Today, we recognize many forms of addiction. We have help groups for individuals who struggle with alcoholism and drug use.
We work with people who have shopping addictions, food addictions, and smoking addictions. However, there is one problem that many Americans struggle with that does not receive equal treatment: Video game addiction.
Video game addiction is one of the ten most common addictions in our society. Many of the teenagers and adults in American feel compelled to spend much of their time playing video games; the average video game addict in America is 35 years old and male.
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The majority of them are drawn to spend hours play MMORPGs (massively multi-player online role-playing games) such as World of Warcraft and Rift. Symptoms of video game addiction include:
- Spending several hours each day playing video games
- Becoming defensive about the amount of time spend playing games, if confronted
- Staying home from work to spend more time playing the video games
- Neglecting friends, family, and significant others to play video games
The negative behavior associated with gaming bleeds over many other aspects of an individual's life. Psychologist Laura Walker says, "Video games are associated with negative behavior across the board, so the more people play video games, the more likely they were to drink, use drugs. They had lowered levels of self-worth, lower levels of social acceptance, and lower relationship quality with friends and parents."