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Obsessive Playing - The Opinion of Gamers? Watch

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    I figure this isn't a serious enough situation to warrant a H&R posting :p: but I'm looking for the thoughts and advice of those who enjoy gaming a lot.

    I bought my best friend an XBox 360 for his birthday, and he's since bought, and become obsessed with, COD4. Now, him playing this has meant that I've seen a lot less of him - though we share a flat, I've been in my room a lot, keeping out of his way to allow him to chat to his friends whilst playing. Not a problem, but I'm beginning to see now that it might be becoming a slight addiction for him.

    He's been playing it whenever he's in the flat. On one hand, this is good - it's stopped him going out with his friends and getting drunk so much (he's very easily influenced and would spend money he didn't have), but in other ways it's a disaster. Notably, he has two jobs (one of which he works from home for, and his pay is 100% based on how much work he does). For this second job, he expected to be fired for mistakes at the end of last month. He e-mailed his supervisor to ask for a second chance, but we weren't holding out much hope. He then got an 'out of office' reply, stating that his supervisor would be on holiday for the first two weeks of August. He's in a lot of debt, and the two weeks would've given him the chance to earn a large amount of the money towards getting out of debt before he potentially lost the job. As you can imagine, though he recognised this at the start of the month and was determined to work hard, he's not done a second of it - he's too busy playing COD. He's leaving himself in a bit of a mess financially by throwing away this chance, and whilst I know he's not so addicted that it's taking over his life, I worry about the influence the game is having.

    What set me wondering today is that we take turns to buy food and make Sunday roasts. This week, he was cooking. The food was bought from Iceland, so we had ready-made roast potatoes (a large bag) and a tray of pigs in blankets suitable for three or four meals. I was in my room whilst he cooked the food and played COD, but when he called me in earlier I found that he'd cooked all of the potatoes and pigs in blankets today. A lot of food has now gone to waste, when it could have made many meals for us. Obviously, I was a bit irritated at the waste, so I questioned it, and received the response 'I've been busy. I was multi-tasking. I didn't have time to sort it out' (sorting it out being taking the right number of potatoes from the bag, and the right number of pigs in blankets from the tray, and putting just THOSE into the oven). It's small, in the grand scale of things, but was the trigger to me noticing the way he's behaving.

    Maybe I'm over-exaggerating, but the effect the game seems to be having is worrying and annoying me. I know people develop gaming addictions, and I don't want to see this happening to my friend. However, I don't know what the 'normal' level of gaming is like. Would it be fair for me to approach the matter with my friend, or am I being ridiculous at this stage? If I were to mention it, what would I say? A simple 'I think you're playing too much, it's affecting your life' or something more tactful?

    Ideas and thought appreciated!
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    how much time does he spend playing?
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    (Original post by darkos87)
    how much time does he spend playing?
    Well, we work 7.30am-3.30am. He'll usually say he'll 'have an hour on COD to relax' when he gets home, then his friends will come online and he'll end up spending most, if not all of the night on it, until he goes to bed at around 10pm.

    This weekend, he spent all of yesterday on it, I think (though I was in my room keeping out of the way so he may have stopped for a while), and we went out shopping for food this morning for an hour or so, but before that, and after it when he should have been cooking, he was playing. I'm sure he's not fully addicted because I invited him to a BBQ with me today, and though at first he said he couldn't come because he needed to work, he's now agreed and seems happy enough to leave COD for a while (edit: Until he came into my room just then saying 'I've just realised, we're leaving at 3.30, not 2.30, aren't we? I'm not even sure I want to come any more, I have a headache - but I will because I've agreed. I've got time for another hour on COD anyway').

    I feel bad mentioning it at all though, as he has anxiety/stress problems and the gaming seems to be really helping him, and he IS enjoying chatting to his friends as well as playing the game. Just seems like it might be leading to a mild addiction - though like I say, I'm no expert. I play retro games and they seem much harder to get involved in.
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    Gaming addiction is bad.

    But Modern Warfare almost makes it acceptable :awesome:
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    i hate to say it but the game isnt helping him.... i mean i can understand why and how people get into games like that (me and my friends have halo nights ) but my point is that the more time he is spending inside hes not speaking to people in a real way. hes sitting inside by himself... i know someone who has suffered and is still partially suffering from agoraphobia (for those that dont know its an extreme fear of public places and being put into a situation like that the sufferer will have panic attacks and do anything they can to return to a "safe" place) and that person will drop everything to play games online with his "friends"

    i think you do need to tactfully say something because it may get worse.... dont feel bad mentioning it, you live there too and your his friend, your meant to be there to help him just say what you feel and just be there if he ever wants to talk about everything
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    i actually have stopped playing football manager and civ 4 because i am so addicted. after i started summer hols i played them almost non stop for a whole week....staying up every night till ab out 5 am and getting up at 11 and straight back on. as fun as they are they were taking over my life....so i dont play them much anymore. ga ming addiction is very harmful
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    For the love of God don't let him near an MMO.

