For the first 18 years of my life, no one would have called me a gamer. I didn't even know the online gaming world existed, much less tasted anything beyond the teenage fascination of Runescape. I swam, was considered a leader in highschool, was admitted to one of the top 5 colleges in the country and go to (a different) college now on a merit based full ride. I don't know if I would classify as a clinical gaming addict because by some definitions I am quite functional. However, I've come to the realization that the definition is not as important as the next steps forward in my life. And, quite frankly, to go there, I have to give my story.
Gaming started for me once I came to college and was in a suite where it was common place to play COD while high until 4 a.m., sleep in to skip classes and repeat the next day. While I never wanted to join that group, I remember mentioning RTS games to a friend and how I knew "those were the types of games for me." I started playing starcraft, and soon enough, one game led me into the world of League of Legends.
The summer after my freshman year, I played LoL pretty much nonstop-- why, I still don't know. It appealed to a sense of flash and bang that is present in every teenage boy's heart. One game became two, became 3 became countless hours spent working on "last-hitting, and team play." And the more you play that game, the more you realize the entire community surrounding it-- "the pro scene" and the streamers. I guess it's one thing if you're playing at home for yourself making the videogame company money, but if you're good enough to make the dough for yourself, all the power to you. My problem is that once I got in, I could never make a clean break.
Before starting college my sophomore year, I promised my parents I wouldn't play again. As a gesture, I uninstalled LoL and left the mouse at home (because if you don't have a mouse, you really can't play). I lasted about a month before I spent 4 hours or however long it takes to install the game and remember sneaking off the gaming mouse from home. After the next trip back home and a similiar promise, I found it simpler to order a 12 dollar mouse from Amazon and not have to take "what I don't need." Over the entire semester, during times when I should be studying (including right now), I would either be playing the game or watching some streamer. It's not that I have an illusion about "becoming the next progamer," it's not happening and quite frankly, I know of plenty of other professions that appeal to me more, but it's an aching desire to play the game better. My GPA dropped, my major changed, and I was never happy.
The semester (this one), I attempted a similiar process where I would not touch or install LoL on my computer. I lasted about 4 weeks until my nonprofit student org hit 4 weeks of weather cancellations, record low attendence, and the thought of falling apart. All my effort, and my stipend from scholarship were dedicated to it, and now, it amounts to virtually nothing. And I fell back.
Right now, it's about 1/4 of the way through the semester and gaming along with not studying has cost me in terms of grades and happiness and I want to get over it. It's not right for me. I love my research in chemistry, my nonprofit organization, my friends, and my classes. But gaming along with laziness has put in me a slump that is so hard to recover from that I don't know what to do.
I used to sleep by 11-12 every night. One game could turn that into 3:00. I've decided that today will be the last day I ever play or watch a stream again. The plan is to not watch any streams or play any games simply because the former will lead to the latter and vice versa. In lieu of it, I hope to get more exercise and study more and report my active hours i.e. not sleeping every day here. Hopefully this works and I can be my old "highschool self" again. Any support is always much appreciated.