Lately, gaming addiction was described by the World Health Organisation as a mental disorder. Here’s my story and my thoughts.
My first experience with gaming started when my father got me a PlayStation 1. At the time I used to do lots of exercise and it never held me back from being human. That changed going forward but I’m getting way ahead of myself.
It was clear to me that I loved gaming as I still do, but the tendency around it changed with my general well-being and mental state.
At around 15, I got my first PC, I used it for school but mostly for play. I remember finishing my first ever game, it was called ‘Beyond Good and Evil’. Incidentally, quite recently they released a sequel to the game that I haven’t checked out yet.
Anyhow, started feeling depressed around the time I stopped being physically active. Everything started to crumble. My parents were all the time fighting. School was becoming more difficult and less fun. Friendships started to dwindle, and my brain was longing for something to lose itself in and forget the horrible present. All this happened between the ages of 18 to 21 years old.
I started playing online. Oh boy, if I played. By that time, many people got totally into World of Warcraft, but I got introduced to Knight Online by a good friend of mine. I used to play until my shoulder hurt. At night, I pressed keys till I literally dosed off, amazingly still pressing keyboard keys to farm and gain in-game experience.
I was hooked and with time I became better and better at the game. Looking for guides on how to improve, practicing my skill orders and abilities. You name it, and I’ve done it. I even spent hundreds of euros on in-game gear and premium subscriptions.
At the time, it was the only thing I could latch onto that actually made me feel good. The only place where I forgot everything and just enjoy the moment.
I used to count the minutes left until I sat down in-front of my computer. I dreamt about the game even when I was out in the open world. Ended up even turning down invitations to go out. Played the game every second I had spare. I was properly addicted, but also in the worst mental state of my life.
Then I dropped out of school, and started working. Things between my parents, slowly, kind of got better. I rekindled with old friends and made new. Slowly, I started feeling better. For a looong while, I completely forgot the world of online gaming.
Well, I theorise it’s not plain coincidence. My theory to explain all of this is that addiction is there to replace or keep out all the negative feelings that a person has. Be it insecurity, the need to feel part of a group, or else to give you that good feeling that naive happiness gives.
Gambling or Gaming can inject you with ‘feel good hormones’, when life tries to bring you down. It will fix you; more like patch you up.
Human connection is a key component of your feel good state, don’t ever underestimate it. Partners, friends and family are all important for your well-being, even though some of them might turn out mouldy, we all need a dose of human touch.
My idea got reconfirmed after watching this video, which you should watch too:
After watching the news, that reported video-game addiction being classified as a disorder, my past flashed in-front of my eyes. Doctors might be tackling the symptom and not the disease.
Even though I call it as something of the past, it still lurks in the dark. I still feel like diving into some gameplay as I type this post, even if I have to walk up in five or so hours. Yet, I can easily control it.
You would think that I’ve grown up and get thrills out of other things nowadays. Honestly, I find more satisfaction ending a game with a victory, than most of the things I do, day in, day out.
Maybe, I still seek the thrill that I’m missing in my old repetitive life.
Do you think gaming addiction is a real problem?
Did you ever face any sort of addiction, big or small you want to share?
Let’s talk in the comments down below 🙂