Video Game Addiction
In 2007, the American Medical Association called for additional research into what many medical professionals saw as a growing problem: video game addiction. This disorder may also be included in the next version of the AMA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Video game addiction is a serious issue, and one that every parent should be aware of.
Learning about Video Game Addiction
- “Pathological” gameplay is defined as behavior patterns consistent with gambling addiction. More specifically, pathological gamers exhibit at least six out of eleven symptoms of damage to family, social, school, or psychological functioning.
- Pathological gamers, compared to non-pathological gamers, spent twice as much time playing games (about twenty-four hours each week), were more likely to have game systems in their bedrooms, reported having mroe trouble paying attention at school, received poorer grades at school, had more health problems, and were more likely to feel “addicted.”
- Some of the symptoms of video game addiction include the following:
- Lying to family and friends about video game usage
- Using video games to escape from problems or bad feelings
- Becoming restless or irritable when attempting to stop playing video games
- Skipping homework in order to play video games
- Doing poorly on a school assignment or test because of time spent playing video games
- If you think that your child may be addicted to video games, it’s important to seek professional help. Your family physician is a good place to start. You can also read our Guide to Video Game Addiction for assessments, information, and more advice.
Pathological gaming and video game addiction are serious issues that are affecting families around the world. For most kids, video games are a fun part of a healthy media lifestyle—it is important, however, to make sure that time spent playing video games doesn’t encroach upon other important things, like physical activity and social interaction.
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Are You Worried about Video Game Addiction?
Our Guide to Video Game Addiction has resources and practical information to help you.