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The Xbox Conundrum - Is Video Game Addiction for Real?

Posted Aug 25 2008 3:43pm
Is video game addiction real? It depends on who you ask. Psychologists and sociologists are debating this question as we speak.

I've had lots of people searching for answers to this question on my blog. Men love video games, right? In my last post about video games I mentioned that for many men it's not an addiction, it's just a passionate hobby.

Sometimes There Is A Bigger Problem

For other men, however, video games are a serious problem. There are three reported cases of men dying because they played video games for three days or more without sleeping, eating, or drinking. It should be pointed out that all of these deaths were gamers addicted not to XBOX or other consoles, but to Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPG's) like World of Warcraft or Everquest .

There was a medical conference on the issue in 2007. Video game addiction has not yet become an official diagnosis like alcohol or pornography addiction, but it has not been ruled out either.

How to Tell If You or Your Spouse Is Addicted

If you have four or five of the following problems, you might need to seek professional help with your gaming habits:

  1. Persistent thoughts of the activity or performance of the activity. (Preoccupation)
  2. Need for increased time spent on the activity to achieve satisfaction or diminished reward for the same amount of time spent on the activity. (Tolerance)
  3. Inability to control, stop or diminish the behavior. (Loss of control)
  4. Restlessness or irritability when prevented from partaking in the activity. (Withdrawal)
  5. Lying to friends or family about extent of involvement with activity. (Continuance despite adverse consequences)
  6. Committing illegal acts to sustain activity. (Continuance despite adverse consequences)
  7. Relying on others to finance activity. (Continuance despite adverse consequences)
What to Do About It

There is just one official treatment center for video game addiction in the USA, and a facility has been opened in Amsterdam. China has one too.

Most scientists agree that video games do not physically cause addiction like drugs or alcohol. Games are instead the means of avoiding some sort of other problem. My recommendation is that if you feel that you are having a problem with gaming then talk to someone about it . Talk to your spouse, a friend, your mother, or a therapist. Find out what it is that you are trying to avoid. Face your problem.

Remember, for most people, video gaming is simply a serious hobby like boating, stamp collecting, or others. If your gaming is causing a problem with your life however, then you need to face up to and do something.
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