About Game Quitters

“Then I made my first kill, and snap, there it was, the kind of game I had needed all along.”

Today marks day ninety since I last played a video game, and it’s an enormous thanks to you I was able to do it and turn my life around.

I don’t know whether or not you get these a lot, but still I wanted to share my journey with you as a way of thanks, and because I feel I need to do this for myself too. Why? Because it’s hard, it’s out of my comfort zone and I feel totally open and vulnerable.

Excellent. I’m still not okay, but I’m getting better. Every hard day is a step to the right direction, as are the good days. I’m out of the woods, but now at the foot of a mountain. Good thing is: the day is clearing and I’m beginning to see the top.

My gaming got out of hand

I don’t wanna bore you with the whole story. Don’t wanna bore myself either. Let’s just say that I had gamed a lot before this point–MMOs and RPGs being my games of choice–but it was still pretty casual and mostly a way to avoid boredom. Then League of Legends came into the picture.

MOBA? Had never heard of it. I figured it was some sort of MMO. Nope. My first impression of League of Legends was sort of ‘meh’ as I really had no idea what I was supposed to do and got butchered by the opponent again and again.

Then I made my first kill, and snap, there it was, the kind of game I had needed all along. It was easy enough to get into, but hard to master with limitless potential to grow. It was mentally engaging, strategically and technically complex and, oh, so rewarding.

Little else mattered anymore; I was hooked.

The next three years went with all my energy put into getting better and climbing that ranked ladder. Even music, which had been the biggest part of my life for ten years, faded into the background. Never in my life had I put such an effort into anything–this is the most valuable thing I consider learning from that time: I was incredibly hard working and motivated.

Anyone who has played League, or any similar game, knows how nauseatingly toxic it can be. In the end I think that was what did it for me. That, and the stress of staying on the ranked ladder was finally enough for me.

But to quit–how could I when nothing else mattered to me anymore? Gaming was my identity. I just needed another game. I found Path of Exile, a non-competitive online action-RPG, and it was perfect. From it I got the dopamine my brain craved, it was immediately engaging with tons of things to learn and an awesome community.

I invested yet another year or so into it, but annoying, nagging thoughts lurked in the back of my head, ‘Is this it?’ Sure. ‘I’m gonna just game for the rest of my life?’ Yes, why not, as nothing else interests me anyway? ‘Is this the life I’m satisfied having ten, twenty, forty years from now?’ Well–

‘Am I happy?’ …

Of course I wasn’t. I was five years into depression, my diet was awful, I didn’t exercise and rarely went out, all the while wondering why don’t I have energy like everyone else? Where’s my motivation? I wonder.

90 Day Detox

After searching the internet for help and finding Game Quitters’ channel on YouTube, I made the decision to do the ninety days without games–even if I’d just go back into gaming afterwards, I needed to see if there was something else to life after all.

In that time I struggled and fought the gamer in me, who occasionally would sneak up and remind me of the good times I had with games, especially on the tough days, conveniently forgetting to mention the bad. I spent time in music again, my newly found passion for writing fantasy and science fiction, reading a ton and developing myself through YouTube and various other channels.

I took up and tried new things, such as exercising, meditation and cold showers, every new and positive habit leading up to a thought ‘Okay, what can I do next to feel even better?’. I took small steps at a time, and slowly began to see why I was walking. I could now look back and see the darkness I had left behind, see the rise in what I call my ‘default happiness’.

Life, as I realized, is not about constant bliss. There are ups and downs like a wave, but the average value the wave surrounds can be raised. The downs are there to give contrast for the ups. No light without dark, nothing is high if something isn’t low.

I like the analogy regarding life I heard from Dr. Jordan Peterson, a Canadian professor with a lot of great content on YouTube,

You might compare the difference between elevator music and a Beethoven symphony. It’s not that the symphony is in any sense happier than the Muzak–in fact, quite the contrary–but it’s deeper and more profound and richer and incorporates more and justifies itself more, and that’s the right metaphor for life; not happiness, but depth and differentiated quality and profundity, to match the profundity of the necessity of suffering.

So, I have no regrets for the time I initially thought ‘wasted’, because it was a road that gave me contrast to appreciate where I am now and the places I’m heading toward.

