You may have heard many times the words video game addiction, also known as internet gaming disorder or gaming disorder. It is known as a behavioural addiction that is caused by compulsive and excessive use of video games.
It is wise to know that video game addiction is not something that is officially recognized as a mental disorder by an mental health organizations or professionals. It has, however, been included in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a gaming disorder.
Having a video game addiction can lead to some negative consequences in a persons life, these can include:
Below we give you some points that you should understand when it comes to Video Game Addiction:
Symptoms: Those who suffer with video game addiction will usually find that they will have some symptoms, these can sometimes be easy to ignore but it is worth taking them seriously if you notice them
The Causes: Video game addiction is something that can result from a combination of factors, these can include things such as social, psychological and environmental elements. Social isolation and stress as well as having a desire to escape and having easy access to video games can contribute to the addition.
Impact on Relationships: Video game addiction can put a strain on relationships with friends and also family. Those who are addicted to video games may end up neglecting their social interactions which can result in feeling lonely and isolated.
Impact on Health: Any kind of excessive gaming can have a negative effect on mental and physical health. This can lead to poor physical activity, sleep disturbances and poor nutrition. With these negative effects from excessive gaming it can increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and obesity as well as mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Prevention: Being able to prevent video game addiction will involve gaming practices that are responsible. This may include, maintaining a balance between gaming and other day to day activities, monitoring the gaming habits of yourself and others, setting gaming time limits, taking regular breaks.
Parental Involvement: When it comes to video game addiction, parents play a very important role in ensuring their children do not become addicted to video games by addressing and preventing it happening. This can be done by monitoring the gaming habits of their children, engaging with their children in open communication about gaming and also setting rules for gaming time.
Treatment: Video game addiction can be treated. It typically involves a combination of interventions and therapies. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), support groups and family therapy can be effective when it comes to treating video game addiction. Finding alternative activities, setting time limits and reducing access to games available can also help.
Game Design: Those who are in game design and are video game developers within the gaming industry have a crucial role in helping to prevent video game addiction. This is done by developing games that incorporate features into their games which will encourage moderation and breaks and to also design games that promote healthy gaming practices.
It is always wise to remember that even though video game addiction is very much a thing, it is wrong to assume that everyone who plays video games will end up with a video game addiction. Most people who play video games tend to do it in moderation without any negative consequences. Those who do suffer with video game addiction though should know that there is help out there for you and you just need to ask for it as this is a great step to seeking support and help and regaining control over your well-being and life.