manage gaming addictionVideo games are literally created to be addictive. Every year, video games are created to be more immersive, more explosive and more attention grabbing. Game controllers now vibrate and make sounds in correlation with the action of the game. In 2014, a gaming console was set up to draw blood from a gamer when their avatar lost blood in a battle – for the worthy cause of donating blood but still through extreme gaming. Video games are harder to resist than ever before, but for those who choose not to lose their lives to video games, there are ways of managing a gaming addiction rather than letting it manage you.

In general, the best method of allowing one’s self a healthy amount of video gaming is by planning and organizing one’s time so that it is balanced between work, play, health and relationships. These four priorities should be balanced equally to be a healthy person in general. Your personal or professional vocation makes up your purposeful time. Your medical practices, exercise and nutrition comprise the time you devote to personal health. The attention you give to family, friends and significant others is your relationship time. And lastly, the time you devote to fun, can include time to game, although it does have to include the other things you do for fun as well.

Even more specifically, plan your gaming time in advance and be prepared to enforce rules on yourself to control your gaming impulse. Decide in advance how much time you will allow yourself to game, considering your other time obligations. As your time winds down, consciously prepare yourself to reach a stopping point. If you find it difficult to limit yourself, make use of an egg timer as an external accountability measure. Controlling your gaming impulse takes time, thought and work, but if you are serious about living in a healthy, balanced way, you too are capable of knowing when to say “no” to video games.