If you’ve ever played video games, you know just how much fun they can be. Over the past twenty years, video gaming has evolved from a mere time sink into a passion and even a profession for many people.
However, with the growth of video games, there is also an increasing incidence of video game addiction around the world. An addiction to video games doesn’t have to be severe to disrupt your day-to-day life or alienate you from your friends and family.
What is video game addiction?
Experts describe video game addiction as the compulsive, excessive or uncontrolled use of video games. Over the past twenty years, as video games became more commonplace in our lives, addiction to video games has become a mounting concern for parents and educators worldwide, as video games are often targeted toward children and young teenagers. However, addiction can affect adults and older teenagers just as easily.
Video game addiction often affects players of video games in the multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) and Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) genres, but it can affect players of virtually any video game.
What are the signs that you may be addicted to video games?
The most common signs that you may be addicted to video games are:
- If you find yourself feeling restless and/or irritable when you are unable to play.
- If you find that you’re preoccupied with thoughts of playing.
- You’ve begun struggling with personal hygiene issues.
- If you spend a lot of time thinking about video games outside of playing.
- You lie to family, friends or others about how much time you spend playing video games.
- You suffer from migraines or eye strain from staring at a screen for excessive periods of time.
If you believe you’ve become or are on your way to becoming a video game addict, don’t worry. Here are three ways you can begin to curb your playtime, starting today:
If video games are a pastime for you, find another hobby or rewarding activity
A hobby can be as simple as having a stamp collection, or it can ask for a little more time and dedication, like a sport. In any case, you shouldn’t try to replace video games as a pastime completely. Instead, you should try to find a balance of varied hobbies. Physical activities like jogging/running, exercising at a gym or even just taking walks around the neighborhood can be an excellent use of your free time. You can also sharpen your mind and creativity. Try reading books, learning a musical instrument or even conducting science experiments in your home! Use the opportunity to explore the world!
If you’re not sure what to do or can’t find a hobby that interests you, consider a similarly rewarding activity, like gambling. Gambling isn’t safe for minors, but for adults, it can be a safe and exciting pastime, not unlike gaming. In New Zealand, where video game addiction has become a growing problem in recent years, there are a number of websites that can help you find the safest and most rewarding online NZ casinos.
Force yourself to play in moderation
This part can be the most challenging one. However, in people struggling with video game addiction it’s often seen that they tend to lose track of time while playing.
A simple solution is to set the alarm on your phone. Set it for a reasonable amount of time, like an hour. When it rings, force yourself to sit up and stop playing. That is easier said than done, of course. However, try to remind yourself why you’re doing it in the first place. Think of all of the problems excessive playing has caused you in your life.
It’s okay if you’re in the middle of an online match and can’t quit right away. Promise to yourself that you will stop playing as soon as the round is over.
Don’t quit cold turkey
Unlike other common addictions, video gaming often serves as the primary pastime of video game addicts. Quitting video games outright can open a void in your day-to-day activities. With a lot of free time suddenly on your hands, you’re bound to become bored. Boredom carries an increased risk of depression and, of course, relapsing into your old addiction.
Find other rewarding activities, like online gambling
In severe cases, compulsive gamers may find it hard to find an activity that can mimic the rush of excitement one gets from fast-paced, intense video games. In such cases, it may be helpful to try a similarly rewarding activity, like online gambling.
Gambling and gaming are very similar in the way they can reward you psychologically. Of course, gambling isn’t recommended for minors, but for adults, online gambling can serve as a similarly exciting and safe pastime, if done in moderation.
However, it’s important to find a safe environment first. For example, websites like Mobilcasino can help you find the safest and most rewarding mobile casinos. For a similarly safe entry into online gambling if you happen to live in the United Kingdom, consider visiting https://www.wildwins.com/
I want to inspire you to travel! Whether you explore your city, state or the world, just get out and see, do and eat new things! And I strive to encourage women to pursue their dreams. In addition to my favorite job of being the mother to two crazy little kids, I am the Digital Editor for a local magazine publisher, a freelance travel writer, and manage digital marketing for small businesses. Let’s connect!