With the modern way of living, as well as with the development of the new technologies and the modern phones and tablets, there is an increase of interest for using them by the younger generation, which can turn into addition.
What is addiction? Addiction from video game?
An addict by definition is a person who is obsess with video games to the point that he/she cannot fulfill his/her everyday activities normally. All other things in life are neglected because the priority is given to the video games he/she plays, no mater of the negative consequences this behavior might bring. Video game addiction is more and more present on a global level. It is estimated that around two billions of people round the world play video games, and around 4 percent of them are video game addicts (source). The addiction can be found with children who are 11 years old, with the lower age limit up to 25 years old. In 2018, the World Health Organization classified video game addiction as a disorder. The statistics change every year because more and more children get in contact with video games from early age.
There are children who are just fans of video games and they use the games as entertainment, but there are children who spend many hours on social networks and playing video games. These children in everyday language are called “Gamers” but unfortunately they can become addicts. From this we can distinguish those who are video game fans and addicts who need professional help.
Video game addiction can have many consequences on the children’s health, such as: problems with sight, back pain, curvature of the spine caused by the atypical position of the body for several hours etc. Insufficient movement and setting in front of the computer for too long can also cause pain in the legs. In order to save time, addicts evade cooking and choose to eat fast food, which is unhealthy. This has a bad influence of the digestive system and the metabolism. Due to this, people may become obese or if the avoid wood, they may be undernourished. There are also a lot of negative psychological consequences. Addicts can often be unsocialized, isolated from the rest of the society and without self-control. (source)
Playing video games in the beginning happens spontaneously, usually during free time. With more time spend playing games, the skills of the players improve and playing games moves from being just for entertainment to becoming a habit, and from being a habit becomes an addiction. A psychological addiction also arises from the feeling of victory and success. Even when they are not playing, the addicts think about new tactics and ways to improve and get better in winning.
As time passes by, the need for playing games increases. The addict loses control of the real time and tries to spend every moment playing games. In the beginning, the video games are played during the weekend when people have the most free time. In time, playing video games becomes an everyday activity, but in shorter intervals, for example few hours a day. As the psychological addiction increases, the time spend playing games increases to ten or more hours a day. The worrying fact is that there are few registered death cases with players who played continuously for more than 20 hours (source).
Playing video games for hours starts to disrupt the normal activities in the family life of the addict. The addict’s behavior is harmful to everyday obligations and it can lead to conflict with parents and friends, losing interest in school, activities, hobbies and previous routines. The addict firstly denies that there is a problem and tries to minimize it. They also give excuses to be able to spend all day in front of the computer. They start to lie in order to avoid possible sanctions. Sometimes the need for playing games is stronger than common sense. Game addicts know that what they do is harmful, but they cannot resist the need. Usually in this stage of the disorder, they need the help of experts.
However, playing a lot of video games does not automatically mean that someone is an addict. According to the classification of the game addiction given by the World Health Organization there must be evidence for the above mentioned behaviors over a period of 12 months in order for it to be classified as an addition from video games.
Author: K. Todorovski (8-4)
The original article is published in the school online digital newspaper L.A. IN-formator.