Quinn Pitcock, the once-promising defensive lineman who washed out of the NFL in 2008, citing games addiction, has opened up about his dark days in front of a screen. His game of choice was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Interesting, as many typically associate compulsive games-playing with MMOs. Pitcock, however, numbed his depression and anxiety by playing FPSes, jumping on Xbox Live at 3pm and going until 6am or 7am the next day.
"I was ranked at one point 55th in the world," Pitcock told the Dayton, Ohio Daily News (Pitcock played basketball at Ohio State University). "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."
Pitcock felt unable to acknowledge his depression, being a collegiate all-American and a well-regarded rookie with the Indianapolis Colts at the time. To seek help with such things would have signalled a troubling weakness in the NFL's highly scrutinised talent-appraisal culture.
Pitcock said he tried quitting, cold-turkey, often destroying game discs just to go out and buy replacements the next day. He says that he's gotten rid of his console and hasn't played video games for three months. And in that period of sobriety, his love for football returned and he signed with the Seattle Seahawks, with whom he is trying to make the team. Teams set their regular-season rosters on Saturday.
Pitcock: ‘I Refer To Video Games As My Drug Of Choice' [Dayton Daily News via Game Politics]