Monday, November 10, 2008

Are Video Game Addictions for Real?

Author: Jessica Bradbury

At one time or another we have all said, "I am addicted to…" The difference between the person that says that and an addict is that that person is admitting that they know their behavior is excessive.

The truth is they aren't addicted, and they can go with out what ever the activity or substance is, but an addict can't.

When an addict doesn't get the substance or activity that they are addicted to they are unable to function and/or have unfavorable behavior changes.

This is true even when we are talking about video game addictions. When it comes to video games, many worry about the younger generations.

Our children and the countless hours that they spend in front of the television with the technical umbilical cord feeding there need.

Is your child addicted to video games? Is it even a real addiction? Here we will run down the signs to look for to see if your child is addicted. Unfortunately video game addiction is real.

The main difference between the video game addiction and an addiction to a drug is that researchers have not been able to pinpoint the biological aspect of the video game addiction. What they do know is that when a person gambles their dopamine levels are elevated.

Dopamine is naturally produced by the body, and the way it works on the body is that it is calming, it makes you feel better. Most researchers consider games to be in the same category as gambling.

However they point out that there is more to the addiction then just the brain response, there is always a psychological response as well.

As with alcohol addiction, a video game allows that player to escape from their real life and take on the life of what ever character they are playing. On top of the escape that the video game offers, it also provides the player with a sense of control.

This control can be a key component as to why children are so easily addicted to video games, because it is something that they can control what happens in.

We all remember what is was like to be a young teen, when all we wanted was to be able to control our own lives and make our own decisions, and while as adults we know that we weren't capable of making the best decisions for ourselves then, at that age we thought we were. Video games give children the ability to make their own decisions.

So what harm do the video games really do to our children? Consider the fact that if your child is playing video games for 4 and 5 hours a day, he is not socializing with other kids his age.

He probable isn't doing his homework and that also leaves no time for sports. These are elements of normal childhood development. With out them you increase the likelihood of ending up with a 22 year old male that is unable to communicate with others his age and has the intelligence of an 11 year old.

Are they addicted? Here are a few questions to ask:

1. Is the amount of time playing a game increasing?

2. Do thoughts of video games fill their heads even during other activity?

3. Are they playing video games to get away from something else in life that is going on?

4. Are they lying to you or their friend about how much time they spend playing video games?

5. Do they get irritable and grouchy when told it is time to stop playing or that they are not allowed anymore time?

If you answered yes to these most of these questions it is advised that you seek professional advice.

Video games themselves are not bad, many people can play video games without a problem, and understand that spending a lot of time playing video games is not an addiction.

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