Video Game Addiction hasn’t yet been included into the list of medical addictions by the American Medical Association. However, over the past decade it has become more and more evident that video game addiction is a real thing, and it’s an awful lot like any other forms of addiction, be it to nicotine, psychotropic drugs, or any other.
Video Game Addiction can cause an individual to retreat from their social world. It can cause individuals to grow anxious at the drug source being taken away. Even your brain responds to video game addiction much the same way as to any other drugs. That is, pleasing video games triggers the dopamine hormone in your brain, which is associated with pleasure response. This is the same chemical released into your brain with actual drugs, and it’s the prime cause of addiction.
If you’re a parent concerned about whether your child suffers from video game addiction, you need to look out for the following signs:
- Retreating from other Social Activities: Video games, especially multiplayer video games, can make an individual feel included into a social world. As such, it gradually replaces the individual’s actual social world with the virtual one. If you know someone who has been ignoring all social activities and friends for the sake of video games, you might have someone dealing with addiction.
- Poor Performance in School: Those who are addicted find it hard to focus on anything else. The addiction takes up all of their head space, and when they’re not feeding the addiction they’re in physical agony. As such, someone who is addicted to video games won’t be able to concentrate on school activities, and as a result their performance will suffer.
- Aggression: If you take away your child’s video game privileges, how does he/she react? Do they get anxious? Do they get angry? Do they get violent? If you answered yes to these questions, your child might be addicted. Addictions can eventually turn into a “need”, and as such immediately taking it away would incite a violent reaction.
This is by no means an exhaustive set of signs and symptoms to look out for. Furthermore, just because someone displays these signs doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re addicted. However, you can use it as a rough guide to determine your child’s addiction. Once you do, you need to find out how to beat that addiction.
The infographic linked to above — designed by Gaming Chair Insider — is a great summary of what video game addiction is like and it should help you determine how to deal with it.