Why Do People Stop Playing Video Games?

You may be curious as to why people stop playing video games. It's not really something most teenagers think about, but the question does pop up when gamers graduate or take on greater responsibilities and find out how little time they have to leisure around.

Here is a list of the most common reasons why people stop playing video games! (Keep in mind some of these reasons may overlap each other, but I believe they differentiate enough to keep them separate)

Close up of pen on graph paper, ready to write

It Can Be Dangerous If Achievements in Video Games Are Your Only Achievements

You know, I was always bothered when people said achievements in video games are worthless, pointless, or meaningless. It's not meaningless.

Games are crucial to humans, it can be argued games are how we learn to function in the world and get along with each other and excel in life. So no, I don't buy the idea that gaming is pointless. 

But there is a lethal pitfall.

If achievements in video games are your only achievements, you are ignoring other realms of your life and that is not good.

Compared to other tasks/priorities, video games rank low when compared to career, spending time with loved ones, chasing after goals, giving back to your community (however that looks like to you), and other hobbies that might reward you better. 

So many gamers stop playing video games or take a hiatus from them in order to achieve a few important things.

Not enough time in the day for everything!

Goofy guy graduating, congratulations goober

They Stopped Playing Because Of Their Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction is a tough enemy to wrestle with.

Because it's not viewed as seriously as other addictions like drug or alcohol or gambling addiction, it's easy for it to wrap around gamers and go for their throats, so to speak. This is a mysterious enemy, one that attacks from the shadows and kills slowly like a rogue with her poison. 

If you're struggling with video game addiction or think you might be developing it, check out my blog post about it: How Do You Overcome Video Game Addiction?

Many times gamers aren't capable of moderating how much they invest into gaming, so they have to stop gaming altogether. While I love this hobby and wish for all gamers to keep up with it, sometimes it's not meant to be.

Man walking down a dark corridor towards the light, addiction and darkness

I Could Have Invested My Gaming Hours Into Other Things

Many gamers have looked at their total hours spent in certain games and thought, "I could have put these hours into learning how to play the guitar, how to draw, how to cook, bodybuilding, running, how to program, etc.." 

And it's true.

It's best for the majority of gamers to stop investing all their "leisure" time into video games and put the bulk of those hours into other hobbies that offer greater rewards. 

Step by step plan, planning, guidance

Family Comes First

As we get older, most of us get these things called spouses and children and they're pretty nifty.

But with great love comes great responsibility and not only do we need to prioritize our spouses and children, we want to. So if we don't have enough time in the day to play video games, then we stop playing them. 

It's that simple.

You don't want to be the husband that neglects his partner. And you don't want to be the father that plays video games more than he plays with his young children. It gets easier as the children get older and would rather play with their friends instead of you.

Or would rather play video games with you. Another positive of that situation is kids are easy to impress, so you'll get a lot of extra admiration from them.

Father daughter and mother holding hands, family

Video Games Were No Longer Fun, Became More About The Grind

Oh boy, I've seen this happen to many players and friends.

It's even happened to me, especially with MMOs and RPGs. I don't know what mental gymnastics we hurl our minds through, but we really do become so dedicated to the grind of leveling up and getting better at these games, even when they're no longer fun. 

It's nonsense and I think many gamers come to realize that and stop playing. 
It's best to take a break or just stop altogether. Either find other games that are fun or take a break.

I Needed To Put Those Extra Hours Into School Or Work

Speaking of grind, sometimes you really have to put everything to the side and get the damn thing done.

Dedicating all your leisure time to work or school isn't a long-term solution and will bite you in the behind if you don't bring balance back into your life, but sometimes it's necessary if you find yourself in a desperate situation.

Desperation need not be involved though.

If you choose to stop playing video games in order to get your grind on in more important realms of your life, more power to you! Just make sure you sneak in some sort of play time, Jack.

Man at work, being productive, productivity

Going On The Internet Is Entertainment Enough For Me These Days

I can understand this reason.

