Today my guest on the podcast Roman Gelperin and we go inside gaming addiction. Roman finds this addiction very psychologically interesting and he lives humans are made to get addicted to things. He spent most of his childhood playing video games than in adult life he found himself binging and becoming addicted to video games. It got to the point when he would spend weeks and months straight playing.
His video game addiction had lots of negative impact on his life. But he was addicted because of the endorphins and please he got in his brain. This is what the video game designers intend by using various game dynamics to get and keep you hooked into the matrix. The more you play the games the more you want to play them and the cycle goes on and on.
But Roman found himself getting groggy and video game hangovers so the payoff decreased. He also found himself in a cycle of pleasure and shame, he would feel please when he played and binged the video games but once the gun was over he would feel shame and guilt. This is because he put off the rest of his commitments and was not working towards his long term goals. He also found triggers everywhere because he works as a writer and when he is on his computer his addiction was only ever one click away.
Through self-reflection, Roman found that he was self-soothing with video games. For example, if he was trying to write and needed to look up a synonym then he would just get distracted and play for a few moments. The game just gave you a massive dump of endorphins and pleaser. So then when you are trying to write you get brought back to the video games. The video games are very complex but addictive and it became like a rat pushing a lever to get a treat. This sabotaged his long term fulfilment.
”Video games are a complete waste of timeRoman Gelperin
Then roman knew he needed to focus on his long term goal of being a writer and move his life forward. This is what truly gave him meaning not playing video games. He had to shift from pleasure to fulfilment. So he quit video games 5 years ago. He said it was hard when his addiction is on the next window on his computer so he had to cleanse everything. He installed website blockers so he could not play games online and he downgraded his computer so it couldn’t play games. He even uninstalled all the games so they weren’t there to play.
”They are always a click away on your computerRoman Gelperin
Romans philosophy is to put up walls and barriers to distance yourself from the thing you are addicted too. This puts more time between the thought of using and the act of using and therefore lowers the chance of using. For example, if you have to go into your internet blocker and find the website and delete then open it and find a game and go on it. This is a long process and by the time you have done this, you will change your mind.
So Romans recommendation is to remove the need for will power and throw away the Xbox or games consult. That way there is more resistance to bring it back into your environment.