Video Game Addiction: Do we need a Video Gamers Anonymous?

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Biology 202
2002 Second Paper
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Video Game Addiction: Do we need a Video Gamers Anonymous?

Mary Schlimme

Super Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Street Fighter are familiar names to nearly all of us. They are all best selling games of major video game consoles. Over 9.8 billion dollars were spent on video games in the United States during 2001 alone, and video game consoles are present in 36 million homes in the United States (1). With the increasing amount of time that people are spending on video games, one is left to wonder if it is possible to become addicted to video games. Do we need a Video Gamers Anonymous?

Addiction has been defined as "A primary, chronic disease, characterized by impaired control over the use of a psychoactive substance and/or behavior. Clinically, the manifestations occur along biological, psychological, sociological and spiritual dimensions (2)." While there is currently no category for video game addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3), which is the manual utilized to diagnose psychological disorders, video game addicts are often described by clinicians in the field as displaying many symptoms characteristic of other addictions. These behaviors include failure to stop playing games, difficulties in work or school, telling lies to loved ones, decreased attention to personal hygiene, decreased attention to family and friends, and disturbances in the sleep cycle (4). Withdrawal symptoms can even include behaviors as severe as shaking (5).

All addictions can be dangerous and harmful to the addicted person and others around him; however, video game addiction can be particularly detrimental to children. Video games are becoming increasingly popular with children of young ages, which in turn may raise the likelihood that these children will develop addictions to video games. Furthermore, playing violent games may be associated with a tendency to behave more aggressively, although the data are inconclusive about the cause and effect nature of this relationship (6). In a study by Irwin and Gross, children who played a violent video game displayed a higher level of aggression than children who played a nonviolent game (6). Similarly, in a study by Calvert and Tan, college students who played a violent video game reported more aggressive thoughts after playing the game than college students who played a nonviolent game (6). Although several researchers advocate the position that video games cause violent behavior in children and adults, there are also many researchers who support the opposite belief, which is that video games purge one's desire to act violently and thus reduce the amount of violence in which a person will engage (5). Other detrimental effects of video games include taking time away from a child's studies or homework and decreased social skills (5). Finally, despite possible detrimental effects of excessive video game playing, there are benefits to playing video games in moderation. For instance, video games may improve spatial abilities, the ability to create and apply multiple strategies, and may help develop critical analyzing techniques (7). Due to the nature of video games, psychological, social, and neurological factors have all been associated with excessive video game playing.

The psychological cycle of substance addiction and other maladaptive behaviors can be applied to video games as well. A person playing a video game feels an emotional high, commonly known as an adrenaline rush, as a result of his gaming tactics (8). He then plays the game more and pushes his physical and psychological limits in order to experience the emotional high. Eventually, he will again reach a level that stimulates the production of adrenaline. The cycle may continue until it leads to an unhealthy level of interaction with video games, which some professionals may label video game addiction. Even famous psychological effects such as the sunk cost fallacy can influence the addictive cycle. This fallacy occurs when a person feels compelled to continue performing a certain behavior because he has previously invested time in the behavior and does not want to feel as though his investment was wasted (9). Similarly, Dr. Timothy Miller, a clinical psychologist, states that many video game players may feel that they have wasted their efforts if they do not reach the next goal in a game, which may lead to additional time spent playing the game that the person otherwise would have spent in a more constructive task (4).

According to Dr. Orzack, the Director of Computer Addiction Services at McLean Hospital, social pressure or lack of social skills can also lead to video game addiction (4). Dr. Orzack suggests that many video game addicts have struggled with finding their place in society and as a result play video games in order to become part of a crowd. The players then may feel compelled to reach the next level of achievement in the game in order to flaunt their abilities in front of their peer group (4). While these social effects are important to consider when investigating the development of excessive video game playing, it is equally important to discuss the neurological effects as well.

Not only can excessive video game playing cause behavioral and social changes in a person, but it can also result in neurological changes as well. A recent study utilized positron emission tomography in order to show that levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine increased while playing video games (10). Dopamine is believed to mediate several behaviors, one of which is the experience of pleasure. For example, dopamine levels increase in emaciated rats when the rats are presented with food, and similar effects are found when water deprived rats are presented with water. Despite the positive effects of dopamine, high levels of the neurotransmitter have also been associated with addictions to drugs and substances (11). Because increased levels of dopamine have been found in people who are playing video games and because these effects are similar to the increased levels of dopamine in drug addicts, some researchers have hypothesized that higher levels of dopamine can produce a dangerous cycle leading to addiction of video games (11). However, because this research is fairly novel, studies replicating the data are necessary. Furthermore, the possibility of involvement of other neurotransmitters during video game play should be explored since it is possible that multiple neurotransmitters may interact in addictive behaviors. Finally, because this area of research is fairly new, many interesting questions can be raised. For instance, does excessive playing of video games cause a fundamental and permanent change in the dopamine system? If so, what are the subsequent effects on the pleasure systems of these individuals? Do these people require more dopamine to be released as a result of a decreased sensitivity to dopamine that was caused by the excessive play, in a way similar to other addictions (10)? If future studies demonstrate these patterns, and if they are considered in unison with the psychological and social ramifications of excessive video game playing, it can be concluded that the video game addiction can and does exist. In that case, the answer to the initial question of "Do we need a Video Gamers Anonymous?" is most certainly yes.

 

References

1)Assorted Gaming Statistics, A good reference for game statistics

2)Definitions in Addiction Medicine,

3)Computer and Cyberspace Addiction,

4)When games stop being fun,

5)Video games: Cause for concern?,

6)Video games: Research, ratings, and recommendations, Contains many references for empirical studies

7)Video games addiction,

8)Are video games really so bad?,

9)Questions Answered,

10)Positron Emission Tomography ,

11)The Biochemistry of Human Addiction, Discusses the role of dopamine in addiction

 

 

Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post comments on the Video Game Experiences Forum on Serendip)

07/12/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I find that when I play games that when I play some video i get a high, until I start to find my self doing the same thing over and over again. But just because you can get bored doesn't make it addictive. If you hit a jump on your bike for a while, eventually it gets boring. You just find a bigger jump.


08/07/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Sure video games give an adreniline rush at times, but is excitment the main addictive factor? I have to disagree. More importantly, there are styles of play constantly practiced in MMORPGS that are not fun and not exciting, but felt to be necessary. First, this isn't just a kid thing. I know plenty of adults who waste time playing video-games, myself included (this is about my problem)... and I think it would be more appropiate to classify it as an obsessive behavior. (I'm no doctor, so I'll agree addiction works well as a loose definition.) My "addiction": I'd describe my problem using Tetris as an example. It's like the images get burned into my brain, and I'll see the shapes when I close my eyes (ecspesically be for I go to sleep or as I wake up). It seems to become predominant in my subconcious, and I feel a need to play the game to make the visions concrete. The problem is the patterns get stuck in my head. And it doesn't seem to matter what game I play. All video games are pattern oriented in some way: you must learn the pattern to kill the boss at the end of a level, learn patterns unique to various adversaries, etc. I think the addiction is based on trying to complete a pattern that has no end. Be it simple game of Tetris or a complex MMORPG. This is reinforced by being continually rewared in someway during the process: this can be points or (even better) gaining an ability or item to make your patterns more complex. In the highly addictive MMORPGS, there is a type of player (or style of play) who is addicted to the game but is not addicted to the adreneline rush. They are called farmers and grinders. It's also NOT A FUN way to play, but it is done by everyone who has played an MMORPG. The farmer will mine resources for hours upon hours, and can be without being interupted by adversaries (increasing points or gold). There are also groups that band together to increase the ability to farm. There is no type of adreniline rush playing in this way, but it is a style of play that is obsessive. Players will spend hours in one place farming the same area until physical exhaustion.(I've done it, and I've chatted with players who are barely awake who even fall asleep in front of the computer.) Then there is "Grinding". This is done by killing monsters for hours (increasing experiance points). There is no adreniline rush, because there is little danger invovled (the monsters cannot kill the character easily). In fact, there is no challenge to the player in this style of play; yet players will grind until exhaustion soley for the reward of points. In conclusion, there is an addictive quality to games that I have experianced. I doubt adreniline is the key to understanding video-game addiction. The excitment is just the hook. And worse, I doubt limiting time will help because the patterns get stuck in the mind of the addicted player and the thoughts can interfere with mental thought processes. For me (even when I am away from a game that I have been playing), I have a hard time trying to stop thinking about the patterns.


09/01/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I'm a college student struggling with video game "addiction," and I heartily agree that the sunk cost fallacy plays a very large role in the "lure" of video games. While evidence suggests there is a possible chemical addiction to dopamine or adrenaline released when playing games, I would maintain that the "addiction" is much more psycological than chemical. Three terms used by gamers to describe other gamers are "Timmy," "Spike," and "Johnny." These are descriptors for three model personalities typified by gamers. "Timmy" likes fast cars and explosions, and general excitement. "Johnny" likes things that are aestheticly pleasing, and "Spike" is a competitive gamer whose enjoyment comes not from the game, but from comparing his gaming achievements to those of his peers. My point is that video games cater to each of these differing personalities in many different ways, providing psycological fullfulment that a gamer may otherwise be unable to get without them thus creating a psycological dependency or addiction.


