Hey Guys, it’s Fijoli and I am an addict.

I am addicted to video games and the internet. I make huge strides to ensure my connection to video games and the internet remain healthy and social ones. The true happiness is from the people who I’ve become connected to through technology. It’s ok to relapse every now and again, no one is perfect, the support I need is always there at the other end of a push to talk Hotkey.

I go through periods of reclusive game play, which means I spend nearly a month and a half  just playing games without others and horde solitude. I used to be much worse and socially, many people weren’t prepared for my personality or passions.

Today, I make sure to get the solitude I need through gaming and other activities, and  over the years I have perfected a balance of social gaming and solitary gaming. This helps me to better manage my time for physical activities and maintains good habits that took me years to condition myself to do.

Addiction doesn’t only pertain to drugs and alcohol nor is it about the objects of our addictions.

It’s all about behavior and habit.

Breaking habits are hard but NOT impossible.

It gets easier but the secret is; YOU have to do it EVERYDAY.

I will play a game again and again if it is a game I love. Especially older games. It holds my attention and distracts me from giving needless and unwarranted fucks, however, gaming has taught me how to care about what does matter and it started back when I was very young. Back when the music was enough to suck me into the digital world without reprieve.

So, let me take you back to my past.

I have always played video games, since the age of four and as far back as my earliest memories of life go, I remember the feeling of a controller in my hand. My dedication and addiction began very young, as it stands to be the first positive reinforced interactions with my mother.

My mother is the smartest person I know, so intelligent and tech savvy and she taught me everything I know about computers and even video games. Without those early moments of happy time spend with mother, video games may have never become so engrained in my life.

The second time was with my brother, Kevin was diagnosed autistic at the age of three and didn’t talk to us. Seven Years of sign language and a baby sister later he began to really enjoy watching me play crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation. One day out of the blue he asked a crystal clear sentence, “Can I play too?”

I was shocked and handed over the controller and the words just flowed out of Kevin like he had known how to talk all along, “How do I jump? “How do I kill the bad guys” “How do I find the secrets?” For someone who had been silent for 7 years to start suddenly talking in full blown sentences, it was amazing to me and my family.

Now we can’t shut him up, and all he wants to talk about is Video games.

Video games connected me to my family and as I grew up, and gaming evolved, it connected me to the entire world. Getting my ass handed to me in Dr. Mario through a match with someone from Japan or running through a sandbox of communities and actually learning about real life communities in Second life.

Video games have become the escape we needed from the hardships and loneliness we all find ourselves in, and some of us get very lost in our virtual realities.

Video games can be very detrimental to our health if we do not exercise moderation and healthy practices in physical activities. This is coming from someone who plays anywhere from 50 – 80 hours of games per week, if not more. It has taken me many years to detach myself from my controller and make sure that I am taking good care of myself in order to enhance the games I play through making sure my entire body is involved in game play.

From good blood circulation to joint rotations, artwork and now belly dance lessons. I still have to force myself away from my virtual havens to make sure I stay alive and healthy as long as I possibly can. I would hate to miss out on the future of gaming and if you ask me, the future is looking rather epic.

I guess the point of sharing my story with you is a reminder to check in with yourself, unplug and replug, disconnect and connect. Remember the true reasons for your love of gaming and the people you have come to know and how those things make you who you are today. How can you appreciate something when it’s always in your face?

It takes a set of fresh eyes and a rested mind to truly appreciate the things we get to have today and the harder it is to pull away, the more grateful you are to have it when you return. Once I made gaming my reality, I felt no need to escape.