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Video games are a popular pastime for millions of people across the world. They provide a much-needed outlet from the stresses of  life  regardless of whether they are on PC, cell phone, or console. While most people can manage both their gaming life and their home or business life, for others gaming can become all-consuming. 

People retreat into their characters and spend money they can’t afford on loot boxes and microtransactions that aren’t so micro. Gaming is life, but you need to have a healthy relationship with gaming that doesn’t impact your personal or professional life. 

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We’ll examine ways you can help decrease your dependence on video games and enhance your life. 

What is Video Game addiction? 

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It’s not unheard of for gamers to spend many hours a day on their favorite game. They have fun and can talk to their friends via chat. When does video gaming go from a harmless hobby to an addictive obsession?

It’s not necessarily how much time you spend video gaming, but how that time cuts into your professional life and relationships. If you miss work because you can’t stop or ignore your significant other, spouse, or family, then you might be addicted to video games. 

Many people spend money on DLC and microtransactions, but if the money goes to video games instead of paying bills or purchasing necessities, then you might have a problem. 

While spending time on video games is normal, if you’re losing sleep and impacting your health, you need to seek help for a possible addiction. 

If you have any of these problems, then your video game hobby may have transcended into an addiction. We’ll examine how you can balance your gaming with life. 

Develop a routine you can stick with 

The problem with gaming is often you do it whenever you have free time and then it extends far beyond it. You might want to spend a few hours playing your favorite RPG, but two hours turns to ten before you know it. 

You need to create a routine for your day and night that you promise to stick to. Plan your days including the weekends, so you have time for socializing, working, studying, and gaming. If you lose track of time, then set an alarm on your phone so that it goes off when it’s time to go. 

If you follow your routine, then you will always have time for all parts of your life including gaming. If something comes up suddenly and you need to change your day, remember that gaming is a fun activity and not something you have to do. 

Take breaks during gameplay 

People don’t always have the willpower to walk away from a videogame. It could be peer pressure caused by friends online or you’re so deep into a game that the rest of the world fades away. This is how people miss classes, appointments, and other activities because they don’t realize how much time has passed. 

One way to help this is to take periodic breaks during game sessions. Tell yourself that you’ll take a break every hour and make some food or do some other activity. It helps if you have a few clocks around so you can look and know how much time has passed. 

Don’t work or study where you play game 

The pull of that console or PC is always there if you’re working or studying where you normally game. If you have your gaming console in the living room, then study or work in your bedroom. 

It’s important to have the right environment for your activity. It’s easy to get distracted by your roommates playing games in the living room. We all know that studying or working isn’t as much fun as gaming, but they need to be done. 

Stay away from gaming equipment to focus on what you need. If the gaming system is out of sight, then it’s out of mind. 

Gaming is life, But keep personal relationships 

One of the best aspects of gaming is the ability to talk with people worldwide. You may know some but many are strangers that become friends over time. 

While these online friends are no less important than the ones in real life, you also need in-person friends as well. Online friends may have your back in Call of Duty, but they likely can’t help you if you’ve suffered a breakup or failed a test. 

Therefore, you need people you can talk to face-to-face. It may be tempting to avoid your problems by immersing yourself in the gaming world, but that world isn’t real and once you shut the game down, your problems are still there. 

If you have a problem tearing away from the gaming world, contact a professional therapist to help you through the addiction and get your life back on track. 

Have a gaming budget 

Microtransactions and rising gaming prices cause many gamers to go into  severe debt. Gamers spend hundreds of dollars on exclusive content to help give them an edge when gaming. It could be a special weapon or an exclusive character you can’t get anywhere else. 

Games purposely make it difficult to get these characters, so people keep spending money on chances to get it. If you spend more money on gaming than you can afford, set up a monthly or weekly budget and stick to it. 

Don’t make the purchases spur of the moment decisions and instead plan them around your budget. 

You can also focus your spending on a single game instead of several. Those small transactions can add up fast if you’re playing 10 different games. Don’t sacrifice money for outside adventures as well. Keep some money behind to go out with friends or for a trip down the road.

Cut out time-consuming games 

Games such as massive online role-playing games like World of Warcraft or co-op games like Fortnight have no time limit. They will never end. You can play them for hours or days.

There are many other games that you can finish in a day or spend a few hours on and quit. If you have a game controlling your life, stop playing it and find something less time-consuming. 

It doesn’t even have to be another video game. You can learn a hobby, read a book or spend more time with friends. 

Video games and relationships can be tricky, so make time for both by removing time-consuming games from the equation. 

Develop and maintain priorities 

Life goes on regardless if you’re spending all your time playing video games. The power company still wants their money, and your children want to spend time with their parents. You need to make a list of priorities and make sure gaming is not near the top of the list. 

If your child needs food or your need to go to work, then they need to be your top priorities. Gaming is meant to be a relaxing pastime, not a reason to neglect family and children. 

Take advantage of limiting programs 

People understand that gaming addiction is real and impacts people all over the world. There are programs you can use that limit the amount of time you can spend gaming on your computer. 

These will cut you off and not let you back on again until a set amount of time passes.  

Don’t be a completionist 

Developers know that people don’t want just to play and game and beat it. They’re spending $60 or more on the game and they want replay value. They put in secret levels, special weapons, and other quests that you can go and complete outside of the main story or after the game is completed. 

If your goal is to get 100 percent completion on the game, then it draws out the time you play it. Instead of looking for every Easter egg or secret boss, just play the main story and be done with the game. 

This keeps you from spending countless hours going from one area of the map to the other looking for something small and inconsequential. 

Visit gaming events and conventions 

The biggest problem with video gaming is the endless hours in front of a television without any interaction with others. You’re living a fantasy life. 

There is a great way to get your gaming fix and some socialization. You and a few friends take a trip to a gaming event or convention. You’ll be surrounded by the games you love and by people who are just like you. 

Gaming can be a healthy pastime 

Gaming is life and can be a healthy and fun pastime, but only if you’re able to balance it with the other commitments of your life. Follow these tips and you should be able to develop a work-life balance that leaves you time for your favorite games. 

If you want to learn more about gaming addiction, please explore our site. 

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