Online gaming is an activity that attracts children and adults alike. What is more, now, when the internet is such a massive part of our lives, online gaming has become an inevitable part of our day.
However, how can one decide how much gaming is too much and whether the amount of time we spend playing online games has turned a hobby into an addiction?
Can Online Gaming Be Addictive?
Online gaming has been around for years, and its influence on humankind hasn’t yet been clearly defined. According to the World Health Organization, playing online games excessively should be considered problematic. However, the American Psychiatry Association’s manual still doesn’t recognize it as an online gaming disorder.
And indeed, would you consider someone who plays games like Board Kings daily addicted to online games? There’s nothing wrong with playing a game unless it gets in the way of some regular everyday activities.
Obvious Signs of Gaming Addiction
Clarifying what is and isn’t too much gaming can be quite tricky. To see whether you’re on the right track, you can start with a few simple questions:
- Has online gaming become more important than your family and friends, job, or school?
- Do you feel a desire or the necessity to play online games?
- Are you trying to forget about other problems by playing online games?
However, bear in mind that gaming addiction is much easier to spot in others than in yourself. If you are already addicted, you probably won’t see a problem in playing games for hours. That’s why it is vital to listen to what others have to say, as they can see the whole picture in a more objective light.
Moreover, these questions are only the start on the way to discovering gaming addiction. If you are indeed trying to spot addiction in yourself or others, here are a few more straightforward questions to use as parameters:
- Are you thinking about gaming a lot or all the time?
- Do you feel bad when you can’t play online games?
- Do you need to play games a bit more every time to feel satisfied?
- Have you tried to quit but were unable to?
- Are you avoiding other things you used to do before?
- Do you notice any problems at home, work, or school, that can be a consequence of online gaming?
- Are you playing games despite experiencing these problems?
- Are you lying to people about the amount of time you spend gaming?
- Does gaming serve you to shift from one mood to another?
If you’ve answered positively to five or more of these questions, you should question your online gaming habits. That said, don’t think you are a gaming addict just because you are a fan of online games.
Even playing games every day doesn’t have to be harmful at all. For instance, many people play Poker Heat and similar games to pass time on the bus or train during their daily commute.
What Can You Do to Fight the Addiction?
If you are sure that your online gaming habits have gone out of control, you can set a few rules for yourself or the person you consider addicted:
- Set a time limit for online gaming and be very strict about respecting it.
- Only play games in a particular room, excluding the bedroom.
- Practice an activity that will help you keep your health in order, such as jogging or swimming.
Finally, you can replace the addictive game with another more simple one — for example, this text talks about why online bingo is a good option.
In case you notice that these simple solutions don’t work, it’s time to consult a specialist. Once again, this doesn’t mean that you are in any way a bad person. It just means that you need someone to help you take control of your life.