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Kids' Video Game Obsession Isn't Really About Video Games. It's About Unmet Psychological Needs.

Kids Addicted to Videogames

  • When we see kids playing videogames all day, we think they are addicted, and that it is harmful.
  • In most cases, there is no addiction, but just overindulgence,
  • In cases they do seem addicted, it may be due to some unmet psychological needs.

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Kids' Video Game Obsession Isn't Really About Video Games. It's About Unmet Psychological Needs.

Kids' Video Game Obsession Isn't Really About Video Games. It's About Unmet Psychological Needs.

https://www.nirandfar.com/kids-video-game-obsession/

nirandfar.com

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Key Ideas

Kids Addicted to Videogames

  • When we see kids playing videogames all day, we think they are addicted, and that it is harmful.
  • In most cases, there is no addiction, but just overindulgence,
  • In cases they do seem addicted, it may be due to some unmet psychological needs.

Moderate Gaming

Kids have been naturally avoiding schoolwork or household chores way before video games came in the picture.

And moderate video game playing, less than three hours a day is not an addiction but can actually be beneficial for the cognitive and reflexive development of kids.

Unmet Psychological Needs

There are certain psychological needs that kids look for:

  • Competence: Kids need to compete, grow, and attain mastery over tasks.
  • Autonomy: A sense of freedom and control.
  • Relatedness: A want of being worthy to others while wanting others to matter to us as well.

What Kids Want

Ultimately, parents’ intention should be to help kids learn strategies for self-regulating their habits.

By fostering intentional taskwork, and helping kids make proper choices, parents can help kids obtain what they are looking for.

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A new disorder

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

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.

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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Video Games Can Teach You Personal Accountability
Video Games Can Teach You Personal Accountability

The reward our brains feel when accomplishing something in a game teaches us to focus our own actions and helps us control the situations around us. Lessons like this are easily applied in t...

Video Games Are Now Used In Therapy

Researchers designed a game called SPARX to help treat depressed teenagers. The players had almost double the total recovery rate when compared to the conventional treatment group.

Video Games Can Help You Make Friends

Games that are popular or involve social mechanics can help with making friends by giving access to the community that forms around the shared experience. 

Gaming conventions, online multiplayer sessions, and competitions all help players meet new people and make friends with a common interest. 

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Developing mastery

Fun is the experience of developing mastery. When we acquire new skills and recognize valuable patterns, our brains reward us with a shot of pleasurable sensations. 

Games and learning

Games are optimal learning environments:

  • Feedback loops are short, fast and adapted to your skill level.
  • Challenges grow as you develop new skills.
  • Failures are learning opportunities because every time you make a mistake, you get a hint about how you can do better next time.
Boredom and learning

Boredom is what we feel when our brain decides that there's nothing worth learning. It's the brain searching for new information.

And even games become boring at some point because they eventually run out of things to teach you. That's when you stop playing.

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