Why Should You Listen To Me
Growing up I played video games as much as I possibly could. It got to the point where I would refuse to even do any chores around the house because that would take time away from playing video games.
I didnt play video games casually either I played them to an extremely competitive level, competed in tournaments and ran one of my teams like you would run a business.
My video game career began playing the original version of Starcraft when it first came out. From here I moved onto Counterstrike 1.6 which ended up being the game I would play the most.
I competed competitively in Counterstrike 1.6, playing in both CAL and CEVO leagues. At one point I was an Admin for the CEVO league.
My CS 1.6 team would practice every day between 4-8 hours When we werent practicing, I would practice on my own. I took that game so seriously I actually took lessons for it from one of the best guys in the world.
To improve my play I would study game film. I did whatever I could to get better. I played competitive CS 1.6 for many years.
After my CS 1.6 career ended I started to play World of Warcraft. For the next year I played this game 16 hours a day, every day.
If I didnt have better things to do I would login to my account and show everybody the total number of days played vs. the number of days I was active in the game. It would blow their mind. Im not kidding: I played 16 hours a day every day for over a year.
A firm commitment is absolutely crucial but it isnt enough.
What Are The Risk Factors For Becoming Addicted To Gaming
Some people are more at risk than others for developing a gaming addiction. Everyone is different, and not everyone who enjoys playing games has an addiction to them. It’s important to know what the risk factors are. They include:
- Having an aggressive personality.
- Having a higher than normal anxiety level.
- For men, being older and having a low self-esteem.
- Being unhappy with life in general.
- Using computer games to manage one’s moods.
- Experiencing bouts of depression.
- Having problems relating in social situations.
- Having a family history of other types of addictions.
Unhealthy and addictive gaming continues to be a serious problem in the United States. Any of the above can place you at a greater risk for developing a gaming addiction. If you haven’t developed one yet, it’s important to be aware of these risk factors.
Confessions Of A Video Game Addict
A reminder that this article from our magazine Visions was published more than 1 year ago. It is here for reference only. Some information in it may no longer be current. It also represents the point of the view of the author only. See the author box at the bottom of the article for more about the contributor.
From “Problem Gambling and Video Gaming” issue of Visions Journal, 2018, 14 , p. 11
I was addicted to playing video games for over 10 years. Choosing to set gaming aside and move on to other things has taught me more about living a meaningful life than anything Ive done before.
Growing up, I was a fairly normal Canadian kid. I went to school, I played hockey, and then I would go home and play video games. I was happy, I felt smart, and I had friends. That all changed in Grade 8, when I began to experience intense bullying, both at school and on my hockey team. The less frequently I went to school and hockey practice, the more I played video games.
The new jobin retailgave me structure and stability. I had a schedule to follow, and accountability. Most of all, I had a second chance. Up until this point, my life had been a mess. I was withdrawn and unhappy, and I gamed to escape. Now I had the opportunity to turn things around. In order to do this, I knew I would have to quit gaming.
He returned with the game, and over the next 30 minutes he proceeded to absolutely destroy me.
About the author
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Why Your Child Is Addicted To Video Games
Game creators work hard to hook players to their games. They use predictive algorithms and principles of behavioral economics to make the gamer binge.
Games become addictive because it triggers the brains reward system, and shapes a childs behavior. Studies made by the California State University found that video games can have a similar effect on childrens brains as drug abuse or alcoholism. The impulsive part of the brain, known as the amygdala-striatal system was smaller and more sensitive in excessive users so that it processed the stimuli of games faster.
Massive multiplayer online role-playing games or MMORPGs immerse the player in real time because of the seemingly endless possibility of discovering more powerful loot or items. He is also enticed to complete events and achievements that requires a lot of gaming time.
Gamers who play games with social aspects, such as the World of Warcraft, spend the most time playing, sometimes for more than 40 hours a week even more than a full-time job. The social element makes gaming even more compulsive, and hard to quit. Social gaming satisfies the human need for being in charge, feeling competent, and feeling connected with others. Some online gamers even feel that they are duty bound to go online because others rely on them or their clan needs them for a scrim.
In many other games, the gamer works hard towards achieving a goal and quitting the game prematurely would waste everything the gamer has worked for.
