A gaming addict claims he played online so much he lost his Welsh accent because he only spoke to foreign gamers.
Jamie Callis, 21, would spend up to 16 hours a day on his computer at the height of his addiction.
He favoured RuneScape, a multiplayer game in which competitors communicate online.
And Jamie claims because he only chatted to American and Canadian gamers, he gradually lost his native accent.
Jamie, from Barry, South Wales, said: “When I was 13, my addiction really started. I was playing RuneScape for upwards of 16 hours a day… speaking to Americans and Canadians. There is a possibility that it has affected my accent.
“I didn’t see gaming as an issue until I was 16 or 17. It affected my grades, my social life, my connections with my family.”
He continued: “I would stay up late, my mum would tell me to go to bed and I would wake up an hour later and go online and then spend up until four in the morning speaking to Americans and Canadians online.”
In recent months, several parents have come forward to insist their children are addicted to gaming. Many said their child was obsessed with the popular third-person shooter Fortnite.
Jamie’s vice was RuneScape which he would play solidly for hours at a time.
But he explained his addiction was years in the making.
He said: “When I was around four or five I remember sitting on my dad’s lap playing video games.
“Then at about seven I moved onto games like Halo and Call of Duty – but when I was 13 my addiction really started properly.
“I was playing a game called RuneScape for upwards of 16 hours a day. I just remember falling in love with it as there were so many skills involved.
“One minute you’d be chopping trees, and the next you’d be killing something or going on a quest. I was so engrossed in it. It allowed me to escape into a different world.”
Jamie said he soon developed his own “virtual family” who he would spend hours chatting to online.
“On one of the servers I used, there were at least 30,000 people playing [in one go], and there were over 150 servers ranging from 2,000 to 15,000-plus,” he added.
“You had clans of people, and that’s where you’d really have a ‘family’.
“You’d speak to people in general chats and then add them as friends and have private chats.
“Some days I was having private chats with about 30 different people while I was playing the game.”
But his addiction began to seriously worry his parents.
He said: “My entire teenage years were taken up with my family being constantly concerned about me, but I didn’t really see it as an issue until I was 16 or 17.
“It affected my grades, my social life, my connections with my family which I’ve only just started repairing now.”
Gaming addiction has been listed as a mental health disorder by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and help is available on the NHS.