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Gaming fanatics show hallmarks of drug addiction

Excessive computer gaming has the hallmarks of addiction, suggests new experiments on "drug memory". The researchers argue it should be classified as such, enabling "addicts" to start seeking help.

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newscientist.com
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wii on your face3777d ago

I think the main point is that anything could be habit forming if it is used as a sole coping mechanism. It’s like any fixation, after utilizing only one thing as the “reward”, or however we want to put it, after an extended amount of time, that thing becomes necessary to cope, just like social conditioning. If you constantly associate one thing with positive feelings, before long you won’t know how to receive that same feeling from many other sources. But I don’t think this is really addiction. Addiction has to do with consequences and withdrawal. I can understand drugs/sex/alcohol, because you can seriously harm yourself and others as a result of your addiction, and you keep doing it regardless. But who really suffers that much if some loser sits in his bedroom all day playing some game? I mean sure, the loser does, but people suffer everyday, and how much help does this guy need to get up and go out and talk to someone or get some fresh air?
An example. I love smoking marijuana. Certainly I use it as a coping mechanism, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t partake. When the stuff runs out, I definitely go through that “damn I need a hit” feeling and even a little bit of irritability. When I sit around on the weekend smoking all day, sure I feel a bit antisocial and anxious about being around a lot of people. The thing is, if I tough it a bit and make myself go out and have a good time, because I know I should, I usually end up having a good time and forgetting about it. I tend to equate addiction to the inability to stop in the face of serious consequences, not ‘man I’ve been playing WOW all day and I really don’t feel like stopping and I feel awkward around real people’. Dude feels awkward around real people because he hasn’t been around anyone for three days while he stares at a computer screen! Does this guy need help, or will he feel better if he just gets up and makes himself be social for a bit? I guess I’m just not sure if this constitutes addiction, or is just a matter of constant positive reinforcement. It may be a result of depression or something, but I don’t know if addiction holds water. Just a thought…