addiction-cover

Video Game Addiction: It’s not a Game!!!

handcuffed
                  “BREAKING THE CHAINS OF ADDICTION”

Addiction: Being a slave to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as narcotics. The addiction may cause mental and physical distress if one tries to stop.

Video game addictionVideo game addiction is a distinct addiction characterized by excessive or compulsive use of computer/ video games. It can interfere with a person’s everyday life.

Here are some of the symptoms of video game addiction: 

  • Preoccupation with video games.
  • Playing video games excessively.
  • Starts to become less efficient at work or school.
  • Becomes less sociable and more isolated.
  • Playing habits become out of control.
  • Lies about time spent playing video games.
  • Uses video games to escape their problems.
  • Weight gain due to inactivity and bad food choices.
  • Bad posture because of being in awkward positions for extended periods of time.
  • Delusions may surface because their gaming world becomes blurred with their real world.
  • Being depressed, anxious, or irritable when going for periods of time without playing.
alone
               “WE SHOULD NEVER HURT ALONE”

Besides symptoms, some interesting statistics reveal why video game addiction is a serious concern:

  • A serious gamer will average playing video games twenty hours over the course of a week.
  • Video games are played in three-quarters of American households today. This can and does include kids, teenagers, young adults, parents, and grandparents.
  • A study done in 2008 by John Fabry, Allison Miller, and Allison Milwid revealed almost 9% of the participants showed signs of video game addiction. About 4% of them exhibited extreme usage of video games. Some video gamers would play an average of 50 hours in a week.
  • A series of studies using different parameters on video game addiction was done in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The results classified 12%, 6%, and 3% respectively from those years as video game addicts.
  • Regions of the brain of video game addicts are the same areas of the brain affected when drug or alcohol addicts use their chosen substance.
  • Younger males seem to be more prone to video game addiction than females.
  • Some players struggle in managing relationships. Others have a strong need for intellectual validation. Also, some gamers have a “thrill-seeking” mentality. All of these factors can contribute to video game addiction.
  • Interesting, online role-playing games are the chief contributor to video game addictions.

Video game addiction stories:

Due to the graphic nature of the stories, I strongly warn about sharing these stories with young children. These are cases of the extreme out of control gaming. I also have another post that deals with video games and violence, please check it out.                                                                                                        https://gamingwithgrandpa.com/do-video-games-promote-violence  

Warning: Graphic content ahead!!!

Warning Children
                       “THIS IS SERIOUS”

Top 10 cases of Extreme Game Addiction by Ricky Lam, November 7, 2010, posted on LISTVERSE.

10. Skipping school: A 15-year-old from Perth, Australia, skipped school to play online games over 16 hours a day, for three weeks. How did he do this?

Every morning he put on his school uniform until his mother went to work. As soon as she left, he would change out of it and started playing. His mother would return home after he was supposed to have come home from school.

To cover for himself at school, he had informed the school he was having surgery. His parents finally caught on to his ruse when the school contacted them to check up on him.

9. Teen Burns Classmate: A boy in Beijing took a playground brawl to a dangerous level. Apparently having immersed himself in the game of World of Warcraft. He “became” a fire mage (a game character who burns his soul to burn others) in his mind and set his classmate on fire.

8. Fifty-Hour Starcraft Session: A man in South Korea almost pulled off three all-nighters in a row playing a video game. After a 50-hour Starcraft session, the South Korean man collapsed and died from heart failure. It was presumed that his death was caused by exhaustion.

There have been other cases in China where people have been playing anywhere from 3 to 15 days.

7. Suicide over a Game: On December 27, 2004, Xioyi left a suicide note saying he wanted “to join the heroes of the game he worshiped.” The thirteen-year-old then jumped off a tall building after playing World of Warcraft for 36 hours straight.

6. Girl Dies Because of Neglect: A three-year-old South Korean girl died of neglect when her parents spent more time raising a virtual girl than her. The game they had been playing was Prius Online. It is a game where players work virtual jobs and live in a virtual world.

The couple had left for a 12-hour gaming session at an internet café, leaving their daughter unattended. Upon returning home, they found her dead.

