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 Studies vs Games 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:06 pm
Posts: 1
State/Province/Country: Singapore
Hello, I'm Dee, and I've been gaming for quite a while now, small mini-games for hours since I was a wee kid and recently taken up MOBA, where I started to lose quite a bit of self-control over gaming.

Personally, I have the habit of procrastination as well, and frequently leave things to the last minute before I do it. It worked for the past years through the first few years of education but it's all different in now that I am in high school and things really require more than just the effort I put in to complete a few pieces of worksheet - I have to self-study, clear up doubts and do loads of practice to familiarise myself with the content, i.e. no life besides studying.

Call myself crazy, because I involved myself in a certain school club which requires good academic grades or I would be dropped from activity until I do well again. Joining the club was an attempt to fill up that time I had to procrastinate, so that I knew I had to do work right now or I'll be too late, and it worked well until I picked up this game to help me de-stress.

I gained the trust of my fellow schoolmates to get in and since the deciding exam is over now (haven't received the results yet but having a bad feeling about my performance), I think I'm going to let them down. All these because I gamed too much i.e. totally neglected my schoolwork and non-compulsory practice questions that helps me consolidate what I learnt, and just gamed the moment I got home from school. That is equivalent to wasting all my time in school since I don't remember what was taught and I am just so stressed up about it. What do I do? I also just lost the trust of my parents because they caught me gaming after bedtime yesterday and confiscated my device, so I have been banned from the game for a week. I knew something was wrong from my reaction to that yesterday, because I was feeling so darn distressed, either about shitting on my teammates for "quitting" halfway in a ranked match for god's sake, or regretting the decision to play now rather than later during my waking hours, which has now landed me with a week of no game.

I actually did take a week long break from the game to study for my exams, and didn't binge play after the break, although it did span a few hours, with studying in between to catch up with schoolwork. It doesn't seem like I am truly addicted, but then there are so many symptoms and since gaming hours and my tendencies to game (to de-stress) is increasing, I think it's only a period of time before I get addicted and I cannot afford the outcomes of it. I am going to uninstall the game but I'm afraid of giving in due to stress and end up reinforcing my urges to game when I "need" to, by binge-playing and stuff.

I don't know how to set my life back on track at this tipping point. Do I just cut off all connections with the game and never go back to it again? Does being a game addict mean that the only cure is to never game again? What about the connections you have with the people in the game? Please give me some advice, thank you so much.

Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:20 pm

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 969
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Welcome Dee. You might find the page on the differences between a video gaming addict and a problem gamer helpful, and you could answer the questions on the self-test.

The sure way to find out where you're at is to honestly try moderating your gaming for a stretch of time, like a month. If you find some success and if your results improve over time, that's a good sign that you don't have the mental condition of addiction. On the other hand, if you struggle with it a lot and find that the longer you try to moderate, the worse it becomes until you're regularly bingeing again, that's a clear sign of addiction. Part of the definition of addiction is that the behavior cannot be moderated effectively and grows worse over time. By definition, moderation is not an option for a video gaming addict. The choice is either out-of-control compulsive gaming with all its pain, loss and problems, or abstinence one day at a time.

Come and check out a few meetings. You're welcome to just listen. http://cgaa.info/online-meetings

Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:16 am

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Detroit, MI
Welcome Dee. I'm just going to echo what Scott said. Nobody can determine if you're a gaming addict other than yourself, but the consequences of deciding you're not can be pretty bad if the answer is actually "yes". If you find yourself doing really well and not particularly distracted by gaming thoughts for a whole month of no gaming (and no streams either), there's a decent chance you're on the "problem gamer" end of the spectrum rather than the "addict" end. If it's difficult to go for even a month, and you keep obsessing and/or fantasizing...well...you've probably got the same condition I do. Not playing a game today isn't anywhere near as bad as it might sound from where you are now, and I can honestly say that I almost never feel like I'm missing out on anything important these days by NOT gaming. If that seems hard to believe, you might want to try a month or so of detox awfully soon. :)

Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:47 pm

Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:16 am
Posts: 1
State/Province/Country: Germany
Hi Dee.
Having read your post, I decided to sign up as well..
I can completely understand your situation, as I am trapped in a similar one. You're probably a few years younger than me but in essence I could have written your post.
As you, I am struggling with my studies due to a weird combination of procrastination and excessive gaming behavior (which started long ago with DOTA). At the end of my University 'career' all i need to complete is my Master thesis. I am and always have been great at pushing things to the last minute, and then jumping on shortcuts. With my previous work this has always worked out relatively okay..but a 6 month project that requires you to organize and structure your own progress have thrown me into a gaming frenzy, and thus I am about to throw away my third and last chance at it.

