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Break Your Video Gaming Addiction The Easy Way

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Do you find yourself playing the same PC game for hours on end? Do you give up sleep, family time and work just to spend an extra few hours behind the screen mashing buttons? If so, then you’re probably a video game addict, or at least well on your way to becoming one! Video game addiction has been in the spotlight repeatedly over the last few years, so as someone with some personal knowledge of the issue, I decided to provide some non-standard advice on how to overcome this problem.

I’ve been an avid gamer for years and during that time I have found one sure-fire way to make even the most addictive game boring. The key is to ruin the game for yourself, and the only really effective way to do that is to cheat! You didn’t expect me to say that did you? You expected me to give you some more generic advice on how to break your gaming addiction. Well, I found this to be the most effective way to wean yourself off any game you’re particularly attached to.

There are in total 4 ways I have found that allow you to cheat in games (and therefore ruin it for yourself). So, if you’re ready to break your gaming addiction, it is time for an intervention:

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1. Read A Walkthrough (Simple)

Chances are you’re not the first person that has played the game you’re currently addicted to (unless you’re really, really hardcore), so there is a pretty good chance that someone has already finished the game and have written a step-by-step guide on exactly how to beat it and discover every single feature and Easter egg.

The fun part about playing a game is discovering new things and finding out what happens next based on your actions (it’s called immersiveness and replay value). The game becomes a lot more boring if you know exactly what will happen and there is absolutely nothing left for you to discover. Reading a walkthrough for your game written by someone else is one way to make sure the game holds no surprises for you and therefore holds absolutely no replay value. Gaming addiction 0 – you 1.

However, with some games it is the process of playing the game that is fun, unlocking buildings, zones or characters, making money, what could be better? This is where cheats come in.

2. Find Some Cheats (Easy)

Most games these days come with cheats built into the game (actually, games have had cheats ever since the very early days of gaming). Cheats are usually built into the game so that developers can try out different things without having to play through the game over and over. As you can imagine that may be time-consuming. When the game is released, these cheats may be disabled, but they can usually easily be enabled and used by you, Joe-video-game-addict.

Cheats are enabled differently in different games, sometimes you need to edit a configuration file where the game is installed (this can mostly be done using notepad), other times you need to do it through an in-game console. The point is, the same guy who wrote the walkthrough for the game (or possibly his brother) has already worked out how to enable the cheats for your game and also listed what the cheats are on a website somewhere. All you need is Google and a few minutes of your time and before you know you’ll have a fully cashed-up character with an uber-elite assault rifle and unlimited health. Nothing is guaranteed to cure your gaming addiction quicker than removing all challenge from a game. So, you 2 – gaming addiction 0.

But, sometimes those super-smart developers are able to remove cheats from a game completely and there is no easy way for you to get them back. Luckily there are some even smarter developers around.

3. Use A Trainer (Medium Complexity)

That’s right there are whole groups of really smart developer-type hacker people who spend all of their free time creating little applications that allow you to cheat in your game regardless of whether cheats are switched on or off. These little application are called Trainers (yeah just like personal trainers in the gym).

Trainers come as a separate little application that you need to launch along side your game. When both the trainer and the game are launched at the same time pressing certain key combinations during your gameplay will do all sorts of wonderful things to your game that will make it a whole lot easier and a lot less interesting. The key combinations differ from trainer to trainer and from game to game, but most trainers come with pretty comprehensive documentation that explains what the key combinations are and what they do inside your game.

All you have to do is spend a little bit more time with Google (it really is your best internet buddy) and search for a trainer for your game. However if you want to be pointed in the right direction, go to Gamecopyworld. If the trainer you’re looking for is not there, it probably doesn’t exist yet.

So, what was the score, oh yeah, you 3 – gaming addiction 0. Hang on a second though, didn’t I just say that a trainer may not exist for a game? Unfortunately such a situation is not unheard of, but don’t despair, you can still kick your video game addiction in the teeth by developing some ‘lite haxor skills of your own.

4. Get A Memory Editor (Advanced)

Ok, you don’t really need to develop any hacking skills, cause some really bright dudes out there in internet-land are looking after you and that is why they created a memory editor. The best memory editor I’ve used is ArtMoney.

When you run a memory editor while your game is running, the editor has access to the memory space that the game is using. This means that you can manipulate any numeric value in your game by directly modifying the memory address where that numeric value is stored. So, money, health, points they are all at your mercy, you can make them low and you can make them high, you can even freeze them at a particular value. The ruin of your gaming fun is almost guaranteed.

Alright I admit, you do need some skills to use a memory editor properly. You need to be able to read numbers in hexadecimal and you do need a basic understanding of how numbers are stored in memory. However, Google can come to your rescue here again. If you search hard enough, you’ll be able to find plenty of ArtMoney tutorials online that will take you through the program step by step and teach you a little bit about numbers, memory and computers as well. Not only will you be investing some time into kicking your gaming habit, but you will also learn some sweet new computer skills while doing it.

Hopefully by this stage you will have K.Oed. your gaming addiction no matter how interesting, exciting and addictive your game was before you got your cheating little hands on it.

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Now that I’ve shared my advice with you, it is time for disclaimers. If there is one article that probably needs disclaimers this one is it.

Firstly, the advice I give is only applicable for single player PC games. It is possible to cheat in multiplayer games, but it is not only unfair to other players but is in some cases illegal as well. At best you can get yourself banned from playing the game (which is certainly one way to cure a gaming addiction). At worst you may have legal proceedings initiated against you. I am in no way advocating cheating in multiplayer games, so if you decide to go down that path, on your head be it.

