Are Video Games As Addicting As Masturbation?

Staying up late with pink eyes from the whole day of looking at the screen? Got no luck ending your week- or month-long streak? Yes, these are all the signs of addiction. Now, since it is 2021, it isn’t an addiction to heroin. No, sir. The future has a trick up its sleeve for the kids who grew up in front of the monitor.

Video Games, Porn, and Masturbation

The aforementioned confused and dehydrated state is a result of two things that torture the modern man — porn (and masturbation) and video game addiction. These two relatively different actions actually have a lot in common. For one, they both create very high psychological addiction. This addiction is rooted in the depts of our brain, or to be precise, in its reward system.

These new types of addiction differ from substance abuse because we enjoy more than one kind of pleasure and stimulation from the same source. With drugs and alcohol, it is not so easy to mix and match. The high you feel when you use your hands to dismantle your opponent or your raging hornyniness comes from a feeling of a new experience. Every match is an opportunity for a new pleasure, much like every orgasm is.

Your body gets so used to such massive dopamine rushes when watching porn that anything else becomes incomparable to it. So what do you think happens when you score a headshot from 50 meters in multiplayer?

Can Video Games Trigger Your Addiction to Masturbation?

There is no evidence that life is easy. It’s true. It’s unpredictable, unfair, and doesn’t care about your plans. Having to cope with all those things while losing a battle with hormones and realizing that adults don’t know what they are doing with their life either bears a heavy burden on our mental health. 

Ironically, we get introduced to video games and porn just at that point, in the early stage of life. They stick to our psychological system like a form of escape, much like drugs and alcohol. Escape from harsh reality and safe heaven in which pleasures are harvested whenever we need them. It is a handy yet unsatisfying fix. It leaves us wanting for more but never quite reaching that completeness. 

So while we contemplate just how boring real life is, gaming and porn seem much more exciting. With just a little effort, you can reward your brain with a stream of sensations. That provides a rapid release of dopamine to our brain. The equation from this moment forward is pretty simple. The more you expose your brain to these kinds of stimulants, the more it becomes numb to them. So we do it more and more, hopelessly spiraling harder and harder into an addiction.

The horrifying thing here is that, after a while, your brain experiences structural changes: numbed pleasure response (everyday activities no longer satisfy you), hyper-reactivity to gaming (gaming is really exciting, and everything else not so much), and erosion of willpower (your inability to quit comes from reduced or no willpower exactly because of the structural changes). 

It’s completely the same with porn addiction. In simple words, the substance or sensation here is irrelevant. It’s the faulty way your system is struggling with this phenomenon.

Rewiring Your Brain 

Luckily for you and what right now seems like the majority of men, the internet community pulled together all of its strengths and high thinkers and came with a solution. The only cure that has been confirmed to work is to somehow rewire your brain so that it no longer needs porn or games for a sensation that is a mile high. 

The important thing that should be mentioned here is that honestly, there is no going back to the time when our brain was content with mild erotica or a match of hangman. Once you expand your consciousness, nothing stays the same. That’s why it is so hard getting off drugs, alcohol, or dealing with any other addiction.

Since there is no substance involved in our two little addictions, or to be precise, the substance is in our brain, there is a chance you can teach your brain to use it in a different way. Rewiring, in this case, basically means substitution. 

No Fap Challenge 

As soon as the internet recognized this horrible menace and threat to society, the No Fap Challenge was invented. The challenge was to restrain yourself from wanking for a month and then see what happens.

The idea behind this is simple. As soon as you stop giving your brain treats in the form of a quick game with your friends or a quick one with your other friends, it starts to seek sensations in other places. All that extra energy has to go somewhere. As you recall, we said that nothing seems much fun anymore to you. So, your brain gasps in an attempt to find something even remotely strong that will bring back the good old dopamine. 

There is a myth that Tesla, the famous inventor, deliberately gave up on relationships with women to dedicate his life to science. It sounds like macho bullshit, yes. But we all know that one female friend who wants to put her career before the kids or family.

The important thing that begs to be said here is that many of the people who tried the No Fap thing reported that, after a while, they lost interest in porn and soon enough for playing games altogether. This only shows that the reason for these addictions lies in our psychological system and not in the outside environment.

Healthy gaming

“My attorney never understood the notion, often said by former drug abusers, that you can get a lot higher without drugs than with them,” says Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and loathing. 

It is every addict’s dream. To be able to enjoy your favorite high but keep all the modesty you had before it became an actual addiction. What seemed like a normal thing to do a couple of years back now seems like an impossible task. On top of everything now, there is a certain amount of fear around all this because you know that relapse is just a corner away. You’ve been on that road a few times, and you know that it’s not very pleasant there. But you shouldn’t give up easily because there’s always the light at the end of the tunnel. 

The ideal situation should be staying off porn and video games for some time. You will develop healthy mechanisms when it comes to dealing with the urges for just one last hit. Also, the positive feedback you will get and all the stuff you will do will make you a stronger person. 

Then and only then should you start thinking of a way to start playing video games and masturbating in a healthy way. The key is to have enough activities incorporated into your everyday routine that coming back to the old would seem like a complete waste of everything you achieved. The good must outweigh the bad, padawan. But the Force is strong in you! Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.