There have been increased cases of people being addicted on video games. A video game can be defined as the electronic entertainment which involves user interface for the purpose of making visual response on a video appliance. Addiction is associated with the need of substance while in some cases a behaviour which someone finds hard to move on without it, where the unavailability to a way out leads to abnormality.
Video game habit which is referred as addiction involves playing and watching video games for the purpose of changing someone’s mood that results to some interference of individual’s responsibilities at the same time distracting personal connection and relationships within the family (Orzack).
There are many debates regarding the video game addiction where some people do not view it as a disorder but the impacts caused by the same cannot be overlooked. The following discussion therefore is inclusive of the behaviours of the video game addicts.
To start with, no one is immune in becoming a video addict. The addicts are known to be self-referred as they do not like distractions once they are playing and watching games. With the current technological improvement, it is hard to do away with computers which are playing significant roles in our lives.
They are therefore found even at our homes where the children can easily access them as a family property, but they have ended up taking over their lives rather serving the intended purpose. There are characteristics which are associated with video addicts such as depression, sense of loneliness, people who are always afraid of what the outside world holds for them, running away from family conflict; basically people who find hard to do anything once they start playing a game.
For most addicts, playing video games is just a normal exercise during a day. They actually argue that video games are just as good for consoling, thus being in a position to manage several demands of life such as school workloads. The positive effects played by continuous video game access cannot however be overlooked.
Some of the shy children become gregarious by the fact that they become sociable as they are able to maintain friends because the games serve as an interactive means while some passive children start becoming more active (Schlimme). When the aggression however takes place or tremendous change of behaviours mostly on the negative perspective then the child is believed to be addicted.
Many debates have risen concerning excessive video gaming where some believe it is not a problem at all to be considered as an addictive behaviour. The behaviour is however not accepted due to the consequences that accompany it. This behaviour is viewed as symptom that has resulted from another problem.
Other addictions are also reported to be also symptoms of other problems such as alcoholism addiction due excessive stress and depression. Gaming addiction is known to serve two aspects of what addiction entails. For one to be addicted to certain behaviour, the activity in reverence to that behaviour must either be positively strengthening the addict or else negatively strengthening (Turner, Griffiths and Wood).
Video addiction is often associated to the pathological gambling. In this they find hard to control the habit. As a result of it, many of the addicts are reported in becoming rebellious, getting angry very quickly and tending to a dangerous emotional set up where one becomes emotionally closed. A relevant case to these symptoms is well explained in a 16 years teen whom the parent could not control the behaviours.
These behaviours often start as a good thing thus no harm that can easily be experienced at early stages. But as the time progressed, the teen found watching video game as a solace when he was faced by difficulties (Tournemille). This is a turn where one always runs away from the reality into the virtual realism. There are also cases of withdrawing from the collective living where one always uses most of his free time on video game hence having no time to interact with others.
Schooling becomes a problem as the addicts perform poorly in their class work by the fact that it is even hard for them to do homework or revision while video games steals away such important time to do such important activities of life. Health problems are among the negative effects on the video game addicts by the fact that they spend less time to rest, which involves sleeping while playing video games; the condition affects much of their health.
There are health problems related to lack of sleep like obesity and increase of blood sugar just to name a few where in some instances they forget to take their medication. They portray at least six symptoms which are related to pathological gambling (Jones, Ferlazzo and Gentile). A pathological disorder is associated with the harming caused by an act of doing something excessively, where the normal functioning is distorted which does not mean the act of doing it a lot although there is some relationship on the same.
Violence in children and teens is a common behaviour which is believed to have its roots on video games. Out of playing violent games, many results putting into practice of what they do into the real world. In terrorism war games, there are tactics which terrorists employ in the act where the addicts try to use the same tactics first as a way of entertainment to others but the behaviours certainly change from what looked as a joke into seriousness.
The violence is sometimes turned towards the parents as they try to instill the right behaviours and actions. The games are only played by electronic devices but the removal of these devices may not be the actual solution to the problem. When this happens, the situation is otherwise aggregated where some end up moving away from home searching for access of the electronic devices.
The worst of the behaviour is where the addicts are involved in stealing in order to have money for purchasing video games as well as shoplifting video games themselves when they do not have money. Them that are said to be addicted on gaming are said to have no problem to the access of computers and televisions. Technological involvement in schooling where the children are required to use internet as they do their homework, has also amplified gaming.
