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  1. #1

    Obsessive gaming - How to handle it?

    Hi guys,

    My brother (26yrs old) lives with me. We recently moved to the UK (i was living by myself already, he was living with our parents). The problem is that he is addicted to playing. He does have a job, works full time, is very productive at work (as far as i know, even being promoted), but when he gets home, he shuts down and stands in front of the computer for hours until he goes to bed. When he gets a day off, he just stands there from morning till late night. He does make sure he sleeps as much as he needs though.

    The bad thing is this: He stopped communicating to people of his own initiative. His best friends are worried and started contacting me to see what's going on with him. They say he is apathetic when talking on Skype and hasn't said anything to his Girlfriend in 3 weeks. My mother and father complain that he is cold when talking, and he even forgot our sister's birthday and father's birthday.

    Here's what confuses me: He playes for hours, but he gets up to eat, he goes to bed early to sleep properly for work, and he gets up ultra early (like 2 hours before work time, travel to work takes 20 mins).

    I feel that my brother may have some hidden problem. He never speaks much, although we live together. However, when playing, he is lively and communicates a lot, mostly telling people strategies on how to defeat things (he plays HoN, Guild wars 2 and such games).

    In the past he also had some worrying behavior, like enrolling in 2 separate degrees only to drop out for different reasons: The first degree he felt was useless, but the 2nd one he enrolled, made our father pay, and eventually we found he wasnt attending classes at all, this after 2 years of starting the degree...

    I am posting this because I am not sure on how to handle this, since I am the only person who contacts with him on a daily basis. And i have to do something. Our family back in our hometown is sick worried, and so are his friends and girlfriend. And even so, he seems to not care at all. This is not normal.

    Let me know if you had similar cases, and what steps did you take to solve it. I am thinking that reducing his computer time drastically, exchanging that with other activities, may help, but it has to be done on his own initiative.

    Thanks for reading. Sorry if it is a bit confusing.

    EDIT:

    Just to clear some things:
    - He has a GF for over 4 years. They have been together happily and she knows of his love for gaming, and understands. Up until coming to the UK he always found time to be with her and away from gaming. Now they are apart (she is studying in Japan for 6 months) but there is a chance she will come to the UK after to be with him and work here.
    Last edited by Laurathansal; 2012-11-20 at 04:59 PM.

  2. #2
    The Insane Rukentuts's Avatar
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    They actually have rehab clinics for addicted gamers, in the UK too I believe.

    Edit: Even if this is his choice, this doesn't mean you have to enable him.
    Last edited by Rukentuts; 2012-11-20 at 04:22 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

  3. #3
    Scarab Lord Baracuda's Avatar
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    That's how I want to live one day :s

    I don't think it's a huge problem, maybe because he has a GF. If you think it's a problem talk to him.
    Quote Originally Posted by kbarh View Post
    may i suggest you check out wowwiki or any similar site, it's Grom that orders the murder of Cairne

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Baracuda View Post
    That's how I want to live one day :s

    I don't think it's a huge problem, maybe because he has a GF. If you think it's a problem talk to him.
    His GF actually sent me a message saying that he hasn't spoken to her in 3 weeks...

  5. #5
    The Patient razisgosu's Avatar
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    So gaming is his hobby and what he enjoys? Let him game and enjoy his life. If gaming isn't impacting his job or health, have at it.

  6. #6
    The Insane Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razisgosu View Post
    If gaming isn't impacting his job or health, have at it.
    It is clearly impacting his social health.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

  7. #7
    I don't know if he has something hidden or not, but he chose to be like that, he has a work, he got promoted, so that means he's doing well in his work, he sleeps the hours he needs, he eats, and all that.

    I think he's fine and that he's living the life he wants.

    The only problem I see here is the girlfriend, if he doesn't speak to her, he should atleast tell her that he doesn't want anything from her, asides from that, he seems to be doing what he wants.


    If you're really worried about him, I suggest talking to your parents and plan something that will make him talk or something, like an intervention or you could do that yourself, with his friends and his gf, or just you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    It is clearly impacting his social health.
    Some people don't like to be social.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    It is clearly impacting his social health.
    It is impacting his social health. And also, we live together and he has duties at home that he doesn't fulfill unless I tell him to. It's as like if I didn't communicate with him, he wouldn't communicate with me almost, and not with anyone else.

    I am one of the ones that thinks that he plays as a hobby. There's some proof of that, the fact that he works, is very productive, goes to bed early and gets up early as well. He saves money, is kind and gentle whenever we speak but out of his own initiative, he closes himself and doesn't open.

    The worrying thing though is that family and friends are loosing touch of him. My mother and father are also very worried, but I never expected his friends to be in this state as well.