I’m eternally grateful for you and all the work you do with Game Quitters, and I wanted to express just how utterly, truly essential it was to have you pull me from that pit and encourage me as I learned to take my own steps. To me, Cam, you are nothing short of a Hero.

If our paths ever cross, I’m gonna give you a hug. All the best.
– Otto

If you are ready to quit playing video games, start your 90 day detox by clicking here.

“I decided to quit playing video games when I realized what I want in life wasn’t going to happen if I continued wasting my time.”

red backpack

It has been 444 days since I last played a video game. For those who like numbers, that’s 10,656 hours. When I was playing video games I was spending 8 hours a day on average. That’s over 3,100 Hours! Wow!

Since I’ve quit, I’ve invested those 3,100 hours wisely to invest in myself, my relationships, health, passions, and I have never been happier!

I decided to quit playing video games when I realized what I want in life wasn’t going to happen if I continued wasting my time. After years of missing out on opportunities, enough was enough. Lots of really bad things happened during my early-to-mid 20s, and each painful time I would rely on video gaming to “relieve” myself. Deep down I knew I was just distracting myself.

I was aware that I was denying myself of my dreams.

Because I turned to gaming every time negative emotions came up, I didn’t have the skills to tackle the emotions. The stress compounded so much over time that it felt overwhelming, thus the cycle was set.

Watch: How to Overcome Escapism

I was depressed, powerless, and inexpressive. I wanted to feel alive when at the time I could see no way out. The worst was realizing I would never get any of that time back. It’s like your bank telling you had $100,000 in your account (Okay, more like $100 but hey one day!) then finding out it’s only worth $10 because you wasted your time to act.

Change started after I read the book called “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. I learned about keystone habits, and how much it would ripple into other habits. The book sparked ideas, so I decided to set an official date for when I would quit. Chances are if you’re reading this then you are ready for the message Charles has to give you.

Playing one of my last matches of CSGO…

I had switched to my deagle, and decided to reload. At this moment myself and an enemy terrorist bumped into each other. They were also reloading.

My heart was racing, I felt the rush of adrenaline and the magazines were loaded. At the last possible second we both fired and I landed my final headshot. Immediately I felt the rush of dopamine flood my system, with virtual messages saying “you are the winner”. It felt good, it felt rewarding, I felt accomplishment, yet I knew I was deceiving myself.

Seconds later my alarm went off to signify the one of the most important decisions of my life. I fought the temptation to keep playing, especially after that game winning play, yet I decided it was time and pulled the plug. (And admittedly I couldn’t of asked for a better way to go out!). I am thankful for the memories video games had provided me, however moving on from something that was destructive for me has paid me more than any video game could provide.

Watch: How to Deal with Gaming Nostalgia

The Impact of This Decision

Gauntlet Records

From this moment on I would have to face challenges head on. It meant no more distractions, no more excuses, and no more running from my problems.

I took responsibility to face my challenges directly head on no matter what it took. Just like forging a sword, it must get thrown into the fire and smacked around a bunch before it can come out strong.

After the first week of intense cravings, it gradually got easier and easier to fill my time with activities that I would genuinely enjoy.

I found healthier ways to gain the sense of accomplishment that video games were providing for me. My willpower has increased significantly as quitting video games also help me quit other bad habits and develop my discipline.

I’ve also started to favor long term rewards and delayed gratification instead of instant quick fixes to things. I’ve read more books, with a total of 12 this year which has been more than I’ve read in my entire life up until this point.

The biggest payoff is I finally reconnected with my passion of writing music. A dream I thought wasn’t possible to pursue. With my new found skills, I was able to build a studio and start up my own independent electronica record label called “Gauntlet Records“. Quitting video games was a huge step in making this happen.

Our first EP is officially released, you can listen to it here: www.gauntletrecords.com, and you can follow us on Facebook.

Never underestimate the value of your time and what you do with it. Every moment counts!

“My desire to be smart, successful financially, and have a meaningful marriage was more important than playing a video game.”

freedom

750 days ago, I made a choice.

My gaming was out of control. I don’t really need to explain it, because most of you know what it’s like to grind daily, and have an obsession with whatever the game you are playing. Let me tell you about how I stopped gaming and started living!

