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 shooting for gaming in moderation

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gamingaddct1



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PostSubject: shooting for gaming in moderation   Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:04 am

Nov. 28th: Well, break didn't go so great. I ended up playing an entire day basically, and was fairly depressed a lot of the time. It made me realize my approach isn't working. I started reading online about suggestions how to kick video game addiction, and after thinking about it realized I need to try an abstinence approach. No more rpgs (and I'm going to have to add to that first person shooters, which are really addicting despite the fact I rarely play one). I haven't had any problems with puzzlish/adventure games, and since I enjoy them, I think I'll keep allowing those, and maybe I can use them to practice skills that would be useful if I ever try to play an rpg again, such as scheduling playing time, setting time limits. But, I'd really like to focus now on OTHER activities in my life - hobbies, reading, tv, and on my social life, and work.

Here are a few quotes I liked from a book called 365 days to enlightenment (from google books Smile

The quote says that if you are struggling with addiction it is "sometimes better to avoid these activities all together, at least until such a time when you have better knowledge of and control over yourself."
It also says, "some people put such things aside and never pick them back up, because they find their lives are not lacking without those activities, and would rather not deal with the struggle. Some people find that, after a time and some focused work on themselves, that they can pick certain activities back up with no damage to themselves; it is for each to decide for themselves."
"What do you struggle with in terms of moderation? Is your life enhanced by the inclusion of such things? Does it make sense for you to put them aside for a bit, to focus on your growth?"

I'm going to completely cutting out rpgs from my diet. I've shown to myself that I can't control myself when it comes to rpgs right now - they are like crack. Any rpg. They have to go for now. I think I would like to be able to try playing again in the future, but I've realized its not worth it to constantly work on this - I keep failing, and hurt myself in the process. If I try again in the future, I think the following conditions would need to be met for that decision to make sense:

1) I'd need to have abstained for a long time, at least 2-3 months, as to allow myself to totally clear my mind from rpgs - they shouldn't be the major focus of my thoughts from now on.
2) I'd need to have developed structure in my week so that its a habit - I obsess about a lot of things. During the days I didn't play games this week I didn't do much of anything else - a lot of trouble focusing, even on easy tasks, and having trouble getting going. Really I think this is the major problem in my life right now - depression/lack of structure, and poor impulse, but there's no sense in trying to play addicting rpgs when I'm like this.
3) Secondly, If I feel up to it in a few months and try it again, I think it needs to be a brief period. I've been trying to moderate myself to basically no avail for a year and a half! That's a long time to allow myself to suffer about this. So, if I do try again, and fail, I think I need to go right back into a period of abstinence. Maybe I'll end up never playing again, or maybe someday I'll learn to play in moderation, or maybe I'll ocassionally pick up an rpg and put them down most of the time, but I can't waste time right now working on this, it's just not worth it and it's preventing me from changing other things that are really important in my life like my developing good mental health.

From now on I can't fricking rpgs ruin my life - it's just not worth it.


Nov 19th: So far, have played a hour during the week. Spent an hour or two reading about games though. Been a little busy this week. On the one hand, I feel like playing this weekend since I haven't, and I feel like, man, if I play during the week it conflicts with my busy schedule, and what if I don't play much? On the other hand, I think the chances that I'll play moderately during the weekend are pretty low in general. One idea is that I could reward myself - if I get through today, tomorrow, and Sunday with following a schedule, getting some work done, and such, then maybe I could allow myself to play a little sunday evening. An alternative idea to only allow the less addicting type of games for myself on the weekends - the chance of me overdoing an adventure game is awfully slim.

Next week I feel like I have an important challenge. I almost ALWAYS overdo video games extremely during vacations - there is a lot of time with nothing to do. I think I should probably veto game playing during most of next week, at least the days I have off, or maybe just cut rpgs during those days.

