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Am I Addicted to Video Games?

To find out if you or someone you know could be addicted to video games, we have to look at what it means to be addicted to something as well as how it is perceived. We need to look at how addiction is perceived because video games are not usually thought of as an addictive thing. We will also look at how video games can be addicting and why. Video game addiction is often overlooked as it is seen as a destresser or something to do with free time. 

There has been a steady increase in people playing video games, and we can see it slowly being introduced to mainstream media as the internet becomes more accessible. As video games become more popular, they seem to become a new obsession for the younger generations as it becomes popular to own a gaming console. Some of the big-name video games include Minecraft, Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Assassin’s Creed. These games are prevalent across all ages and have been seen as a new form of pop culture as they have been seen on all forms of media. 

What Is Addiction?

An addiction is something that inhibits someone from their daily life and harms their physical and mental well-being. This could mean missing work or school, overspending, overeating, or undereating. It also means isolating oneself from family and friends while becoming more irritable and distracted. Addiction is more likely when the person has precursors like a family history of addiction or mental health issues. 

Addiction comes from a desire to be satisfied. There is a neurotransmitter release when there is this satisfaction. The most common neurotransmitter is dopamine, which is released when the brain feels pleasure. The brain will start to crave the dopamine, so the person will repeatedly recreate the event to get more dopamine released. This is how addiction gets started; as the tolerance for the neurotransmitter increases, so does the need for the event. 

How Is Addiction Viewed in Society?

Society’s view of addiction has shifted as people become more aware of the causes of addiction and how it works. In the past, addiction was viewed as something the person does and does not want to fix. It was also associated with crazy or mentally unstable people. Nowadays, addiction is starting to be considered as something that the person can not control, similar to a disease. Some people may still see it as something that the person did wrong or does not want to be fixed, but their perspective does not matter. Because it only matters what the person who is struggling views as an addiction. 

Addiction is often associated with drugs and alcohol, but there are more addictions than those often overlooked. Because they are ignored, they go untreated as the person dealing with addiction does not see it as an addiction. 

How Are Video Games Addicting?

Video games have only been out for around 50 years. The newest video games are designed to be addicting, with the goal being hard to obtain but not impossible. It could mean wanting to have the highest score or quickest time beating the game with single-player video games. But with multiplayer games, can become addicting because online multiplayer games can seemingly have no end. Video game addiction is similar to gambling in how it draws the person back into playing just to try again to get the win. But with video games, especially in online multiplayer games, there are no pause buttons so the game often needs to be completed in one sitting. 

As more and more children–and adults–get into video games, more people are susceptible to becoming addicted to video games as more people get internet access at home. As the children’s brains are developing, they are learning how to control their emotions. They will learn to associate video games with specific feelings. This can affect how they do in their education and how they will interact with others.

Video games are still being researched on how they affect the brain and how the brain reacts to different kinds of video games. But it is important to recognize if video game addiction is a problem, especially if it is causing harm to oneself or others. It is also used as a distraction from the real world as children have often used it as a means to escape their reality.  

Video Games can be addicting but it is important to know how and why it is addicting. As more research is done on the subject, recognizing a gaming addiction for oneself before it does more harm is the first step to getting help. It is also important to recognize the potential for video game addiction to help prevent the addiction in the younger generations who are often the target age group for many video games. It is also important to see what the video game wants the player to do, as the goal could reel in the player to get them to continue to play. The first step to stopping the addiction is to take away the thing causing the addiction. It is also important to figure out why a person is addicted to video games and what can be done about this root cause. At RECO Intensive Care, located in Delray Beach, Florida, we offer a range of treatments and resources to help with addiction and mental health issues. For more information, call (561) 464-6533.


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