Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

video games - an observation

I enjoy playing pc video games and I used to waste a LOT of time playing games instead of doing the stuff I wanted/needed to do. 

However, since I have been on this site and learned how to manage my time a little bit better, I find that I feel differently about my beloved games. 

When I give myself PLANNED guilt-free breaks and free time, I don't always want to waste them playing games.  The planned breaks are MY time.  When I was "stealing" time from activities that I didn't want to do, the video games were extremely attractive and fun.  Now, I get bored with them fairly quickly because I'm spending MY own time playing them. 

Verrrrry interrresstting . . .


Me too

I liked what Journey said about not wanting to waste "guilt-free" breaks video games. I have experienced that kind of recovery at times, especially when life seems to be going well and I am feeling better about myself.

Lately, however, I have been in a really dark place where I just want to ESCAPE everything, mostly my own obsessive thoughts, my guilt about my procrastination and my shame about where I think it has led me (to waste my life!). I have been playing repetitive video games for weeks, many many hours of the day. Now it's like I don't know what to do when I lift my head from the computer screen and I scurry back to the video game. Replay, replay, replay. I am really near a bottom I think. I have been here before and had to totally stop playing these kinds of games. I do play WoW, but it doesn't seem to get as bad because it's social, so I can't use the games as effectively to isolate and go into a trance state.

This thread is very comforting to read. I don't know if I can get though today with no video games, but I am thinking about trying. I am trying to gather "shreds of willingness."

Thank you to everyone who posted here. It helps. My prayers are with you.


Hugs to Nan

Nan, have you tried this group?
I've heard lots of good things about them.
Please keep posting here, too!

Big hugs,

Video game addiction related support sites

To Nan and anybody else who is interested, the site that I initially joined, and which helped me a lot with my video game addiction, is the one mentioned by movingalong, i.e., OLGA/OLG-Anon at .  Note that they, like this site, provide support for the 12-steps approach.  Also, although it is a lot smaller, younger and has less specific support (e.g., they do not have support for the 12-steps approach), I got some benefit from the Video Game Addiction support group at Daily Strength at .  From my research, I have found some other support sites but very few other groups where you can actually join and contribute.  Among those few, one of the very best ones is WoW Detox at .  Another quite good one is Gamer Widow at .  Finally, a couple of Yahoo! groups are EQ Widows at and WoW Widows at .  Of course, these last 3 groups are more for people who are affected by their significant other's (SO) video game addiction, but reading some of these stories may help to realize the potential harm that some of us may be doing to those that we love without fully realizing it.

- John O.

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

i've been there nan

i could have written that post myself. I dont play wow, but otherwise...

Dontcha just hate that vicious cycle: procrastinate, feel shame, escape into more prcrastination, get more behind, feel shame... It's nasty.

I just went thru a dark period yesterday, but it only lasted for a few hours. I really feel for you, because yours seems to have lasted much longer than that.

I just went thru another one last night. 2am and i was done with all my work and really tired, but i had this urge to browse, watch TV, or play a new video game. I handled that with Ch 5 of the "Big Book" of AA. It worked. It was very plain, but it worked.

Anyway, i am really praying for you to find your path out of this. And into recovery, just for today. one day at a time.

BTW, have you tried posting here when you want to escape? That's one of the few things i can do when i feel that way. I think that's because i feel no judgment here. People here understand, deeply. I have even posted "10am: ok, gotta get myself going. Set my MITs." "12pm: goofed off. gotta set my MITs" "2pm: goofed off again..." Come to think of it as i write this, it really is a remarkable thing to be able to be so honest about that here.

Glad my xbox broke

I used to be a massive fan of Halo2 - online multiplay - luckily it's an xbox game, i say luckily because they're not built to last, and after 12 months of deathmatches the box broke.

Today, due to a certain change of outlook, i don't think i could embrace such a violent game, i take care with what i pollute my mind with, sometimes i have dreams and they're like videogames, first person shooters, do i really want to be having dreams like that?..i don't think so, i'm happy my xbox broke and i'm not inclined to buy any of the new games systems.



Hang in there, Nan

Hi Nan,

Sounds like you are in a really rough place.  It's great that you're posting here, starting to face the problems, and locate those shreds.  Those are hard things to do, so give yourself credit.

Sending good thoughts your way. . . 


video games

The only good thing to come of problems I've had w/ my hands and wrists is that I haven't been playing video games for over a year (the major downside is that I have to limit my piano and guitar playing).

I was quite shocked that the 4 yr old son of a friend of mine is already addicted to video games and plays them hours every day (he is divorced and doesn't have custody, so he has limited ability to counteract this behavior). I guess I'm lucky that video games didn't really mature until after I was in college :)

I still haven't gotten rid of my SuperNintendo, N64 and GameCube. If anything, I have nostalgia for old school RPGs which at least engage one's problem solving abilities (and which generally don't abuse one's wrists as much). Nevertheless, I should probably purge most of the many games I still have.


