who I was under an alias. That made me feel so connected and it became my new social network.

My grades went down. I didn’t want to do anything else but play and be online. Chatting online for hours was better than being out in real life. My outlet became the online world.

I was around 24 years when I acknowledged that gaming was a problem and decided to quit. The epiphany came when I realised I had to get a job some day. My parents were adamant that I finish college and reluctantly, I did. But I hated work as much as school so I figured I better find something that I can enjoy, and slowly started looking into other things.. online of course.

Ironically, during my gaming time, I had my own clan and someone in my clan built our website. He taught me HTML and I started to code a bit. I created a few websites and learned Photoshop and Dreamweaver. These days I’m a front-end developer and a writer.

What Helped Me Quit Gaming

Have a firm commitment

For me, the realisation was so strong. It was my inner realisations that convinced me to stop. Instead of playing I would try to learn these tools to code and make things online. I saw it as a new challenge and, completing challenges is something I enjoy.

Find new friends

I also made new friends which really helped. They still played games, but with this group of friends we would go out to bars and cafés. We were a small group, but very inviting and not judgmental. Gaining new friends gave me a good excuse to go out and socialise. Though I was always quiet and introvert, it definitely helped me in opening up to other people.

When I was gaming my typical game would be to wake up, take my food and sit behind the PC and start playing and eating simultaneously. Then I would go to school half-awake. Once I was back home I would play again until bedtime, which would total about 10 hours a day.

Get out of your comfort zone

Since I’ve quit over the last four years I have been traveling mostly in Europe and Asia while working as a front-end developer. The last year and a half I’ve been traveling with my girlfriend to over 20 countries.

Other than that, I’ve also written a fiction book where a young man in a unified Korea slowly loses his sense of reality from futuristic drugs and forgotten Korean mythologies. The book is available on shinbyeong.com, and I’m in the midst of finishing it.

Dive into new projects

Being able to do projects like this makes you realise what freedom feels like. If I was still gaming, I would’ve limited my world to digital experiences, and not allowed myself all the adventures of the real world.

Benefits of Quitting Gaming

“Being able to be the real me in real life is better than any video game.”

Besides the obvious benefits such as more time, more experiences, new friends, and a girlfriend, the most important thing is that I started learning who I am.

As a young person, you don’t have a strong identity and I would focus on the negatives instead of my positive characteristics. That really turned me into quite a depressive kid and I would run away by indulging in these games – where I could be someone else. In a sense, the real me was more apparent in a game or chatroom than in actual reality.

My Advice to You

Understand why gaming is so addictive for you. Also take the qualities from gaming you like and apply them in real life. I believe games, though based in a fictional setting, are based on human realities. The challenges, the villain, the good guy. We can be the hero of our own game, of our own life.

Some of the qualities I took from gaming into real life are:

  • Relentlessly pursue excellence: it took me years to master a shooter and I became really good in it – if I was born later, I would’ve been a pro-gamer I think. I realised I could apply this to front-end development and other skills that would benefit me in real life instead.
  • In the real world I was introverted, shy and quiet. Online I was continually making jokes and having fun. Opening up to people made me realise I could do this in person too.

Even though gaming was a huge part of my life, I don’t regret any of it. Strangely enough, it was a way to find myself. I could be myself in this digital world. But an addict is not usually aware that they are an addict. I didn’t have a care in the world – living with my parents, hating school, and not doing anything but gaming. In hindsight it’s easy to think that it was good for me, but I am probably quite lucky I found a career through all of it.

One thing I hadn’t mentioned, is that due to the low grades, I had to redo my year. This actually also opened up my world to all kinds of new people and new friends. People who I am still friends with. The change of perception and being able to build up a new identity is very powerful.

I had new people around me, I could act different, show a different or new side of me. I was able to do the same in the online world. I could do this when I had to re-do my year. I was able to do this when I started living with friends in a tiny room. I did this when I started to travel alone.

There are so many opportunities to change yourself and open up to the world. Looking back on it, these were all tiny steps to solidify my own identity and become who I am today.

Written by Rou-Hun (Lowen Flowen). Find him on Twitter. Buy his new book, Shinbyeong.

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gaming addiction story

“I am a 30 year old guy who stopped gaming last year. I hope my experience can help others.”

I got addicted to gaming from a very young age. My parents bought me a Nintendo console when I was around 5-8 years old. Damn that thing got me so excited! I still remember shooting those ducks with a fake gun on the screen!… Slowly they bought me more and more games. I got better at them and then I moved to Playstation 1. My favorite console ever.

Tekken 1 was my first game ever, then Tomb Raider Lara Croft 1. Then tons of others! I also bought the Playstation magazine that came with demo games every month! I was so competitive! I was getting so mad when I lost… To be honest my parents never thought my passion for gaming was unhealthy. They thought it was funny. “Let the kid be a kid and we go do our adult stuff.”

Gaming Became My Escape

digital prison

Onwards to my teen years gaming was my escape from the world. Escape from bullying, from bad family communication, from bad parenting, failed relationships, and psychological issues.

And then Lineage 2 came – an MMORPG similar to World of Warcraft. I hated it at the beginning, but then when I started getting the hang of it I got super addicted. My character was my life! I remember I used to daydream about the game during school time. Draw pictures of weapons and enemies! Making phone calls with my guild clan members. I even had my own guild. All those using dial-up internet! My parents paid so much money for internet back then.

Then faster internet came and everything changed. Unlimited internet made me start to lose the red lines. At 17 I did my first 24 hour grind leveling dungeon. Imagine playing 24 straight hours at the same spot to get one level! The sun came up and I thought “wtf did I just do… Is this real??” And went to bed.

Problems Started to Come

problems

My psychology started to change. I became more bored of real life, more avoidant of people, and sports started to get less interesting and more tiring. I became less fit and more fat. I had bad eating and sleeping habits, and poor posture.

I started to fight with parents a lot more due to them putting pressure on me for too much gaming. Sometimes our fights were escalating too much, and they would shut down the internet or electricity and I would rage. Boy those were really bad times but that game was my life. I was very respected and liked online. That was tremendous to me because in real life I was getting bullied and mistreated a lot, and thus had very low self-esteem.

Related: How to Build Self-Esteem

Off to University

university computer science

Guess what I decided to study? Computer Science. The reason? Gaming. I had this idea that I will make a game similar to Lineage. I wanted people to experience what I felt when I played it. I also choose a university that was far away from my parents so I could get away from their controlling pressure due to my gaming habits.

