Lots of things can become addictive. Food, sex, and exercise are all primary examples. Pretty much anything that can get the blood flowing and Adrenalin pumping can be a potential addiction. However, there has been a long and hard debate over whether or not video game addiction is a real psychological addiction.
Despite the idea of the typical gamer being addicted, there does not seem to be any evidence that this is a widespread issue. A study from the University of Oxford surveyed 19,000 people and found that less than 3% had what would be classified as a gaming addiction. So this should show that most gamers only play occasionally, and can stop when they want.
However, in 2018, the release of the new ICD (international classification of diseases) will list Gaming Addiction officially.
Vladimir Poznyak of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse said in a statement:
Health professionals need to recognize that gaming disorder may have serious health consequences. Most people who play video games don’t have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don’t have a disorder either. However, in certain circumstances overuse can lead to adverse effects.
These addictions are often caused due to emotional issues, such as trauma, that leads to escapism. This can lead to many people spending upwards of thousands of hours on a single game and refuse to engage in life. This is serious, and if it is not remedied, can have some pretty bad issues, such as heart attacks and destroyed relationships.
Along with many other criteria, one of the most important for finding out if someone has an addiction is if they play “to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests.” So we should soon see people get help if their gaming severely impacts their life.