We can stop any time we want to
We've all been there. It's 2 am, you have somewhere to be in only a handful of hours, but you're not asleep. Far from it, you're wired, playing an MMO or a MOBA or an RTS or an RPG or a shooter. You don't have to be, sure, but you want to be, so you are and no one is going to stop you because you're a mature person who can make your own choices. Or yeah, you might have a problem.
Luckily, you're not alone. We at GamesRadar have a lengthy history of gaming addiction (in case you couldn't have guessed), and we're prepared to anonymously air our dirty laundry for everyone to see. We've done some really stupid things in the past--or, in some cases, recently--and we might as well share those stories with the world (provided we leave our names off these confessions).
Woke up at 4:30am to play Diablo 2
My parents didn't want me staying up until four in the morning when I was 15, but I wasn't about to let that get in the way of Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction. I needed to kill Mephisto and loot his stuff, but there weren't enough hours in the day. So I found a solution: don't stay up late, wake up early. I needed to catch the bus to school at 7am, so I'd typically wake up at 6am. But by waking up at 4:30am, I could play D2 for nearly two hours before needing to head out. No one else was awake yet, either! It was the perfect crime. And I eventually found a Blade Of Ali Baba, so it was totally worth it.
Lost track of time playing Professor Layton
I remember, a long time ago (it feels like centuries now), I used to work in a bakery on Pudding Lane in central London. It meant getting up really early, but luckily I had my DS to keep me company while I was waiting for all the bread to bake. Anyway, one early-morning in September, I was involved in a really heavy session of Professor Layton and the Lost Future, and I completely lost track of time. In fact, I only stopped playing when I noticed a burning smell coming from one of the ovens. I looked up in horror--the bread was actually on fire. I panicked, and just ran for it. Pretty sure it all worked out, but I never really found out, as I never dared go back to my job at Thomas Farriners Bakery! Hey, should I even be writing that?
Started writing about games at school
I used to love my home computer when I was about 8 years old. I used to play games on it whenever I could, which was a lot. This concerned my parents, who naturally thought it would do me more good to be playing outside with my friends. Things came to a head when I was in an English lesson and wrote a short story about me and my sister getting sucked into the TV screen and confronted with the enemies in the game. Gaming had literally started to "affect my schoolwork" in that I was writing about games at school. That was the tipping point. My parents sold the computer and I was game-less for about a year and a half. Tsk. Looking back on it now, I realise how foolish I was. As if writing about games would ever get me anywhere.
Almost slept through an extremely important test
I may not have been a very productive college student, but I did make it to class everyday. What I was doing in class (like sleeping) doesnt matter--I was physically present. But I do remember the one time I almost completely slept through a midterm test because I stayed up all night playing a game (not going to tell you which). By all night, I mean, it was probably 6am by the time I went to bed and I had to get up at 7 to get ready. I only woke up because my friends were at my door at around 9ish, anticipating that I was most likely still in bed and figured they'd do me a favor and drive me to class. I did make it to the class. I definitely did not pass that test.
I called into work sick to watch E3 three years in a row
Before I was in a position where I'd actually go to E3, I felt as though I needed to be a part of it. How? Well, by watching it online (on websites like GamesRadar, obviously), but there was a problem: I had a job. And that job required me to, you know, go into a building. To work. And not watch E3. That wouldn't do. So three years in a row, I managed to somehow get "sick" near the beginning of June. "Yeah. *cough* Really bad throat, might be a--*cough*--cold? I'll get some rest. Thanks."
Shared my address with people I didnt actually know
So everyone's done something really stupid when they're younger, right? Like, the "I don't have much life experience so all this is new and exciting to me!" kind of thing? The ability to talk to virtually anyone in the world on the Internet was a very exciting to a nave 14-year old. You could make friends who lived in far off exotic places like Texas! Or Connecticut, or whatever. Well, that also meant that I got lured into these emotional traps where old people (at the time, old meant 20+) would try to cozy up to me and develop a "virtual relationship" with me. Now it never got to the point where I would indulge in cybersex or give out my private information, but I was dumb enough to give out my address once and received some really disturbing photos and letters from totally creepy internet people.
Blew off a friend's going away party to play World of Warcraft
Yeah, I'm not proud. At 22, I was working two part-time jobs while tackling a full-time college semester's load of classes. In my limited free time, I rather enjoyed playing World of Warcraft. And by limited free time, I mean somewhere in the ballpark of 40+ hours per week. Not only did this cause tension between myself and my parents, who believed playing video games was a waste of one's life, but it also meant passing on weekly hangouts with my lifelong pals every now and then. Problem is, one of those "now and then" moments included my buddy's going away party. He was moving halfway across the country. Sorry, Brandon--it was a raid night.
Like I said, I'm not proud.
Stole a friend's copy of Age of Empires, then lied to him about it when confronted
The year is 1997. My dad just bought an Acer computer that runs Windows 95. I invite my best friend over to play Jazz Jackrabbit, and he one-ups me with this game called Age of Empires. Within minutes, I'm hooked. I'm building entire towns and razing them for the hell of it; I'm simultaneously slaughtering deer for food and sending warriors to battle. I'm packing enemies into a custom map, in the middle of which I spawn four Nuke Troopers (using the 'e=mc2 trooper' cheat code, of course) to see just how long futuristic soldiers with laser guns can survive the continuous onslaught of hundreds of chariot archers. Then, when it's my friend's time to leave, he forgets the disc in my tray. In turn, I purposely forget to remind him about it. Days later he calls to ask if I still have his Age of Empires disc. As I'm destroying the Egyptians with my Greek army, I tell him "no."
Nearly missed Christmas dinner because of a Frostwyrm
I stopped raiding in WoW well before the Burning Crusade expansion was even out. That meant that I completely missed the Naxxramus instance--which is a shame, because it contained some of the coolest boss fights at the time. Blizzard being cool (and maybe just a LITTLE bit lazy) brought back Naxxramus for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, which had handily taken over my Christmas vacation at release. It got to the point where my cousin and I were in a 25-man raid on Christmas Eve, fighting the huge undead ice dragon Sapphiron, while my mom called up the stairs that dinner was ready, the frustration and anger in her voice slowly rising. This was the exact moment that I realized: I didn't owe any of these random strangers a minute of my time. And so me and my cousin bailed mid-battle, and Christmas was effectively saved.