After starting university I discover I hate it! Physics? Math? Circuits? Tons of stuff I didn’t even like in the slightest. Extremely boring to me. Only programming was a little fun I can admit. But not so much to do it at my free time or grow an interest for it outside of university.

Courses keep piling up and so does my addiction. My social life suffers. I try to hide my emotions and anxiety to control myself but I barely can. My life starts to make me depressed. I attend half the lectures, I get such severe anxiety that I start to get stomach cramps. I rarely told my parents. I just tried to hide everything. Sometimes I did tell them they would make everything worse by escalating it. It took me 6-7 years to graduate from a university that was supposed to take me 3.5 years to finish.

Time to Make a Change

do something great

I start to learn more about myself and my way of life. At 25 I start to give up on MMORPGS. I am starting to wake up. I still played World of Warcraft, League of Legends and later, Hearthstone. Slowly I realize my mistakes. At 28-29 I give up on gaming entirely.

I still use a PC for work or surfing. I’m struggling to find work now because I hate my degree. I can’t stand working on a screen anymore. My back hurts. My neck hurts. My posture is awful. I go to a gym to fix it.

I still have self-esteem issues that I am working on. My family and I are working to fix our issues after all these years. I am inexperienced with relationships and still a virgin. I moved back in with my parents at 25 and still live with them at 30. I feel kind of stuck, but at the same time I am trying to move forward little by little. There are bad days and good days. I am learning every day more stuff about myself and the world. I am trying to help by volunteering.

Your situation might be better than mine or it might be worse, but for a moment, stop and think about how you manage your time. How does gaming make you feel? Why? Is it too much? Can you control it? I never could. I tried many times, and couldn’t. I never look back. My opinion is all those hours wasted, the escapism to a digital trouble-free world along with the psychological baggage being carried in real life is not worth it over some dopamine and virtual pixels in the end.

I hope you got something out of my story. Love to you all!

Related: Is It Ok to Play Games in Moderation?

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gaming addiction story

“It’s been 90 days since I’ve quit gaming. Boom!”

I’ve been a gamer for eight years. By far my biggest problem with gaming were games that featured a perpetual experience – that never ended. I accumulated 2,500 hours on Team Fortress 2, 1,000 hours across the rest of my Steam games, and god knows how much extra time I have on Minecraft and World of Warcraft. Conservatively I have gamed for over 4,000 hours. If I play six hours a day, that’s a total of 1.8 years of constant gaming, non-stop everyday.

Realizing this destroyed me. Gaming has worsened my academics significantly, forcing me to retake a year. I was making a mob farm in Minecraft the day before an important chemistry exam, having not revised at all for it. What was I thinking? I would never meet up with my friends, I had social anxiety, and my brain felt jacked on something.

Related: A Guide to Quit Gaming for One Year

Failing to Quit

I had casually tried to quit a bunch of times, and then ‘seriously’ some more times, but I never made the cut and I’d always go back. I would unplug my PC from my room, move it to another room with my monitors, and then put a laptop in its place.

Then within two weeks, I would replug-in my PC and all of my monitors, and then proceed to binge on gaming for the next 10 days.

I Finally Quit for Good

On May 10th a switch flicked in my brain. Enough was enough. My parents and my online gaming friends all thought this was another futile attempt to quit – and any other time they would have been right – but this time I did something different: I disassembled my PC and sold my graphics card ASAP. Then I formatted all of my hard drives.

This completely cut me off from going back, as the main games I was playing at the time were PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Rocket League, both of which required a dedicated graphics card, or an amazing laptop, and now I had neither. This strengthened my belief that this time was different, as I had never gone this far before. I was, and am, far too frugal to begin a cycle of rebuying an expensive graphics cards and then reselling them at a loss repeatedly. My decision was final.

I had never played mobile games, but I did have some on my phone. I deleted those too and didn’t feel a thing. I unsubscribed from all gaming channels on YouTube.

Watch: Should You Watch Gaming Streams?

A Slipup?

Around 30 days in I played Riven: The Sequel to Myst. I did lose a lot of free time to it, but the immersion and lateral thinking involved made it feel a world apart from the 4,000 hours of throwaway repetitiveness I had mostly experienced up to this point. I then played Myst and beat it in a day.

Now I know that saying I played a game during my 90 day detox and thought it was beautiful is a horrendously unpopular sentence to say in this community, but just like the best novel I have read (Moby Dick) I found it to be a magical experience. A one-shot, well made experience that makes you think, just like a good book, or a good documentary. It doesn’t compare to real life, but neither does any form of media. I still think most popular games fall into the abusive category and you should avoid at all costs, as they are skinner boxes and will not help you succeed in life. I have no plans on going back to those.

My goal in quitting was to avoid spending six hours a day for weeks on end on perpetual experiences that don’t change the more you play them (as I had been doing for seven years straight), so for my purposes these games were not relapses.

Has My Life Improved?

I took my exams (still waiting on the results), and believe I have made a massive improvement over last year. My mind fog, anxiety, and moodiness are at lifelong lows since quitting. I have more motivation. I feel like everything is better in many aspects. I have a surplus of free time now. I want to go out and meet up with friends. I’m in a better state of mind than ever before. The most important benefit I’ve received is presence of mind: being able to have initiative on new things I might want to do, or ways to think.

Yes, it’s amazing, and after a while you get used to how good it is, but I had to bring myself back to how bad it was originally to remember how good I feel now. Nothing will substitute doing it for yourself in real life. It’s like putting the human experience of consciousness into words, you just can’t. Just believe me, and the many others here who believe it will change your life.

My Advice to You

Build yourself up to sell your gaming paraphernalia. Disassemble your PC, and sell it if you don’t need that processing power. Format your C drive. ‘Downgrade’ to a laptop. If you’re a console gamer sell all of it. Uninstall all your games. Uninstall Steam.

It will feel bad for two weeks, but it will get better. Three months in feels beyond great. Build your way back up appropriately. Most importantly, you have to start and not give up. Just do it!

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Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

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gaming addiction story

“I was a state-level tennis player before entering college, but that went right out the window.”

I’m a 29 year old male, working as a Senior Software Engineer in Washington DC. I got introduced to gaming around the age of 14-15. Road Rash, a very old Windows 95/98 racing game, and then a few years later Age of Empires. I was hooked, AoE2 was (and still is) one of the best games I’ve ever played.

