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Are Video Games An Addiction?


You cannot deny the fact that you love to play them and they are your only companions in your time of loneliness. So are many people who sit in front of their computers or TVs and spend time thinking about the strategies to defeat the enemy or complete that deadly mission. Like it or not, video games are here to stay and more and more are being developed with newer features.

More and more people are getting addicted to playing video games and this is having a disastrous effect on their lives – personal as well as professional. They forget to eat, sleep less, avoid social contact and even do not go to schools and work. This may sound extremely crazy but there are certain figures that suggest otherwise. Let us then have a look at what the studies say:
  • Startling as it may seem, people spend on an average of more than 7 hours a day or about 50 hours a week playing computer games. This is the time that is actually more than what people spend on a full time job
  • Americans have spent more than $ 25 billion dollars on video games in 2010.  The bulk of this goes to console games and mobile games too, have a large chunk of the pie. This fact is considered excluding piracy. Now, that is a lot of money considering our economic situation
  • There are more than 180,000,000 players in the US alone
  • About 44% of people who play games are between the age group of 18 – 49 years
  • About 69% of US households play computer and/or video games
  • There are even players who play games on more than one device – meaning, that there are people who play on computers as well as on consoles as well as on mobile devices. This suggests that they are hooked on to multiple forms of playing device
Having been presented with the figures we can only be awestruck with what is staring at us blankly at our face. There are lots of reports that people have been so much affected by the influence of video games that they have begun to develop serious problems. Though these problems still do not fall into the category of a mental problem and video games are still not being considered as some sort of addiction, they are on the borderline. Certain features that people have experienced while playing can be worth mentioning. Some of these are:
  • While they play games, they get intense feelings of pleasure or guilt. This seems unavoidable to them and they come back again and again to experience the same things
  • They have no sense of time of playing and they relatively feel that they have spent much less time than actually spent
  • They go into some sort of seclusion from friends, family, work and responsibilities
  • Anything other than the world they are into appears less important and meaningless
  • Increased levels of anxiety, anger, restlessness and depression circulate through them when they are not playing
  • After effects include thinking about the game and being involved in mind and body. They continuously think about their strategies, what went wrong and formulate ways and means to beat their opponents. In other words they become one of the characters
  • Their moods change and they their personalities get altered too
  • Finally, they begin to develop physical problems like eye-sight problems, obesity, video induced seizures, tendonitis, nerve compression and postural disorders.
There have been multiple reports from all around of how kids and even adults have become recluses and have developed starkly altered patterns of behavior. If this be the case, sooner or later we are going to wake one day and find a society living in the virtual world of monsters and fantasies and away from the realities of life.

About the Author:
Dr. Williams has been working on psychiatric problems for several years, however he also loves to share his experience through his articles about mental illness in children, psychiatric services, mental disorders and many more. He is an authority in psychiatric treatment and dealing with modern age problems. He is still carrying on research on various aspects on human relations.