Game addiction

game addictionGame addiction (gaming addiction, gaming disorder) 

Game addiction or gaming disorder is commonly characterized as problematic, compulsive playing of video and/or online games, that outcomes in substantial impairment in a person’s capacity in different life areas over continuous time frame.

This and related issues have been under significant research, discussion and discourse among specialists in a few disciplines, and have created debate in the medicinal, logical and gaming communities. The disorder may introduce itself as compulsive gaming, social separation, mood swings, decreased creativity, and hyper-focus on in-game accomplishments, to the elimination of life events. Such addiction can be diagnosed when an individual takes part in gaming activities at the expense of satisfying day by day duties and without respect for the negative outcomes.

The World Health Organization distinguished it as “Gaming Disorder” in its International Classification of Diseases. 

Albeit billions of individuals play computer games, most of them don’t have an addiction, and the World Health Organization appraises the quantity of individuals who do have it is 3-4%. The contrast between a healthy fun gaming and an addiction is the negative effect the action is having in your life.

There are two types of game addiction which arise from a sort of game: video games addiction (games are commonly intended to be played by a solitary player and include a reasonable objective or mission, for example, saving a princess. The habit in these games is regularly identified with finishing that mission or beating a high score) and online multiplayer games addiction (these games are played online with other players and are particularly addictive because there is no completion. Gamers with this kind of addiction appreciate turning into an online character. They frequently build relationships with other online players as an escape from the real world).  

Causes of game addiction


  • Build-in reward systems in computer games. Many computer games, especially massively multiplayer online role-playing games and social network games depend on a “core loop” – a cycle of activities that include rewarding the player and driving them to proceed through another cycle, holding them in the game. The expectation of such rewards can make a neurological response that discharges dopamine into the body so that once the reward is gotten, the individual will recollect it as a pleasurable inclination.
  • Games can be played all day every day. Any game can be played over and over so there is no end, what can be very attractive to some gamers. 
  • A high prenatal testosterone load in adulthood
  • Mental health problems
  • Satisfying psychological needs (freedom, rewards, connection to other players)
  • Game companies benefit hooking people on games


Signs and symptoms of game addiction


Excessive use of computer games may have a few or the majority of the side effects of drug addiction or other mental addictions. Some players become increasingly worried about their communications in the game than in their real lives. Players may play numerous hours out of every day, disregard individual hygiene, gain or lose weight, disturb sleep patterns, play at work, stay away from telephone calls from friends, or lie about how much time they spend playing games. 

The American Psychiatric Association has identified nine warning signs to watch for when it comes to video game addiction. 

  • Pre-occupation. The person thinks about past game activities or envisions playing the next game. Gaming turns into the prevailing event in everyday life.
  • Withdrawal. When gaming is taken away the player feels restless, moody, irritable, anxious and sad. 
  • Tolerance. The individual needs to spend increasing amounts of time occupied with video games. This might be roused by a need for the completion of increasingly complex, time-consuming, or difficult goals to achieve satisfaction and/or reduce fears of missing out.
  • Inability to stop/reduce. This is when you feel you should play less but unable to cut the amount of time spent playing. 
  • Giving up other hobbies and activities. It is losing interest in previous hobbies or reducing the amount of time for other activities due to gaming. 
  • Continuing playing despite problems. The player continues playing even being aware of negative consequences like psychological problems, lack of sleep, being late to school/work, spending too much money, having contentions with others, and ignoring some duties. 
  • Deceiving/covering up. The person lies to family and friends about gaming or tries to keep them from knowing that. 
  • Using games to escape or relieve adverse moods. Gaming to escape from personal problems or bad feelings like anxiety, depression, helplessness
  • Risking/ losing relationships/opportunities. The players jeopardize or lose relationships, jobs, education, career opportunities. 

The best self-evaluation that should be possible is to go through the above list of signs related to computer games addiction. In case you find that you or somebody you care about shows any of these signs, it might be a decent time to cut the amount of time spent gaming. 

Related: How Video Games, Social Media Influence Children’s Grades

Side effects of excessive game playing

It’s regular for someone who is addicted to going through more than 10 hours daily gaming, typically during the night, and many players experience the side effects of lack of sleep. Gamers are known to have a poor diet comprising essentially of caffeinated beverages loaded with caffeine and sugar. Many are got dehydrated and malnourished.

Regardless of whether video games interactivity can be classed as an addiction, there is an enormous number of studies all demonstrating that excessive gaming can prompt a wide assortment of negative psychosocial consequences which include:

  • sacrificing work, education, relationships, hobbies
  • increased stress
  • bad mood
  • irritability 
  • loneliness
  • increased inattention
  • aggressive behavior and hostility
  • decreases in verbal memory performance
  • maladaptive coping
  • suicidal thoughts

Also, researchers have identified many health and medical problems that may stem from excessive gaming (both online and offline). There are:

  • epileptic seizures
  • auditory hallucinations
  • obesity
  • wrist pain, neck pain
  • sore tendons and numbness of fingers
  •  sleep abnormalities
  • repetitive strain injuries
  • agoraphobia – a sort of anxiety disorder in which they afraid of going out

Read also: Money disorder

Treatment of game addiction

Treatment of game addiction usually includes psychopharmacology (using drugs), psychotherapy (interaction with psychotherapists), twelve-step programs (adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous), and the use of continuing developing treatment improvements. 

Group therapy is a significant wellspring of inspiration and good help, particularly for people who have lost contact with friends because of their game addiction. There are also many online communities for game quitters exist with free videos, forum, and affordable programs. 

Gamers who have co-happening depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other mental conditions may require prescription treatment with antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. If substance abuse is a factor, the customer will require medical detox pursued by specific treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

Game addiction may be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on the severity of behavioral patterns and other psychological problems included. Inpatient mode offers 24-hour supervision in a strong, organized condition, which might be valuable for people who haven’t had the option to control their computer game use. Outpatient treatment, which comprises intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), offers greater adaptability for people who can’t join up with inpatient treatment because of individual obligations or who are very motivated to recover from addictive behavior.