I played alone, because online gaming hadn’t taken off yet. Even LAN gaming wasn’t popular back then. I also dabbled in Quake3 and UnrealTournament, with a bit of Command and Conquer here and there. A couple of years later, right before I went to college, LAN parties exploded. I got introduced to Warcraft. College brought in DotA. This is where my gaming addiction really kicked in.

Related: From 60lbs Overweight, to 6-Pack, Married, and 6-Figure Business. How Quitting Gaming Turned Nicholas Bayerle’s Life Around

Social Gaming

LAN parties at college were legitimately social experiences. Everyone was playing DotA and Counter-Strike. I was a state-level tennis player before entering college, but that went right out the window. LAN and internet gaming helped me make so many friends. And, that’s all we did together. Play and talk video games.

I was fortunate enough that it did not impact my grades. I did end up graduating with a Computer Science and Engineering degree with a 3.7 GPA. But if anyone asked me what my hobby was, I would proudly say a gamer. Hell I even wasted $3,000-$4,000 dollars of my dad’s money building PC gaming rigs. Even lied to my parents saying it was needed for course work. GPUs were expensive back in late 2000s.

I got into University of Penn, for a Master’s program in CS in 2010. This is where the gaming addiction reared it’s ugly head. I graduated with a 3.4 CGPA in 2012- half my grad school hours was spent on DotA2. Ended up getting a decent job, but was totally unfocused at work.

Just A Mild Addiction?

So far gaming was mildly addictive, but there were other things happening in my life which made me feel like I was progressing in those fronts. So I did not pay too much attention to excessive gaming.

Then in 2014, I decided to pick up an XboX one and a TV for my new apartment because I had lot of cash to burn and never owned a console, so I wanted to dabble in it. A few of my old college buddies were on Xbox Live. It was fun, and it allowed me to keep in touch with them (we are all geographically distant – DC, Seattle, New York, EU). They introduced me to Destiny. God! That game almost ruined my adult life. I had 2,000 hours in Dota2 and Dota over 7 years. And I managed to put in 3,000 hours in Destiny within 2 years.

I had gotten out of a 7 year relationship, and used video gaming to cope with the break up. I was in a depression – 27, lack of focus at work, no friends, no intimate relationship with a significant other, gaming addiction, suffering a major health issue (dental) and asthma, and absolutely lacked exercise or physical activity. Rock bottom. Stress and anxiety followed.

Video Game Addiction Quiz for Gamers

Life is Better Now

What snapped me out of this addiction, was last Christmas I ended up meeting a few of my grad school friends, and they were so far ahead in life. They had better paying and more fulfilling jobs, most were either married or in relationships, and overall they were all really happy. Some were in great shape as well. Everyone had thriving social circles and plenty of friends. None of this just happened for any of them. They all did the time, and reaped the rewards. I did the time as well, just got the rewards in the virtual world.

Today I don’t own a gaming console, or gaming PC, just a basic Intel NUC with Ubuntu/Fedora for programming at home which my profession demands. I have no Steam account, no BattleNet account, and no Xbox Live account. They took a month to permanently delete. I followed Cam’s advice – replaced gaming with activities that target the same highs which video gaming provides as a proxy:

  1. Strength Training – There is something raw and primal about lifting weights. I’m a skinny guy.. But even lifting 185lbs deadlift makes you feel really really good. Also this prompted tangible, measurable progress that I had been substituting “leveling” up a character in the virtual world with.
  2. Tennis – I suffer from asthma, and cannot engage in long duration endurance activities. I tried long distance cycling and running, but went back to playing tennis. It’s an activity with short movement bursts and allows me to recover in between points. I’m currently a 3.5 on the NTRP, and would like to hit 4.0 in two years time. Again, measurable progress.
  3. Being Social – Still working on making friends in my city. I have good friends, but they are all far away, and we can only meet once in a few months.
  4. Completing courses on Coursera and Udemy. Learning and resharpening my coding skills, which I will see benefits from in my software engineering interviews at top tech firms I plan to apply for soon. More progress that can be tracked.
  5. Dating – Managed to get a couple of dates with some really well rounded and beautiful women. Nothing has worked out for the long term, but hey, some progress on this front. Someone finds me attractive, which is a great confidence booster when you are trying to recover from low self-esteem.
  6. Day trading – Making my money grow. I was living paycheck-to-paycheck, and as an engineer you make decent pay, but my money wasn’t growing. I have been investing mostly in tech stocks since this is a industry I understand well, and have made a few hundred dollars in a year after taxes.
  7. Wood work and carpentry classes – I started with the free ones at Home Depot, and then enrolled in a local community college for weekend classes. I like working with my hands, and hopefully spending time with like-minded people will lead to friendships.
  8. Animal shelter volunteering – I had a wonder Alexandrine parrot for a decade, she passed away in 2017. I reached out to the local shelter and asked if they could use a hand with basic cleaning, moving boxes, and bookkeeping activities. It’s a minor contribution, but I really feel giving back to the community is cathartic.

Forge your own path in the real world, folks. Life is too short to be lived in the virtual one. Good luck.

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Game Quitters exists to help those who need help with gaming addiction challenges to get the help, and to spread awareness about the negative impact gaming addiction can cause. Want to help? Grab a t-shirt or hoodie and show the world you care about this issue.

cam adair game quitters

gaming addiction story

“I would sleep all day and game all night. My mom said I lived like a vampire.”

I’m Adam and I’m 26 years old. I started gaming early in my childhood, and loved to play FPS games, especially Battlefield 3 and 4! I was very good at it, hitting the top of the scoreboard most of the time. I really liked the sense of achievement, skill, and being a bit of a show off.

The biggest draw to gaming however was playing with my friends. I was very easy to log in and socialize, without having to leave your house. I don’t regret those memories with my friends, they were some great moments! And really for a long time I saw no harm in playing, even until five or six in the morning. There seemed to be many more upsides than downsides to gaming, however looking back now it was because I had no greater vision for my life at the time.

Read: A Guide to Quit Gaming for One Year

My Wake Up Call

I would sleep all day and game all night. I became a cave animal who hated sunlight. My mom said I lived like a vampire. Life became too big and scary to face so my big comfort blanket was gaming, and it was so familiar to me as it was part of my life since childhood. This continued until one day my girlfriend left me. I was devastated and completely blindsided, which happened because I was blind to her and everything and everyone else around me.

