Games have been destroying the lives of many teens and young adults with their well-designed addicted features, leaving many to wonder if they should quit gaming.
Should you quit gaming? Yes. Gaming overstimulates your neurotransmitter called dopamine and dopamine dysfunction is linked to low motivation and certain symptoms of depression.
In this article, we will further go into why you should quit gaming, the pros and cons of quitting and how to quit. This is something I struggled with for a very long time, so I poured my heart and soul into this article. I really believe for those who act upon this will be able to quit gaming such as I have.
Why You Should Quit Gaming
You will have people in your life looking at your gaming habits and tell you to stop gaming. Meanwhile, your gamer friends and other people who game will say it’s okay. So it leaves the following question:
Why should you quit gaming? Video games have been methodically desired based on proven addiction models of casinos. By continuing to game, you will be become more uncontrollably attached to gaming and be unable to experience the other things in life.
I’m not saying everyone should quit gaming, I’m not here to spew my values on the world, but for the exact reason that YOU ARE READING THIS must mean you seriously are considering it.
The only people who are considering it really should quit. You subconsciously know gaming is destroying your life, or at least negatively affecting it to a point where a life without gaming would be superior.
I remember when I didn’t complete assignments to game, avoided trips with family to game, missed school trying to avoid writing a test since I played games instead of studying.
I remember my family continuously telling me to control how I gamed, and I knew they were right, yet I couldn’t control my habits and I told them to bugger off.
Here is an image my younger sister took of me back when I was in high school and addicted to gaming. My room and table were a mess, you can even see 2 empty glasses and an empty coke can in the image. I also see Discord, which my friends and I used to communicate.
Gaming, although fun, was destroying my life, my opportunities, my experiences, my family and my social life (even though I had a big one online, it’s nothing compared to what I have now).
If you still are on the fence on if you should quit or not, keep reading as I will point out the pros and cons. If you just want to get to how to quit, click here.
The Pros and Cons of Quitting Games
At this point in my life, I knew the only option was to quit, despite what I had to lose (mostly just friends). But for you, you likely have forces or reasons to want to stay.
Let’s run through the pros and cons of quitting games to better help you decide if you want to still game or not.
The Pros of Quitting Games
The following are the pros of quitting games:
- Naturally rebalance your dopamine levels to improve mental health, physical health and induce enjoyment from less captivating normal-life experiences
- Regain countless hours spent doing the same mindless experience (or variations of the same experience) into new life experiences that may provide physical, mental, financial, emotional or social gain
- Regain control of how you want to spend your time instead of letting your impulses take over
- Perform better at school and/or work all while further enjoying both experiences
Is it Good to Quit Gaming? Yes. Gaming overstimulates your dopamine receptors, causing unbalanced levels of dopamine and increasing your baseline threshold for enjoyment. Over-gaming leads to signs of depression as a result of failing to find joy through other normal experiences.
In essence, there are 2 main arguments in play here in terms of what you have to gain by quitting gaming.
They are, by quitting gaming truly two things happen:
- Dopamine rebalances within your brain
- Regain time and control over how you want to spend that time
Truly, that’s all you gain on the surface level. Yet there is so much within both statements that yield massive fruits for you.
Firstly, let’s talk a bit about dopamine rebalancing.
Dopamine from Gaming
A Bit of Background
The gaming industry is a fairly new industry, starting from Pong in 1960. Back then, games have a massive focus around just having you want to buy their game. They weren’t concerned about how much you played or for how long.
The biggest reason being that there weren’t many game publishers and to buy their game, you already needed to invest a fair bit of money on their console.
As arcade machines developed, they differed in the sense that they did want you to replay, but their biggest pulls were through your desire to beat their high score. But to play at all, you had to physically go to the arcade and pay every time you wanted to play once.
With their limited technology, arcade machines could only do so much.
Nowadays, the landscape is very different, where publishers not only want you to buy their game, but have it be something you are stuck to and you will keep playing that title before they release the next. Think COD, GTA, Smash, Factorio or even games like Mario Kart.
