The problems with gaming addiction(and the cure efforts).

I can play the computer for up to and not limited to 5 hours per day. As soon as I hit home, I bathe and glue my eyes to the screen.
I don’t go out unnecessarily, only for school or my odd jobs. I spend most of my savings on games and computer peripherals.
My emotions are easily swayed by happenings in the virtual reality world.

I am a game addict.

Or am I?

The problems with gaming addiction lie within the term itself. I’m not going to say there are no game addicts, but there is a lot of effort made to defame gaming in our society which does nothing to help the situation. Gaming addiction is not like drug addiction. You can’t cure it by taking away the computer the way you take away drugs. These gamers are not reliant on computer games the way drug addicts crave drugs.

We need to understand the underlying issues that are plaguing this group of humanity that are confined to their desktops. Too many of these issues are swept under the rug; we see only a man seeking the pleasures of gaming, nothing further than that. The shortsightedness of these public views must be corrected to provide proper help to the afflicted. But am I going to say that gaming addiction does not really exist? No. I’m just going to say that is is rather different from drug addiction. We cannot use similar methods to cure game addiction like how drug addiction is cured. Actually, game addiction is similar to addiction to money, fame and even social status. Game addiction has a more social factor to it than most people would think. 

Attention: video game addiction has not yet become an official diagnosis in either the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or  International Classification of Diseases (sometimes also known by the abbreviation ICD), I would henceforth use the term Gaming Compulsion instead.

I loved that kind of power coursing through me. I felt strong, ready to overcome any quest or challenges thrown in my way. Everyday, I learned to better myself and watch my character bank grow. I meet new people, talk to them and congratulate each other whenever we reach a new level or complete a great quest.

I see this as indicative of larger societal problems that lead to these gamers being cooped up in their virtual world; Escapism. Some, but not all, “video game addicts” choose to spend a majority of their life within the virtual reality because they seem to be doing better in this world than in the real world. Their insecurity in real life drove them to seek refuge in the virtual reality, a shade from the glaring, judgmental sun. This is a paradise where they can safely grow to become the person they want to be; strong, self-reliant and socially accepted. Problem is that it’s not exactly real. The solution to this problem is definitely not by removing the game itself; this would devastate them. The person they are in game has now become definitive of the person they are, and destroying that would crush his spirit. So what if he is not able to game anymore? His problems have not been solved, and his basic needs for human interaction and social acceptance will not be fed, and not have any chance of being fed. It’s no wonder why one would react so violently if the game was taken away.

Then there is the other group of people. Always on dem chat channels, talking to players around the globe. Well, it is an MMO, so it’s rather common sense that it functions similarly to a society. This is rather indicative of gamers having a sense of responsibility to the pseudo-society the way “normal” working adults do in the real life. MMORPG video games and others that involve many people could be considered actual, functioning societies. So perhaps the problem is not that people forget their duty to society, but instead simply drop the social contract they had for the first, and adopt the new social contract of the video game society. And that is one that is seems to be more rewarding and easy than the former, so why should the gamer go back to real life?

There is no need to take away the game. The gamer himself must realize that he needs to get out of his/her house and get those levels IRL if he/she needs that money for sustenance. Some learn it the hard way, some slowly gain enough confidence in themselves through the virtual reality to bring it with them into the “other world”, some will never learn. I am not saying that gaming is bad, it is a choice of life, a personal preference.

For all you gamers out there… how about trying to “gamify” life? 😉

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