This was a major blow and took me a long time to get over, but it was also a wake up call. I suddenly got on my own side again and decided I wanted to live! It wasn’t until much later that my mom and I would really clash. Our fights and falling out made me much more aware of the toxicity of this habit.

Video Game Addiction Quiz for Gamers

I Discovered Game Quitters

It was around this time that I came across Cam’s TEDx talk and his YouTube channel. What struck me the most was a video showing how much of the world I was missing out on.

This incredible beautiful planet we live on, all out there for me to experience, suddenly gaming looked much smaller, and real life much larger. I’m feeling quite emotional actually as I write this because I realize it all happened for my own growth, as painful as it was at times.

I decided enough was enough, and committed to the 90 day no gaming detox! Half way through I actually sold my PS4 console so there really was no going back for me!!

I have not played a game since!! The most powerful leverage for me was simply this, disgust. Jim Rohn has talked about disgust being a powerful emotion to inspire change, and it really is. It wasn’t until I was truly disgusted at my habits, my way of living, and gaming itself that I really wanted to be free from the addiction. Cold turkey worked!!

I’m quite the lone-wolf type so I didn’t seek extra support, but always watched Cam’s videos on his channel and he gave guidance and emotional support through the whole thing. Plus a vision of who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to have post-gaming which was just as important.

The Benefits of Quitting Gaming

jade rice fields

Since I’ve quit gaming my self-esteem has improved a lot, I have much less social anxiety, and a greater confidence overall. I have more interest in people and the real world.

Click to Tweet – The Benefits of Quitting Gaming

Plus a real deepening of my involvement with personal development! I work on my life purpose, I care about myself a lot more, the world, and people in general. I have a lot more free time to do what really makes me happy and fulfilled, and my sleep is obviously much better! I could go on, the results mean that I know I will never go back. I have realized life is simply too short and full of possibilities to hide from it anymore.

I really hope this helps anyone who is looking to quit, or has already quit and inspires them as well. Thank you Cam in helping me get my life back :).

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Need help?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Take a Stand

Game Quitters exists to help those who need help with gaming addiction challenges to get the help, and to spread awareness about the negative impact gaming addiction can cause. Want to help? Grab a t-shirt or hoodie and show the world you care about this issue.

cam adair game quitters

gaming addiction story

“The only way I’ve been happy and not depressed in the past 15 years is when I’m not gaming.”

I’m here today because I’m addicted to video games. I’m here today because I want to be a part of a community who understands my struggle with gaming and won’t try to convince me that I need moderation or need to be less hard on myself. I recently opened up to my friends about gaming and its effect on my life and received mixed feedback. Some supported me 100%, while others were almost offended that I’d even mix gaming with addiction, life issues, and sickness. It’s something people dedicate their lives to and not everyone can do that. I’m one of them.

My story begins as an 8 year old and the Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1 had just come out. Everyone was getting them and oh man, I needed both. I’d beg my parents. I didn’t even understand the concept of what gaming was. All I used to do was play hockey and build legos. Christmas came along and I got the Nintendo 64. A few years later I got the PS1. I found myself playing the EA NHL games all night long. They were soothing. I could escape any troubles at home and play all the time. I got so good at NHL 99 and NHL 01 that I’d be scoring almost 100 goals a game and never lost to anyone. I then got an Xbox and started playing Halo, Halo 2, and the NHL 2k games. I wasn’t addicted, though. I could do other things. The issue was when I got online games.

The Problem: Online Games

the internet

In April of 2004 I started playing RuneScape. My friends got me into it during science class and we all played. I fell in love with the game instantly. I loved being able to control someone and level them up. I loved that I could work on skills that weren’t related to fighting. I could just spend my afternoons mining with people I’d meet online and become friends with them. The draw to this game for me was that I could have friends. I had friends in school, but I wasn’t really allowed to bring anyone over my house. I had issues with my dad and I didn’t want to bring anyone over. I was so depressed and I lost a lot of friends because I never was able to visit them or bring anyone over my house. RuneScape allowed me to make friends whenever I wanted and see them all day and night.

The issue with RuneScape was how rewarding it was. Over the next 6 years I would become extremely high leveled in the game, become the owner of a clan of over 200 people, lead clan wars, and other events. I was looked up to as a leader, a friend, and someone who could help others. I loved that kids my age would tell me their problems with their parents, school, family, or drug issues they were facing and trust me with it. They could confide in me and I could help them. I remember we’d be mining in the mining guild and we’d be tutoring a few clan members in calculus and history. Kids from France would help me on my French homework. We had one thing in common and that was we needed each other. We were lonely, hurting, and struggling with different issues, but all respected one another.

My grades dropped big time. I am a very smart person. I don’t mean to say this in a pompous light, but I have a photographic memory and love to learn. I was one of the top students in my school without having any study habits. When I play RuneScape or other online games, it prohibits me from being able to reach that top level of knowledge in my brain. I actually can’t sustain a photographic memory or care enough to try and do something. I felt like any major concept wasn’t worth putting mental effort into because it wasn’t as rewarding as RuneScape. This was when my natural rewards system became tarnished by gaming. I no longer saw satisfaction in life. I only felt committed to the game and just wasn’t absorbing anything in real life.

Related: How Your Need For Accomplishment Keeps You Gaming

Academic Probation

college

In 2010 I received a letter from my university that said I was on academic probation. I managed to receive a 1.1 GPA after my first year of college. This happened because I played RuneScape for 12 hours a day. I had a fake girlfriend on the game who was catfishing me, a clan of over 200 people, and I wanted to max my stats. I crashed real hard. I beat myself up and got uncontrollably depressed. I dumped the catfish and got rid of my membership to the game. I took a week off from everything and just felt terrible. My dad made me get my first job ever after that week. He said being a part of society, having responsibility, and interacting with others would make me a better person. He was right. I became a cashier and made some incredible friends. I was so angry at first, but I made it my goal to speak to every customer in line and try to make their day better. I wanted to know about them, tell them a new joke every time, and listen to their life issues. I was the only male cashier and was the best cashier for 2 years there.

This didn’t end my gaming issues. I started playing RuneScape again and it crushed my grades again. During my first semester back I dropped 3 out of 5 classes because I was failing. I felt like such an asshole. I quit RuneScape immediately and just felt lost. I got my grades back together and managed to get a B- and a C in the two classes I was still registered in. I started playing Halo 3 online. This was a bad idea. I got an Xbox Live membership and would spend hours playing team slayer. I then got hooked into Minecraft. The second semester finished and the same thing happened. I dropped my major, dropped 3 more classes and only passed 2 classes again. I had officially spent 2 years in college and passed maybe 7 classes.

