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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: How to Tell You're Addicted to Games

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16277

OP  11/06/12 7:10:24 AM#1

Game addiction is something that is a new phenomenon in the world since the birth of the Internet. It's a serious issue with some very clear markers. We take a look at some of the common sense ways that we believe addiction shows. Read on and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.

For quite a few of us, video game addiction is something that has crossed our mind a few times, if not several times. Whether it was a friend, family member, or even us that were actually addicted is left to be divulged. In fact, if you were the one that was addicted, the only reason it crossed your mind is likely because you had friends and family trying to perform interventions, some of which may have succeeded, others which probably did not. For those of us who cannot spot addiction, this article is basically going to be seven easy (but not scientific by any means) ways to tell if you, or someone you know, is addicted to a video game.

Read more of Hillary Nicole's Pokket Says: How to Tell You're Addicted to Games.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


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Joined: 6/02/09
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11/06/12 4:14:09 PM#2
Dyeing your hair blue could be another one.

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Joined: 6/11/12
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11/06/12 4:23:50 PM#3
Goof fday

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11/06/12 4:23:58 PM#4
Lol lachy leave pokket alone

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11/06/12 4:37:08 PM#5
Originally posted by LachyFTW
Dyeing your hair blue could be another one.

Actually gaming addiction is something very serious issue which (at least by my local government) isn't recognized. I know someone who got (clinical) help for this issue and doesn't game anymore aside from a gamecube mario game with friends from time to time. The problem is he, as a student with parents that didn't have a big budget as well, had to get quite some debts to afford going to the clinic. It did help him and he doesn't mind now, but at the time it was actually a big thing for him to admit it and then to have to facing harsh financial consequences whilst trying to get out of any addiction is something I don't wish anyone.

Other than that it might be good to once in a while take a good look at yourself. I have had the same problem, but not that bad, a few years ago. I missed classes and spent more money than I should've on a game I was playing. At a certain moment I was just done with the game (a certain feeling) and I looked back and wanted to slap myself in the face quite hard... Anyway, it helped me realize it's very easy to succumb to something like a gaming addiction and it might help to take a reflective look once in a while, especially when someone mentions anything like that (which I disregarded for 2 years myself, yes, it lasts that long)...

To close off I think there are some indicators that are left out:

  1. First of is procrastination. Do you feel like you could play games and push that study/work closer to the deadline? That's human. But when you really have to get started, but decide to go play a game another 8-10 hours a day (yes, log it, it happens more often than you think) I'd advise to take a good look at yourself.
  2. Social situation. When gaming, you could potentially be spending the night in town or with friends. Going gaming isn't really a bad thing to do, but when you're spending 6 or 7 nights a week gaming and not talking to anyone face to face, or as little as possible, you are probably not keeping up with friends/family/people in your house (if any). Try to limit it a bit and don't care that much about the raid boss going down, but drinking something with a friend. Does that mean you have to go out to clubs and whatnot? No, there's plenty of other stuff to do. Pick up hiking :)
  3. Another thing to do is to say: I can go days/weeks without gaming. This is true for a lot of people, even addicts, but that doesn't mean you're not wondering how the game is doing, how the people in the game are doing and how you could be spending your time in-game. Also it's mostly because when you do that you start filling your days with activities to keep busy. Try taking the night off gaming and read a book near your computer and if you really have no urge to start up the game (must be a good book and you must enjoy reading of course) then it's a good thing. Same goes for studying/working/conversing/any activity other than gaming and having thoughts of the game at a time you'd normally be gaming (your gaming hours), you'd consider doing some research on game addiction.
  4. Last point is something I found to be quite shocking when I noticed it on myself. During a lot of activities I wanted to multitask. Whilst this might be a good thing and a skill I got from gaming, I started to watch tv/series/eat whilst gaming. Even when watching a movie and hitting a dull moment I was thinking about grabbing my laptop and start up a game at the same time. It's impossible to watch a movie (not losely follow it) and game at the same time, it's a sign (once again) of not being able to get the game out of your head, which means a sign of addiction.
I hope this long story/rant/wall of text is or will be useful to someone someday. If not, at least it felt good to type under internet anonymity

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy
And for MMORPGs ever so true...


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Joined: 12/07/05
Posts: 237

Really Uncle Bugs?

Spirit of Fair Play is slain by Online Community!

11/06/12 4:45:16 PM#6
Originally posted by LachyFTW
Dyeing your hair blue could be another one.

Nah, that's a good sign, as it's a non-game activity.  ANYthing that takes away from playing time is bad when you are truly addicted, so real hairstyling and fashion would take a back seat to in-game hairstyling and fashion.  If you can walk away from the computer to work on your Night Elf getup, there's still hope and you aren't too far down the rabbit hole.

Avatars are people too


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Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3718

11/06/12 5:27:42 PM#7
     Im glad I got all of my schooling done before gaming became really big...I knwo I would have struggled to have got my homework done with the amount of games there are today.

