Frustration abounds when it comes to videogames - whether it's a mis-timed jump, or a corrupted save, games are not lacking ways of doing us wrong. But what about when we abuse the games themselves, causing harm to ourselves, through gaming?
Whether it's knocking off quality time with friends and family to play one more round of Modern Warfare, or preferring a New Years party in Second Life to one in real life, over-gaming can often have some very real, very negative consequences. Just ask Jorge Garcia, who lost an entire year to gaming:
Without casting blame or shunning accountability, I readily admit that I was addicted to games. What is addiction if not the unhealthy and unreasonable enjoyment of something to the degree that one's life suffers as a result? But I was not a passive victim in this relationship - games did not waylay me and force me to play them. My story is fundamentally no different than those of the addicts of any other substance. It is a mixture of irresponsibility, self-denial and personal issues that initially had little to do with videogames.
But Jorge's isn't entirely a story of gaming gone wrong, it's a story of self-reflection, rebirth and growth. As he puts it: "I can never have those years back, but to write them off as "lost" would be unfair. I had those years to think and discuss what had happened to me, and I learned from difficulties I would not otherwise have faced." Read more of Jorge's story in "The Lost Years," and share your own stories of addiction and rebirth with us.