09/19/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I do feel gaming is a major addiction. I was addicted to the game Medal of Honor Allied Assault since September 2002, and even though I've moved onto other games such as cs source and motogp3 I still play "mohaa" to this day. I think its the joy of the pople you meet, the communitys and even the skill you gain. i have become (sadly) extremely brilliant at mohaa. But it is definitly addictive.


10/13/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I was really pleased to find this site - I self-diagnosed my gaming addiction a few years ago. I based my assessment on the disruption of social and work life, the sense of a double-life, the guilt (about being juvenile, wasting time, wasting money) juxtaposed by pleasure (escapism), hiding the addiction from friends and loved ones, obsession to the point of time warp, etc. I agree with the previous poster that images and repetitive patterns get ingrained on your consciousness and that playing can become a compulsion with little pleasure. I used to think i was "gifted" when it came to games, and i developed a remarkable learning curve due to my total obsession with play. I haven't lost relationships (although I've lost lots of time), but I've been on and off the wagon for years with games. I think i pretty much have it under control, but I tend to go cold turkey for months or years, then binge for a few weeks to a few months.


10/16/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I am a seventeen-year-old teen and I would say it’s highly likely that I have some sort of addiction towards video games. It started as a way having fun at first then as a way of getting over my inability to fit in at a new school that my parents enrolled me in. I did not play to brag about my achievements to my peers but instead to use the virtual world as a way of escape. I still have this problem, I loose sleep, don’t eat when should, but things off, don’t finish schoolwork, play to the point that my hands and fingers are in pain and bruised. Sometimes when start a new game that find really enjoyable I will imagine my self in the game ( this can be compared to daydreaming ) no matter where I am, walking, sleeping, ect. None of these problems bother me as much as something recognized recently, I will sometimes get urges to fulfill violent acts towards my friends, family, and even people I am unacquainted with. However I not sure if this has anything to do with videogames at all.


11/01/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I live with a "gamer". His favorites include, NFL Madden and lately Socom III. We have had numerous discussions in regard to his game playing. His mother and father admittedly allowed game playing all throughout his childhood and this was a way to keep him "occupied" for hours at a time. I met him 5 years ago and while I noticed that he did have a game system, I never noticed that he played it. As we have dated this entire time, this situation has just come to be a problem in the last 2 years. My problem is that he is 28 years old. We have a home together, he has a loving girlfriend, two dogs, a great job and a lot of potential. While he never ever misses work (his hours are such that he gets plenty of days off anyway), he constantly misses "social" interaction with me and friends. It is a struggle to get him to go to a party or any social event that keeps us out for long periods of time and he obviously does not pay attention to his personal responsibilities...he has even started forgetting to brush his teeth on a daily basis... aside from personal hygiene, his responsibilities are minimal. I do not ask much from my boyfriend anymore because I know that not much gets done. I work and am away from the home 12-14 hours a day with just work and he is not. He comes home from his job and does not shower or eat, he goes to play. How can I stop this and not ruin our relationship. Keep in mind that I have done everything except for leaving him. I have even hidden his PS2 to get a LOT of backlash. I have never had to deal with this before and I do not want to threaten him with the prospect of my leaving. What do I do??? Any good ideas of how to stop this. I know he loves me but I'm done with taking second to a game. Christel Fannin


11/09/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Playing video games is not addictive. There has been a lot of research into this subject matter after the Columbine incident, and although most of it was meant to prove that video games make people violent (was proven false), some of the studies were directed to the so called "computer game addiction". None of these studies have proven anything. Furthermore there is no link between dopamine and computer games, as so many people have said there was. Omar M.


11/13/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I don't think video games are bad for anyone. I am a parent of three children two of them boys who love video games. They are good boys they don't do drugs,drink, or are they out doing god no's what.


11/18/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Mario is not addictive! I grew up with mario! If nintendo read this there would be a LAWSUIT! You Don't know what you are talking about


11/21/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I am the mother of a 17 year old who I believe may be addicted to video games. I am also a licensed substance abuse counselor. My concern is that I see some of the same types of dysfunctional behaviors of addiction in my son. He avoids friend and family, his school is definately suffering and when I recently took his gaming system away he become angry and violent. Afterwards he became dispondent. Is this withdrawal? I can't say. Recently a client of mine said he was no longer using drugs or alcohol but stated he was addicted to video games. He even quit his job so he could play more. I know that people don't think that this is a big problem...I get that, but my point is what if we are looking at and addiction here? How many people are we willing to write off on this learning curve? As a parent I feel completely responsible. I have been feeding this addiction since my son was old enough to hold a controller. He is even going to school to be a video game designer. Long story short... my son has few social skills, few friends and is now in withdrawal "literally". Tonight his father and I talked about sending him to a treatment program, seriously. I am even looking at how to finance the 6 week program which costs around $16,000! Money I would rather spend on his college education...only without some serious help I don't think he will make it to college! So if you think you might have a problem like this you probably do. As I tell my clients, if you are not sure if you have a problem...quit, and see what happens.


11/28/2005, from a Reader on the Web

There already is On-Line Gamers Anonymous for people addicted to computer, video, on-line, MMORPG and any other kind of games. It is OLGA and the URL is www.olganon.org Visit the site and don't forget to go to the Pot of Gold on the site - the message board and read stories gamers and their family members and loved ones have shared. http://p198.ezboard.com/bolga No matter what the "Professionals" say, ask the people who are in the depths of this latest addiction, to see how they feel about this activity. It is serious and does ruin many lives and relationships. Elizabeth Woolley


11/28/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Video games could be addictive, but I find that it's really more just a hobby for me, being young as I am, a way to spend time that can't really be spent on anything else.


12/05/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I am 33 years old, and for the last 3 years I have wondered if video games were addicting. For me, I have an addictive behavior, but I never get addicted to just one thing... It may be 3 weeks at a time with an addiction, 2 weeks off, and then 3 weeks on again with a totally different high. When I am playing video games, I stay up late, get no sleep, and am completely unproductive at work. It is like I am in another world. I am not a violent person, and I don't like the violent games. I like the puzzle solving games, and fantasy games the best. I dream about those games, and sometimes, I get away from work at lunch to play them. I started very young when I got my Atari 2600, my Coleco, and finally when the mother of all gaming systems came out, the Commodore 64, I was in heaven. In the summer, I would play video games for 20 hours straight, and then sleep for 4, just to get up again and play them again until my parents kicked me off. I was only 11 when I was doing that destructive cycle. Now personally I think there are too many violent games, and many games are graphically exciting, but not challenging enough or creative enough. But I definitely know the feeling I get for instance when I play video games versus when I have done drugs is EXACTLY the same. Weird? No... the dopamine levels are affected whether its drugs, alcohol, gambling, or whatever addiction it is... and I would categorize video games along those lines. The key is moderation. Moderation of ALL the vices (drugs, alcohol, gambling, porn... whatever) is ok, but when you are like me, there is no moderation. It is either all or nothing. That is when it become detrimental to the psyche. My 2 + 2 cents

 

Additional comments made prior to 2007
video gaming is taking over my big brothers life, my mom wont do anything, he is spastic now...nobody can control him...my life is horrible like this, im scared of him no matter whos around!he beat me with a giant metal spoon becuase of his viedeo game addiction, he bangs his contorlers on his desk when he loses something...game:need for speed most wanted. i need help, if my family wont speak out then i will, if any1 is out there that can help me please so, i am scared to come home every day becuase of this ... Lauren, 3 March 2006

 

 

I had been addicted to a game called runescape.Yeah,when i first started the game was fun,I told some friends about it and before we knew it we all played.U could make money in the game by vigorusly training you stats and mining killing monsters fishing or by merchanting.I had played the most out of all of us but i was the richest.I would go to bed thinking about the game and wake up thinking about it...I lost loooooads of time to this game and I knew i was addicted.My parents tried to ground me off of it but even when i was grounded,soon as they left i was right back on.He he...my familys rather poor so being rich was fun for me and it just got me hooked I LOVED this game.I had just became what you call a member(u pay 5$ a month and get better benefits)soon as i did i got out everything good i had in my bank and was ready to go buy something valuable...I left my screen for 3 minutes and came back.I was DEAD!I had cried and even ran away...lol for 3 hours and i slit my wrist! actually with some broken glass I found in the street...I woke up in the hospital and yeah...from then on its like I had woke up from a dream...I realized that it was just a game and i nearly killed myself over it!I was 12 then and Im 13 now...lifes great doin good in school,my mom AND dad are in real estate and we have a 3 story house weve really come up...Im so sad tho knowing that I might not be here right now...over a game.For all you addicts,,,try your hardest to let it go...its just a game and you do NOT need it! ... Leo, 20 April 2006

 

 

games are addicting. I started with a play station in 1998. I would start playing as soon as I would get home from work,or as soon as i would wake up on the weekends. I would be up at seven in the morning and play until two or three in the morning. On the weedays i would start playing as soon as I got home and played too 10 or 11 at night. i did this for a year. I neglected my wife and my daughter for that. I feel it didn't give me a high or a rush. It feels like a way out of reality. I didn't see the problem. My wife would get on me case about me playing all the time. I guess you could say I didn't care what anybody said or did, I kept on playing. The house could have been on fire and if i had time to take anything with it would be the ps. One night my wife had enough and smashed it. Things got out of hand that night. Then the PS2 came out and I bought it. At this time I thought I was over that. Guess again. I had the PS2 for about 2 years and she had enough and smashed that one. Now we got a computer. I started the same thing just different system. She brought it too my attention and i didn't see it at first. She stop it before it got out of hand. Now I'm going to limit my self. When my kids are in bed and I have some free time. I will get back to you about If IT works for me. Yes IT IS ADDICTING.