The Beginning

It didn’t come easy at first. I started at the age of 4 playing on the NES with my Dad in 1985. My mind was always wired to think about gaming.

In the first few weeks of these 750 days, I would dream about playing. Gaming songs would get stuck in my head. It definitely didn’t help when gaming friends were asking me to play.

I cut everything out that related to gaming (yes, even the streams!). I picked up cooking as a hobby to keep myself from gaming in the evenings… the rewards are delicious!

Free Download: 60+ Hobby Ideas to replace gaming

The Other Grind

In April 2015, I got married. In October 2015, I got laid off.

I worked in the energy industry for a decade, and was very good at what I did (operations, legal, land, and consulting work). Industry layoffs were rampant, and I wanted to get into something with stability.

programming

I chose to immerse myself in all things programming. It’s really tough to change careers, and getting that first foot in the door is always the hardest part. I was really good at getting to the final interview, but couldn’t get past the “you don’t have X amount of years of experience.”

Every single day, I kept mashing my keyboard. Python, R, SQL, Typescript/Javascript, HTML, CSS… onto Machine Learning, DevOps, into Django, into Angular, React, Redux. I didn’t stop.

People kept telling me that I should just take 3-4 minimum wage jobs, and quit trying so hard to do something I have no experience in. Let’s just say that I made a choice to ignore those voices, and kept building up skills.

The Present

I eventually got fed up with the job search. The last night of my “corporate search” ended while watching Office Space with my wife. I decided that I was going to be my own boss.

It’s taken time to build up a client base, but I’m now building full stack web apps where I can leverage my past work experiences, and blend them with new skills. April has been the largest grossing month of my career. I do eventually want to delve into data science, biostats and medical research… but that’ll wait for just a little bit! (see below)

The Future

My wife is now 5 months pregnant, and I’m grateful that I can focus on being a grandson, son, dad, husband, friend, and developer.

These 2+ years have been the most difficult, yet rewarding experience that I’ve ever had. I could have used many excuses to go back into 24/7 gaming mode. I lost my job, and my savings ran dry after six months of a job search.

Financial troubles can be an absolute disaster to any marriage, new or established. My wife and I put in the work to communicate better, and being in the present is what made that happen. If I would have gamed, my marriage would have been over. If I would have gamed, I also wouldn’t have the programming skills that I had today.

Everyday you will be given a new choice. Life is too funny, complicated, and beautiful to do anything that you deem to be a waste. The choice is yours. What do you want?

Nicholas Bayerle

If you found yourself…

60 pounds overweight, your grades dropping, and you had no confidence… what would you do?

Would you continue to escape into video games?

or would you make a decision that could change the course of your life forever?

That’s the exact situation Nicholas Bayerle found himself in.

After his dream of being a professional Motocross rider came to an end, he found himself 60 pounds overweight, grades dropping, and no sense of confidence.

In fact, as you will learn in his story, it got to the point where he was so embarrassed of himself that he was wearing multiple sweatshirts to try and cover up his weight.

This Story Has a Happy Ending

Today Nicholas has a 6-pack for the first time, he’s been married to a (his words) “super hot chick” for the past five years, and his business takes home multiple 6-figures. What changed? He quit gaming.

Watch: Why I Quit Gaming: Nicholas Bayerle

Nicholas and I go in-depth not only into his story, but also how he’s managed to get to where he is today.

One of the biggest changes he made was learning to master his health, which he believes (and I agree), acts as a foundation for the rest of his life.

By mastering his health – an area that we ALL have control over – that’s allowed him to apply the same discipline into other areas of his life, like relationships and business.

With Game Quitters there’s a lot of talk about what to do after you quit gaming.

For each of you, that will be something different. Maybe you want to focus on improving your social skills. Maybe you want a boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe you want to travel and start your own business.

But no matter what area you are interested in, your health is going to have an impact. Because it’s not so much about your health, as much as it is about your energy and confidence.

That’s why Nicholas and I put together an idea to create a program exclusively for Game Quitters on how to master your health. We don’t have anything to offer yet – it’s just an idea.

But if a program on mastering your health to fuel your energy and confidence to master other areas of your life is interesting to you, reply in the comments and say YES.

