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Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction is a serious mental health issue and it affects many people worldwide. It is now such a problem that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed it in their ‘International Classification of Diseases’ and has labelled it ‘Gaming Disorder’. Video game addiction is often listed alongside internet addiction and computer addiction as they can all be part of the same problem.

Playing games is supposed to be an enjoyable pursuit. Games are made to be fun, and this includes video games which millions of people enjoy playing without any problems. However, when gaming starts to take over a person’s life to the extent that it comes first before all other things, including family and work, then it may be the beginning of a serious addiction to gaming. There have even been extreme cases whereby a gamer refused to eat, wash or sleep because they were so obsessed with playing a computer game. So what causes it to be a problem, and what are the symptoms of video game addiction and why do people become addicted to gaming?

There are a number of signs to look out for if you are worried that someone you know is becoming addicted to gaming. The most common video game addiction symptoms include:

  • Putting gaming before school, work, time with family — their school grades, work level or relationships start to suffer as a result of gaming.
  • Being totally consumed with gaming all the time — thinking about their last game/next game — it becomes an obsession.
  • Having no control over whether they play or not — they feel unable to stop and are compelled to play even when they promised to do something else.
  • Feeling angry or irritable when they cannot play.
  • Feeling irritable after playing — mood swings, frustration after a game.
  • Telling lies about the amount of time they spend playing games — lying to family and friends.

The technology of online gaming has rapidly developed within the past twenty years. Remember, video games are designed to get people hooked. There is always another level to reach, or just one more game to play to earn a few more points. The games are interesting and challenging, and the player gets completely immersed at each stage. Game developers also provide in-app purchases so that gamers can buy additional tools to help them reach the next level, so not only are they investing huge amounts of time, they are also spending money as part of the gaming experience.

Video game addiction is as real and as serious as other addictions, such as gambling. There is help available to treat video gaming addiction and, as with all addictions, the first step is recognising there is a problem. You can speak to your GP or a counsellor who should be able to provide details of the types of support available.

Downloadable Video Game Addiction Resources

[Resource Pack thumbnail] Dealing with Addiction

Dealing with Addiction
(resource pack)

Providing the facts about substance abuse, gambling, gaming & food addiction as well as how to help people recover from addiction.

Ebook: £15.49 £10.99 Download

Hard copy: £35.99 add to basket

Video Game Addiction Topics

The gaming addiction topics we produce resources for include:

  • Gaming Addiction Symptoms
  • In-app Purchases
  • Gaming Disorders

Video Game Addiction Blog Articles