Break Your Childs Video Game Addiction Heres How
Excessive time playing video games would eventually lead to the aforementioned problems. Before things get any worse, here are some ways that could help you break a childs video game addiction once and for all.
Educate Your Child
The first step is to talk to your child. Tell them that video games are meant to be just that, games. It should be a form of entertainment or a hobby, not an obsession. Its crucial to educate the children on the negative effects of excessive video game time and to make them understand that there are so much more rewarding things than those achieved in the virtual world.
You must set specific rules such as a time limit or a specific time when they are allowed to play video games. It would help to put their video game system somewhere you can see it discourage keeping the games in their room. You could also install monitoring apps on their devices or using gaming parental controls. Be strict and firm about implementing the rules and if you also happen to play video games, then lead by example.
If there are rules, then there must be consequences. Make sure to discuss such consequences at the same time you discuss the rules. You could perhaps take away game time for a day if your child violates the specified game time.
Establish Routines Initiate Other Activities
In extreme cases, consult a pediatrician or even a child psychiatrist. Remember, its best to intervene as early as possible.
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Drugs For Video Game Addiction
There is no magic bullet pharmaceutical cure for video game addiction: as mentioned above, treatment consists of a wide variety of approaches almost universally founded upon psychotherapy. While research is ongoing into pharmaceutical approaches, any such cure will still be years off, if it is ever developed at all. However, some of the side-effects of gaming addiction especially physical health conditions which may have developed can be treated with medication. Always consult your GP before taking any such medication.
What Are The Warning Signs
The American Psychiatric Association has identified nine warning signs to watch for when it comes to recognising gaming disorder. Although these can be helpful to better understand the severity of your own situation, its important to always seek the advice of a professional.
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Ways On How To Quit Gambling
Gambling addiction is abominable and terribly damaging. It is important to seek some help as soon as possible because it isnt easy to quit. Here are few strategies that you can use to put your compulsive gambling to stop and take back your life.
1. Take a Break
Schedule your day in a very structured way. When you wake up in the morning, make a decision that you will not gamble and plan your day ahead. Keep your schedule busy with important things so you will not have a lot of free time to think of gambling. Prohibit yourself from entering or getting near a casino, downloading online gaming applications, or paying visits to gaming websites.
2. Find Other Hobbies
Find some other activities to replace your gambling habits. Explore other interesting hobbies like exercising, hanging out with friends, or do some cooking. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself busy. You could pick up a new, exciting hobby, like biking, climbing or running.
3. Remember How Bad It Feels to Lose
Remember the feeling when you lose a lot of money because of gambling. Sanction yourself to feel that disheartenment when you are having thoughts about gambling again.
4. Educate Yourself About Gambling Addiction
Educate yourself mainly about your specific type of gambling addiction. Find out what type of gambler you are. Find out what triggers your gambling addiction so you will know how are you going to act against it.
5. Seek Help
6. Find a Support Group
7. Hand Over Control of Your Money
Symptoms And Bad Effects Of Video Game Addiction
Although the existence of video game addiction as a disease is not yet settled in the scientific community, it has been observed that even excessive video game playing have serious negative effects on many kids. Here are some of the bad effects of video game addiction:
Also, individuals who have other psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, and ADHD are found to be more at risk for gaming disorders.
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Do Addicted Teens Want Help
Parents may be worried that their kid is in a deep hole, but do you think these kids care as much as their parents? Surprisingly, most of them dont.
In an interview with a teen whos addicted to gaming, its discovered that he doesnt even want to be free from gaming addiction.
In Dereks words:
Its my mom who has a problem, not me.
Gaming-obsessed teenagers often live in denial, as do teens suffering from substance abuse. Its also one of the signs and symptoms you should look out for.
Youll often notice that some kids think that everything is fine. They dont care if their world is crashing down like the Titanic. Dereks mom, Melanie thinks that his son is ruining is life. But the guy thinks otherwise.
In a Brain Imaging study, it was discovered that gaming addiction is capable is hijacking a teens mind and giving them a different mindset.
This can cause teens to be fully-engrossed in digital devices, neglect everything about their personal goals and relationships, and yet not realize theyve problems that need an urgent solution.
Levels Of Gaming Addiction Have Reached All
In fact, out of 10,000 people who took the LevelSkip quiz below, a whopping 26% admitted to spending more than 40 hours a week playing video games.
Yes, 40 hours a week!