If you want to learn more about Nicholas, and/or what we’re thinking when it comes to a program around mastering your health, watch today’s video and let us know in the comments.

To be forthright, as Game Quitters continues to grow I will continue to focus on being the BEST in the world at helping you quit gaming.

But helping you quit gaming and then leaving you to fend for yourself seems like a disservice. I’m committed to doing more to help you succeed far beyond just quitting gaming.

The Beyond program was part of that… and if you haven’t applied yet, you can do so here… but I also know when it comes to areas like health I am out of my league.

So I’m committed to sharing with you other experts who are the masters at their craft in other fields, whether it’s in health, productivity, relationships, dating, business, or any other area I get emails about, to support you in achieving your highest potential.

Nicholas is one of those, and the fact that he’s overcome his own video game addiction is a cherry on top.

I hope you enjoy the interview with him today, and if you’re interested in a Game Quitters program to master your health, reply with YES!

“I realized that I am just wasting my time.”

When I was a kid, I had very bad relationships with my family. They were always shouting at each other, being very insecure and unstable (even now). I was a good kid. Very calm and patient, but my character pissed them off.

“Why isn’t he involved in our useless drama?”, “Why is he so calm?”

So they did their best to involve me in their foolish drama. As a kid, I didn’t understand what is right, and what is wrong, so I did the same as they did, arguing about pointless things, crying, and fighting.

School was good at the beginning, but I became friends with some bad guys. Being a good guy, I paid for that soon, and was bullied. Luckily, I transferred, but this is when I began to escape from society in video games.

I Couldn’t Find a Job

I had no girlfriend. I was just gaming. My gaming friends always supported me, and were my best friends. All I wanted was money.

My favorite game is League of Legends. I’m good at it, but the owner of this game (RIOT company) sold Riot Games to the Chinese company Tencent. They created a League of Legends tournament called LCS. Before they sold the company to Tencent, American, European, and Russian teams were always winning it.

But things changed. Now, only Chinese, and Korean teams are winning it. Strange, right? After that, they changed the game to look good in LCS, but they didn’t care about the League of Legends community. That was the limit of my patience.

League of Legends was not the only game that ended like that. Almost the same thing happened to World of Warcraft when they received a lot of money from gamers all over the world, and started to create bad gaming content. They stopped caring about their community.

I Decided to Quit

It wasn’t easy to do, and I had a lot of problems. I’m still living with my parents who are still doing their best to drag me down, and argue over foolish things.

I realized that I’m just wasting my time. As a good League of Legends gamer, my confidence is pretty high. That allows me to understand that I’d better stop playing games, and do something more interesting. Go to the street, even alone. Don’t sit at home. Do some routine every day.

For me, it’s cleaning my flat. So I wake up, clean everything I can, make myself look good, wear some nice shoes, and clothes, and go outside.

When you go outside, look at other people and compare them to yourself. “Look at this guy playing PSP! He wastes so much time!” “Look at his shoes, look at his hair. He doesn’t want to live in the real world so he chose to waste his time!” “Look at this girl! She talks so much trash about some other girl to her friend.” “Look at this old guy with a sad face! He is refusing to change, so he is suffering!”

They all refuse to change. Sad, but true. Human nature is such a thing that we want to get everything while doing nothing. When we get nothing doing nothing, we suffer and blame everyone around us.

The final thing is: Don’t disrespect them. Don’t feel pity for them, just try to show everyone that life is not for wasting your time and opportunities!

So, I haven’t played games for 3 months already. I’m feeling really cool! Thanks to Cam, and all of you guys.

“I was ready, and prepared to hit anything to release the anger of losing.”

I was quite young when I first held the controller of a PS1 in my hand, before then, it was the handheld gameboy. I played games for the action, the quick pace, and competing against others in the game lobby.

There was a distinctive feeling of pride, and some sort of power, perhaps social, or mental through winning. Losing however was a different matter, it could send me raging, and vandalizing my walls.

In particular I shred some skin off of my knuckles, I was ready, and prepared to hit anything to release the anger of losing. Being part of the losing team in a video game hurt my pride, and made me feel like I’ve amounted to nothing.

I refused to make friends. I was a shy person and I wanted some friends – but not friends of which you had to meet face to face.

