What is Video Game Addiction?
Video game addiction can be described as an impulse control disorder. It is very similar to pathological gambling, which does not involve substance abuse. “Gaming addiction” is also known as pathological or compulsive and excessive use of video games played on a computer or television.
Those suffering from gaming addiction may use the internet to access multi-user domain and multi-player online role playing games. In these electronic environments, users interact with one another to achieve goals, accomplish missions, and reach high scores in a virtual fantasy world. Role playing, fighting, and killing are all part of this electronic social environment presented and packaged into rich media graphics, creating a platform for adolescents to easily transition from a hobby into an addictive compulsion.
Individuals suffering from gaming addiction use the virtual fantasy world to connect with real people through the Internet, as a substitution for real-life human connection. Those suffering from gaming addiction can develop emotional attachments to internet friends and activities all from their computer screen. Gamers enjoy the social aspects of meeting, socializing, and exchanging ideas through this virtual world. This can create justification of an adolescent’s sense of relationship with other players that for all intents and purposes are strangers.
While there is still much research being conducted on the subject of electronic gaming, it is believed that males are more likely to become addicted to video games. Some research has suggested that nearly 1 in 10 youth gamers (ages 8-18) meet criteria for addiction.
“1 in 10 teen gamers exhibit addictive behavior”
Warning Signs of Video Game Addiction
- Using gaming as a way to escape from problems or to relieve mental challenges such as guilt, anxiety, or depression
- Lying to family, friends, or therapist in order to conceal the extent of the problem
- Risking loss of significant relationships, education, or career opportunities
- Exhibiting frustration when attempting to cut down use of the gaming
- Excessive preoccupation
- Increased amount of gaming in order to achieve satisfaction
- Unsuccessful efforts to control or cut back amount of time gaming
- Fatigue and falling asleep during school
- Unable to complete school and homework assignments on time
- Declining Grades and/or failing classes
- Quitting extra curricular activities such as sports and other hobbies
- Isolating from family and friends