If you’re really into video games, you’ve probably had to go through people telling you to stop. For instance, they may say, “You need to get out of your room!” or “Is there anything you do besides playing video games” or “get outside and have fun! When I was your age we didn’t have video games like you do!” and so on. Every serious video and/or computer gamer has had to put up with this, one time or another.
But of course, is there anything wrong with video games being your favorite hobby? Absolutely not. Playing video games is undoubtedly fun, in a way that you can transport yourself into an entirely new world and solve many problems on the screen.
But on the other hand, video gaming can be a problem if it turns into an addiction. It doesn’t matter how much you game, what does matter is your attitude towards it. If you game a lot but still find plenty of time to do other important things in your life, then you don’t have an addiction. But if you game nonstop and pay no close attention to anything else going on in your life, then you could have an addiction. In other words, if the rest of your life is negatively impacted by your gaming, then you probably have an addiction.
Video game addiction is a big issue in today’s culture, but one question many people have is how someone can become addicted to video games in the first place. It’s more than just sitting down in front of the TV or computer screen and playing nonstop. There are various psychological factors that can get anyone addicted to video games, and we are going to outline and discuss those factors right now. Here are the top ten ways video games can get you addicted:
10. They Make You Mad When You Are Told to Stop
There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about video games, but when we get mad when we are told to stop, our video game addiction will only get worse. For hardcore gamers, it’s easy to get mad when a parent or a friend tells us to stop gaming. Ultimately, we’ll have the natural urge to resist and will just keep gaming, until our outside lives are negatively affected.
9. They Make You Pretend the Game is Real
After a long time of playing video games, it’s easy to start to think that the world we are controlling or playing is actually real. But what’s really creepy is that we start to think the small, individual components of the game are real. For example, if a side objective of a game is to collect as many coins as possible, then we’ll start to think that those coins are real and more valuable than real money. There’s nothing bad about having to collect coins or anything in a game, but when we start to regard these coins or collectible items as valuable to our life, even if they don’t have anything to do with the mission of game, things will start to go bad.
8. They Make You Refuse to Admit You Have an Addiction
There should be a major red flag if you are told that you have an addiction to playing video games and deny it…and then keep playing. Many people who are addicted, or are becoming addicted to video games, honestly don’t realize that they have an addiction, and they’ll vigorously deny it. The good news is that if you do have an addiction to video games and you admit it, you have a good chance of overcoming that addiction in comparison to the people who will deny it.
7. They Make You Spend A Lot of Money
When we complete one video game, we’ll be wanting to play another one or will be saving up for the sequel. In terms of finances, we have to set aside money for various things: taxes, mortgage payment, car payment, utilities, groceries, etc. But most of us set aside at least some money for fun things, and gamers will spend this money on video and computer games. But the more different games we play, the more we spend…and soon we may be spending more than our budget allows. It’s totally fine to spend within our limits on a new game to buy, but spending more money than we should allow ourselves, should tell you that there’s something wrong. But many people are careless with their money these days, and that’s also one reason why video games can get you addicted: by being too carefree with your cash.
6. They Make You Lose Interest In Your Outside Life
The more we play, the less interested we become in our outside, or normal lives. In many regards, this is what defines a video game addict from a video gamer; a video gamer will spend just as much time and dedication to their outside lives, as they will to their video games, but an addict will not. Why? Because they come to regard their game as more important than going to work or hanging out with friends. This can also cause serious physical and psychological health issues as well.
5. They Get You To Call the Video Game Room Your Home
It doesn’t matter whether you play video games in your room, in the basement, in the living room, or anywhere. But a video game addict will come to call their video game room their home. Not their room. Their home. That’s right; the only time they’ll get up from that room is to go to the bathroom or to grab something out of the pantry or refrigerator to eat, or to call in a pizza. But this is a very valid way video games can get you addicted, as you’ll ask yourself, “why do I need to be anywhere else? This is where I need to be.”
4. They’re A Way Out If You Have Social Issues
This one is only mostly relevant to those who have some degree of social issues, but it can impact most people as well. People who have social issues want to get away from the outside world, and have an excuse for doing so. Video games are an excellent excuse for doing that. But beyond social issues, they’re also a great excuse to get away from any other problems too.
3. They Are Very Time Consuming
Tell yourself that you will only spend thirty minutes to an hour, per day, playing video games. Chances are you’ll go way beyond that time frame and spend (or waste) more time. And just like how we’ll become too carefree with our money, we’ll become too carefree with our time also.
2. They Make You Lie To Yourself
This one largely encompasses all of the above; as you’ll lie to yourself about each one. You’ll lie to yourself about your time and money spending (or wasting), about refusing to admit you have an addiction, about losing interest in outside life, about calling your video game room your home, and so on.
1. They Make You Live Someone Else’s Life
Lastly, the main reason why video games are so appealing is because we get to live someone else’s life in an entirely new world. You also get to play in a world where the rules, physics and technology are all different. If your think you’re living a boring life in reality, you could be living the life of a ninja warrior or of a strategic mastermind in your games. But remember that you only have one life; do you want to spend that life living someone else’s life (whether they be a fictional or a real person), or your own life?