The "thinking" about games still bothers me - I was thinking of starting to play an rpg again, and started thinking of different characters. Then, I end up reading the rules of the game to try and check on the ideas I've come up with. Often I'm presented with two choices, both which are good, but I obsess about which one would be better. I'm trying to remind myself that the cost of analyzing during character creation is much higher than the gain, and am able to distract myself sometimes when I catch myself doing this, but other times it doesn't work. Well, this is a good opportunity to practice this....

Nov. 15th: weekend went okay. Keeping my games at work worked, although I did spend a couple hours online reading about games and thinking about character creation, but all in all still an improvement. I do feel like I need to take this weekend as an important reminder that the weekends are a huge trigger for me, and I need to be careful about them. Usually when I've played for a reasonable amount, I tell myself, "I did fine this week, I can play on saturday and sunday for just a bit and it won't be an issue." But it usually ends up being one, and so I think it'll be better for me to get in the habit of restricting playing time to the week. I think I keep forgetting that even if I can reduce my playing hours, thinking about games is a big time-waster for me, and one that's more obsessive than fun. This is a little more challenging for me, since it's not like I can get rid of the internet for a period if I want to, so it's probably going to take some work. Maybe I can try recording the number of days I've gone without googling a game or a review, or actively spending time thinking about character creation.

Today I spend 20 minutes playing a game, and 20 minutes reading about games online (oops!).

Nov. 13th:

Hi Hacks - thank you SO much for responding! It's really nice to hear from other people and get support! I think you're right, going cold turkey may be the best way for many, and I think I need to keep that option opened for me, and continue to try to figure out what will work best for me. We definitely hardwire our systems to play games. One thing that suggests to me I might want to consider a cold turkey approach is that I've found games more and more addicting over time, and have consistently tried to play less over the years with little success. I feel like I'm at the stage where my mind is becoming more and more hardwired - I'm thinking about games more, for example. It's definitely an impulse control issue for me - games become an automatic thing that I do, even when I don't plan on it. Also, as you said, when I think of the things I could have done with the time I've spend on games instead over the years - its a lot! It has hurt my social life, and prevented me from doing other activities, like hobbies, or reading. That's really cool that you're trying new things more like TV, etc. I think I need to do the same. I don't watch much TV, but I'm thinking of starting. I think I need to find a variety of activities to get involved with that I really enjoy, and can replace the "hole" created by playing a lot less games.

If I want to make a moderation approach successful for me, I think it would need to become a habit, and it needs to be a long term goal, rather than something I do briefly. I've had months in the past where I take off playing, or where I play relatively moderately. But, I start playing "addictively" again relatively soon. Last year I quit rpgs for a few months, and did well. I started playing rpgs again and immediately went from playing 2-3 hours a week to 10-20! If I can successfully start playing in moderation, that can't happen - it needs to become a way of life.

Here's a quick update for this weekend: I tried storing my saved games and games on a USB drive, and leaving them at work. So far this works. But, I noticed as I left them, I had the desire to go back and get the drive - I was literally considering going back a long ways, so I could play games! When I got home, I started thinking - well, maybe I can redownload the game I just left at work so I can play it. Games definitely become a problem for me on weekends. Partly I think when I'm worried about something, I feel the urge to play - I was worrying about work, and the problem I was thinking about seemed major and insurmountable, and so it causes me to want an escape, especially on the weekend when there is a lot of time I could play. Honestly, my weekends have become so consumed with playing games sometimes that I've sort of come to DREAD them. I don't know what to do on the weekends - there's no structure forcing me to do anything. I think the fact that I have felt such a pull to go out of my way to play games shows removing them from the house on the weekends is probably necessary, at least until I get in the habit of doing other things on the weekend. The next couple days I'll have to spend more time doing other things: reading, hobbies, hanging out with friends, chores, work, hopefully I can get that to become the norm.