I Was Embarrassed with Myself

From the way I used to look, to how I used to act. Gaming allowed me to connect me to others, but it only served to keep me in this vicious cycle that never ends. I preferred gaming as a social platform, and therefore my real social skills suffered from not enough exposure.

I also felt my decisions were never truly independent, and that I was being second-guessed, and taken as a joke socially. This made me turn to gaming, in particular to a game called ‘Mass Effect’.

It resonated well for my social needs even though I knew it was all scripted and programmed and none of it is real, it still satisfied that need in me. Because that need is being filled, what’s the point of going outside?

I started to clutch onto strawman and some sort of ad ignorant arguments when people claimed I had a problem, “Quit gaming? If I do that, I’ll just go and end up doing drugs!”

Apart from my social life, what suffered? My health. My teeth are very badly damaged from extremely poor care, and lack of care. I’ve traded lots of social opportunities, and my teenage years for something that’s programmed… not even real.

I Decided to Quit

I just turned 19 years old, and there was a burning passion in me to rid myself of gaming when I decided to take an unbiased approach, and see how gaming had affected me. I saw how many experiences I’ve traded for absolutely nothing in return.

When I decided to quit I thought it would be easy. I uninstalled my games, and logged out of Steam, and smiled. But only the next day I was back at it gaming, and justifying myself. I always said it would be my last game, and it never was.

When I looked for support to quit gaming I came across Cam, and I thought to myself, “this is it!” and it was one pathway to begin my 90 day detox.

The Benefits of Quitting Games

The benefits I have experienced from quitting gaming were that of paying more attention to my general health. I began working toward goals to LIVE the life I want, and not PRETEND to live the life I would like.

I personally believe life isn’t about letting your heart, or feelings to take control. I’ve seen people argue “it’s my passion!” or “I love gaming why would I want to quit?” the former tends to lean more towards being addicted.

If you like something you can earn the same amount of happiness in moderation. When you need to increase beyond that moderation, you have a problem. I have a problem, and I’m taking care of it in a way where it benefits me, not the other way around.

If you’re addicted to video games, what should you do? QUIT. It’s most likely pushing you in the direction you would not wish to be in.

“For the first time in my life I feel as if I have purpose, and I am not alone in the world.”

gabriel barletta

I hit 90 days of no video games. This marked a period of 3 months into my self development that kicked off around November 2016.

It’s been one bumpy ride, but it’s also been the most significant portion of my life as a person. Why quit gaming for 90 days, though? Why turn my life in a completely new direction?

As a kid I grew up in a dysfunctional family. My mum was the one who worked. I didn’t spend much time with her, but she was a good person. Instead I was treated to hanging around with my dad who was a complete loser. I don’t think he is a bad person, but he wasn’t able to be a father. This had a severe impact on me psychologically.

I would take to the world of fantasy and imagination; a place where I could feel emotion in a safe controlled manner; where I could be happy, or do anything without anyone interfering. At school I was always a bit of a pussy. I had no problem making friends, but soon things changed.

Secondary School

I was filtered out into the nerdy group, of course. This is when my video game addiction started to bud. I started getting into all sorts of games. I would spend the majority of my free time just sitting around playing them. I have always been a dreamer. I had hobbies, but I was too weak to take responsibility, so I let them fade away.

blur

This is also about the time that my brother died. I coped with it by convincing myself that I didn’t care. I had mastered hiding my emotions from others and suppressing any affection. My dad sorted that out for me.

My early teens are just a blur. I started getting into heavier music around that time to help me feel stronger. I also got heavily into porn which also fucked me up. All I was really excited about was going from game to game. I thought about girls, sure, but I was too afraid to talk to them. I had a fear of the world, and I would retreat to my shell at any given moment.

At 16 years of age it all kicked off with me watching this video on YouTube about how porn is bad for you on some conservative channel. I immediately started looking into it, and decided to quit. This led me down a rabbit hole, and soon video games was the next target.

I remember sitting at my computer desk, and staring at the wall completely dumbstruck. Was I really destroying myself all these years? I then found Game Quitters, and the journey began.

I started picking up the pieces of the bombshell. I erased my entire Steam library, dumped all my pc gamer mags, and removed anything to do with games from my PC. I also deleted all my porn.

