Playing video games can be a great way to escape the world and relax.
No matter if you’re killing zombies, planning a successful city, or tending to your crops, video games provide a passive form of entertainment that can bring some enjoyment to your life.
However, there comes a time when playing video games too much can start to have a detrimental effect on your health, friendships, and career.
If you’re at that point, then you may wonder what you can do to change your video game playing habits.
Weaning yourself off games, finding a new passion, or examining your mental health are some ways that you can change how often you play video games.
Here is a list of other things you can do to quit your video game habit.
All I Want To Do Is Play Video Games (10 Ways To Change)
1. Find Social Games
One problem that playing too many video games can sometimes cause is a lack of social connection.
If all you’re doing is playing single-player games or games that don’t include other people, then you’re cutting yourself off from the rest of society.
This might not be so bad if you work at a job that’s customer-facing or is highly social.
You can get your social needs filled at work.
However, if you work a job where you’re typically on your own, then your social needs may not be met.
A way that you can start to transition away from playing solo video games is by playing social video games.
Instead of only playing solo games, you can choose a multiplayer game.
You could try nonsensical battle royale games if you’re competitive.
You can try a PvE-focused (player versus environment) survival game if you prefer to build with other people.
There are also tons of games available that you can play with your friends.
Playing co-op or online multiplayer games with friends lets you spend more time with them.
Since you’re having fun, you may feel a greater desire to spend time in person with them outside of playing video games.
You can set aside video games by weaning yourself off of them by choosing to play more social games instead.
2. Try Tabletop Gaming
One of the best things about video games is that they provide an escape from the real world.
If you’re stressed about something or are just tired from work, then playing video games is a great way to distract yourself or relax.
They provide a passive form of entertainment where you don’t need to exert too much energy.
You’re just able to sit and play and live the life of another character for a while.
If that’s something you enjoy, then one way you can stop gaming as much is by switching the type of gaming that you partake in.
Playing video games too much without ensuring that your other needs are met can cause problems.
One of the best ways to escape from reality for a while and still be social is through tabletop gaming.
There are tons of different tabletop games.
If you’re someone who loves strategy, then there’s no shortage of strategy games to play with other people.
There are also horror-based games, player-versus-player games, and perhaps the most involved—role-playing tabletop games.
Games like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, Call of Cthulhu, and others all provide what you need to make a character and play in an interactive story with friends.
Even if you don’t have friends who are into tabletop games, you can usually find a group willing to play at your local game or comic book store.
You can even find groups online.
Thanks to the large network of different online tools, it’s even possible to play tabletop games online with players all over the country.
By switching from video games to tabletop games, you can fulfill your social needs.
You’re also able to still escape reality for a time and just have fun.
A great way to stop playing video games as much is to take up tabletop gaming instead.
3. Try LARPing
Another great way to transition away from playing video games all the time is to try LARPing.
LARPing is a step above tabletop gaming.
It stands for live-action role-playing.
If you’re someone who likes to play fantasy games or PvP games, then you might find LARPing quite enjoyable.
Each LARP is different, but the common thread is that they all revolve around a story with each player creating a character.
Depending on the LARP, the story might involve a mystery or a battle.
There’s usually some form of combat in a LARP, but it doesn’t always have to happen.
When there is combat involved, there are usually set rules on how a player earns points or what happens if they become injured or die in the game.
It’s extremely immersive and can be a lot of fun if everyone plays along and is interested in acting like their characters.
It’s a great alternative to video gaming because it provides much of the same entertainment that you would get out of a video game.
If combat is your thing, then you should try LARPing.
If acting out a story is your thing, then you’ll enjoy LARPing.
Even if just hanging out with fellow nerds and being social is your thing, then you’ll get what you need out of LARPing.
It can connect you with new friends with similar interests and it offers some form of physical exercise.
While playing video games might be more of a passive form of entertainment, you’ll find that LARPing is an active form of entertainment.
