Video Game/ Internet Addictions Video Game Addictions: Although addictions to video games is not recognized as a diagnosable disorder by the American Medical Association, there are people who play video games incessantly. Just like gambling and other compulsive behaviours, people (Mostly teenagers and pre-teens) become captivated by fantasy worlds which can eventually result in things such as neglecting their families, friends, work and responsibilities.
A Few Statistics Video Games The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) received information from a study that was preformed by American Life Project found, that information revealed that 53 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 play video games, as do a full 97 percent of teens. As these statistics show, today’s video game players include students, employees, military troops, seniors, mothers and fathers. According to video-game-addiction.org and the CRC health group Studies estimate that 10 percent to 15 percent of gamers exhibit signs that meet the World Health Organization’s criteria for addiction. The Internet According to internetworldstats.com in 2010, 29% of the worlds population use the internet equivalent to 1,966,514,816 people http://www.video-game-addiction.org/ http://www.theesa.com/gamesindailylife http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
How to recognize an Addiction Here are some symptoms of game addiction - the more of these symptoms one can identify, the greater the need to get help: • Most non-school hours are spent on the computer or playing video games • Falling asleep in school • Falling behind with assignments • Worsening grades • Lying about computer or video game use • Choosing to use the computer or play video games, rather than see friends • Dropping out of other social groups (clubs or sports) • Being irritable when not playing a video game or being on the computer There also are physical symptoms that may point to addiction: • Carpal tunnel syndrome • Sleep disturbances • Backaches or neck aches • Headaches • Dry eyes • Failure to eat regularly or neglecting personal hygiene
World of Warcraft This is a video that was recorded by a news team over seas, which features a young man who has an addiction to one of the most infamous addictive video game known as World of Warcraft. About the game: World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game(MMORPG) set in the Warcraft universe. As of 2010, World of Warcraft has more than 12 million monthly subscribers, and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world's largest and most popular MMORPG. As with other MMORPGs, players control a character avatar within a game world in third- or first-person view, exploring the landscape, fighting various monsters, completing quests, and interacting with other players. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/
How Are Games Addictive? Just like with any other addiction, having a "gaming" addiction is usually a multi-faceted issue. For starters, video games are designed to be addictive. Not "addictive" in a physical sense such as nicotine or hard drugs, but game designers are always looking for ways to make their games more interesting and increase the amount of time people will spend playing them. The reason video games are so addictive is because the people who create the game intended for them to be addictive, so that people play them more and purchase their products. Video games allow the player to escape from their reality, to a place where they can live vicariously through their avatar(s).
Social Aspects of Gaming The social aspect of games, applies to games that are played online, that are played by multiple people at the same time, primarily role-playing games. These types of games allow people to build relationships with other players. For some people, this online community becomes the place where they're most accepted, which draws them back to the game and re-enforces their addiction. The gamers will establish friendships and bond with the people in the games community, hence people who are easily bored, have poor relationships with family members, feel like outcasts at school, or tend toward sensation-seeking are more easily drawn into video game addiction because it fills a void and satisfies needs that aren't met elsewhere. http://www.video-game-addiction.org/what-makes-games-addictive.html
Physiological of the Addictions It’s widely accepted that gambling can become a psychological addiction, but most people still argue that constantly playing video games is a choice rather than a disorder. But it is becoming belief that there may be a physiological elements to addictive game playing. Researchers at Hammersmith Hospital in London conducted a study in 2005 which found that dopamine levels in players' brains doubled while they were playing. Dopamine is a mood-regulating hormone associated with feelings of pleasure. The findings of this study indicate that gaming could actually be chemically addictive. http://www.video-game-addiction.org/what-makes-games-addictive.html http://www.nrc-iol.org/cores/mialab/fijc/Files/2002/120402_Koepp_Nature_1998.pdf
Violence in Video games One of the primary concerns with violence in video games is that gaming is not passive. In order to play and win, the player has to be the aggressor. Rather than watching violence, as he might do on television, he's committing the violent acts. Most researchers acknowledge that this kind of active participation affects a person's thought patterns, at least in the short term. . Another factor that concerns both researchers and parents is that violence in video games is often rewarded rather than punished. In army and sniper games, players "level up" based in part on how many people they kill. If played frequently enough, games like this can skew a young person's perception of violence and its consequences. The question if often raised about whether violence in video games directly leads to violent or criminal acts in real life, and many argue that is does, but currently there is no way to prove this theory http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/parents/video_games/concerns/violence_videogames.cfm http://www.video-game-addiction.org/violence.html
Stories from Addicts The following statements were posted at WoWdetox.com, a Web site for people who are trying to overcome their addiction to World of Warcraft, the biggest of online role-playing games. The creator of the Web site, Gary Haran, started it up after quitting Warcraft himself. He said that many of his online friends confided that they, too, wanted to quit but didn't have an outlet for expressing those feelings. "So I created wowdetox.com so that anyone could anonymously write their reasons for quitting the game," wrote Haran. "The first day I had about 20 posts. The second I had 400. The third I had over 900." The site was up to 20,000 posts by the time he sold it several months later. That's a lot of people with a serious problem.
http://wowdetox.com/ Stories from Addicts
Internet Addictions Everyone enjoys the benefits of the Internet, and for many, it is also an indispensable tool for work, education, and communication. While time spent on the Internet can be hugely productive, for some people compulsive Internet use can interfere with daily life, work and relationships. When someone feels more comfortable with their online friends than their real ones, or they can’t stop themselves from playing games, gambling, or compulsively surfing, even when it has negative consequences in their life, then they’re likely using the Internet too much.
Internet Addictions • It is difficult to estimate how widespread the problem is. A nationwide study conducted by a team from Stanford University’s School of Medicine had estimated that nearly one in eight Americans suffer from at least one sign of problematic Internet use. There are countless things one can do on the internet that can become addictive. Things such as: Online gambling, playing video games on the net, cyber-sex or pornographic websites, online shopping through sites such as Ebay. These activities will usually start out as just a curiosity, then progress into a hobby, and for some it eventually becomes a necessity. http://allpsych.com/journal/internetaddiction.html http://www.netaddiction.com/
Internet Addictions This is a video that shows how out of hand an addiction can get, although the people in the video are tormenting the kid in the video purposely, the kid’s reaction is enough to show how far the addiction has gone. Note: Don’t have the volume too high on your computer if you’re watching this video….
Help Sources An addiction to video games or computer games should be treated in much the same way as any other addiction. Like other addicts, gamers often are trying to escape problems in their lives. Video and computer games offer a particularly appealing escape to socially maladjusted teenagers, most often boys, who find it intoxicating to become immersed in a world completely under their control. As anyone who has quit smoking or been on a diet knows, it is much harder to quit when the object of your addiction is always in your face and when everyone you know is participating in it. It’s likely that a child addicted to computer games also has to use the computer for schoolwork. And their friends are likely all gamers as well. A therapist or treatment program that specializes in adolescents would be a first place to start. For example, a summer camp or wilderness program will get a child out of his normal environment and into a situation where he is forced to experience reality. His time will be filled with activities that are designed to instill confidence, develop healthy passions, and foster social skills. As for adults the best way to get over a video game addiction is through a support group or through the support of family and friends.