Game-Playing Addictions—Obsessive and Controlling

Would it surprise you to know that game-addiction is the fastest-growing class of addictions in the United States?  More specifically, MMORPG or ‘Massively Multi-player On-line Role-playing Game’ has a lion’s share of an impact in the world of obsessions and personal cravings.

For some, the idea of playing on-line or video games is a habit that is gratifying and there exists no desire to break away from the compulsion.  For others, however, it becomes apparent that too much time is being devoted to gaming and it must be at least moderated or minimized or eliminated altogether.  

Are You Truly A Game Addict?

The first step towards controlling an addiction is admitting that a possible addiction exists.  Several key questions should be addressed to zoom in on recognizing the possible presence of an out-of-control dependency on gaming.   It can begin by honestly answering the following questions:

1:  Do I think about wanting to play games throughout the day and evening?

2:  Do I miss work, school or social activities in order to devote time to game playing?

3:  Do I play games continuously and predictably spend more than 3 hours in one sitting?

4:  Do I spend money on games or game items that should be used for food or paying bills?

5:  Do I become upset if I am unable to play games when the urge hits me?

6:  Do I use sleep time to play games?

7:  Do family members or friends comment on the amount of time I spend gaming?   Do they appear irritated, upset or concerned with the time I devote to playing?

8:  Do I lie about the amount of time I spend playing games?

What Can I Do To Stop?

Depending on one’s psychological make-up, some people—adults and children, alike—will be able to moderate their addictions to game-playing, but the genuine desire to minimize playtime must be in place.  There are several common-sense things one can do to at least attempt to modify dominating feelings that control the player instead of the player controlling the feelings. 

1:  Set A Timer:

If hours and hours of non-stop playtime has been an issue, setting a time-frame for a decreased amount of game-time can work for some.  Slowly decreasing the play-time in increments can be effective.  For example, if 4 hours of continuous play time has been the norm, set a timer for 3 hours for a day or two.  Then set the time for 2 hours and then 1 hour and determine how long a non-stop playtime will be—perhaps it might be a single hour in the morning and a single hour in the evening. 

This approach won’t work for everyone, much the same as being addicted to cigarettes.  Some people can decrease their cigarette intake gradually and finally quit while other smokers would have no success with this type of methodology.  Whatever modified time-period is achieved, however, must still not interfere with day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

2:  Go ‘Cold-Turkey’:

Some people will be able to completely ‘cut-the-chord’, so to speak.  If anxieties develop over too-much game playing and one has become uncomfortable enough with the addiction, some individuals will say, “Enough is enough!”   If the Cold-Turkey approach is a viable option, gathering up games and even computer equipment and storing them away or asking a friend or family member to hide them can work!  Also, keeping the installation CD out of reach will eliminate kindling any desires that might still linger.  Again, however, the success of this approach will hinge greatly on one’s pre-disposition to successfully walk away from the dependency. 

3:  Uninstall The MMORPG:

Uninstalling the MMORPG is somewhat like going ‘Cold Turkey’ if one doesn’t trust oneself to stay away from game-playing.  The MMORPG program can be completely removed from one’s computer.   Additionally, one should delete their highest-level characters or the most important characters before deleting the software.    Even cancelling one’s subscription to certain games is a concerted step in the right direction for those who are serious about getting their lives back!

4:  Find A New Passion:

Though it may sound overly simplistic, finding a new hobby or interest can work for some individuals.   Learning how to play the piano, taking up dance lessons or volunteering time at an animal shelter or a soup-kitchen for the homeless can be very gratifying! 

5:  Seek Counseling:

If attempting to curtail the addiction on your own doesn’t seem to work, don’t ever be ashamed to consider the possibility of seeking a professional counselor or therapist like those available at Heartfelt Christian Counseling !  Professional intervention will explore the symptoms, causes and treatments that can address the game addiction.   Addiction psychiatry is a branch of psychotherapy that treats compulsive-specific issues where clients can receive a new lease on life and reach the point of controlling the addictions instead of the addictions controlling them!