Nov. 9th: Didn't play today. I'm considering trying to play a bit in the morning, I know that's against a rule:). But, I was thinking that I don't usually end up doing anything else, and as long as I get to bed on time, and it motivates me to wake on time, it might not be a huge deal, as long as I stopped within enough time to get ready. We'll see.

Nov. 8th: So, on the 31st ended up playing quite a bit more than planned. Last week started all right, but played way too much near the end of the week. So, I'd better try and start this process over.
I like some of the rules I tried to en-state last time, so I'll give them a shot, and make a couple additions to counter some problems that arose.

1) Every day needs to have a rough schedule, and I need structure (same bedtime and getup time approximately). This is helpful for getting rid of impulsiveness - "hmm... I have nothing to do, i might as well play a game". No! If I've scheduled something else other than a game and try basically to stick with that, that should help.
2) New rule: NO GAMING ON WEEKENDS!! I know this sounds the opposite of what most people would reccommend. But my problem isn't usually with what happens during the week, its when I have nothing to do on the weekend. Case in point, the past two weeks I've done excellent up until the LAST day of the week! It'll be hard to enstate, since when I have nothing to do on the weekends, I tend to WANT to play games. I'm stressed from the week, and its like a release from the stress. I don't care how I do it - leave my computer at work, or my mouse, uninstall my games every weekend, call a friend to check on me and tell them my goal, but I'm convinced now that the weekend is the main trigger for my video game overuse!
3) Continue scheduling gaming time each week. It does reduce the freedom I have to play them, but it's important to work through feeling a loss at not being able to play impulsively. So, this week, I'm playing at most an hour mon-thur, and I'm skipping fri-sun!
4) no playing early in the morning before the day starts or after 10 PM. If that means I have to skip playing a day I'll skip it, and can make up the time the next day, but NOT on the weekend. I have a program I can use to block applications past 10 and in the morning.
5) non-addicting games rule: certain games are more addicting (rpgs, strategy, first person shooters). Some are not addicting at all (old 16-bit games, adventure games). I'm going to start requiring that at least 1 hour in the week is of a "non-addicting" game.
6) record on this forum once daily.
7) use an alarm clock when playing games. When the clock goes off, I immediately stop. I can practice conditioning myself to an alarm clock - I'd shoot for a couple practice sessions most days. As an aside, I head about this technique being used for getting up in the morning, and have found that useful as well.

Stuff I learned the past two weeks: Games usually stop being addicting after I start them. Sometimes the addicting phase is when I start the game, or create the character. It's better to make a character, move on, and any defficiencies or problems that arise can be fixed later. Once I get into the game, I usually end up letting it go to the back burner. So, it's probably better therefore to NOT get new games very often, or only as a reward for playing reasonable hours for a few weeks. I am proud that I haven't spent money on a game in the past couple weeks, which is good.

One thing, I keep wondering whether it would be better for me to take time off completely from games for a while. Has anyone tried this? Was it helpful? I've thought about doing it, but it seems hard to do. Also, usually I end up coming back to playing too much anyways. Also, it sort of takes some structure out of my life by removing something completely that I like to do. So, I've sort of thought I might as well just jump into trying to moderate my current useage, and that taking time off wouldn't be necessary, but heck, I clearly am not great at moderating, so what do I know!

Feel free to send advice my way if you've got some.


Oct. 31st: I haven't been playing much today, but HAVE been looking up games, and thinking about character creation, and I've been unable to focus much of the day. For the rest of the day, I'm going to try to not think about this. Its funny, it alsmot seems better to me to avoid starting new games/characters, since this is so obsessing to me.

