It has been a while since I have written a blog for Gamespot. Since my full-time job requires me to make long commutes from home to work everyday. Now, I am on a two-week vacation (staycation) from the hectic travel and work, so I have a little bit of time write and share this blog to the gaming community. In the past, I have written and posted links related to video game addiction, and other related addictions such as mobile phones, internet, social media, TV, and gambling addictions that are right across the board with electronics and technology of our generation.
We as human beings have lost the natural skill of performing critical thinking along with possessing the interest of interpersonal interaction with one another instead of being heavily dependent on social media. All in all, we completely disconnect ourselves from the natural world. If we think about it, there are so many addictions, back in the previous century, we think of drugs and alcohol as addictions. Then when we noticed the rising growth of obesity in North America, we look at Fast Foods and overeating as an addiction. Since video games were invented in the 1970’s, people who lived in that era (the era of Hippies, Disco music, Divas and the Vietnam War) never thought that TV games would be an addiction, let alone an individual having a gaming disorder as a mental illness. When the 1980’s rolled in, video games were everywhere, viewers were being overwhelmed with video game ads through catalogues and TV commercials. You can play video games at home in front of your TV, and it expanded into handheld, portable games, and at Video Arcade areas from across the city. The video game industry became so big, nobody thought it can consume people, especially the youth alive in a bad way. Video games has become the most favourite topic to talk about in the schoolyard and other social events that young folks go to.
I admit to myself, that I was a video game addict, and I guess that is the reason I bring up this topic occasionally. In the 90’s my addiction to video games became noticeable and this was before the era of HDTV games, and the big online gaming boom. I was nicknamed the “Video Game King.” I was into video games so much, I can picture the images when I close my eyes, I always think about video games and talk about video games. It became a serious issue when I procrastinate and lose interest in doing mundane task, such as house cleaning or starting a homework assignment from school. My parents were strict and enforced a time limit on my game time. During the school week, no video games, the weekend I can play video games. I found that it is a very common disciplinary action parents take to their kids who are addicted to video games. It was hard for me to discipline myself to play games moderately instead excessively everyday. One treatment that worked for me, was writing out a schedule/timetable, like teachers give to their students on their first day of school. I write an outline on when I eat my meals, when my reading time is, when I go outside and play etc. It took me a couple of years to get out of my addiction.
Parents notice their children becoming addicted to technology to the point where they punish their children extremely, and I’m not talking about physically abusing their kid, but taking their device (cell-phone, laptop, game console), and breaking it, and I have seen YouTube videos on this. I find it too much. I think that taking their game console away from them and lock it in a personal safe or something like that if they are playing too much games, or that their marks in school are declining is just enough to discipline your kid. In my youth, most of the kids got outside interacted with each other and got some exercise. Video game addiction and gamin disorder was not looked at seriously during the 80’s and 90’s, at that time the controversy was that violence in video games was setting a bad influence on kids hence the ESRB rating system being implemented in 1994, although I digress. Nowadays, kids are not interested in doing recreational activities with other kids, they just live a sedentary lifestyle. Also, think of their diet, their eating habits. The youth can get so addicted to gaming, that they don’t get much sleep, and the worse case scenario, they barely eat. Then there are game addicts who are overweight, due to eating too much processed foods, and living a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, you have underweight game addicts and overweight game addicts.
There are many addictions to think of these days that we must be aware of such as drugs and alcohol, TV (the couch potato effect), video games, shopping (mostly a habit in female youths and also linked to video game addicts mostly in males spending money on the games they want to get) gambling, food (can be fast foods, or sweets, exercise (which I consider the lesser of multiple evils), addiction to trying to look handsome, beautiful or look thin (is related to eating disorder such as anorexia), and Internet Addiction. When you subcategorize Internet Addiction you get online gaming, information addiction (which I consider the lesser of multiple evils at least you are getting your education), gambling online, and addiction to X-rated content (I made the effort in modifying the terminology suitable for this website). We as human beings must redeem ourselves, discipline ourselves, and take control of your own destiny. I am not saying the Video game industry should shut down; or should be ban out of the continent. I love video games, but you got to know when to put down the controller and do something more productive.
Here is the link to the CNN article and video of the World Health Organization classifying Video Game addiction as a Gaming Disorder as a Mental Disorder:
Here is a definition of Addiction: