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View Full Version : Ever feel like you have a dependence on gaming?



Skeletor68
18-11-2011, 12:46 PM
Hello all I just wanted to put this question out to the RPS masses. I'd like to hear from you guys about your gaming habits and if you've ever been a little worried by them.

I wouldn't consider myself addicted. I may sink a few hours over a day off or weekend into gaming but its mostly an hour some evenings after work. I wouldn't ever see myself getting to a point where the quantity of gaming time is unhealthy. I do however worry sometimes that I am developing a form of dependence.

My job entails a lot of project management, multiple schedules/deadlines, regular late hours and weekend work. It can be quite difficult to get my brain out of work mode when I get home. I find that gaming allows my brain to wind down the problem solving and balancing act from earlier in the day with plenty of rewards and instant gratification for completed tasks. I guess it gives my hyped up brain an outlet and a feeling of reward when most of my work involves long term schedules and very little 'ah, I've just finished this task and have done a good job'.

When I get home (often late) and my gf gives me the high-speed story of her day and wants to sit down and watch TV or just talk for a while I can find it hard to really engage and properly relax. Obviously my work schedule is the bigger problem here and I'm hoping this doesn't come off as anything dramatic/pretentious or as a serious problem (there are much bigger out there!), I'm just wondering what everyone else's relationship with their hobby is like. Have you ever worried that your gaming is becoming a +1 crutch of escapism?

baboonanza
18-11-2011, 12:58 PM
I think there have been times in my life when I've used gaming to escape from real-life to an unhealthy degree, at the darkest points of my life. Man, was I ever get good at Tony Hawks though.

That certainly isn't the case any more and I'm much more discriminating about what I will play. If there is nothing that really excites me to play now I simply won't play, as opposed to the sort of compulsive habit I had when I was younger.

I should add that I have never played an MMO, that sort of social gaming holds no interest.

Skeletor68
18-11-2011, 01:03 PM
I should add that I have never played an MMO, that sort of social gaming holds no interest.

I'm the exact same on this. We must be hitting a similar psychological profile or something!

squirrel
18-11-2011, 01:07 PM
I play video games 1 hour per day on weekdays (but recently I quit Bad Company 2 and unfortunately still figuring out how to join the world of BF3, so I haven't been gaming for more than two weeks), and may or may not play game on Sunday since I have other things to do. And yeah, I guess I am same as you, that I consider gaming as a short break from working environment.

Never worry about gaming habit. Seriously, without physical health issues I see no reason to worry about dependence on gaming. If one feel happy in such life style, so be it. Dont let the others defining your way of life. The society always everyone to work like hell. There's a hidden agenda of exploitation, dont you all see it? Work non-stop in office hours (that say, to work even at lunch), work OT. If you dont have assignment for the time being, learn skills that can only be applied to your professions, so that you cannot have career outside your current professions. Life-long learning them sister fuckers call it. That's what those in power desire, so that everyone will be enslaved. Is anyone really okay with that?

And fuck the office politics, too. In the game world, the only justice is victor. So let the victor be justice. Anyone exploits me, and I will send them to hell...... in the world of game of course.

Shane
18-11-2011, 01:23 PM
With me, there are up and down phases. There are times where I play as long as fourteen hours a day, usually when some new game comes out, and just keep thinking about going back to finishing while doing any other activity. Then there are also times when I go without playing any game for weeks.

Xercies
18-11-2011, 03:13 PM
I used to do this as a teenager and i guess I was using games as my social life since i didn't really talk or go out that much back then. I used to get lost in worlds and MMOs like LOTRO. Now a days though I don't game enough i don't think, I think i like watching TV shows and being with people to much.

Vandelay
18-11-2011, 06:12 PM
Whilst most people are watching Eastenders or X-Factor, I'm gaming. I don't really see either as better or worse than the other. I probably do play an hour or two pretty much every day, but most people watch television for a similar length every day.

However, I rarely binge on gaming nowadays. It is not often that I play a game for much more than a couple of hours at a time. Probably partly due to less free time, but even when I do get a chance I generally fancy a break after a while.

Zetetic
18-11-2011, 06:24 PM
I've had games where I've had to undergo a realisation that I'm no longer enjoying the game in a fashion that I demand from media (perhaps that I'm no longer being intellectually or emotionally stimulated except in the most basic fashion), but instead that I'm just going through the motions of stimulus-action-reward. When I've ended up like that, I tend to have to force myself to close the game down, and as often as not delete it.

I wouldn't say it's a dependence that I've developed in that case. Still that taking on of a game's mechanics so utterly produces a fairly repugnant feeling once you've recognised it.

But I get the same about Skittles if I'm not careful...


However, there certainly have been times when I've otherwise been low where I have become a little too enamoured with the sense of achievement that games provide, and indulged in that when I should've been doing something else. I should add that there's also been times when the sense of achievement and reward provided has been deeply useful at kick-starting me out of such states.

