I am not one to use therm “addiction” lightly. Many would dismiss video game addiction as merely a bad habit or a product of an anti-scocial personality, but it is very real.
Video game addiction can take over a child’s life and deeply affect their relationships, schoolwork and daily routine. With role-playing games such as World of Warcraft now in vogue, the video game addiction has become far more serious. Because these games have no designated end point, the game goes on indefinitely. This means that kids struggle to put the controller down in order to eat, sleep or even go to the toilet!
In fact, in 2007, a Harris poll found that 8.5% of youths between the ages of 8 – 18 in the United States could be classified as video game addicts.
“The excitement, the thrill and the challenge, for some people gets greater and greater, and then it takes on a life of its own.” Dr. Anna Bacher, a therapist in Sarasota, treats patients with addictions — including those who have a hard time putting down the controller. “It can go to the extreme, where they stop sleeping, they stop eating, the person becomes irritable, lethargic, depressed, highly anxious and very difficult to be around.”
It is absolutely essential that parents are aware of the consequences of an addicted child before the odd game of World of Warcraft and games of its type, become an obsession. Parents should not feel that copious hours in front of the computer amounts to innocent fun.
Yes, gaming addiction is better than drugs. But not as much as some parents may think.