This incentive for publishers has further incentivized after about 2013 as Twitch started to ramp up and longer playing sessions = more streamers of your game = free marketing = more sales = more money.
This is even worst in free-to-play games like League of Legends, Fortnite, PUBG Mobile or Clash Royale that their entire business model is revolving around their gaming taking over enough of your life where making in-game cosmetic purchases are worth it to you (even though they have no impact on the game itself).
These games are particularly evil since they only thrive by eating away as much of your time as possible. At least the paid games make all (or almost all when DLCs are involved) their money from sales and resales, not needing to eat up all their time to make more money (although they now have to compete with the time-eating free to plays).
Luckily for the gaming industry, they had another industry that thrives off the same thing. The gambling industry, more specifically the casinos.
Later in the article, I’ll explain that your dopamine resets after you stop gaming. After that happened for me, one of my joyful experiences was when I’d wake up at 5 am, go for 30 mins bike to Tim’s, arrive right when it opens and stare out of the window and think of how great life is. You truly have no regret when you quit gaming, you live a completely different life.
You know those places where you can’t go in unless you are 21, we are now putting those same tactics in front of 8-year-olds from the comfort of their own homes with no restrictions (think Fortnite). What do you think loot boxes are exactly based on?
With casinos, at least everyone talks about the importance of extreme moderation unless rich or professional, a venue you physically have to go to and forcing you to pay-per-play. Take all that, throw it in your room and make the games free.
Yes. That is exactly why games are so addicting. They induce the most amount of dopamine possible, based on a lot of calculated working of their UI, interactions and game mechanics to make you want to come back.
How Dopamine Works and How Publishers Use It Against you
All of that is dependant on their ability to take advantage of your monkey brains and release as much dopamine as possible.
I’m not a scientist, nor are you, so I’ll try to keep this simple. Basically, dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain which has many functions but is generally released to create pleasure upon achieving things that would ensure your survival and the survival of the tribe.
Think of gathering food, building shelter, drinking water or winning a battle.
Sexual orgasms provide a massive amount of dopamine because the survival of the tribe is based on you having sex to create offspring, and the more beneficial your mate is for reproduction (typically which translates to how hot he/she is based on fertility, power and genes), the more dopamine released (which is why the pornography industry is massive, but that’s a discussion for another day).
You may wonder why exactly releasing dopamine from games is necessarily bad. Well, our bodies are amazing in a lot of ways, in one way is the problem that we are faced with now.
When your mind is aware of another activity that releases a lot of dopamine for less effort, your mind will try its hardest to get you to do that, since it believes that’s the most impactful thing you can do for the survival of yourself and humanity.
Sadly, your brain is a monkey brain and what it believes will help your survival is actually just for-profit companies trying to make quick money off you.
As you continue to get these abnormally high hits of dopamine with a little amount of work invested, your brain becomes less and less affected by lower hits of dopamine. You end up losing control of how you spend your time and let your impulses win.
The image above is specifically referring to males playing violent games, but I’d argue this is just an effect of gaming in general and not just violent ones. As you continue to game, your ability to control behavior becomes weaker. Credit brainandlife.org.
You may have enjoyed work or studying before, but nowadays you are likely dreading class and just thinking about what gear you will equip for your raid in Tarkov.
As this continues, you will also find less happiness in the games themselves. The publishers know this and will systematically slow down dopamine hits enough to make you stick around. Ever play ranked in a free-to-play game, do exceptionally well for back-to-back games than lose back-to-back with a bunch of feeders or inters?
Well, that’s all planned. Your win streak made you stay, but going too long on that win streak would be boring. So after that, the game makes you lose enough that you still remember those wins, you can blame your team and keep playing.
They also leverage other psychological tactics like sunk-cost bias and dangling carrots in front of your face without giving them to you. Games are making you feel productive, making you feel like you are truly accomplishing something. After grinding 1000 hours and getting a new peak rank, you feel like your social status went up, releasing a lot of dopamine. However, once you leave the game, that fake social status disappears.
