Embarrassing amount of video gaming


I want to quit computer games. I have decreased the amount of games I play recently but I want to almost quit entirely. This is an embarrassment to admit, but in the past 3 years I have played a total of 3200 hours of games, with about 2/3 of that in the past 2 years. For the older generation, that probably sounds like I’m a severe addict, but to my current generation I think that’s just the definition of ‘gamer’.

That is 4.59 hours average a day on the computer playing games for the past 2 years. It is woefully embarrassing.

Any suggestions on how to quit completely?

Speaking from experience, you need to delete the games and find a replacement activity. Try blogging, or studying apologetics. You can get free MP3s from John Martignoni’s site, Bible Christian Society. Listen to one of his talks instead of gaming. They talks can be very engaging and can help you think about something else.

I like to blog because it satisfies the urge to be on the computer. I had to delete the games because I couldn’t have then on the computer and not play them. It was very hard, but worth it.


I fight this behavior as well. It’s not as addictive for me as you seem to describe yourself, however, gaming is a form of recreation that, as with other forms of play, can be abused.

Now, play is necessary. Funny–my college degree is in recreation and parks administration: Play. We need a re-creative process to help us unwind from stress, to not think about challenges directly. When used properly, play can allow your subconscious to “background process” tasks to do for a later time. When used improperly, play becomes escapism. My avatar, of Morpheus from “The Matrix,” exemplifies my behavior in the opposite until lately. The pressures of a wedding, the death of my mother, a custody battle, tax filings–all of these pressures were becoming too much and I began gaming far too much, hiding from the tasks I needed to do.

Today, things are better, but there’s always the shadow.

My advice:

  1. Remember that the virtual world is not of God. You have real things to do, with real people, in the real world. Don’t be a “blue pill” and succumb to the pleasures of a virtual world where you don’t eat, sleep, or confront real problems.

  2. Set a specific date and time where you can game. You shouldn’t try to stop “cold turkey.” If you give yourself a schedule, you know to play only on these times, leaving time for chores and social activity (voice chat in a game is not social activity). Further, it gives you a sense of anticipation as you do the work you need to do before sitting down.

  3. Replace gaming time with a new hobby. I know that gameplay does very little to help your physical health. Buy a bike. Take a walk. For every hour you game, try to find at least 3 hours of physical activity. If you cannot find that time per day, you shouldn’t game until you do that work.

  4. Use the resources of your parish. Speak to your priest. You may want to go to confession as too much gaming could be considered sloth, a mortal sin.

  5. Always remember that you have something better to do before you sit down to game.

See you in the real world. :slight_smile:

Wow, and I thought I was bad with my 2 hours in the evening a few times a week, and then some on the weekends. I do some gaming to help save money…it’s something to do besides the other things I do that doesn’t cost me any extra since I don’t go out and buy games regularly. I just play the same ones that keep me entertained for the long run.

How I keep my hours down on the games is I find other things that I enjoy doing too. This gets me off the games and doing those other activities…reading, going on walks, activities with my children (like fishing, playing a board game), watching a movie, spending some time with friends and family. You don’t have to give up gaming all together, you just need to find ways to limit the number of hours you spend on it by finding other things you enjoy doing too. There has to be other things you’d rather do then sit on a video game for 4-5 hours.

My problem wiht some games is that they distract me from my duties. I’ll sometimes be sitting in Mass and start thinking about a certain game. It’s really annoying. Such was the case between me and Fallout:New Vegas. It’s a fun game, but for the several months I played it, I always felt like I was holding out on God.

I was there too. What I did at the time was I prayed and reflected and ultimately I donated my entire home pc system to Catholic Charities. Time away helped me a overcome my gaming addiction.

I now have a home computer once again (ironically I work In the IT field) and I feel confident I am able to join real life friends for online gaming fun without going overboard. Based on my experience I now know if it gets to be too much I can always step away.


Thanks for the suggestions all!

Let me just say something: I game when I am bored. I am almost always bored. I am a teenager, and my parents are always working. I’m often home by myself for very long periods of time. The other day, I went to stay at my grandparents for a while. They don’t own a computer and I didn’t even think about gaming the entire time. There was always something to do, and there were people to talk to, etc. When I’m at home, I practically live by myself, with no one to socialise with. A lot of the time I game to socialise with others on the internet, I play on-line video games. My main friends have girlfriends and spend all their time with them, I try to live as best Catholic as I can by not involving myself with such things. Each Sunday is my favourite time of the week, when I go to Mass, which afterwards I get to talk to the community. As I said before, I don’t game because it’s an addiction, or because I lack social skills to build friendships, I game because there’s nothing else to do, and I would rather not spend all my time doing homework. If I am invited out or am invited to church at any time in the week, I’m very happy. Sorry If I just sound like a miserable sob, I just wish there was plenty more activities at my parish or perhaps some sort of ‘community group’. That would give me plenty more things to do in my spare time. Thanks!

No problem! Based on how you described yourself, we can only rightly accuse you of being young and a bit of a geek. :slight_smile: That said, you’re aware that socialization on the internet (or over texting, Twitter, etc.) can’t substitute for the real thing.

To be Catholic is to be directly interactive with others. It sounds like you’re trying to avoid the distasteful or sinful things that teenagers might be tempted in doing, and that’s good. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater; not all boy-girl interactions are fated for bad. Your church may have youth groups–do continue to search for them, or check with your diocese. Your school may have clubs and other groups. Any group that has adults as official guides, proctors and the like to keep the wayward in line should be fine to attend.

As far as other things to do, I’m betting you’re smarter than the average bear. Ever consider a good book? :slight_smile: Or, even writing one. Or, even learning to program to make your own software or games? The list goes on, but it’s good that you’re aware of your problem and are trying to fight it. Don’t give up. God bless.

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