Video games are a fun recreational activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is possible, however, that if you play them too often, they will begin to consume your time and attention, and even have the potential to become a dangerous obsession. Breaking free from a video game addiction isn’t easy, but it is possible if you are willing to look for other, more productive ways to fill the void that is left in your life when video games are no longer available. Having an honest perspective on the severity of the problem, a healthy dose of self-discipline, and a support system in the form of your closest friends and family members will also be beneficial in the long run.
Method 1 Forcing Yourself to Play Less
1. Make a serious commitment to yourself in order to overcome your addiction. Unless you are truly committed to stopping, you will not get very far on your own strength alone. In order to overcome an addiction, the first step is to acknowledge that you have one and make the decision not to allow it to rule your life. Once you’ve done that, the measures you take to reclaim control will actually have a chance of being successful in their objectives.
Making the decision to stop gaming (or at the very least reduce your gaming time) becomes a lot less difficult when you consider the ways in which it is negatively impacting your life. Consider how much time and energy you devote to your habit, and how that dedication has robbed you of the enjoyment you could have gotten from other aspects of your life.
Tip: Try telling someone else about your resolution, or write it down on a piece of paper and place it somewhere you’ll see it on a daily basis to keep yourself motivated. Making your goals public in a formal manner has the effect of making them appear more official and, as a result, of holding you more accountable.
2. When you do get to play, set a strict time limit for yourself. Make a note of how much time you spend in front of the computer screen each day and make it a point to log off an hour earlier than usual. For those who find the thought of losing an hour difficult, start with half an hour or even 20 minutes and gradually reduce your play time as you become more comfortable, eventually ceasing to feel the need to play altogether. Progressive reduction will make it easier for you to adjust to your new circumstances.
Make use of the timer on your smartphone to keep track of how long you’ve been playing and to receive an alert when your allotted time has expired.
For PC gamers, you can even programme your computer to shut down automatically at a predetermined time, which may be useful if you aren’t confident in your ability to shut down on your own.
It may take several weeks or even months to gradually reduce your daily gaming time, and that is perfectly acceptable. The important thing is to stick with it and resist the temptation to play for an extended period of time beyond your predetermined time frame.
3. Make use of your friends or family to assist you in enforcing your self-imposed time limit. Inform a parent, a responsible sibling, or a roommate of your desire to play less video games (and eventually stop altogether). Make arrangements for them to check in with you on a regular basis at pre-determined times to ensure that you are staying on track. It’s possible that you’ll respond better to pressure that comes from outside your control.
Assure your loved one that they can be as firm as they need to be, even if that means forcibly turning off your console or removing your gaming equipment from your sight.
If you regularly interact with other gamers, whether online or in person, inform them of your decision to stop playing as well. In the hopes that they will support your decision, you will at the very least be providing them with advance notice that they may not be seeing as much of you in the future.
4. Playing later in the day should be your only option for now. Make gaming a reward for yourself for being productive and completing your important daily responsibilities by scheduling time for it. The danger of getting sucked into a lengthy session first thing in the morning is that you will miss out on getting ready for work, school, or other obligations if you always log on first thing in the morning.
It will be much easier to keep your desire to play under control before you begin than it will be once you have already begun.
Maintain your regular time limit during your evening sessions to prevent yourself from staying up too late in the evening. Pulling an all-nighter will only make it more difficult to complete the tasks you have to complete the following day.
Method 2 Quitting Cold Turkey
1. Consider the toll that gaming is taking on your personal and professional life. There is a fine line between a recreational activity and a vice. Perhaps your grades are slipping, your relationships are deteriorating, or your health is beginning to suffer as a result of spending far too many hours glued to the couch and watching television. Whatever it is, taking stock of the ways in which your compulsion has harmed you rather than helped you can provide you with the motivation you need to put it behind you and move on.
Being free of the shackles of video games will assist you in overcoming your depressive or isolationist tendencies, gaining more enjoyment from real-world experiences, and making time for the people and things that are truly important to you.
It’s possible that cutting the cord is your best option if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to wean yourself off video games in the past.
2. Make the decision to walk away from the situation once and for all. This is probably the most straightforward and effective method of overcoming a destructive gaming addiction. Remove your hands from the controller and don’t look back. It will, without a doubt, necessitate an enormous amount of willpower. The process will, however, become less difficult over time, to the point where video games will no longer have the same grip on you that they once did.
You should treat any temptation to sit down and play as a challenge to improve your overall strength. Affirming your negative emotions and consciously saying no to unhealthy desires trains the part of your brain that is in charge of regulating self-control.
Although this approach is straightforward, it is not without its difficulties. It all boils down to making a conscious decision to no longer be a slave to your desires and impulses.
3. Store your gaming equipment in a place where you won’t have easy access to it. Put your console and games in a box and store them in an inaccessible location such as the attic or basement, a high shelf in your closet, or another location that is not easily accessible. The decision to give something up for good is much easier to make if the object of your desire is not constantly in front of you.
In fact, make things difficult for yourself. Make a hiding place for your console under a pile of boxes in the garage, put it in the trunk of your car, or disassemble it and hide each component in its own location. Make every effort to keep yourself away from the situation.
If you spend the majority of your gaming time on a computer, uninstall any addictive programmes from your hard drive and delete any online gaming accounts that you may have. Then, when you’re using your computer in the future, make an effort to regulate your behaviour.