Not to mention now you can’t do anything in real life that is as impactful as increasing your social status in such effortless ways like gaming. Boom, dopamine has you hooked to gaming. The perfect balance to ruin someone’s life and make their happiness depend on games (just one way of many, gathering armor or even progressing in the story all do the same things of building status or generally making your monkey brain think you are helping yourself or humanity in some way.
Over time, your receptors have to reproduce for the influx of dopamine and you start building a dopamine imbalance).
Negative Effects of Dopamine Imbalance
You likely already have some level of dopamine imbalance. The has been known to trigger symptoms of depression, not find enjoyment in everyday things like school, learning, nature walks, etc.
But there’s a range. You may not be terribly depressed and you may still enjoy school. But to the degree to which you play and your overall tolerance (as people are different, but there’s no denying the majority of people’s lives get hooked by gaming), you will enter more and more of an imbalance.
High dopamine releases also cause anxiety (and other social issues), difficulty sleeping, increased stress, appetite and loss of optimal bodily functions.
At the moment of the dopamine release, you gain a large amount of energy, the ability to learn better, focus better, strong muscle control and express great precision movements.
These great benefits, however, will start to only appear during gaming sessions or higher forms of dopamine releases and absent from real-life scenarios that they were meant for, like social interactions, learning or working.
Thankfully, your brain is amazing at adjusting to its environment. If you quit gaming, over a span of 3 months for people under 25 and about 6 months (sometimes a bit more) for people 25 and over your brain will reduce your dopamine receptors and reduce your baseline.
You just have to endure until those 3-6 months.
The Cons of Quitting Gaming
Upon quitting gaming, there are a handful of cons you must consider and accept before entering on your journey of being gaming-free. Those cons are:
- Your inability to connect with your gamer friends like you used to, especially relationships dependent purely on a game
- A dislike of your decision to quit gaming from your previous gamer friends and a consistent pursuit for your returning to the game. This may result in a need to cut your gamer friends outright
- A reduction of recreational activity and a bunch of free time that may be difficult to refill
- The loss of an experience you once enjoyed a lot
- The sink-cost bias of after spending all that time, money and effort cultivating your account, skills and knowledge in the game, you have to lose it all
Just like pros, there are just 2 main real cons here. They are:
- Social life impairment
- Loss of a heavily invested-in recreational activity
As you can swiftly identify is that both cons can easily be replaced, you can make new friends and you can find new things to do.
Here’s the same group of gamer friends who I had to cut off (I hid their faces). Times like these were amazing, a ton of fun. But life doesn’t bend to the whims of humans, we have to grow up and move on.
What really is the problem is not the things in of themselves, it’s your emotional attachment to them. You can always make new friends, but you lose the friends you have which can be a sad thought considering all the fun and experiences you’ve had.
You can find new activities, but you can remember all the skills you’ve practiced and scrubs you’ve told to “Get Gud” or called “trashhhhhh” in League of Legends.
I will go through exactly how to overcome those emotional attachments below but acknowledge that it won’t be easy.
For some people, quitting games isn’t worth what you lose, and as I mentioned earlier, I’m not here to spew my values on the world. But if you are willing to give me a chance, I can promise you the hardship will subside and a life without gaming is better. Everything about it is better.
How to Quit Gaming
This is really what you’ve come for, turning your life around and taking control of what’s the biggest pain in your life. This journey for me took about 2 years to get to a point of no games for the most part and an additional year to become completely clean.
It’s a long journey, believe me but you will have to be persistent. Why is it hard to quit gaming? Gaming releases a large amount of dopamine for minimal effort, increasing your dopamine receptors and decreasing sensitivity to smaller pleasures. Consequently, as you attempt to quit, your brain still desires the high dopamine hits received from gaming and will do all it can to make you play again.
It will be hard. No one said it will be easy, but that’s the reward of quitting. After you quit, all your other friends will still be stuck in that insufferable experience when you finally moved on with your life.
To quit, there are a few steps I’ve taken in my life after much trial and error to do. There’s an absolute method and a more realistic method, I’ll get to both. How to quit gaming:
- Decide you are serious about quitting by making a solid public commitment.
