Today, the gaming industry has turned out to become a billion-dollar industry, but video games are no strangers to controversy. It is the predictable outrage that stems from each new Counter-Strike or GTA installment or the calls to ban pretty much any game featuring an above-average level of violence; some portions of society are inherently mistrusting video games. Video game addiction is a modern concern, with the idea becoming more widely known as gaming has increased in popularity, and more people understand that it is not merely a childish pursuit. But some researchers question the extent of the issue, wondering whether the historical trend of demonizing gaming is leading to some enthusiastic gamers being incorrectly labeled as addicts.
The question that presents itself is: how do you tell the difference between somebody who loves playing games and somebody who has a serious psychological issue manifesting itself through a game addiction? If you step outside of the academic and somewhat pedantic discussion on the issue, it can be summed up as follows: video game addiction (or something else that looks like it) almost definitely exists, but we do not know too much about it yet.
Behavioral addictions, like shopping or gambling addictions, invariably stimulate the release of the same neurochemicals integral to drug addiction. Research has shown that players’ dopamine levels double while they are immersed in games, thus establishing a likely physical basis for the issue as this chemical is also stimulated by cocaine and many other substances. If you or your loved one has reached the level of gaming addiction, you can visit stillwatertreatment.com for an effective solution.
Psychologically, the issues suggesting addiction are clear to anybody familiar with the problem: when somebody ruins relationships, neglects work responsibilities, and even puts his or her children in danger to pursue a continuous habit, there is one unavoidable suggestion. Many of the more severe stories stem from South Korea, where the problem is particularly serious.
There is a lot of uncertainty in the existing research on video game addiction, and the lack of clear diagnostic criteria is a big part of this issue, not to mention inadequate follow-ups to determine whether treatments are effective. An Indiana University doctoral student, Drew Zaitsoff, suggests that many of the studies assume that any dedicated playing is an addiction. While he does not question the existence of the issue, his point about “enthusiastic” playing is a very important one. The history of misunderstanding and over-criticism of video gaming reflects the viewpoint of many in the pre-gaming generations; from the outside, gaming seems odd, socially detached, and obsessive.
Of course, many experts and researchers understand gamers despite not playing games personally, but it’s easy to see how the desire to beat a level, which persists after numerous failures, could be interpreted as addiction when it could merely be a sign of perseverance in order to achieve a goal. Just because you do not see retrieving an Elven artifact, say, as a worthwhile goal, does not mean that no one else does. It is not addiction just because you do not understand the motives behind it.