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.