Do you find yourself playing the same PC game for hours on end? Do you give up sleep, family time and work just to spend an extra few hours behind the screen mashing buttons? If so, then you’re probably a video game addict, or at least well on your way to becoming one! Video game addiction has been in the spotlight repeatedly over the last few years, so as someone with some personal knowledge of the issue, I decided to provide some non-standard advice on how to overcome this problem.
I’ve been an avid gamer for years and during that time I have found one sure-fire way to make even the most addictive game boring. The key is to ruin the game for yourself, and the only really effective way to do that is to cheat! You didn’t expect me to say that did you? You expected me to give you some more generic advice on how to break your gaming addiction. Well, I found this to be the most effective way to wean yourself off any game you’re particularly attached to.
There are in total 4 ways I have found that allow you to cheat in games (and therefore ruin it for yourself). So, if you’re ready to break your gaming addiction, it is time for an intervention:
1. Read A Walkthrough (Simple)
Chances are you’re not the first person that has played the game you’re currently addicted to (unless you’re really, really hardcore), so there is a pretty good chance that someone has already finished the game and have written a step-by-step guide on exactly how to beat it and discover every single feature and Easter egg.
The fun part about playing a game is discovering new things and finding out what happens next based on your actions (it’s called immersiveness and replay value). The game becomes a lot more boring if you know exactly what will happen and there is absolutely nothing left for you to discover. Reading a walkthrough for your game written by someone else is one way to make sure the game holds no surprises for you and therefore holds absolutely no replay value. Gaming addiction 0 – you 1.
However, with some games it is the process of playing the game that is fun, unlocking buildings, zones or characters, making money, what could be better? This is where cheats come in.
2. Find Some Cheats (Easy)
Most games these days come with cheats built into the game (actually, games have had cheats ever since the very early days of gaming). Cheats are usually built into the game so that developers can try out different things without having to play through the game over and over. As you can imagine that may be time-consuming. When the game is released, these cheats may be disabled, but they can usually easily be enabled and used by you, Joe-video-game-addict.
Cheats are enabled differently in different games, sometimes you need to edit a configuration file where the game is installed (this can mostly be done using notepad), other times you need to do it through an in-game console. The point is, the same guy who wrote the walkthrough for the game (or possibly his brother) has already worked out how to enable the cheats for your game and also listed what the cheats are on a website somewhere. All you need is Google and a few minutes of your time and before you know you’ll have a fully cashed-up character with an uber-elite assault rifle and unlimited health. Nothing is guaranteed to cure your gaming addiction quicker than removing all challenge from a game. So, you 2 – gaming addiction 0.
But, sometimes those super-smart developers are able to remove cheats from a game completely and there is no easy way for you to get them back. Luckily there are some even smarter developers around.
3. Use A Trainer (Medium Complexity)
That’s right there are whole groups of really smart developer-type hacker people who spend all of their free time creating little applications that allow you to cheat in your game regardless of whether cheats are switched on or off. These little application are called Trainers (yeah just like personal trainers in the gym).
Trainers come as a separate little application that you need to launch along side your game. When both the trainer and the game are launched at the same time pressing certain key combinations during your gameplay will do all sorts of wonderful things to your game that will make it a whole lot easier and a lot less interesting. The key combinations differ from trainer to trainer and from game to game, but most trainers come with pretty comprehensive documentation that explains what the key combinations are and what they do inside your game.
All you have to do is spend a little bit more time with Google (it really is your best internet buddy) and search for a trainer for your game. However if you want to be pointed in the right direction, go to Gamecopyworld. If the trainer you’re looking for is not there, it probably doesn’t exist yet.
So, what was the score, oh yeah, you 3 – gaming addiction 0. Hang on a second though, didn’t I just say that a trainer may not exist for a game? Unfortunately such a situation is not unheard of, but don’t despair, you can still kick your video game addiction in the teeth by developing some ‘lite haxor skills of your own.
4. Get A Memory Editor (Advanced)
Ok, you don’t really need to develop any hacking skills, cause some really bright dudes out there in internet-land are looking after you and that is why they created a memory editor. The best memory editor I’ve used is ArtMoney.
When you run a memory editor while your game is running, the editor has access to the memory space that the game is using. This means that you can manipulate any numeric value in your game by directly modifying the memory address where that numeric value is stored. So, money, health, points they are all at your mercy, you can make them low and you can make them high, you can even freeze them at a particular value. The ruin of your gaming fun is almost guaranteed.
Alright I admit, you do need some skills to use a memory editor properly. You need to be able to read numbers in hexadecimal and you do need a basic understanding of how numbers are stored in memory. However, Google can come to your rescue here again. If you search hard enough, you’ll be able to find plenty of ArtMoney tutorials online that will take you through the program step by step and teach you a little bit about numbers, memory and computers as well. Not only will you be investing some time into kicking your gaming habit, but you will also learn some sweet new computer skills while doing it.
Hopefully by this stage you will have K.Oed. your gaming addiction no matter how interesting, exciting and addictive your game was before you got your cheating little hands on it.
Now that I’ve shared my advice with you, it is time for disclaimers. If there is one article that probably needs disclaimers this one is it.
Firstly, the advice I give is only applicable for single player PC games. It is possible to cheat in multiplayer games, but it is not only unfair to other players but is in some cases illegal as well. At best you can get yourself banned from playing the game (which is certainly one way to cure a gaming addiction). At worst you may have legal proceedings initiated against you. I am in no way advocating cheating in multiplayer games, so if you decide to go down that path, on your head be it.
If you’re a console gamer, then alas, you’re on your own for I know nothing of your world. I have no idea if cheats are even available as an avenue for you to break your gaming addiction. However my core advice of ruining the game for yourself in some way is still very sound and my point about walkthroughs still applies.
Lastly I am not a psychologist (as you may have gathered from my About Page) so the advice I give is not professional (unless having played lots and lots of games is considered a profession). I found that the methods I outlined work for me when I find myself getting addicted to a game and the theory is sound. However, if they don’t work for you, the best advice I can give you is to seek professional help.
Phew, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, I hope that you enjoyed this post and found the advice helpful. At the very least I hope you learned something you didn’t know before. If you have any other advice for breaking video game addiction that is perhaps non-standard and uses some lateral thinking, please leave a comment and tell everyone what it is.