 

For Cristal Fannin There realy isn't an easy way to approach it. In his mind you are first. That's how I seen my family. But in reality they were put second. I think you should realy make him take a good look at his self. I you have a camcorder, record him for one week. Then tell him you have something very intersting to show him. Let him see what he looks like with the controller in his hands,his eyes glued to the tv. This might bring it to his attention. Write a nice long letter about how it is affecting your life. I wish you the best of luck ... Reader on the web, 2 June 1006

 

 

I have slowly come to realise that I am addicted to playing PC video games. The thought terrifies me as, unlike console games which are independently associated with the television, the personal computer game distracts and consumes my ability to focus on productive work. While I am not sure whether it would be responsible to "blame" my recent failures and shortcomings in life on video games, I have found myself in the past two years playing thirty to forty (I think this is probably too low... but I have never really counted the time) sitting at my laptop playing one immerse game after another. It will happen that an entire day will pass without my knowledge as I am sitting at the keyboard and mouse, repetetively following the adventures of some fantasy character or war simulation or whathaveyou for endless hours. It's effect has past on to my personal life where I will find myself removing myself from my friends and family, my girlfriend, and all associates to lock myself inside my dorm room wasting time with the damn things. I wonder whether or not this obsessive behaviour has been triggered by a chronic depression I have experienced these last two years, or whether it has in some manner influenced this illness. The results have been nearly catastrophic: I have been expelled from my university, and I have not been able to focus or write for two and a half years. There is talk of "moderation" and "addictive personalities" but, despite dabbling with a plethora of drugs and alcohol in high school and my first years of college, I have not encountered anything as sinister. Now I realize that my medical illness has stemmed from other aspects of my personal life and genetics, but I cannot stop to wonder at the effect of my game playing. The answer seems clear enough: there is nothing healthy about video games. Unlike sports and exercise, they do not strenghten and condition the body; unlike reading and study, they do not develop the mind and critical faculty; and unlike sex, food, wine, and conversation they do nothing to stimulate the human spirit and social character. This blight has nearly ruined my life (I am only 22 and, after therapy, returning to finish my Bachelor's), and I would warn anyone about its seductive charms. How many other addicts have thought themselves impervious to their drug? Heroin, cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, compulsive gambling, pain killers... The list continues. Yet, when I think of it, there is nothing quite like the unreal feeling of accomplishment in the video game that, when one is caught in the grip of spiritual and psychological despair, encourages continued retrogression whilst presenting the dizzying feeling that "yes, look, I am controlling something; I am doing something." Only one more turn, one more level, one more mission ... Reader on the web, 22 June 2006

 

 

I am a girlfriend of a gamer and yes I do believe there should be a gamers anonymous or a addac tyoe group for the families and friends.

 

We have two children together and he is on the game 7 days a week. He calls it a hobby but it is certainly more than that. When we met 10 years ago I didn't realize the extent of this. I bought him a Play Station System for Christmas because I knew he liked it and then the next year a Play Station 2. How foolish is that?!

 

Now the game is Warcraft. We had split three times because I just couldn't take it. Each time I came back he said he wouldn't play it anymore and a month down the road, there it was again.

 

One of the problems now is that I have become so used to him being gone that I don't know how to handle him being around. If I get upset and ask hime to come off it for awhile he just sits around and I am used to having my space. He doesn't do anything.

 

My kids are affected a great deal because as soon as I leave the house daddy goes on the game. I have alot of guilt about this. I want to hire a sitter for the time I am out but this angers him.

 

It's very lonely and I don't know how long I can hang in there. I don't want to have a life like this forever but I love him. It's all quite confusing.

 

So, if you know of a group in the Calgary, Ab area I would love to know.

 

Any feedback would also be appreciated ... Chris Von Bieker, 8 October 2006

 

 

I never would have believed that video games were addictive if I hadn't seen it first hand. My fiance is totally addicted to video games and it drives me insane. People must keep in mind that there are thousands of personality types in the world and just because one person or several people do not develope this problem it is there for other and a major concern. I am a little bit older then my fiance and we have a one week old baby and both hold jobs while trying to go to school. He is so obbsessed with games that he has started to miss class and negelect his work, me and our child. Today he played for 10 hours straight. He get very anrgy and almost violent when I ask him to stop or walk infront of him and he messes up. It consumes all his time and energy. Though he doesnt believe he has a problem, I know its there ... Havala Strauss, 6 December 2006

 

 

I happen to think that there is a good and bad side to all things in life. Anything is okay, in moderation. I have a nine year old son, and truthfully, I don't like him to play video games during the week. He is allowed to play from Friday nights to Sunday aftternoons. No more and no less. I grew up without them and frankly I turned out just fine. I don't have any passion or dislike for them, but he absolutely loves them. I have read studies that suggest that it improves hand-eye coordination.....WHATEVER!!!

 

Like I said.....everthing is okay from food to sports to video games....as long as it is in moderation ... Michelle, 27 February 2007

 

 

I am the wife of a person who is addicted to online games. We are on the verge of divorce, because he cannot do anything, but play online games when he gets home from work. I have tried everything to change this, but nothing works. He does not care that he is destroying our relationship. He instead gets angry with me, when I try to talk to him about making things better. In fact, I have noticed that since his playing these games, he has become more aloof, removed and detached. He is extremely cold now and has no compassion for what I feel. It's like living with a ghost. I cannot say anything about him getting off the computer, or he becomes angry. So, yes, I believe there is much need for research and support groups for the people living with this problem. I believe it is a bigger problem than this country wants to admit to. It is sort of like the "secret addiction." No one wants to believe that this is a real problem for so many ... Rosita Jaime, 6 October 2007

 

 

You're right, this is an addiction. However, the only way it can be resolved is by Jesus. Throughout the Bible, Jesus performed various acts of deliverance on people with evil spirits within them, causing them to sin. Addiction is an evil spirit that is accepted into the soul (one's own thoughts, feelings, and emotions)when someone does something against the will of God...This is something serious we are dealing with, not some heretical talk that many think is bogus...this is the Truth of what Christ is about ... Jane, 10 December 2007

Comments

Serendip Visitor's picture

im a video game addict

weel i amm a video game addict, im addicted to call of duty modern warfare 2 i play for atleast 9 to 11 hours a day non stop i just cant stop playing on x-box live!!!! HELP!!!!!!

Katryna's picture

Moderation not Addiction

In my life there is a huge amount of stress. I started playing MMO's to get my mind off all of the trouble, and found myself slowly slipping into addiction. I found that, even if I was bored with a game, I would keep playing. I used the excuse: "I don't have anything better to do." It came to the point where I had numerous games installed on my computer and would switch from one to the other, playing for as long as five hours straight. My hygiene declined, and I developed a longing to stay inside and not interact with anyone. Except online friends, of course. I do believe that games can cause addiction. But, in moderation, they can be a beneficial activity. I restrict myself to T(Teen) rated games, which minimizes the chance of blood and sexual themes appearing. Parents, you should moniter your child's gaming. Both in what they play and for how long. (I personally try to keep my gaming limited to 1-2 hours) Kids, I know it's not what you want to hear, but games cannot rule your life. Do you like sowrdfighting in-game? Consider joining a Fencing Club. Do you play an archer? (Like me) Archery clubs are all over the place. These are just a few ideas. Gaming itself is not bad. Addiction is.

Max's picture

It's a real problem..

First of all, for those here that say video game addiction is BS clearly don't suffer from it and shouldn't be posting. Secondly, I consider myself addicted to video games, however I can usually manage the problem when I have important things going on (work/girlfriend etc).

I have been playing games for as long as I can remember, from my snes with Mario World to the latest cod on the xbox. I've always been told I play too much, but I have rarely thought much about it. Recently though, more and more, I feel like I am wasting many hours on the couch, yet when I am not playing I tend to feel depressed. If I'm not playing games I am usually talking/thinking/reading about them. Maybe I have an obsessive personality, or maybe games themselves are addicting.

For people looking for help, I'm not sure if any is available, but I think admitting to the problem is a big step in ending the addiction. Maybe the simple way of ending it is to simply unplug the console and find something to fill the void..

Gamertag: lingji's picture

Not all gamers (even addicted ones) arent THAT bad...