You’re actually taking part in everything.
One way to limit your video gaming is to get involved with local LARP events instead.
4. Consider Therapy
Sometimes you might be video gaming so much because you’re trying to avoid something or you’re depressed.
It’s easy to turn to video games when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed.
Gaming is a passive form of entertainment that doesn’t require a lot of thought or energy.
You’re able to sit in front of your TV or monitor and just zone out.
It helps you escape from reality, but when there are things you need to deal with, the distraction isn’t always healthy.
That’s why if you find yourself playing video games endlessly, then you might want to consider seeing a therapist who can talk to you about your feelings.
Video game addiction is real and can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
You may suffer from this disorder if you find that all you think about or want to do is play video games.
Your school grades or work productivity might start to suffer because of your sole focus on gaming.
It’s even possible that your romantic and friendly relationships might suffer.
If you’re unable to stop video gaming, especially because they’re the only thing that makes you feel good, then you might suffer from this disorder.
Speaking with a therapist can help you determine whether you’re addicted or whether you’re using video games to cover up another issue.
For example, if you’re depressed, then you may just focus on playing video games because it’s the only that sparks any joy in you.
By seeing a therapist, you can learn other, healthier, ways to cope with depression.
One of the best ways that you can reduce how much time you spend gaming is by seeing a therapist who can determine why you may be addicted and help you cope with underlying issues.
5. Read A Book
If one of the reasons why you play video games as much as you do is because you love lore and story and character progression, then you might want to try reading a book.
Video games have come a long way from Pac-Man, Centipede, and Pong.
They’re complex and sometimes story-rich.
They can invoke emotions as strongly as watching a Hollywood cinematic masterpiece might.
If you play video games because you love uncovering a world’s lore and taking part in the story, there are other, healthier ways to achieve this.
While there’s nothing wrong with gaming, there are better ways to get that sort of experience.
For example, many great games are based on books.
One way that you can reduce your gaming is by trying to read more than you play.
Reading offers many benefits.
For one, it helps improve your cognition.
The more that you read, the better you are at comprehending difficult tasks.
It also helps you expand your vocabulary which can be helpful in a social or professional setting.
The important thing to consider when making the switch from video games to reading is choosing a book that will hold your interest.
Reading is an active form of entertainment since your brain is working through the words and analyzing them while you’re reading.
You may not be physically active, but your mind is heavily engaged in the practice of reading.
Because of this, you might find that you tire a bit faster when reading as opposed to playing games.
When this happens, you may not have the motivation to keep up with the book.
Choosing a book that’s similar to the types of games that you like to play should make it easier to stay engaged.
Reading is a great way to help reduce how much you game while still enjoying a good dose of story and lore.
6. Head Outside
Another great thing about video games is that they can transport you to incredible worlds far beyond your home or apartment.
If you’re someone who spends hours just exploring a game’s world, then you probably have a bit of wanderlust in you.
You want to see and experience interesting things.
You can do that outside of a video game, too.
While you may not run into any monster lairs or elvish fortresses, you’re sure to find beautiful vistas if you look hard enough.
Turning off your game initially might be difficult, but you’ll find that once you head outside and start walking, it’ll be a bit easier to forget.
That’s because being out in nature engages your mind in all sorts of different ways.
The scent of the grass, trees, and flowers can fill your head.
The sound of the wind blowing on the grass or against the leaves, along with the songs of birds and chirps of insects, can relax you.
Then there’s the visual display.
Lush green foliage, a blue sky, and the various colors of flowers and plants all around you can be a visual feast.
While stepping out into the backyard or going to a local park is one way to spend time outdoors, you can take it a step further and take a hike.
Hiking is an adventure in itself.
Even if you don’t take an especially long hike, spending a few hours walking a hiking trail can satisfy some of the needs that you usually satisfy with games.
At the very least, hiking will get you out of the house, provide a bit of exercise, and make you spend a little less time playing video games.
