Video games have become a large part of our culture today, going back to the earlier days of Duck Hunt and even further, Centipede! As a new form of interactive entertainment, the video game industry has grown enormously and with it the outstanding technology. Technology used today for video games is so realistic and interactive, that in fact for some the video game world has become reality. According to new research released today, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) more than 150 million Americans play video games. The report, 2015 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, also shows that 42 percent of Americans play video games regularly, or at least three hours per week. With such a large part of the population today using video games and related technology, it’s no wonder then why concern for growing addiction is at hand. Notably, there are also many people who can enjoy video games and still be able to function normally in their lives, without signs of concern regarding addiction. However, for others in question there are behaviors that can help determine how to tell if you have a video game addiction or not. Exploring what these noticeable behaviors look like can help navigate whether a loved one, or yourself, is facing video game addiction.
What Is Considered To Be An Addiction To Video Games?
How to determine if you or a loved one are experiencing normal video game play or unhealthy addiction lies in the behaviors shown and continued. Video game addiction is a serious mental health disorder, and it can have huge implications on an individual’s life. Video game addiction is defined as the overuse and obsession-related behavior of an individual in playing video games that increases over time. Those experiencing addiction have an obsession, despite the negative consequences and serious problems they experience in their own life. Adding to this from a genetic and/or scientific standpoint is the relation between the brain and video games addiction. Research has shown that people who are predisposed toward addiction have lower baseline levels of dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters such as endorphins and norepinephrine. Meaning they’re more likely to get hooked on any behavior that increases dopamine, such as playing video games. Engagement of dopaminergic behavior increases dopamine levels so that the dopamine-reward pathway is activated. Therefore telling the individual to repeat what he or she just did in order to get that feel-good dopamine reward again.
Simply put, those individuals with this predisposition will have their brain crave video game play more than those of people who have normal baseline neurotransmitter levels. Giving perhaps another way on how to tell if you have a video game addiction and why it could happen.
How To Tell If You Have A Video Game Addiction
Being realistic in observation of behaviors and quality of life is important in gauging how to tell if you have a video game addiction. Concern comes into play when video games seem to be the only way to relax, bring joy and excitement, and become your focus in daily life. Recognizing an addiction to video games itself is a huge step in the healing process, as it takes a lot of strength and self awareness to begin. For anyone not quite sure if their video game play is a healthy way to decompress or is on the verge of becoming an unhealthy addiction- awareness is key. And the sooner the better. Video game addiction treatment facilities, such as Omega Recovery, are a step in the right direction for anyone seeking a break from an unhealthy virtual reality. If you or a loved one are concerned about video game addiction, pay close attention to concerning behaviors that can be tell tale signs.
Mood Fluctuations – One of the easiest signs to recognize in how to tell if you have a video game addiction is mood swings. If feelings of restlessness and/or irritability when unable to play video games are felt, then addiction may be at play. Preoccupation with thoughts of previous online activity or anticipation of the next online session is also a huge indicator or video game addiction. Lying to friends, family members, and colleagues regarding the amount of time spent playing video games is unhealthy and unrealistic. Loved ones recognize changes in behaviors and actions, so it’s best to pay attention to how others are interacting when it comes to your game play.
Just One More – Whether it be one more level, one more hour, or one more game- there is always that just one more. How to tell if you have a video game addiction can be answered in how often you tell yourself “just one more”. Individuals who are addicted to video games exhibit what usually starts out as an hour of playing games, which then quickly becomes two hours a day the next week. Then steadily increasing to 4 hours a day the following week, and so on. In that same scenario, what perhaps starts as one game, becomes two, becomes three, and so on. What starts out as one more level before stopping play becomes two levels, then before the person knows it the game is already over. This feeling of always needing to do just one more is a sure sign that addiction to video games is at play.
Lack Of Interest – Whether it be family time, friend time, school, work, or any other forms of daily obligations and enjoyment- a lack of interest in your everyday life and relationships is a sign of video game addiction. For couples, a sign of detachment and loss of engagement from a partner is a sure sign of how to tell if you have a video game addiction. Often those who you love will feel ignored or abandoned when video games are chosen over quality time spent with them. Family members asking about your game play, noticing a difference in your interactions with them and your hygiene are also a sign of potential addiction. Work performance issues are also a clear indicator that video games have become a serious distraction. If breaks, lunches, and down time at work or school are being used to play video games then a problem most likely exists.
If any of these behaviors seem familiar to you then video game play may actually be playing You. Sometimes learning how to tell if you have a video games addiction can be beneficial in truly determining if a problem exists. Thankfully, there are experienced, qualified, and supportive treatment facilitators and centers that can help you break free from the chains of video game addiction. Omega Recovery is the country’s best program specializing in the complex issues of the digital age – blue screen and video game addiction. Omega Recovery is an accredited national and local provider of mental health & technology addiction treatment services that include individually specialized programs. Our evidence-based programs are delivered across the entire continuum of care to improve and restore quality of life for individuals and their families. Video game addiction can have serious consequences, and if left unaddressed can destroy a person’s living reality. There is no better time than today to start the path of recovery from video game addiction, start living your best life Today!