Playing Computer Games – Is it Really Addictive?

A few years back, video games became a hit all over the world especially among kids and teenagers. Instead of playing tag or any kinds of sports outside with the sun’s rays shining down on their healthy and tan bodies, youngsters now prefer to stay inside the house, slouched on a couch while playing games on consles. Sometimes, children do not want to go outside and interact with ‘real people’ and neglect their families, studies or jobs because they are too busy with their ‘virtual’ lives. They do not want to be disturbed most of the time and they tend to hide inside their virtual shell. They are irritable and they shrink their duties. Can this be called computer games addiction?

There are debates going on about gaming addiction. Despite researches about the topic, it is not yet clear whether it is a psychological disorder or not. Some experts say that playing video games could make one addicted to it but right now, it is not considered as a mental disorder. However, there is a possibility that it may be considered as a mental disorder come year 2012.

Being addicted to gaming is the same as being addicted to other things such as alcohol or drugs. It could also be compared to compulsive gambling. However, addiction is much more related to youngsters than other kinds of addiction.

Last year of April, a survey was conducted and it found out that around 8.5% of the children and teens that play electronic games are already ‘clinically addicted’ to them.

Computer games that are especially addictive are the ‘massively multiplayer online role-playing games(MMORPGs).

Why are these types of games more addictive? There are things that motivate a person to them. Playing is not just about fun, emotional reasons could also affect it such as rewards, freedom, and interaction with other players. In real life, we have problems and most of the time we cannot do anything about them. In virtual life, we can control our lives and when we commit mistakes or die we can have another shot at it and try again.

You can check if a person is addicted to computer games by observing their behaviour. Like what was mentioned previously, people who are addicted to computer games tend to withdraw socially. They are sulky and they feel depressed. If these behaviours harm their relationship with other people, then you should be alarmed.

Moreover, they are giving very little attention to, if at all, their responsibilities like studies and homework for students and job for employees and businessmen. People who are addicted to computer games also tend to lie more. They also cannot refrain from playing them even if they feel very tired and unhealthy. There are also physical signs that say if a person is addicted to a computer such as very dry eyes, headaches, loss of appetite, disregard personal hygiene and overall physical condition.

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