Video games are one of the few hobbies that ruin your mind when your doing it AND when you’re not doing. Even when you dabble in games your brain gets hijacked and you develop “gamer brain”.
A socalled “gamer brain” is a dopamine addicted brain, that is continually seeking high dopamine levels that are achieved when gaming. It’s a real addiction and controls not only your emotions, your mental health, but everything else is usually also affected in ones life by a gaming addiction, usually in a very bad way.
Multi-millionaire businessman and long-time gaming addict Alex Becker is explaining and breaking down the “gamer brain” and explains how he got out of the circle.
Another good approach how to quit gaming is described by famous psychiatrist Dr. K:
You can drop gaming altogether. While this is the least effective strategy to overcome video game addiction, it does work for some people. However, this has a low success rate because of the way gaming affects our brains.
Instead of trying to quit gaming altogether, try to do a dopamine detox. A dopamine detox is an exercise to deprive yourself of activities that are too stimulating and fun. Delete all social media applications from your phone, uninstall all your games, and disconnect your computer and keep it somewhere that is not easily accessible.
Before starting the dopamine fast, try to find other activities to do. Try picking up a skill that involves creating something physical. Try learning a new instrument. Pick up a sport, or start a new exercise routine. Try to spend more time in nature – go for a hike or a run. You can even try to start meditating and cultivating more internal awareness. If you can come to terms with the reason you play video games in the first place, it will be easier to find ways to avoid gaming.
Dopamine detoxes are the most effective when done with someone. Have a friend do it with you. You can check in with each other for fifteen minutes a day and hold each other accountable.
It typically takes the brain about two weeks to reset itself to normal dopamine levels. If you successfully abstain for two weeks, congratulations! After this, not only will video games feel more fun, but you might also have found other activities to enjoy. However, be careful. Gaming might have served as a coping mechanism for you, and if you have not found a way to address the cause of these urges, then it is likely that you will relapse.
You can watch Dr. K’s take on the neuroscience of dopamine fasting here, and how to execute it: