From about 1995-2003 all i did was play video games, I mean I probably played 40 or 50 hours a week and playing 12 hours straight was not completely out of bounds for me back then.
I played every type of game from 2-D platformers to 3-d platformers to third person shooters to racing games to adventure games to puzzle games to survival horror games. I beat about 50 NES games, 30 or 40 Racing games. I beat almost all of the games on hard mode (single player) or 100%. Around 2003 i started going to pro sports games and went to about 900 games since then.
I think i was such a loser and outcast in high school that in my early 20's i just decided to try to never leave my room and did not want to face the world. That is how the video game addiction started. I did like the games on some level and it was fun for the most part but if you are playing all night dehydrated and exhausted and hungry to beat an impossible level it is unhealthy. Those years i mentioned had probably the best games ever, Playstation 1, Nintendo 64, Playstation 2, Game Boy Advance, Gamecube. The games did not get better after around 2003, the graphics got way better but there was no originality in the games anymore, you had no replay value, and there was "hand-holding" where you did not have to tear your hair out or break controllers by not knowing what to do, they made it obvious in newer games, and you often had teams in recent games, and it was rarely you alone in a threatening universe, it just became a boring experience with annoying team members either getting in your way or doing most of the work and a million cutscenes and voice actors.
In 2003 i wanted to go to one Knicks game and then go back and hide in my apartment, I always had generalized anxiety. i ended up going to like 500 games with that friend, who was basically just a drinking buddy, but if i had not gone to that game, I could have just never left and camped out in a cave and never stopped playing video games.
With video games, you either are a casual gamer or a hardcore gamer, there really is no in between. If you can play a game for an hour and put it down for 4 or 5 days, you are basically a casual gamer. If you try to beat a game on hard mode and play up to 12 hours a day until you beat a level or game, you are hardcore. I have an addictive personality with everything. I can't just start a game and put it down after an hour. I also find challenges in a game and try to find every secret or beat every secret level etc. But I have barely played since 2003.
I think guys with social anxiety are a huge percentage of gamers. It is something you can do alone that you can control a lot, and escape into a world, in TV or Movies you have no control, in a video game, you are in control of your destiny. I am old now and just have no patience, when i come home from a pro sports game, I am going alone now, I dont have the energy to play a game and find strategy guides, I partly am too lazy and partly don't care, which is exactly how i feel about dating now also.