In these times of constant rush, stress and tension, we also need a moment for relaxation and entertainment. And so we gladly turn to various board games, quizzes, games of chance, arcades, video games and others.
However, sometimes this common mode of entertainment can turn into an addiction. Studies conducted over the years of 2000-2015 show that the ratio of people addicted to gambling remains on a stable level of 0.1-0.7%.
Video game addiction is also becoming a more and more common phenomenon. Gentile’s studies demonstrate that even 90% of adolescent boys spend about 12 hours a week gaming. But spending many hours on playing games is not an indicator of addiction in and of itself.
Check If You’re Addicted
The main symptoms of video game addiction include:
- Strong commitment to the time spent gaming and difficulties in reducing it
- Withdrawal symptoms when playing games is impossible (aggression, anger, irritation, melancholy)
- Treating video games as a remedy for problems and negative moods
- Loss of interest in other activities or hobbies that have provided happiness and satisfaction before
- Neglecting interpersonal relations, work, education
- Hiding when gaming and lying to others
Video Game Addiction – What Does Research Say?
Studies that involved questioning the participants (primarily teenagers) were conducted over the years of 2004-2016, and it turned out that the problem of video game addiction concerned several percent of the youth – as many as 4.9% of the participants struggled with it in the United States. Another study questioned 438 gamers from Canada and the United States about the popular game called World of Warcraft.
It turned out that they were spending an average of 5.5 hours a day on gaming, and symptoms of World of Warcraft addiction were observed in 44% of the participants. Persons recognised as addicted played the game for 8 hours a day on average, with the record high being even 18 hours a day! It was also found that video game addiction is often related to other addictions.
Among American high school students, gaming addicts would reveal a higher likelihood of smoking cigarettes or using forbidden substances compared to teens who did not exhibit problems with gaming. Meanwhile a relation between gaming addiction and smoking cannabis was observed in German and Dutch students.
Don’t Hesitate To Seek Help
If you notice that gaming absorbs you too much or you can see this problem in your child, it’s worth consulting a specialist institution, such as The Kusnacht Practice (https://kusnachtpractice.com/) in Switzerland. Once there, you will obtain a diagnosis, and also receive the appropriate treatment, should it be necessary.
Psychotherapy and family therapy are the most commonly applied treatment methods in this case. There are also numerous support groups for addicts and their parents, for example on the Game Quitters website (https://forum.gamequitters.com/).
There are some very diverse and engaging games available on the market. There’s nothing wrong in playing them – it’s wonderful entertainment, and sometimes it can teach cooperation or strategic thinking. Yet sometimes it may require imposing some form of time limitation on yourself or parental control.
If you are interested in even more entertainment-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.