Another One

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 18th Oct 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

How my love for football turned into a video game addiction.

My brush with video game addiction

I can’t possibly explain how much I love football.

It made me happy (Drogba 2012 Champions League Final), it made me angry (The Liverpool Ghost Goal, 2005 Champions League Semi Final), it kept me entertained (Liverpool 4 - Chelsea 4, 2009 Champions League Semi Final), it made me feel sad (JT slipping in Moscow 2008) and it made me smile (Lampard breaking Bobby Tambling's' record against Villa).

I loved it so much that I had dreams of being involved in it. I wasn't a good player (played CDM/CD in my younger years) so I turned my aspirations into coaching. I read up on thesis that famous coaches wrote and published, went through the tactical evolution of the game, went into tactical breakdown and analysis and always watched replays of goals and took a keen interest in player positioning.

Al those things people actually got paid for, I did it out of love for the game. So as long as I was involved in some form or manner, I didn't care about the rest.

To add on, I was a casual gamer but because gaming allowed me to live football, it soon became more than a hobby.

I’ve played five versions of FIFA (FIFA 04, FIFA 07, FIFA 12, FIFA 14 and FIFA 15), played seven iterations of football management games (FM 2007, FM 2011, FM 2012, FM 2016, CM03/04, CM2009 and FIFA Manager 2012).

I was constantly surrounded by football and gamed so much that I think I began to live vicariously through these games. I began celebrating in-game successes as if they were real world achievements. I postponed things I’d planned for just to get more FM and no matter how late it was, or how sleepy I was, I’d always tell myself:

Just one more match

Because things in my life weren’t going according to plan, gaming was my comfort but that comfort turned to an obsession as it got to a point where it began to take sole priority. All I’d look forward to was starting up the game and continuing where I’d left off.

My life could’ve gone to hell for all I care. The only thing that mattered was getting Everton into a European qualification position.

However, I began to see that my behavior was changing. I was no longer sociable, I couldn’t hold a conversation like a normal person (unless it was about football) and I was falling behind in important projects.

I knew I had to stop but despite my realization, I couldn’t shake it off. I’d reinstall all the games and be good for a couple of days until I watched a game. I’d see all the tactics and plays implemented, want to try them out, and end up reinstalling the damn games.

It took a while for me to face the truth but eventually there was no avoiding it as it was staring me square in the face:

I was getting addicted to gaming

The DSM-V defines addiction as “a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress” and while there is no known medical model for diagnosing it, there are warning signs such as isolating oneself to jam games, prioritizing games over everything else in life (like I was doing), and other behavioral changes although interestingly enough, it has been suggested that video game addiction can be the result of undiagnosed and untreated disorders. The situation isn’t helped especially considering video game companies have been making games more addictive in such a manner that a person can’t help themselves but play continuously till the end to get the grand reward… of finishing the game.

It took me a while but I made the conscious decision to quit for good and managed to get rid of my gaming habit. Make no mistake I'm still a football nut; I still take notes of things I pick up during matches, I still read up on things involving the tactical side of the game and do all sorts of other things only a diehard would do but I've given up on the gaming side. Not that there’s anything wrong with gaming; it’s just that I set personal goals in life and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve them if I continued to spend the majority of my days trying to win promotion with Leeds.

Ultimately, if it’s something you love and enjoy doing, then I don’t think it can be called a waste of time. After all, it’s your life – you can do whatever you want but be careful as to not let your love for games turn to an obsession.

There is more to life than that console.


Gaming Addiction, Personal Experience, Personal Experiences, Video Game

Meet the author

author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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