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The Video Game Epidemic

Updated on September 8, 2010

Why Video Games are Stealing our Boyfriends

Don't get me wrong; I have a few video games that I enjoy playing. Although these are more reminiscent of Frogger, Zelda, and other old-school games than anything that would be deemed "cool" by today's standards, I do have a few games of my own. However, I have seen an increasing number of respectable men being sucked in by video games, and (much to their significant other's dismay) unable to quit playing. Even wafting a plate full of freshly-baked brownies or cookies only distracts their attention from the game at hand for mere seconds.

Why? What is it that will suck a gamer in and cause them to continue playing well into the night (even with work or school early the next morning)? How could someone who flits and flutters around in conversation and loses interest in any station on the radio after approximately 30 seconds of any song, tirelessly play a game for hours on end? The answers may have a deeper root in the psychological well-being of a human that any non-gamer (or gamer) would ever realize.

Achievement. In some games, the gamer will "level up" and unlock new bonuses after earning so many achievement points. Other games allow their players to collect coins, which can be used in the game store to purchase armor, food, weapons, health, etc. This creates a sense of accomplishment, and feeds the drive to keep playing. The harder it is to earn achievement points, the more satisfying they are to win. Just like in all aspects of life, we enjoy doing things that we are good at, things that lead to rewards, or things that boost our confidence when we're successful. Games satisfy this need in their players.

Enjoyment. It might be difficult to understand how some of the games lead to any amount of enjoyment whatsoever, but believe it or not, games can be fun. In the same way that crossword puzzles appeal to some people (although certainly not everyone), games are targeted at people who will have fun playing them. The assortment of games on the market today contributes to different gaming styles, as well. First-, second-, and third-person shooters, adventure games, dance games, sports games, and racing games are only a few of the options that are available. Whether it provides hours of thoughtless manipulation of the controllers, or short bursts of adrenaline-filled, action-packed adventure, there is essentially a game for every gamer. With the release of the Wii console and interactive games, the market is only expanding.

Social connection. Some of the indisputably best-selling video games capitalize on a simple requirement of the human psyche: the need for social interaction. Halo, World of Warcraft, and other MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games rely on teamwork to survive, excel, or beat the game. These games typically encourage not only collaboration, but competition as well. The sense of being needed, wanted, or a part of a group is a basic need for the psychological well-being of any person. Without it, they would suffer from loneliness, low self-esteem, and depression.

By understanding what makes video games so addicting, we are better equipped to encourage our significant others, family members, or friends to maintain a healthy balance of daily activities. Try encouraging group activities, or hobbies and games that the gamer excels at and will enjoy. The last thing you'd want to do is to annoy them, because more than likely, the first method of escapism they'd run to is... you got it... video games.

Continue Reading...

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    • profile image

      mime 5 years ago

      chapstick addiction here

    • Roffi Grandiosa profile image

      Roffi Grandiosa 7 years ago from Bandung, Indonesia

      thx for linking my hub! i just noticed it!

    • Scrapaholic profile image

      Scrapaholic 7 years ago

      I don't know if I have watched a gamer's face when the sound is muted, but I have seen the frustration when someone is talking while the storyline is progressing...

      Is that the same?

    • profile image

      irarrjr 7 years ago

      It is the sound effects. Boys grow up immitating sounds of cars, guns, planes and anything else that makes sounds. Have you ever watched the frustration on a gamer's face when the sound is muted? I on the otherhand prefer solitude and have not allowed myself the brainless release of video games since beating Myst.

    • Scrapaholic profile image

      Scrapaholic 7 years ago

      Chris -- Thanks for pointing out some more reasons why these games are just too hard to resist!

    • profile image

      Chris G. 7 years ago

      I also play video games as a way to relieve stress. Most games don't require too much thought and offer a way to unwind and give my brain some downtime. Sometimes the storyline will be the reason I'll keep playing a game. Often times a level will leave you with a cliffhanger and I have to see what happens next! It's similar to a favorite TV show or a good book.

    • Scrapaholic profile image

      Scrapaholic 7 years ago

      I am not arguing that video games are addictive. I am only explaining why they are, so that non-gamers can understand.

      p.s.- I am addicted to ChapStick, too! Apparently, there is something in it that dries your lips out even more than at first, and it becomes a viscous cycle.

    • evvy_09 profile image

      evvy_09 7 years ago from Athens, AL

      Yes people do get addicted to games but people can get addicted to anything. For example, I'm addicted to chapstick, really, I have to have a tube with me at all times and have been late to work because I lost mine and had to buy more. But, anyway, video games can help you learn skills that you can apply to real life.