How to Manage Your Gaming Impulse

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manage gaming addictionVideo games are literally created to be addictive. Every year, video games are created to be more immersive, more explosive and more attention grabbing. Game controllers now vibrate and make sounds in correlation with the action of the game. In 2014, a gaming console was set up to draw blood from a gamer when their avatar lost blood in a battle – for the worthy cause of donating blood but still through extreme gaming. Video games are harder to resist than ever before, but for those who choose not to lose their lives to video games, there are ways of managing a gaming addiction rather than letting it manage you.

In general, the best method of allowing one’s self a healthy amount of video gaming is by planning and organizing one’s time so that it is balanced between work, play, health and relationships. These four priorities should be balanced equally to be a healthy person in general. Your personal or professional vocation makes up your purposeful time. Your medical practices, exercise and nutrition comprise the time you devote to personal health. The attention you give to family, friends and significant others is your relationship time. And lastly, the time you devote to fun, can include time to game, although it does have to include the other things you do for fun as well.

Even more specifically, plan your gaming time in advance and be prepared to enforce rules on yourself to control your gaming impulse. Decide in advance how much time you will allow yourself to game, considering your other time obligations. As your time winds down, consciously prepare yourself to reach a stopping point. If you find it difficult to limit yourself, make use of an egg timer as an external accountability measure. Controlling your gaming impulse takes time, thought and work, but if you are serious about living in a healthy, balanced way, you too are capable of knowing when to say “no” to video games.

Signs that You May be Video Game Crazed

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signs symptoms video game obsessionA person who is crazy about video games is not hard to identify. Unlike many other obsessions, video games are reasonably socially acceptable, so people tend to be very open about their love for them. In fact, gamers are often too open about their love for gaming, to the point of irritating and boring the non-gamers in their lives. A number of video gamers are consumed by their love for video games, to the point that their thoughts, time, energy and money is spent primarily on video games. Below is a list of signs to watch for that may indicate if you are video game obsessed:

  • The time that you spend playing video games flies by like nothing.
  • The people in your life know to avoid disturbing you while you are gaming.
  • Instead of asking you what you want for your birthday and Christmas, your friends ask you which game you want for your birthday and Christmas.
  • When you have a new game you have been looking forward to it might be days before anyone sees you, other than fellow gamers.
  • Game creators can never keep up with your gaming appetite.
  • A number of your closest friendships were created through a headset.
  • You tell people in your life what you love or enjoy about a game even when it is obvious that they are not interested.
  • Your gaming habits have been the topic of a negative conversations with your spouse, significant other or family.

If this list sounds all too much like yourself, it is possible that you are addicted to video games. Video game addiction is a recent phenomenon, but is considered a legitimate addiction. Video game addictions that become out of control can result in damaged relationships, poor health and the loss of jobs or good standing in school. If you think you are legitimately addicted to video games, seek addiction treatment.


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Crazy About Video Games?

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video game crazyFrequently, when someone seems to have too much time on their hands, the advice that comes their way is that they should take up a hobby. Does that mean any hobby is good for you? When it comes to video games, the jury is still out. It is true that video games are a multi-billion dollar industry and that they appeal to a very wide market. It is also true that they have a bad reputation for violence, addictive qualities and laziness. Typically, those who love video games really love them and play them as often as possible. But is this hobby helping or hurting the rest of them?

Some people do not think there are arguments in defense of video games, but there are actually some legitimate ones. For example, video games have proven to increase a person’s hand-eye coordination when played regularly, which translates to their hand-eye coordination in the rest of life. On top of that, some video game creators are deeply concerned with including educational material in their video games. For instance, certain games that are based on a historical war will include facts and trivia for learning as well as gaming, and historical accuracy within the game itself. It is arguable that attributes such as these make gaming a worthwhile hobby.

On the other hand, there are plenty of arguments made against video games as well by people who find them to be a waste of time. When video games became mass produced in the 1990s, one of the first complaints about them was that kids playing them were being inactive. The nature of video games is to sit and stare at a screen, moving only your hands, which is widely regarded as bad for the body. Video games are now associated with weight gain and muscle deterioration. Some video games have also been highly criticized for being very violent video games, and have even been considered contributors to school shootings. Presently, video games are also considered by some to be a legitimate obsession that can require inpatient treatment for addiction, as there are people who game obsessively for days at a time.