I am 17 years old. I am a gamer, and I have been playing video games since I was 4 years old. I didn't become a true gamer, however, until I got my first gameboy and I started playing Pokemon Yellow Version. I will openly admit that I am addicted to video games. I play video games for at least 6 hours a day on weekdays, (sometimes more, sometimes less) then on weekends, I generally marathon game from when I get home from school (Or when I wake up on Saturday and Sunday) until late (or early depending on if you actually count it as the next day once 12:00AM rolls around)

On Friday, I get home from school around 3:00. (same as everyday) and the first thing I do is toast a bagel (my favorite after school snack)then I go right into my room and jump on a game system. I play all they way up until dinner, where I eat with my mom and her boyfriend in the kitchen. After dinner, I go right back to my room. I only come out to grab something to drink, or to grab a small snack. I play until around 2:30AM, and then I go to bed. I wake up around 12:00PM, and eat a sandwich and some microwavable broccoli as my breakfast/lunch. Then I get onto a game system and repeat the process. On Sunday, after breakfast/lunch, I play my video games until 8:30PM, and then I take shower. After my shower, I play some more. At 10:00PM, I go to bed. It takes me about an hour to fall asleep. Monday-Thursday, I wake up at 6:00AM, go to school, go to school, Get home at 3:00, game until dinner, eat dinner, game until 8:30, shower, watch my favorite TV show from 9 to 10, and then go to bed.

I have quite a few friends. They all are gamers as well admittedly, but at least I don't completely shut myself away from people. I prefer to have a few close friends, rather than a bunch of not so close friends. My friends and I don't just game over Xbox LIVE, or WFC (Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection) We host gaming events at our local public library, plus we host and attend charity gaming tournaments. One of which will be taking place on Friday of this week.

As you have read above, I do like to take care of my self. I have pretty good hygiene. I brush my teeth twice a day. Once in the morning, and once at night. (unless I'm in a rush in the morning, then I skip the morning brushing) I shower everyday (except for weekends, I skip Friday and Saturday then take a long shower Sunday.) I use deodorant. I am a little bit overweight, but I am not morbidly obese or anything.

I do not have a job as of right now. I am still in school so I haven't really bothered.

I do not have a girlfriend, but that is also because I have chosen not to get one. I could get one if I should so choose. (I even have a couple of girls who would love to be my lady.)

I do decently in school. I am not a straight A student, but I don't get all F's like I feel gamers are portrayed to get. I do homework. I do good on my tests. (every once in a while I will disregard a homework assignment in favor of video games. However, this is not often)

I own the following game systems:

Microsoft Xbox
Xbox 360 S 250gb
Nintendo Wii (with WODE Jukebox modchip installed and a 2tb HDD so I can keep my disks in good condition)
Gameboy Advance
Gameboy Advance SP
Sony Playstation
Playstation 2 (soft modded with freemcboot, ESR (for ps2 games) and PSXlauncher (for ps1 games) for running game backups for keeping the disks in good condition)
Nintendo DS Lite (with R4 ultra SDHC (with an 8gb micro SD card for DS games and homebrew apps) and a Supercard Lite (with a 2gb micro SD card for GBA games and homebrew apps) so I don't have to carry all my DS and GBA games with me at one time)
and, 3 PC's (two laptops and a desktop)

I am not much of a PC gamer, but I spend quite a lot of time on my consoles (with the exception of the GBA's because the DS renders them pointless to me. I only listed them because i own them.

I enjoy violent video games. Such as Halo: Reach, and Call Of Duty: Black Ops. However, I have never been a violent person. I never plan on it either.

I do experience withdrawals when I do not play for long periods at a time (I mean days by that. I don't go into withdrawal after a few hours like some like to think I do) My hands get kind of restless, I get bored really easy, and I start wondering if a Grunt (an enemy in Halo) tastes like chicken.

Regardless of the fact that I am a video game addict myself, I will still say the following.

All these problems that gamers have, are becoming a stereotype. Sure there are people out there that follow the stereotype word for word. However, it is like that for every stereotype out there.

Not all gamers follow the stereotype. I have yet to meet one (in real life anyway, as I do not count people I have encountered online) who does. It really depends on the person themselves.

Julie's picture

My brother needs help soon

My brother has been gettin worst over the years. He constantly plays on the computer and spends more than 12 hrs on the computer. He will barely eat, he will just wait for my mom to cook him something or someone to bring him food to his room. Otherwise he will just starve. His also been getting more violent with everyone in the family, he doesn't even call anyone to talk, I tried talkin to him but he only talks about games and acts a little immature. He just recently started playin on the computer till 2pm to 7am in the morning. My mom doesn't want to relize the is bad for him and will let him not do anything in the house. He's been getting more lazy and doesn't even want to work or find a job. I want to help him but I need proof to show my mom that he needs help. Please comment me or email me at

Gamersmom's picture

Help for your brother

Go to www.olganon.org. Have your parents go there too. You will find information and support there.

Former Addict's picture

Game Addiction's Consequence

Video game addiction is known worldwide. It's been present for a long time but it's just now that people take notice of it because of the media surrounding it.
Video games have two effects on people. It either can help them or it either can destroy them.
We've seen a lot of stories about game addiction being a problem. The child's performance in school drops and his socialization decreases.
What we can do as adults is to monitor their gaming and help them in knowing what's wrong and right.

Mrs.Brown's picture

me VS videogames

My husband and i have been married a year and have been together two years total dating and marriage included, but our constant battle is his video games....he can go on forever, compleltly forgettin the reality world hes living in. To the point where he wont even help with daily things around the house........or buyin me a video game for xmas cuz he thought i would like it so he says....half the time i just feel like a maid or that im livin alone with this shadow in my house. i mean i can vacum the floor and he will sit glued to the tv on the ground and i can vacum around him and he wont even notice......please help.

Gamersmom's picture

www.olganon.org

www.olganon.org

gamer224's picture

I'm addicted. It's as plain

I'm addicted. It's as plain as that. I sometimes have even my friends refer to me as Gamer224. Okay, most of the time. Please, help.

Gamersmom's picture

Help

Try this Gamer224: www.olganon.org

Eric de Jesus's picture

Reaction

Truthfully speaking, "video game addiction" is just an exaggerated word of a video gamer. People won't understand a gamer not unless they're a gamer too. Gamers put in a lot of time and effort to a certain video game because it is their that they learn what dedication to work can do. Being dedicated to finishing a game carries on to a gamer's life. "Studies" about video games and negative effects aren't even well supported. The well supported studies about what good can video games can do are the ones that are normally ignored.

Great writing paul!!

Douglas's picture

This depends

Hello I am an 27 year old male and had a severe dependency on video games in my youth. I lost a lot of my time playing the Socom series (PS2) which drew me in so much, it became a problem. I would play nonstop all day every day when I was dependent on my parents. Looking back at this, it was absolutely awful that I would take up so much of my time and avoid the social aspects in my life which scares me now because my high school years are ruined because of the excessive play. I ruined nearly half a decade of my life with obsessive game play but I'm not here to slam games, thats not the case here. They are fine in moderation and can actually be beneficial and provide a creative curve to artistic people, just don't play excessively like I did. It has its effects. Today, its on and off for me, I haven't really had the desire to play games because of work and everyday life. I do ponder the question about mmorpgs though, how does one have one life and live a completely new one in games such World Of Warcraft? These types of games take up so much time its insane.

Anyways, to parents, monitor your kids game play, its more important than you think. ;)

Serendip Visitor's picture

I wish people would blame

I wish people would blame more things on video games. Everything that is blamed on video games happened just as often as they do now even before gaming. Shootings: Every time there is some sort of public shooting it is always automatically blamed on violent video games. Why? Because something has to be responsible. It's too hard for people to accept that some human beings are just psychologically ill. So it's easier for them to blame their insanity on violent video games. Even though before gaming murders and shootings occurred just as often as they do now. I can't understand why there is such an extreme hatred towards gaming. It's a hobby, nothing else. Some people love sports and follow them obsessively and that is completely normal, but if a person is an obsessive gamer, they have a problem and should be treated for their addiction. What people fail to see is that the world was still as shitty as it is today way before the creation of video games. Games are just an easy way to criticize others. It isn't the Xbox or the Playstation's fault that your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't pay attention to you. There is probably another problem in the relationship. People never want to see themselves as the problem so they destroy the relationship of something irrelevant rather than admit to being a problem. If you have any argument towards my statement, please feel free to comment. I'll be happy to discuss this with you.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Everything said above is

Everything said above is true. I have been gaming for over 10 years now and I have a completely normal social life. The past two years my parents and teachers noticed that I was becoming more violent minded. They blamed the games. They later found out that it was my medicine (Concerta 36mg) and just days after I started my new medicine I was completely fine. All of the anger and frustration was gone.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Less QQ more PEWEW

A person plays video games and shuns society, dies poor and alone. Their genes aren't passed on and so the statistical likelihood of another videogame addict like them is reduced, the species grows stronger. I fail to see the problem in this... If the some people are determined to set themselves aflame, let them burn; there's no logical reason to not allow events to run their course.

