It is the same old tale we have heard for years , is gaming bad for you and can you get addicted to it? The answer is yes, but it also has some extremely positive qualities to it when looking at it from an educational and family orientated point of view.

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Dr Daniel Loton  rom the University of Melbourne says that addiction can be applied to any activity, and that gaming addiction affects the way we interact socially and with others and brings about anxiety, depressions and overall poorer mental health.

Dr Loton gave his insight on Counterpoint, an Australian radio show that covers various points in life. He went on to say that diagnosing an addiction has been outlined into 6 main components, of which, each of them relate to excessive video game playing.

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  • Salience – preoccupation with a particular activity. usually when one activity is prioritised and can cause a motivational monopoly.
  • Withdrawal – if it is taken away a person may have withdrawals
  • Tolerance – need to do that activity more and more to achieve the same level of buzz. They experience a loss of control – attempt to reduce or quit but can’t despite psycho-social problems.
  • Deception – may have deceived family members or therapists to hide the addiction.
  • Mood modification – to escape feelings.
  • Conflict – with other activities and relationships

Although the research shows that video games can lead to these above components, it was also shown that they have a positive impact on a person when used as a social and family directed activity.

Dr Loton did say however that the research does not show what type of game or genre the addiction comes from, but he did say that right now it seems to stem from online gaming. The doctors are calling this diagnosis Internet Gaming Disorder, which was formally known as Gaming Addiction.

Gaming Addicition

Research shows that these “addicts” start by adjusting their priorities around gaming and that their next gaming sessions starts to take priority in life no matter what. Dr Loton says that gamers become less reliant on the “want” to play games with the “need” to play them. Certain gamers have lost their job with the need to play a game rather than work during office hours. Productivity drops, and employees becomes less and less focused on the job at hand. Dr Loton says that this is the last resort in gaming addiction.

Motivation to do certain things takes the back seat in life while you focus on the next objective in a game. If a game gets taken away, then a person becomes irritable and restless. Gaming addiction also has a massive impact on one’s financial situation as in-game purchases and new retail releases start to cost more and more, forcing gamers to fork out more money for them rather than focusing on actual financial responsibility.

Gaming Addiction

Older gamers however have been found to use gaming as more motivational activities in life. Gamers from the age of 37 – 50, use gaming to bond with their family and friends.

An important part of gaming however is the connection with other people, and many games with a large social aspect has proved to be beneficial to socializing no matter what age bracket you are in. People use gaming to catch up with friends around the world, and it has even lead to relationship connections between people.

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It seems that self control is key to keeping yourself from becoming a serious addict. Many people we know personally have succumb to gaming addiction and would rather sit at home all day and play games than go out with friends. When they do go out however, they are unable to be social as they lack the skill to do so. Keeping a balanced lifestyle could be the best way to avoid becoming one of these introverts. Say what you want, gaming is addictive, but knowing your priorities will avoid any health issues in future.

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