We talked about gaming addiction on a past podcast but I want to tell you about my two experiences with addiction. The first time was when gaming on a PC was becoming popular, around 2001 or 2002. The first PC game I played was Ultima Online. It was an online role-playing game. You could make a character that was a fighter or used spells. At first I didn't like it but the more I played it the more I got hooked.
You could build a house and put stuff in it, you fought monsters and could get some really good loot off of them, and you could make potions and rack up some good money. I played that game a lot. I was hooked. I thought about the game when I wasn't playing it, when I was playing it nothing else mattered. I played for hours at a time. Then one day I looked at my daughter, who was around 2 at the time playing by herself and I was like what the heck am I doing? I'm missing out on so much and for what a stupid game with fake money and loot? So I cut back to maybe once a week then I stopped completely.
The second time was this past summer. Someone talked me into getting Grand Theft Auto 5. I got it in February and played casually until they brought out the heists and I joined a crew that did that almost every night. I was once again hooked on a game. I thought since my daughter was older that she wouldn't care or that it wouldn't affect her. Boy was I wrong. We got into so many arguments. She would wait until I got on the game to want to talk to me or to take her to the store. Didn't realize at the time that it was her way of saying something without actually saying it.
It also began to affect my relationship with Jay.
Even though he was the one that talked me into getting the game I wasn't playing it with him and I would be playing with the other crew. Since he lived in another state that was taking time away from us talking and it caused a lot of arguments. He came to visit for a week in September and we spent that week together and we played no video games. After he went back I didn't get back on the game like that. I still play the games casually but nowhere near the amount I used to. I hate the fact that I can get so easily addicted and that it takes hurting and arguing with the people I love to see what I'm doing and what it does to them.
So if you're reading this and it sounds like you, get off the computer, the Xbox, the PS4 or whatever system you're playing on. Take your kids to the zoo, the park, or just sit down and have a conversation with them. Before you know it yours kids are grown. Make memories before it's too late cause you won't get that time back.