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An Overview Of Video Game Addiction Sociology Essay

1352 words (5 pages) Essay in Sociology

5/12/16 Sociology Reference this

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In this assignment, I will be talking about video game addiction, why do teenagers suffer from this. does this game addiction only affects teenagers? what are the causes and reasons that led them to be addicted?

The term addiction is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence, such as: drug addiction (e.g. alcoholism), video game addiction, crime, money, work addiction, compulsive overeating, problem gambling, computer addiction, nicotine addiction, pornography addiction, etc.”

The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance-related, such as problem gambling and computer addiction. In these kinds of common usages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user himself to his or her individual health, mental state or social life.”

Or more broadly video game overuse, is excessive or compulsive use of computer and video games that interferes with daily life. Instances have been reported in which users play compulsively, isolating themselves from, or from other forms of, social contact and focusing almost entirely on in-game achievements rather than broader life events. There is no diagnosis of video game addiction, although it has been proposed for inclusion in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Video game addiction is not included as a diagnosis in either the DSM or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.

However, effects (or symptoms) of video game overuse are similar to those of other proposed psychological addictions. Video game overuse may be, like compulsive gambling, an impulse control disorder.

In 2007, the American Psychological Association reviewed whether or not video game addiction should be added in the new DSM to be released in 2012. The conclusion was that there was not enough research or evidence to conclude that video game addiction was a disorder.

A report by the Council On Science And Public Health to the AMA cited a 2005 Entertainment Software Association survey[10] of computer gaming players, and noted that players of MMORPGs were more likely to play for more than 2 hours per day than other gamers. In its report, the Council used this 2-hour-per-day limit to define “gaming overuse”, citing the American Academy of Pediatrics guideline of no more than 1 to 2 hours per day of “screen time”. It may be worth noting that the ESA document cited in the Council report does not contain the 2-hour-per-day data.

In a 2005 Tom’s Games interview, Dr. Maressa Orzack estimated that 40% of the players of World of Warcraft (an MMORPG) were addicted, but she did not indicate a source for the estimate. She may have derived the estimate from the informal survey managed by Nick Yee at the The Daedalus Project,[14] who notes that caution should be exercised when interpreting this data.[15]

A 2006 lecture reported by the BBC indicated that 12% of polled gamers reported at least some addictive behaviours. The lecturer, Professor Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University, stated in another BBC interview that addicts are “few and far between.”

Michael Cai, director of broadband and gaming for Parks Associates (a media/technology research and analysis company), said in 2007 that “Video game addiction is a particularly severe problem in Asian countries such as China and Korea”. Results of a 2006 survey suggested that 2.4% of South Koreans aged 9 to 39 suffer from game addiction, with another 10.2 percent at risk of addiction.

A 2007 Harris Interactive online poll of 1,187 US youths aged 8-18 gathered detailed data on youth opinions about video game play. About 81% of youths stated that they played video games at least once per month. Further, the average play time varied by age and sex, from 8 hours per week (responses from teen girls) to 14 hours per week (responses by teen boys). “Tweens” (8-12 year olds) fell in the middle, with boys averaging 13 hours per week of reported game-play, and girls averaging 10. Harris concludes that 8.5% “can be classified as pathological or clinically ‘addicted’ to playing video games”, but did not explain how this conclusion was reached.

Since the American Psychological Association decision in 2007, studies have been conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine related to video game play. Researchers found evidence that video games do have addictive characteristics. An MRI study found that the part of the brain that generates rewarding feelings is more activated in men than women during video-game play.

In August 2005, the government of the People’s Republic of China, where more than 20 million people play online games, introduced an online gaming restriction limiting playing time to 3 hours, after which the player would be expelled from whichever game they were playing. In 2006, it relaxed the rule so only citizens under the age of 18 would face the limitations. Reports indicate underage gamers found ways to circumvent the measure. In July, 2007, the rule was relaxed yet again. Internet games operating in China must require that users identify themselves by ID numbers. After 3 hours, players under 18 are prompted to stop and “do suitable physical exercise.” If they continue, their characters gain 50% of the usual experience. After 5 hours, their characters gain no experience at all. In 2008, one of the 5 FCC Commissioners, Deborah Taylor Tate, stated that online gaming addiction was “one of the top reasons for college drop-outs”. However, she did not mention a source for the statement, nor identify its position in relation to other top reasons.

Excessive use of video games may have some or all the symptoms of drug addiction or other proposed psychological addictions. Some players become more concerned with their interactions in the game than in their broader lives. Players may play “many” hours per day, gain or lose significant weight due to playing, disrupt sleep patterns to play, play at work, avoid phone calls from friends and/or lie about play time. Relationships with family and friends, and performance at work or school, may suffer.

Theorists focus on the built-in reward systems of the games to explain their addictive nature.[42][43] In reference to gamers such as one suicide in China, the head of one software association was quoted “In the hypothetical world created by such games, they become confident and gain satisfaction, which they cannot get in the real world.”[44]

Researchers at the University of Rochester and Immersyve, Inc. (a Celebration, FL computer gaming Think-tank) investigated what motivates gamers to continue playing video games. According to lead investigator Richard Ryan, they believe that players play for more reasons than fun alone. Ryan, a “motivational psychologist” at Rochester, says that many video games satisfy basic psychological needs, and players often continue to play because of rewards, freedom, and a connection with other players.[45]

Michael Brody, M.D., head of the TV and Media Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, stated in a 2007 press release that “… there is not enough research on whether or not video games are addictive.” However, Dr. Brody also cautioned that for some children and adolescents “… it displaces physical activity and time spent on studies, with friends, and even with family.”[46]

Dr. Karen Pierce, a psychiatrist at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital, sees no need for a specific gaming addiction diagnosis. Two or more children see her each week because of excessive computer and video game play, and she treats their problems as she would any addiction. She said one of her excessive-gaming patients “…hasn’t been to bed, hasn’t showered…He is really a mess.”[3]

Prevention and correction

Some countries, like South Korea, China, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States, have responded to the perceived threat of video game addiction by opening treatment centers. Because few clinical trials and no meta-analyses have been completed, research is still in the preliminary stages for excessive gaming treatment. The most effective treatments seem to be, as with addictions or dependencies, a combination of psychopharmacology, psychotherapy and twelve-step programs.

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