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giantbuster

Video game addiction is a new phenomenon, and we're the first victims

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Here's a thought: video game addiction is a new "disease" born of modern technology, and we're the first victims of it. Now that it's become an identifiable phenomenon, current and new generations will be more informed of the risks of video game addiction (hopefully) and live accordingly. 

Consider other harmful and/or addictive activities, like gambling, smoking, and drinking. Growing up, you likely heard about how you shouldn't do these things. Maybe you even knew some people who were smokers, gamblers, or alcoholics, and you knew you didn't want to be like them. The dangers of these "substances" are common knowledge due to lots of research, awareness campaigns, word of mouth, and so on. We all know about Alcoholics Anonymous, we all know that smoking causes lung cancer, and we all know that you can throw all your money away gambling. But when these things first popped up in the public eye, these risks weren't known. It was only with time, experience, and research that we learned the dangers of these things. 

This list of shiny new things that people love, only to later discover the dangers of, goes on. Tanning, drinking and driving, processed meats, cocaine in Coca Cola, and so on. I'm sure there's plenty more things we currently do as a society that we don't realize are dangerous yet. But newly added to this list now is video games.

For many of us who struggle with video game addiction, I assume that we all grew up with video games. In fact, we were the first generation to ever grow up with video games. As such, people couldn't know that video game addiction could be a thing. Because of our collective ignorance and lack of experience and research, now lots of people suffer from video game addiction. However, now that this problem is slowly coming into the public eye, maybe more people will be aware of the dangers of video game addiction and act accordingly. It'll be as common of a thing to worry about as gambling, smoking, and other potentially harmful behavior. 

I know for a fact that if I have kids, I'll limit the number of hours my kids get to play video games and encourage them to take on other hobbies as well. I don't want them to grow up the same way as me and develop a dependence on video games. I sometimes see kids and teens with their eyes glued to a screen at a dinner table playing some game, and it makes me sad, knowing that they could be developing a dependence on it without anyone realizing there's a problem. I hope that there'll be public awareness programs to help people realize the dangers of video game addiction. 

Edited by giantbuster

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Yes, well said. And because of this, it's crucial for our community to take a stand and get the word out about it - in a good way - to bring more awareness to others. From my own analysis, there are at least 10-50M video game addicts in the world right now, and our community is currently reaching about 20,000/month. The truth is, we are the public awareness program. We can't wait for other organizations to appear out of nowhere and start caring about our issue. This year I have spoken at a number of international addiction conferences, and I can tell you with certainty, I was one of only two or three that had any understanding of video game addiction. The others were Dr. Hilarie Cash (clinician) and Dr. Mark Griffiths (researcher). When I suggest that our community is at the cutting-edge and leading the way for video game addiction - it's not hype, it's a fact.

Anyways, just a few thoughts on that. It's a big reason why I try to encourage everyone in this community to really get involved. Post your journals, share the videos, contribute to the mission, message me if you have any other ideas, and so forth. Nobody else, no other organization, no government identity is going to come and save us. We have to do that for ourselves and for the other 10-50 million video game addicts in the world. There is no other option.

For those curious, here's a paper on Internet gaming addiction: A systematic review of empirical research that may interest some in what research said about video game addiction up until 2012.

 

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Here's a thought: video game addiction is a new "disease" born of modern technology, and we're the first victims of it. Now that it's become an identifiable phenomenon, current and new generations will be more informed of the risks of video game addiction (hopefully) and live accordingly. 

Consider other harmful and/or addictive activities, like gambling, smoking, and drinking. Growing up, you likely heard about how you shouldn't do these things. Maybe you even knew some people who were smokers, gamblers, or alcoholics, and you knew you didn't want to be like them. The dangers of these "substances" are common knowledge due to lots of research, awareness campaigns, word of mouth, and so on. We all know about Alcoholics Anonymous, we all know that smoking causes lung cancer, and we all know that you can throw all your money away gambling. But when these things first popped up in the public eye, these risks weren't known. It was only with time, experience, and research that we learned the dangers of these things. 

This list of shiny new things that people love, only to later discover the dangers of, goes on. Tanning, drinking and driving, processed meats, cocaine in Coca Cola, and so on. I'm sure there's plenty more things we currently do as a society that we don't realize are dangerous yet. But newly added to this list now is video games.

For many of us who struggle with video game addiction, I assume that we all grew up with video games. In fact, we were the first generation to ever grow up with video games. As such, people couldn't know that video game addiction could be a thing. Because of our collective ignorance and lack of experience and research, now lots of people suffer from video game addiction. However, now that this problem is slowly coming into the public eye, maybe more people will be aware of the dangers of video game addiction and act accordingly. It'll be as common of a thing to worry about as gambling, smoking, and other potentially harmful behavior. 

I know for a fact that if I have kids, I'll limit the number of hours my kids get to play video games and encourage them to take on other hobbies as well. I don't want them to grow up the same way as me and develop a dependence on video games. I sometimes see kids and teens with their eyes glued to a screen at a dinner table playing some game, and it makes me sad, knowing that they could be developing a dependence on it without anyone realizing there's a problem. I hope that there'll be public awareness programs to help people realize the dangers of video game addiction.

 This is true we are definitely the first victims to this addiction and I'm glad that excessive gaming is starting to be considered as an addiction.

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