I watched a really interesting documentary about video game addiction. Why is it so addictive? What could possibly strive someone to play for hours? How much is too much?
Have you ever even heard of this addiction? Ever thought it was real? Recently I have seen a very interesting Panorama documentary ‘Addicted to Games?’ which investigated youngsters obsessive playing of games, described as an addiction. There was one specific story which stood out the most where 3-month-old baby starved to death whilst their parents are obsessively raising a virtual child online. Last September after a long 12-hour online period the parents returned home to find their daughter dead: http: Korean Girl Starved Online
Symptoms of game addiction are:
- Feeling irritable, angry and restless when you are not playing video games.
- Obsessively thinking about video/PC games and playing them whilst doing something else.
- Spending more and more time playing video games but at the same time feeling extreme guilt.
- You would rather play games than spend times hanging out with friends.
- Lying about how long you play video games.
You can even experience physical symptoms like:
- Migraines – due to the intense concentration needed to play video games one may get painful headaches.
- Sleep Disorders – may be caused by one thinking about the game constantly thus finding it difficult to sleep, also may be because your brain is being overstimulated.
- Sore Back – As you play video games one will tend to sit for hours on end in the same position. This is the most common symptom within game users.
- Eating Problems – One may simply forget to eat because they are so zoned in on the game, they may not want to eat because they don’t want to waste time.
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome – caused when the main nerve between the forearm and hand is squeezed or pressed, thus the wrist may become swollen and sore.
We spend over 3 billion pounds on gaming, World of Warcraft has sold more than 12 million worldwide and is the most successful game ever made. Players say that they can begin to substitute the real world with the game world in which they play, thus can have a derogatory effect on your life as it can cause you to lose friends due to the isolation.
“This game is a disease”
– Leo, 20, Panorama Documentary
Robbie Cooper is a video artist who is interested in facial expressions children make whilst playing video games and watching television. The difference between children watching television to the children playing video games is video games pull you in so much quicker. There was one child who actually did not blink at all because he was so engrossed in the game, thus, caused the loss of his blink reflexes. Personally, Cooper’s outcome is quite disturbing as it conveys how gaming has become such a powerful form of entertainment and how immersed people can get – even to the point of forgetting to blink.
Overall, I think game addiction is so addictive simply due to their design. Whilst playing computer games I feel a great sense of achievement when I gain a point or a ‘new life’, and it is these small wins that keep me hooked to the game. Makes me think ‘I can get further’. Casino gambling acquires a similar tactic, small wins of money keeps them playing. This simple idea of new lives can keep me playing video games for hours without even realising. I am grateful that my parents did not allow me to have a Playstation or else I would probably never see them, thus, believe parents should become more aware of this addiction and consider the effects when buying computer games for their child.