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Am I a video gaming addict? Only you can answer this question. We use the term gaming addict to describe our condition of having an obsession and compulsion to game, which grows worse over time, and an inability to limit our gaming, despite all the trouble and losses it causes. The following self test should give you some food for thought and act as a guide to judge your own situation.
- Do you often re-live gaming experiences or think about future ones?
- Do you hide or lie about your gaming?
- Do you get very angry when someone or something interrupts a game?
- Have you ever taken a break from gaming and binged uncontrollably upon your return?
- When upset, do you soothe yourself with games or plans to game?
- Do you find yourself gaming in the early morning?
- Do you find ways to game when away from home?
- Do you set limits with gaming and then break them, playing hours longer than intended?
- Do you lose hours of sleep to gaming?
- Have you called in sick or late to work or skipped classes to game?
- Have you sworn off a game, uninstalled it, and later returned to it?
- Do you feel guilt and shame around your gaming?
- Does gaming contribute to arguments in your relationships?
- Has gaming taken the place of any hobbies or sports you used to enjoy?
- Do you forget appointments, responsibilities or deadlines in work or school when gaming?
- Do you become irritated and defensive when people suggest you might be gaming too much?
- Have your hours spent gaming increased over time?
- Do you blow off social events to game?
- Have you lost contact with friends and family since gaming?
- Do you have intense feelings (highs, lows, anger, fear) while gaming?
Most of us who now identify as gaming addicts answer yes to many of these questions. If you have answered yes to several of them, you might consider how much you have in common with us and consider experimenting with the solutions that have worked well for us.
You might consider these additional questions while thinking about any obsessive and compulsive behavior you might have around gaming and its effects on your life. Many of us have answered yes to many of these questions.
- Do you eat while gaming or forget to eat while gaming?
- Are most of your friends gamers?
- Are gaming stories one of the most exciting topics of conversation for you?
- Do you read many game-related guides and articles?
- Do you fear a life without gaming?
- Do you feel irritable and restless when away from the games for some days?
- Do you envy people who can game in moderation?
- Do you prefer your game character identity to your own?
- Have you stolen money for gaming?
- Do you think your life might be much better without games?
- Do you find yourself bored with most everything else in life?
- Have you put spending on games ahead of your financial responsibilities?
- Have you gained weight since becoming a gamer?
- Have you felt remorse after a gaming binge?
- Have you suffered any physical pains from intense gaming?
- Have you suffered more financial problems since obsessively gaming?
- When you want to spend time with friends, do you invite them to game?
- Do you spend real money in-game?
- Do you get angry and insulting with other players who make mistakes?
- Have you tried limiting game time by switching games?
- Are the people in your life worried by your gaming?
Compulsive gaming is a condition that strikes both adults and children, sometimes at a young age and sometimes later in life. Like other addictions, it does not discriminate based on age, educational level, race or ethnicity.