    Online FPS' are the next worst thing though. When I first got into Halo online I'd play it for many hours a day. However after a few months this calmed down and now I only play it maybe an hour a night if my friends are on and up for it. It'll calm down with time.
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    (Original post by tlozoot)
    For the love of God don't let him near an MMO.

    Online FPS' are the next worst thing though. When I first got into Halo online I'd play it for many hours a day. However after a few months this calmed down and now I only play it maybe an hour a night if my friends are on and up for it. It'll calm down with time.
    This is what I'm hoping. I do think I might be over-exaggerating; but I worry a lot, and his friend is the competitive type and has played it so much now, apparently he already has a gold medal for maximum...something :p: and is playing extensive hours on it. He seems to think he needs to compete with this friend, and get as many hours as he does, and a higher kill ratio etc. As I say, he's very easily influenced and I worry that if his friends keep playing he will too! :p:
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    (Original post by PAPAdawg)
    i actually have stopped playing football manager and civ 4 because i am so addicted. after i started summer hols i played them almost non stop for a whole week....staying up every night till ab out 5 am and getting up at 11 and straight back on. as fun as they are they were taking over my life....so i dont play them much anymore. ga ming addiction is very harmful
    This. I can't play Guild Wars anymore, because I spent all my summer holiday playing it. I had to go cold turkey. But one day he should realise his problem and stop. Hopefully.
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    I can empathise. Its easy to just play games because they offer instant gratification, whereas work/social life involves effort. If CoD is causing him to do badly at work, and/or do stupid stuff with the oven, then you are right to get involved.

    It might be due to being in a clan. It certainly sounds like the oven thing was due to being in the middle of a clan war, you have issues if he can't separate potatoes from other potatoes because of public. If you are in a clan, sometimes the feeling is you always need to be there or you are letting others down. If this is the case, he needs to ration his playing to set times.
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    Personally I've never understood why people become addicted to games when the majority of games are so linear so excuse my bluntness but if I were you I would consider boxing the 360 back up and getting a refund from wherever you bought it from if you still can. Some people just can't be trusted to have a bit of fun and then get back to dealing with more important daily activities and he sounds like one of those people.
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    It seems to me that he's going through a bad patch and that he's using the game as a form of escapism. however, unless he confronts the problem, picks himself up and starts to look for a job, he's not going to get any better. Games will never make him earn any money unless he's crazy good. Also don't try to excuse his addiction on his anxiety problems. Tell him to go see a psychotherapist to help him. These are chronic problems which become harder to treat once unhealthy habits set in.
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    If it's affecting his general life and yours as well you need to speak to him about it in some way. If it's only a small problem maybe he'll get bored with the game in time?
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    (Original post by tlozoot)
    For the love of God don't let him near an MMO.

    Online FPS' are the next worst thing though. When I first got into Halo online I'd play it for many hours a day. However after a few months this calmed down and now I only play it maybe an hour a night if my friends are on and up for it. It'll calm down with time.
    ye, if he mentions : World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Warhammer Online, Champions Online or any other game ending in 'Online' you're in trouble...

    oh ye and a heads up, although he may tire of the game soon COD modern warfare 2 (the sequel) is out in a month or so... and the cycle repeats.
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    Hide the disk while he is sleeping :p:
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    cod4 is widely acceptable to play alot... thousands of people play it non stop constant. its because hes just got it hes just started to get into it. itll die down soon and he will just play it wheneve he wants
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    Thanks for the responses, everyone. jacketpotato; he's not in a clan, keeps saying what rubbish they are :p:; and yes, nordam, I've already had him talk to me about the next game and how excited he is to buy it.
    To Zedd and darkos87, it sounds like the two of you might have misintepreted the severity of the situation. It's definitely not as bad as the two of you seem to have thought, more little things that I'm noticing that I'll be keeping an eye on.

    Will see how it goes, though, as others have said - it's likely he's just playing obsessively for a short while and I'll get my sane, non-mistake-making friend back soon enough. I made it clear enough today how I felt, I think, when he ended up rushing around to get ready for the BBQ we were attending, nearly missing the taxi because he'd been playing COD for a bit too long again. :p:

    He's back on it now that we're back, of course, but for now, it's reasonable.
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    I got COD4 on the year that I was studying for my GCSEs. Thank God for CGP books :thumbsup: I don't condone playing games day in day out AT ALL but sometimes it's necessary if there are any tournaments coming up :woo:

    Onto the serious part:

    Your friend sounds like he needs a serious reality check. Addiction is a very serious problem (or more debatably a disease). You need to take him outside his room and talk to him face to face, make him aware of the dire situation he is currently in.

    EDIT:Your last post doesn't make it sound that serious. But wasting food is still an unforgivable sin.
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    Get him into WoW. It's so easy to multitask while on that game it's ridiculous.
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    How recently did you buy him it? Getting a new thing can you make you play it/use it too much. After a couple of weeks it might die down a bit.
 
 
 
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