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Video game addiction

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.

Playing video games is fun, exciting, and enjoyable. Some people said that it helps them to unwind and relieve stress. Besides, they are being widely applied in education and training.

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, eating healthy, exercising, or studying.

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

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

How to recognize this addiction

Compulsive players lose track of time and space when playing and forget everything else. They don’t look away from the screen; they are completely “engrossed” and in “tension” while playing video games.

There’s an excessive preoccupation and obsession with the game whilst neglecting other activities, e.g., they avoid responsibilities like household chores, homework, or personal hygiene. Other effects include: social isolation, poor academic and professional performance; use of playing as a means of escape from reality and a refuge strategy; 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 exercise, sports, and outdoor recreating, and consume too much fast-food, junk-food, and sugary sodas.

What’s the extent of the problem?

The U.S. video game industry provided 90.3 billion US dollars of economic output in 2019. Over two billion people play video games worldwide. In 2020, 3-4% of gamers worldwide were addicted to playing games, GameQuitters. Gaming addiction is on the rise with millions being negatively impacted globally.

What can be done about it?

  1. The most basic rule is, as always, to recognize the problem.
  2. Set a limit on the time you are going to spend playing video games and stick to it. If you are a compulsive gamer, maybe the only real measure is to no game at all.
  3. Monitoring your kids is absolutely 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 problems, emotional or psychological issues, such as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, academic issues, eating problems, interpersonal relationship issues, etc.
  6. Seek help in friends, family members, teachers, or professionals, e.g., counsellors, psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists.
  7. Talk with your kids and listen actively to what they have to say. Spend quality time with them, doing stuff you all enjoy.
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