Video Game Addiction. Heather Titus. Video Game Addiction. Over the last decade, the concept of internet addiction has grown in terms of its acceptance as a legitimate clinical disorder needing treatment Excess video gaming is identified as a subtype of internet addiction
Over the last decade, the concept of internet addiction has grown in terms of its acceptance as a legitimate clinical disorder needing treatment
Excess video gaming is identified as a subtype of internet addiction
Video game addiction, or more broadly video game overuse, is excessive or compulsive use of computer and video that interferes with daily life. Users play compulsively, isolating themselves from, or from other forms of, social contact and focusing almost entirely on in-game achievements rather than broader life events
More than half of American adults play video games
The average elementary school child plays video games between 9 and 11 hours a week; teen boys play an average of 13 hours per week
According to the AMA, as many as 15% of children and adolescents may be addicted to video games (Tanner, 2007).
The addiction stems from the creation of virtual worlds
MMORPGs allow the gamer to completely immerse themselves into a living, self-contained society
MMORPGs worlds continue to exist whether playing or not
Players can decide every intricate detail of their character, experiment with their personality & try new identities
Addicts are typically grade school to adolescent males, although some addicts are college-aged or beyond
Hardcore players tend to be younger players who may suffer from emotional problems or low self worth or esteem (Yee, 2006).
1. Preoccupation with gaming
2. Lying or hiding gaming use
3. Loss of Interest in Other Activities
4. Social Withdrawal
5. Defensiveness and Anger
6. Psychological Withdrawal
7. Using Gaming as an Escape
8. Continued Use Despite Consequences
Gamers neglect sleep, proper diet, exercise, hobbies, and real human contact just to spend more time in the virtual world
Adolescents who cannot play the game experience a loss
Addicts will become irritable, anxious, or depressed when forced to go without it (Leung, 2004).
Exposure to movie and TV violence increases aggressive behavior in children (Harvard, 2009).
Brain scan research shows that aggressive thoughts and violent scenes in shooter games activate similar parts of the brain
VGA addicts may suffer health problems from back strain, eye strain, carpel tunnel syndrome, and repetitive stress injury
Loss of sleep and lower quality sleep
Often the worst damage done is to marriages and real-life relationships
Children of substance abusing parents are shown to have an increase risk of using gaming as a coping mechanism
It is harder for a teen to recover from gaming addiction, especially because using the computer is a necessary component of their home and school environments
When pressed, most adolescents say they aren’t gaming any more than peers
For most adolescents, treatment is involuntary and usually mandated by parents, teachers, or the judicial system
Successful treatment must address both the gaming behavior and help an adolescent navigate the normal developmental tasks of identity formation
Treatment should focus on effective problem solving and social skills necessary to build self esteem
Often parents fall into an enabling role with a gaming-addicted adolescent
Parents should take the issue seriously and agree on common goals
Set limits on play time
Use the rating system /online controls
Keep consoles out of the bedroom
Rest tired eyes and muscles
Push for non-online computer games
Change the power source
Check how their child is doing in school
Become more involve in their child’s life
Symptoms of VGA withdrawal include anxiety, depression, irritability, trembling hands, restlessness, and obsessive thinking or fantasizing about the Internet or video games
If the game provides a more appealing, exciting, and supportive environment than does the family, the adolescent will continue to gravitate to the game to meet unmet needs
Game on. Harvard Health Letter, October 2009, p.4-5.
Leung, L. (2004). Net-generation attributes and seductive properties of the internet as predictors of online activities and internet addiction. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7(3), 333-348.
Tanner, L. (2007). AMA considers video game overuse an addiction. The Associated Press. Retrieved on November 10, 2010 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/06/27/AR2007062700995.html
Yee, N. (2006). Motivations of play in online games. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9, 772-775.
Young, K. (2009). Online gaming: Symptoms, risk factors, and treatment. In A. Browne-Miller (Ed.), The Praeger International Collection on Addictions, Vol. 4 (p. 1-16).
Young, K. (2009). Understanding Online Gaming Addiction and Treatment Issues for Adolescents. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 37: 355-372.