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Video Game Addiction: Is This Even Real?

In my previous article, I wrote about social media addiction and how that is affecting the young adult and teenage generations. There is another critical piece of technology that I also see occupying this generation’s time: video games. Before I get a mob of gamers coming after me, I’d like to preface that this article won’t be about the kind of video games played and their negative or positive outcomes on gamers, nor are we going to go in-depth on the gender politics of gaming. Moreso, this article will discuss gaming and the time spent doing so. The front of gaming, whether a fun and debatably non-violent game like Terraria (one of my favorite games) or something like Call of Duty, is the same consequence for long-time usage. With an open mind, let me provide you with a current problem we face - video game addiction. 


Video Game Addiction as a Norm: The Prevalence in our Society 


I’m sure a lot of us have seen it. That nephew, girlfriend, husband, cousin, coworker, or friend that has become enamored with their favorite video game stuck in their rooms and stereotypically enjoying their mountain dew and Doritos Nacho cheese snack as they frivolously press the buttons of their controller to some intense match. There is no harm done, right? This person skips a few days of work for those gaming events, spends the entire weekend in the house avoiding friends and family, loses weight due to unhealthy eating habits, and becomes a couch potato enslaved to Skyrim. Can we call this person an addict? 


As previously stated in my article, Social Media Addiction: It’s Time to Unplug, according to the American Society of Addiction and Medicine, addiction is defined as “a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual's life experiences.” The condition has gotten worse with support groups arising from gaming addiction like Online Gamer’s Anonymous in which game addicts and families of game addicts come together to discuss the issues with being a video game addict, such as unemployment, the inability to finish or progress in one’s life, and overall, the general decrease in quality of one’s life. Currently, the DSM-5 lists video gaming addiction as “Internet Gaming Disorder” and is under consideration for further study. 


The disorder is defined as having these symptoms within 12 months, according to the American Psychiatric Association: 

-gaming preoccupation 


-loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

-loss of career, job, academic progress, or relationships

-gaming for mood-related reasons such as anxiety and depression

-the need to satisfy the urge

-downplaying of usage 


According to the World Health Organization, a gaming disorder is impaired control over video games or gaming usage. According to this study, many of the games commonly used by those identified with a gaming disorder are Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. The two most addictive games as of 2022 are Fortnite and League of Legends. Further, gaming disorder is prevalent within the male and adolescent demographic


Adverse physiological effects that should be acknowledged are “gamer’s thumb,” in which tendons from the thumb become inflamed from gaming overuse. Moreover, an increase in food intake increase in food intake which has led to high obesity rates due to snacking while gaming. Eye strain and seizures are other video game addiction conditions that follow suit. 


The Cause of the issue


There are 3.24 billion gamers worldwide, averaging 35 years old. Asia is the biggest gaming market totaling 1.48 billion players. However, not everyone within this statistic is going to be an addict. There are exceptional circumstances that make a gamer a gaming addict. Psychologist Michael Fraser interviewed on CBS news, stated that he has seen an increase in patients for compulsive gaming. Professor of Nottingham Trent University, Dr. Mark Giffins, says, “Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view.” In turn, this would mean that video game is as comparable to gambling. So what is the case for video game addiction?


According to a study in the Brain Sciences journal, mental health conditions are associated with internet gaming disorders such as ADHD, depression, and OCD. Furthermore, those who have poor sleep have been associated with the disease, but it has been made clear that the cons contribute to poor sleep. Science has also concluded that the stark gender pool of gamers may be genetic, with males preferring short-term gaming, which is the norm in most games, making them more susceptible to gaming disorder. Femaletrast,e, female gamers choose “craving-related activations to gaming cues.” Moreover, video games offer a sense of escapism, according to one study, which would be a powerful predictor for video game disorder if that is what the gamer decides decided to do when playing a game. 


Causes are also observed and possibly linked to social media addiction. For this reason, it is essential to be aware of video game addiction and prevent its growth. Of course, video games are not the culprit of habit, but the person, which is why it is essential to highlight the good in video games if played in moderation. 




This is all not to say that video games are bad. In fact, according to this study, video games are associated with higher cognitive performance in children and harbor a large amount of mental stimulation. Ironically, one study suggested that video games can help with mental health since they can connect players virtually, carefully bridging connections that would be hard to do in the world, it is excessive gaming that becomes the problem. Additionally, it is an excellent tool for educational purposes. Studies have shown that video games have helped facilitate learning and improve education due to their fun and interactive nature. However, if the games played are entertainment, a study suggests they are likelier to become obese, so educational games should only be found in schools. Video games are great tools that can influence change, and with moderation and strategy, they can become crucial assets in helping people with different needs. There are suitable treatments for gaming addiction, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, pharmacological interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and pharmacological interventions, along with motivational interviewing




Gaming addiction is a symptom of an ever-expanding, technologically advanced future. With all things related to the internet, moderation is vital, and I am optimistic that as society continues to grow with the internet, a balance will have to be realized. Perhaps implementing more laws for privacy and security over the internet, improving the safety of age-restricted content, and employing more time restrictions on dopamine-induced content would alleviate or ail some of the problems with the internet. Similarly, games will probably have to undergo a similar kind of change with their content and educate parents of young gamers on the amount of time it is recommended to play a game. Games can be a strength or a weakness, and it’s up to the player to choose which it will be. 

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Tags: internet gaming disorder video game treatment video game addiction symptoms gaming disorder video game addiction gaming addiction is video game addiction a disorder

1 comment

1 week, 3 days ago by Goodygem

My opinion is that this blog is an excellent one and I've benefited greatly from it. Keep up your amazing work. In this age of technology, gaming has become an integral part of our lives, we use it to entertain ourselves and unwind from work and other daily activities. It is all fun and good until gaming becomes a major problem for you. While it can be a source of entertainment and fun, it can also turn into an addiction for some individuals. Gaming addiction, like any other addiction, has serious consequences on your physical and mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. There are more details on my blog. To find more, please visit the website. Don't let this chance slip away.

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