Also: L33T speak is not a sign of mental retardation its an natural change that occurs in a language. Shakespeare doesn't and shouldn't make sense to anyone of average intelligence listening to it because after 400 years this English language we're all so fond of has changed. Would Shakespeare have the right to tell us all that we're a bunch of retards for not speaking like him? Do we have the right to tell him HE's speaking bad english? Or is it simply some people are afraid of change and so label variation as "bad english" to make themselves feel better about their predicament.

Serendip Visitor's picture

video games! :D

im 15 and im addicted to call of duty modern warfare for play station 3 and if you want to have the most fun ever and ruin your life you schould play like me and all of my friends as soon as we get home from school 3:45 we play cod "call of duty" until 11:30 wake up at 5:00am and play till 7:45 niw you think some kids are addicted thats my life ok.

A desperate soul's picture

Im an addict.

im an addict since like 2 years ago, but it have just start to affect me this month. i cant concetrate in college, im 20. i am addicted to that "adrenaline rush", its all i care about games, epic moments, epic stories. im in a dark place, having no sleeping, being tired. I dont know how to quit. i seriously need to break this thing that i used to enjoy, but have turn in to an addiction.

Alejandro Sastre's picture

I dont believe it's quite an

I dont believe it's quite an addiction, it's more sort of an escape to reality. Games tell us stories which we wont be ever able to experience in reality. It's similar to reading a novel, be it sci-fi, medieval or whatever the theme is. However, in comparison with a book, a videogame is a much richer audiovisual experience, that might explain it's success throughout the 2 or 3 last decades. Even if you compare it to a movie, a videogame allows you to input data which changes the events that develop a story, making it quite more interesting for the players. Remember when you were in chemistry class making explosions or reactions guided by the teacher? Didn't you want to do it on your own? That primitive intrigue, and the need to discover is a very powerful force that leads us to believe and behave like we can (or must) change the events. This, from my point of view, must be related to the natural need of the human being to dominate the circumstances that surround him, we don't like being controlled.

If you visit youtube, there is MUCH material regarding this. Just read some comment to videos which relate to any videogame from the 90's to early 00's. You'll notice that is plenty of people who actually feel nostalgia when they remember playing those games. Videogames create an experiencial bond with the player. As simple a videogame may be, i repeat, it's not about the game itself, it's the cognitive experience it creates within the player. It's a whole new world very different from he one we live in.

My 5 cents to this.
Regards from Chile
Alejandro Sastre

blob's picture

playing mmorpg is more than

playing mmorpg is more than addictive.
if you spent more than 2 hours a day than you are hooked sooner or later.
if you like it then forget anything else. just spent your hours on it till you die.
no one can stop you. in a way its just like taking drugs.
if you value others than stop playing.

ron311's picture

I believe I have an addiction

I believe I have an addiction to playing video games. I play a couple games in particular on xbox with friends I have made over the past three years playing online. I've played all my life from time to time but after being married for 2 years I went online and started playing with a couple people I knew. It then became the same groups of guys playing night after night. It was fun at first until it started causing problems in my marriage. It became addictive to me when it became an escape from other problems outside of our control. Money, family, work all had something to do with it. My wife over the last 3 years since then has called me an addict, made rude comments, stopped showing affection and threatened to not be here one day if I didn't stop. Well I tried to stop every time. It would last a couple days and then I found myself rationalizing how I could have it all. I could play when she was asleep or working but it went back to whenever I wanted or whenever someone called and asked me to login. I love my wife more than anything in the world and would never intentionally do anything to hurt her but the negative effect my playing had on her only drove me away and into playing more. I would constantly try to stop but couldn't. I needed help in stopping but she never tried to help through counseling or reinforcing the positives she only had a negative approach to my playing. To the point of it being a topic away from home and in front of family and friends. I stopped playing as much after buying a house earlier this year but apparently trying to spend more time with her wasn't enough. My wife left me 5 weeks ago and blames my inability to change for this. Maybe games aren't addictive by themselves but If something in your life causes a depression and you find a release or an escape from it by playing, it can certainly then become addictive. I would never choose a video game over the woman that has my heart but I couldn't stop. I tried and failed several times. I didn't get the support then that I'm desperately trying to get now. I've stopped playing. It means nothing to me. I only want the thing I love most of all to come back. My wife. Maybe it would have been easy if she had tried to help instead of giving me such a hard time. I don't think anyone reacts very well to threats but can be helped more through compassion and support. I wish there had been a better knowledge of this addiction so that maybe she would have known what had to be done. I'm not a kid, I'm 36 years old. I never went to bars or really hung out with friends instead of being at home with my wife. I played games for the reason of escaping the problems in life. When i put that headset on nothing else mattered, only the person in my sights. I'm trying to find a counselor now to help with this addiction and now depression. I hope that if I can change, I will win her love back.

Raja's picture

We are happy to note such a

We are happy to note such a topic Here is on going life of a TV, Video, Mobile, and Internet addicts i.e. my son. We may be at fault for advising him too much, because, unfortunately, he never gives us any chance, in any moment, since his childhood, until now, when he completes the age of 22yers 8 months, by any of his actions or behaviors, on which we may have any chance to air our appreciation rather than criticism or advice.
Let us thank you for taking Internet Addiction as prominent issue. We have been facing such grave issue in our family in the form of my son. We belong to a middle class family in India. We do not have much idea about the proper way to address such an issue, related to children, by going through the lessons on children psychology. Frankly speaking, both my wife and me are not so educated or have the necessary patience to tackle such issues. The busy and tensed life of office and domestic, we do not have much peace of mind, making us quite restless and do not have patience to remain cool. In addition, we do not have any sort of backing from families either in the form of men or materials to remain cool.
My son is addicted not only to Internet, but he also has other addictions such as TV, Mobile, Computer Games, Cricket, football, movies and any such screens.. His character can be categorized as “Screen Watching Maniac". Even now, when he studies his PG course for MANAGEMENT COURSE, his habits of gluing to screens, does not show any sign of diminishing. He has a fatal attraction to electronic screens like flies getting attracted to light sources.
He is least bothered about his mother who spends most of her time either in Office or in kitchen. He just stays in our house, eat food, watch TV, play games, surfing internet, but like a non-paying-guest, causing much pain to us with his habits. He wants to see life in screen, but do not try to see the real life around him. It seems he becomes a hero when he plays any racing games or watch movies. He is not bothered to know from where from money come for his enjoyment. He never has any consideration or sympathy to any of our struggles for earning livelihood. He considers us moneymaking machine without any ambition to lead a life of peace at least the last stage of our life. Both of us above 50 years of age. We never want any help from him, but never want him to be burden not only to us, but to nation also.
He does not have any practical aim and at times says he wants to become famous, rich, as model, Film actor. Just a wish. Frankly speaking, he has not so far showed any talent in any field. Surprisingly he often funds appreciating the talents of characters he sees on screens.
To him Computer is only a Game Box. His mobile with all modern features become Joke Mill (SMS Jokes). With his current way of living, after his campus life, unless some miracle happens, he will logically become a Mr. Useless a Vagabond in the Street, with no job. In such a state of existence, who will contact him and for what help or purpose? Then, can a Joker in real life able to enjoy jokes anymore? Just see the evil side of such useful Electronic Machines like Computer, Mobile and TV on the students.
Since staring at screens and thinking only about silly cinematic matters and enjoy SMS and filmy jokes, consumes his maximum time followed up long hours of sleep, his communication, writing and interpersonal skills have taken a back seat. He often stammers when he talks.
He is also much concerned about his physical features, like having muscular body, hairstyle etc. He take lot health supplements, goes to Gym, and use cosmetic application to become the so called handsome. He often thinks about his physical personality will help him get a good rewarding job.
Sir, we have no other option, but to pray the Almighty and he should able to devote his time to develop those skills, which will get him a suitable employment or rather employable abilities.
Most of the time the atmosphere of our house remains tensed while we object his habits. Now, none of our scolding, shouting etc seems to have any effect on him.
He is fan of many a cricketer, footballer, cinema actor and actress and his only job is looking at them on the screens. A real Fan at least rotates and gives wind to people around to remain cool. However, a Fan like him neither progress by himself but continue to rotate in the vicious circle of his foolish, impractical dreams and is destined to remain a Useless-Faceless-Fan, forcing ,we the parents, sweating seeing this Mr. Fan, wasting his time .
We always used to tell him that we have funded so far his education and beyond this, we cannot contribute any further. “ You do whatever you want , live whichever way you like, but not on the strength of our hard earned money “ We often say to him.
With no help from any quarters, no income other than our hard-earned salary income, we take life quite seriously and do not have any patience or time to tackle such issues in a manner it should have been dealt. He accuses us for scolding him too much, but the Fool does not understand, how long we will continue to do so. After all, he has to live much more time than us by repenting those follies that he has been committing during his student life. Like our parents who do not help us now, none will be there to help him also.
He never keeps any of his things properly, forget his day to time schedules as a student except going to his friends to enjoy movie, watch some matches. He wakes up until late night with his usual assignments with Screens, and remain sleepy during daytime.
He might have searched all those sites that deal with film songs, movies and such other sites, which give him audio, video pleasures. I am sure he might not have even heard about the words called “Idiot Box’ Internet Addiction, Mobile Menaces etc. Barring reports on sports, cinematic news, gossips on fashion world, he does no serious reading. Frankly, he has not shown any talent in any field, other than seeing screens. His marks are average, but never failed in any class. He should not know blaming his teachers or us would not help him in his life after he completes his campus life.