Of course, in a normal world, that number would be cause for HUGE concern.
Unfortunately, many of us have been there and done it ourselves. And arent surprised in the slightest.
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Gaming Addiction And Substance Abuse
It is by no means uncommon for an individual to suffer from more than one addiction or even more than one type of addiction at once, and many behavioural addictions are often found to cooccur with substance abuse disorders. This condition of cooccurrence sometimes called dual diagnosis or dual disorder typically requires specialised treatment of a more complex kind than that provided to individuals suffering from only one addiction.
Partly because video game addiction is a comparatively new phenomenon, and partly because of the aforementioned lack of unanimity regarding its diagnostic status, the extent to which those suffering from gaming addiction may be especially susceptible to substance abuse disorders has not yet been particularly well established.
Some research suggests that many gamers even those identifying as problem gamers may actually be less likely to develop substance abuse disorders as their brains reward centres are already being stimulated in a similar way to how they would be under the influence of drugs. On the other hand, it is clear that in certain cases gaming addiction has developed subsequent to the establishment of addiction to drink and/or drugs, and similarly that in other cases, it has pre-existed.
On the other hand, some gamers may turn to drugs especially stimulants such as cocaine to give them what they believe will be a performance-enhancing edge, and/or help them stay awake for longer periods during protracted gaming bouts.
Symptoms Of Video Game Addiction
If you suspect that someone you care about suffers from an addictive gaming disorder, there are some important signs to watch out for. If youre trying to tell if someone has a serious video game problem, consider these questions:
- Are they becoming isolated from family and friends?
- Are they lying to others about how often they play video games, and do they often play in secret?
- Do they become upset and irritable when theyre not playing video games?
- Are they neglecting work or school to play video games?
- Are they avoiding activities they once enjoyed?
- Are they skipping meals to focus on gaming?
- Are they often tired because theyre not getting enough sleep?
- Do they have physical problems from gaming too much, like carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines, and eye strain?
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Problematic Online Gaming As A Behavioral Addiction
Examining the empirical evidence, one can argue that online game addiction can be defined as one type of behavioral addiction , a specific group of mental and behavioral disorders that had not been present yet in DSM-IV or ICD-10 but has recently been included in DSM-5 as the second part of the Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders section. At present, the sole behavior in this new category on behavioral addictions is problematic gambling disorder. However, Internet gaming disorder has also been included in DSM-5s Section III , with a list of proposed diagnostic criteria similar to factors discussed throughout this chapter, to encourage research to determine whether this particular condition should be added to the manual as a disorder in the future.
Nevertheless, the authors of this chapter propose to use the name problematic online gaming. This term describes both the quintessence of the phenomenon , while avoiding the notion of dependency or disorder. The reason is that the precise future definition and diagnostic criteria need to be clarified and agreed upon on the basis of DSM-5.
Preventing A Gaming Problem
To keep the amount of time spent gaming under control, try these tips for adults and kids alike:
No one knows whether certain kinds of games are more likely to lead to problem gaming. For the time being, make sure that your child is only playing games rated for their age.
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Are You Feeling Lonely
Feeling lonely is an emotion we all experience, especially if you live in a first world Western country where individualism has been put on a pedestal.
Of course, hiding yourself in games doesnt make you LESS lonely.
Because while games are good for distracting yourself, they dont offer true social interaction, even if youre interacting with other players.
And when the game gets turned off, your social life has deteriorated more than ever
Causes Of Video Game Addiction
As a result of the pandemic, kids screen time has multiplied. In 2020, nearly half of children and teens were spending more than six hours a day online. Thats an increase of 500 percent from 2019, according to a ParentsTogether survey. This increased exposure to digital media, including video games, can trigger gaming disorder.
But the causes of video game addiction go deeper than how much time kids spend playing. There are underlying psychological factors as well. Research shows a correlation between teenage video game addiction and the prevalence of depression and anxiety. Studies have also found that adolescents with an insecure attachment to parents are more prone to internet addiction, including gaming.
Hence, teens use excessive online gaming as a coping strategy for life problems. Video games serve as a form of escape and a way to numb distress and discomfort. Its no surprise, then, that gaming has been a go-to for people of all ages during the pandemic. But teens are particularly vulnerable to video game addiction due to their high levels of collective trauma and their still-maturing brains.
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