CrinnyCow
18-11-2011, 08:10 PM
I probably play for somewhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours every day (possibly more than that thanks to Skyrim and Battlefield 3). At any point during the day, if I had free time, I'd like to play a game but even so, I feel I spend much more time being social than playing video games. At least once a week I like to set aside a night to just enjoy a game in solitude though (a habit that my girlfriend doesn't quite understand). I don't feel bad for it at all... I sometimes get odd reactions from people when they find out I play games frequently but I don't think it's anything I should be ashamed of.

I also find that gaming is the primary way I stay connected to all of my friends that go to different schools (we're all college students). I feel that without this I probably wouldn't game half as much.

metalangel
18-11-2011, 09:26 PM
I play most of the afternoon (if on early shift) and a fair bit of the evening too, but when on the late shift I hardly touch them. Weekends if I'm not doing anything I might play late into the night. The missus doesn't mind, she's content to spend the whole evening watching crime dramas and web surfing, though we do make a point to switch off our respective idiot boxes and interact, dammit.

I can live without them, much as I could stop drinking beer if I decided to. They're a fun hobby but not the reason for living.

Nalano
18-11-2011, 09:28 PM
I have a dependency on computers.

I dunno, however, about games specifically. Unless you count posting on forums as itself a game.

db1331
18-11-2011, 09:53 PM
I get irritable sometimes if I go too long without gaming. I can and have gone a week or so without touching a game while on vacation, and I have been totally fine. There are some days though where I just feel on edge, and then I sit down at my computer and am instantly better. My loving wife knows this all too well. If I ever get short with her, she tells me to "go play". She even asked if something was wrong last night, because I was watching football instead of playing Skyrim or BF3.

Squiz
18-11-2011, 10:00 PM
I enjoy playing sometime during evening hours, mostly to relax and empty out my mind from the day (if it was stressful). I sometimes ask myself if I play too much. If I get the impression that I'm spending too much time with videogames I usually cut back on computer times and go out more regularly and meet friends. But gaming remains one of my few dominant hobbies.

At one time during my studies things got a little bit out of hand (too much free time) when I had my 'golden age' with Guild Wars. This phase came and went, it never became really unpleasant, and my grades never suffered from distraction. I admit though that I once uninstalled most or all of my games during exams to keep focussed whilst sitting at my desk.

Edit: @Skeletor: Apart from gaming, what do you do during your evening hours? Are there alternatives for you to relax with? Me, I love running to clear out my head.

buemba
18-11-2011, 11:55 PM
Nowdays it's getting harder and harder for me to muster the enthusiasm to play games for too long. Even when I'm enjoying a game (Like the new Deus Ex or Bastion) I usually give up long before I finish it.

If anything I'm addicted to buying games. Even though I know I probably won't play them for more than a couple of hours (If at all) I still buy tons of them.

DigitalSignalX
19-11-2011, 12:24 AM
Hardcore PC addict speaking. My situation: Relatively fixed income, tremendous amounts of free time and little or no inclination toward physical activity beyond some morning exercises. With only a couple casual non-internet friends and being happily single (seriously), I spend almost all my waking hours in front of a computer. Exceptions for cleaning, cooking, lawn work, various household errands shopping etc but that's all really just a fraction out of a total weeks time spent at a PC.

That said, I love it, embrace it in fact. 50 years ago I'd have been that guy who lives at the library reading every day, not patient-zero for the fall of western civilization. I contribute to several forums online, download and watch lots of movies and TV, and read e-books. Gaming though is without question my hobby, passion, and addiction. I'd guesstimate I've already put in close to 80 hours on Skyrim with no end in sight (I don't fast travel).

It's curious though, a decade ago when I was working 12 hours a day as well as being more social and spending money like crazy on entertainment, I still played video games. Just less of them, perhaps 2-3 games a month and I'd never quit one like I do today. Now, with gobs of time, there are more games then I can play even with the luxury of giving up on a title that doesn't keep me interested.

Gerbick
19-11-2011, 12:37 AM
I play almost every night and normally for several hours in the evening after the kids are in bed. It's how I relax. My wife will watch mindless tv, and I'll play games (Lotro at the mo). I also listen to music at the same time though, so sometimes I play just as an excuse to listen to some music. In the same way I'll volunteer to do the washing up, as an excuse to put some hideous black metal on while I scrub the plates!

I can go a few days without gaming (usually this is caused/due to social reasons, which are rare as a parent), but I get narky if I don't get a few hours in and we aren't away or suchlike.

TooNu
19-11-2011, 12:58 AM
A dependence on gaming. Yes I have a dependence on gaming and I embrace it because it's awesome.

Skeletor68
23-11-2011, 12:06 PM
Edit: @Skeletor: Apart from gaming, what do you do during your evening hours? Are there alternatives for you to relax with? Me, I love running to clear out my head.

I sometimes read for a while. I used to get a lot more exercise. Did some casual MMA training, some volunteering for a while but after a year of crazy hours I'm just burnt out and can't seem to get back into a decent routine. My gf's Dad is quite sick at the moment too so both our schedules are all over the place with extra travelling etc. I guess gaming is just the easy route right now and I need to be a bit more strong willed about it all.

acidtestportfolio
23-11-2011, 04:01 PM
i have one

it's slowly disappearing with the boneheaded choices that major developers are making (i'm looking at you, saints row the third)