Arguments Against Video Games

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There are a number of defenses for video games, but it is probably not an exaggeration to say that there are far more criticisms. Video game playing is something that parents in North America unanimously monitor their children for to make sure they are not doing it in excess. Some parents forbid their children from playing video games entirely. Video games have been the cause of a great many break ups between significant others and even spouses. This would not be the case if there were not a few negative attributes to video games.

It is confirmed that video games can be a legitimate addiction. For whatever reason, video games create high levels of dopamine in some people’s brains which causes them to become addicted. Dopamine is the chemical the brain creates when the person is experiencing pleasure. This addiction may not put the person or those they are close to in immediate danger, but it does have very serious consequences over time. Just like with every other addiction, the person’s physical health, personal relationships and reputation among peers and coworkers decreases. The person becomes irritable and moody when they are unable to play video games and blocks out the entire world while they are gaming. Needless to say, this behavior is not sustainable and requires treatment if it cannot be brought under control.

Even if a person only plays a moderate amount of video games and is not addicted, the argument can still be made that video games are not the best use of time. Many point out that the benefits video games do have can be gained through other activities that do not have the negative side effects that video games have. For example, video games increase hand eye coordination but deteriorate muscle mass and weakens the circulatory system. Playing sports, on the other hand, increases hand eye coordination and muscle mass. Video games are quite terrible for the body as they require a sedentary stance in order to play them.

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Arguments for Video Games

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pro video game argumentsVideo games gain a bad reputation for making people lazy and unproductive. Parents, teachers and even the government has voiced their opinion about video games being bad for children and adults alike. There are many who would have gaming banned or legislated if they could. It is true that video games are not very good for the body, but to say that they are entirely without benefit is not true. Similarly, to say that they should be moderated by anyone other than parents is simply poor reasoning. Mature adults are fully capable of moderating their time playing video games or their children’s time playing video games.

It is true that video games have addictive qualities, but so does everything that is enjoyable and pleasurable. Video games are merely an extension of traditional games, but at a more advanced technological level. The levels of realism and the life-like physics of video game mechanics are an impressive use of digital media and take many talented people hundreds of hours to create. There is no denying that video games are enjoyable. They simply must be enjoyed with a mature level of moderation.

Video games can be surprisingly informative. A number of games are based on historical events, particularly war. Much of the content of war games is violent in nature, but some games also have large portions devoted to narrative and facts about the war that is being emulated. Other games are full of trivia and can engage the gamer with peripheral learning. Anyone who says you cannot learn anything from video games is unlikely to have ever really played them.

Another proven beneficial claim of video games is that they improve hand-eye coordination. This has been revealed in studies of people who went from playing no video games to consuming a regular video game diet under controlled circumstances. Video gaming was found to improve people’s motor skills, reaction times and hand-eye coordination quite significantly.

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What is the Video Game Craze All About?

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Chances are, you know someone or you are someone who is fanatical about video games. This type of person has an enormous collection of video games and is constantly upgrading their gaming consoles. Many of their conversations gravitate back to video games and a much bigger portion of their time goes to gaming than the average person. Those who are not into video games are essentially just confused by this behavior.

To an avid gamer, video games are life. They stay abreast of what new games are being released and purchase their favorites and the ones they deem a high quality. When they take it home to try it out, their life will be consumed by it until they complete the game. This may take days, weeks or even months. Even once all the levels, missions or narratives are complete, there are often extra features to the game that allow the gamer to continue exploring the video game world or map. This can keep a gamer busy for an unprecedented amount of time.

Sometimes gaming is compulsive for avid game players. It can be very difficult for a gamer to put their controller down to participate in every day tasks, obligations and conversations. Gaming has the potential to split couples apart when one is a gamer and the other is not because the non-gamer takes great offense at the gamer’s priorities. Typically, people immerse themselves in video games as a way to relax and shut their brains off. Many gamers state that video games have a calming effect on them and ease their stress. Whether video games are harmful or beneficial to people is a controversial matter. Some claim that they are bad for a person’s physical and mental health while others point to the good they do for a number of people. Regardless, video games are a very lucrative industry that does not look to decline any time soon.

gaming to relax and cope

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