If you’re a console gamer, then alas, you’re on your own for I know nothing of your world. I have no idea if cheats are even available as an avenue for you to break your gaming addiction. However my core advice of ruining the game for yourself in some way is still very sound and my point about walkthroughs still applies.

Lastly I am not a psychologist (as you may have gathered from my About Page) so the advice I give is not professional (unless having played lots and lots of games is considered a profession). I found that the methods I outlined work for me when I find myself getting addicted to a game and the theory is sound. However, if they don’t work for you, the best advice I can give you is to seek professional help.

Phew, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, I hope that you enjoyed this post and found the advice helpful. At the very least I hope you learned something you didn’t know before. If you have any other advice for breaking video game addiction that is perhaps non-standard and uses some lateral thinking, please leave a comment and tell everyone what it is.

  • mike

    cure gaming addiction? gaming addiction doesn’t need a cure…it is the cure!!

  • Korny

    Walkthroughs certainly work for consoles too :)
    The trouble is, the worst addictions are multiplayer, and (as you say in your disclaimer) cheats don’t usually work. Worse, cheats probably don’t make the game less addictive, as you can still get fun out of others’ grief.

  • http://www.skidzopedia.com IntoXicator

    I am pretty much addicted to games. Just can’t help my self!

  • http://www.sayzlim.net Sayz Lim

    LOL, the discoverer stumbled this post down, but most of the people like it.

    And I like it too, good post…

  • http://www.anythingfictional.com Chris

    There’s another method I’ve found that works very well – but it relies on willpower (something which is often lacking when it comes to any addiction). The following 2 step program has worked for me on a number of occasions:

    Uninstall the game – the purpose of this step is to make playing the game harder. Unless you’re willing to wait an hour waiting for a re-install, you’ll be less likely to start playing the game. But there’s still incentive to do this, and that’s where step 2 saves the day
    Delete your progress/saved games – often the greatest part of the addiction is that you are getting near the end, and you’ve already progressed so far. Take that away, and you’ve removed much of your motivation to keep going back to the game. Unless your addiction is very bad, you’re not going to reinvest another 100 hours of your life to just get back to where you were before. (for multi-player online games, the equivalent step 2 action is to cancel your account)

    So far this has saved me from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and more recently, Spore, which was not quite an addiction, but half way there.

    And though you only touched on it in your post Al, getting an account banned for “cheating” has broken the addiction of many a WoW-crack addiction.

  • Priest

    There is no cure for World of Warcraft. None.

    • WerewolfSlayer

      Wish there were parental locks I could set on WoW. Might not cure the addiction but at least chores would get done.

  • Mick

    More like cure for work addiction ;)

  • Alf

    I don’t have a problem.

    I can quit anytime I want to.

    *twitch, twitch*

    It’ll be an interesting reading when I find a MMOPRG cure.

  • Mido

    only cure for MMORPGs (example: Tales of Pirates) is will power…
    not sure about others.

  • unkown

    well there is no cure for multi-player games like lets say combat arms i was addicted to that game just recently but i had to stop and i did by lowering the hours of how much i played each day, it was hard but i did it even though i stopped in a couple weeks so it was a fast method but now I’m in high school and hang out with friends and went back to my hobby of being a programmer and now i play around with adobe flash and photoshop a couple hours a day which is fun for me. try lowering how much you play a day by half an hour each day and hopefully you’ll stop playing eventually. :)

    • http://www.skorks.com Alan Skorkin

      Weaning yourself off gaming slowly is certainly sound advice. This doesn’t just apply to gaming, it is an age-old method that works well when you need to give something up. All it requires is a little willpower, but certainly much less than going cold turkey.

  • Josh

    Lol im addicted to combat arms

  • http://www.fiverr.com/users/luvieere luvieere

    I think the best way to cure an addiction is to replace it with another, more tempting one. The only way I give an addictive game up is by replacing it with a worthier successor.

    Take the GTA series, for example: walkthroughs, cheats, trainers, they all are mere steps towards a more addictive gaming experience, that make me enjoy the game more and more, in different ways than the day before using them. The only cure for this addiction is the moment I find a new, more appealing game to play. To me, only when a game becomes obsolete compared to another, more recent and more attractive one, do I give it up.

    So the funny thing is, not only do I like having a gaming addiction, I actually like improving the experience, as to get even more kick from the same amount of play time, by using walkthroughs, cheats, trainers and constantly upgrading the game, in order to explore it in different ways than before.

    In my opinion, using cheats doesn’t at all ruin the gaming experience, it actually enhances it – it’s just like turbocharging a car – makes it twice more fun!

  • anonyMoose

    I agree with luvieere, cheating in a game does not make the game dull. I sometimes do it after finishing a game at normal settings and then turning the cheats on to try out “new” things, which would otherwise be impossible. Like build a massively powerful army, or have a small elite squad cut through the enemy ranks like butter, lol. The only way is to break the addiction is to find something more interesting to do. For me, gaming addiction is directly related to an adrenaline rush, so I need to find some equivalent activity that will give me the same crazy rush.

  • anonyMoose

    Oh and I forgot to mention: If you know that something is terribly addictive, then DO NOT TRY IT OUT. Thank god I have never tried (and will never) any of the MMORPG games. Battlefield and C&C were bad enough (horrible addiction) for me.