What is Computer Gaming Addiction?

Just about anything taken to the extreme can become an addiction…and computer gaming is no different. So, what is computer gaming addiction?

In order for any behavior to become an addiction, the person experiencing the addictive behavior has lost control. The behavior literally “runs their life”. For computer gaming to qualify as an addiction, the addict spends all their free time (and lots of time that isn’t free) playing video games on the computer. It is common for otherwise good students to start failing classes and withdraw from activities they previously enjoyed.

What is computer gaming addiction?
Computer gaming is an addiction problem for an increasing number of teenagers.

This excerpt is from an article written anonymously by the mother of a college student. Computer gaming is becoming a serious addiction problem.

What is Computer Gaming Addiction?

For example, when the dean of student services asked my son why he was withdrawing from college, he said because of depression “ without mentioning that he had spent nearly every waking hour in the last month of the semester compulsively playing a computer game while isolated his dorm room. This kind of response is typical of many addicts, who feel a deep sense of shame about their out-of-control compulsion for gaming, and engage in elaborate self-deceptions and lies to protect their addiction and their self-image. My son thought he was the only student with this problem.

Tracy Markle, Founder of Collegiate Coaching Services, has directly observed a chilling rise in pathological computer gaming among her young adult clients. When we conduct our initial assessments on new male clients, 75% have some level of computer gaming and/or Internet abuse issue that contributes to the original presenting problems such as poor academic performance, difficulty concentrating, and social anxieties. In addition to these reported problems, Markle points to other indicators of potential gaming addiction problems with college students, such as frequent absences from classes, roommate complaints, social isolation, and calls or e-mails from concerned parents.

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If someone sat in front of the television for endless hours, we would know there was a problem. Similarly, if someone is playing video games and procrastinating when it comes to other activities, there is a chance that the person has a computer gaming addiction problem. And, with any addiction, denial is one of the most difficult defenses to break through to access the help that is required.

What should you look for? Well, the article gives us some good ideas. For students, poor academic performance is an indication that something has become a distraction from studying. A change in behavior is also a sign that something is wrong – withdrawing from social activities and isolating. And, another common sign of addictive behavior is lying to divert attention.

Have you experienced the excitement of computer gaming? Did you feel like you wanted to keep playing even when you knew you needed to do other things? What is computer gaming addiction for you?

Please comment below. It’s an important problem that needs to be better understood. You can help by using the share and like buttons below.

About the author 

Dr. Gala Gorman

Dr. Gala Gorman holds advanced degrees in human development, is a holistic life coach, and published author of the Spiritual Approach™ series of books focused on practical spirituality. She co-founded RecoverYES to support the specific needs of people dealing with addiction.