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Video game addiction

Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way, Abraham Lincoln.

Every addiction arises from the unconscience refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person – you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain, Eckhart Tolle.

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Playing video games is fun and exciting. However, like most things in life, it’s all about balance and common sense. Control how much time you spend playing video games, so it does not become an addiction that takes your time away from important things that you could or should be doing, like spending time with your family and friends, sleeping enough or studying.

How to recognize this addiction.

The player loses track of time and space when playing and forgets all external pressures; they don’t look away from the screen; they are completely “engrossed” and in “tension” while playing video games; excessive preoccupation and obsession with the game whilst neglecting other activities (they avoid responsibilities like household chores or homework); social isolation, poor academic and professional performance; use of playing as a means of escape and refuge; the person’s mood swings from euphoric to guilt; secrecy or lying to conceal gaming; etc.

They may neglect personal hygiene, have poor sleep habits, give up healthy physical activities, and choose fast food and sugary sodas.

What’s the extent of the problem? One in 10 video game players (8.5 percent of American youth) show signs of addictive behavior.

What can be done about it?

  1. The most basic rule is, as always, to recognise the problem.
  2. Set a limit on time spent playing video games and stick to it. Some people think that the only real measure is no gaming at all.
  3. Monitoring your kids is essential: where, when and for how long they play, how they react to time limits, personal hygiene, academic performance, etc.
  4. Furthermore, it is desirable to limit or better yet, to completely avoid extremely violent games and those with sexist or racist content.
  5. Identify and treat underlying emotional or psychological issues.
  6. Seek help in friends, family members, teachers, or professionals.
  7. Talk with your kids and listen to what they have to say. Spend quality time with them, doing stuff you all enjoy.
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