There’s no denying that gaming is fun. For the best experience make sure to buy a recommended webcam for streaming. It’s intense and the hours often seem to fly by. What’s more, gaming has been shown to deliver vital health benefits. It improves cognitive function and reduces the risk of degenerative conditions such as dementia.
Yet, as with everything, there are limits. There’s such a thing as too much gaming. Gaming addiction is detrimental to the socioeconomic well-being of an individual. Fortunately, the vast majority of gamers demonstrate a fairly healthy interaction with gaming. It’s fairly easy to keep your gaming on a leash as long as you follow certain basic rules.
1. Set Time Limits
Addiction means getting consumed by a habit in a way that diminishes your ability to be productive and effective in all other facets of life. The principal reason for this diminished ability is the amount of time you end up gaming each day. That’s why rule number one in preventing gaming addiction is to develop a strict schedule with specific time limits.
Determine how much time you should realistically spend on gaming each week. Once that set time is exhausted, you can only touch your gaming rig the following week. It’s going to be difficult to always stand by this rule especially when you’ve just bought an exciting newly released game. But sticking to this principle will be beneficial for in the long-term.
2. Earn It
Setting aside a specific time for gaming is good. However, it’s effectiveness will depend on how productive you are when you aren’t gaming. That’s why the time you spend on gaming should be a reward as opposed to something you get to do automatically and without fail. Set family, labor, work or study targets that you must satisfy if you are to earn your play.
Washing the dishes, cutting the grass, cleaning the bathroom or taking the kids out are just some of the things you could set as conditions for you to play. By doing so, you’ll have struck two birds with one stone: attain a meaningful achievement and then have fun gaming. In fact, attaching a self-imposed precondition to your gaming time will give you a much greater thrill and satisfaction when you play.
3. Visit The Real World
Today’s top video games are so intense and realistic that it’s easy for the line between the virtual world and the real world to get blurred. However, despite all the merits of gaming’s virtual world, getting active in the real world is just as important. In fact, the activities you engage in real life can make you look forward more to gaming.
Spend time with friends and family. Do something mentally stimulating together. Even simple house tasks such as setting the table, folding the washing and dusting furniture can be quite mentally refreshing. If you have kids, reading, playing, creating and engaging with them can help all of you maintain a healthy balance between virtual fun and real life.
4. Experience The Outdoors
If you spend most of your workday confined to an office, it’s unwise to spend all your free time indoors as well. As long as your work schedule allows it, set aside at least one day of the week when you and your family go outside.
Encourage your children to play with friends as this will foster their social skills and ensure they have memorable experiences away from video games. Enroll your kids in classes and clubs that build them such as swimming, athletics, baseball, music, and dance.
5. Be Accountable
Addiction doesn’t happen without warning. It’s a process that evolves over months or years. The affected individual will often know early that they are not on the right track but the allure may feel too strong for them to turn back. Before you get to this point, always be on the lookout for the early signs of addiction.
If you are spending ever more time on gaming each day you get down to play, you could be slowly drifting towards an unhealthy habit. To stay in control and keep your head above the water, let your partner or close friend know the rules you’ve set on your gaming activity.
By having someone else know how much gaming is appropriate for you, they can hold you accountable whenever you seem to be going off track.
6. Keep Your Gaming Rig Public
Whether you live alone or have a family, do not keep your gaming gear in the bedroom or any other room in the home that isn’t regularly accessed by either guests or other residents of the home. When your rig is in a room where you could easily shut yourself from the rest of the world for hours on end, it creates an atmosphere that heightens the risk of addiction.
Addiction creeps up on you and few environments are more conducive for it to happen than isolation. Instead, your gaming rig should be in an accessible space like the living room that will make it easy for someone else to check on you. The distraction and movement by the people around you will also help you stay conscious of the amount of time you spend playing.
7. Set The Right Example
Addiction is not just a danger to you but it can also influence the future behavior of your children. You reduce their likelihood of your kids getting addicted to gaming by setting the right example.
It’s easy to tell your children that game-bingeing is unhealthy. They are however more likely to follow your advice if you walk the talk. Put away not just your game console but your smartphone and other tech devices especially during intimate family times, mealtimes and play times. That move alone is a powerful statement on the need for balance and self-control.
Recently, the World Health Organization declared gaming addiction a medical disorder. This opens the way for addicts to seek professional treatment and signals to governments the need to incorporate gaming addiction management in their overall national healthcare plans.
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