5. Twins Die Because of Neglect: Like number six on this list, a man left his twins in the bathtub as he went to play on his Gameboy Advance. Gregg J. Kleinmark is facing up to 10 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

crime-scene
                     “STORIES THAT BREAK OUR HEARTS”

4. Man Stabbed to Death: Qiu Chengwei stabbed Zhu Caoyuan to death after Caoyuan had sold Chenwei’s virtual sword in the game Legend of Mir 3. Caoyuan had offered the money to Chenwei, but Chenwei lost his temper and stabbed Caoyuan while he slept. Chengwei was given a suspended death sentence for his crime.

3. Teen Kills Woman for Money: In Vietnam, a thirteen-year-old boy was arrested after he killed and robbed an 81-year-old woman for $6.20. The boy confessed that he had done it because he needed money to play an online game.

He strangled the woman with a piece of rope and took the money from her, before burying her in a pile of sand in front of his house. [News article]

2. Teen Murders Mother over Halo 3: Seventeen-year-old Daniel Petric murdered his mother and injured his father after they refused to let him play Halo 3.

The previous entries and most of the entries on this list are related to massively multiplayer online games. This gamer was playing an Xbox first-person shooter game from the “Halo Series”.

It is awful and sad about how he murdered his mother and wounded his father. Petric walked into his parents’ room and said “Would you close your eyes? I have a surprise for you.” Then he killed his mother and shot his father between the eyes. `

1. Shawn Woolley: This is the most controversial entry on the list, and it is the subject of numerous debates.

On Thanksgiving, Shawn Woolley committed suicide, and his mother claimed it was over Everquest, a popular MMORPG (Massive multiplayer online role-playing game).

Sony Online, the game’s developer, says that Everquest had nothing to do with the death. Liz Woolley, however, disagrees. She suspects that something in the game had pushed him over the edge, either a rejection or a betrayal.

Please forgive me for using these extreme stories to show how video gaming can ruin a gamer’s life and the people around them.

Any addiction, not just video games is a reason for concern and seriousness.  Addiction can steal your money, your time, your hopes and dreams. It can separate you from your family and friends, but most importantly it can take your life or huge chunks of time out of your life.

drugs
                           “THE STRANGLEHOLD OF ADDICTION”

I was an addict for 35 years of my life, I am now 62 years old.

My problem was not video games, but drugs.  I would do anything I could get my hands on. If you told me licking a “possum butt” would get you high, I would have been out in the woods with a sack trying to catch possums.

I know the pain, the suffering, the brokenness, the emptiness, the shame, the guilt, and the heartache addiction can bring into a person’s life.

I admit the bad decisions I made in my life were because of me. I chose to do drugs. Nobody forced me. After a time my addiction had a stranglehold on me.

I witnessed the devastation my addiction caused my family. I inflicted wounds to people I loved that still affects them today, especially my daughter Natasha.

I wanted to add one of my own story to help people understand the awful truth of addictions. It can be anything, drugs, alcohol, work, sex, your family, and even religion.

grace
          “I DIDN’T FALL OUT OF HEAVEN, I ROSE OUT OF HELL”

It is only by the grace of God that I am now writing this post.

I wanted this website to include the extremes, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I want this website to be somewhere you can get information about all aspects of video gaming.

I hope I have not offended anyone, if I have, I am so sorry.

If you do have someone in your life or if it is yourself, please don’t take video gaming addiction lightly. There is help.

Next, if I am going to write about the problems of video gaming, then I need to offer some practically helpful solutions as well.

Treatment:

1. Counseling and Psychotherapy:

counseling
         “ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL”

There exist several types of counseling options to help video game addicts.

  • Individual one-on-one counseling
  • family counseling
  • even parent-only counseling 

2. Controlled use or abstinence:
Most addiction treatments require lifetime abstinence from all addictive substances. Video game addictions, however, do not fit the same total-abstinence model.

People diagnosed with addictions related to video game use are not necessarily expected to exclude gaming from their lives.