Being parents, we have failed to make him change. At the same time, we request you to send some email to him without in any manner referring about this message. Pease keep this mail under anonymity. He hates any further dose of advice from us.
Let him know the existence of web sites, which tell about Internet Addition, Idiot Box Menace, Mobile Mania, Gaming Addiction or the sites that tell about ‘ Self Esteem “ the need of fluent meaningful Communication abilities , the requirement of ability to get blessing form parent (not curse ) etc. Let him come out from his Staring-Screen-Syndrome to lead a life with dignity with a respectable job. Above all, let him understand, blaming other for his poor state of affairs, will take him nowhere since it is he who has to remain in the Society, much more time than the time he spend ( kills ) as student..
Now at this stage, blaming us as parents is not a solution. Let him change for better for his own good, otherwise let him face the music of life, alone with none to sympathize with him. It is his life and not ours.

Note: Wherever, we have seen discussion or films on the wrong ways of Children/ Students, the ultimate accusing fingers always pointed out to parents who lack knowledge of Children Psychology and knowledge of mind set of the present generation.
Such accusing comments on parents, has become another weapon for students like my son to add one more blame point by saying ‘You are responsible for my present state of affairs”.
None seems to think the fact that most of the middle call parents are not Walking Encyclopedias or Knowledge Banks, but are normal Common Men or Women, who struggles day and night to keep both -ends- meet. Once upon a time, they were also Children.
If the present Generation wants, such calculate approach to mend them, and then let them go to long life of in the Hell. A Hell they have to suffer in their current life itself, which will be longer than their current student life and much longer than the remaining life of their parents.
Some one should also tell them that it is their life, which is going to suffer, if they do not understand “Parents Psychology ‘little bit. Can anybody make a proposal to include lessons on “Parent Psychology ‘, ‘ Internet Addiction “, How to use computer , Mobile , TV for better future “ etc .in their curriculum , at least as lesson

Concerned Parent's picture

An Interruption to Video Gaming - Helps Break the Addiction?

Hello All,

I have a teenage son who has been playing video games for more than 10 years. Undoubtedly, he fits the profile of an "addict" when it comes to video game playing.

Just recently we tried a new program called Pass2Play which helps "break" the addiction by injecting academics into his online play. While he may still spend hours on the computer playing with his friends, this program requires my son to take an "academic" break every so often and do some math problems. I have found that just this short (20 minutes or so) change in his online behavior has helped him tremendously. On top of that, his understanding of the math concepts he uses in school has greatly improved!

I'm not sure what the medical term would be, but when he takes these "breaks" it helps my son to come back to reality and not get so consumed by his online play. Once complete, he gets back with his friends and contiinues to play.

I feel much better knowing he is getting occasional timeouts and working on his academics as well.

Serendip Visitor's picture

TV Casting: Teens/Young Adults W/ Gaming Obsessions

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Pink Sneakers Productions is currently casting for a new inspiring docu-series about teens and young adults across the country who need to overcome an obsession that is ruining their life.
If you are ready for HELP with your OBSESSION, contact us!
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*Please, be sure to include your name, contact information, and photos if possible.

Erik's picture

Its all about yourself

People have very strange behaviors... Video gaming can become an addiction, it all depends on the person,,, It can be very sad for some, especially when a person as a boyfriend or girlfriend that is always playing a video game. I have the world of warcraft game twice, but I don't want to install because I love this game... So in order not be addicted and wasting time, I just don't install it... Its not easy for everybody, I have a friend of mine that since wow came out, I never seen him again and I check on him sometime, and all he does is go to work and play... I tried to get him outside to go for a drink or to a movie: its impossible so far. Anyways, if anybody needs help, check out my website, I have a few tips that could help out!

Ian Hargrove's picture

Video game addiction

I'm pretty sure I'm a video game addict, but there's really nothing wrong with it because I play video games for hours, but I also hang out with friends and work out on many days of the week. I'll probably try to play when I can but my social skills have improved. My school work isn't a burden at all, and I maintain a good GPA. Oh, and that "adrenaline rush" or "high" the guy was talking about in this article, It's true but also it's like the first commenter of this web conversation said,"I find that when I play games that when I play some video i get a high, until I start to find my self doing the same thing over and over again. But just because you can get bored doesn't make it addictive. If you hit a jump on your bike for a while, eventually it gets boring. You just find a bigger jump." I'm not saying the article's wrong about addiction, I'm only saying that people get addicted to anything that probably gives out dopamine releases, like mountain biking. That's really exciting, but you don't here people talking about mountain bike addiction.

Brewii's picture

Addiction is a Spectrum, even if you're only borderline

The fact of the matter is that you may only be somewhere close to the borderline of being addicted to video games, which does not make the author's premise any less false. Many of us, myself included, have spent too much time playing video games at one point or another during our lives (I still often do). However, I've known people who were far beyond the line separating an addict from an enthusiast. For instance, my college roommate, during my junior and senior year in college, would play video games for a MINIMUM of 12 hours per day. This was a guy who was, prior to those 2 years, into a lot of activities (martial arts, environmental activities, etc.), but who gave up everything - including his grades and scholarship) to play video games.

It changed him, to the degree that he lost most of his friends and did not graduate. Regardless of whether mountain-biking could affect the same chemical release, it would be near impossible for it to consume someone for 12 hours per day. It's the continuous effect and availability, much like a chemical dependence that makes video gaming a dangerous addiction. That said, not everyone has the propensity to become addicted. I, for instance, eventually get tired of playing video games in general, so I really don't have to worry about it (not that I couldn't still cut down on the time I spend playing, but I often need to go 4-5 months without playing at all).

play risk online's picture

I was a World of Warcraft addict

i do believe games can effect you neurologically. we just have to balance it out. but a game like world of warcraft is relaly hard to balance depending what you are trying to do in the game. too many factors forces long hours of playing such as team members relying on your attendance to get a full 40 man raid going. which can take for hours. with game like wow you need to strip it out of your life completely i believe.

Anonymous's picture

I've been with my boyfriend

I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years, we are an English couple on a working holiday in Australia for 2 years. He never takes me anywhere or does things with me. I do all the work around the house. he plays on the playstation 3 for around 10 hours, then when i try and get him to come through to bed he'll sit in bed till 8am on a pc game and go straight to work without sleep, he will then go home play some more and fall asleep early in the evening and i can't switch the bedroom light on or watch the tv. If i wasnt on the other side of the world with him i would have left him by now. It's a shame because i do love him.

Anonymous's picture

That is a shame, Only you

That is a shame, Only you know how much you can put up with.
You can love a man, and have wonderful times with him. Great sex, he can do everything for you.
But you have to ask yourself do you really have his respect? The respect you desreve!
I mean only you can be the Judge on that. I would think you put up with a lot more then most women would.
Its a two way street, and its a give and take. If you dont have that, then its not going to get better.
You can try going to see someone with him about your problem. He is the one that has to see the problem aswell
or you would just be wasting your time. If you are allready saying your on the otherside of the world and would have left him by now.
I would think your allready a smart woman and would know what you want to do.
YOu just have to gatther up all your courage and DO IT!

Addiction's picture

It could be addiction, but more a parenting issue

My thought is better parenting. However, maybe I was just addicted to sports.

jason's picture

video games anonymous

I play my ds a lot but am not addicted I do however have a brother who is addicted to internet and cant get on my computer at home so if anyone has a way to help get him off the computer that would help a lot

Anonymous's picture

My boyfriends 11 yr old son

My boyfriends 11 yr old son does nothing but play violent video games all the time. His father sees nothing wrong with this. Say's his son is good at what he does in these game and is looked up to in his power in these games.

I feel it's not healthy for an 11 yr old to be playing games like this & all the time.

He is failing in his school work, has been in fights at school, tells lies all the time, does not do his every day chores at home, has to be told daily to his chores.

There is an addiction to video games here. But his father does not see it.

As soon as his son get's out of bed he goes right for the video game. Does not eat, does not get dressed, does not do his chores, etc... When he is told to get off the game he refuses & then ends up with a punishment. His father will only take that one video game away but will still allow him to play a computer came or watch TV.

I ask? "HOW IS THIS A PUNISHMENT"?

zackary hall's picture

i think u should talk to the

i think u should talk to the father for the take him out to the park and give bigger punishment

Anonymous's picture

this is for everyone who thinks they are addicted.

i have played video games since i was about 3 years old starting with sega genesis. i am now 19 years old and i do not have any social problems nor do i have problems with talking to girls or anything of that sort. throughout my life i have owned pretty much every single game system made with countless video games for each. i have yet to find a game that is a challenge for me which is why i play them so much. i was born to naturally be good as playing video games which is my logic for why all of my friends hate playing video games with me. i'm good at most games even if i have never played them which often frustrates my friends when they think they are going to finally beat me.
everyone on this site should hear me out in this message because its for everyone that says they have a "videogame addiction". i have played video games for almost 17 years of my life starting at age 3 and to this day i can most definitely say there is no such thing as a video game addiction because i would be addicted if there was. it is all in your mind you just have to realize that its a game, you can get up and go do something with your life if you really want to, its "you" that is stopping you from doing this and making something out of your life. i love video games they're an art form to me and ive played world of warcraft for hours on end but in the end the addiction is all psychological and once you realize that, you can easily break that barrier and move on to other things. video games are amazing but as you grow up you must learn that everything needs to be put in moderation especially videogames.

