You are addicted if you cannot control time spent, always talk or think about gaming, experience withdrawal or denial symptoms and use it to escape emotional problems. It can heighten aggressive behavior, lead to social isolation, affect joints in the neck, back and shoulder, disturb sleep and verbal cognition. Moderate use can improve problem solving skills.
Just A Level More
Are you the kind who finds it really hard to put down your video game controller? Convincing yourself and people around you …one more level and am done for the day….Is this becoming a norm, a habit, an addiction, that’s getting out of hand?
Some of us are so fanatical with our play stations that it starts restraining our routine activities. Video games addiction is compulsive gaming to the extent of disrupting your social life and health. According to the World Health Organization, about 10 to 15% of gamers exhibit signs of a video games addiction. Online multiplayer games are especially overwhelming.
Why This Could Be Serious?
This concept is broader than Internet gaming addiction, but bears considerable resemblance.
Apart from ineffective time management skills, this addiction may also be an escape strategy from various underlying problems.1 According to researchers at Hammersmith Hospital in London, dopamine levels in players’ brains doubled while they were playing, which may make this chemically addictive.
Although this disorder hasn’t been recognized yet, researchers predict the ill effects they can have on your mind and body. Apart from just teenagers, even adolescents are falling prey to this addiction. Cross-check with these symptoms to determine if you are suffering from video game addiction syndrome!
Symptoms of Video Games Addiction
- Lack of Control – One of the most common signs, you may be unable to control the amount of time you spend on your video games.
- Preoccupied with Gaming – You may talk or think about gaming even when you’re not actually playing. This may tend to constrain your social co-relations.
- Withdrawal – A feeling of restlessness when you stop playing.
- Neglecting other areas of life – A major dip in academic and professional performance might have links to lack of focus and energy after long hours in front of your console. It may also affect your interpersonal relationships.
- Escape strategy – Some of us tend to take to video game addiction to fight our emotions. This may be a warning sign!
- Mixed feelings – As with any other addiction that may cause euphoric feelings initially, you are more likely to experience guilt later.
- Living in denial – This includes tendency to lie or deny the negative effects of your addiction.
Negative Effects On Body And Mind
A meta-analytic review revealed that violent video games increased aggressive behavior in both adults and children. It also increased aggressive cognition, decreased empathy and pro-social behavior. Also, academic achievement seemed to deteriorate with excess usage of video games.2
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Excessive use of computer games or using a video game controller may compress the median nerve travelling through the wrist at the carpal tunnel causing tingling or pain. Even the hunched position creates unnecessary strain on your neck, back and shoulder joints.3
Television and video games may affect children’s sleep and deteriorate verbal cognitive performance. This may lead to various other health problems.4
Most gaming addicts tend to neglect their social life. This leads to isolation that can lead to a vicious cycle where the isolation feeds isolation and vice versa.5
Positive Effects On Body And Mind
Improves Problem Solving Skills
Mindful moderate use and choice of video games can apparently facilitate children’s learning. In increases recall processes and problem solving skills, especially in children.6
Gaming is a healthy recreational activity if monitored carefully. Limit usage of video game or any kind of exposure to the screen to about 30 minutes a day. In case your teen has an obsession, encourage them to try alternatives like a stroll in the park or indulging in a sport. Try creating and living in a positive social environment to combat social isolation, which leads to this addiction. You don’t have to give up gaming, just game healthy!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Problems with the Concept of Video Games Addiction: Some Case Study Examples, International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction|
|2.||↑||Anderson, Craig A.; Dill, Karen E. Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and in life.Anderson, Craig A.; Dill, Karen E, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 78(4), Apr 2000, 772-790|
|3.||↑||Physical Consequences of video games addiction, Video Game Addiction|
|4.||↑||Impact of Singular Excessive Computer Game and Television Exposure on Sleep Patterns and Memory Performance of School-aged Children, Pediatrics|
|5.||↑||What Makes a Video Game Addictive?, video games addiction|
|6.||↑||Effect of Computer-Based Video Games on Children: An Experimental Study, Browse Conference Publications|