Addiction is widely regarded as a disease. Something you are predisposed to, and can strike at any time. There have been plenty of professional athletes that have come forward with their addictions: from Brett Farve and prescription drugs, to Darryl Strawberry and his addiction to cocaine. While I have no doubt that video game addiction is very prevalent in the world, I do believe NFL player Quinn Pitcock is the first professional athlete to admit this type of addiction. Pitcock spoke with the Dayton Daily News about his addiction to gaming.
Quinn Pitcock was a first-team all-american offensive lineman at Ohio State University and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2007. He played his rookie year, and then walked away.
Pitcock was suffering from anixety and depression, and didn’t know how to deal with those emotions. Pitcock told the Daily News:
“I got just overwhelmed with so much stuff. I have my anxiety issues, which I didn’t think I had but later learned I had very high levels of. … You hear with other people how it’s drugs or alcohol. I stayed away from that area. I refer to video games as my drug of choice. I became addicted to it.”
Pitcock immersed himself into the world of Xbox Live. At the height of his compulsion — playing the Call of Duty series under the alias Randy the Random 1 — Pitcock said he’d wake up on a typical day at 3 p.m. and play until 6 or 7 a.m. the following morning. At one point, Pitcock points out, “I was ranked 55th in the world.”
When he reached his moment of clarity and realized he had a problem, he tried cold turkey. He also opened up to his girlfriend and sought treatment.
” I actually have about five video-game CDs that are either broken or burned or cracked that are hanging on the walls in my apartment for each time I got so mad at myself for playing again and broke ’em. But then a couple days later, I’d go out and buy a new one. It took awhile.”
Pitcock has gotten rid of his Xbox and has his depression and anxiety under control. He says once those things happened his love of football came back. He is currently trying to make the Seattle Seahawks roster after his two-year hiatus from football.