Month: December 2020

Tips to Avoid Video Game Addiction

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Compared to alcohol and drug addiction, video game addiction is a much more recent malady slowly taking over the modern society. The World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to the 2018 version of its medical reference book.

Video games are habit-forming, and you must consciously decide to end the practice. If you let them take over your life it, you could be addicted and even become dysfunctional.

Addiction to video games can be very harmful to one’s well-being and social life. The following tips detail how to avoid becoming addicted, and how to recover if already addicted.

Understand the Impact.

Identifying the adverse effects of the compulsion to play video games will help you focus on ways to improving and getting back to healthy hobbies and activities. One way to check if the issue is getting out of control is to reflect on:

  • When was the last time you read a book?
  • How many hours a day do you spend playing games?
  • Do you normally go out on the weekend?

If you are powerless to complete daily routine activities, then it’s time to pause and take conscious decisions.

Take Responsibility.

There is a tendency to blame the manufacturers of the games but the problem lies within the individual, not the game. No attempt at beating ‘addiction’ can succeed until you take the first step of realizing there’s a problem and deciding that the place you’re in is not working for you. Remember, it is not the existence of video games, nor the content of games, but the person who chooses to play them.

Monitor and Set limits.

If you resolve that you have one hour per day to spend playing games, stick to that and select your games accordingly. If you are playing a game that needs many hours of play it is better to consider a different type of game.

You are a parent you need to take control. If your children do not listen to you, removal of the game console or setting of administrative control on the computer may allow you to better handle the problem. Open ended games like Civilization, World of Warcraft, or Evil Genius could be a warning sign.

Stay positive.

While it is important to recognize the harmful results of the addiction problem, if you are taking action to address it, it is also useful to pay attention to the goal and progress that you have made. With appropriate help and support from family and friends, it is possible to get control of the problems before it gets out of hand.

Impact of Excessive Video Games and Addiction

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Video games can be an enjoyable part of someone’s day when played as a healthy recreational activity. However, the games which started out as short entertainment episodes gradually evolved to immerse many children, teens, and adults with this new pastime and even addiction.

With an increasing evidence the video game addiction is now considered as a process addiction similar to compulsive gambling where the excitement of winning is the main motivations for playing.

Dangerous Effects

It is also studied that some people experience compulsions that make this apparent pastime to interfere with everyday activities and responsibilities and job performance. For teenagers in school, grades may suffer if they spend too much time playing games and neglect studying. Employment could be in jeopardy if they play games during work time. Friendships and family relationships may be affected when they spend more time with video games and less time interacting with friends and family.

Physical health may also be impacted when a person continuously uses a computer or a game console. Health issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome affects hands and wrists while headaches, back issues and eye problems are other complaints generally reported by gamers. Lack of physical activity due to the sedentary lifestyle could develop weight issues along with other related health problems. In addition, the compulsive behavior of gamers can cause emotional problems, with depression among the top issue for gamers.

A gamer may express anger or irritability more often, particularly when anyone intrudes in their gaming time. On the other hand, when they are away from their game, they are likely have feelings of anxiety and disturbed. In some instances, gaming could become so uncontrollable that they forget to bathe, eat, and sleep.

Video Game Addiction and Warning Signals

People experiencing compulsions to play video games typically exhibit warning signs. Common signs of a problem include a preoccupation with video games to the point of neglecting relationships and responsibilities. Signals to watch for include:

  • Thinking about gaming all or a lot of the time.
  • Needing to spend more and more time playing to feel good.
  • Feeling bad when you can’t play.
  • Not wanting to do other things that you used to like.
  • Not being able to quit or even play less.
  • Having problems at work, school, or home because of your gaming.

Need to seek help

If a compulsion to play games gets out of control and become an issue, it is important to seek to resolve these feelings. Treatment is available which includes behavioral therapy. Regular treatment can help a gamer move past the video game addiction and control the urges. Therapy helps the compulsive person refocus their time and energy on different activities including healthy hobbies.