Addicted to Computer Games? A Solution Awaits…

19 02 2010

Dear Dr. Lazlo,

For the past 3 months I have been seriously addicted to an online video game. I am unsure why as the game isn’t really fun and everyone on it is a whiny bitch.

But I recently lost my job due along with 4 other casual full timers due to budget cuts and have had nothing better to do with my life then play this game, this mmorpg as the kids call it. It’s proving difficult to get in to a new career especially with the current crisis we have with jobs and the fact that I live in Adelaide.

What should I do? Should I delete my account on this game and quit cold turkey, should I play a little in moderation while seriously looking for a career or should I just say “Fuck it!” and move to Quebec?

I haven’t gone out properly in ages and if I do it’s usually just round the corner to the skate park or one of the 40 pubs surrounding my house.

Sexually yours,

Troy McNulty.

Hello Troy.

I’ll answer your question today because I am getting inundated of late and my assistant, Phuc Nguyen, is away on annual leave. Plus your issue is a tad more important than the other problems, so let’s get stuck in shall we?

Ah video games. I know your vice well, my friend. I too have been clamped tight by it’s sweaty, burger ring smelling grip for many a year. It started out when I first played a friend’s Atari. I played “Pitfall” and also “Combat” and pretty much fell in love straight away. I didn’t really like my friend, he was more of a ‘hanger-on’ type of character but each day I would make an excuse to go over to his house. “Oh, you dropped your pencil at school. I brought it home for you. Can I come in and play Atari?” I’d say. I pretended to be this kids friend for nearly 6 months until the fact that he smelt like curdled milk deterred me from coming over.

In the end, I begged my parents to get me a video game console and they reluctantly agreed. Sure enough under the Xmas tree was a shiny new video game. I ripped open the paper and had to hide my disappointment as the Atari I was expecting was actually a Hanimex HMG-7900. The HMG-7900 only came with a few games and my parents got me the “Sports Compendium” which, at first glance, looked pretty ace.

Actually it turned out that every game on it was a variation on Pong and I was bored out of my mind within 3 minutes. Since that fateful 1983 Xmas Day I have been obsessed with games and even now, at age 35 and with a family, I still find time to play on my PS3 where I hunt people like Furtanken down and shoot him in the face on a regular basis. In saying that, it isn’t a huge obsession anymore. I have it under control.

And that is what you need to do. Computer games can be fun but then one day you rub your eyes, look outside and suddenly realise that the lovely April afternoon you started playing is now a windy September morning. I’ve been there before (curse you Age of Empires II). You need to put the mouse down and get outside. I certainly don’t condone going cold turkey as this will only lead you to another habit forming activity like selling meth to kids or watching Oprah. What you need to do is set aside a certain amount of time a day to play your game and stick to it. I think I know the game you are playing and it can really suck you in. Perhaps find another game. One with an ending so once you finish it you can do something else. The game you are playing can really drag on and before you know it you’ll be a fat, 40 year old bearded monster half glued to your chair and smelling like sour sweat and hot shame.

Get more involved in skating or even take up a team sport. I find that sweaty japes with other likeminded men to be the perfect tonic for clearing my head and getting me focussed. Also try and meet some women. Preferably not online. This will also help. The power of the vagina is vastly underrated, my friend.

Oh and getting a job could prove useful in the future. Perhaps we can address this at a later date? And get the fuck out of Adelaide. That should have been my first piece of advice.

Faithfully yours,

Dr. Lazlo Panaflex




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