- Create a plan of what you will do in the meantime. Ideally have it something that you cannot opt-out of by your own volition.
- Change everything in your life, from your friends to your physical environment.
- Get stuck doing the things you can’t opt-out of to keep yourself occupied.
- Create new friendships and recreational activities.
- Never give in to the idea of reconnecting with your friends or trying to reintroduce gaming.
- Build some level of immunity to temptations by intentionally facing them in a highly controlled environment.
That is the absolute method and exactly what I had to do to quit gaming for good. Many of the steps may not be realistic, therefore I will give realistic approaches to all, but this is my guaranteed path to quit gaming that was my only saving grace from the grapple gaming had on me.
I will go through each of the steps here at a high level, but if at any points you have any questions (or want to share any success stories), feel free to reach out at email@example.com.
What happens if you stop gaming? When you quit gaming, your brain slowly normalizes your dopamine receptors over 3 to 6 months, making you less prone to desire gaming in the future. Research shows that when you stop gaming, you become more confident, less anxious and find more enjoyment in life.
Step 1: Deciding to Change
Step 1 is to decide to change, make up in your mind that you will be a new person.
For me, this came when I was in my last semester in high school. I was a mess, at the start of the semester I attended school for the entire week but spend the remainder of the days playing League of Legends. That was the only full week I attended that semester.
The following 2-3 weeks, I ended up going to school 2-3 days and skipping 2-3 days (in the 5 day school week). After that, for the next 3 weeks, I was skipping almost all classes.
I was lucky where at that point I was able to decide to withdraw from high school only because I took summer school each year that I had exactly enough credits to graduate (saved by pure luck, I didn’t even plan that to happen).
But that remainder of the semester and 2 months into college (so basically the next 6 months of my life) I’d wake up at 12pm, jump right to League and play until around 6 am. FOR 6 MONTHS STRAIGHT.
Just think what that would do to a man. I became extremely depressed, and I kept telling myself I’d stop playing at night but the following morning, I’d just wake up and jump to my computer right beside my bed.
I mean look at what level I got to. Take it in that levels exceeding level 30 on LoL accounts only started during my grade 12 year. I probably made it to level 200-250 by the time I decided to quit, and the additional levels I gained was from relapses, my old friends using my account and at once me trying (and failing) to reintroduce LoL back into my life at healthy amounts (both unreasonable and also unnecessarily. I’m extremely happy I failed at that so it’s finally gone forever 😃).
I don’t know which god was looking over me, but something was looking over me because I somehow enrolled in a college as well.
The month before college I was a complete mess, crying myself to sleep and my parents hating me for what I’ve become (but they were wayyy too tolerant, looking back I can’t believe they let me live like that for 6 months).
The week before college, I decided I wanted to quit. I wanted to be a new person. I wanted to work as hard as I possibly can and make up the 4 years I lost to gaming.
I was so desperate, and I was so serious. That’s how you need to be. You can’t just want to quit, YOU NEED TO QUIT. You should want it as much as you need to breathe, you need to be serious.
If you are serious, you need to say it out loud to yourself and to others.
What I did was I went to my friend group’s Discord server and that I told them there that I’m leaving the server and quitting gaming for good.
Again, I got exceptionally lucky because that’s exactly what I needed. There have been scientific studies done that prove by telling other people your commitment, you are more likely to complete it due to social proof.
Failing to keep your word will bring upon shame, that’s why it’s even more valuable to tell people.
If you want, you could get an accountability partner, although I told the people who would have hated it most. They all called me full of shit (as at this point, I already was trying for 2 years and kept saying it multiple times), but this time was different because I knew it was different since I was going to college.
Once again, I was right on the money.
Step 2: Creating Your Time Plan
Step 2 is all about your plan on how you will spend your time. This could be a job in the first 8 hours, volunteering at a food bank for the next 4 and going to a party for the next 4.
