Hot Girl: “Hey Tim! Wanna go catch a movie or something?”
Tim: “I would, but… I’ve already got, umm, plans.” *runs home, arms out Mario style, to play his new game*
Okay, so we all don’t want to be that guy. You know, the guy who turns down social activities for a long night with no one but himself and his best friend of all, video games. We’ve all had our moments, yes, there is nothing wrong with that. But what happens when those moments become longer? What happens when those moments start to occur more often? What happens when you start to grow hair all over and start smelling kind of weird?! Well, that has nothing to do with video game addiction, but you should probably look into that too.
Don’t get me wrong. By all means, we’re not trying to scare you away from video games. At TGR, we are only concerned about your social well-being. And with video game addiction being looked into as a serious medical condition, it is only obvious that we give you some helpful early-warning signs of this condition (because we love you). It’ll be a lot like a breast self-exam, without the breast-touching. Just remember to take a look at this list a good once a week, compare yourself to it, and you should be fine and free from video game addiction.
10) You have video game soundtracks on your iPod
So this first one is not so bad, which is why it tops the list; only because video game soundtracks, at times, can be pretty catchy. But you shouldn’t need to keep it on your Ipod/mp3 player. Leave it at home, as a guilty pleasure and maybe (just maybe!) sing it while you’re in the shower at a low tone so no one can hear you. If you already do this don’t worry about it to much. It’s the other things that you need to watch for.
9) You are in debt due to video games
Did you just buy that new HDTV for your video game setup? Do you buy more than one video game every week? If this is you, then you are starting to put your financial well-being at stake for video games, which isn’t good. Saving might not be as exciting then popping some heads on Gears 2, but it is every bit as important. If you want to be playing video games when you're 50, then you'd better start saving now.
8) You think real guitars are for old people
Who needs six strings and 22 frets when you can simplify it all down to 5 buttons? Right? Wrong! This is one of the first major signs of video game addiction. If you have felt this before you may want to consider taking up real guitar. So what if your friends think it’s lame. Just remember that the chicks dig the guitar and that while your semi-addicted video game friends are still struggling with Through the Fire and Flames on Expert you’ll be mastering the song on a real guitar. Watch some Jimmy Hendrix, learn some of Slash’s solos, and you’ll be a real guitar hero (who is not addicted to video games) in no time.
7) You are constantly told that you have no life
How many times have you been told you have no life? I’m sure we all have every once in a while. But when grandma starts telling you that you have no life, you have a problem. Don’t just shrug this one off. You need to pay attention to the amount of times you are told that you ‘have no life’ in one day. If the number exceeds 5 you have added another sign of video game addiction to your list. I would suggest taking up a team sport if available, making some friends (not online), or start off slow and just play with your dog.
6) You have adopted a new language
“d00d! Just met this L33T H4X0R when n00b M0BS striked with their b00mst1cks!”
Do you talk like this? All the time? Well that is just another step into video game addiction. Video game language can be a hard habit to break. Talking of this nature is very common in the PC MMORPG genre, for example, World of Warcraft. Talking like this might be one of your guilty pleasures, but try not to bring it into the social world. You don’t want to be with a hot date and let a, “L33T d00d!” slip. Practice talking to a friend normally or, like I stated above, take it slow and try talking to a pet like your dog.
5) You look like this guy
Okay, genetics are one thing, but the way you choose to dress is another. And dressing like, or close to this guy (in the picture) is a sign of video game addiction. This proves that you have lost all self consciousness and are only concerned about getting through the day and going back to your video games. You must not dress like this, if you already do than I have no idea how to help you. You’re on your own on this one bud.
4) You care more about your gold then your cash
This mostly applies to online PC MMORPG players. Many of these gamers are victims to bankruptcy. Mostly because they will buy gold off the internet with real cash or just give the money away like it’s nothing. I’ve seen this before with my very own eyes. What you need to do here is try to remember that the actual cash is the only thing that is actually worth something. So write yourself a note, tie a string to your finger, and save your cash! (and cut back on the WoW).
3) You hack your console to get an edge over other players online
You may have run into them before: lag switches, modded controllers, etc. But are you one of those annoying people who use them? If the answer is yes, the first thing I want to say to you is that you’re incredibly annoying (to me), second thing is that you have no life. Making these things isn't easy and buying them isn’t cheap. Spending time and money just to have better stats not only takes the fun out of a game for others, but also illustrates that you're addicted to video games. For the sake of yourself, others, and me, please stop.
2) You hold a top score in a multiplayer game
I’m always amazed by the outrageously high scores on all of the different leaderboards for various games. I’m sure most of us are. But if you’re reading this and you are one of those guys then you are in deep trouble my friend. This is when severe video game addiction starts to kick in. Logging hour upon hour in just one game is a dangerous thing to do and you need to start slowing down. It’ll be hard at first, just like quitting smoking, but you've got to do it for your friends, your family, and little Cindy Lou too.
1) You can no longer discern what is real and what is not
Was that Kirby waddling through your hallway? No, that was the last and final sign of video game addiction: Hallucinations. First, just make sure you're not on drugs. Once you have that all figured out and you're still talking to/seeing video game characters walking around, you know that you are addicted to video games and need some major help. Just try to stay calm, don’t talk to Kirby, and go see your nearest psychologist and you should be fine.
Look over your shoulder. Do you see Mario? How about Kratos? Marcus Fenix? No? Well congratulations, you have passed the TGR self-videogame addiction exam. Now that you have passed, go out and celebrate with your friends. Hit the bar, dance at some clubs, and most importantly come back home and play your video games; because while video game addiction might be a problem, video games are too good of a thing to give up (unless you start hallucinating). So give yourself a good pat on the back and play some games, you deserve it.