David Strittmatter

How quitting video games changed my life for the better

It is this time of year again: The League of Legends world championship is taking place and the best players in the world compete for the title “best LoL players in the world”.

Side note: League of Legends (LoL) is a competitive video game with steadily increasing popularity and growing fan base. Many of you might not know it. This, though, does not really matter regarding the issue I want to write about today.

Almost four years ago, I was in love with this game. It gave me so much: I have always been a competitive person, loved challenging myself and wanted to prove to others that I am right. LoL is a very competitive game, requiring you to improve otherwise you will not be able to climb the competitive ladder and get stuck. So, it was ideal to give me the competitiveness I desired. I set myself goals and thought about strategies on how to achieve them, such as creating a schedule when to play games, watch replays to analyze mistakes and when to watch videos to improve my skills. Yeah, I was really into it.

Besides, I found some delightful friends with whom I spent plenty of amusing hours playing this game. Sometimes, it was so incredibly pleasant that we played until late into the night. Thinking back to it is always a great pleasure.

I was so passionate that I was close to tears.

But then there was this day: I was once again incredibly frustrated since I lost many games in a row and just was unable to progress. I was so passionate that I was close to tears. Because of a game. A video game.

This day I realized that I have to make a decision about where this is going to lead. I contemplated why I was playing this game, why I spend so much time on it, whether there was a purpose in it and why I should keep playing it and any other game. A rigorous reflection process was started.

From this day on I quit gaming and playing LoL. I often had the desire to play it again and thought about the people I spent many hours with. The arguments against playing again, however, were much stronger. And so, I had not touched the keyboard to play a game for many months and have full control over my game consumption. Today, I sometimes play with my younger siblings one or two rounds different kind of games when I am back at my home town, but as I am not used to it anymore, I cannot play more than half an hour without losing the desire to play another round.

The reasons why I quit this hobby are quite apparent

Now, what were the reasons why I stopped carrying out this extensive hobby? First and foremost, gaming itself is not bad at all. It is a social activity that provided me with a lot of happiness as well as great and enjoyable moments I do not want to miss. Therefore, this article is not against gaming in general, but rather it is about why I took a different path and why thinking long-term is extremely important to me.

Gaming can be a hell of a lot of wasted time

One of the three major reasons is that gaming cost me countless hours of my life. Playing video games can give you a lot of enjoyment in the short-run, however, in the long-term it might indirectly deprive you of so many opportunities.

Before I stopped gaming, I had imagined how many hours would be set free in case I quit playing video games and what I could do with all this additional lifetime. Looking back, it was a extremely good deal: My grades in high school improved, I started going to the gym more often, met and got my long-term relationship, started DJing and producing mixtapes more intensively (what I quit before going to college), invested much more in my personal development and several other great opportunities arose, such as having a greater incentive to meet friends more often in the real world or more time in college.

As there were many things I enjoyed more and made me happier in the long-run, it made no sense to me to continue gaming which leads us to the next reason.

I did not see meaning in it

Further, gaming did not really mean anything to me. What I mean by this is that playing video games was just a fun activity. I just did it for fun. Having fun is not really bad. However, during this reflection and thought process before quitting, I made up my mind that from now on, everything I am going to do regularly must have a purpose. Every habit, every day-to-day decision, everything I do on a regular basis has to be based on a conscious decision as well as my principle of long-term thinking according to my vision and purpose of life. And gaming is definitely not part of that. It is a fun activity, yes, but there are many things giving me at least as much fun as gaming did in the long-run, for instance shooting videos. Consequently, I had another very strong argument against playing video games as often as I did.

Extensive gaming is bad for health

Another strong argument against gaming as a hobby was that it was not healthy for me. You only sit in a chair and steer at a monitor, not able to move and stretch yourself for hours. You not only risk muscle, stamina and strength loss but also your eyes can get worse as they are constantly overexerted. In conclusion, gaming was not merely a waste of time and did not give me any sense, it is even not good for my personal well-being. Damn! Of course, there are many other habits and hobbies that are worse than gaming, such as drinking and a normal office job is not really better than gaming for several hours. But since there are many other hobbies which I enjoy more, are meaningful in the long-run AND are good or at least not bad for my health, I was totally determined to quit gaming.

I can completely understand when you do not want to quit gaming or any other hobby similar to it. Maybe it provides you with a sense or you do not want to quit because there is no alternative in sight, for instance, it helps you to come down. Nevertheless, I hope I have given you food for thought that will help you make your life a little better.

Any remarks, questions or feedback? Feel free to let me know; I highly appreciate it!

See you soon my friend.

All the best to you and yours,


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