Oct. 31st: so, I get home Sat. night late. I had a great time hanging out with friends. Something about feeling good, puts me in a mood for playing games. I spent 10 minutes reading about a game, and that motivated me to start playing a game - I almost did, but decided to write here instead. Some of the feelings that motivate me to play are - "what's the point in sticking to my 4 hour limit? One more hour can't hurt. I won't be any more productive with that time I'd gain." In reality, this might be true. But, when I allow myself to go over an hour, I often end up doing more, so until I know I can be a little flexible without a chance of binging for 15+ hours in a week, I need to stop when I plan on it! Plus, I know I need to find other activities which excite me as well to substitute for games - ideally I shouldn't feel a loss at stopping at 4 hours, because I know I can use that time for other more important things. Another thought I have is: "I've already passed over my limit by about 15 minutes, so now I've ruined my plan, I might as well play more." But, 15 minutes isn't much, and if I only went 15 minutes over that would be pretty minor, so there is actually a very good reason for stopping where I am. Plus, I need to remind myself how important preventing video games from becoming more addicting is. I know I'm not an "addict" in the alcoholic sense, but they are very addicting, and at least moderately destructive in my life. So, I need to start forming healthy habits as soon as possible - I don't want the addiction to become worse, and there is no sense spending any more time with video games being a problem in my life - I've wasted enough time already. Another thing to remind myself is that enjoying games is a great reason to play in moderation: if I play moderately, I can allow myself to do the activity I enjoy. I even enjoy games more the less I do them. If I play a ton, it feels like a drag. Plus, after a binge, I will sometimes feel like quitting, and even delete or throw away games, or feel like I need to take weeks off of playing, which is too hard for me to do. So, playing moderately allows me to maximize the enjoyment I get out of games, and allows me to play games without feeling like its detracting from my life somehow.

Oct. 30th: played for close to 4 hours today. I planned on only playing 1 or 2 today, but overdid it. I was hoping to try to mix up the games I played to prevent focusing on something addicting, but that didn't work. Also, I've been obsessing quite a bit about "character creation" for a game - sometimes I catch myself, and realize, man, I don't mean to be thinking about this, and focus on something else. But, other times its really hard. So, I think i just need to work on catching myself more. On the plus side, hopefully I can skip playing the rest of the day, and tomorrow, and my weekly total won't be too far off from my original goal. I think on the weekends gaming tends to be what I choose to do automatically. Today I planned to do a variety of things, but started playing a game, and those went out the window. This is not entirely related to playing games, partly I think its some depression/having trouble focusing, but its sort of a cycle for me. I don't feel like doing anything or feel down, so I play more games. Then, I feel guilty about wasting time, and feel down, and the only thing that seems to at least temporarily forget that I'm feeling down is to play a game! So, the rest of the day and tomorrow I'm going to write a schedule out, and I'm going to shoot for sticking to it. I think if I get better at doing that, my weekends will become more structured, rather than times that I have a gaming "binge".

Oct. 27th: played for 15 minutes. Wanted to play more. Didn't finish other activities until 10 PM though. I know I meant to not play after 10 PM, but it was hard for me to not play at all. Maybe that's a problem. But, I decided I'd allow 15 minutes. I set an alarm, and stopped before it went off. I was playing a game which is usually pretty addicting to me, and was able to stop even though part of me felt like playing more. I've been obsessing a little throughout the day about games. There is an old game I used to play which I was thinking of playing again, and then I started obsessing about what character to make - basically, wondering which would be the "best", or most fun, and thinking about the problems which would arise with either choice. I knew I meant to not think about this, but it was hard for me to deal with. I think I need to remind myself that playing games is fun, but obsessing about characters is not, and usually any choice I end up making is okay. I feel like I need to work on this type of obsessing - it's time to stop that. It's really a shame that I let obsessing about 'strategy', or decisions in games detract from my life, and it really makes games not fun!
Oct 26th: did not play.
Oct 25th: I planned on playing an hour today, but got busy with other things. When evening rolled around I realized I wouldn't have time to play. This made me feel like I really wanted to play - I sort of felt robbed of that time, and wanted to make it up by playing past the time I allowed myself (10 oclock), or waking up and playing in the morning. I also started to think about games/strategy for a minute, and realized this was something I wanted to stop doing. I'm reminding myself that I could play a different day instead when I have more time, or play a little more another day, but that it's important to not let games get in the way of other priorities in general. This is an important skill for me to learn. I end up feeling a sense of loss right now, like empty sort of. I guess a game can fill that - it provides an escape, its engaging, so that's probably where that comes from. I think it's definitely more depressing in the long run overall to give in to playing when I don't mean to sometimes. For example, if I go to bed early instead of playing, I'll be ready to start the next day on time with energy. So, it's better to accept that I feel a little empty/bored/down right now, and move on to the next day. Part of me thinks - but I'm so busy this week! What if I don't have time to play later? Or, what if I don't play, then end up playing a ton on the weekends? That would make all the good intentions of skipping playing wasted. But, in reality, a journey begins with a single step. It doesn't make sense to blow a diet or something because you think you'll screw up later. If I can do this for 5 days that would be better than none, and I'm hoping to make it all 30. Day 1 done!

