How can gaming transform from pure fun to an addiction? Are you on the road to that transformation?
Gaming can remain your freedom!
Gaming addiction is becoming a very important subject as time passes by.
In most cases, online and offline games are pastime activities for adults, teenagers, and children. Unfortunately, for some people gaming becomes a prison.
People have a natural need to play since early childhood. Over time, a play developed and transferred from the embodied world to the online imaginary world. That transformation brought us new benefits but also some challenges. How to stay healthy and productive in real life while gaming is one of the challenges.
Recognizing signs of unhealthy gaming, for you or your child, makes it easier to stay healthy. That knowledge gives you control to prevent stumbling towards gaming addiction.
Addiction is (definition from Merriam-Webster dictionary) a compulsive, chronic, physiological, or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity that has harmful physical, psychological, or social effects.
In the case of abstinence, there are usually some additional symptoms like anxiety, irritability, tremors or nausea.
Let’s use this definition on gaming example.
Gaming – the chain around your life’s legs
Imagine that that substance or activity (mentioned in the previous chapter) is playing games. It becomes your habit, you can’t stop playing, and if you do you are becoming nervous, cranky, and you are hardly focusing on other aspects of your life (friends, family, job…).
You are just thinking about playing your game again. You can’t enjoy other activities as you were able before.
Gaming, in this scenario, is no more choice and fun. It is the chain around your life’s legs. As it is with any addiction, it will have a negative impact even on your gaming performance.
Gaming in everyday life
In most cases, people are playing games to relax after a stressful day or just to have fun. If you are a teenager, or you have teenagers at home, you already know that gaming is a way of spending time with friends.
When gaming becomes the main way to deal with frustration in life or gaming becomes your life it is starting to be a problem.
You will probably have problems in dealing with, for example:
- problems related to your job or school,
- relationship problems with friends and partners,
- an uncertain future that is in front of you,
- or any similar day to day stressful situations.
In general, if gaming is the only way how you deal with stress, your gaming activity could be more than a daily fun activity.
Higher risk of gaming addiction
Now, let’s take a look at indicators of higher risk from gaming addiction. There are different studies on this subject, and we will try to sum up the main indicators of addiction.
Some of the dominant signs of possible gaming addiction are:
- missing school or work in order to stay home and play games,
- feeling uncomfortable in real life but feeling great in the virtual world,
- spending more and more money on games and neglecting other life areas,
- feeling strong unpleasant emotions while not playing – if you are not able to play for a certain period of time (have to work more, family responsibilities…),
- you are ashamed about how much time you spend playing and you are lying about it.
Check your gaming addiction risk with an anonymous online test, especially if you have recognized yourself in the indicators mentioned above.
Importance of addiction prevention
Prevention is the best way to fight against gaming addiction or any other addiction.
If you think that you are already with one leg in the gaming addiction, it is responsible and wise to reach for help and bring back the quality in your life and gaming.