Online video games can be very addicting to the point of seriously impacting a person’s life. You may have read or heard in the news about several gamers over in South Korea dying because they played StarCraft for too long without sleeping, eating, or drinking. While that is an incredibly rare, worst-case scenario and shouldn’t be taken as indicative of this type of addiction at all, online video game addiction is still a serious problem that millions of people have to deal with. In fact, games can cause people to miss work, important events, and avoid responsibilities overall.
Online Video Game Addiction Symptoms
Online video game addiction is prevalent now more than ever because of the rise of broadband Internet access to hundreds of millions of households around the globe. Dial-up was too slow for most people to enjoy online games properly, but broadband allows gamers to play with other gamers around the world without any noticeable lag. The signs of online video game addiction generally include irritability when forced to be away from the console or PC of choice for too long a period (sometimes as little as an hour, and in better cases several days or weeks). If you find yourself growing antsy after a few hours because you can’t log into World of WarCraft, then perhaps it’s time to start scaling back your online activities. If the problem grows too severe, it can have some dire consequences.
Some people seem entirely unable to cope with online video game addiction, and they shouldn’t feel shameful because of it. Unfortunately, many people don’t even believe that such a category of addictions exists, and they avoid the problem through mass denial. People skip school and work to stay home and play video games, and the problem often isn’t laziness. It’s simply feeling bitter emotions when away from the video games, which provide an entertaining escape from the tired patterns of everyday life. Some browse online video game stores at work simply to provide themselves with some link to their virtual worlds.
However, you might find yourself having trouble getting help for online video game addiction specifically as many psychologists are unsure of whether or not it genuinely is a problem to begin with. More than ever agree that it is a problem worth looking into, but there is as of yet really no set treatment to help deal with it. At worst, you’ll have to settle for counseling which helps you cope with the withdrawal symptoms, as well as disciplining yourself to branch out into other types of media.