Jonathon

Anonymous's picture

This is how everything that

This is how everything that later becomes great starts out. Rock and roll and metal where put down as the devils music and look at what they both have become.(Just a small example)

Maybe one day if people became open minded pro-gaming will become a big deal and I believe it will, but since its all pretty much ran underground for now its not going anywhere for the lack of money, investors and sponsorships of big brand companies. Once it does im sure alot more people will be open to the idea and realize its not so bad and you learn alot more than 133t speak and hand-eye coordination.

Hopefully one day people will realize its not a problem, its just what we love and what we are good at.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Sadly in your defence to

Sadly in your defence to people who live the life of gaming you have used the incorrect word, there are many spelling, and many grammar mistakes. Your defence had good ideas but maybe you should have thought it through a little bit so people don't think gamers like ourselves are just all retarded.

Brasticus's picture

WOW!

I've been a gamer for 26 years. Playing video games has been a major part of my life for so long. I don't think you should consider yourself addicted until you give up true social interaction for your virtual world. Just like giving up hanging out with your friends to smoke crack, not spending time with your real friends to play Warcraft is an addiction. There is nothing wrong with playing games often, but not living your actual life to be consumed in a virtual world is a problem. Just like alcohol, high fructose corn syrup, or television, you need to use it in moderation.

Bill's picture

Sounds like sports to me

Sounds exactly like why people play sports. They play to get a rush, a high like feeling. The fact that you are exercising your mind,and not your body is what seems to be the biggest argument. Just because you don't get physical benefits from a video game, doesn't make it bad. It doesn't make it addictive either.

What about when we have immersive 3D games, where you actually will walk around, and experience the environment? It will happen, guaranteed. Will it then be OK, because you are now moving around? There will be people that will pretty much live in such a world, ignoring the physical world as much as possible.

How about the Wii? Is that considered a healthier addiction, because you swing a controller around?

Why is it considered better to read a book, than play a video game? No one considers reading trashy love novels, or space alien books addictive. That's as much of a complete waste of time as playing a video game. Just like watching a movie, or watching TV. They are all in the same "waste of time category". Along with building models, or doing a crossstitch, or a paint by numbers. They are all wastes of time. There is no value in them, other than the fact that you get entertained by them.

For some reason, sports are "OK". But, like reading a book, playing a video game, etc, they are just a waste of time. The only things that are not a waste of time are things that you do for survival, or procreation.

Video games are another outlet. They challenge our minds, and provide us with rich tapestries of art and story lines that can entertain people for many hours. They make you want to play them, because they are enjoyable.

Dr. Robert Millhouse's picture

alright I'm just going to go

alright I'm just going to go out and say that there are two different kinds of addiction. with drug use being so prevalent in society in the united states and even the world at large addiction is almost always associated with negativity but all an addition is, is a habit and there are two different kinds, good and bad. Utilizing a vary simple system of pros and cons you can tell if a habit is good or bad. so, lets look at the pros and cons of the world of gaming

gaming pros
-if your good you can go to tournaments and make up to and above 100,000$ for playing a game
-enhanced visuo-motor skills such as resistance to distraction, increasing peripheral vision, and the ability to count briefly presented objects, with some Doctors even suggesting that it can be a possible treatment or even a cure for several mental disorders
-the us government is contemplating gaming to rework its failing education system. why you ask, because the students learn such a high level of concentration that they don't realize there learning, they would essentially "learn by doing" increasing the effectiveness of the learning environment and quite possibly eliminating academic sabotage
-studies suggest that surgeons that play video games are 27% faster and 37% more accurate in there procedures
-it is a safe outlet for for stress, frustration and aggression
-according to recent studies performed by Acta Psychologica, gaming experts outperformed non-gamers in a number of practical tasks
-contrary to popular belief playing video games with high levels of action can actually increase eyesight
-social aspects of games are actually much more developed then in real life so the guy who sits at his computer all day that you might call a "shut in" probably has more friends at any given time then you'll make in a lifetime
-on a personal note my college professor was actually quite the video game "addict" if you will, during lunch he would run 8 blocks back to his house play for 4 minutes and run back (I thought he lost himself in the game myself) when i approached him about it he told me "you gotta see what I'm doing in game" as it turns out he was fleet admiral for one of the imperial armadas, and governor of of one of the cities in game and this was a massively multi-player online game so there were real people who depended on him and thought it was fascinating that somebody who had the talent to lead thousands of people was stuck teaching at a community college maybe you see things differently but my conclusion is that he was able to explore his personality and abilities in the game in a way that for whatever reason he couldn't do in life (idk maybe marital problems, lower class family, falling in with the wrong people ect.) whatever the reason in life he had a standard life with a standard house and a standard life but in the game he was the king and that is the difference

cons
-some shrinks say that they cause violent behavior but most have done a complete about face
-others say that there addictive but look at all the pros is this really a bad thing
-the only real problem with video games that is proven and can't be overlooked (though the other two can be) is that it is a corporate market meaning it is always about the money, they want you to buy there game over other peoples games and then pay more money to play more of the game and it does get vary expensive is video games ever destroyed somebodies life it was because they spent too much money (and if they did that for any reason they should have never seen a penny of it in the first place [this may sound insensitive but if you spend your way into poverty you have problems and I'm not just talking about an empty wallet either])
-there is however a minor problem with games that a few games suffer from (and by few and mean like hardly any) is that there made by horny nerds who have been sticking sex into there creations for years this usually isn't a problem but its worth mentioning anyway

in my opinion games are not dangerous or a negative influence. the real world however is you can trip over your doorstep, crack your head open and die. but video games provide a perfectly safe environment to experience the world at large from every possible perspective to the best of your ability and what was ounce a niche in sub-culture is now the majority like it or not there are vary few people who don't play video games and the number is decreasing every day

SomeHappyGuy's picture

well... video games... or..... bigger picture?

Ok, Paul here was able too... justify a drive he developed, ,conquered it, and now says hooray!!!! i am playing videogames so i can say hoorayy and fool myself , pride, pride is tricky. anyway, , remember that feeling of being on top.

Now, as for the Mr.obvious here who said - "A Lot of people need help , but only a few want the help." ................................... DOES NO ONE HAVE A MIND OF THEIR OWN?!??!?! who are you to judge, you are you. look at HUMANITY as a whole, why do we doubt ourselves or eath other???... look at you people... you are full of doubt ALL OF YOU, even the ones who know all this shit, ESPECIALLY them BECAUSE THEY FEEL "happy" by thinking they are helping people by telling them thier problems, NO NO NO NO GO MASTERBATE TO YOUR LIST OF THINGS TO FEAR IN THIS WORLD...

think a little harder..... things are changing you old bags... this is 2010, and I... am an American.
by American, I mean free. I mean fuck the pigs, does something to me that BENEFITS THEM AT MY COST, be prepared, I'm not calling the police. don't worry :)
you can;t ALWAYS avoid the system of the government here in America, its actually funny how some people let the government control their lives.

why are you so sucked into this "gaming world" I know why, I've been there... I've been many places... my mind has been opened.... how did I open it? iono... you try... try and open and it and maybe omething will happen... if you believe it will. That's fucking simple huh?

