Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Here is chapter 2 from my new teen video game addiction workbook
Did you know the brains of addicted video gamers look similar to the brains of drug addicts -- as both have enlarged “reward centers”? The reward center in your brains releases a "feel good" chemical called dopamine. Gaming causes dopamine production in the brain to increase dramatically - creating a drug like high.
Developing an addiction to gaming also happens because the process of gaming is similar to gambling. All gamers, no matter how skilled, go through a process of winning and losing --which is just like playing a slot machine in Vegas! This lose/win/lose/win dynamic -- called an intermittent reward system -- keeps gamers highly motivated to play.
So, the combination of the gambling like nature of gaming and the drug-like high produced by dopamine can escalate quickly into marathon gaming sessions and the eventual loss of interest and off-line activities and experiences.