It is evident that playing too much video games can cause problems in a person’s life. It may not give you a fatal status on your body, but it still can take your life in a downward spiral to life devastation if you take video games too far.
I’ve been a victim of it. Everyday I always thought and regretted about how much things I could have accomplished in my school if I had learned to cope with the urge to play. Today, if I wanted to, I can still play video games, but I can enjoy the moments in moderation instead of the whole day.
Through my experience, if you have a hard time parting from your favourite video game, or if you’re running up a huge subscription bill from Final Fantasy 14, WoW, or microtransaction, here are some tips to reduce the likelihood of video game addiction. Or if you have a son or daughter who just can’t put the controller down when you tell them “NO”, here are some alternatives to approach the problem.
Sell the consoles you don’t need: I know a lot of people who have a lot of consoles but they just don’t have the time throughout the day OR week to go through all of the content of games they own. For me, having one console is enough! You get plenty of games to go through in a week when you own one. When you have a lot of consoles, it gonna feel like a chore to go through all of em AND you’re gonna play favorite to whichever console is the best and leave the others in the dust and waste money on it. So invest on one only to save time, space, and money.
Keep track of the duration: This can be difficult to do but the more you are aware of how long you spend your time playing video games, the more control you will have with your urge. Take notes on how long you play from the moment you turn on the console to the moment you turn it off. Keep a record in a week’s time and review how long you spend your time on video gaming. For parents, this is a great way to mediate with your child on dealing with this problem by having concrete evidence on how long your child spends in front of the screen with a controller at hand.
Start Cutting Down: Now that you know you spend this much hours on the console, start cutting back. The first week, cut back a small amount of time (10%). If you go all out and start cutting back completely, chances are it’s gonna backfire on you and you’ll crave it more. I know because I’ve been there. Since technology is a lot more accessible now than back then, complete avoidance isn’t ideal or practical. So if you spend 20 hours/week playing, cut back to 18. Then cut back little by little as the weeks go by. And start now! It’s not gonna go away just like that! It’ll take time. For parents, if the “only weekends” rule isn’t working for you, then take this alternative.
Include your family: I find this somehow crucial! If you involve someone to play with you, you’ll add the family aspect to it, spending time with them and such. There are many games that involve teamwork and enjoyment together. If you have children, especially teens, who are in this hardship, join them in playing and teach them how to play in moderation. This is a great way to be involved with your loved one.
I’ve seen a lot of cases where gamers exclude themselves into their room with loved ones living under the same roof and they’ll brainwash the fact that no one is there for them. I’ve seen kids who get bullied in school and they’ll escape into video games because they’ll think everyone will behave like a bully one way or another. This’ll lead to developing anger, depression and emptiness. So being there for those people during that time is crucial. Don’t let them be alone and succumb to their isolation.
We don’t work for technology. Technology works for us!: If video games are taking control of your life (creating financial, social or anxiety issues), you’re having a one sided relationship with your console, making you the slave. Teach yourself and your kids that technology is suppose to entertain and help us, not the other way around. If you spend your money prior to the necessities in life, then you’re being enslaved big time to this tech! Don’t let it happen to you or to those you care for.
Have other hobbies: Instead of sitting on your butt for hours on end, encourage yourself/others to get off the chair and move the body a little bit. Play some pool and ping pong to take pressure off your eyes or go out and interact with your friends by doing some other activity.
For those who are speculating on why am I promoting the products, I want to reiterate my vision for this website. I am not trying to hook you all to video gaming. I am promoting these products to make your gaming have less chances on encountering problems like lag, visual distortions, back problems, etc.. I made this site not only because I love gaming, but I love playing with others who share the same hobby with me, just like any other hobby. I want the best for you gamers but if you can’t control the hours you put into this hobby, then don’t buy these things.
I am tired of watching youtube videos on how gamers are not coping with their emotions because they’re worshiping this hobby in spite of everything else that is important around them, especially family and school. We cannot conduct ourselves as uncontrollable beings with video games running our lives.
So if you have any gaming friends whose life is spiraling downwards, I encourage you to reach out to him/her and get their life back together with these alternatives I share with you. Or find other ways to counteract with any negative reactions the gamer might exhibit. If these things don’t work, get them professional help! Call to get some addiction treatment if you or anyone else feels powerless to this addiction.
To put this all in a couple of words: GAME RESPONSIBLY!!
“The emotional support given by the community is powerful and beneficial for people who struggle to free themselves from their abusive behavior.” (Dr. Gabor Mate, TIME magazine)