there are two kinds of people, maybe 3 BUT... if i say 3 then i would have to say 6 billion, so lets stick with 2.
YOU grow UP, from the bottom, and you reach age 15. death is the ultimate rush, seeking death as means of living. optimistic patterns of thinking, turn paranoia into awareness, BECAUSE PARANOIA IS ALL YOUR DOING TO YOUR SELF, or someone around "pestering you" and picking at you... which MANY disturbed and terrible mothers do to their kids, LEAVE YOUR KIDS THE FUCK ALONE, i mean good GOD, this lady... says her 21 year old son is addicted to video games. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL, no bitch you failed as a parent...... PARENTS HEARS ME OUT... SHELTERING YOUR KIDS FROM THIS WORLD OF WORLDS CALLED EARTH leads to examples like the one above... or maybe it works... kid is raised listened to you all his/her life... then OH NO!!! MOMMY AND DADDY ARE GONE, EEEEEEK.... first failure lol... THE FIRST FUCKING FAILURE ON THEIR OWN, and people give up, and THEN GIVE DRUGS A BAD NAME saying DRUGS are the CAUSE of escapism... NOOOOOOOOO or DRUGS are the CAUSE of repeated mistakes, all derived from escapism. NOOOOO... fuck it's hilarious being able to see all this from such a large picture. humans have lost faith in humanity, and its disgusting... humanity has gone OVERBOARD with discovery... because the internet gives EVERYONE access to suggestive threads like this bullshit thread. btw parents... as for the other way a child grows up... hmmm... well... let's call it the right way, because the point is... I am happy, I get sad, I get mad, I get high, I get low, I get stressed, I get relaxed, I get sleep, I wake up, I am happy.(NOW YOU DOUBLE TALKERS, and pessimistic health freaks who peer 70 years into the future for a reason to stop someone from doing something SOCIETY says IS WRONG... famous example weed... im a weed addict like im a ceral addict or a milk addict, its part of my diet, its how i live, 2 words, FUCK OFF. the people who don't fuck off are starting conflict with ME, yea... I am me, GET OVER IT. only I can change me, and TRUST ME, if you quickly notice a PROBLEM someone has... yea... he knows it... so stfu... stay out of it. and let them discover, confirm, and apply. BY THEMSELVES. as for self-control, this is always the weak point, my rule is never black out somewhere you haven't been before. :)
its funny too because I've consumed A LOT of ummMMM "addictive stubstances" hmmmm the first time my mom checked up on me, she says "you really got some addictive personality that's interesting", cannot recall exactly what i was doing BUT THAT SHOULDN'T MATTER,I discovered it, I was INTO IT, I enjoyed it, I got bored with it, I moved on, I remember the feeling of happiness. <-------- HUGE FACTOR.
people who do drugs the right way, people who play video games, people who cook, people who create, PEOPLE WHO ACOMPLISH THINGS are happy. and you don't need to be a seltered book worm your whole life or what your parents want you to be, you are WHO YOU ARE. if you don't know who you are, then you have found your true problem, and all that takes is.......... :)
hmmmm that got really long huh? LOL, umm, video games... people with quick fingers and fast reactions, get such amazing rushes of as the strategy YOU DEVELOPED succeeds REAL TIME, you can't love without hate, visa versa, you can't always feel good, but the better you feel during a adrenaline high, or any drug, the higher you get, the lower you are able to fall, AND YOU IF YOU ACCEPT THAT, if you are still in denial, or your son is still in denial or WHATEVER, the solution is simple, BEAT THE FUCK OUT HIM.
good luck,
really read what I said.
a Person needs People who give them straight answers.
People DONT depend on the individual they need the whole, NOT EVERYONE IS AS SPECIAL AS UMMMMMMMM SPECIAL AS.... one of those celebrity sellout figures, they are on MTV and YOU AREN"T THEM GET OVER IT. YOUR NOT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH MOTHERFUCKERING STUPID BAD PARENTS, STOP YOUR BITCHING AND LISTEN TO ME and either STFU COMPLETELY, ir just be you... can't people just be themselves anymore? too many masks... too many obligations... too many defalt settings.. WE, we as humans, we can do anything we put our minds too.

QUESTION FOR ANYONE CONCERNED FOR AN "ADDICTED GAMER" - do they less problems then YOU? lol
... HEY SELF CENTERED WIVES, listen to the other dude who posted before me, AND MAYBE MAKE YOURSELF MORE ATTRACTIVE THEN A VIDEO GAME. FUCK. OR OR OR OR OR OR OR OR OR, your not paying me, you figure it out.

ahh, hard matter to explain with shapeless words, you video gamers out there!!!!!!! WHO ARE YOU? AND SHOULD I CARE? DO YOU CARE IF I CARE? DO YOU EVEN CARE AT ALL? is the author of this post high as fuck? yes. lol. pce,
wow. I read all of the forum too.... lololol. nearly half of it containing repeated or quoted crap. ahjdi;fklaskjdflsdfks;jflds;jfk;lsadfjklasbdgdsa;fhdadsiufguawiefouawfwlegfuewiohfipowehwjshflshdnkfjldsfbskjdbfvkldfnkjldbsfkljashkldf, SKAZI is LEGEND
- Thehappyguy who is now done venting and going to bed lol

coolchris's picture

wha?! ur trippin people. TIE UR SHOeZ!

hey well yeah i agree but you shouldnt spend no more than 3 hours on the laptop or cell phone or xbox360 cuz i know i doo =] but chill at least it aint drugs people. what would be worse seriously. your child addicted to METH or a stinking VIDEO GAME! wowza peoplee. anyways peace add me on myspacee<----- chris.

EPIC sandwich43 (game tage)'s picture

game addiction

With my addiction it is not just the game I am addicted to it is the friends. I do have a group of friends I hang out with in real life but we dont really connect and I feel much more comfortable with my on line ones. I do feel that over the years i do think i have lost allot of my social skills, i often talk to soft, stumble over my words, or most of the time i dont talk at all. another problem if bean having is a feel of less intelligence, some days i feel smart and confident yet others i feel what i can only explain as thoughtless. this only started happening when i got really into games.

finalfatasy's picture

gamming addiction

Hi,
You seem like you know a lot about games. I just wondered if you could help me and tell me what the best games out at the moment are. I am a journalist student and i am doing some research into gamming addiction and the pro's and con's of using games. Would it be possible if you could tell me what games ou play and how playing the games makes you feel and effects your life?

Regards

Anonymous's picture

Be thankful for video games.

Be thankful for video games. Without them, teenagers could be out doing much worse things, drugs, drinking, and God knows what else. I am a 15 year old kid who plays video games, and the only person who I don't "socially interact" with well is my Mom. The main reason for this is because she pesters me all day about playing video games! She is a teacher so is home whenever I am, and since my dad works a full day it is usually only myself and my mother at home after school. I sit down on the couch and put on my headseat (for xbox 360) and 15 minutes later she comes in, "Is your timer on?" (A timer, really?). Half an hour later, "how long have you been on that thing?". She really truely hates video games. But why? My mom, to form cohesive arguements, has looked online for studies that show video games are bad for you. The studies say that violent video games increase agression, but I have never been in or wanted to be in a fight in my life. They say that video games decrease social interaction; I get along great with my dad, my sister, and my friends, not to mention my girlfriend, because none of them bug me about it. Studies say that video games are addicting. Well mom, so is coffee. But that doesn't stop you from drinking it everyday does it? I am not overweight, at 15 I am 130 pounds and 5'7". I get exercise, have a good social life, and as a matter of fact my friends call me the "smart kid" because i get all A's in school and had never had a problem doing so. So really mom? Let me do what I want to do, stop pestering me, and choose between whether you'd rather be closer to me, or if you want to go without that morning cup of coffee.

Nathan's picture

Video Games Addicts.

Anything can become addicting. Video games are nothing like drugs. Yes they increase dopamine levels but dopamine is not bad at all. Too many people associate dopamine with the negative affects of drug abuse where the dopamine receptors are blocked so the feeling of pleasure is more concentrated. Another dopamine producing activity is exercise which people have been found addicted to. As far as I'm concerned, there are no negative affects to playing video games however there are too making the choice to play them constantly instead of more healthy activities. This article talks like there is no social aspect to video games but that couldn't be further from the truth. New video games allow users to play with other players from around the world. Strong friendships are forged every day on xbox live along with teamwork skills and problem solving. Video games are great as long as you stay prioritized

Anonymous's picture

games hand eye cordination

ok man who ever you are yes they improve your ability ok.
im a 18 year old that does play games i dont care what you say games are good for you, but your kid loves them and if he is a great kid passing his classes and also does other things then his games why not?
like come on let the kid live, my parents are the same with this shit but so what im not that addicted.
i play here and there maybe a few hours a week so what.
just beacsue you didn't grow up on these games doesn't mean your kid has to be the same as you, let the kid be a kid man, i bet your not to great of a dad.
good luck kid

Anonymous's picture

Ummm

Gaming is an art that some people take way to serious. It's very easy to become a life less zombie but games have also encouraged people to go outside their Tiny little box into the real world not always do people concider going to the real world from video games because They feel like a person there.
Well if you love games that's ur problem and I feel sorry for you but there is a world at there that you can dive into.
I for one love games but I'd set a xbox 360 remote down to go out and have some fun any day

conpanbear's picture

Video Game Addiction Exists

I don't like that people say it doesn't exist. Just because you, or some one you know, doesn't have it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist outside of your world.

After finally taking my addiction seriously, I've done a bit of research. Apparently gaming addiction in girls who have low self-esteem. I personally have had problems with depression. Without considering the physiological effects of dopamine, I believe that this addiction stems from escapism, like many addictions do.

When life is getting a bit to hard to deal with, it's easier to immerse oneself in a video game. In a game, there is no pressure to win or lose. If you get a Game Over, you just replay it. In reality, there is immense pressure to succeed, and a sense that you must get it right, first time, every time.

And anyone who says it's just children who get into games, I've read that the average age of video game players is 35. I'm 20 myself. Countries such as China, Korea, the US and Canada have rehabilitation programs for addicted gamers, but I've not been able to find anything for Australia.

Video game addiction is real. My hope is that it will be officially recognised as a real affliction within the next few years.

games's picture

I think there are so many

I think there are so many views regarding the Video games that it's hard to be firm at one point. Gaming has entered our life from a very long time and it's like a addiction which cannot be overcome easily.