The idea is to find a healthy balance between time spent playing games, life responsibilities and quality of life definitions

3. Medication for video game addicts:

Although medications may not appeal to some, they can help change the brain chemistry to help decrease cravings for video game play.

One medication, Bupropion, is used to inhibit dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake in the brain. The drug affects the “pleasure center” of the brain that is rewarded after repetitive gaming. More information about clinical trials using Bupropion here.

4. What about 12 step programs for video games?

The truth is that few 12 programs for computer/video game addicts exist. If you are looking for principles and guidelines of twelve-step groups related to gaming, check out Online Gamers Anonymous website.

5. Some steps you can take to prevent gameplay addiction in your child or teen include:

  • Limiting time to one hour or less per day.
  • Keep track of game playing time.
  • Pay attention to problems that result from gaming.
  • Tantrums (shows signs of anger or depression)
    after time limits.
                                             “LET’S PLAY”

6. Wilderness retreats:

It helps gamers get away from video games, computers and other forms of technology. l love this idea. Nothing beats mother nature for decompressing. I live in the mountains of Colorado over 9000 feet above sea level. Oh yeah, I also live in the woods. I love it.

7. Educational Books:

There are many educational resources such as books and online reading that can help those who are addicted to video games to find ways of coping without turning to the gaming unit for help. finding help in treating video gaming addiction.

meeting-with-kids
                           “MEETINGS WITH OUR KIDS”

Talk to your kid’s teachers, your doctors, your friends, your family, your church, but most of all, talk to your kids.                                                                

Unlike drug or alcohol addiction, video games are tied to computers, which are a key part of life for most people. In that way, video game addiction is like a food addiction. I know we don’t need video games like we need food.

Food can deteriorate our health, or it can enhance it. It is our choice. We can apply the same principle to video gaming.

Like other positive activities, video games can have a place in a healthy, well-rounded life, but when gaming begins to take precedence over the school, work, or relationships, then it is a problem. Please check out the following link. https://www.projectknow.com/behavioral-addictions/video-game-addiction/ 

My final thoughts:                                                     

Please forgive me for the length of this post. When I started creating this website, I didn’t want it to be just about having fun playing video games.

I wanted to address and discuss with others the darker side of video gaming. Let’s be honest, it’s there.

Please understand, I know and understand the heartache, the pain, the suffering addictions can cause in one’s life. I have the scars to prove it.

This post was very hard for me to write. In fact, it took me weeks to finish it. I didn’t want to think about the dark places of my past. But sometimes shining the light on our wounds is the only way we can heal.

I hope this post has been helpful. I would appreciate any feedback or thoughts from my readers. Please reply below or email me at johnny@gamingwithgrandpa.com

You all know my motto “Let’s game”, but let me add another, “Let’s heal” as well.

Grandpa, johnny, the Grey Wolf, Watcher of the Woods.  “Our pack, our family”

wolf-family

24 thoughts on “Video Game Addiction: It’s not a Game!!!

  1. I think video game addiction is pretty common across the globe and a huge problem for parents as well. When I was a teen I got into the addiction of video games and it was quite difficult to get out of that situation. Thanks for sharing some great suggestion to overcome the addiction. My nephew is 16 years old and a video game addict. How can I help him?

    • Hi Sanjay, 

      Thanks for your reply. Good for you by coming out of that difficult time in your life. Proud of you brother. Sorry to hear about your nephew. I know it is not easy watching him struggle. 

      I thought a lot about your question “How can I help him?”. My first thought was, “What I am going to say?”. I want to do my best to provide information that will be helpful. We’re talking about someone near and dear to your heart. This is serious stuff.

      By doing some research you should be able to find several options to help your nephew. I would call the hospitals or any counseling and psychotherapy clinics in your area. Maybe talk to the counselor at his school. 

      If you are interested in the wilderness retreats, just google it. I would do the same for educational books about this subject. 

      To be honest Sanjay, the most powerful weapon you have to help your nephew is your own testimony. Talk to him about the struggles you went through. Share with him the pain you suffered with. Just be honest with him. Let him know you understand how he feels.

