Yesterday we introduced the topic of the week, video game addiction. I said that it was not as controversial as the ongoing discussion about video game violence, but the more I think about it, the more it seems that the issue of gaming “Addiction” may actually hit closer to home for many people. While stories of people committing acts of violence because of games are few and far between, it seems almost everyone knows someone who plays an unhealthy amount of video games.
The statistics in yesterdays infographic painted a fairly dark picture of what it must be like to be a gamer. That’s why I wanted to follow it up with this interesting little video, made by the team at Extra Credits, which does a fantastic job of approaching the issue from a gamer’s perspective.
If you don’t have time to sit and watch the 6-ish minute video, here’s the “too long; didn’t watch” version:
FIRST: Most of the hysteria around “game addiction” distracts from real, important issues.
1. There is no epidemic of people dying from game addiction, despite sensationalist stories.
2. Gaming is not “Addictive” in that it doesn’t alter your brain chemistry, but it can be very “Compulsive.”
3. Gaming compulsion does exist, but that doesn’t make games evil.
- Games (like everything else) don’t need to be perfect to be good.
- On the flipside, we need to be able to recognize the problems in order to solve them.
4. Game compulsion doesn’t exist in isolation. ie: games are never the only problem.
FINALLY: Games can be compulsive, especially among children. Parents can’t just blame games for society’s ills, they need to recognize that games are a part of our society and learn how to raise healthy children within that society. The best tip is not to just “make them go outside,” but to actually play with them and teach them firsthand how to have healthy playing habits.
Tomorrow we’re diving into a firsthand account of just how powerful a gaming habit can be. Feel free to sound off in the comments- Have you ever known anyone who struggled with this? Have you yourself?