Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, Halo, and World of Warcraft are familiar names to nearly all of us. They are all best selling games of major video game consoles. Over 19 billion dollars were spent on video games in the United States during 2009 alone (http://vgsales.wikia.com). Video game consoles are present in 65 percent of homes in the United States (http://www.geeksaresexy.net)! With the increasing amount of time that people are spending on video games, one is left to wonder, is possible to become addicted to video games? Do we need video game addiction to be an official diagnosis? Yes, because if it is its own separate diagnosis there will be more focused treatment.
Anyone old enough to remember Video Arcades will probably remember when video games cost a single quarter to play. Yet there were always those who managed to spend entire days playing with only a few dollars. Even in the early days of video games there was evidence that people were becoming hooked. Whether video game addiction is an official diagnosis is disputable. Certainly there are people who play a great deal, but the question revolves around whether the players suffer. Compulsions, cravings, and withdrawals are all associated with the word addict. Addiction has been defined as "being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming" (http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu). With the use of the less technical definition of addiction, pathological use that is damaging, then video games are certainly addictive. Here are some of the symptoms associated with Video game addiction.
Feelings of anger and frustration when not allowed access to the video game
Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
Sleep difficulties or significant change in sleep patterns
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Aggression towards those who prevent or attempt to limit access to the video game
Frequently playing the game while neglecting important responsibilities
A loss of real world friends, but an increase in virtual world friends
Marital / relationship difficulties resulting from excessive play
With all these symptoms you would think there would be a treatment for the problem at hand and you’re right. Unfortunately since there is no official diagnosis for video game addiction the treatment is similar to detox for other addictions. The only difficulty with that is computers have become an important part of everyday life as well as many jobs. More than two-thirds (68%) of working Americans use a computer at work. About one-third of working Americans (34%) have access to the Internet at work (http://www.npr.org). Compulsive gamers find it impossible to look the other way when they see a computer. It is like a food addict having to overcome/limit food consumption despite it being a part of everyday life. Since...