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Computer Gaming Addiction

by: Melina Ann Collison ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Gaming addiction does not have to rule someone's life. There is a great deal of aid and resources for people who seek it. Addiction help for video and computer game addicts is similar to other psychological disorder treatments.

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    What is Computer Gaming Addiction?

    Many people struggle with addiction each and every day. Addiction is an obsessive compulsive need where the person cannot stop their behavior. They are psychologically dependant on their “addiction". Video game addiction and computer game addiction can become very serious. MMORPG games do not have an end and are considered one of the most addictive games on the market. This is not only important for kids. Adults and parents sometimes need help balancing their gaming with their family life as well.

    Photo By John A Ward   Although gamer addiction has not been identified as a specific disorder or illness it falls under the lines of impulse control and obsessive compulsive disorder. Psychologists and medical professionals understand that this addiction is psychological and some people need expert care and specialized help.

    Photo By Lincolnblues'  

    Great deals of people may accuse the addict of overusing video and computer games, not understanding that the addiction is a real issue in life. Understanding when someone is addicted can be one of the most difficult parts of gamer addiction.

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    Signs to Watch For

    There are many signs and symptoms of gamer addiction to watch for. Here are a few but the list is not limited to only these actions. Depression and other psychological illnesses can be an indicator of gamer addiction as well.

    Signs to Watch For:

    • Withdrawing from social contact or things they once enjoyed
    • Having more social contact with people in the game than friends and family
    • Spending more time on the Internet or in front of the television playing than the person does in real life completing everyday tasks
    • Canceling appointments or outings with people in real life to play a game
    • Concentrating on “in game" accomplishments and achievements rather than real life
    • Talking about the game constantly; not being able to hold a conversation about anything elsePhoto By AlBakker  

    In Extreme Cases:

    • Loosing weight; not eating
    • Lack of personal hygiene
    • Loss of job; not paying their bills
    • Spending excessive amounts of money on the game, “gaming equipment" or computers
    • More than 4 hours a day of game play
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    How to Get Gaming Addiction Help

    There is a great deal of resources available to addicts if you know where to go. Addiction help is readily available in every community and town. There are support groups online and in your area that will help addicts cope with everyday life and strengthen their willpower. Contacting the addict’s primary physician for a referral to a mental health professional is possibly needed as well.

    Photo By Afroboof  

    Some hospitals and support groups offer a 12 step program similar to other well known addiction programs widely used in today’s society. When an addict starts going through treatment they will experience withdraw symptoms that can range from severe to mild. Depression, nausea, procrastination, getting physically ill, and in rare cases death and suicide are only a few of the symptoms someone could face if they do not seek medical help.

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    News Coverage of Gaming Addictions

    There has been much news coverage of gaming addictions, how they affect people, and the harm the addictions have caused. The repercussions from any addiction can be devastating and gaming is no different.

    Here are some news stories regarding gamer addictions:Photo By Vectorlyme  

    · The Dragon Ate My Homework

    · Stress over teen’s ‘addiction’

    · Child dies as parents play WoW

    · Parents Suing Blizzard, Claiming Child Jumped to Death While Reenacting WoW Event

    · Video News Report from A Current Affair: Child who is addicted to MMORPG

    · CBC News Report – Top Gun: When a video gaming obsession turns to addiction and tragedy

    · China imposes online gaming restrictions Updated

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    Additional Information

    For additional information regarding video and computer gaming addictions check out the multitude of online resources. Learn more about gamer addiction from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources article Gamer addiction: A threat to student success! Ask questions and get information online from a licensed clinical psychologist Maressa Hecht Orzack, Ph.D. on her website.

    Photo By Hipponotized  

    On-Line Gamers Anonymous offers Internet support groups for addicts. Review their 12 Step Program and list of Withdraw Symptoms for gamer addicts. There is also an article on which games are the most addictive.