How to Recognize and Combat Gaming Burnout
Burnout is a widespread problem across the world but does gaming cause burnout? Yes, gaming burnout is real and many players experience it. In this article, we examine the symptoms of gaming burnout and what you or a loved one can do to overcome it.
What is gaming burnout?
Gaming burnout includes the physical, mental and emotional symptoms of burnout that people experience from everyday life such as exhaustion, stress, depression and feeling overwhelmed or distressed. However, gaming burnout can also include being tired or bored of playing video games – and you’re not alone if you or someone you know are currently struggling with it.
What causes gaming burnout?
Our article, ‘Gaming Fatigue and How to Combat It,’ explains that physical, mental and emotional burnout can be caused by several factors – such as insufficient sleep, poor diet and low mood – but the main cause is extreme and prolonged stress. The article includes six ways to combat gaming fatigue, or burnout, and restore your energy levels.
We’re going to look at the other aspect of gaming burnout – the reasons why some gamers are struggling to play video games. They may have too little time to juggle gaming and other responsibilities, so it feels like a chore. Or, despite having hundreds of games to choose from, they have lost their energy and passion for playing video games.
Most modern video games are designed to hook you into playing, even when you’re feeling drained and bored. They’re usually made for the sole purpose of keeping you online for as long as possible, buying all the DLCs and making the gaming company rich. It’s not about a one-time virtual adventure, it’s about making you feel you need to keep playing which is why so many games now seem dull. Video game companies spend a lot of time and money researching and implementing things that motivate a person to keep playing. So, you’re instantly bombarded with choices when gaming. You either choose to pay this amount of money or do a tedious task in-game until you unlock it for free. You either buy this new DLC or miss out on an ‘amazing experience’.
Video games aren’t designed for you to play and complete, because then you’d move onto another game and that company might lose your business. So instead they force you to grind pointless quests just to get your battle pass rewards, making games feel like a drag and almost like having a second job. This can strain your relationship with gaming and ultimately lead to gaming burnout.
However, dealing with gaming burnout isn’t as easy as simply stopping gaming. Unlike other hobbies, gaming often infiltrates into key areas of life including friendships and relationships. Plus, there’s peer pressure to keep up with all the latest video games, which is exacerbated by social media, so players continue gaming due to FOMO. But there are steps you or a loved one can take to feel happier and more in control. Let’s look at how to avoid video game burnout.
How to stop gaming burnout
If you or a loved one are experiencing gaming burnout, here are three steps you can take to help overcome it:
1. Examine why you feel burned out
Step away from the screen and ask yourself why you feel burned out on video games. It could be due to stress, anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, boredom or a combination of factors. After you have identified the root cause(s), take action and do something about it. Whether you seek professional counseling, get more sleep, join a gym or practise other forms of self-care, you will feel happier and more energetic.
2. Mix up your gameplay
Perhaps you don’t feel physically or emotionally burned out but just incredibly bored of playing the same types of video games all the time. Try to mix it up a bit. If you always go for first person shooter games, it could become tedious. Check out other genres like indie games, sandbox, action-adventure or role-play games.
3. Take a break – or quit
If you’ve tried the first two steps and you’re still feeling physically or emotionally burned out and/or bored of gaming, try taking a break. Gaming shouldn’t feel like an obligation, so if you’re not enjoying it don’t force it. Take a week or two off and do something else. Watch a movie, read a book, hang out with friends and family, or find other interests and activities to fill your time. Our hobby tool is packed full of ideas to inspire you. If you’re unable to stop gaming for more than a few hours, despite feeling unhappy and unfulfilled by video games, it’s probably time to quit.
Get help for gaming burnout
If you or someone you care about are showing signs of gaming burnout but can’t stop gaming, video game addiction may be an issue. At Game Quitters, we have the tools to help you.
Take our video game addiction quiz
On our website, there are two video game addiction quiz – one for gamers and another for concerned parents – so you can find out if you (or they) are gaming problematically.
Book a specialist program to get gaming under control
We have specialist 12-week programs for gamers and parents. Respawn is for gamers who want to quit gaming and improve their life, and Reclaim is to help families get their gamer back, even if they are in denial.
Join our support community forum
Join the largest online support community for those who are struggling with video game addiction and connect with like-minded people. For concerned families, join our Parent Support Group on Facebook.
Use our expert resources
Access a wide range of video game addiction support. Resources include articles, podcasts, webinars, real-life stories and videos.
If you need help, take the first step today. Book a Gameplan call to discuss your concerns in confidence and see if our coaching programs are a good fit for you.