I decided to quit gaming and just watched anime all summer that year. I went through a major hardship with my father and decided I’d never speak to him again. I moved out of the house and played no games at all, but I also did not replace them with anything healthy or make new friends. I just sat and did nothing, but watch TV. My junior year started and I picked up Halo Reach. I couldn’t put it down. I became one of the best Grifball players in the world and would get killionaires each game, unfriggenbelievables (40 kills without dying) and just had a blast. I then switched to Swat and played it all day. I started dropping out of classes again. This time I was able to pass just 3 classes. Spring semester I picked up NHL 12 and this was the end of things. I started a team on there and learned how to play goalie. I only passed 2 classes that spring as I became one of the best goalies in the world. I was utterly dominant. Fall semester came and NHL 13 came out. That year I continued to only take 2 classes a semester, while living on campus. I became the best goalie in the world. I was and still am on YouTube and the hockey community remembers me still. I shutout every good team, lead the WORLD in shutouts, games played in 6 v 6, goals against average, save %, and most importantly, time played.

I took a leap of faith and asked my mom if she’d let me stay in an apartment. I thought if I could have more responsibility I wouldn’t game as much and I could just do school work. It worked. I stopped all my video games and after a couple months I actually managed a 4.0 GPA for 2 straight years to get my cumulative GPA to above a 3.0 so I’d get accepted into the Master’s Program. I got a job and created a new life for myself after failing for a decade.

Gaming Is Ruining My Life

self awareness

I’m here today because I started gaming again. On and off for the past 3 years I’ve been gaming, while doing my Master’s degree and working full time. I’ve been doing great at work and graduated with a 3.9 GPA for my Master’s degree, but I was still gaming. I’d game on the weekends only because I didn’t want to ruin my work week. Work means the world to me and I didn’t want to ruin it. I mostly played NHL or Halo on the weekends. This was fine until Overwatch came out. Holy shit. I couldn’t put the game down. It was too addicting. I needed to be great at all of the characters and every map. It was like Halo and League of Legends put into one game with the competition I loved in NHL. Oh man it was bad. I’d play each night for 6 hours and was a zombie at work. I only cared about the game. After a year of this I got so angry at Overwatch because the community is full of assholes. They are bad at the game, toxic to you and your teammates, and just ruin your day. I’d find myself yelling at the computer for hours and I wasn’t happy anymore. This made me wish I could just relax on a video game. This made me think back to the one game that was always peaceful to me: RuneScape. So I started again, from scratch on the Old School servers. I was 13 again. I loved every second of it.

The unfortunate side effect was that I wasn’t able to learn very well anymore. I’d need to stop playing for weeks at a time if I had an exam coming because I knew it would hurt my learning. But it also kind of made me not learn very well at work. Any success I had was based off of prior knowledge I’d learned while not gaming. I realized I needed to quit this past December. I had a clan of 50 people again, a full discord channel, and was only playing the game. I also started playing Overwatch again in January. Both of those games combined really burned me out. I started to get sick. I’d get these depression headaches where I didn’t feel pain, but I felt sensations in my head that wouldn’t go away. I’d almost want to hit myself in the head to make them stop, but they wouldn’t. I’d stop playing games at 6AM and just lay in bed suffering. I hadn’t eaten a regular meal in half a day or more, barely any water, no movement, nothing. I’d sit there in bed for hours with anxiety and my body just screaming for nutrients, sleep, and some sort of normalcy. I’d cry myself to sleep because of the mental anguish I was going through. I knew this was a big issue and I needed to end it immediately. In May I quit both games and decided to dedicate my life to living in the real world.

Quitting Gave Me My Mind Back

clarity

After 2 weeks of being free from gaming I had my mind back. I had clarity. I don’t know if you guys feel this, but that mental fog effect from gaming that prohibits you from taking that next step to learning, thought processes, and intellect was gone. I started to excel at work to a point I’d never done before. I was dominating everything, except outside of work. I was trying new hobbies, but I started to feel like if I wasn’t doing something amazing each night then I was a failure. So I started to be afraid of starting new hobbies or just relaxing. I’d yell at myself for just watching TV or reading. I needed to do something great.

This past week I went through a really stressful event and got very upset. I got so upset that I signed up for RuneScape again and just started playing. What a mistake that was. I played for only 2 days (2 hours each day) and the mental fog was back. I couldn’t think again. My mind was so clouded with doubt, anxiety, the inability to think at a high level anymore. It was all gone. I got very depressed. I asked my mom the last time I felt this way and she said the first week of May. It was a sign. I had been talking to my therapist about this for a year or so and he said he believes I am addicted to gaming. My happiness production was solely based on gaming. I would just lose my ability to be happy about anything or want to learn. I quit the game again and signed up on this website.

I think I have the self control to stay away from games, but I really wanted to be a part of this Game Quitters community because I really need help sometimes. My roommates still play games. They never prompt me to play or rub it in my face, they are really nice about it. I just get jealous that they can play games without issues that I know of. I just know that gaming is not right for me, and the only way I’ve been happy and not depressed in the past 15 years is when I’m not gaming and just living life.

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Need help?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Take a Stand

Game Quitters exists to help those who need help with gaming addiction challenges to get the help, and to spread awareness about the negative impact gaming addiction can cause. Want to help? Grab a t-shirt or hoodie and show the world you care about this issue.

cam adair game quitters

gaming addiction story

“I realized how beautiful the world is, more beautiful than video games.”

Magic The Gathering is more than just animations in a video game, it’s a board game that has given me more benefits to my mental health. Such things include critical thinking, decision making, strategy, the appreciation of art, logic, contingency plan (sideboarding) and the use of math.

Magic did not just gave me these things, it made me a better person and it was the board game that killed video gaming in my life. Since joining my local MTG community, I have made friends and no longer feel lonely and it gives something that video games never do, social interaction and meeting new people. The people that I meet at my local MTG community are from different paths of life such as students, clerks, teachers, managers, programmers and even lawyers.

Related: How To Make New Friends And Improve Your Social Skills

My Gaming History

I started gaming back in September 2001 when my elder brother introduced me to gaming when he got a PlayStation 2 console from overseas. I was in the last year of elementary school and I was facing my Lyceum exam for secondary school. It was a time when I did not realize that I was playing too much, and unknowingly that it was ruining my health and also my grades.