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11/06/12 5:29:59 PM#8
People say gaming is a waste of time, I having fun right? BAM ROASTED!

Uhh... what?


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11/06/12 6:03:24 PM#9

thank you captain obvious



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11/06/12 6:10:30 PM#10
Technically, computer games are more of an escapism than an addiction (addiction normally requires a psychoactive drug). Nevertheless, serious consequences are very possible with computer games, so I'm not belittling this issue.

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Posts: 787

11/06/12 6:16:46 PM#11
Originally posted by Mors.Magne
Technically, computer games are more of an escapism than an addiction (addiction normally requires a psychoactive drug). Nevertheless, serious consequences are very possible with computer games, so I'm not belittling this issue.

People are also addicted to gambling. So nope one doesn't need to be on some ^sychoactive drug.

Gaming addiction is serious issue. I have been through this when i was in college. Now i have much better control of my life and gaming hours.


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Celebrated pariah of

11/06/12 6:30:54 PM#12

I'm addicted to so much stuff.. You could write one of these for every one of them.. Though even as I have addictions, I have not gone as far as to let them harm anyone or remove anything from my life that I wasn't content with losing..

But addiction can be a positive force as well. It is the motivation, sometimes the spark to life.. Sometimes society craps on us, my gaming addiction allows me to step out of that world. Allows me to step back and breathe a bit.. My gaming addiction has actually saved lives (in my opinion), the media may not be able to show it and I am sure no one can predict it, but I bet that there have been plenty cases like mine where you have this very real vengeful idea that you put to rest because you get lost in a video game.. You forget how mad you really were and then you sleep it off..

Instead of finding ways to alienate those for enjoying themselves too much with the things they do in life, why not find ways of turning those sessions into something postive to their health (mental health obviously), you really can't (and shouldn't) interfere with someone who decides to harm themselves over an addiction.

- Lord Chesterfield <span bqquotelink"="">



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Oops - looks like I'm an internet dog who somehow learned how to type. What has the world come to?

11/06/12 6:31:28 PM#13
I don't get addicted... I just acquire new special interests...

I'm a big ol' fluffy carewolf. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


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11/06/12 6:59:47 PM#14
bleh who cares fi your addicted or not. i rather be addicted like i am and live in fantasy than dealing with the problems going around me at home. i just stay in my room all day everyday avoiding my family the fights none stop. and yes i admit im addicted to computer games. i take maybe 3-4 showers a week eat maybe 2-5 days a week play for about 13-39 hours straight. and when i sleep i think bout games i never turn off my computer. when i go to bed i trun on a bot to keep gridning and farming for me. but thats just me i really dont care what people think of me. i can tell you one thing that triggered this change in me. i started getting into games when i found out my fiance was cheating on me and i pretty much went into depression and i am now happily in my little 8x10 room with my 3 computers and my bed and no windows. feels great!!!

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/12
Posts: 7

11/06/12 7:03:47 PM#15
Real life always comes second to my video games.... Sorry friends, family, anyone else who I don't notice due to my addictions, but you're just going to have to take a backseat in my life. Maybe we can get to know eachother when we're dead? 

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Joined: 3/06/04
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"I'm your Huckleberry!"

11/06/12 7:06:59 PM#16
I'm not addicted... though I am calling in sick tomorrow to play.

Loved UO, EQ, EQ2, Daoc, CoH, Vanguard, Lotro, SWTOR, WOW... looking forward to Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen!


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Joined: 1/17/12
Posts: 6

11/06/12 7:45:02 PM#17
Can you get addicted to chess? Someone pleas help Kasparov! Maybe bridge, i hear People stay up all night "grinding" that stuff. I think, yes there is such a thing as to much games. But then there really is to much of everything today. I mean ffs have you people seen commuters today, faces buried in their phones. No wonder we need escape either. I bet most ppl that dont game fill that time slot with facebook and tv instead. I dont really see the diffrence. ;)

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 5294

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

11/06/12 7:48:03 PM#18
finding yourself having fun in any activity in life can be a sign of addiction. Fun is very addictive.


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Posts: 700

11/06/12 7:55:36 PM#19
Fuck im addicted.Nice article nicole.I have to stop playing games immediatly.

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11/06/12 8:02:32 PM#20
Originally posted by dualheart87
bleh who cares fi your addicted or not. i rather be addicted like i am and live in fantasy than dealing with the problems going around me at home. i just stay in my room all day everyday avoiding my family the fights none stop. and yes i admit im addicted to computer games. i take maybe 3-4 showers a week eat maybe 2-5 days a week play for about 13-39 hours straight. and when i sleep i think bout games i never turn off my computer. when i go to bed i trun on a bot to keep gridning and farming for me. but thats just me i really dont care what people think of me. i can tell you one thing that triggered this change in me. i started getting into games when i found out my fiance was cheating on me and i pretty much went into depression and i am now happily in my little 8x10 room with my 3 computers and my bed and no windows. feels great!!!

o.O that is probably unhealthy, but its your life.

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