Video game addiction is a very real thing, but more often than not, we end up misusing the term. Just because you like playing video games a lot does not necessarily mean that you are addicted. On the other hand, thinking that you are not addicted to video games is not proof of the same either. The only way to be sure would be to compare one’s own habits with the established symptoms of video game addiction. Stay with us as we discuss some of those symptoms and more on the topic.
Understanding the Definition of Addictions in General
The general definition of any addiction in general, is constituted by the following properties related to the activity in question.
- Dependency (psychological, physical or both)
- Uncontrollable compulsion
- Chronic recurrence of the two above
- Social isolation on account of the activity
- Physical and psychological harm
- Financial harm
- Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, anger, depression, etc. on stopping the activity
A simpler, less comprehensive but accurate description defines addiction as the uncontrollable compulsion to repeat an activity over and over, irrespective of the physical, psychological, social, and financial harms it might be causing to the individual and those around them.
Are You Addicted to Video Games: Differences between a Hobby and an Addiction
A hobby is an activity that we like to do or take part in willingly, as well as stop whenever we feel the need to do so. An addiction is a condition of the mind where an individual has lost that control to stop on their own, even when they know that they need to.
Let’s, for example, take a popular game like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, aka PUBG. If you really just like the game a lot, then you should be able to stop when you know that you need to, and you will not be spending tons of money on new skins. Someone addicted to the game, however, will be unable to control themselves on both those fronts.
How Hobbies Get Mistaken as Addictions Quite Often
As the reader may have noticed, being chronic in their symptoms is a requirement for someone to be termed as addicted. What that means is if you stayed up a night playing a new game, it doesn’t mean that you are addicted. Spending a small bit of cash periodically into a game that you really like doesn’t mean that you are addicted to it either. It’s when those activities become chronic or repetitive, and you go beyond a certain threshold both in terms of spending time and money on video games, that it can be termed as an addiction.
The same applies to gambling as well because a lot of people register on GAMSTOP in their early days to stop their gambling addiction, only to realise later that it wasn’t exactly an addiction to begin with! If that is indeed the situation and you are convinced that registering on GAMSTOP was an overreaction, rest assured that there are non GAMSTOP gambling sites to play on as well. Check out this list of non GAMSTOP casinos on The Best Casinos, if you could not identify yourself with the symptoms of addiction discussed here. Their list is a well-curated one, so all non GAMSTOP gambling sites mentioned in there are legitimate, regulated online casinos with impressive collections of slots and classic casino games.
Symptoms of Gaming Addiction: Let’s Get Specific
Both gambling and video gaming addictions have quite similar symptoms and effects, so be wary of the following, irrespective of the type of gaming that you might be interested in.
- Restlessness, irritability, insomnia, anger, depression, and anxiety, after spending a few hours away from video games
- Creating false impressions by lying to others, and often themselves, in respect to how much time and money was spent in playing the game
- Social isolation: Always choosing video games over social interactions
- Tiredness, sore eyes, wrist pain and headaches due to excessive playing
- A gradual increase in the time spent playing video games, or in most cases, a particular game
- A complete or gradual loss of interest in other previously liked hobbies and activities,
- Neglecting responsibilities/work/studies and even personal hygiene chronically in favour of spending more time on gaming
It should be noted once again that having any one or two of these symptoms for a short amount of time doesn’t necessarily make it an addiction, but if it becomes chronic and more of the symptoms mentioned begin to make themselves apparent, that is when you have a serious gaming addiction your hands that needs to be dealt with immediately.