The first couple of months were the hardest. I had never been so depressed in my life. But I kept at it no matter what. I started climbing, doing art more, reading, learning German, and writing down notes for a book.

Getting My Shit Together

Things got better though. I had grown so much as a person. My view of life had completely changed. I was beginning to understand things that I never bothered to look at earlier on.

One day I looked in the mirror and thought: “you’re becoming a man now.” I started getting into fitness a lot more. I meditated a lot too. I also started getting into other types of music. At the age of 17, after casting off a lot of my childhood ignorance, I had learned a lot.

What I’ve Learned So Far:

Always stay grounded. Life is full of ups and downs. You must never be caught up by emotions in victory, or defeat, and maintain the path of reason. The universe is chaotic in nature.

The purpose of life is to feel a sense of purpose. If you were to try and rationalize a purpose to life you would become engulfed by nihilism. Humans are emotional beings, and our emotional needs must be met as these reinforce our will to live.

Pick something and do it. Ever started a new hobby and just given up because you weren’t enjoying it anymore? I had that all the time, but then I found out I just had to pick something and do the thing.

Do the thing. This is my motto now. Forcing yourself to do something consistently is important – even if you don’t feel like it. It’s important to commit to something on a daily basis, or you will sink into bad habits.

The body, mind and soul are all real things and they are all linked. At first I thought this was some retarded spiritual hippy meme, but it’s actually real. The soul is the body of emotion and it’s what separates us from machines. Your soul can lead you all sorts of dumb places though; and so can your mind. So the two have to really work together, and you have to listen to your innermost desire, but fend off petty desires.

Pushing yourself physically also makes you more determined. It is important to take care of your body by eating healthy and getting exercise so you wont feel depressed and have poor cognitive functions. Bioenergetics and meditation are great too. The mind is a muscle and meditation trains it.

Life is a video game, and it’s really, really fun. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on video games. But the reality is I am missing tons, and tons of shit in the real world. The ultimate question is – do you value the world of reality… or virtual reality to the same extent?

Take opportunities to do shit whenever you can. If it turns out bad then you know. Can’t bash it ’till you try it.

A man spends his whole life learning. I haven’t magically become my dream self yet. In fact, the dream self is a false ideal. When you climb a mountain do you stare at the summit, and flop your arms and legs about aimlessly? No. You get your head down, and fucking climb. It’s important to have vision, but it’s more important to focus on the struggle.

Your ego is an important social tool, but don’t let it consume you! You have to be open, and serious with people to reach a deeper level of understanding with them.

My path is my own, and is no greater than the next man’s. As I said before: the purpose of life is to feel a sense of purpose. So my way of doing things is just my way of doing things, and I shouldn’t force that on other people.

I am a lot more accepting of other people’s beliefs now, but I can’t help but let my ego take hold sometimes. Just because I am saying shit here about how I do things doesn’t make it the handbook to life. Everyone has to find their own way. There is a Chinese proverb:

What I hear; I forget. What I see; I remember. What I do; I understand.

Even though I have said these are all lessons I have learned; I still need to improve myself massively, and that is a good thing. What is bad is not having the vision.

I never thought I was really an addict. I was able to slide into my detox without any cravings. Video games were just the stabilizers I persisted to keep on me. They were part of my childhood chapter in life. It’s time to turn a new page though.

Game Quitters has changed my life, and still is. I met extraordinary people. For the first time in my life I feel as if I have purpose, and I am not alone in the world. Some people on this site are like the uncle I never had. I am truly grateful to be exposed to such a community at such a young age. It has really bolstered my development to be immersed in an environment populated by so many awesome people.

A while ago I committed to the 1,000 days challenge with a small group of fellow Game Quitters. That’s almost 3 years of changing my life. I will be 19 when I finish. If you are a young gamer, and you are unhappy with your life (or know one), please do not hesitate to join us here on the forums.

For over 5 years I lived with a gaming addict. This is my personal story.

When I met Joe (not his real name) he seemed like a good guy. He was caring and funny. We would do things together. But each night he would sit in front of his computer. I didn’t realize at that point how his addiction controlled his life.

