People who play video games in excess run the risk of becoming addicted to video games by becoming more committed to the game than to their real-world life.
Video game addicts live with a psychological addiction to play. This form of addiction is not considered an important medical problem, due to the lack of research although there is evidence that it is a mental disorder. In recent years, addiction to video games has managed to be recognized as a psychological problem, and it is placed in the same category as gambling addiction – a disorder that implies a lack of impulse control.
What is video game addiction?
Video game addiction is described as an impulse control disorder, which does not involve the use of an intoxicating drug and is very similar to the pathological game (gambling). The addiction to video games also has the characteristics of excessive use of video games or compulsive use of computer games and/or game console games.
As with the other addictions, people suffering from video game addiction use the virtual world to connect with real people through the Internet, replacing the human connection in real life, by not being able to create Real connections normally. Some people who suffer from addiction to video games can develop an emotional bond with friends and online activities they create on their computer screens. Those who suffer from addiction to video games can enjoy aspects of online games that allow them to satisfy, socialize and exchange ideas through games.
Because some games require a large number of players to log in simultaneously, for long periods of time, to carry out the task of a game, players can feel an obligation and loyalty to other players. This may favor the justification of the individual of his use and sense of relationship with the other players, than otherwise the strangers.
Signs of video game addiction
The signs that a person has become addicted to video games are:
- Not being able to eat or sleep to continue playing
- Missing school or work in order to play video games
- The neglect of personal hygiene
- Poor performance at school or at work
- Social isolation
- The average duration of play increases over time
The causes of addiction to video games
The video game addict can start playing for fun, but he becomes “hooked” to the game because they are designed to give players a series of rewards when they reach certain levels. The person continues to play in order to continue receiving rewards. Video games also allow players to develop relationships with other players, and the video game addict can find these virtual relationships more rewarding than he has in real life.
The consequences of addiction to video games
- Back pains
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Dry eyes
- Job loss
- Low self-esteem
- Problems with real world relationships
Help and Treatment for addiction to video games
When a person is willing to stop playing video games, it is necessary to find a therapist who has experience with treating this type of addiction. Like the treatment for food addiction or gambling, therapy begins with a period of withdrawal and then the addict learns to use computers in a more appropriate way, without spending an excessive amount of Time playing games. The exchange of experiences and interaction with other video game addicts could also be an essential part of the recovery process.
Recovery and rehabilitation of addiction to video games
With the right help and support, a video game addict can learn to stop playing. It would be unrealistic to expect them to be able to stay away from computers as a whole, since computers are an important part of our lives. For example, there are many jobs that require the use of the computer, up to a certain point, but the video game addict can learn to limit the use without starting to play again. Support groups or a 12-step recovery program can also help.