Gaming is one of the most lovable pastimes in the modern world. In America, it’s estimated that 4 out of every 5 households own some type of video game console.
That’s a whole lot of gamers. With the Pokemon Go phenomenon (and others like it), this number will only skyrocket. That’s all well and good…but let’s get real here:
A lot of people play WAY TOO many video games.
When you’re neglecting personal responsibilities and playing for massive chunks of time… then you have a problem. Video game addiction is a very real thing.
Unless you’re a professional gamer or planning on being a game developer, you have no real reason to play for so long.
If you want to take your life to the next level, you’re going to need to stop playing so many video games (I’m speaking from personal experience here as a former gamer).
Here’s 20 super solid reasons to massively cut back your time on video games and start taking charge of your life. If these don’t convince you, nothing will.
Let’s start with how it will negatively impact your life.
1. Waste of time
Two hours here…two hours there… A metric ton of time down the black hole. Where does it go? Who knows, bro. Not into anything productive, that’s for sure. Again, if you’re a professional gamer – this is fine. If you’re reading this, you most likely aren’t, so…
2. Waste of money
Video games are madly expensive. Consoles…controllers…games…accessories… all of that stuff adds up in the long run. What if you were able to use that money to buy life changing books instead? What would your life look like a year from now? Five years from now?
3. Low return on investment
For the time that you’re putting into a video game…how much are you getting back out of it? Sure, you’re getting pleasure… but what about real and lasting enjoyment?
You know…the type of enjoyment that comes from accomplishing real life goals? There’s nothing worse than putting a ton of time into something and having nothing to show for it.
4. Accomplishes nothing in the real world
Video games are a form of escapism into a fantasy reality.
You’re levelling up, you’re destroying all these bad bosses…but what about those dishes in the sink? What about that credit card bill? What are you doing to fix those? If you’re spending a lot of time in Fantasy-land… nothing much.
5. Social isolation
With the explosion of online gaming, we now have the ability to play with anyone in the entire world. When this first came out, I was stunned by the possibilities. I thought it was awesome. You’re connecting with people all over the globe to form teams, clans, etc.
Awesome, right? Well…kinda. Online gaming creates the illusion of being social much like social media does. There’s nothing wrong with playing online, but if you’re substituting that for real life interaction – sound the alarms.
6. Skewed sense of reality
Don’t want to see a cutscene? Hit “Start” or “X”. Want to breeze past this level? Put in the cheats for God Mode. Unfortunately, it’s not that way in real life. You can’t put in a code to unlock “overnight millionaire” or to have an attractive woman show up at your doorstep.
7. Detracts from goals
As humans, we are goal-seeking organisms by nature. We want to accomplish things. When you play a lot of video games, this desire is sublimated into achieving things in the game. You lose your desire to accomplish things outside a game.
8. Pleasure hijacker
In my experience, video games are incredibly stimulating. That’s why they’re so easy to become addicted to. They short circuit the reward center in the brain. Finish a level?
A nice hit of dopamine for you. Ah… so nice…. Until it’s not.
You need more and more stimulation. More levels to unlock. More multiplayer games to win. So many easy hits of dopamine. Why bother reading a book? Why bother studying for that test? It doesn’t offer any instant reward!
When you play a game, you can get it right now. This is a problem because success from achieving goals in real life doesn’t usually offer a massive hit of dopamine. As a result, you become less stimulated and more impatient. The end result is you giving up.
9. False sense of completion
You won a round of Call of Duty. Hooray. But your room’s still a pigsty. You haven’t taken out the trash. You haven’t gotten that promotion you should have gotten. Where’s the real value here?
10. Failure to resolve conflicts
The amount of people who talk shit online is absurd. Would they say that to your face? Probably not. A lot of the really hardcore gamers who talk shit are people who would scuttle away like a hermit crab in the face of a real fight.
Calling someone a “fag” on the Internet doesn’t make you tough, it shows a lack of emotional and social intelligence. Try calling the guy who cuts in front of you in line at the bar a “fag” and see what he has to say about it.
Procrastination is the leech of all hopes and dreams.
If you think it won’t catch up with you – it will. When you play massive amounts of video games, you can be sure that you’re procrastinating on something. Things you haven’t done…conversations you haven’t had… it all adds up. Over time, this leads to disaster.
12. Irrational fear
This one’s a bit harder to put into words.
The best way to describe it is “social anxiety”. When you’re in your warm little cocoon all day, you’ll find it hard to be social and when you do get into social interactions, they get kind of…awkward.
You start to become stuck in your head and its harder to make an organic connection that way.
13. Physical fitness
Without your health, you’re nothing. How healthy is it to snack on Cheetos while sitting on a damn couch for hours on end?
Going to the gym and being physically active is one of the best things you can do for yourself. We are made for physical activity. Run, lift weights, swim…whatever you do – just do something.
This goes in hand with the last one. I’ve personally noticed that when I’ve been physically inactive, I tend to want to write off the rest of the day. When I’m physically active, I generate even more energy.
Whatever stays at rest tends to remain in rest unless acted upon by an outside force. The same goes with you.
15. Lack of discovery
We live in a vast world. There’s places to go, people to meet, things to do. If you stay inside all day, you’re missing most of it. Most importantly, you’re missing the most important discovery of all – yourself.
How will you “know thyself” and what you’re capable of if you’ve been spending it gazing into a screen?
Answer: you won’t.
With the negatives out of the way, let’s talk about the positives.
16. Improved relationships
You’re not going to build a great friendship or romantic relationship with someone through a console. You only do that through real life interactions. You can definitely meet people and talk to them over the web, but face to face is a whole different kettle of fish.
17. Renewed interest in other things
When you put the controller down, you’ll see that you’ve been missing out on a lot. Great books, great social activities, things that can actually enhance you as a person in the real world. Excessive gaming usually fills a massive void.
With that void present again, you’re free to fill it up with all kinds of other hobbies and interests.
18. Redirection of intensity
The desire to climb to the top of the leader-boards now has now become for the burning desire to climb to the top of your career, your interests, etc. Once you find a goal that really spurs you on, you’ll want to dig deep and see where it leads.
19. Real time goal setting
You no longer have the shallow goal of being number one in death match or crushing endless amounts of noobs. You instead have the desire to set actual goals that will make a difference in your bank account, your quality of life, and ultimately your happiness.
20. More time
You’ll have more time in the day to accomplish things. This alone is worth the price of admission.
Once you get a taste of what’s out there, sitting down and playing video games becomes incredibly boring. You’ll be so used to your new life that you see you’ll have no use for it. Then, you end up selling it or giving it away – creating more room for other hobbies.
So again, if you find yourself playing a lot of games… I’d ask you to take a hard look at your life and see if you’re using it in an attempt to compensate for some lack. If you find it hard to cut your time down, just start with cutting it by 30 minutes a day.
Reduce it another 30 minutes the next week. Then see if you can go a week without it at all. It’s worth trying…
Do you play a lot of video games? Leave a comment below.
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