Weeks passed, then months, and I saw how much the computer and his virtual life meant to him. He felt like his friends online were his real friends. He knew things about them, and felt connected to them. It drew him in every evening.

I would hear him yelling at the computer. He would be getting mad because his virtual friends didn’t like his gaming style, or he got the group killed.

World of Warcraft (WoW) was his first game of choice. He played it each day as he needed to keep up his numbers. It kept him coming back over the years. The new extensions had him talking about them every day.

He Wanted Us to Game Together

Well that wasn’t the case. He got bored because I wasn’t at his level. I on the other hand, couldn’t sit in one spot for 10 hours a day. Joe would sit a lot longer than that. He had his step dad start the game, and then his mom. So now there were two others who played. At dinners with his family they would just talk about gaming.

His gaming progressed to Rift, and League of Legends (LOL). I am sure there are more games he played, but I stopped trying to keep track. Joe even watched live streams of a couple who played games. The games just never ended.

Watch: Should You Watch Gaming Streams?

One night I asked Joe if we could set up a weekly date night. I had to pick a night he wasn’t in a WoW raid. That was tough. He would do a date night, but sometimes he would say I need to cut it short as the guys want me to join their raid.

I was always second to his computer and virtual friends.

I remember once just wanting to smash the computer with a baseball bat. I hated the fact I didn’t matter. My anger took several years to get to this point. I am a patient person, but even I was running out of patience.

Joe would sleep all day and be up all night. Things around the house were being ignored. I took care of everything. I was turning into a mom. I had to nag him to do anything.

It was like dating a kid. Even when we did do things the talk was always about gaming. I began to tune him out. It would seem like I was listening, but it was a lot of head nodding and not a lot of talking from me. When I did talk, he appeared to care, but couldn’t remember what I said.

Joe ate, breathed and slept gaming. 24/7 gaming was apart of his life.

Eventually I said it’s the computer or me.

He said, “I need to be in this raid… the guys really need me.” I knew then that this was much bigger than me. I couldn’t help Joe. We went to counseling twice. He wouldn’t go after the counselor said to him you have a great smart woman here who just wants to love you and spend time with you.

He Lived in a Virtual Life.

I began to live my own life. He was more like a roommate. Sex never happened. We never slept in our bed at the same time. He made me feel worthless and I felt helpless.

Once his mom said to me, “oh in a few years you will want him to go and game, to leave you alone.”

In my mind I said, “nope, not going to live a life like this.” I longed for him to just spend time with me and to love me. I couldn’t understand what was so wrong with me. Why he wouldn’t be with me even once a week for a date night.

I went to Alberta to see my sister in 2014 and it was the first time I was away from him. That is when I saw my sister and brother in law having a healthy loving relationship. I knew that things couldn’t continue this way anymore. I decided during that trip it was over.

In the months to come after the Alberta visit I decided to tell Joe. He wasn’t happy. He couldn’t believe I wanted more. After all what was wrong with gaming?

Gaming made me so angry, so hurt, so frustrated. I cared about Joe still. Did I love him? Not anymore. My love turned to resentment. I now actually had pity for him. I felt sad that he thought those people liked him that they were his friends that they cared. I felt sad he would settle for such an incomplete life.

I Am Now Married. Joe Lives with His Parents

He is still gaming. I knew I wanted more. I wanted to see life that is beyond a computer. To feel the sunshine on my face to feel the rain on my cheek. To get my hands dirty in the garden.

I married a guy who is present, who lives a life here in this world. Not a virtual life.

For those struggling with a partner who is gaming, my advice would be to look at what you want in life. What are the pros and cons of staying with your partner? Seek the support of a counselor.

In the end, you need to decide what you want for your life. What do you want from your relationship? What are you missing out on?

It’s a tough choice to move on. If you do, do it for you. It’s a personal choice to leave someone whom you care about. At what point do you begin to lose yourself? At what point are you no longer going to be second best? Those are all the things I thought about when I made the decision to leave Joe.

Life is so sweet when you are with the right person. Don’t settle.

“Thank god my parents always kept an eye on me. I don’t know what would have happened with me if they didn’t.”

My name is Dominik and I’m a 15 year old freshman high school student from the Czech Republic. I’m here to talk about my past addiction to video games and how I overcame it.

