Video games, whether played on the internet using your computer, or on a console such as the Xbox or Playstation, have the ability of entertaining our minds while drawing in the whole of our attention away from what may be a stressful or boring world around us.
The allure of video games begins at a young age, just think about the screaming child who wants to visit the arcade at the mall so badly, often to the great displeasure of the adults who have other plans. So where does this impulse control disorder get its roots?
Fact: Video game addiction is just like any other impulse control disorder. Treatment of video game addiction depends on the severity of the case. For mild cases, such as a child who plays too much Xbox or Playstation, simply provide alternative means by which they may entertain themselves. More radical solutions include complete restriction from extended use of the computer/console, instituting a schedule within which the child may pursue electronic entertainment, and removal of these devices from the home. More intense cases of video game addiction should be treated by a professional before any life-changing choices are made by loved ones.
Fact: Video game addiction is a real issue, with real consequences. Ask any gamer if they've ever heard about someone being divorced or falling seriously ill due to spending too much time on the computer or console. The answer will, for the most part, be yes.
Fact: Producers and Developers of video games WANT people to become addicted. Just like tobacco companies, game makers produce and design games which are tailored to draw the attention of the player in further and further. The more a player plays a game, the more likely they are to purchase other games by the same company or in the same series of games. Just look at Final Fantasy, Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto and games like them. Each of these games is basically endless and offers hours of entertainment to the player, easily hooking people and creating a devoted fanbase of people willing to spend hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours playing these games.
Possible Causes of Video Game Addiction
Video games are fun and come in all flavors and varieties. There really is a game to entertain anyone out there, and if you've ever played a game on the internet, you know that there are lots of places to play a free game. Console gaming may be a little more pricey, but offers nearly endless opportunities for gameplaying also.
So, with a universe of gaming at your disposal, the likelihood of becoming addicted, whether you know it or not, is pretty high. Here are some causes of addiction as relates to video games:
- Change of pace - Video games take us away from our real life for a while, replacing a stressful or boring environment with a digital world where we are regaled with sights and sounds we could only imagine before.
- Control - While playing video games of any type, there is one aspect of play that is undisputable fact: The player controls the game. This may be a balm on the spirit of a troubled person, and while not necessarily a bad thing, this is one cause of video game addiction that cannot be changed.
- Living a fantasy - Video games come in all shapes and colors. There are console and computer games fitting every genre imaginable, and this means that anyone can find a game which suits their personal preference. That being said, finding a game you can lose yourself in for hours and hours is not difficult - but it may be pricey.
Video Game Addiction Documentary
Share your experiences with video game addiction. Leave a comment here!
myi4u from United Kingdom on May 22, 2011:
Since I played my first computer game, I can't seem to stop. I don't think that will ever change. However, I don't consider myself as an addict as I do know how to control my play time, though sometimes when things get a little bit excited, I tend to focus a little harder on the game.
charesse on February 08, 2011:
i am happy that despite a gamer i aint a video game addict:)
GamerKyleX on January 08, 2011:
I am happy that despite a gamer I aint a Video Game Addict :)
Game Addict 001 on January 03, 2011:
I hope some game addicts and/or parents see this message and help themselves. It is being some years since the host begun this. Anyway, I am a game addict myself. The only reason I am not at WoW, Aion or Rift Beta is cause these companies have nothing more to give me after 6 years on MMOs. I won't lie at you. My vision has been changed into something unnatural bad. I see real world like something I have never seen before in my life. Every time there is cold weather I wish to feel its coldness so I can figure that I am still here, living on this world. I got the choice not to play games but it would be impossible to make that choice since I can not control pleasure. It is like having a beautiful woman at your bed without having sex. The restrictions are useful but also very very bad attitude from parents and children will see their parents as enemies for several years. It is the best solution for parents who have no time to care for their kids. The even better solution is understand what their kids wants to be and give them the change to prove it. Find a enjoyable sport for em. Most players play MMOs to prove their are better than their opponent. So in other words you as parents are 1000% responsible to GET TIME and think the best solution for your kids. OFFER em something better than that they play. If they do not want it then do not press em to hard to accept it. Move on to the next best idea. If you are separated then for the sake of your kids be together at this one no matter what. If you do not have time then you better not have to eat than find out after years that your kid is lost and does not want to see you at all for no reason. That is me and I hope to get a healthy life. I try to think many better ideas than online gaming and I think I ll succeed.