Oct 24th, 2010.
I'm going to start monitoring my gaming habits again, they've been getting a little out of control. So... here are a few rules I'll put in place.
1) I'd like to schedule when I'm allowed to play each week, and stick to those times. Playing is only allowed in the evening, and not past 10 PM. I have a program to schedule applications, and block them at certain times.
2) total time - I'd like to limit myself to no more than 4 hours per week for the next 30 days (currently, averaging ~9hrs per week).
3) I'm going to record time played here. Also, I'm going to include time spent thinking about games (creating characters, browsing reviews, etc.) in this 4 hours.
4) I tend to be impulsive with gaming. So, I think it will be helpful to create a weekly schedule, and try to follow it, so I know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing each day at what time, in general.
5) I'm going to log on this forum each day.
6) I tend to find character creation very obsessing in games. I often want to start a new character, or obsess about what decisions to make when I make a level, and if things aren't perfect I start over. I also think about strategy when I'm not playing. I'd like to work on limiting this character creation time and analysis phase. So, any time I find myself thinking about this I'll distract myself into something else. I have a couple games going now, and I'm setting a limit that I can't start any new characters in these games. If I finish the game, or get a new game, I'll limit this analysis time to 15 minutes top when creating the character, and 5 minutes when leveling them up. If I'm not sure whether the choices I make are "perfect", I need to accept that. I'd definitely like to work on this character creation obsession, but I also know I should avoid it to a degree. So, in the next 30 days, I'm going to try to start one character in an rpg maximum. I want two good weeks of not even thinking about character creation before trying this.
7) With the availability of cheap old games on the rise, its addicting to me to buy them. I think this is okay, but I don't want to browse online gaming stores as much as I have been, and I don't want to feel like I "need" to get a game if I want it. Plus, I've been spending a huge amount of money on games recently. Therefore, I'll put the following limit: in the next 4 weeks, I can spend at most 15$ on video games. I can only buy/download a new game if I plan on doing it that week, and I want it to be a reward for good gaming behavior that week, rather than something I do because I can.
Cool another idea I had was to work on practicing stopping playing when an alarm goes off - maybe I can condition myself to an alarm. I know I won't always stop a game immediately when I plan on it, but I need to be better than I am now. Most of the time, something compels me - I need to get 1 more level, or money to buy an item, or finish a quest. And, I need to learn to turn off the game despite that desire.
9) Finally, I'd like to mix up my games a bit, so I'm not obsessing about one. I find rpgs really addicting, and adventure games are a lot less so. So, I'd like to mix up some less addicting games into the week.

- I'm really feeling serious about this. In the past I tend to plan on writing here, but lose motivation. I think recording my progress here is really important to keep my committment up.

Here is the schedule I'm allowed for this week: 1 hour on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.





