Bad Habits: Video Game Addiction
It is very common nowadays to see parents getting frustrated with their children when all they do is play video games all day. It is becoming a distraction from school work, daily lives, and maintaining social connections. The gaming business is growing at an exponential rate. “The Entertainment Software Association estimates that in the United States, 58% of the population owns a gaming console. In 2013, the video game market totaled $93 billion in revenue and is projected to reach $111 billion by 2015” (Psychiatric Annals, 379). There is more and more gaming systems produced every day. Last year alone 2 new gaming systems were manufactured and the chaotic experience when trying to buy one during the holidays was extreme. There are websites made specifically to help people decide what gaming system to buy for the holidays.
There are many symptoms of gaming addiction. Addiction: The more of these symptoms you can identify in your child, the greater the need to seek professional help:
- Most non-school hours are spent on the computer or playing video games
- Falling asleep in school
- Falling behind with assignments
- Worsening grades
- Lying about computer or video game use
- Choosing to use the computer or play video games, rather than see friends
- Dropping out of other social groups (clubs or sports)
- Being irritable when not playing a video game or being on the computer
Gaming addiction causes families a lot of distress and professional help is often needed. If you notice these symptoms in anyone you know, help is available around and seek advice and counseling for the child. The earlier it is stopped, the less severe it may become.