Games are no longer what they used to be—fun, simple, and innocent. As technology has evolved, so too have games and the way in which they are designed. Armed with teams of behavioral psychologists, game companies deploy state of the art features to draw you in, and keep you hooked.

With each new game release, evidence builds that games are “specifically designed to exploit and manipulate the addictive nature of human psychology” as Representative Chris Lee of Hawaii has stated. Worst of all, they are targeted towards the most vulnerable—kids. Are video games a gateway to gambling?

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Beginning in the 1990s, gaming went from a casual hobby, to an organized professional sport. Today competitive professional gaming, also known as eSports, is a soon-to-be $1 billion dollar industry, championships are watched live by tens of millions of people, and their potential Olympic debut is on the horizon. With significant growth year-after-year, the eSports industry is a modern day gold rush. Should we be concerned?

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Every time there is a new school shooting, violent video games are what make the headlines. Although the evidence is mounting that there are problematic effects of violent game use, that should not be interpreted as direct cause and effect. So what does research really tell us about the link between violence and video games?

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When the World Health Organization officially recognized ‘Gaming Disorder’ in their International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a common objection was that gaming is better understood as a coping mechanism for underlying mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and not a disorder in its own right. Is this true?

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gaming addiction story

It is 2010, I am graduating high school and my “/played” in World of Warcraft reveals a combined 650 days of game time across all my characters. I have conquered Azeroth numerous times, I am notorious across servers, and my stats suggest I am one of the best PVPers to grace the pixelated landscape we call home.

My high school peers have conquered something entirely different. College acceptance letters sweep through the halls, pumping up and down in excited palms. Where they are physically holding achievement, my achievement is relegated to some intangible world, one that will inevitably be washed over with the next series of updates.

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Over two billion people play video games worldwide, including 150 million in the United States alone. Gaming is a worldwide phenomenon and $100 billion dollar industry that continues to grow year-after-year. For most, gaming is a fun hobby, but for others it can be destructive, leading to significant impairment in personal and family relationships, educational and work opportunities, mental and physical health, and overall well-being.

Studies have found anywhere from 1-10% of gamers struggle with compulsive addiction issues, with the World Health Organization finding 3-4% in their own investigations. So how many people are addicted to playing video games? Find out in our report.

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The Benefits of Quitting Gaming

To quit gaming is to commit to living your life to the fullest. Not only will it increase the amount of time and energy you have to invest back into your goals and dreams, but there are numerous other benefits you can receive by quitting gaming.

Whether you are a gamer who wants to quit because you’re struggling with an addiction, or you are simply curious about what life can be like without gaming, we hope the following data from hundreds of former gamers can be helpful for you in making your decision.

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gaming addiction story

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 had enough, and quit for good. Today I’m over 90 days without playing video games. How has my life improved?

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gaming addiction story

I’m a 29 year old male, working as a Senior Software Engineer in Washington DC. I used video gaming to cope with my break up. I was in a depression, lacked focus at work, no friends, no intimate relationship with a significant other, struggling with a gaming addiction, suffering from a major health issue (dental) and asthma, and absolutely lacked exercise or physical activity. I had hit rock bottom.

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gaming addiction story

I’m Adam and I’m 26 years old. 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, 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.

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