Have you had the experience of helping someone kick a bad habit? I have a friend that was addicted to smoking, so much so that he smoked a minimum of 3 packs a day (that’s a lot of tar and nicotine right there).
We formed a small council of sorts, consisting of close friends, and we decided that daily we will encourage him to reduce his smoking habit, and eventually stop it for good. It was an uphill battle to get him to quit since he has been smoking for almost 10 years, but somehow it worked. It took the combined effort of 7 people over 11 months to get him to completely stop smoking, but it was a great accomplishment for all of us personally.
The reason for this story is simple, anyone can get addicted to anything at any time. And I would like to believe that with our advancement in technology, video games is the easiest thing to get addicted to.
Video games comes in second only to music in the entertainment industry, and rakes in billions of dollars on a yearly basis. So, it is no surprise that there are people who would be addicted to video games. However, this number has risen sharply in the past 5 years, and has reached an alarming state.
No matter the addiction, the symptoms will generally be the same. These include:-
- Practically spends all available time on playing video games
- Neglects responsibilities such as school or work
- Becomes reclusive among family and friends
- Physical appearance and hygiene is ignored
- Unnecessary expenditure on games above necessity
If any of your friends are showing these symptoms, reach out and help them. Some of the easiest ways to help someone with an addiction issue is to be there for them physically and emotionally. Here are other ways to help them overcome their obsession with games.
- Reduce the amount of active time you spend in front of your console or computer. Do not go cold turkey. If you are playing for 10 hours daily, reduce it to 8 hours and then 5 hours the next week. Reduce the amount of hours till it seems healthy.
- Schedule the time to play by forcing yourself to only play on certain day or time. Playing moderately is a great way to stop obsession.
- Sell off multiple consoles and PC’s you own. This will allow you to focus on only one platform and thus will limit your gaming needs.
- Cancel your MMORPG subscription because it is the most time consuming game made. It is designed to keep you glued to your chair, so just cancel it and play other types of games instead.
- Create a tight budget for your gaming expenditure weekly/monthly. Limit your spending to the amount set and learn how to not stray away from it. By limiting your spending, you are actively curbing your addiction.
- Play games that requires someone else to be there physically. This way the other person can actively stop you if you are going overboard.
- Find other interests. Have you always wanted to do rock climbing? Or maybe start a coin collection? Or maybe exercising at the gym? Do something else that puts you far away from your console or PC.
- Reflect on your life goals. Do you think you could have been a better journalist or better football player if video game did not take up so much of your time? Look back at all the things you could have done in your personal life or your career if you were not bogged down by addiction.
- If all the above fails, seek professional help. There are multiple avenues to seek for professional guidance online and offline.
With that said, hopefully, you can reduce the time you spend on video games and play them responsibly. After all, I was once addicted to playing video games too….