Admittedly I am a more then what some people call an extreme gamer. And since my life makes it possible to spend hours at a time playing Call of Duty, I usually do. I play against people from all around the world in battles both small and epic.
It was one of those epic ones that got me with some kid in France. I felt like I was being taunted by him, constantly challenged to take it a bit further, play for just one more hour. Looking back I realized now that it had to have been a team of kids in France that I was playing against, each taking turns to bring this old man down.
They almost got me too. The memories are hazy but looking back I think I left my seat in those four days a total of 20 times. Bathroom breaks mostly, but one time I dozed off and slipped off of the chair and onto the floor. I have no idea how long I laid there, but when I awoke, the game was still going.
A fellow gamer friend is the one who saved me. After 4 days of either no answer or frantic stop calling me calls he showed up at my house (the door was not locked, easier for the pizza guy that way) and literally pulled the plug on what at the time I thought was fun. I now look back at that time as a momentary slip into insanity.
After calming down and sleeping for almost 24 hours straight, I took a good look around and in the mirror and was scared straight real fast. My house looked like tornado had run through it. There were a few pizza boxes and evidence of one take out Chinese meal thrown on the floor around my chair.Among that were several empty soda bottles and dirty coffee cups.
Mine was even worse. I had not changed clothes one time, so just imagine how I good I smelt. My face was pale and sunken with a 5 day shadow that now needed a beard trimmer instead of a razor. My lips were cracked from dehydration and my eyes still had that crazy stare.
After taking very long shower, and making good use of those beard grooming tips (I decided to keep it, it made me look bearish) I got on the scale. Almost 16 pounds lost in just those few days. My gaming binge had left me a shell of my old self, broken and ashamed of myself for what I had done. And I hadn’t even beaten the punks in France.
Do I still play? Yes, you can’t keep an extreme gamer down for long. I kept the XBox but now I make sure that my sessions don’t go past 3 hours at a time and that I take at least a 12 hour break in between. This works for me, keeps me in the game, but not to the point where I am killing myself.