How to integrate video games into a healthy lifestyle

Discussion in 'Gaming Addiction' started by BuddhaPunkRobotMonk, May 18, 2019.

  1. BuddhaPunkRobotMonk

    BuddhaPunkRobotMonk Administrator Staff Member

    So me and video games are like a crackhead and premium colombian coca. Whenever I started playing video games, I binge. Hard. Spend every waking moment besides eating and work playing. I'm probably addicted. Which is why I mostly don't play video games anymore (my last video game binge session was in the fall last year, and before that I hadn't played for years). But I've been looking into VR and kind of interested in checking it out. Not just for video games, but for cool stuff like spacewalk simulators, Google Earth VR, VR hangout rooms, but I'll probably take a look at the video games it offers too. Anyways, I was wondering if anyone here had tips on how to be a healthy consumer of video games, and entertainment in general. I enjoy video games a lot, but I don't want them to take over my life.
    YourBrainRebalanced likes this.
  2. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    I think, it is helpful to identify what games were most addicting for you and which weren't?

    I used to play CS:GO a lot because you can always play another match and play for hours on end. But when I play singleplayer games, I really don't binge at all but play maybe for an hour or two before I want to do something else. Sometimes I play boardgame like games or slow games like Crusader Kings 2 with friends. They are really not that addicting and I only play them with my friends which is for a few hours per week at max. Maybe even set rules for yourself. Like two hours per day and only after you have finished your duties?
  3. Perigee

    Perigee Active Member

    I think you should consider what type of games you allow yourself to play. I generally find competitive games very addicting: Halo 3, CoD MW2, and Starcraft II for instance. I haven't actually bought a competitive multiplayer game since Halo 4 for that very reason. I briefly tried fortnite and I found it psychologically toxic and I can see why people get addicted to it.

    Story rich single player games that have a fixed length are ideal because unless they have insanely high replay value, there is a finite amount of time you can spend playing them. These types of games feel drastically different and I think they're a genuinely valuable experience.

    Examples of this for me include SOMA, The Last of Us, and Dishonored. Counter examples would be RPGs with a seemingly infinite number of quests and/or DLC.
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  4. BuddhaPunkRobotMonk

    BuddhaPunkRobotMonk Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you both for your input. The games I tend to get addicted to are singe-player RPGs. Multiplayer games aren't too much a problem for me, because I only play them socially. think right now it will be best to limit myself to multi-player games. There is plenty of other things I want to pursue, perhaps now is the time to get started!

    Thanks for your feedback!
  5. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Like you, Jack. I am pretty sure that I had a video gaming addiction growing up as a teenager. It became the main outlet for my leisure time where I would play on a game for hours. When I went away to university and didn't have the hardware and the money for games, I just lost interest in it. Although I occasionally play an RTS game with some friends, it noway near gives me the kick that it used to. I mainly do it for the socialising and banter. As a teenager, I lived and breathed video games. Whenever I rarely do play a game, I notice that it is not the safest activity for me to engage in as a recovering addict, as I always seem to get cravings to use porn after a gaming session. Funny enough, looking for potential games to play on the market is more exciting for me than playing them. It gives me that dopamine buz, that if I am not careful can put me into relapse territory if i don't snap out of the trance.

    Wasting time on the internet and watching too much TV and film however does have addictive qualities for me. I have found that having a written strategy in place to deal with these cravings to procrastinate helps me a lot. For example, timing all activities using the computer and putting the alarm away so that i have to get up and disable it. A sense of accountability is helpful, and so I text an SAA fellow to let them know when I am tempted to waste time. Sometimes it is necessary to call someone. More recently, I have found doing exercise in small bursts at key transition periods of the day helps keep me in an active state of mind. I exercise early in the morning to help me stay in productivity mood, and first thing when I come home from work to prevent me from lazing about the whole evening. Give them a try, I see no reason why they won't work for tackling gaming addiction too.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  6. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    May I ask what games you play, Jack?
  7. BuddhaPunkRobotMonk

    BuddhaPunkRobotMonk Administrator Staff Member

    I'm back into the "I wanna start playing again" stage. I think I will. I am well aware of the dangers, but I think I can limit it to just 1-2 hours a day. Something I can use to relax. @jack91 , I love how you use your motivation to game to also hit other self improvement goals. I think I'll do the same. Set out a gaming block at the end of the day and only game if I have met my other goals for the day. Thank you for the idea, jack! And thanks for sharing your own journey with video games. I can definitely see myself in a lot of what you shared.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
    YourBrainRebalanced and jack91 like this.
  8. YourBrainRebalanced

    YourBrainRebalanced Administrator Staff Member

    Great discussion to bring up. Unlike pornography, games can be safely enjoyed in moderation, and can have many benefits.

    Personally, just echoing some of the other responses to this thread:

    - Ensuring that you are sticking to your non-gaming related goals, such as fitness, work, reading, family, etc.
    - Setting strict limits to how long you game for per day or per week.
    - Not installing any game that has limitless playtime or actively encourages unhealthy levels of playing (unfortunately, many of the most fun games are like this, such as MMORPGs and Rust).
    - Being aware of how your gaming is impacting you, positively or negatively.

    Please let us know how it all works out, pursuing them in moderation.
  9. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Well done, Jack, for having the courage to acknowledge that this has become a problem for you. It is a frequent challenge that us addicts face that, when we give up one drug, our mind finds another to replace it. Addictions feed each other. No doubt by giving up gaming you will make it easier for yourself to stay sober from porn and masturbation. Good luck with it :)
    BuddhaPunkRobotMonk likes this.
  10. kopp

    kopp Member

    I've been addicted to videogames also. I've played mostly Urban Terror, Starcraft 2 and CS:GO.

    I stopped entirely and have no regret. I liked playing, videogames sure are fun. And I enjoyed the competition, I've always enjoyed playing CSGO matches or SC2's ladder. But once I stopped playing videogames I started using my competition spirit in other areas: to meet girls and make friends, learn to dress better, lift... I now joined a volleyball club and I'll be starting playing official matches soon.

    Something that made stopping easier: I only buy laptops made for "productive" use with high battery and RAM but no or low GPU. I can't run games on it so it kinda solve the problem. :) (I had an xps 13, I now have a macbook pro)

    Stopping videogames gives you so much free time and energy. And I sleep better now because I don't fuck up my sleep patterns playing videogames until midnight.

    Also videogames to me have always been linked to porn. I'd watch porn when I was tired playing. I'd start playing again after I watched porn.
    BuddhaPunkRobotMonk likes this.

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