Here is a confession of mine, in an attempt to persuade people from being too addicted to video games.
I used to be a former pupil from a certain university, and was one of the oldest to have graduated there due to my mental deficits. I will not mention what that institute is, but I will just term it as P.
I was born in the 1980s, and was second to a houshold of four. My father was a professor in the computer sciences, while my mother was a housewife, who, by her own account, displayed developmental issues when she was younger. And so, because my mother was liberated from other more cogent tasks, I was homeschooled and had my education arranged and taken care of by my mother. This occurred all the way till I was about ten years old.
I was mentally delayed compared to most people. I learned to speak in coherent sentences only at the age of 4, and was reading and doing simple math at the age of 8. By the age of 12, I was already trained in grammar and was moderately well-read thanks to my mother’s devotion, and therefore by ten, I took the SATs and scored a terribly low 850/1600 which fortunately landed me into P, alongside two merits in two A level subjects (in my country, it is customary to take the UK educational route) under a private candidature.
When I entered P, I became an education major. However, despite doing very well in the first year, I had a new interest: that was video gaming. Back in the days, my parents had a very strict curfew of restricting video gaming sessions from me entirely as it would impact my studies, however, as I entered the dorms to live all by myself, thanks to my scholarship funds, I was able to afford a single bedroom dormitory, where I bought myself a computer which was originally meant to facilitate my studies.
This was when I had my first actual liberty of being able to purchase whatever I had wanted, and so one of my first games was Red Alert. During which, I became hooked, and gradually played up to ten hours a day. It reached a point of time, when for the entire semester, I would be playing games without end due to the freedom being proffered, until my grades tumbled and I was barely able to graduate at 25, but with grades so terrible that I was not able to get recommendation letters for furthering my education at the graduate level in the domains that I originally wanted to pursue.
After that, I spent entire year resting from my studies, which was partially made possible thanks to a generous allowance that my parents had given me to live by myself for a year or two. Not having felt rested enough, I just bought close to 80 different video games, and was playing them for 9 to 10 hours per day without much end. I shall not go into the details, but when I finally recovered, and felt ready for a degree in art, of which I enrolled in another institute, which I will name L, I was not able to recover sufficiently to attend to classes due to the severe addiction.
After a semester of getting moderate grades, my parents felt that it was important for me to wean off video gaming, and so, I was referred to a specialist who conducted an assessment to see the degree of the damage. Cognitively, I scored very poor on all intellectual assessments given, especially, when it came to memory assessment, it was found that I had impaired attentional and learning difficulties, which was partially attributed to the excessive video gaming which I had been through. We knew this was the case because I was given a similar test many years earlier in the pre-gaming addiction phase, which I did rather well.
Eventually, I took two semesters of break off from my studies, and recuperated from gaming, until I was finally able to continue my studies at 26, with my memory and attention sufficiently recovered. Thanks to the supportive system provided by my friend and parents, I was able to wean off video gaming, and now I restrict gaming to at most three hours per day. The treatment they had was a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy which involved arranged activities such as horse-riding and training exercises to improve eye-hand coordination, plus some meditative and relaxation practices. The addiction was severe to the point that I developed a nascent form of ADHD and had to be on medication for a while.
The point being, video game addiction delayed my academic development by around a year or two (I did estimate 36 months), and it might have been worse if I was not diagnosed with addiction earlier on. It also ruined my prospectus of a career as a teacher, which I had originally wanted, and was forced to change my major to art, and subsequently, to another field (which may make the delay caused by addiction to around 4 years or so?). The other point being: it really helps if one moderates the number of hours that one plays each day, or one may end up in a worse predicament as I did.