The video game market is on target to be worth approximately 90 billion dollars by 2020, with a current value of around 76 billion dollars, it’s clear this trend is not going away anytime soon. With over 2.5 billion players worldwide, the findings and research suggest, many younger citizens are vulnerable to tech-addiction. Just like other activities, in moderation, healthy and age-appropriate gaming content can be beneficial to users. However, it is important to find a balance between tech usage and physical activity.
What is Video Game Addiction?
Video game addiction is a person’s uncontrollable impulse to use video games, which in turn, could create problems in other facets of their life. We can thank the booming video game industry for the addicting content and storylines that most often appeal to individuals between the ages of 18 and 35. Although, trending games such as Fortnite’s Battle Royal are attractive to gamers of all ages, regardless of being rated T for Teens. In most cases, this impulse control disorder can stem from almost unlimited access to PCs, consoles, and mobile devices & unrestricted downloading.
Online gaming can be used as a way for people to connect with others and form relationships, taking away from real life social interaction. Players will create their own digital atmosphere and, grow relationships with other players. This separate world feeds the video game addiction and can lead to security and health risks.
Also, must read: Internet Addiction Disorder.
What are the Signs of Addiction?
Some common warning signs of video game addiction include:
- Inability to cut back on gaming time, or gaming longer than intended
- Using gaming as a way to cope with emotional distress or to avoid problems
- Poor job or education performance
- Lying to others about the excess time spent gaming
- Constantly thinking about gaming, when they played last, when will they play next, etc.
- Excessive anger, frustration, or use of adult language while playing games
- Gaming or technology related withdraw symptoms
What are the Effects?
A person who is addicted to video games may experience the following:
- Noticeable mood swings
- Irregular eating schedule or lack of eating
- Lack of effort and performance in school or work
- Increased vulnerability to cybercrime that could include cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and possibly identity theft
- Lack of communication with friends and family
- Sleep disruption and deprivation
Learn more about the risks of video game addiction here.
Ways to fight Video Game Addiction
- Establish screen-free rules in your home and enforce them strictly
- Enable advanced device settings and data restrictions to limit usage
Tip: While in the settings, make sure the operating system and device software are up-to-date in order to combat the latest malware attacks and viruses
- Encourage activities which get loved ones off screens; reading, writing, outdoor activities, sports, etc.
- Start slowly and build up to a regular routine that doesn’t include gaming
- Seek help through family members, school counselors or outside professionals