Last edited by gamingaddct1 on Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:50 am; edited 9 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: shooting for gaming in moderation   Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:50 am

This is interesting! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: shooting for gaming in moderation   Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:20 am

Hi Gamingaddct,

I just joined this forum and read your stuff. Nice work Smile
A log is a great idea, and I think it will help immensely. What youre doing is really valuable. Keep it up!

I also love character creation. I really enjoy assigning talent points/ attributes, etc. Unfortunately, I like playing the games too, a double kick to the cyber-junk, so to speak.

Anyway, if you figure out "the way" to play in moderation, please let me know!!!! Right now, I dont think it exists for me personally. With that said, all my games are computer/online, so I have considered buying an X-box and leaving it at my friend's place. That way I can play games, but only when actually socializing. Plus, we dont get together too often. That would mean 1) we would hang out more, and 2) my playing would be restricted.

You asked about going cold-turkey. Here's my rambling about that.

From my experience of over 10 years of trying to limit my video games, I would say cold turkey is THE ONLY WAY. At least for me. Let me qualify this by saying I'm struggling with this addiction, and dont have it beaten yet.

Here's my History: Played games since I was a little kid, games got better every year, now video games are crazy-fun, and now I spend all my spare time-- and not-so-spare time playing them. When I'm gaming I stop working-out, eating right, socializing, being creative, sleeping... you know what I'm talking about. I become GameZombie. A completely neglectful, waste of skin. I'm not happy about it.

My trouble with gaming in moderation is that there is usually always a way around the fence. I've tried game timers. being supervised/reminded. Put limits/controls on computer time. I can always find a way to play more. And I eventually do find a way around the limits when my gaming urges become overwhelming. These times happen randomly. Maybe I've had a rough day. Maybe I'm alone for a weekend. One time i went cold turkey for a year and made great strides in my life. After not playing for a year, i said "hmmm... i've got it together. I can just play in moderation. Only an hour a day. maybe a few on weekends. It will be fine!" All went well for a month or two, then, an hour a day turned in to two, then three, then I was back at it again, and all the progress I made came crashing down.

Gaming addiction is an impulse control problem, like gambling or looking at online porn. If games are available, you will play them. You've been conditioned to play. Games are easy and familiar and rewarding (short term). You will fall back on them always! Games are a safety net... only the net is on fire and has a big hole in it! The trick is to replace the Flaming-net-O-death with a real safety net. I try to think to myself, if I spent all my game time on one other thing, like weightlifting, drawing, relationships, career, whatever...what would I look like / be doing now? The answer is sad, because I would be a vastly different person... a much more satisfied person. I dont want these same regrets another 10years from now.

I've played games since i was little, for over 20 years now. (only been trying to stop for 10. sigh. "only"). I dont want to stop playing, but I need to stop playing. As of today I've gone without PC games for 3 weeks now. Which means I've gone from 28hrs /week gaming (48hrs / week gaming when I binge) to zero. You are right. It is tough. INCREDIBLY tough. I've had all sorts of symptoms of withdrawal... mood swings, anger/depression, isolation (i wont go near anyone. dont want to talk to anyone). I've continually been pulled back to the computer and looked at online game sites, youtube videos of games. I'm struggling with that stuff, and the urge to reinstall games. Its a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute struggle. Maybe I'll post my battle in another thread. All I know is I've quit for a year once, and everything in my life improved. I'm going to try again, and hopefully stick with it.

I know you'll hate this because I hate it. (If quitting was easy there wouldn't be 10 million World of Warcraft players shelling out over a billion dollars a year in just subscription fees). You will have to weigh the costs of gaming on your life, and figure out what really defines you... what you really want to do with your life. If its gaming, then ignore the rest. If you want something else for yourself, like health, career success, a girlfriend/family, then from one addict to another, you need to drop gaming. The rules and timers dont work like we want them to. Nothing works. If you have to play some crappy 16 bit game so you wont get addicted, then why play it at all? Why not do something else?


Here are the steps I'm on to quit:
A , B , C - Access to gaming. Behavior. Cravings.