I used to play three hours a day, everyday. It was an activity that impacted me on the negative side without me even knowing it until I received my academic results. They were a bunch of Fs.

The first day of secondary school started and I was a bit like a fish out of water. Everything was new. I met a facilitator who treated me like a child. I didn’t like her until someone took over her place and that was another woman who has made an impact in my pre-teenage life.

I was overweight and demoralized. She started to encourage me to do physical exercise and to lose weight. I noticed the difference. She strongly advised me to avoid staying for long hours sitting down.

Third year video games were an escape for my school problems. My mother did not know that I was addicted to video games. I gained weight and I felt really bad. I ignored my personal hygiene, and did not care for school, but I played video games for six hours a night.

Related: From 60lbs Overweight, to 6-Pack, Married, and 6-Figure Business. How Quitting Gaming Turned Nicholas Bayerle’s Life Around

I Could Not Stop Myself

depression

The fourth year was the worst of all. I went from bad to worse. My addiction persisted. I was aggressive, and did not give a damn for homework. My tutor noticed that I had a problem. She told me I needed help. I also struggled with gambling.

In June 2006, my mother asked me if I was interested in going to Berlin. At that time, there was the World Cup. I said “yes” and she smiled. It was the wisest decision I took back then. I started to appreciate the world around me and realized how beautiful the world is, more beautiful than video games.

The first day I started experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The aggressiveness and anger never left me. A German was staring at me, observing every move I do. He realized that I was not normal at all. He approached me and asked me “Do you have a problem?” “I cannot play a video game” I said and he told me that I was an addict. He asked me “You have a choice, be a woman or remain a crazed addict”. I said that I want to be a woman. He told me to take his advice and he promised me that I will get out of my addiction. He became my mentor, another influential person in my life. We started to get along together like as if we knew each other for a very long time. He thought me how to speak German, to be ambitious, responsibility and some basic self-defense just in case.

One week later, I was turning into someone else, a recovering addict with ambition to quit my addiction and get my life back on track.

Casual Gamer

australia

I moved to Australia and experienced withdrawal symptoms again but not as bad as the ones back in Berlin. I stayed for a few months away from gaming, instead writing a book and working more on my martial arts and weapons training. Even if I had a PlayStation, I did not game more than hour a day. I became a casual gamer just playing for fun and overdoing it at all. I attended school there and I felt more welcome than back in my country. I did not have anymore problems with gaming, it wasn’t boring but I was homesick sometimes.

I returned back in Malta in January 2007. I was fighting my addiction until I quit when my television broke down. It wasn’t a problem for me and I went hardcore in my writing career, writing two or three books per year. The books were continuing with one another and together they became the Terran Saga, a series of speculative science-fiction books.

I did three years at the Higher Secondary. I entered MCAST and took a diploma in computing. I committed myself to one year studying and the next year I graduated with my first diploma. My parents were glad with my achievement.

I got my first job as a clerk in a shipping company and worked there for six months under a definite contract. I was still gaming then but only for an hour. My contract expired and I was at home. I was desperate and gaming was pulling me badly but I did not let it take me hostage and instead I was reading some articles online and writing books. I then felt my health deteriorating and I heard my manager telling me that gaming is causing all of that.

I Quit Gaming for Good

magic the gathering

I attended a MTG Pre-Release in January and then another in April. I have been playing Magic: The Gathering for five years and it was that card game that has done so much good for me as I started to make friends again. I put all my games for sale, selling three of them as a result. I was glad that I got rid of them.

I chose Magic and the outside world and got rid of gaming. I started a 90 day detox and I watched videos made by Game Quitters founder Cam Adair. He was my motivator and after a week I already felt a difference. No more fatigue, no frequent consumption of energy drinks, no more burning eyes, muscle twitching, strain injuries, or power naps. No more of this addictive gaming anymore.

Now I will soon end my detox and I swear to God that I will never touch another video game again.

If you are a gamer, please play video games responsibly and don’t overdo it. If you know an addict, it is not a sin to ask for help.

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Need help?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Take a Stand

Game Quitters exists to help those who need help with gaming addiction challenges to get the help, and to spread awareness about the negative impact gaming addiction can cause. Want to help? Grab a t-shirt or hoodie and show the world you care about this issue.

cam adair game quitters

gaming addiction story

“We have big plans to travel, start a family, build a home, and live abroad.”

What a year it has been. My life has changed so much in one year that in the occasional moment I actually don’t recognize myself.

I have fought off a long depression, lost weight and got into shape. I have grown mentally and spiritually into a more confident, aware and happy person. I challenged my social anxiety and awkwardness, and can now look people in the eye and hold a conversation. I even mustered all my courage to ask a girl out, we fell in love and I asked her to marry me. She said yes! I also discovered a passion to pursue, and created a vision of an epic life that I’m (we’re) working toward.

This has all been accomplished by a guy who just over a year ago… didn’t work, woke up just to game all day, every day, was overweight with no regards to eating healthy or exercising, dwelled deep in depression with suicidal thoughts, and who was living a lonely, directionless, miserable half-life.

Related: From 60lbs Overweight, to 6-Pack, Married, and 6-Figure Business. Nicholas Bayerle’s Story

Is Gaming Bad?

No. I think they can be absolutely amazing when used for the right reasons. But they can be bad when you use games like I did, to escape adversity I needed to face, to pretend I was achieving goals when my life stood still, to procrastinate, and to cover wounds that required attention and healing.

I’d say it’s not about quitting games. It’s not about finding other things to fill the time games used to occupy. It’s about having a vision for your life, living with intention and purpose toward it, and to experience life to its fullest – whatever that may mean to you.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows though. Behind every step forward, there was me forcing myself out of my comfort zone, and facing many fears and uncomfortable situations.

Near the end of last year, I had a total breakdown. My world, my hard built habits and routines were turned upside down and thrown out the window. But reflecting on the situation now, I realize those things needed to go to make room for new things. Wonderful things.

I now have a great job that leaves me with time to pursue my passion. I have a life partner to support each other through adversity and also double the amount of fun we both have. We have big plans to travel, start a family, build a home, and live abroad. We’re both working hard toward our individual and mutual goals.

