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.

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My gaming addiction started at 8 years old with Counter Strike and for fifteen years I played video games every day. They were a piece of my heart and soul. At 20 years old I tried to stop playing games over and over, unsuccessful before finding Game Quitters. Today I haven played video games in two years and counting. I hope my story inspires you.

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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 5:00AM. That weekend I skipped half of my meals and also a night of sleep. I failed to do my homework. I felt depressed. Gaming had numbed all my feelings. But this time I didn’t return to the cycle of addiction, and committed to not gaming for 30 years.

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I have been gaming since I was 8 years old, averaging between 40-60 hours of gaming per week. Some days I gamed 16 hours a day on the weekend, and particularly during holidays. I have played for over 15,000 total hours over my life. And I recently decided to quit. But do I regret all of this wasted time?

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Game Quitters exists to provide the best tools, resources, and peer support for people struggling with a video game addiction. Today we are proud to announce a major upgrade to our platform to help us do just that.

When I wrote our first blog post back in 2011 on ‘How to Quit Playing Video Games FOREVER’ I never imagined we would end up as the face of a global movement against video game addiction. I never imagined that one blog post on a personal development blog would launch an international platform serving over 50,000 people each month representing 94 countries. But here we are.

We take this responsibility seriously and as our platform has grown in numbers, so too has the need for it to grow in service. For the past few months I have been working tirelessly with a small team to bring you Game Quitters 2.0, transforming our mostly content-based site into an interactive recovery platform.

Let’s see what’s new in Game Quitters 2.0

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I denied the bad side effects this addiction had on my life a long time. But it got more obvious day to day.

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 decided to quit 111 days ago and for the first time in over 10 years, I really feel I have my life back. I feel that I am in charge of my own fate.

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My gaming problems really began 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 a new alias. I didn’t want to do anything else but play and be online.

Ironically, during my gaming time, someone in my clan taught me HTML and I started to code a bit. These days I’m a front-end developer, writer, and I’ve traveled to over 20 countries. The online scene that swallowed me whole also provided the tools to get out of it.

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Men are increasingly anxious, depressed, and struggling with suicide. They are dropping out of school and opting out of the workforce, instead choosing to live in a virtual world playing video games and watching porn. A masculinity crisis is on our hands. Are we losing an entire generation to gaming and porn addictions?

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