Although the American Medical Association has not yet recognized it as a diagnosable disorder, the video game addiction is a real problem for many individuals. The addiction is outlined as an impulse control condition that does not concern using intoxicating drugs and is just like pathological gambling. Those suffering from the condition use the fantasy world to link with actual people via the internet as an alternative for real life human interaction, which they cannot achieve in the usual way (King, Delfabbro, & Griffiths, 2013). These individuals may grow an emotional connection to online activities and friends that they develop on their computer screens. Notably, they enjoy elements of online games that offer them an opportunity to socialize, meet, and exchange opinions. Due to much time required for the games to complete, addicted individuals feel loyalty and obligations to other players.
Today, almost everyone who owns a tablet or a Smartphone has played one or several video games. Due to their bright colors, cutesy characters, and above all the satisfaction that one feels when they finally complete a challenging level; people are motivated to keep playing. Increasing evidence is available, which indicates that individuals of all ages and especially pre-teens and teens are the ones facing real and severe outcomes that are connected with the impulsive use of computer and video games. These games are becoming detailed, complex and enthralling to a worldwide audience of players (T van, Schoenmakers et al. 2013). Due to their better graphics, the higher strategic level of difficulties and realistic characters, it is likely that teenagers would rather play the games than watch television, play sports or hang out with friends.
Based on statistics, boys and men have high chances of becoming addicted to video games as compared to girls and women. The average gamer is a male aged 30 years or less who spends close to seven or more hours a week on video and computer games. Additionally, statistics indicate that 90% of youths and over 5 million kids in America play video games and a larger proportion of them might be addicted. This is according to a report issued by the Medical Association's Council concerning public health and science. Also, report analysis indicates that these figures are even higher with close to one-third being males while females being one in ten.
Various motivational theories have been used to explain game theory addiction disorder. Among the theories is the self-determination which states that the well-being and the capability of a person to self-regulate is based on the attainment of a particular psychological needs. Notably, Video games have the capacity to fulfill the needs that the self-determination theory outlines (D Griffiths, Kuss, & King, 2012). Additionally, people who are not able to satisfy these wants in their daily lives turn to video games for satisfaction. For example, completing an in-game goal can make someone achieve competency. Besides, these games offer an opportunity to interact with other players; hence, satisfying the relatedness needs.
Another theory that can also be used to explain video games addiction is he humanistic needs theory, which is best, outlined in Maslows hierarchy of needs. Video games primarily focus on two categories of requirements; esteem and belongingness. Notably, individuals play these games to satisfy these needs. Moreover, the flow theory is applied to video game addiction. It is based on having a topmost experience as one is involved in some activity. Some individuals find these games interesting and immensely enjoyable, an experience that makes them keep playing the game for a long time.
Over the past decade, there has been a substantial increase in video game addiction especially with the development of the internet multiplayer role-playing games known as MMORPGs. These allow games to be plays as part of an online community. MMORPGs have led to massive increase in the number of individuals (especially men and boys) who engage in video games; hence, the increase in addiction.
New research has provided evidence which show that video game addiction is a real problem and not a made-up condition like some people argue. A study at National Institute on Family and Media shows how this condition has manifested itself in the lives of Americans. Data from a nationwide survey of 1,178 American teenagers and kids indicates that between 8 and 18 teens and kids in America play video games with one in every ten of the players showing addictive tendencies. The American Psychiatric Association indicated that some subjects displayed at least six of the 11 signs of pathological gambling. The study forms these institution leaves no doubt concerning the credibility of the data obtained.
Any doubts that the public could be having about the severity of video game addiction should be put to rest now. Addiction to internet games among teens is a serious problem and has led to various problems such as hostility depression and social phobia. Moreover, it is very possible to see people spending a lot of time on their Smartphone, computers or tablets as they play these games. Some teenagers even boycott meals, sports and spending time with friends so that they can play latest games on the internet.
D Griffiths, M., J Kuss, D., & L King, D. (2012). Video game addiction: Past, present and future. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 8(4), 308-318.
King, D., Delfabbro, P., & Griffiths, M. (2013). Video game addiction
New Facts about Video Game Addiction: Problem More Widespread Than Expected Retrieved from: http://www.video-game-addiction.org/video-game-addiction-articles/new-facts-about-video-game-addiction-problem-more-widespread-than-expected.htm
T van Rooij, T., Schoenmakers, T. M., Van den Eijnden, R. J., Vermulst, A. A., & Van de Mheen, D. (2013). Video game addiction and adolescent psychosocial wellbeing: The role of online and real-life friendship quality. Multiplayer: The social aspects of digital gaming, 215-227.
Video Game Addiction Retrieved from: http://www.video-game-addiction.org/
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