Not only do I work on this blog and other projects, I also run a Tumblr blog, my irl friends and I send each other interesting/funny things we stumble on, and I go on sites like Reddit and Youtube a lot. Just going on the internet can fill my leisure time.

The only thing really missing is being able to do something with my friends while we talk, which is what we've always used video games for.

I Stopped Playing Because Video Games Got Expensive

Not as much of a problem these days, especially if you play on PC, but gaming can be pretty expensive, especially if you don't keep a strict entertainment budget or take advantage of video game sales.

In order to get into this hobby, you're going to have to invest at least a cool $500 to $700 to buy a console, xbox live or ps plus, accessories to the system, and some games

And if you're gonna play on PC, you need to invest more up-front since a good PC does require buying some high-end parts. Of course, you do get the benefits of having a powerful pc, which does way more than gaming, so it's worth it. 

Let's not go off on a tangent here and face facts, many people stop playing video games because they don't want to buy the next generation of consoles or upgrade their pc or continue the cycle of buying games that have a limited life span, then have to buy another, then another, etc.. 

stack of cash next to laptop, money and dollar bills

Too Tired To Play After I'm Done With Work Or School

Even though you're really just sitting there moving your fingers, playing video games, especially competitively, is a lot of work.

This is a reason a number of my friends have stopped playing video games, they're just beat from working all day, even though they love their jobs. By the time they get home from work, all they want to do is eat some good food, relax, spend time with their partners, and not use their brain. 

These friends have typically replaced gaming with watching movies and tv shows, as well as spend a bit more time on the internet and social media. Not a bad trade-off in my opinion.

And video games will always be there for them if they choose to return.

Business man relaxing by the window, tired

My Wife Doesn't Like When I Play Video Games Too Much

I'm a bit hesitant to include this reason since it's not a good reason, but it's a common one with older gamers who have settled down.

Granted, most girlfriends couldn't care less whether their boyfriends played games or not. In fact, many of them see it as a positive thing since their men aren't out and about, they're safe at home. 

This is a pretty nuanced situation.

We all have friends who invest too many hours into video games. And we have friends who treat their girlfriends as if they were burdens. But we also have some friends whose girlfriends are pretty controlling, so... I guess it depends on specifics. 

We don't have to get too into this reason, but it is a reason a lot of guys have stopped playing video games.

I'm Way Too Competitive, I Had To Quit Because Of Rage and Toxicity 

Now this is an interesting reason since rage and toxicity are rampant in gaming communities, especially ones in the competitive scene.

It's off-putting to deal with toxic people and people prone to raging. It's just a game, but try telling that to them. 

Many of those hot-headed gamers eventually stop playing after being tired of getting worked up over a little game. And I think it's for the best, gaming is not worth getting upset over -- they're not even having fun playing video games, so what's the point?

Get frustrated over things that are actually worth it, get something out of it.

Lion angry and yelling, but really she's just yawning

I Stopped Playing Naturally, It Wasn't A Conscious Decision

Now this is one of the most common reasons people stop playing video games.

They just... stopped. Even if they fit into the "hardcore gamer" category, there is a certain percentage of our population that naturally get involved in other hobbies or are really invested into their work. There's not much to it. 

Think of it like a healthy break-up.

Video Games Got Stale And Boring

Ahhh I've heard this reason plenty of times and I agree, to an extent.

Who else is tired of the big AAA developers creating copies of games they just released last year? No innovation? No evolution -- at least, in the direction gamers would hope for. Innovation is't even necessary, just come out with solid games that actually have value. 

In the Developers' defense, it is hard to capture lightning in a bottle.

It's really hard to create a magical experience, but that is the way they make money. Consumers aren't going to hand you their cash for mediocrity.

Casual gamers will... and maybe a hefty portion of hardcore gamers... but not the hardcore gamers that care about the industry and will not allow sheisty developers to pull the rug out from under us

So yea, pretty good reason to stop playing video games altogether for some gamers. At a certain point, you just have to let go. Think of it as a rough break-up...

