OPINION: Video Game Addiction


Jared Sindt

At what point does gaming become an addiction? Photo courtesy of borntoengineer.com.

I was introduced to video games at an early age and remember being immediately hooked by the virtual experience.

The first game I ever touched was “Halo 2” and I played it for hours nonstop each day, to the point that it was making me socially distant from my friends. My parents later bought me a PS4, and my problem only grew.

I would yell awful things at the screen and even talk back to my parents when they bothered me while I was playing. I continued to play for hours on end until my parents finally stepped in and started limiting my time.

Video game addiction is a serious and growing problem that I thought I had at an early age. I was not sure how to control myself, but through growing up and forcing myself to be responsible, I was able to overcome my problem.

For some people, this is not as easy. Video game addiction can lead to a complete reliance on gaming for social interaction and cause those experiencing it to have depression.

Rise Gaming Recovery defines gaming addiction as “an epidemic of obsessive gaming disorder and an ever-increasing wave of young people addicted to video games.”

Their website shows that the leading symptoms are family conflict, lost time and social disturbances, but even that definition is not enough for people to identify if they have a problem.

To this day, I still do not know if I was addicted to video games, and I still play them now. I do not feel like they interrupt my social life anymore, but I am curious how they measure these issues and diagnose video game addiction.

More research needs to be done on this topic to help prevent youth of the future from becoming completely reliant on gaming. With the increasing technology use in our society, regulations need to be set.

As much as it might not appease people to hear, China has started taking the first steps towards combating this addiction.

China has recently banned minors from playing video games for more than two hours a week. As a gamer, this feels like a huge restriction, but it is a step in the right direction.

If I had had a better system to regulate my playtime as a kid, it would have been much harder for me to become as involved in gaming as I have become. This is not to say that good things have not come from my gaming, though.

Through gaming, I have made many lifelong friends that I have never even met, but have played with for years. They helped me improve my social skills and brought me to the point of conversation comfortability that I have today.

Gaming addiction is a problem that deserves more attention, and action needs to be taken for our youth. China might not be completely right in the way they have handled the problem, but at least they have taken the first steps.