Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How to Beat Video Game Addiction

Video games are great fun, and sometimes it’s ok to go on a “gaming binge.” At some point, though, you need to stop yourself. When that time has come, admit that you’ve got a problem and cut it out completely.
  • Admit you have a problem- As cliche or cheesy as it may sound, the first step to recovery is to admit to yourself and others that you have a problem. Use the beginning sentence of this article as a starter.
  • Identify the problem Is it a particular game that you’re addicted to? Is it a genre of games? Be sure to find out exactly what it is that you’re addicted to.
  • Identify the triggers Triggers are mental and physical cues that cause you to want to indulge in your addiction, namely play games. Try and figure out what kind of things makes you want to play video games. Maybe its a particular website that you go to online that starts your video gaming frenzy. Maybe it’s being around certain people that make you crave a game or two. Do your best to figure out what kind of triggers make you want to play games.
  • Plan out your recovery Quitting video games cold turkey might seem like the best way to stop your addiction, but in reality, most people fail trying to quit completely. Your best plan would be to gradually wean yourself away from video games. Make yourself an ending date of when you want to be completely free from video games. Then, create steps to that ending date, with mini-goals that you want to achieve. For example, instead of playing for 20+ hours a week, try cutting it down to 18+ hours a week, and so on. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t reach your goals! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your addiction won’t go away overnight.
  • Carry out your plan Start working on executing your plan. If you find out that your plan is too hard, then ease it up a bit. If you discover that your ending date happens to be the release date of Starcraft 2, postpone your ending date so you can indulge instead of potentially becoming an addict again. Whatever you do, be flexible with your options, but stick to your plan at all costs.

There is a video game addiction clinic in the Netherlands.

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