Monday, June 1, 2009

Video Game Addiction

People with true video game addictions substitute playing them for normal interaction with friends and family, and the time spent playing them is excessive to the point of interfering with work or school. The time spent at this activity steadily increases as the addiction grows and ending play can bring about withdrawal symptoms of irritability and moodiness. Addictive individuals can spend and average of 70 or 80 hours a week playing these games, reserving little time for work, social life, school or even sleep.

Video Games and Your Kids gathers much of the current research, science and data about why parents should be concerned about their kids spending excessive time playing video (and computer) games. Rather than being the greatest invention since the baby wipe, video games aren't always just harmless fun.

The signs of an addiction in children are easy for a responsible parent to spot. The biggest symptom is the time spent on the computer playing games. Video game time should be monitored just like television watching and the parent must make certain that both activities take place after the normal activities such as family socializing, homework and chores have been satisfied. If a child falls asleep at school often, it may mean that he or she is using sleep time to pay computer games. The child may then lie about the cause of tiredness. The child may also be irritable when not on the computer playing games. If these symptoms are spotted, it is time for the parent to enlist the child's teachers, friend's parent and a professional to help the child overcome this problem.

Adults are harder to monitor but a boss who notices an employee asleep at work or failing performance will certainly discuss the reasons with the employee. It is unlikely that the employee will admit his activity since video game use is usually characterized by feelings of guilt. Friends who notice a person dropping out of activities and becoming irritable or sullen should become involved and discuss the possibility of this problem frankly with afflicted person. It is not acceptable to sit by and wait for the problem to pass. Video game addiction can advance to physical addiction and symptoms such as Carpal tunnel syndrome. Sleep problems, back and neck aches, dry eyes and an increasing failure to maintain personal hygiene. The video game addict has replaced his or her real world with the virtual reality of the game. This person needs all the interest and help friends and family can give him and probably a healthcare professional and support group as well to surmount this problem.

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