I am definitely not an expert on the subject, but I believe that video games are absolutely an addiction that interferes with some peoples daily life. I have an 18 yr old who I think is addicted to online gaming. It is only 1 game he plays, but as soon as the comp comes on, his eyes glaze over and he is in his "happy place" and literally shuts out the outside world. He will stay on there for HOURS. I have not taken any steps in making him curb his usage because at the moment, he has just graduated high school and will be leaving for boot camp as an Infantry soldier in 2 months - hmmmm.... real life game, with real guns, ammo, and lives at stake???? If he is still playing after "getting a life", then I might take some mmore drastic measures and intervene. Just not sure hhow I will go about it if/when the time comes since we are living in the computer age and have access pretty much anywhere we go.
Hi, I'm not a professional yet, but I'm working on a degree in clinical psychology. The official definition of addiction is: "the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma."
Enslaved, and cessation causing trauma?
I think this video is proof that video games can meet this qualification.
For all practical purposes, people can be "addicted" to practically anything. Gardening, exercise, sex, dancing, playing musical instruments, playing bingo, anything. When work, daily routines, family life, or social interactions are constantly affected by the continual use of it, it is a problem.
In fact, only 30% of tobacco addiction is considered to be nicotine. The other 70% is habit; psychological routine. Just like trying to quit smoking, just trying to get your son to quit playing is not enough. He needs to find something to replace it. For leisure he plays video games. It you get him to try just quitting, he will get bored, ancy and listless during the times that he would usually be playing.
Even paintball will be better. Like basic training, it may seem like a video game to you, but it's really much better. It requires a far more active brain than video gaming. Much of the brain is actually more dormant during video gaming than even during sleep. Also, it would mean that he's getting exercise, which means raised levels of seratonin and dopamine, which are very different than video gaming brain chemistry.
No one really knows yet. There's not a lot of science to back up video game addiction as a real addiction, but that's because not much research has been done yet. Researchers are beginning to look into the topic more, but science is definitely behind society.
I personally think that video game addiction is probably real, but I don't think it's as widespread as the media leads us to believe. A lot of people probably spend way more time playing video games than they should and neglect other important things in favor of them, but I think most people draw the line before they hit the level of addiction. But I have read stories of people even dying because they refused to take a break from playing games--that sounds like an addiction to me!
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