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Am I Addicted to Gaming?

Question by Daedal: Am I addicted to gaming?
My friend thinks I’m addicted to video games. I deny this but I’m questioning the viability of his claim.

Under Dictionary.com, the definition for addiction is:

The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that’s psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such a point that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Point 1: Define enslaved?

I am not enslaved to my games unless you count constantly checking up on it on my Iphone or Facebook account. I go as far as waking up in the middle of the night to play it and it takes up time I could be socializing with my friend but that’s it.

Point 2: Severe Trauma?!

If I stop playing games I do start to miss it and get bored but it does not cause me physical pain. Maybe a pang or two in the gut but that’s it.

Realization 1: Justifying my actions?

Don’t people who have addictions try to justify their actions? Aye…

Ok maybe I have a slight contingency towards online games but it is not full-blown or severe enough to ruin me. But it does take time away from doing every day leisure activites like reading and watching television. The former is important but the latter is just another mindless substitution to the codependency of electronics (but let’s not get into that…)
Good points guys. I’m questioning his claim rather than questioning the real viability to it.

Best answer:

Answer by Baron
Is it interfering with your work? Is your boss complaining that you’re falling behind? Is your girlfriend complaining that you ignore her? Have you shirked important tasks in order to play games?

Add your own answer in the comments!

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3 Responses to “Am I Addicted to Gaming?”

  • Bored Gremlin:

    Your friend is just saying that you spend a lot more time on the game than most people.

    As to whether this is a bad thing, look at your broader goals in life – school/work/career, relationship/family, health & exercise, whatever other spiritual or artistic aspiration that you have. Then ask yourself whether your gaming is interfering with them. If you have a job with lots of downtime (and are happy with it), and are not interested in getting a g/f at this stage in life, then your gaming is not a problem. If you are below average at school or work, and want a g/f, you probably should cut down.

    If the game interferes with your sleep, it is a problem. Lack of sleep makes you sloppy during the day, and does long-term damage to your health.

    As a test, try to not play for a few days, e.g. when you go on a trip or have some other major distractions. Then see how you feel about going back to the game.

    And couple other thoughts for you to consider:

    1. If you skip a game for a day or an hour, it will still be there. In fact, it might get better as a new patch rolls in. Real life is opposite – whenever you skip something, it becomes worse. You forget what you learned, people forget who you are, you miss opportunities that will never come up again.

    2. You cannot quite “brag” to people about your gaming achievements the way you brag about your high GPA, jobs you worked, art projects, etc. You cannot use game stories to charm a girl, you cannot put it on your resume.

  • MavistheMaven:

    It’s not an addiction, but maybe it’s an obsession. The key difference is that an addiction causes severe trauma when the person withdraws from the object of the addiction. Heroin addicts can actually die from not getting their fix of heroin; they must be weaned off it. Alcoholics get the shakes and so on. Tobacco may not cause quite the physical harm, but it does cause smokers to crave it to where they can’t concentrate without their nicotine.

    An obsession can be severe. It can take over your life and cause you to let relationships go, overspend money on it (think gambling), even interfere with your job, your health and your sleep. It impairs a person’s ability to function apart from focusing on the obsession.

    Then again, maybe all you have is a passion for the games. There can be a fine line between passion and obsession. A passion can also affect health, money and relationships, but not to where you’re impaired by it. If you have a job, you might check your cell phone for games on your breaks, but you still get your work done. You might choose to play your games over a get-together with friends, but hey, that’s your choice.

    The word “addiction” is just wayyy overused today. People seriously claim to be addicted to chocolate or shopping. I think your friend was using the word in that sense.

    I wouldn’t even worry about whether you have an obsession or a passion, and no need to justify it to the friend. But when you are with the friend, checking your iPhone for game updates is just rude. If you really cannot stop yourself, either the friend is that boring or you really do have an obsession and should consider getting clinical help for it.

    And as far as reading and TV go, I think they’re equivalent to games as an activity. Reading isn’t inherently more worthwhile – it all depends on what you read. Games are more interactive than both. Maybe compare your game time to time spent doing physical activities, because you need to get up and move the body around, too.

    Now, having somewhat defended your game playing, let me point out that you’re not much different than a rat pressing a reward bar. Studies have shown that if the reward is, uh, rewarding enough, rats will forego food and sleep and starve themselves to death pressing that bar. So get enough sleep, eat, bathe, move around, clean your room or house, connect with people, and take care of your responsibilities.

  • sexykatie90:

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