Perhaps you have noticed that your child has spent a lot of time playing games recently. Maybe he has found some new, cool games online and he just can’t seem to stop. At what point do you wonder if your child has an online game addiction?
Video games have become a major part in the lives of our youth. Since our children have more free time to spend playing games, they often find the virtual worlds easier to live in than the real thing. Some children are more than happy to isolate themselves from friends and family to get to the next level or meet some new challenge in a game.
At some point their gaming achievements may become more important to them than the things that are going on in the real world. With the arrival of massive multiplayer online role-playing games, the problem is becoming more acute. According to the Council on Science and Public Health in 2005, gamers that spend more than two hours per day are defined as gaming too much. This is citing the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines that no Idle clicker game child should have more than two hours of screen time per day.
According to Dr. Maressa Hecht Orzack, around 40% of the players of World of Warcraft are suffering from some sort of online games addiction. In a 2006 lecture, 12% of online gamers that were polled reported they had some form of addictive behaviors.
While online gaming addiction is not recognized as a diagnosable disorder by the American Medical Association, there seems to be an alarming number of teens that are suffering from symptoms. As the games become more complex and detailed they are able to compel the player into their virtual worlds. These cool games online also use improved graphics and strategic challenges to entice the players to get more involved.
Not all gamers are addicted, a lot of teens, pre-teens and adults can play with no uncontrollable compulsion. However this is not true of everyone.
Since video games are designed to be addictive and to entice people to play more, it increases the likelihood that a person can become addicted. In some cases the person might be trying to beat a high score or discover some new way to beat the game while the enticement is still there.