in Addicted to FM, Football Manager

Addicted to Football Manager: @ZeGermanFM

Way back at the end of 2014, I undertook a project where I reached out to the Football Manager community on Twitter and asked for their stories and opinions in regards to being addicted to Football Manager, with specific questions (the ones in bold below) loosely based on the definition of ‘behavioural addiction’. The project was really well received by the community, but the output was just the one blog post (linked to above) in which I collated a selection of the feedback I got. There is some great stories just sitting in my email inbox, so I’ve decided to dedicate a couple of separate posts to some of the feedback I got from specific members of our great community.

First up is @ZeGermanFM!

The book ‘FM Stole my Life’ certainly rang true for me. There’s plenty of examples of where I’ve gone ‘beyond the call of duty’ in response to this crazy and addictive game. FM14 is my most played version I think, although I’ve purchased and played every iteration since about CM01/02. My first memories of the game are playing in between study periods with guys in my dorm at college. Needless to say, not much studying was done! I think writing stories based on your gameplay is evidence of being pretty addicted. My Twitter handle was originally set up as a sort of character where I’d provide updates from my manager’s perspective in FM

Can you think of a time you’ve gone over and above ‘normal behaviour’ just to play FM?

It’s not uncommon for me to bring my laptop into work just to play FM. I’m a mid-level executive in an organisation of about 70 people and thankfully, I have my own office. Under the auspices of doing uni work, I can get through maybe 8-10 games in a 6 hour period at my desk; juggling visitors, emails and phone calls at the same time! I occasionally feel guilty, but then go straight back to thinking about how I’m going to adjust my tactic for that game against Bayern next matchday…

Another example of what I would call over and above normal behaviour is basically every time I got to the toilet thanks to iPhones! When comfortably ensconced, I’ll whip out the phone and login to FM Base or SI Games and trawl through the forums for a while. I regularly visit the tactics forums to see what mischief people are creating but I’ll also pop into the stories forums; there are some amazingly talented writers out there and I can lose track of time when reading some of them.

I hope you washed your hands afterwards! Has your behaviour towards others/another changed whilst playing FM or because your FM time has been restricted by them?

Behavioural changes, yes! FM is responsible for a number of mood swings in the past year. Recently, I was picking up my fiance from the train station after playing FM for a period of a couple of hours. I had drawn a game against a lowly ranked team and was furious. Fines were handed out, no prisoners taken in the proceeding press conference. Anyway, the tension was palpable and I was snappy and uncommunicative with my fiance who picked up on it instantly. She had a good laugh and told me to pull my head in.

Does breaking the mice for my computer count after the were flung across the room in anger count as a behavioural change? My desk has a support beam and the drawer tends to fall off easily for similar. A knuckle on my right hand has developed some scarring from…well, I’m sure you can guess!

Have you ever deliberately missed out on any social events/gathering because you wanted to continue playing FM?

Without being able to give a specific example, almost certainly yes. Particularly when my fiance is away, I’ll go into hermit mode and while away the hours alone in front of the laptop. I’ve certainly chosen not to go visit other friends and instead stay in, order pizza and yell at my players!

Do you have a strict routine when it comes to playing FM?

No, no real routine. I’m an opportunist. If the missus is in the shower, there’s a 15 minute time frame where I can get through a few days. Knock off work early on a Friday afternoon, a few hours before dinner. I’m sure most people are the same in that regard.

Want to get involved?

If you’d like to get involved and provide your own feedback to the following questions, and be featured on the blog, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Just Tweet or DM me @FM_Samo.

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