Game addiction may not be classified by the medical profession as a “proper” addiction but any one whose life has been affected by a video game addiction can tell you that there is a very real problem.
Video games can’t be all bad, right? Well of course not – they do have some useful benefits. They’ve been proven to help boost hand-eye co-ordination, for starters. Even Prince Harry says that the motor skills gained by playing video games made it easier for him to become a top Apache Helicopter pilot! Video games can also be a useful educational tool. With motion based controls, machines like the Wii and the Xbox Kinect can even help with keeping fit. It’s easy to write off gaming as something for nerds and geeks, but there are many uses for modern day consoles in everyday life. It’s all a case of balance though – once doing something repeatedly or obsessively starts to cause problems in other parts of the gamer’s life, that’s when it becomes a real problem.
Someone who is suffering from a gaming addiction may start to lose interest in their personal appearance, and their personal hygiene routines may take a backseat as they spend hours glued to the screen. Eating easy to eat convenient food, or not eating properly and snacking whilst gaming and not eating regular meals, the gaming addict may suffer from weight fluctuations. More often than not they will gain weight as late night snacks and unhealthy food choices leave them at risk of not just weight gain, but all the associated health problems. An addicted gamer is unlikely to leave the sofa to work off the excess calories by hitting the gym – this eats into valuable gaming time.
Gaming addiction can have a disastrous impact on family and personal relationships. Neglecting their partner in favour of playing video games can cause resentment in a relationship. There was recently case in the USA where a woman was charged with assault after she attacked her boyfriend for refusing to have sex with her, in favour of playing his Xbox. Naked from the waist down, she chased into a supermarket and bit him on the testicles, frustrated and angry her attempts to seduce him away from his console were unsuccessful. Whilst this may be an extreme example many relationships crack under the strain of gaming addiction.
The rise of sophisticated technology and the choice of consoles available, make gaming addiction continue to rise. Whilst most people grow out of videogames in their teenage years, some people never do. They may use gaming as an escapism from everyday life and to avoid interacting with people in real life. They may lose all the friends as they retreat into the gaming world and may find their friends limited to other gamers or people the only know on-line.
Gaming addiction can be a tough habit to break but was help it can be done. Someone who is addicted to video games they have to get rid of their consoles entirely as they are unable to play in moderation.