Doesn’t have to be the same stuff every day but has to be something. You need to really think this through. When I ended up quitting gaming for good (about 1 year after I started college and my journey to quit gaming), it was because I took a full-time internship in addition to college. So I basically spent 12 to 15 hours a day working/learning. I literally had no time to do anything else, and that was exactly what I needed
For me, thankfully 1 week before college, I had to run a bunch of errands. Mostly packing, buying stuff, etc that I actually for that entire week didn’t really play. And once I got to college in a completely different city, I was way too preoccupied to even think about gaming.
Not to mention I became the president of 2 college clubs quickly after I joined college to keep myself busy and took on a lot of volunteer work (and joined 2 additional clubs). You don’t have to do exactly what I did, but just keep yourself busy.
That could also be exploring a new city, going to new experiences, reading books or even (but ideally not) watching movies/tv (I’d avoid the last one as I’m sure you probably can subconsciously compartmentalize that mentally with gaming).
I’ve got so busy that I ended up making a physical scrum board (and this was before I even became a certified agile project manager). I didn’t end up using that board too much after making it (mostly because I was procrastinating on the important ‘Doing’ stuff) but it was fun to make and shows how serious I was about turning my life around.
Regardless, I was sticking to my convictions, but I think what really did it for me was not the fact that I just had my convictions (because I had them multiple times over 2 years). Neither do I think it was because I had college to fill my time, as before I had high school to fill my time that I actively avoided before (although personally paying for college over high school is a better incentive to actually attend classes).
Instead, I strongly believe (so much so I’d bet millions on it) that it was the necessary combination of commitment, obligations and a complete environment change that solidified it.
Without any one of these 3 and to this day I probably would have still been gaming. Let’s get more into why that may be in step 3.
Step 3: Changing Everything
Step 3 is honestly the game-changer, what caused me to finally have success after 2 years of failing at trying. Changing everything. Your identity, your location, your environment, your home, your social cues, who you see on a daily basis. EVERYTHING.
For me, this all came to be when I moved into a college residence and cut off my friends completely. Thankfully I never used other social media (besides YouTube, but that doesn’t count in this context) in the first place, so I had nowhere else that was dragging me back to the old.
My dorm room! As you can probably see I even changed my headset. That was only because my cat break the one in the image above, but another change nonetheless 🙂
For you, you may not be able to change everything the way I changed it, but there are some things you can actively do.
- Cutting off your gamer friends.
This one is hard for people, but you must do it. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t cut them out of your life for good. Especially if they start making serious progress, they will unbeknown to them become subconsciously jealous. You will be making the change that they want and can’t make, so they will do what they can to pull you back in. “It’s okay, you can play in moderation”, “We miss you”, “We playing this old game again, join man. Don’t be that guy”, “Remember the good old times”, “Nothing wrong with gaming”, “This is who you are”.I can go on and on with things my old friends told me. In the end, if you are serious about succeeding, you have to make hard choices. If you can’t do that, I recommend you stop reading this article and just accept you will game for the rest of your life. I’m sorry, but that’s just the reality.
- Moving to a new house
If you can, moving to a new house is a massive massive plus. Especially if quitting gaming is something you have been trying to get over for a long time and fail to do so. Moving to a new house will really change your ability to curb your addictions. This doesn’t have to be a permanent move, it could be at the following places:
> Relative’s house (aunt’s, grandparent’s, etc)
> A close friend/family friend’s house
> Your partner’s or significant other’s house
> Vacation and/or vacation home
> Temporarily renting an apartment
For example, if you have a really close friend who doesn’t play games, you can ask him if you can move in for 6+ months as you look to beat this addiction (don’t just ask for 3 months, as you want to have a backup in case of relapses, 6 months to a year is ideal). Be transparent with him and you can even offer to pay rent. The great thing about this is that you are getting an accountability buddy as well who will force you against your will to not game. This could also be a self-improvement buddy where you go for runs and workouts together. Or you could work on a project or business venture together. Moving in with friends is 3 birds with 1 stone. Regardless, just moving anywhere generally for at least 3 months will make this process so much easier.