A - get rid of access. if its a console like x-box, sell it or throw it out. The computer is tougher, because we use it for other things. Try putting it in the open... and somewhere uncomfortable. Change internet to dial-up... you can get e-mail, but gaming online sucks. Make a close friend / family member the administrator - so only they can install programs, and they can control the computer use. A friend could also take all your computer equipment, or internet hook-ups to keep you honest. Personally I dont like involving friends/family. Mainly because it shifts the onus, and blame/angry feelings, to them when you get cravings. Only its not them or their problem, its yours. Delete and throw out every game. If you dont need your computer for photoshop or video editing, maybe consider getting a piece o $h!# computer that cant run games.

B - replace the gaming behavior with good behaviors. Instead of scheduling gaming time each week, schedule everything BUT gaming. Gamingaddct1, youre so right about making structure for your day. Fill each day with stuff... especially things you care about. Literally schedule stuff for all day, no matter how trivial.
And make sure these things are away from the computer. For instance, if you struggle at night with gaming before bed, schedule this time as "romance time" with a girlfriend or spouse. Or find one of those gyms that is open late... between 10pm and 12 can be workout time. (The gym time can help you if you dont have a girlfriend or spouse! Smile I dont care what it is, but unscheduled time is a gamer's best time, for relapse. Also, take whatever you do and get out of the house. Reading, writing, studying, just take it somewhere else without a computer.

C - dealing with the cravings. I'm still trying to figure this one out!! I've been eating more crap food, and watching TV more, obviously channeling my addiction elsewhere. This is bad. I dont want to trade one addiction for another. I'm trying to distract myself with other positive things. We'll see how it goes.


Anyway, Hopefully this forum will be a start of something great! I'm really looking forward to throwing this out of my life. Let me know if you need anything else.

Keep your focus and be stubborn about it!

Cheers!



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PostSubject: Moderation   Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:28 am

If you want more support, try http://www.olganon.org/ . I dont necessarily agree with everything on the site, but I have found it to be great, and filled with a lot of active posters who are supportive and know what we're going through. The site is a must for me.

Just to be clear, I have found myself replacing games with TV, but I really really really dont want that. TV is just another time sink. If TV is the opiate of the masses, games are the crystal meth. Im struggling not to trade one for the other.

I definitely dont want to sabotage your attempts, and it sounds like you need to try moderating the gaming... for your own peace of mind to say "yes, i tried". But from what I'm seeing you're like me, and the game time isnt the end of it. You'll always want more. You think about it when you're not playing, and whatever you're doing-- you wish it was gaming instead.

When you've tried to stop playing and cant, thats addiction. When your life suffers for it, but you keep gaming, thats the addiction. And when your mind says "ive tried to control this, failed, but maybe this time"... Thats the addiction speaking. Its trying to lure you back to doing what it wants.. not what will fulfill you. Any lulls i've had in my life, where gaming stops for a bit, then i pick up again later... thats all part of the addiction cycle.

Food for thought!

I wish you all the best! If you want to reach me... Im on the olganon site mostly. Hope your weekend was Game-Free!!!

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PostSubject: The decision...   Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:31 am

The decision to abstain is a big one... congrats on reaching it.

the old saying is... "10 miles in to the forest, 10 miles to walk out"... dont get discouraged when it gets difficult, or if you relapse. Just reaffirm all the negatives of gaming, and what you really want to get out of life. If you relapse and play, take note of what triggered it, and how you can change yourself and environment to stop it from happening again.

Best of luck!!
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PostSubject: Re: shooting for gaming in moderation   Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:16 pm

Hi There. I am a drug addiction counselor, but one of my colleagues has just set up a facebook forum - gaming addiction forum. If you find it on facebook and 'like' it, he will answer any queries on a daily basis with advice on minimization and where to get help etc.

He is a pretty cool guy so could be of help!

Good luck!
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