Internet Gaming Addiction.
Almost everyone in existence today has been touched by addiction in some manner. Addition is defined as the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity in the dictionary. Technically, this means that anything you become addicted or obsessed with to the point that it negatively affects other aspects of your life can be deemed an addiction.
Because the term addiction has become so common place it is somewhat overused. While you can become addicted to anything, only certain addictions are recognized as actual addictions by the psychological community. That being said, psychology is ever evolving as the Internet and Internet gaming did not exist 50 years ago, so there was no need to consider it an addiction.
Through technological advancements the majority of the world now has access to such things as the Internet and online gaming, making an addiction to such possible. This means that the psychological community has started researching and is considering including Internet gaming as a form of treatable addiction.
Internet Gaming Addiction
Currently Internet gaming is not yet a recognized addiction, although it is only a matter of time. Research suggests that between 6 and 15 percent of gamers show signs that would qualify as addiction. The disorder itself can be difficult to recognize. There are a few symptoms that may help you identify someone with a gaming addiction. With two main types of video games, single player standard games and multiplayer online games, the focus for this article will be on multiplayer online games.
Multiplayer online games require interaction from others to play the game. These type of games are played online with others, and have no real ending. This is what makes them highly addictive. Gamers interested in this type of game typically enjoy becoming a character they have created for the online community. These gamers often build online relationships with fellow gamers and feel highly accepted in that community. Even though in many cases they have rarely met outside of the game.
There are a number of factors that could play into a video game addiction. Addiction is partially created because this is what the games are created to accomplish. Game creators are in the creation business to make a profit. The more people that play and the longer they play; the more likely a profit is earned. The games are difficult enough to be challenging and engaging. Yet easy enough to continue moving forward in the game. Success always feels just out of reach, but with small victories that can be made. Much like those with a gambling addiction.
Symptoms of a gaming disorder or addiction can vary. They fall into both physical and emotional areas of life. Emotional symptoms include restlessness or irritability when not able to play. Lying to others about time spent playing. Preoccupation with thoughts about gaming, and isolation from others to play games. The physical symptoms can also be obvious. They can include fatigue, migraines from eyestrain and screen time, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even poor hygiene. It’s easily ignored to play the game.
These effects combine both short and long term and can have negative consequences. Often basic things such as sleep and eating proper meals are avoided to game. This leads to health problems and isolation from others over time. Depression may also come about over time, as it’s easy to become totally isolated and focused on a single aspect of life, gaming.
If you or someone you know is falling into gaming addiction or is already fully addicted, then some treatment options are available. For the most part, gaming addiction can be treated as other addictions with programs, behavioral counseling, and the limiting or avoidance of gaming. If you find yourself unable to deal with the issue alone, seek professional help to regain control of your life and break the gaming addiction for good.
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