During one of my relapses, I ended up moving in with one of my non-gamer friends in southern Ontario to work on a business venture and self-development. Every morning at 5 am we would go for a walk, run or biking (in this image we were biking, you can see him to the left). It was beautiful to see the sun rising by the river. You can even see a bridge connecting Canada and the USA. That’s the type of life you can live when escaping video games.
- Finding new things to do in your free time
You could join a new sports club, enroll in after-school classes, take a volunteering opportunity, start a side hustle or purchase a new instrument to learn. Get something, don’t just decide to watch YouTube or TV all day if that’s what you usually did at the same time, or between, gaming sessions. That will just pull you back into gaming. ABSOLUTELY no Twitch (or any live streams) or watching YouTube videos of games. Not to mention no looking at gaming memes whatsoever. And as someone who works in esports, this was hard for me to do, but I still made it work. Even though it’s my job to keep up-to-date with esports titles (like League of Legends, the pain😭). If you can’t do this, I guarantee you that you will relapse (as I did many times as a result).
Overall, you will need to change something or you will relapse easily. The more you change, the better.
Social cues are the leading aspect of what creates bad habits, according to books like Atomic Habits, therefore changing your life, even for a period of time, will destroy bad habits.
That is, obviously, if you have the commitment and other things to take up your time. These 3 things will be your key to mostly stopping. The last 3 steps (5,6,7) will be how to completely stop and never go back.
Step 4: Being Forced to be Productive
As I mentioned prior, when I first wanted to stop gaming, I had the optional obligation of going to college (optional as in if I missed a class or two, it wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, that’s what I did for all of my last semester high school and I ended up alright).
However when I really ended up quitting gaming for good was when I was still attending college in the morning, and working in my internship in the afternoon.
Welcome to the team guys! 🙂 pic.twitter.com/r80Md5UDnE
— Lazarus (@Lazarus) November 7, 2020
Above was the announcement of my internship! At that point onwards was I really when I became incapable to even think about gaming, which was what I needed since I turned to my old environment due to Covid-19.
At this point, in my last year of college, I needed to attend classes (but not like I missed many classes prior to this). After classes, I had no choice but to attend work or get fired.
This continued for 3 months and after the experience, I never even had the slightest desire to check or look at anything related to gaming. This was weird since for the entire last year of me being mostly done with gaming, I still thought about it, occasionally relapsed and had an urge to play.
If you can do anything that forces you to be busy for 3 months straight (6 months if 25+ due to a decrease in neuroplasticity), do it!
Again idk what kind of god planned this for me, but I definitely didn’t intentionally put that together (not to mention it lasted exactly 3 months, what I needed).
Step 5: Creating New Friendships
Even the stoics, the hard of the hard from ancient Rome, had friends. Although they didn’t depend on their friends for happiness, they preached about the value of friends.
And indeed, we are social creatures and most of us aren’t like stoics. We may need to rely on our friends from time to time and to enjoy life further, we’d likely want to share it with friends.
Pick friends that don’t game, people that uplift you and help you grow as a person. This step I’ll leave it to you, but after cutting out your prior friends and curbing your addiction mostly, it’s time to find new and better people to create more of an enriched experience with.
For me, this was mostly about reducing my friend quantity and increasing the quality of my friendships. But for you, it’s now going to be who you desire with the characteristics you want!
Step 6: Hold Ground
This step is all about relapses, something I did way too many times and every time I did I burnt out of school and missed many classes.
The biggest reason you relapse is when you try to introduce friends or games back into your life in what you perceive to be a healthy balance, regardless of if you surpassed the 3-6 month threshold.
This tended to happen before I passed the threshold, trying to still spend some time with “the bois” or just checking in to see how League of Legends changed while trying “just 1 game”.
I ended up deleting this account in addition to my smurf (Kaylefish4). I could have sold my account (I probably spent at least $500 with all the champs and a bunch of BE) but it was more symbolic to delete it as if I was moving on to a new chapter of my life. That feeling of deleting outweighs any money I could have gotten for it.