King defeated, chess board, bad

I Can't Sit Around And Do "Nothing"

While I don't like the sentiment behind this reason, I can understand it.

There are tons of people who are overwhelmingly productive and industrious, to the point where they can barely "allow" themselves to take an hour for lunch. So it makes sense they wouldn't allow themselves to play video games, right? 

This segways pretty nicely to the next reason.

I Got Into Investing And Making Money

Hey man, if there's any better reason to stop playing video games than depositing fat checks into your bank account, let me know.

Speaking on how little I know about investing, I'm sure it's its own game by its own right!

Kinda like a higher-stakes, more involved version of the economies we got involved in inside online games, especially MMOs -- especially the auction house in World of Warcraft. I mean, I knew how to get rich in that game. 

I played the auction house like the fiddle.

Now why wouldn't you want to learn how to play the stock market? Money isn't everything, but it sure makes life easier and more enjoyable. 

Stock market and investing, graphs and information

I Got Into Bodybuilding, Powerlifting, Or Strength Training

Many gaming addicts have replaced this glorious hobby with another glorious hobby: Bodybuilding. 

Now, I'm also including powerlifting and strength training into the mix, but you get the idea. Lift weights, eat right, get tons of sleep, and listen to your body and you will get stronger and bigger and build a physique you'll be proud of. 

The iron will teach you discipline, it is a yardstick for you to measure yourself against, and it will give you the confidence and self-esteem that might be missing from your life. Plus you'll gain all the health benefits of eating and living right. 

Now you don't have to stop playing video games to get into bodybuilding, but when you invest a lot of time into the sport and reap its benefits, well, maybe you don't want to play video games anymore. To each their own! 

man about to deadlift, weight training, bodybuilding

I Binge Too Easily On Video Games And Couldn't Moderate Myself

Now this reason is very similar to the video game addiction one, but I saw it enough online to count it. Plus I think it's different enough. 

There are lots of gamers who can play games for hours on end, starting in the morning and playing until the next morning.

This path will quickly lead one down the road of video game addiction and many gamers catch it early on to prevent that. But sometimes their only solution is to stop playing video games altogether. 

Health comes before gaming any day. 

Playing Video Games Made Me Depressed

This is a simple reason. 

Gamers are susceptible to depression. We're sitting alone, staring at the screen, probably not attending to things we need to take care of, using video games as a crutch to get through the days. I've been there -- we've all probably been there.

And if video games aren't doing you any favors for your mental health, it's best to stop playing them. At least for a while until you get to a better place in life and can enjoy gaming in a healthy manner. 

Young man staring at blank screen, addicted and depressed

I Can't Play For Long Sessions Anymore

Things change as you get older.

Your reaction speeds might decrease. Your patience for games might decrease as well. And many times you're just not able to party as hard as you used to.

So if you can only muster 10-15 minute play sessions, maybe it's just not worth owning a console or gaming pc anymore. 

You become a casual gamer who's satisfied with simple games you can run on your laptop. Or maybe you're satisfied with mobile games or you put that old handheld console to use again. 

I Don't Play Because Of The Social Stigma

Yes my friends, sadly the gamer stigma is still present today, though not as pervasive as it once was.

We're still seen as losers to many people in the world. Apparently we're all trolls and online lurkers. We live in our parent's basement and live off of Doritos and 7-Up. And sure, some of that might be true, but it's who we are! 

Jokes aside, many would-be gamers are pressured to not indulge in this hobby because of how they might look to people they care to impress. Take it for what it is, it happens.

Goofy funny man playing a VR video game nerd geek

So There It Is Folks

I might have missed a couple common reasons, but that's a pretty thorough list, for those curious.

  • As to why you were curious enough, what are you pursuing? 
  • Are you looking for reasons to quit video games yourself? 
  • Are you in need of new hobbies? 
  • Explore the sidebar for my other blog posts and get an idea of what's available to you, especially the Top 10 Video Game Alternatives list.

Thanks for reading, be sure to bookmark my blog and return in times of need :)