Nedo on October 30, 2010:
I use to be extremely addicted to a game called Runescape. I started playing it in 2005 and as soon as I started playing it, I was hooked. I started off playing 1-3 hours a day for the first year. I quit for a year after that after I lost all of my stuff on my account. I started playing again in 2007 on a new account. I played 1-3 hours again daily, but gradually started playing more and more. By August 2009, I was up to playing 5 or more hours a day on weekdays and 10 or more hours a day on weekends. I stayed up later and later each day during that summer and by the time school started, I was use to going to bed at 5:00 am. Runescape caused me to neglect doing any of my chores, not do homework, literally FORGET TO EAT (I would sometimes forget to eat an entire day. My diet consisted of cereal and nachos because they were both very fast to make and tasted good), become violent due to things that happen within the game, be really depressed, etc. I had no life other than my life within the game. I never talked to people because I never did anything other than Runescape, therefore I had nothing to talk about. I had a playing time of 125 days (3,000 hours) on just ONE of my accounts (and I only played on that account for about 2 years). I had multiple accounts, but only four in which i played on often. The account that I played on the most was the one that I had 125 days playing time on though. Being addicted to Runescape is a true addiction and it doesn't happen to everybody, but those do get addicted to it REALLY get addicted to it. There are people that I have heard of that had much worse Runescape addictions that I had. Luckily I was able to quit in late August 2009, at the beginning of my Sophomore year of high school. It was really hard to start talking to people and hanging out with people again, because it was as if i skipped 4 years of my life. It was as if I was in 6th grade talking to 10th graders. I eventually got the hang of it and have become one of the more popular kids at my school. When I quit Runescape, I replaced the time in which I use to spend playing Runescape with doing homework, hanging out with friends, and working out. It has been just over a year since I quit and I have to say that quitting Runescape was the best decision I have ever made in my life.
For the full story of my Runescape addiction, watch this video that I made that explains everything in more detail. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTneRRHfGwk
You can also read the video description, which explains even more.
Max Graham from London on September 28, 2010:
I think its only certain types of games that can be very addictive. Simple games where you have to build levels, or improve stats such as Call of Duty or World of Warcraft. Games with a storyline aren't quite the same as once its finished, thats it. Much better for the brain I feel. I've written a hub about it if you'd care to have a look.
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 09, 2010:
Two friends muist be addicted. One is retired and spends 16-18 hours a day in an online game. The other - I have not heard from for 6 weeks. The last time I saw her, she sat for 14 hours without moving from her computer, playing an online game. Through the game's instant messaging, this is also the only way in which she can communicate with her relatives that live about only 1.5 miles away from her.
dave272727 from Kentucky on October 10, 2009:
Just came across this hub. I didnt know that there was a term for us that spend countless hours with COD 4.
senfunn from India on May 29, 2008:
I Play PC games for entertainment and its great FUN, atleast better than watching TV.
I would never regret along as it doesnt affect others and my health.
FinancePortal from UK on April 24, 2008:
Really nice hub that approaches the problem sensibly.
I think video games provide a powerful escape from reality - which is what drug users are seeking from their high - and this is seductive and powerful. On top of that many people who are succesful at RPGs or complex games are able to narrowly focus on something for long periods of time (it's how they get so good!) which can sometimes be seen as being 'addicted'.
It's easy to get lured in and keep on coming out with the excuse of 'just one more game' - but then I think that's a symptom of people wanting an escape from the stress and mundanity of every day life, as opposed to a problem with video games per se.
Sibaire on April 20, 2008:
Very interesting hub. Good tips that would help anyone with computer game addictions. Keep these great hubs coming.
Raven King from Cabin Fever on April 10, 2008:
I earned a couple of badges playing Chuzzle game on MSN.com. Serious game consisting of colorful pompoms and googly eyes. Yes, they reward you for playing the same game for hours! LOL!!!
But I needed to play because I got so frustrated when I couldn't get my google gadget to work and my computer didn't let me see the photos or what I recorded on cd! Oh well.
Tony Sky from London UK on April 07, 2008:
Gamegirl. You have brought back so many memorys...bad one's!! This article is one i should have read ages ago!. im sure it wil help others before it's too late!
I used to be an addict and im glad i have found more ways more better things to do with my time like reading "hubbing" and socializing more! I feel much better for it!,, no more nightmares of being chased by zombies and other too graphic details to write here!!
jonixk from Lisbon on April 07, 2008:
good points gamegirl. In the past i suffered from video game addiction, specially with games like simcity. When we become addicted, it's not easy to achieve the "cure"
WeddingConsultant from DC Metro Area on April 07, 2008:
Thanks gamergirl for the response hub. Glad to hear your opinion on it. I've got a few questions, though. Are you implying that video game addiction is plausible amongst adults as well? I ask this because I noticed that most of your comments were geared toward kids. Also, is there much difference between multiplayer games online and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games?
donnaleemason from North Dakota, USA on April 07, 2008:
I get addicted for a wee bit, then when I get a handle on it, I leave it. But I could see how some people just have to play.
Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on April 06, 2008:
Video games are addictive. I found that out when I turned 60, our grandkids played them and eventually got me to try one. That was a BIG mistake. As soon as my husband went to work. on went the computer and I would sit there trying to get to the next level.
Soon as he came home I raced out to pull weeds out or something similar to make it look good. Now I am additcted to Hub pages. And still do not get all the housework done Oh well I'm a having lots of fun. Thanks for great topic
Merle Ann Johnson from NW in the land of the Free on April 06, 2008:
Just can't seem to get into video games....interesting hub ..thanks I liked it. G-Ma :o) hugs