Am I addicted to computer games? How can I overcome it?

Most of the time when I study, I suddenly feel an urge to play video games. When I was younger, I was better at overcoming this urge. But nowadays, I find myself giving in to it. There is something strongly magnetizing me in video games. I know not what it is. But I know one thing. I must find a thing combat it. I must destroy my addiction to playing games.

What would you suggest to someone like me?

Sell your gaming console and all your games. Delete any games loaded on your computer, and install filtering software that blocks all social media and gaming sites.

I was thinking the same thing.

The saddest stories are about people who neglect their children because they’d rather play video games.

“Video game addiction” isn’t real. If your desire to play is affecting you in a negative way, as others said, get rid of them. And possibly speak to a therapist about this. But don’t call it “video game addiction,” because no such animal exists as far as the medical community is concerned.

It’s not as cut-and-dried as that; see the Wikipedia article.

Meh. The only cited source for that Wikipedia quote is to a researcher who doesn’t know his basic video game facts (only a handful of games, not most, use a subscription model) and melds together Internet use and video games in one big soup of “it has a screen, so it’s addictive.” The researcher also tries to count social media interaction as a negative and in-person interaction as a positive even though those interactions are often with the same people.

Then there’s the fact that the study is almost a decade old and video games and the Internet have changed so much that trying to equate then to now is pretty stupid.

I am pretty addicted to video games myself sometimes. I have times and places where I just don’t play them, so that I can still get work done. Maybe you can study in the library or somewhere where you just don’t play games.

I try to think about the work I have to do, and focus my thoughts towards it, to get myself in the right frame of mind. If I’m worried about my work, it’s much harder, and games are more attractive, so I try to talk out my worries with my partner, or my teacher. Also, I divide the work into small sections and focus on doing it bit by bit.

Getting rid of the games doesn’t work for me, because there are always games, even just flash games in the browser. Plus, I like them, and if I have done a good amount of work, I reward myself with some gaming time. But keeping it under control can be a challenge.

I’m addicted to food that tastes good, games that are fun to play, shows that are fun to watch, and exercises that make me feel good.

Had to quit all of it cold turkey (coincidentally, that is also the only thing I eat any more).

Give it up man, it’ll kill you.

Are you depressed? How’s the rest of your life going? If I had to guess, the video game compulsion probably isn’t an isolated thing. If there’s a cluster of things that you aren’t happy about (maybe the compulsion toward video games plus declining grades, poor sleep, isolation, unhealthy or no intimate relationships, and/or other sorts of things), maybe you should think about all those things as being related.

If you’re as happy as a clam and you’re just sick of being distracted by video games, then I would say you should try to distract yourself. Go run three miles when you want to play a game, then maybe you’ll settle your mind down enough to hit the books.

Sounds like this is at least partly a procrastination problem as much as a video game problem.

There are lots of good books and articles on techniques for battling procrastination. I’ll look some up for you just as soon as I can get to it…

Bullshit. You can be addicted to pretty much anything. Psychological addiction (as opposed to physiological addiction) is a well-known medical phenomenon. Just because something isn’t mentioned specifically in the diagnostic literature doesn’t mean doctors think it doesn’t exist.

And, no, just getting rid of them is absolute stupidity. You’ll just replace it with something else. Plus, the all-or-nothing approach tends to make people choose the all side instead of the nothing side. Cutting down is the much, much easier choice. You can probably do that without any therapy. Just replace it with other activities. Diversification will help with any desire to get addicted.

If that’s insufficient, or you find you can’t do it, then, yes, therapy is good. And feel absolutely fine telling them that you think you are addicted to video games. Any therapist who would respond “there’s no such thing” is not a therapist you want to go to. Even if it were true, a good therapist would know what you meant and still be able and willing to help.

I agree with what others have said, as far as video game addiction is certainly something that people experience, even if the medical community has not given it official recognition as a condition.

As far how to combat it, use willpower combined with intelligence and planning. Oakminister’s suggestion to get rid of consoles and delete games from your computer is a good one. However, I’m assuming that like most folks, your computer is necessary for work, so you have to use it, and thus the temptation to open up games is always there. There are steps you can take to make yourself less likely to give in to that temptation.

One thing you can do is to turn the computer off when you’re not using it. If the computer is always on, then it only takes a few seconds to start a game. If it’s off, then the amount of time it takes to start a game is longer. The greater the time separation between the desire and the fulfillment, the more likely you are to resist temptation.

You could go even further and place the computer in a locked box when you’re not using it, then give the key to a friend or family member.

In addition, I believe there are programs for the IPad at least which you can set up to only allow you to play games for a certain length of time.

I know exactly how you feel. Playing video games instead of working has been a large problem for me. When I am well rested I can usually resist long enough to get focused on studying, but when I get tired and stressed out i get into the whole “I’ll just do it later” rationalization and end up playing video games late and don’t get any sleep. This of course makes me more tired and stressed out which is a real problem. In my experience just getting rid of my video games would not solve the problem because i just end up doing something else. Then I’m bored and procrastinating which just sucks.

What has worked for me is to stay after class and get as much work done as you can before coming home. That way you can do your work while your still focused and your classes are fresh in your mind.

Another good idea is to get together with friends to study or work on homework. For me this provides enough incentive to ensure that I get work done as I am partially responsible for someone else’s time as well. Of course for this you need a friend with good work ethic XD sometimes getting together with others can provide its own distractions.

I almost quit drinking cold turkey, but it was easier to quit drinking Cold Duck.

I suggest reading the Power of Habit.

It sounds like you get the impulse to play when you’re forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do, like study. The stress/boredom that comes with studying acts as your cue to play video games. The video game then rewards you by relieving you of your stress/boredom and letting you temporarily forget about your obligations. That’s the loop you’re caught up in.

Have you tried breaking the loop by taking the stress/boredom out of studying? Perhaps your study technique needs to be changed so that it’s more stimulating and game-like. Do you have any friends you could study with? Maybe the social interaction can alleviate some of the emotions that are driving your escapist behavior. When studying a subject that bores me, I find that making and using flash cards livens up the activity a little.

You very well might be addicted, but that doesn’t mean you can’t solve the problem yourself. You just need to have a method and the belief that you can do it. And of course, the will to be better.

So what does the medical community call it when some kid, who hasn’t slept in days because he’s non-stop being playing a video game, dies?


They say he had a mental disorder and this prevented him from realizing he needed to sleep. They don’t say he died from “video game addiction.”

I’m not aware of young men dying from reading too much, or watching too much tv, or other hobbies/activities where they might forget to sleep. They die from too much drugs, driving too fast, too much drink or a combo of the above. I get that driving too fast is probably the result of a mental disorder, drink/drugs are addictive, so ‘technically’ video game playing would be more along the lines of driving recklessly than a drug, but there are psychological addictions as well as physical. Maybe we’re just arguing about semantics?