Playing Purposefully

It can prove hard to resist the allure of games. Self-control takes more than individual willpower, not to mention that video games are often engineered for addictiveness and to empty out your wallet. What can you do to mitigate this? Exercise that willpower efficiently. For example:

  • Uninstalling your games. This adds some friction but platforms have made it all too easy to re-download them.
  • Networking-level blocks on your computer or router. Make DRM work for you by blocking the authorization servers specifically.
  • Locking your games and/or consoles away. One of the best options. A timed lock, in particular, is easier to keep closed because the timer placates your subconscious with a more concrete time frame.
  • Accountability tools like Beeminder. The thought of losing cash for breaking the challenge rules (e.g. “No more than 2 hours per week”) can overcome strong resistance.
  • Buying physical games. An efficacy multiplier. These are far easier to put away, keep away, or even give away than digital games.

What else could you do to take control of your gaming time?