3 Steps to Quit Gaming:

Step 1: Establish Your Foundation

breathe

This is the most important aspect of changing for the better, and if you do nothing else but maintain this your life will begin to shift almost automatically. Your foundation involves the following:

  • Get Enough Sleep! Maintain a regular sleep schedule, and get the amount of sleep you need. It’s recommended to sleep 7-9 hours a night, but it can actually vary everywhere between 4-11 hours. Be sure you know your individual need! Exercise and diet may be factors too.
  • Eat Real Food. A clean diet involves avoiding processed food, additives, and sugar. Learn to read labels, and if the label contains a bunch of words that sound like a scientist wrote them, avoid it! I tried a keto diet and intermittent fasting, and loved both! Find a diet that suits you.
  • Exercise! Start small, but be consistent, and build your routine up slowly. I recommend doing something you enjoy, making it as low-thresholded as possible, and scheduling it during a time that you’re most likely to do it. The trick I got myself to exercise was doing it at home, with minimal to no equipment, by watching exercise videos from a preferred YouTube channel as a part of my morning routine. On top of that, I played basketball with friends, went skateboarding, and nowadays, I run with my fiancée.

These are called keystone habits, meaning they are foundational habits that impact every other habit. They even have a supporting effect on each other! Sleep well to have more willpower and energy which will help you make better decisions regarding food and getting yourself to exercise; Eat healthy to sleep better and have the energy to exercise; Exercise to sleep better and have your body craving nutritious food.

I also recommend meditation, which is backed up by science to improve happiness, and reduce anxiety and stress. Meditation provides actual physical changes in the brain on those who practice it regularly!

Step 2: Schedule Your Day

plan

Create a morning and an evening routine. Having a well planned morning will make you excited about waking up and get your momentum going to have a great, productive day. Mine looked like this:

  • Wake up immediately. I disabled snooze and placed my phone across the room so I had to leave the bed to turn it off.
  • Make your bed. It’s an easy task to create a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning, and builds momentum to be productive. Plus you have a more clear and organized mindset when your surroundings are in order and no mess or disorder bugging you.
  • Water & vitamins. Getting hydrated will give you a boost of energy.
  • Mediation. I did 15 minutes. Do whatever amount is low enough to get you to do it consistently every day. Consistency is the key here, not the time of a single sitting.
  • Coffee & chill. This was my carrot (motivation) to look forward to mornings. I allowed myself the luxury to just enjoy some good coffee and browse Reddit or watch Youtube.
  • Workout. Provides you with energy for the rest of the day, and for me, it was one of the hardest tasks, so getting it done as early as possible helped a lot.
  • Cold shower. You have to push yourself, but afterward you feel amazing. Not only that, it’s also a great way to start the day by going out of your comfort zone.
  • Get ready for the day. Do everything to make yourself presentable from hair to feet. Making yourself look great will also make you feel great.

That’s it! Craft your own, write it down and make it visible. Seriously. Keep it somewhere you can’t avoid to see every morning. A whiteboard in your room can work wonders.

Read: The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery

My evening routine was much simpler: hot shower, brush teeth, etc. Then dim the lights, and read. Your evening routine’s purpose is to act as a cue that the day is done and it’s time to sleep. I have big problems falling asleep, especially during summer when daytime is so long, so having an evening routine has been really important.

Note by Cam: An eye-mask and earplugs have helped me sleep as well.

To plan my day I use Google Calendar. It’s not perfect, but so far the best I’ve found. I plan my days hour by hour so I know what I should be doing and won’t have to waste energy and willpower pondering if or what I should do.

The free hours you have will be limited when you schedule everything. Take 24 hours in a day: 8 hours goes to sleeping, another 8 likely for school or work, leaving 8 hours which includes commuting, cooking, eating, cleaning, picking up kids, walking the dog, time with family/partner … whatever have you.

Start to see the importance of scheduling, and thinking about how to organize your days so you can maximize the time you have to achieve your dream life. Life is all about the choices and sacrifices we make, so make sure you are aware and in control of what you invest your precious time into. Discard anything that is not aligned with your highest potential.

Step 3: Create a Vision

vision

Don’t just fill your time with hobbies, but with things that move you to where you want to go. If you don’t have a vision and goals for your future, now is the time to start figuring that out.

With all of the time that stopping gaming left you, you can now use it to build a vision for your life. The vision will change and shape as you move forward, and that’s okay, but more important than where you’re going is that you are going, because it’s only by going forward that you will know if it’s the right path, or if you need change direction after all.

I started by making a mind map where I put everything I wanted out of life, or at least what I knew I wanted in the moment. Then I planned my days so I was working toward my goals. My days were suddenly filled with purpose and meaning, instead of just hobbies and entertainment to pass the time.

You don’t have to know your purpose or passion yet. To discover them, you’re going to try new things, truly giving them an honest go, and develop useful skills to aid you in the future. Learn a language, woodworking, or programming to name a few useful ones. You can even make a list of things that might interest you, then try them out one by one, crossing off the ones that didn’t spark a flame.

That’s the purpose of quitting games. To free your time to be used with an intention. Envision your life and live each day toward it.

Join our Movement

SHARE this story to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.

Need help?

Reading this and struggling with a compulsion or addiction to gaming? You are not alone. Check out Respawn, a program specifically designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life back. Backed by scientific research, join thousands of others like you who have quit gaming. Start your journey today.

Take a Stand

Game Quitters exists to help those who need help with gaming addiction challenges to get the help, and to spread awareness about the negative impact gaming addiction can cause. Want to help? Grab a t-shirt or hoodie and show the world you care about this issue.

cam adair game quitters

gaming addiction story

“I no longer have an inner voice demanding me to play video games.”

My name is Dale and I’ve been a full-time gamer since I was very young. I am now 33 years old with a family and home mortgage. Until several months ago, I never realized spending most of my time and money on video games, consoles, and computer hardware would make me look back and think poorly of myself.

I would play all different types of games. First person shooters, online/competitive, strategy, Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs, and so on. I was addicted to buying game time subscriptions, and expensive collectors editions of games. Regrettably, I wasted my time.

Related: Why You Should Quit Gaming: It Steals Life from You.

I finished school and worked many jobs full-time. I worked in the health care industry for almost 11 years doing shift work. I was tired. I played games to relax, and subconsciously, to escape the world – including my wife and my son.

I was addicted.

Luckily my wife was very supportive. I didn’t smoke or drink. I played games at home. So it could’ve been much worse. But really, it was. I suffered depression from an early age, and as a result, video games were what I felt I needed to do to avoid life’s challenges. I developed social anxiety.

