Can You Really Be Addicted to Video Games? - Deepstash
Can You Really Be Addicted to Video Games?

Can You Really Be Addicted to Video Games?

Curated from: nytimes.com

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A new disorder

A new disorder

The World Health Organization officially added a new disorder to the section on substance use and addictive behaviors : **“gaming disorder

**

A gaming disorder is defined as an overly and uncontainable preoccupation with video games — the obsession results in significant personal, social, academic or occupational impairment for at least 12 months.

However, the idea that someone can be addicted to a behavior, as opposed to a substance, remains contentious.

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The term "addiction"

Addiction can include:

  • Addiction as a moral transgression, like excessive drinking or drug use.
  • Addiction as a scientific disease, which characterize alcoholism and drug addiction as biological.
  • Colloquial violation, which applies the term to almost any fixation. 

The idea that someone can be addicted to a behavior, as opposed to a substance, remains debatable.

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Arguments against gaming addiction

  • Excessive gameplay is a symptom of a larger problem, like anxiety or depression.
  • The fear of possible addiction arrises from moral panic about new technologies, not scientific research or clinical data.
  • Making excessive gaming a disorder can harm the gaming industry by stigmatizing their products. 

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A new framework for Addiction

A new framework for Addiction

Experts refer to addiction as a complex behavioral disorder that joins biology, psychology, social environment and culture.

Addiction is now defined as a compulsive engagement in a rewarding experience despite severe consequences.

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Video games are a social problem

  • 2+ billion people worldwide play video games 
  • A typical gamer in the US spends 12 hours playing each week.
  • 60% of gamers neglect sleep to keep playing.
  • 40% of gamers have missed a meal.
  • In 2018, people worldwide spent a collective nine billion hours watching other people play video games on a streaming service.
  • South Korea passed a Shutdown Law in 2011, which prevents anyone under 16 from playing games online between midnight and 6 a.m.

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Why video games feel so addictive

  • Video games are alternate realities. We experience great satisfaction from our gaming achievements. When compared, real-life seems so much harder and less gratifying.  
  • Video games sometimes provide the guise of genuine social connection. In reality, it can push someone into a dangerously secluded way of life.
  • In games, there are rules and defined goals. Progress is quantified. There are no real-world consequences of failure. In essence, gamers gain a sense of inflated purpose and accomplishment. By contrast, the real world seems mostly bland, and self-worth can be difficult to obtain.

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Video games are designed to be addictive

With the help of hired scientists, game developers have employed many psychological techniques to make their products as unquittable as possible.

  • First, players are enticed with easy and predictable rewards.
  • To keep players interested, many games employ a strategy called intermittent reinforcement, in which players are surprised with rewards at random intervals.
Some video games punish players for leaving by refusing to suspend time.

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