Growing up during the Great Console Wars of the late 1980′s and 1990′s, I recall having a great fondness for various types of video-games. I grew up as a devoted Nintendo fan and loved games that took you on a grand quests. Legend of Zelda, Secret of Mana, and Chrono Trigger expanded my love for games that, like a book, made you part of a journey to discover yourself little by little.
The love for adventure later transferred to Xbox and Playstation games that brought visually appealing cinematic features into gaming. Rather than playing games for briefly 30 minutes, I became caught up in the cinematic and gaming mechanics that draw you in even further. Halo and Final Fantasy games expanded the number of people that I could interact with and share the same fondness of gaming with.
But was I addicted to such an entertaining gaming life lifestyle? In a sense, I might have been. There were times when I would constantly distract myself in 3rd grade math and obsessively think how to successfully clear Metal Man’s stage in Megaman 2 or cut down the time to complete Super Metroid. Or find better ways to farm money and get more XP in Borderlands playing solo or with my friends. Or obsess about designing the best and fastest sniper mech in Armor Core 4.
Then I asked myself, “Was I playing too much? Did I obsess about clearing stages or getting achievements without any care about my personal health or welfare? Did I play video games to avoid negative feelings or lie to others how much I’m actually playing?”
The answer was… Yes.
What I realized was that I needed a balance between the gaming world and real life. It became an issue when the gaming world started to dominate how I interacted with others in real life. Correcting this issue for me needed to come through taking personal responsibility and making a dedication-but different methods work for different people. Over the past few years I have been able to help people work through their video game addiction and get to the root of the underlying issues.
If you or someone you know is stuck in this loop and wants to learn more about how to overcome video game addiction, please contact our office to set up an appointment with Kris Rouse.
- Kris Rouse, LMHC-A