As the years rolled on, I took notice of how the online gaming community had ‘de’volved. I found myself suffering a worse anxiety than before. The community was dark and full of hate. It affected me so much that I backed away from gaming for a little while.

I noticed during my time off, I felt less stressed, and I was enjoying not being chained to a desk, or lounge, tapping away, completing heavily repetitive tasks and watching as other people’s aim was to cause upset and chaos to one another. The toxic side of the community wasn’t who I was.

I had to quit.

And luckily enough, it was fairly easy. I still have my computer sitting over there, in the corner. Switched off at the wall.

Within a few months I no longer have an inner voice demanding me to play video games. My health has improved. I stress a lot less now. My depression appears to be better managed. I love my life now. I think about my life, and all the things I can do now that I am no longer addicted.

Thank you for reading my story. It’s been quite a journey and a chapter that has ended permanently.

roadtrip to the mountains

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“My parents just wanted me happy, though they didn’t see the monster that was evolving inside of me.”

Games: a fun past time to play with family, friends, or by yourself. Gaming has evolved into something incredible in contrast to the early 90s. In my early days it was Commodore 64, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Game Boy Color, and PlayStation.

I remember how much I loved to get off the bus, run inside, drop my backpack, and turn on my gaming system. I’d usually be interrupted by “You have homework”, or “supper’s ready”. I enjoyed games from the Super Mario franchise to games like Riddick Bowe Boxing and Donkey Kong. I didn’t have one certain interest, I just loved to play.

It was my only ambition at that age: Play the game, beat it, and be the best at it out of my siblings. My competitiveness and poor sportsmanship showed greatly in games like Mario Kart or Madden Football, as I’m sure it did with anyone at that age.

Related: How Your Need For Accomplishment Keeps You Gaming

Gaming Wasn’t A Problem (Yet)

I was an energetic young boy who loved the outdoors just as much as I loved my games. I loved spending time with my family also, whether it be a game of baseball or a game of Super Mario 3 on an early Saturday morning with my brother and two sisters.

But my interests continued to grow in gaming, especially when I got my first taste of online multiplayer on my Dad’s PC. I’ll never forget the game that I indulged into: Delta Force 2. I loved working my way to the top of the scoreboard, becoming better each time I played, and meeting other players along the way.

My addiction to gaming went into full force with the introduction of this game. I day dreamed about playing while I was in school, drew pictures of battles I imagined myself playing in, and stayed anxious on the way home to bring my computer to life so I could once again battle it out on one of my favorite games at the time.

My attention to my education took a dip and stayed down for the years to come. Years later after I got bored of Delta Force 2, my uncle gave our family a collection of old computer games, and in that collection lived another first person shooter that once again sparked my interests.

Half-Life

When I first read the front of the case, I didn’t think much of the game. A man with what looked to be a hard plastic suit with a symbol on the chest didn’t really excite me, but then I turned the case over and read that this game was a winner of over 40 Game of the Year awards. That made my jaw drop a bit, and without a second thought I began to install the game onto my computer. Amazed by the storyline I was instantly hooked.

Years later my uncle gifted us an Xbox with an inclusion of various games from Halo to Ghost recon. I went through game after game, defeating one after another, wanting to buy more games as I went. I’m sure I put a hole in my parents pocket with the interest I had, but I know in the end they just wanted me happy, though they didn’t see the monster that was evolving inside of me.

Down the road, my Dad bought a game that without a doubt was another cause of my obsession with first-person shooters: Call of Duty. Little did I know that, once again, I would be immersed in the multiplayer world.

The gaming world in Call of Duty was so in-depth compared to the other games I had played. Players took losing seriously and was adamant on becoming the greatest gamer they could be. Clan after clan existed throughout the community, and I was excited to become a part of it. I convinced my parents to buy me a stand up microphone and I found headphones my sisters used to use to listen to their portable CD players.

If I would be able to go back in time and stop myself from becoming addicted to games, this would’ve been the point where I would’ve tried to convince myself that there was more to life than gaming.

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Xbox 360

I was in awe of the graphics compared to my previous system. I couldn’t believe what the new generation of gaming had produced. My dedication to becoming the top gamer doubled, and so did the amount of time spent playing. My attention to education dipped further than ever with my focus on the gaming world as I fought to become as great as I could be, perfecting my kill/death ratio, win/loss ratio, and accuracy percentage.

Let’s step out of the story for a moment. So far I had been in my obsession with gaming for about 8 years, and I had no realization that I was working towards nothing in a literal sense, but in my eyes, I had made this my life. I felt like I was someone in the gaming world. It was my reality, and the world outside was just a nightmare in my eyes that I couldn’t wait to get out of when I picked the controller back up and continued on my journey to being the best.

I had a circle of gamers I played with and as a result stemmed to playing other games, as my brother took over the Xbox as basically his own to play. This was the beginning of the crumbling of our relationship. Before, we were close. We played games together on Xbox, PlayStation, and all the other systems we owned. We played outside together, and pretty much did everything together, with the exception of arguments that escalated quickly to physical or verbal actions, but all in all, we bonded.

With my interest in PC gaming, his interest in Xbox 360, and our passion to be competitive, we parted ways with playing together. We both would spend hours upon hours on our beloved games, only to take breaks for dinner or whenever needed. We talked less to each other and more to our friends of the gaming world. My social life in school was already an empty shell, and gaming kept it at bay.

Gaming at School

boy at school

In the mornings before school began, I would go to the library, boot up one of the computers, and play games such as Quake 3 or the Halo demo. There were a group of kids like myself who liked to game early in the morning and we would all get on computers and play. The sad thing was I didn’t even know who the others were I was playing with, nor did I try to find out.

Any opportunity I had to play a video game at school, I would take it. I would skip out on doing work assignments also. I remember lying to my teacher, telling her I had an essay to do online, so she allowed me to go to the library where I played Quake 3 for the remainder of the class.

When I was 16, I got into my first serious relationship and took some of my focus off of gaming (I still played a lot). I grew up a little, got a job, and came back into reality. I continued to focus on my relationship and left little attention to gaming. Time went on, and when the year came, I graduated high school (somehow), and began college that following fall.

My gaming obsession quickly slipped its way back in during my short lived college life. I wasted my reimbursement given back to me from college on a $2,600 gaming laptop. I would skip out on class to play my favorite PC shooter, or literally be in class at the back row playing a game. Yes, I litera