Video Games Ruined My Life: 3 Gaming Addiction Stories
“Video games ruined my life.” If you’ve enjoyed gaming but have found yourself at a low point where you feel isolated and like you’ve lost things that were once important to you, you’re not alone. That feeling that video games ruined your life is the result of gaming addiction symptoms, and it impacts a staggering number of people.
Spil Games, a global video games producer in the Netherlands who compiled data from numerous studies and reports, found that 1.2 billion people play video games worldwide and 700 million of those play online games (Takahashi, 2013).
Studies of gaming addiction have determined that 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent of adolescents who engage in online gaming have signs of addiction (Conrad, n.d.; King, et al., 2010). This means that millions, even tens of millions, of people potentially become addicted to gaming.
How Video Games Ruined My Life
Gamers who become stuck in the virtual world of video games and online friends find that gaming becomes a problem when they begin to suffer consequences:
- Withdrawal from family and friends; interference in relationships
- Truancy from school or absenteeism from work
- School failure; being fired from a job
- Decline in participation in other activities formerly enjoyed
Video game addiction can happen to anyone. Whether someone begins gaming to escape problems or just for the fun of the activity, video gaming can take over, become an addiction, and ruin lives.
Video Games Ruined My Life: 3 Stories
Millions of people addicted to video games means millions of stories. Online support groups such as On-Line Gamers Anonymous (OLGA and OLGANON), and Game Quitters, bring together gamers (and loved ones, too, for their own support) for connection and mutual encouragement as they recover from video game addiction, rebuild their lives, and prevent gaming from ruining their lives going forward.
Part of the reason these forums are so successful is that members share their stories. Through shared stories, people discover that they’re not the only ones dealing with this struggle, see how others have been impacted, and learn from each other’s experiences.
In the spirit of growth through sharing, may these three stories provide solace and inspiration.
Gaming for Sanity and Escape
An anonymous member of GameQuitters shares his struggles not just with gaming, but with himself. For this man, gaming was an escape from years of unhappiness, irritability, and suicidal thoughts. These symptoms of depression overwhelmed him, but then he found relief and escape in gaming.
Says this gamer, “My main pull to gaming was the escapism, I didn’t feel like I had to escape from anyone or anything, but myself and my own thoughts.”
To avoid negative thoughts, this GameQuitter member played video games more frequently for longer periods of time. Suddenly, he found himself deep into a video game addiction.
He realized that gaming had become a new problem: “What had helped me to stay sane and somewhat functional for all these years was now actually my big problem.” With this realization, healing began.
Action and Emptiness
Video games can ruin lives. Take Connor, a member of GameQuitters, for example. Connor started to play video games for fun and thrill. He explains that “I played games for the action, the quick pace, and competing against others in the game lobby. There was a distinct feeling of pride, and some sort of power, perhaps social, or mental through winning.”
Eventually, Connor realized that gaming had taken over and that his life was suffering because of it. His social life declined. His health declined—he speaks specifically of dental problems due to lack of care while he was caught up in gaming.
He laments, “I’ve traded lots of social opportunities, and my teenage years for something that’s programmed… not even real.”
With support from GameQuitters, he is working toward goals and living his life how he wants to live it—free from gaming addiction.
Getting Devoured by MMORPGS
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGS) are so realistic, so all-consuming, that they insidiously become a gamer’s world. Bit by bit, the fantasy world overtakes the real world. It’s another way video games can ruin someone’s life.
On Recovery.com, an anonymous gamer shares his story of how this happened to him. The more involved in MMORPGS he became, the more time he spent with the game and the less time he spent in his relationships and activities. He played six- to nine hours every day. He became sleep deprived. His change in attitude and the way he treated people drove away friends. His thoughts were obsessed, fixated on gaming.
“It took over everything. It devoured what it meant to be me,” he bemoans.
Now, though, he’s in recovery and rediscovering himself and his life.
These stories are three among millions. Millions of times, people say, “Video games ruined my life.” Treatment for video game addiction and recovery are possible, so that even if you feel as though your life is ruined, you can rebuild it.
Peterson, T. (2018, July 19). Video Games Ruined My Life: 3 Gaming Addiction Stories, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/addictions/gaming-disorder/video-games-ruined-my-life-3-gaming-addiction-stories