All this has pushed me over the edge and I finally started seeing a psychologist a month ago, will see a gaming addiction specialist at the start of August and have read a few books on the topic and came clean to my gf, and planning to do the same with my family.

It's a bit early for me to give advice, as I am now only 'clean' again for 2 days, but I can only recommend the book: cyber junkie by Kevin Roberts. It's an easy read which you can finish in 1-2 days and helped me understand a lot about what I'm going through. Even though its a bit older (Using examples like MySpace :D) it also has some inspiring advice like keeping a Gratitude Journal for the moments you feel desperate to game again. Apart from that, it is a good source to recognize for oneself where you stand in terms of addiction and give your loved ones an idea of what you are dealing with.

In terms of your question, I believe (now more than ever) that the principal of Sunk Cost can be of use...especially in terms of gaming. In that sense, as my maxed out Warthunder account or my World of Warships account that has seen ranked battles to rank 1..your MOBA account might be best thought of as past opportunity costs that are totally irretrievable. It helps me to make that economic comparison and then tell myself that I have thrown enough good 'money' after bad. You can also use that to your advantage. I stopped smoking by buying a whole carton of cigarettes to then only smoke a single one before throwing the entire carton away. In that sense i told myself..if you smoke again..all that money you threw away then was for nothing.

When you talk about gaming to release some stress, are you sure that works for you as intended? With the help of my therapist I figured out that my gaming actually does the opposite..
Try to be honest to yourself and see how tiered you are after a day of excessive gaming compared to one without. Or ask friends etc. what they think of your energy level on both occasions. For me, my game required a lot of situational awareness, as I mostly played realistic battles without any markers...so seeing the enemy was up your Mk1 eyeballs and then even while engaging one, keeping 1 eye on the map and the other on potential enemy back up..was everything but relaxing. I actually noticed that on enduring gaming days I was more tiered and had a lot less energy to listen or undertake anything at the end of the day.
Not sure what MOBA you play but from my DOTA times I remember that it was similar.

Anyway...as this was my first post..I rambled on too much about myself..sorry for that :P I hope you find something that works for you if its a carrot or a stick..at the end of the day we all are wasting time with a program that creates moving pictures on a screen ;)
I'll try to salvage the extra 3 months I have for my thesis. Wish you all the best for your academic work as well.

Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:23 am

Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:45 pm
Posts: 98
Hey Dee. You asked such great questions. You care about your studies, the trust of your schoolmates, and it matters to you that you lost your parent's trust. I'll try to answer your questions from my experience of 3+ years gaming, and 3+ years not gaming.

"I am going to uninstall the game but I'm afraid of giving in due to stress and end up reinforcing my urges to game when I "need" to, by binge-playing and stuff."

Plan alternative activities that you would rather do. Sign up for a martial arts class, or take up a sport. It fulfils maybe of the stress-related needs and as someone above pointed out, gaming doesn't actually fix anything - it just leaves you with even less time to deal with stuff.

"I don't know how to set my life back on track at this tipping point."

This is something you can do. You're already looking out for yourself by reaching out, asking questions about what to do and how to stop. Talk to more people, real life people as well. Think about the people you admire and see how they destress. You can develop so many wonderful positive habits that will add to your life.

"Do I just cut off all connections with the game and never go back to it again?"

I had to do this because I could not moderate. It was not easy because I had so many friends on it, but it was the only because because every time I tried to moderate, I was stuck in it again. So yes, cut off the game :P Find something else.

"Does being a game addict mean that the only cure is to never game again?"

Don't worry about 'never game again'. Try 'not going to game today'. Even six months into not gaming, I was using this tactic. It stops your head from exploding with horror at the thought of living without games.

"What about the connections you have with the people in the game?"

This was the toughest one for me personally. Others might disagree, but this is what I did. I didn't contact them for a while. Much, much, much MUCH MUCH later - I did reach out to 3-4 of them. It was shocking in some ways. Those who were still gaming, had only this to say to me 'hey you're back! there's this xyz thing happening on the game. hurry up and log on'. It was like time had never passed for them. And - notice - they had nothing but game stuff to do with me. There were others - some who were never addicts, and some who were addicted like me but had quit. With them, I have different kinds of friendships.

But I NEEDED that distance. If they are really friends, then time is not going to take that away. They will understand and support what you are trying to do. The ones who only want to play games with us - I feel sad because there is so much more to them, but that is their choice, and that's not how I want to spend my time.

Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:54 am
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