 I see the addictive behavior of my son's gaming as a huge vacuum: another dimension almost, where time, money and reality disappear, just as it does with all other addictions. As I have done the same thing with: books and food, this is not intended as a moral judgement, but instead a recognition that gaming and WOW in particular, is not easy to allocate time for unless you are someone who can say no to more than one brownie (or similar equivalent thereof). My son is currently lobbying for a summer WOW account so he can stay in touch with all of his friends when they are away.  Their current argument is that it does not take as long to do what you need to do to play anymore so it won't take up as much time as it used to. As gamers, what do you think? And what does it take to say no to yourself that a 14 year old boy could identify with?

teenager on WOW

Hmmm . . . there are parental controls that limit the time you can play to certain times of the day and certain amounts of time.  Maybe let him "earn" WoW hours by doing chores or other activities that you want to encourage.   I'd recommend being a bit flexible though, as if you join a group to accomplish a certain quest or go through an instance dungeon, it sometimes takes an hour or more and it's considered very rude to drop out in the middle.  This behavior can get you kicked out of a good guild.  So encourage him to plan those things when he knows he will have a couple of hours to play.  He'll be impressed that you know what an instance dungeon is lol!

There are some good things about WoW, if you can limit your time playing.  A lot of the quests require you to: 1) build a team of people  2)  divide duties and responsibilities  3)  work out differences  4) work together towards a common goal.  Those skills are useful in the real world, too.

btw, what realm is he on?  I'm on Magtheridon.

Vanadium - Level 46 Troll Hunter.

For the Horde!


"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

wow history

He used to be an level 51 rogue gnome on Elune and considers himself to be an 'ex-addict' and he is starting a Troll Rogue on Dark Spear with his friends.  He wants to know if you hate Blood Elves as much as he does, lol! (I feel like I am speaking a foreign language, lol! )

I think that parental controls might be the answer for the summer. The only difficulty is that his friends who he is trying to see will be in: Hawaii, Athens, Boston and Virgina, so the time zones are an issue. I know that this can easily snowball, so I feel like I am handing out methodone to a heroin addict....


Blood Elves

He'll love this story:

When my daughter had her knee surgery and was high on Percoset, I complained about someone's driving behavior on the way home from the hospital.  She said "Well, he just drives that way because he's a blood elf."


"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

Me too

Maybe its procrastination again though?

You've made a promise to yourself to play this game for a set amount of time, and that kind of structure strictly resembles that of what we do when we want to get work done!

So maybe you're not enjoying it anymore because that structure you've imposed has triggered something that makes you want to escape to some other task.

Weirdly, the task that you escape to may actually be something you were avoiding earlier. It's like battling procrastination with procrastination.

re: me too

Interesting thought Steven!  Putting structure around it makes it seem more like "work" lol.



"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

Are you being sarcastic?

Are you being sarcastic?

re: sarcastic!

Absolutely not, sorry if it sounded that way!  I appreciate your thoughtful comment and think you have a good point.   The joy of video games, or whatever you use for procrastionation, is the ability to get lost in it.  Setting the timer takes away that escape.


"The sooner you get behind, the longer you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

stealing my time

oh yeah, jo. I'm with you there. When i'm stealing time from "what i'm supposed to do" all sorts of things can attract me. But on a designated break, i'm much more choosey. Yep.

I was actually addicted to playing video games!

Journey, that is an interesting observation.  Congratulations on being able to avoid using playing video games as an alternate to doing important work. 

I believe that there are likely quite a few other people who also use video games, whether they be PC, console or on-line, as a way to procrastinate.  For me, I have used PC video games for that purpose as well when I first started procrastinating.  That was almost 20 years ago when I was doing a Master's degree in applied math but realized that I would rather be doing it in computer science instead.  However, I was already at least half way through so I did not want to switch or drop out and, instead, I forced myself to finish.  At that time, video games were just used as a way to delay working on my thesis, and then later for a while as I was starting a new computer consulting business.  However, I stopped playing them several months later when I got a lot of work and became very busy.  I restarted playing again about 6 years ago, but they became an addiction this time.  Although I played only about 4 or so hours per day on average (but I also used other procrastination techniques), I still had a lot of trouble stopping playing them on my own.  As such, I decided about a year ago to get on-line help.  I joined 2 sites to help me, with one of them providing a 12-step approach and helping me the most.  After quite a few months of attempts at stopping, and several slip-ups, I have now not been playing them at all for several months.  In fact, I don't even have very many temptations any more.  However, my life has not improved that much yet since that time partially because I am using additional procrastination techniques during some of that extra time that I now have available.  Finally, just under a week ago, I decided that I needed to address this major underlying cause of my problems as well.  Note that although I think that there are some addictive elements, I don't believe that procrastination is an addiction as such for me.  Nonetheless, I decided to use this site to a significant extent because it provides support for a 12-step program.  I only used the 12-steps fairly informally during my earlier battle against playing video games but I believe that they did help me.  As such, I am glad to know that support for them is available here should I desire to use them.

I suggest that anybody who thinks that their playing video games is an addiction in its own right instead of just something that they are using mainly as a procrastination aid should get help specifically for that.  That has helped me because I can now focus my efforts on this engrained procrastination habit of mine without having that addiction getting in my way.

- John O.

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)