Gaming Is It Addictive
Gaming addiction, something we think will never happen to us or anyone we know, after all it is just a game, it can't possibly be a serious problem. The layman opinion is, it can't be as serious as other addictions. Serious things like alcohol or gambling. When people say they are, or were gaming addicts, most peoples reactions are much the same. The first thing that pops into their minds is ( Oh just grow up ). What they do not realize, is that it can be just as hard to give up a gaming addiction, as it is to give up any other psychological addiction such as gambling. Although there are numerous similarities between gambling addiction and gaming addiction. Many psychologists still do not believe that gaming addiction should be classified as a disorder. As such not much study has been done on it. I am very confident , that as gaming addiction becomes more prevalent in our society, this will change.
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How Many Hours Do You Spend Gaming?
While not as serious as substance abuse, it can be devastating to a persons life. Social interactions, family members, work, personal health and hygiene, all of these things come second to a gaming addict, the addicts main priority being the Game.
While it is extremely rare, there have been cases of people dying in front of a computer, after many hours of nonstop game play. Whether they died because of underlying health issues, or whether it was the hours of gaming that caused the health problem that led to their death, is a question that needs to be answered. Long hours of sitting immobile does have detrimental consequences to a persons health.
As an ex avid gamer, I have seen gaming behavioral patterns, from the casual gamers commonly referred to as weekend warriors, to the daily 5 to 6 hours online hardcore gamers,
Very often gaming addicts refuse to admit they have a problem, and an intervention by family members or friends is required. If the intervention is successful and the gaming addict realizes he/she has a problem, do not expect things to be smooth sailing. the withdrawal symptoms are very similar to other psychological dependency disorders. Some of the most common reactions are, anger, depression, frustration, loss of appetite, irritability and most common of all, many addicts, take a step backwards, they reconsider their stand on their addiction and revert back to denial.
Support from family, friends and a structured 12 step program will make the road to recovery smoother.
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How Most People Stereotype Gamers
The stereotype that most people imagine, is that of an underachieving geek, living in his moms basement. Low paying job, unpopular, scruffy looking, out of shape , usually a male teenager.
This is a stereotype created by the media, the truth is anyone can be addicted to gaming. for example, a friend of mine was popular in college, he worked as a sales representative, he made a decent living , had his own apartment, and a very nice girlfriend. He started as a casual gamer, playing counterstrike on weekends in the neighborhood cyber cafe with a few friends. But the game that really got him hooked was, world of warcraft, it just seemed to catch something in him, as soon as he started it was all he could talk about, he would sit down for 8 hours a day, go to work, come home and rush to his computer, he started losing weight, ignored his friends, his work performance suffered, he suffered physically, he started to get bags under his eyes, he lost muscle tone, started to get back pains, stiff neck, headaches. the problem was, at the time, no one took his gaming addiction seriously. We all thought it was a phase he was going through and that he would get over it. But this continued for months. And by the time we realized that he was addicted to online gaming. It required professional help. While video gaming addiction studies are still in their infancy. My friend did go for counseling and they put him through a 12 step program, somewhat similar to an alcoholic anonymous 12 step program.
People Who Died by Overplaying Playing Online Games
Upon further research of this topic I was surprised to find that people had died from exhaustion during game play, some had committed suicide during fits of depression, and there have been cases of murders related to online gaming addiction.
Death by exhaustion or cardiac arrest due to gaming.
Xu Yan died in china after playing online games for 2 weeks straight.
Chinese man dies after playing online for 3 days in a cyber cafe in China as reported by bbc news,
Seungseob Lee went into a cyper cafe and played an online game for a reported 50 hours before he had a cardiac arrest and died. South Korea
Suicides and Murders related to online gaming
Gamer shoots himself in front of computer, mother blames gaming company, saying they should put a warning label stating that the game is potentially addictive. USA
New Mexico a women is sentenced to 25 years in prison for second degree murder, and child abandonment, her 3 and a half year old child died of malnutrition and dehydration while she was playing a mmorpg.
Alexandra Tobias shakes baby to death for crying and interrupting her while she was playing a social media game, USA
How Many Hours A Day Do You Spend Gaming?
Gaming Addiction is Something to Worry About
While gaming addiction is not as prevalent in our society today as other behavioral or substance addictions, it is something to worry about. And having seen it first hand, it is not something one should brush aside as being a phase, if you are worried that you, a family member or friend is a gaming addict. Do something about it. First get your family and friends involved, you will need a support group. Then look for professional help.
On-Line Gamers Anonymous (OLGA)
If you are living in the states look up On-Line Gamers Anonymous (OLGA) for advice on what are the first steps you need to take, if you are living in other parts of the world, I would recommend looking up local professionals that deal with psychological addiction or substance abuse addictions.
© 2013 ketage