      I feel your story of redemption and deliverance will help your dear nephew more than anything else. Also, it will probably bring you both closer together. You don’t have anything to lose, but you may gain your nephew back. 

      “Let’s Heal”

      I hope and pray this helps. 

      Thank you, johnny

  2. Thank you for this wonderful review. This has really become menace world wide. The gaming addiction is real. It is really even turning to violence among the teens. The saddest part i read in this post is a young man leaving his lovely twins out in bathtub just to go play game boy advance. This really needs to stop anyhow. Addiction is really bad

    • Hi Kehinde,

      Thank you for your comments. Those tragic stories tear our hearts apart. I agree with you about the sadness of it all. Lives are destroyed over a video game. The damage of addiction can last for decades and go from one generation to the next. 

      This is heartbreaking. Like you said, “This needs stop”. 

      Thank you, johnny. 

  3. Well said Johnny. I was also addicted to video game at a point in my life. When I was I high school, I’ll skip schools for weeks because I went to play game with my friends. My parents had to put me in boarding school to stop me from flunking out of school. 

    Any kind of addiction is bad, and a lot of people don’t know they’ve become addicted to different vices. This is a message I’ll gladly spread, let’s game and let’s heal

    • Hi Louis, 

      Thank you for sharing your struggles with gaming addiction. It sounds like you overcame it. I am proud of you. I know it is not easy to face our own darkness. But you did it. 

      Thanks for spreading this message. 

      Thanks, johnny. 

  4. Addiction is near and dear to my heart as a very close loved one of mine fights the evil on a daily basis.  I am very proud to say she is doing great but its still a battle.

    The stats on video games are very alarming.  I was appalled at the numbers and actually quite in disbelief.

    Thank you for taking the time to do such great close to the heart research.  I know addiction is a very serious issue in any form.

    Dale

    • Hi Dale, 

      Thank you for your comments.

      I hope and pray your loved one has the strength and courage to fight this battle every day. I know it breaks your heart to watch the pain she goes through. It’s a blessing you are there for her. 

      I was alarmed about the shocking numbers as well. The statistics were scary and eye-opening. We can’t ignore or pretend this problem doesn’t exist. 

      Thanks, johnny. 

  5. Dear Johnny,

    May I not congratulate you on your persistence on writing this super helpful post. Any man who devotes that much time must of necessity make discoveries of great value to others.

    Indeed this post is going to change many lives and I got great insights from your posts.

    And I totally I agree there are some dark sides and many problems with this addiction. And the best thing is, you not only discussed the problem but you have provided with solutions as well.

    Hats off to you on your service to others via this website and keep up the great work.

    GOD Bless!

    Paul

    • Hi Paul, 

      I appreciate your thoughts and kind words. The post was difficult for me to write. 

      I was hoping this post would get people to think about this subject, the good and the bad. Not only with the despair, but with the hope as well. Our addictions destroy and steal so much of our lives. I know it did mine. 

      I pray for the butterfly effect with this post. I hope it spreads across the internet and beyond. 

      Thanks, johnny. 

  6. I will agree with you video games should not be taking that seriously I n home country two teenagers handed themselves because a video game they playing called blue whale that tell takes them stage by stage up the point of hanging themselves or throwing themselves in very tall building. So these kids games should be banned or parents should take time to know which kind of game their kids are playing.

    • Hi Charles, 

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. The story of the two teenagers is so sad. 

      I love your point about parents taking the time to know what kind of video games their kids are playing. I would also add, maybe parents can take some time to play video games with their kids. 

      Parents might found out video gaming is another way to enjoy spending time with their kids.  I bet the kids will enjoy it also. A win-win for everyone. 

      Thanks, johnny

  7. Addictions are generally bad from my experience…Video game addictions leading to such terrible outcomes is something I had not heard of until coming across this post…I think it is very good that you are helping people become aware of this, as gaming is so prevalent these days…

    It is not just the kids either. Adults I know play online games a lot, and I really have not been watching to see if they are going overboard. I will start looking for signs and pass this article on if I think they may be helped. Actually, I am going to share this on Facebook as well.

