It is known as video game addiction to the compulsive use of this type of game, to the point of adversely affect the personal life and daily habits of people. It usually affects children and young people.
Regarding the typology, online video games are the ones that cause a greater number of addictions since they offer a game modality in continuous expansion, without end.
What is an addiction?
First of all, we are going to define the term addiction, assessing what it refers to and what behaviors it encompasses. It is known as such a compulsive behavior in which the pleasure factor takes a leading role . Those who have a certain addiction feel that only that substance and object is capable of creating that feeling, which causes them a great sense of reward when using it.
Video game addiction: causes and symptoms
Below we explain in detail what are the causes and symptoms of this type of addiction.
There is no single cause for this disorder. Some of the most frequently repeated are the following.
- Both family and social problems.
- Mental illnesses such as depression . Many addicts find video games a way to evade reality. In addition, they feel a certain satisfaction due to the feeling of reward that comes from completing certain tasks or objectives.
- Both the levels and the objectives of the games generate a great sense of competition , thus causing motivation and even a certain dominance.
- In some cases, the cause of addiction is found in the mechanics of video games . The titles focus on awarding certain rewards as players pass levels, such as exploring new areas or accessing new game modes. This, added to a continuously ascending difficulty curve, causes everything to revolve around the challenge and the overcoming.
The symptoms that people who are addicted to video games present are various.
- People with this type of addiction need to play more and more , both more often and for longer.
- The irritability is another sign of an addiction itself. People are hostile when they don’t play or have to stop playing. Anxiety is another common factor.
- Usually, when video game addiction gets worse, people who suffer from it put aside their daily activities and routines .
- Another symptom that occurs is the loss of notion of time. Players set out to play for an hour or two, and end up playing for eight or even ten hours straight.
Treatment of video game addiction
Experts point out that this addiction is more complicated to treat than others, such as alcohol or drugs. And it is that video games are something that people can use throughout their lives , it is something that is continually around them in their daily lives. Therefore, it is a more dangerous terrain since the game cannot be banned indefinitely; It is something much more everyday and, in addition, it does not generate any physical or economic wear and tear.
Treatment is based on evaluating both the person and the types of video games. And it is that depending on the typology , experts can guess the causes that have led people to become addicted to games. In many cases, they hide serious problems, such as family or social issues . Do not forget that playing a certain title manages to turn off a part of the brain, thus avoiding thinking about problems and suffering from anxiety.
In general, experts point out that it is cognitive-behavioral therapy that gives the best results. It consists of performing a series of exercises whose main objective is to make the patient aware of the time they dedicate to video games and the way in which they have changed their lifestyle and affected different areas of it. In this way, the patient little by little regulates his daily activities.
There are a number of measures to avoid the tendency towards game abuse.
- No to buying more games: the fact of not being able to access more games during a certain period of time makes the amount of new stimuli limited. Thus, playing the same title all the time becomes a boring experience.
- Hobbies: there is a large selection of very interesting hobbies beyond video games and new technologies. Playing sports is a great option.
- Limit: Of course, limiting your playing time is key. It is better to stop playing for a limited time than to nip your playing time in the bud.
Complications and consequences
The consequences of video game addiction occur in all aspects of life. On the one hand, the state of both physical and mental health. And, on the other hand, the labor, training and social.
People addicted to video games can suffer consequences on their physical health both in the medium and in the long term. As we have pointed out, little by little they put aside their daily activities to dedicate as much time as possible to playing. Thus, in many cases they do without food and rest ; two key aspects to maintain good health.
The lack of food, or the abuse of an unhealthy diet based on prepared and precooked dishes, can lead to very serious consequences: high levels of cholesterol that can cause cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction , lack of vitamins and essential nutrients , muscle weakness , obesity …
Regarding mental health, the consequences of video game addiction can be chronic, lasting a lifetime. One of the most common is depression . A serious mental disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, unhappiness, guilt, and dejection.
Those who suffer from this type of addiction also have low self-esteem in a high percentage of cases .
The attitude of video game addicts is to spend as much time as possible playing, thus leaving aside social relationships , both with friends and family.
In this way, little by little they become more and more isolated, creating a kind of bubble around them. Thus, there comes a time when they are completely isolated from the world . An extremely complicated situation from which in many cases it is difficult to get out.
Work / Studies
In the same way as social relationships, addicts gradually abandon interest in their work and / or training. Their performance, as well as their attention span and concentration, is decreasing, so that in many cases they lose their job .
Video game addiction is already considered a mental illness
As of this year 2018, video game addiction will be considered a mental illness , as the World Health Organization has recently pointed out .
According to the data provided, it is considered that there is an addiction to video games when a person presents a recurrent gambling behavior, both offline and online , which is manifested through three indications. On the one hand, an absolute lack of control over the frequency, duration, intensity, completion and contact of the activity itself. On the other hand, the fact of giving the highest priority to the game over other activities or daily habits. And finally, the continuity, or even the increase of this behavior.
In today’s world there are numerous cases of minors who have video game addiction. The most alarming thing is that the ages of these people are getting lower and lower.
Without going any further, the case of a Spanish mother who has admitted her barely thirteen-year-old daughter to a rehabilitation center for this reason has recently become known. Regarding the symptoms that alerted her to the seriousness of the problem, the woman explains that her daughter no longer went out on the streets, she barely interacted with her friends, and her academic performance was getting worse and worse.
The case of a nine-year-old girl admitted to a rehabilitation center in the United Kingdom for her addiction to Fortnite , one of the most popular games of the moment, has also been known. Her teacher warned them that her performance had dropped and that she came to class remarkably tired. The most serious episode took place one night when her father found the little girl playing hide-and-seek; He hadn’t even stopped playing to go to the bathroom.
A number of cases have been documented in which people have died after spending long periods of time playing video games. The main causes of these deaths are dehydration , fasting and lack of sleep.
One of the most serious cases occurred in July 2012, when a young man in Taiwan died of a heart attack after spending nearly 40 hours in a row playing a video game . The causes of death were the two days of fasting and dehydration.
The video game addiction is a topic of great concern among families around the world. The degree of dependence is not comparable to that of other types of addictions, such as drug use, but the obsession with this activity can seriously affect the quality of life of those who suffer from it.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.