  9. #9
    Titan Reeve's Avatar
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    Probably a phase. I've been through times in my life like that. Eventually he'll get bored and go back to living.
    Go and tell my baby sister
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    Go and spurn that house down in New Orleans
    They call the Rising Sun

  10. #10
    Eh, Honestly, Not really sure there's a problem, probably because I lead the same lifestyle, I'm 20 years old, I have a job that I make sure I'm prepared for and get done every day I work, but If I don't work I play games all day.
    I do talk to my friends more, but mainly because I play games with them all, I don't talk to my family much as I have little to say, The girl I'm interested in I do talk to quite often and stop playing video games to hang out with...
    but otherwise I live the same lifestyle, I'm healthy, happy, and all that good stuff, I only see bad things happening from you making any sort of move to change your brothers lifestyle(if he were still a minor sure, but he's an adult.)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Probably a phase. I've been through times in my life like that. Eventually he'll get bored and go back to living.
    He has been like this for the last years, at least 5-8 years. I left home 4 years ago to work abroad, and he was like that already.

  12. #12
    Field Marshal Alwayshealing's Avatar
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    I understand the concern with the GF & friends but he is able to maintain his job, get promoted even. Maybe try unplugging the router or setting it to shut off for a few hours a day so when he gets off work his only option is to sleep or be more social again? I found myself (during the winter season) becoming a little withdrawn, i was very involved in gaming but our net tower got snowed out for over a week. In that week I got so much done & spent more time than I probably cared with family/friends lol but sometimes a little break is a good thing. Gotta find a balance though.
    They call me Ash. Nuff said.
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  13. #13
    Have you concidered he may be depressed. 2 hours doesn't seem like that much to me it sounds more like depression.

  14. #14
    The Insane Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majad View Post
    Some people don't like to be social.
    Clearly he did like it at some point. He had friends and even a girlfriend. Sudden changes like this can be a symptom of an underlying psychological cause or addiction.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Zigzagzoom View Post
    Have you concidered he may be depressed. 2 hours doesn't seem like that much to me it sounds more like depression.
    This is actually one of the things that i suspect are going on...

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    Clearly he did like it at some point. He had friends and even a girlfriend. Sudden changes like this can be a symptom of an underlying psychological cause or addiction.
    I don't think so, since the OP just posted saying that he has been like this for atleast 5 years.

    How he got a gf and maintained his friends after so long is weird if he has been like this for years now, still, it's pretty weird that he has even had time for the gf.

    Unless he wasn't like he is to such an big extent.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    Clearly he did like it at some point. He had friends and even a girlfriend. Sudden changes like this can be a symptom of an underlying psychological cause or addiction.
    He is clearly not anti social. When friends do come over, or when he has the chance to see his friends, he spends time with them a lot. True, a lot of those times are spent playing, but i dont see a problem with that. Heck, I was addicted to gaming at certain points of my life (still am to a certain extent, damn WoW) but I never stopped being social. I think wanting to be alone and just enjoying moments with yourself playing is one of life's pleasures these days, but the fact is, he is going to an extreme. No one should stop talking to his family, especially when he has such a loving and caring one like ours, and also great friends who are actually worried sick because he stopped communicating.

  18. #18
    Titan Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurathansal View Post
    He has been like this for the last years, at least 5-8 years. I left home 4 years ago to work abroad, and he was like that already.
    And yet he has a girlfriend right now? Sounds like he's been able to fit a social life in there somewhere.
    Go and tell my baby sister
    Not to do what I have done
    Go and spurn that house down in New Orleans
    They call the Rising Sun

  19. #19
    The Insane Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majad View Post
    I don't think so, since the OP just posted saying that he has been like this for atleast 5 years.

    How he got a gf and maintained his friends after so long is weird if he has been like this for years now, still, it's pretty weird that he has even had time for the gf.

    Unless he wasn't like he is to such an big extent.
    Having been there, the whole "he seems not to care" just screams depression to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Majad View Post
    I don't think so, since the OP just posted saying that he has been like this for atleast 5 years.

    How he got a gf and maintained his friends after so long is weird if he has been like this for years now, still, it's pretty weird that he has even had time for the gf.

    Unless he wasn't like he is to such an big extent.
    Well, before coming to the UK (where we live alone and have to make new friends) he still played a lot, but he did go out and see friends and friends came over to visit too. His GF understands that he loves playing but he is also the type of guy who sometimes didnt touch a computer and did things with his GF. He certainly did have great quality time with her, otherwise they wouldnt be together for over 4 years.

    I suspect he has a depression of some sort, but cannot figure out what. It also doesnt make complete sense because he doesnt stop being productive, he is healthy and well... if it was crystal clear I wouldn't be here making this post

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