A majority of the human beings cannot deny the fact that they have played at least one kind of video games at some point in time of their lives. This phenomenon brings with it so many nostalgic memories and moments to each person. Whereas everybody deserves a free time, it is extremely fun to spent such a time taking part in games with friends online nowadays. Over the previous years, the gaming community has undergone tremendous boom especially with the progressive development of new and higher games annually; a situation that has brought in greater participation of individuals in gaming. In the same way video games carry joy and excitement to many teenagers, they also lead to several addiction problems. Consequentially, these addictions bring about effects such as, but not limited to, decreased interest in extracurricular activities, poor personal hygiene, health problems, the creation of disturbance with someone’s work, and harming of real-life relationships between friends and family. Such a trend calls for actions to be taken in order to overcome the prevalence of these addiction impacts in our society. Amongst the possible solutions to this menace include seeking the services of a professional therapist in cases of extreme addition, and regular parent-teenager communication to not only show them parental affection and concern but also limit their time of playing video games. Additionally, more consideration and discussion, about the possible consequences and solutions of the increased video game addiction across the world, should be carried out.
Globally, statistics indicate that a substantial fraction of the teenagers and adults’ population play video games each day. However, a majority of these gamers are said to have the aptitude of controlling their video game habits such that it does not get in the way of their day to day life. On the contrary, a good number of the gamer’s populace have built up a strong compulsion to video gaming to the extent that they can endure all the hindering impacts. Each person has his own perception of what addition is but too many; it is the unfortunate attraction to activities or substances which eventually disturb the individual’s capability to be aware of and focus on their daily tasks and responsibilities. For video game fixation to occur, one has to have been playing the video games for a long time and in a wild and reckless manner. Strangely enough, falling for video gaming addiction comes with a lot of ease given the fact that only a few people, involved in this activity, will play just four hours a day with others playing relentlessly for twenty-four hours.
Addicts of video games show specific obsessions to the game by not only being preoccupied with the gaming but also their urge to figure out more opportunities to play the games. In instances where the child is resistant, incapable or uninterested in any other extracurricular activities and hobbies, a computer game compulsion can be detrimental. In his article ‘The On-Line Gamers” Christopher points out some signs of addiction in a child and they include: declining social events that involve personal interaction, abandoning of former hobbies that do not relate to video games, devising ways to get back to the game or constantly thinking about their upcoming video game session (Christopher). When doing other things apart from gaming, these persons can look annoyed, diverted, and uninterested. In other words, they are always considerate of the game or embed the amusement in most discussions.
One of the major effects of video gaming addiction is the disturbance of the victim’s career. According to Livermore, the video game addicts could, in the long run, lose their job due to poor work performance (Livermore). Whereas many of the video players’ device ways of appreciating the computer games and at the same time hold their occupations devoid of any issues, others face challenges in their workplaces. Furthermore, an extensive and frequent playing of computer games for over a long time results in lack of sleep; a problem that persists in the work environment and thereby, causing constant fatigue and lessening creation.
Another prominent impact is the development of carelessness amongst the video game addicts especially in the management of personal hygiene and health. Livermore states that “since the person is always playing video games, personal hygiene won’t seem as important. The more someone lets themselves go, the bigger the problem is” (Livermore). These addicts even go without eating and more so ignorant of the simple hygiene errands such as showering or utilizing the restroom. What’s more, changes the physique of the child as illustrated by Christopher, “Children who spend more than two hours a day in front of a television or video games instead of participating in physical activity may suffer from childhood obesity” (Christopher). Avoiding healthy meals and eating fast foods becomes a habit for the addicts without their realization that it could lead to health disorders like obesity and overweight particularly due to lack of exercises after consumption of these meals.
Moreover, gaming addiction may lead to harming of real-life relationships between friend and family. As Christopher puts it, “gaming may be negatively affecting your child’s life if he only wants to talk about video games, lies to cover up the amount of time he spends playing, and argues with you over his excessive gaming” (Christopher). Whereas family time has a higher priority than playing video games, a large segment of the game addicts holds a contrary opinion not only in the family settings but also their life. The addicts develop a tendency of isolating themselves from their family and friends by lying and making excuses in order to secure more time to play the games. They also lie when confronted by their parents, a predisposition that subjects them to a lonely life and eventually depression.
More importantly, the discussion of a real-life addict, Ruya Cunningt, of ‘World of War’ craft game will cement the seriousness of gaming addiction in causing conflicts. Just as is expected of any addict to spend several hours playing the video games, DiConsiglio states that “Ruya spent at least 20 hours a week online, lost in the WoW fantasy realm. As she gave in to her obsession with playing, Ruya’s real-life crumbled around her. She quit her job, dropped out of school, and cut herself off from friends and family-all so she could spend more time in Azeroth” (DiConsiglio). This affirms the association between the problems earlier stated and a real-life gaming addict to the extent of ruining the life of the affected individual.
All things considered, it is paramount to note that video gaming addiction has turned out to be a new evolution in the realm of the mental health. For this reason, this development portion of the mental health is faced with moderately few choices of treatment and only a limited number of the persons, who show the necessity to recover from the needless gaming susceptibilities, can access them. To cure a video game addiction, the first step should be seeking the services of a health professional. According to Axe, “speaking with someone professionally, such as in cognitive behavioral therapy, can help that person work through the issues that might be prompting him or her to seek solace in video games. In this therapy, the addict learns ways to see gaming as less important while developing better behaviors to replace the addictive ones” (Axe). The main treatment methodology for recovering from computer game enslavement is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT involves alteration of the gaming activities by gradually reducing the time duration and frequency spent playing the computer games as well as changing the contemplations which add to unnecessary gaming propensities.
In addition to CBT, counseling also plays an indispensable role in assisting the addicts of video games from the slavery of their gaming habits. Addiction blog states that “Individual one-on-one counseling, family counseling or even parent-only counseling are ways to start exploring how technology has come to direct the life of a game addict ” (Addiction Blog). A great idea is securing a one-to-one counseling with a therapists skilled and proficient in the treatment of computer game compulsion for the reasons that he or she will be able to lessen the problem to a more manageable level. Finding a specialist of equal capacity is a challenge at the moment due to the unpopularity of the subject,’ Video Gaming Addiction.’ Another substantial treatment of video gaming slavery is family counseling. It is mainly comprised of activities such as changing the family elements, associations, and frameworks that may supplement the top gaming propensities. A more typical situation that has higher chances of working effectively in family counseling is when the gaming addict is a teenager. However, it is in most cases extremely hard to effect a focus on the procedure by all the essential family members.
Though not all people enjoy taking medication, pursuing this solution can be of great help to the brain chemistry, particularly in reducing the desire to play the video games. This is captured in the addiction blog that, ” One medication, in particular, Bupropion, has been used to inhibit dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake in the brain, thereby affecting the “pleasure center” of the brain that is rewarded after repetitive gaming. Researchers recently found that craving for video game play, total gameplay time, and cue-induced brain activity decreased after a 6-week period of bupropion SR” (Addiction Blog). In summary, it is encouraging to find that there are a number of alternatives that video game addicts can opt to as a way of recovery. Thus medications are a perfect solution to their detrimental obsession in that it presents the addicts with both a better chance reduce their urge to play the games as well as the time duration they spent while playing these games.