Millions of adults, teens, and children play video games on computers, home gaming consoles, cell phones, and tablets. For the majority of these players, video games serve as escapist entertainment similar to movies, sports, or television. They are able to give proper attention to their jobs, schoolwork, families, friends, and other important responsibilities – and still have time for a few hours every week playing video games.
Unfortunately, some players have difficulty keeping their video game habits under control and experience very harmful effects on their relationships, schoolwork, family interactions, physical health, job performance, and overall satisfaction with life.
Immersed in the Digital World of Video Games
In some of the more addictive video games (such as first person shooters and online role playing games), players immerse themselves in very detailed online digital universes while they temporarily assume the identity of their in-game character. Often this character / avatar will have personality characteristics, physical attributes, and powers that the gamer may believe that he/ she would like in real life.
For example, a very shy person may feel much more confident and assertive when in the role of his favourite video game character. A person who feels powerless or inadequate in real life can play with a character that is very influential, powerful, and respected in the virtual world of the game. The possibility of escaping to an online world in which one can assume virtually any identity is one of the most appealing components of modern video games.
Video Game Addiction Diagnosis
Although video game addiction has been getting a lot of attention from psychologists, psychiatrists, parents, and gamers themselves, it is not a recognized mental health disorder. Recently, it was decided that video game addiction disorder would not be included in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Because juegos friv on internet and computer game addiction is in its infancy, it was decided that, at present, is too early to officially classify video game addiction alongside other psychological additions such as compulsive gambling disorder.
Still, the debate about whether video game addiction is a “true” mental health condition continues and it may one day be recognized as such. Today, using various definitions of what exactly constitutes “video game addiction”, most studies have found that between five and ten percent of active gamers could be considered addicted.
Signs of Video Game Addiction
What are some of the signs of video game addiction?
As mentioned above, video game addiction is not a recognized diagnosis and therefore, there is not an official list of symptoms. Still, therapists who treat excessive video gaming and researchers who study unhealthy gaming habits often note these signs:
Using every free moment to play video games
Becoming angry or irritated when prevented from playing video games
Giving up hobbies, sports, or other recreational activities so that there is more time for video
A strong preference for video games over spending time with family or friends
Lying to prevent others from discovering how time is spent with video games
For students, deteriorating grades at school
Frequent late night gaming sessions resulting in fatigue at school or at work
Neglecting personal hygiene (e.g., showering, shaving, brushing teeth)
Tired red eyes due to hours staring at a computer screen or television screen
Irregular sleep habits (most often staying up very late to play games and then sleeping in late
the next morning)