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Are you addicted to gaming?

Does your life revolve around videogames? Do you pine for your darling console when you're away from home? If so, then perhaps you have a problem. Doctors in the US are currently campaigning to have videogame addiction recognized as a "formal medical diagnosis", according to an article in the LA Times, and so ensure that gamers afflicted by the habit get the right treatment.

Now, everyone knows that videogames are addictive - just like TV, gambling or Facebook. The tragic casualties in Korea should be enough to convince anyone of that. But how do you know if you've got a real problem, and not just an overactive evening hobby? Well, here's a few questions you should be asking yourself, some inspired by the LA Times article and some from Games Radar's own veteran experience.

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Torch3709d ago

Oh well, at least I haven't yet resorted to the demeaning 'slops bucket.'...

Nope...no need, because those trusty Depend adult diapers have been working just fine. ;)

Diselage3709d ago

well at least you have that going for ya.

Torch3709d ago

But things still get a little out of hand even for the Depends, following an evening at Taco Bell.

(Sorry...I couldn't resist.)

DirtyRat3709d ago

I think gaming addiction is certainly a problem, I noticed it in my stepson, he would stay in and play games himself all day if we let him, and I ended up having to ban him from the console.
I think it is generally just another sympton of depression though...people get addicted to soaps, daytime TV, and of course drugs/alcohol, but gaming can be just as destructive...people missing school, not socialising etc.

I do feel though if it wasn't gaming they were addicted to, it may very well be something more dangerous...so whilst Jack Thompson will no doubt wet himself at this article, I do think gaming addiction whilst "sad" isn't exactly "dangerous". (unless of course you dont eat or sleep!).

Torch3709d ago (Edited 3709d ago )

if it's usually necessarily attributed to depression.

Despite my generally happy childhood, it was virtually impossible to pry me away from a console or arcade machine once I got my hands on it (or at least as long as the quarters lasted.)

Although I must admit that it could be deemed as a form of escape/procrastination/etc., it's always been quite simply one of those things that I've always simply loved and been attracted to...and probably will for the rest of my life.

And despite what Wacko-Jacko (the questionable laywer; not the beige-gray pop-star) claims, there are many, many, MANY worse emotionally/physically harmful things to be addicted/drawn to, or indulge in.

But I agree that it is up to the parent to regulate the time a kid spends playing video games (or watching TV, eating habits, homework, toys...the list is endless.) It's just that video games have wrongfully become the scapegoat 'du jour.'

Granted, there are some games an eight-year old should never be exposed to simply because their minds aren't yet developed enough to understand the big picture (i.e., Manhunt), but it just kills me how, while video games in general are deemed the black sheep, no one ever points a finger at often-negative, propaganda and income-driven media such as your local newspaper or news broadcast.

Personally, I think the continuous intentionally devastating images and stories on CNN does exponentially more harm to a kid than having him play Rayman Raving Rabids for an extra hour or two (which can arguably be quite beneficial, such as attributing the development of hand-eye coordination, cognitive function, and more.)

Although I agree that NO addiction is acceptable: IF they've gotta be addicted to SOMETHING, so be it video games.

It's always more beneficial than crack or Jack Daniel's.

Or Wolf Blitzen.

ehandlr3709d ago

I'm 28 years old, married with a kid, own my house, have 2 cars and work a full time job. I own the Wii, 360, PS3, PSP and DS. I play games everyday pretty much and its my favorite past time. Am I addicted?

No...I'm not. It just so happens that I have the choice of defining my own interests and video games are a stimuli that can affect many parts of the human interest at the same time. If I were to read books 24/7...it wouldn't be considered an addiction.

How about avid gamers score higher in school tests then non-gamers. Or how avid gamers are the prime candidate for the military. There are many bonuses to gaming...and moderation is the only key that should be considered when gaming.

Ravenator5293709d ago

Only I don't own a PS3 yet. But anyway I have my PS2, 360, Wii, DS, and PSP. I too am 28, married, one child, two cars and a house.

And no, I don't consider myself "addicted" to gaming either.

I would consider myself "passionate" about gaming. Its most definatley my #1 hobby.

But I don't put my family or work to the side for video games. My gaming doesn't start until everything else is taken care of.

But yes I do believe that gaming can become a problem for people. When you start putting things like work and family and even social life to the wayside for a video game (*cough cough World Of Warcrack cough*) you may have an issue.

Luckily for me, when I was a kid, the Atari and Nintendo were the only consoles around. As a kid I was still more interested in going outside to play and video games were played either at night or if the weather was too bad to play outside.

Games today are different. Kids are getting hooked at earlier ages. I think parents do need to make sure that their kids have healthy social life.

DirtyRat3709d ago

whilst you two are at it: I am 29, have a wife 3 kids, a car, a house and 2 pet cats! :P

anyway...it sounds like you are striking a healthy balance between gaming as a hobby and your real life (as do i) but when youngsters in particular do nothing but game all day, I would definately say they were "addicted"...gaming of any sort is addictive, as you get a high when you accomplish the task, and SOME people can get addicted to this feeling very quickly, just like in gambling.
Whilst gambling can ruin you financially, video games can ruin you socially.

r10003709d ago

Have you ever missed a meal because of videogames?

HELLS NO.... I LOVE TO EAT BABY... and no I'm not a fat body, I go to the gym and do ALOT of cycling...

Diselage3709d ago

Missed a meal for gaming? Yeah. I've missed a meal just because i didn't feel like making food though too. Some of these question apply to all addicts but i'm really hoping that the AMA doesn't classify gaming being able to be addicted too. It's kinda like gambling addiction though i guess.

Raziel McGee3709d ago

"Am I addicted to gaming?"... you bet, But I know when to say when. There was a time where I could pull a full night at work come home and play another 8-10 hr. I don't do that any more, my children are more important to me than any game.
I think that the people that play games all the time (addicted) would have some other addiction than games {drugs, food, sex, whatever....} to substitute

Diselage3709d ago

I agree, my gaming addiction takes up most of my time so i can't get into other addictive habits. I have an addictive personality, i could have a lot of problems i know if i let myself. Also gaming allows me to vent a lot of frustration that i would have to another way to vent. About the only other constructive way i could think to vent would be exercise which would work part of the time but not all the time.

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