My story with video games starts in December 2005 when I received a Playstation 2 for Christmas. When I was younger I didn’t play games that much, but gradually year by year I played more and more, and it turned into an addiction.

The thing that I loved about gaming was how much fun you could have with your friends, and sharing your common interest in games. I also loved the sense of progress, and rewards.

My addiction wasn’t that bad early on, but that all changed when I had access to my first computer with internet. I suddenly had access to a lot of very addictive video games, and a greater community of gamers.

The game that got me into my addiction was League of Legends (LOL). I played all night long, and even denied that I did to my parents. Almost all my free time was spent on games, and I really didn’t do much to improve at anything else. I lived in Spain at the time, and went to school as any other kid.

I was lying to my family, didn’t try hard at school, put aside my friends (only hung out with the ones that played League of Legends), and I also became a little myopic (2.5 my left eye and 2.75 right eye) – all because of games.

On July 1st, 2016 I decided to quit. I couldn’t continue to go on like this. I was going to go to a very hard high school, and I realized that gaming made me a person that I didn’t want to be.

I decided to stop playing forever.

During this period I was trying to get my hands on every advice I could to learn how to stick to my decisions, and quit gaming forever. Naturally this led me to find great channels on YouTube like Game Quitters, and Brendon Burchard.

I didn’t relapse thanks to all the support that I got from everyone. I really owe a lot to everyone that helped me.

It has been 9 months since I played.

My life is great! Here is a list of things that have improved since I quit gaming:

  • I became healthier (exercised more and ate healthy)
  • My grades improved in school
  • I improved my relationships with other people
  • I started chasing my dreams
  • I improved my physique
  • I learned programming
  • … and a whole lot more.
before/after

Before/After

I’d like to say that it all starts with yourself. Nothing is going to change without you being willing to put in the effort. Work hard and enjoy life, the struggle is worth it. You will become who you want to be, I can guarantee you that.

Want to share your story with the community? Submit yours here.

“I always had plans, and thought I would do them later. But years later the single biggest activity I had done was play games.”

Written by a member of the Game Quitters community:

Your latest post with the 17 year old going traveling is a great example of why not to spend too much time gaming. For me, it is interesting that he took up photography. Photography is a creative discipline, and from my experience creativity is the main area that suffers from playing games.

I am a designer and am lucky enough to be pretty successful. If travel is any mark of success; I have lived and worked in a few countries, Japan, UK, and Turkey. I’ve done projects all over, from Africa and China to the US.

My Gaming Has Always Been Pretty Secretive

It’s not good for my image as a designer, and I know it’s a waste of time. Despite this I have managed to sink hours into gaming, culminating in a couple of years in an MMO. I stopped playing that about 4 years ago.

Luckily for me I have always been pretty ambitious which has kept me in work, subsequently having work deadlines in a highly competitive field has kept my gaming in check. But there are two areas affected by gaming that aren’t often mentioned that I want to share with you:

Network

Every job I have ever had has been through someone I know, or a recommendation of someone I know. Creative work is all about trust, companies put a lot of money into a job usually with short deadlines, and part of the future of their business rides on the success of your work.

They will hire someone with a personal recommendation every time. Social media sites do not count. Networking isn’t anything special, it’s just a fancy word for friends.

Creativity

Computers kill creativity, and gaming most of all. Any time spent staring at a screen, even if it is a ‘creative’ program like Photoshop, is time not thinking for yourself. At best, you are just thinking within the confines of the software.

With gaming I found this spills over, sometimes I would think about a game even when not playing, but more often it is a subtle effect. I wouldn’t think about a game, but equally I wouldn’t be thinking very creatively or have much motivation. It is very insidious, and I would only really notice when I had time away.

A week without using a computer, and my mind would start racing with ideas, not only that I would have the motivation to execute them. Just like when I was a kid. Gaming isn’t just about the time spent gaming, it impacts the rest of your time as well.

“We are what we repeatably do. Excellence then, is not a single act, but a habit” -Aristotle

I always had plans, and thought I would do them later. But years later the single biggest activity I had done was play games.

There are many things I would like to be in life, a gamer isn’t one of them.

Want to share your story? Submit yours here.