Every time that happened, I get back into it hard for a few days or even weeks occasionally before someone at college noticed I was missing classes and got my head out of the sand.
I was lucky that I was doing so much at college that I was held accountable to people and couldn’t go AFK for long (AFK from school, I’m just making a bit of a joke :P).
You may not have that luxury, but you do have the luxury of my warning. DON’T TRY TO REINTRODUCE THESE THINGS BACK INTO YOUR LIFE.
MOVE ON WITH LIFE! EVERYONE DOES IT. You have to accept that you will lose things and never be able to experience things again. But that’s just life.
When family dies, you can’t experience their presence again. If your legs broke, you can’t walk again. When you die, you can’t live again. That’s life. Accept it.
Don’t try to bring back old experiences unless you want old results, but know whatever old results you get will be at the cost of new experiences.
I failed to realize that over and over and over and over again. I’m beating on this, bolding and cap-spamming because this is truly a post for old me, and I don’t want others to fall for this trap.
In the image above my college club was having a team-building night, playing Smash (a game I never really played or cared for). In unique situations like these, after you’ve passed the 3 to 6 month threshold, there is nothing wrong with engaging in the social aspect. It’s when you intentionally go out of your way to play is where problems arise. That said, if you decide to not even play in this, I commend you!
I bet most of you will disregard this or think I’m overplaying it. Most of you will try to do what I did, but you will realize you can’t. Heed my warning and learn from my mistakes or fall for them and learn it on your own, the choice is yours.
Step 7: Building Resilience over Temptations
If you followed all the 6 prior steps properly, you should be gaming-free and you are ready to move on with your life. But I don’t want to leave any opportunities for mistakes. Step 6 was exceptionally important, but step 7 will take it to a new level.
Once you are at a point, maybe 6 months to a year since gaming (I had to do this much earlier as I work in esports and need to build resilience so I can work), we need to purposely throw small temptations at you in a very controlled environment to nullify their effects.
What are temptations truly? They are simply cues that lead someone to enact a certain behaviour, typically what we are referring to as an addiction. But a cue only works if you identify the cue and perform the action.
What if you saw a cue and didn’t perform the action.
You can run through some game footage from League of Legends worlds, for example, if you had a LoL problem like I. You could run through some game data, and see their ads. As long as you don’t play after seeing them, you reduce the effectiveness of the temptation (but you can’t remove it outright).
The point with this is not so you can increase your ability to incorporate these back into your life, as I said before you cannot. But instead to simply build resilience to temptations.
That said, it must be done in a very controlled environment where it’s impossible for you to game and never after. That means even if you get over this, don’t go back to watching Twitch again of those games.
Trust me, I’ve done that, it’ll pull you back in.
What could this controlled environment be? Well, it could be an office or classroom (as it was for me). Or it could be with some non-gamer friends who are informed that you want to see temptations without playing.
A key is once you are exposed to these, you want to have an obligation you need to do after (right after and the next day), so nothing can come from it.
This doesn’t have to be a bunch of effort or time, just a bit to cover your bases and build resilience. Once this is set, you are pretty much ready to live your new life.
Conclusion: A Life Without Gaming
No life is truly as good as a life without gaming. Games, like social media, are made to waste your life away for the profit of big business. But indeed life is short. Time is always fleeting.
As the famous ancient philosopher Seneca once said “Unless you seize the day, it flees. Even though you seize it, it still will flee”.
Life is full of amazingness, games were only invented in the 1960s. Don’t lose your life to something that brings so little meaning to it. Explore the world, be the top at your company, read books and truly enjoy the fruits of life with a balanced dopamine level.
Nowadays I’m pushing myself, enjoying my life and doing what I love. In the image above, I’m on an 8km run in the freezing cold with only a t-shirt on. At this very moment, I’m working on my business typing this out to help people like yourself. Life is exciting, there’s so much do to and it all starts with getting your head out of gaming and take back your life! Best of luck readers, I’m rooting for you (send me an email if you are starting on this journey: firstname.lastname@example.org!)