If you want to reduce how much you game, then you should try going outside and hiking.
7. Hit The Gym
If you live in the middle of a city or you don’t have a green area or a place to hike nearby, then going hiking or taking in the greenery might be out of reach for you.
A better solution might be to hit the gym instead.
It may take a considerable amount of effort to go from playing video games constantly to becoming a gym rat.
However, it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.
While you’re playing video games, you’re not burning many calories.
While some games might get your heart rate up, it isn’t the same as working out.
If all you’re doing is sitting on your chair or sofa while gaming, then you might even be gaining weight.
That can impact all aspects of your health.
Physically, you might be getting closer to developing diabetes and other obesity-related diseases.
Mentally, you might start to look at yourself in the mirror and dislike what you see.
That can impact your self-esteem and worsen any depression that you might be suffering from.
By going to the gym regularly, you can start to lose weight and develop muscle tone.
You might not only begin to enjoy what you see in the mirror, but you’ll likely find that you have a bit more energy, too.
You might even find that one of the reasons why you gamed so much was because you didn’t have the energy to do anything else.
By working out at the gym, you can increase your energy and become more productive.
There are ways to gamify working out, too, which can make it even more enjoyable.
One way to reduce how much you play video games is by going to the gym more often.
8. Getting Enough Sleep
A big reason why some people like to play video games is because it’s relaxing and doesn’t require a lot of energy.
They’re able to turn their PC or console on, then just sit back and move their fingers.
Sometimes, they might engage their minds with particular games, but other times, they might be reacting rather than thinking or planning.
The entire experience is very passive and unenergetic.
The reason you might prefer to do this activity over other activities that demand more energy is because you’re not getting enough sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can create a terrible feedback loop.
You don’t get enough sleep, so you play video games.
Then you end up playing video games late into the night because you can’t stop or don’t want to sleep.
You don’t get enough sleep to perform daily work duties or handle other tasks.
You come home exhausted and only have enough energy to play video games.
The cycle continues on and on.
You can interrupt the cycle by shutting your game down early and getting some sleep.
Studies on sleep have found that if you miss even an hour of sleep, then the side effects can last up to four days until your body recovers.
Depending on how much sleep you’ve been missing, it could take several days before you start to feel rested again.
That means each night you need to go to bed a bit earlier or sleep in a bit later to try and recover the sleep that you lost.
Once you do that, you might find that you have a bit more energy.
You might start doing things other than just gaming all the time.
You can reduce how much you play games by getting a good amount of sleep.
9. Find Friends
One reason why you might be gaming so much is because you don’t have many, or any, friends in your personal life.
Instead, your friends may all be online or in the game that you play.
Some people spend all their time engaging with others in a game as a way to get their social needs met.
While this does help satisfy your social needs to a point, it also makes it so all you want to do is play video games.
To reduce how much you play, you should try to find friends in your workgroup or who are interested in the same hobbies that you enjoy.
There are tons of ways to connect with people these days.
Although your friendship might start online, as long as they live in your area, you can always meet them in person later.
By finding friends who live around you, you can spend some face-to-face time with them instead of only interacting when you’re playing games.
10. Find A Passion
Finally, a reason you might be playing video games all the time is because you lack a passion for anything aside from gaming.
While that isn’t necessarily bad if you’re using gaming to make money, it shouldn’t be your sole passion.
If hate your job, for example, then that might be pushing you to play games all the time.
Switching to a different job or finding one that you’re passionate about might help you reduce how much time you spend gaming.
Because you’re passionate about something else, you’ll spend some of your time on that instead.
It can even be a secondary hobby.
By finding something else you’re passionate about, you can stop playing video games as much.
Playing video games is a healthy and fun hobby as long as you’re not exclusively engaging in gaming.
When you start gaming so much that your work performance and your relationships with your friends are affected, then it starts to become a problem.
You can try the things listed above to reduce how much you game and take control of your life back.