4. Consider donating your games and gaming systems to a good cause. If you don’t want to pass down your gear to a younger sibling, donate it to a thrift store or charitable organisation so that someone less fortunate can benefit from it. Not only is this a kind gesture, but it also assists you in reaching your objectives. It’s impossible to spend too much time playing a game that you don’t actually own!
You can also sell newer systems and titles back to stores that accept used games, and use the money you receive to fund other interests or pastimes of your choice.
Remove downloaded games from your console or device to reduce the temptation to play them if they’re just sitting there, rather than leaving them on your hard drive.
To avoid having to part with your games forever, consider leaving them with a friend or relative who does not live in the same house as you. You will not be able to participate in the game in this manner, no matter how much you desire to.
Method 3 Finding Other Activities to Replace Video Games
1. Try to divert your attention away from gaming by engaging in other activities. As soon as you begin to feel the itch, look for something you can do right away to satisfy your craving and alleviate your discomfort. You could take a leisurely walk outside, lift weights, learn to paint, listen to one of your favourite albums, or help out around the house with household chores. Anything you can do to divert your attention away from your overwhelming desire to play will make a positive difference.
Allow yourself to become completely immersed in the world around you, just as you would in a good game. Real life is the most impressive game there is, featuring fully interactive environments with endless exploration opportunities, an infinite number of dialogue options, and the most lifelike graphics engine available to date.
As you broaden your horizons and discover new interests, you’ll most likely notice that your desire to play video games becomes less and less strong.
Make every effort to be fully present in whatever you decide to do. There is little point in going to work if you are only thinking about gaming the entire time.
2. Real-world games are a great way to channel your energy. Rather than devoting countless hours to becoming a joystick all-star, get your friends together and organise a game of football, baseball, or soccer to burn off some steam instead. While real-world games and sports are typically more difficult to master than their virtual counterparts, they are also frequently more rewarding, as they serve as a convenient outlet for social interaction, help to develop character, and promote positive values such as fairness, determination, and resilience among participants.
In fact, many of the online games that people spend so much time playing are based on real-world games that can be played almost anywhere, such as billiards, golf, darts (bowling), poker, and other card games.
If you have a natural aptitude for a particular game or sport, you may want to consider trying out for a team and taking your abilities to the next level, as well.
Participating in competitive sports can also assist you in losing weight, improving your overall health, increasing your self-confidence, and learning teamwork and leadership skills, among other benefits.
3. Take up LARPing as a hobby. “LARPing,” which stands for “Live Action Role Playing,” is a type of role-playing game in which real people take on the roles of fictional characters, freely enacting adventures, battles, and other thrilling situations. If fantasy role-playing games and action-adventure games are your drug of choice, joining a LARPing community can be a fun way to indulge your passion for all things fantasy while also getting you outside, meeting new people, and getting some physical activity.
To locate a LARPing group in your area, perform a Google search for “LARP” plus the name of your town, city, or province, followed by your location. You might be surprised at how many people in your area are interested in the activity if you look around.
Members of the LARP community are encouraged to create original characters with distinct characteristics and backstories, create their own armour and weapons, and assist with responsibilities such as scheduling meet-ups and scouting for suitable locations. The time it takes to do all of these things will take away from time you could be spending playing video games.
4. Read a good piece of fiction. Reading provides an experience that is similar to gaming—and in some ways, it is even more enjoyable. As soon as you sit down to read a novel, you are granting yourself permission to become completely immersed in an engaging storey. To the contrary, in contrast to video games, you also have the ability to customise the characters and events of a book in any way you want by using your imagination to shape, colour, and develop them.
In order to enjoy your favourite characters and stories in a more productive way, look for novelizations of popular video game franchises on Amazon. In addition to Bioshock, Uncharted, and Mass Effect, there are official novelizations for Borderlands 2, Halo 3, and Assassin’s Creed, among many other games.
While reading has a variety of cognitive benefits, some of the most notable are faster mental processing, increased concentration and attention span, and improved vocabulary skills. This means that you will be training your mind at the same time as you are entertaining yourself.
5. Concentrate on developing your social skills. One of the reasons gaming is so addictive is due to the social aspect that it incorporates. This is why it may be beneficial to exchange your virtual gaming community for real-life companions such as friends, family, classmates or coworkers rather than your virtual gaming community. You might find that spending time with them provides you with just as much, if not more, satisfaction than gaming did for you previously.
Transform your gaming skills into dating skills by applying the dedication, perseverance, and problem-solving abilities you’ve learned. In terms of excitement, there are few games that can compare to the dizzying rush of igniting a new relationship.
Some other ways to become more social are to join a club that is related to one of your hobbies or interests, to volunteer in your community, to start a band, or to simply make more of an effort to communicate with the people you meet on a daily basis.
6. Join a gaming community on the internet. In the event that gaming is your passion, it is understandable that you would be hesitant to completely abandon the hobby. Consider joining video game forums and social media groups as an alternative method of remaining active in your hobby. By becoming a member of one of these communities, you will be able to keep your finger on the pulse of the gaming world without having to devote as much time to actually playing the games themselves.
Twitch, Reddit, Twitter, and even YouTube are all great places to meet other gamers who share your interests and make new friends.
Inform your online friends that you are making an effort to reduce your gaming time consumption. There is a good chance that they will understand what you’re going through and will act as a kind of support group. Their advice may even include alternative strategies for overcoming your addiction that you had not previously considered.
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