Excessive luxuries where there are availabilities of televisions even in the bedrooms cannot be under looked as one of the major contributor to gaming addiction. Boys are more likely to be addicted to gaming than the girls by the fact that girls are much involved in household cores as compared to boys (Gentile).
There is however regrets that come out of the consequences of the much time spent on video games. When the family relationships are weakened beyond limit, they become hard to restore them up. This further leads to loneliness and the worst part of it, is when there are results of life time loneliness. One man was reported to have separated with his wife and children where he regretted the kind of life without the love of them that he considered to be close (Garsys).
There are other disorders which are related to the addiction. Many are said to portray anxiety disorders and depression such that the only solution to them is being on computer. Some of them are also said to be hyperactive while others paying less attention to the instructions given, thus failing to do what is expected of them.
There is a need for the treatment to the problem. The most challenging part is that computers play a very significant role in daily lives thus someone cannot talk of eradicating them which could be the best treatment if it were possible. There is a need therefore of learning various ways of living with computers.
There has never been any reported cases of the addiction being criminalized, thus it becomes hard to convince someone that he is an addict. Responsible use of computers is one of the effective treatments, but the question lies on how to go about it. Gamers therefore need to be made to understand that it is as if they hold powerless positions as a result of their addiction while encouraging them to get more involved in real life experiences rather than online fantasies (Clark).
There is a necessity to provide direct emotional treatment to the addict who are said to experience serious disruptions in their every day livelihood. These people may not be aware whether they are addicted, where they might feel that as one tries to help them, he or she is interfering with their own lives. A lot of understanding is therefore needed, acknowledging that this is a disorder like any other as much condemning to the behaviour, is more likely to worsen the situation.
There are others who may not be addicted but they are directly or indirectly affected by the behaviours and outcomes of their close friends, family members, or even workmates. These too need psychological support so as to cope with the problems at hard thus learning different ways to deal and help the addicted persons.
Many outreach programs need therefore to be put into place so as to promote awareness in schools, work places and to the entire society at large. These programs can be in form of counseling programs, undertaking of workshops that provide health services on video addiction treatment and worker support systems. There is only one aim of facing the problem rather than running away from it.
In conclusion, there has been over estimation of the occurrence of gaming addiction which does not support the argument of the non existence of the addiction. Many addicts have in one way or another tried to quite the behaviour but they fail to, despite their determined efforts. Some have even resulted to violence if other people around them tried to stop them.
It is therefore an addiction like any other thus ignoring the problem is not the solution to the behaviour but instead it is a creation of some more room for worsening the addiction (Hartney).
Negative effects are associated to the addiction rather than just time loss by the fact that some have ended up losing their jobs due to poor performance at work places, poor performance in school which leads to school dropouts and the worst of it all are social isolation and decline in health status.
Clark, Amy S. Detox For Video Game Addiction? 3 July 2006. 26 November 2010 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/03/health/webmd/main1773956.shtml
Garsys, Linas. Are you addicted to video games? 16 july 2008. 26 November 2010
Gentile, Douglas A. Pathological video game use among youth 8 to 18: A national study. . 2009. 26 November 2010 http://drdouglas.org/page_resources_articles_2009gtext.html
Hartney, Elizabeth. What Is Video Game Addiction? 10 July 2010. 26 November 2010 http://addictions.about.com/od/lesserknownaddictions/a/videogameadd.htm
Jones, Steve, Mike Ferlazzo and Douglas Gentile. ISU’s Gentile authors study finding nearly 1 in 10 youth gamers addicted to video games. 20 Aprial 2009. 26 November 2010
Orzack, Maressa Hecht. Q&A with Dr. Orzack: Computer Addiction Services. 1997. 26 November 2010 http://www.computeraddiction.com/peter.htm
Schlimme, Mary. Video Game Addiction: Do we need a Video Gamers Anonymous? 01 Aprial 2008. 26 November 2010 http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1719
Tournemille, Dale. First-person shooter: The video gamer’s addiction. 28 August 2002. 26 November 2010 http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/ExclusivesSciTech/20020828/game_addiction_020823
Turner, N., M Griffiths and R Wood. Video game addiction – Is it a “real” disorder? 26 October 2010. 26 November 2010 http://www.techaddiction.ca/video_game_addiction.html