    I really appreciate you adding in your own personal battle with addiction too, it shows me that you know very well what can happen for any addiction, whether it is gaming, alcohol, or drugs.I think many people are affected with addictions if they will admit it or not.

    In my case, I know that I have a tendency to go overboard on anything I get involved in. That includes gambling, drinking, and even exercise. Because I have l have learned this, I am especially careful with any of these activities, as all can cause havoc in your life if they get out of hand.

    Thanks for an eye-opening post on gaming addiction, it will no doubt help a lot of people. This is not a subject that gets a lot of media attention, but it should. There are even lots of competitions where you can make a lot of money if you are good at the games, and that is going to lead more people into this addiction. They need to know what they are potentially getting into if their play-time is hurting other areas of their life.    

    • Hi Dave, 

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I appreciate that you are sharing this post with others. I didn’t realize it was so bad until I started doing my research. 

      I think everybody has or knows someone who has been affected by addiction in some way. Addiction’s tentacles of destruction reach everywhere. 

      I hope we both stay strong to deal with our own struggles. 

      Thanks, johnny

  8. Thanks Jonny, I did know that addiction is anything you do and don’t have control over when to stop. I also knew addiction is harmful but looking at the 11 symptoms and the 8 repercussions, I never knew it was this bad. And those scary stories you shared that happened due to addiction should be noised to the whole world so addiction can be reduced or completely eradicated. 

    • Hi Juliet, 

      I was surprised as well when I was doing the research. Those extreme stories were heartbreaking. As with anything in life, “Before we can solve a problem, we have to admit there is a problem”. 

      I hope this post is helpful. 

      Thanks for your comments, johnny.

  9. Hi,

    I have read the whole review about this information.This really a great information about Video game Addicted.I read your article and found out how people are addicted to video game.This information is really very helpful for us I will share this information with my friends.I believe they likes this iarticle.Thanks for  sharing this informative information with us.

    • Hi Md moinul Islam, 

      Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you sharing the information with others. That is exactly the effect I was hoping for, thank you. 

      I really learned a lot myself as I was doing the research. I hope it is helpful to others. 

      Thanks, johnny

  10. Thank you for shining a light on this sad subject and also for sharing your own story. I can relate to your story as I have my own past issues. One of my boys is headed toward being what I call a “screen addict.” He spends as much time as anyone will let him in front of a computer or tablet watching YouTube videos about various games, playing various games, or just watching goofy videos following his favorite YouTubers. I feel much more educated on the subject of gaming addiction and now I have warning signs and red flags I can watch for. Thanks for this!

    • Hi Shannon, 

      We are all hurt, broken, or wounded in some way. Our scars run so deep, to the bone, to our souls. 

      It sounds like you came out of your past issues. I know that was not easy, but you came through it, Shannon. It took strength and courage to do what you did. Share those stories with your son. Let him know, you have and probably still do, struggle with life. Be honest with him. Let him know you don’t have it all figured out, and let’s be honest, none of us have it figured out. 

      I am not an expert on this. But I feel if I can share my struggles with others, then others are more inclined to share their struggles. Shannon, I have no idea why your son is withdrawing into the virtual world. 

      If he can’t tell you why, then join him where he is. Meet him where he is at. 

      I want to include a poem I wrote years ago. I hope it brings you comfort. It is called the “Wounds of My Heart”. 

      The Wounds of My Heart.

      The wounds of my heart run so deep.

      Tears can’t fill the canyons of my despair.

      Haunting memories lurk around every thought.

      Feelings are lost in the numbness of my pain.

      My sparkle fades into darkness.

      Screams of my shame echo through my mind.

      The torch of guilt scorches my very soul.

      Even death can’t ease the dying days.

      Where is the healer of my broken heart?

      Only a Messiah can save me now.

      I give thanks for a Father who cares.

      He sends His only Son.

      A blameless Savior dies on a cross.

      His blood washes away all the wrong within me.

      Out of His grave, He gives me life.

      I rest in the loving embrace of His arms.

      A reflection of Christ now shines through my eyes.

      Sounds of Grace speak the truth of perfect love.

      His touch reached into my darkness.

