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What is Video Game Addiction?

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Last updated: 09/14/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review

Reading Time: 2 minutes

What is Video Game Addiction?

Addiction itself, is the uncontrollable and compulsive need to continually use a certain substance or do a certain activity despite the negative consequences. Addiction can cause numerous problems to arise in a person’s life, no matter what they are addicted to, because it takes control of their thought processes. Although video game addiction is not yet recognized as a psychiatric disorder, people are displaying the uncontrollable urges to constantly play video games and many people are allowing their video game playing to create problems in their social life as well as, allowing video games to stop them from their responsibilities.

According to Psychology Today, at this time video game addiction is not yet considered to be a mental disorder, however research suggests that 1.7 percent of ninth graders and .50 percent of all gamers, experience symptoms that are associated with excessive video game use.

Problems that Arise from Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction can create problems in a person’s life by taking over their time and effort. People addicted to video games may pull away from family and friends to play them, or they may miss work or school due to late nights of playing, or because they just want to. Video games also can stop a person from doing activities that they once enjoyed doing, and it can stop a person from accomplishing their daily goals. In addition, people may become violent when they do not have access to video games, and they may become forgetful of important things in their life that they needed to remember.

According to Psychology Today, in 2009 a seventeen year old boy in Ohio shot his mother because his parent took away his copy of Halo 3, and in 2011 a young woman in New Mexico let her 3 year old daughter die of malnutrition while she played World of Warcraft for hours.

If a person is noticing that they are becoming too dependent on video games for happiness, or if they think about playing video games all of the time, or they have uncontrollable urges to play video games, they may want to reach out for help. Involving one’s self in therapy can help a person overcome a video game addiction, and reaching out and talking to people who care about them may also help. In addition, a person can always reach out to an anonymous addition hotline and speak with a person about their addiction to figure out different ways in which they can get help.

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