Game addiction console and computer – What is it??
The gaming addiction console and computer addiction d.h. Addiction to computer and console games can be found in all social classes and age groups. As is possible with substance-related addictions, the person affected develops a psychological dependency on gaming. In order to understand the processes involved, it is necessary to take a closer look at the games and their effect on the players. A gambling addiction is not a sudden event, much more a development: In the beginning there is the joy and fun of the game. It’s often about the challenge of accomplishing tasks. Since there is progress and a reward system in most games (unlocking equipment or the like), the player gains control over more and more facts in the game through improvement. Growing this control leads to power in this virtual universe and ultimately an increase in self-esteem. From this chain, the brain learns to cope with stress and eventually experiences greater and faster success than in the real world; the virtual is thus preferred to the real. Researchers have been able to demonstrate this process by measuring brain waves.
The so-called EEG ( electroencephalography) shows that the happiness messenger dopamine is released during positive experiences in the gaming world. The gambling-addicted brain thus learns to reward itself. In the process, other stimuli that could also trigger feelings of happiness are atrophied. The consequence of this is then psychological dependence. Characteristic of this are corresponding withdrawal symptoms while not gambling and the loss of control over one’s own gambling behavior. Role-playing games, also known as RPGs, are particularly "dangerous" because they are highly addictive due to a particularly sophisticated reward system and increased pressure from playing together online with other users. Gamers arrange to meet at fixed times of the day and night to complete virtual tasks together, thus neglecting other more important things.
How to recognize gaming addiction console and computer?
On this issue, it’s worth noting that in today’s world, it’s common for people to spend a lot of time on their PCs. Therefore, time spent on the computer alone is not an indicator of addiction. There are several factors that come together.
Addicts lose all sense of time when sitting in front of the screen. The withdrawal symptoms mentioned above manifest themselves in restlessness, nervousness or sleep disturbances. Other conspicuous features are increasingly altered leisure behavior and, as a result, hardly any time spent with friends or doing sports. Affected persons isolate themselves continuously and show little interest in things outside the virtual world. The addict’s performance at school decreases and depression becomes more prevalent. aggressive behavior up to fisticuffs, triggered by restrictions on game time, are also common. In extreme cases, even suicide is threatened in order to extort the desired gaming time. Console and computer gaming addiction was given the name "IDG Internet Gaming Disorder" as part of medical research as a research diagnosis. Within the framework of this research diagnosis, nine parameters have been defined on the basis of which the presence of gambling addiction can be determined.
Nine diagnostic criteria for recognizing gaming addiction:
- excessive preoccupation with console or computer, d.h. mental appropriation
- withdrawal symptoms such as irritability or sadness when there is no opportunity to play
- need for longer and longer playing times, the so-called development of tolerance
- recurrent unsuccessful attempts to bring gaming under control
- no more interest in formerly interesting hobbies and leisure activities
- Parents and family members are deceived and lied to about the amount of time spent gaming
- Continuing to play intensively despite realizing the consequences
- Gaming is used to escape from or mitigate negative moods (z.B. helplessness, feelings of guilt, anxiety)
- Endangering or losing an important social relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling
Self-recognition of gambling addiction
Here the age plays a decisive role. Adolescents usually live under the roof of their parents without existence problems. Everything is taken care of and they only have to worry about a few things. In this case, a computer ban is seen as mere harassment on the part of the parents, rather than as a therapeutic measure. According to this, it is not promising to wait for students to recognize themselves.
The situation is different for people who already have to stand on their own two feet. Because adult addicts quickly jeopardize their livelihood if they cannot break away from gaming, there is a greater willingness to do something about their behavior.
What can be done against gambling addiction and how can those affected be helped?
To have a preventive effect, parents can set up manageable rules for computer use and thus try to avoid an emerging gaming addiction to consoles and computers. Furthermore, they should always encourage creativity and active leisure activities. Showing interest in what their children are doing also prevents losing touch with them. In addition, every parent should be a good role model and not spend too much time on the PC or in games.
If the above-mentioned factors have occurred and there is a suspicion, the conversation with an expert should be sought. Due to the increasing relevance of this problem in the highly networked world we live in, there are a large number of specialized addiction counseling centers. In the case of therapy, psychological treatment is undergone on an outpatient or inpatient basis, depending on the severity of the addiction. Just as the brain "learns" an addiction, it can learn again the proper and controlled use of computers and games. In order to prevent relapse, it is important to actively plan recreational activities.
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About the author Jan Bohlken
Jan Bohlken (Founder& owner of the Profiling Institute) is a study and career counselor, career coach and personnel consultant. In the blog of the Profiling Institute, he regularly deals with a wide variety of topics from the environment of school, study, career and education.
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