      He broke through my pain,

      He went beyond the depths of my ocean of tears.

      As we stand before the Father,

      Jesus looks in my very soul

      He turns to God with a glimmer in His eyes and speaks,

      “Father, I have brought your son home.”

      God bless you, Shannon, we bring comfort as we have been comforted. 

      Your brother in Christ, johnny, the Grey Wolf, watcher of the woods. 

  11. I’ll be honest at one point I was addicted to a video game online called Conquerclub which is just a online version of the board game risk. While I still play there as I’ve gotten older I start to recognize what’s more important….

    Now honestly my cases aren’t as extreme as the ones you brought to our attention, but I can tell you I wasted a lot of time that could have been spent on doing something useful.

    I’d say the main thing that helped beyond getting older was the fact that I realized I had a problem and was playing a game that had no affect on my real life. I know this isn’t easy for everyone, but it’s definitely something that helped me.

    • Hi Josh, 

      Thanks for your comments. I agree, it is easy to waste a lot of time playing video games. Once you get caught up in the story or you want to get to the next level, it is hard to put the controller down. I have to watch myself as well. 

      Even though I do loving playing video games. I really don’t play a lot, mostly on weekends. I try to get other things done first. I try to make my playing time a reward for getting other things accomplished. But to be honest, every once and awhile, I just want to veg and play the day away. I try not to do this very often. 

      When I play video games, I want it to be fun. I don’t want it to be an escape from my responsibilities and my family, especially my wife, Cindy. 

      I am glad you came to realize what is important in your life. Good job, Josh. 

      Do you play any other games?

      johnny. the Grey Wolf, watcher of the woods.  

  12. Saying that I am terrified after reading this article is an understatement if there is anything worse than that, I will liken my mood to that right now.

    I know I have heard a lot of things about video game and how it can affect ones’ life style, but never have I imagined it could be this terrible.

    After reading these case studies, especially that of a man abandoning his twins in a bathtub and then the one that killed an old woman just for $6+ and the one that even committed suicide! All for the sake of playing game! I am beginning to fear for my son, who’s life revolve around games at the moment

    Though he hasn’t started exhibiting most of the above-stated characters, he is someone that can go a whole day without food just being immersed in his game 

    Sometimes he even prefers the world of game to associate with others, which I am beginning to get concerned about 

    From this article, I think its time I take a necessary measure to help him now before it gets too late, I will consider some of your suggestions to start with…

    NB: Please don’t ever feel bad for writing about extreme cases like this, I want to believe you are not hurting anyone in the process, but helping people in the dark to realise the dangers ahead and this will also help to jolt anyone in denial into facing reality and seeking for help. (My opinion though )

    I really appreciate you for this. Thanks..

    • Hello Queen, 

      My prayers and hope go out to your son and you. I didn’t mean to alarm you, but I don’t want you to ignore any warning signs. I was hesitant about adding those extreme cases of video game addiction. But I didn’t want my website to be just about the fun part of video gaming. I want to address the dark of as well. 

      I know sometimes dealing with real life is so painful. So often we want to be numb of the world and all its cruelty.  I suffered from my own addictions and all the pain and heartache it brought into my life. 

      Queen, I wish there were words or something I could tell you to do to fix this. I think you are taking the first step is recognizing there is something to be concerned about. Let’s be honest going without food and isolating one’s self are not healthy. 

      One thing I would advise is to talk to your son. Let him know how much you love him and that you are worried and you have a right to be worried. When our children are in pain, it causes pain in us as parents. 

      Maybe you can check out what he is playing and maybe try playing with him. But he needs to be willing to do things you want to do as a mom and son outside of video games. Be open to entering his world and try to bring him into yours. 

      Queen, you sound like a loving mother. Don’t forget that. You are worried because you care. 

      I didn’t want to scare people with this post, but I want us to be honest about this subject called addiction. It doesn’t just affect the addict but everyone around him or her. 

      If you don’t mind me asking what kind of games is he playing? 

      Queen, don’t give up. Thank you for sharing your heart. God bless you, my friend. 

      johnny, the Grey Wolf, Watcher of the Woods. 

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