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  1. #1
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    Game Addiction and Effect on Sleep

    I recently was studying game addiction in one of my courses, and came across a game called "Second Life," in which you create a Sims-like avatar and talk to other people logged into the game. There's an acronym for this but I don't really want to look it up.

    Anyway, the game looked like fun, and I signed up. But then I realized why this game has become an addiction. Without meaning to, I played for about seven hours until four in the morning, only to find I couldn't sleep. When I closed my eyes, I saw the avatars and their interaction.

    Throughout the night I slept erratically and kept waking up to think, "I need to reassert my authority as a real person", and tried to describe my personality to myself while exhausted. This same effect occured when I bought the original Sims game when I was in middle school.

    Does anyone have any tips, thoughts, or reasonings for this?

    (I would prefer not to give up the game completely, and as a disclaimer, I consider myself to be fairly social with a supportive network of friends and family, with no prior game addictions.)

  2. #2
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    Re: Game Addiction and Effect on Sleep

    This is becoming an increasingly common problem, especially with online RPGs like World of Warcraft and Everquest.

    You may need help to overcome this "addiction". However, you can try this first, assuming you don't want to stop playing entirely:

    1. set up a schedule for what you think is a reasonable length of time to play online, making sure that other priority items like work, school, eating, sleeping, etc., are taken care of before you allow yourself to start playing
    2. set a timer (use Outlook or another scheduler on your computer, or a wristwatch timer, or an alarm clock) to time the game session
    3. be absolutely rigid about stopping play when you reach the allotted time limit - if necessary, enlist the help of a friend or family member to remind and assist you in this respect - no exceptions!

  3. #3
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    Re: Game Addiction and Effect on Sleep

    Oh boy, I know exactly what you're talking about. I recently broke my addiction from the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game is what you were looking for) WoW (World of Warcraft) I had been playing for just over a year.

    I'll spare you the details about how bad it was, but when it came to falling asleep after long sessions of game play, I'd be forced to take a sleeping pill, or drink a couple beers, or else I'd be looking at staying awake most of the night. I'd describe it as "over stimulation."

    The best way I found to keep it from happening, was to take a 30 min break every few hours or less. This I found, kept that over stimulating feeling away.

    These games while really really fun, are complete and utter time sinks. I can't really say that I've gained any qualities as a person from the 112 days (there's a command in the game that totals the time played) of game play I spent online, other than that I had fun... Worth it? Maybe. It did give me a sincere committment to do something productive with my life...but unfortunately that only happened a year, or 112 days of gaming after I got hooked.

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