Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Below is an excerpt from a workbook I recently completed for video game addicted teens to use (in therapy). If you are interested in a copy, please feel free to contact me @firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-735-HELP.
Can video gaming really become an addiction? Although video game addiction is not yet an “official” diagnosis recognized by psychologists and psychiatrists, it is clear that children, teens, and adults can develop an addiction to gaming and to the internet.
Some teens develop a constant craving or desire to play video games, while also experiencing what is referred to as tolerance. Tolerance means that the gamer needs to spend increasing amounts of time gaming in order to feel excitement and satisfaction. It is very common for gamers to tell me: “In the early days of gaming, I only needed 1 to 2 hours to feel satisfied. Now I play games for more than 5 to 6 hours in order to have fun.”
Gamers also experience withdrawal symptoms. Here, withdrawal refers to the gamers feeling anxiety, anger, tension, irritability, and/or depression when they are not engaged in gaming (e.g., when at school or when spending time with family).
Finally, just as is the case with drug addiction, gamers experience persistent negative consequences. Negative consequences may include conflict with family, loss of friendships, neglect of school work, neglect of chores, reduction in physical activity, fatigue, and overall poor health.
Gamers are also similar to people addicted to drugs and alcohol because they can see the negative consequences of their addiction, but are unable to successfully change their behavior. In extreme cases, as has been reported in the media, some gamers have played to the point they experienced serious medical problems resulting in hospitalization and death.
Have you ever experienced craving? Yes/No/Unsure
Have you ever experienced tolerance? Yes/No/Unsure
Have you ever experienced withdrawal? Yes/No/Unsure
Have you ever experienced negative consequences related to you gaming? Yes/No/Unsure
Have you ever tried to stop gaming, but couldn’t control your behavior? Yes/No/Unsure
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Patterns of Video Game Use and Dependence in Children and Adolescents
by Mariano Chóliz* and Clara Marco
University of Valencia
Playing video games is an increasingly popular leisure activity among children and adolescents, a fact made clear by both their interest in video games and the time they spend playing. Despite the recognized benefits of playing video games, excessive play can sometimes lead to overuse, and in the worst cases even serious personal and family problems. This article analyzes patterns of video game use and dependency with a specific focus on gender differences, and describes the validation of a video game dependence questionnaire that has potential relevance to addiction research and clinical treatment. The questionnaire incorporates DSM-IV criteria for Substance Dependence Disorders and adapts them to video game playing. The factor structure of the questionnaire adheres to the concept of dependence as it is defined in the DSM-IV. Video game dependence is classified with dependence on Internet and mobile phone use as a characteristic technological addiction.
Read the full research article online