There are so many addicting games out in the world today. From Angry Birds to World of Warcraft, there are many players that would say they play addicting games or that they are “addicted” to a game. But did you know that game addiction can be as serious of an addiction as any other for some?
Dr. Drew Pinsky says that “addiction is defined by negative consequences.” We use the phrase addicting games rather loosely if you are going to use this definition of addiction. Many people claim that games such as Words with Friends are addicting games, but before claiming to be addicted to them, stop and think about it. Are there mounting negative consequences to your behavior? If playing your addicting game is causing you to lose sleep, miss work or school, or destroy important relationships, then you are addicted to you addicting game. If you are not suffering these devastating negative consequences, it might be more appropriate to call your addicting games your absorbing games, or your intriguing games.
People becoming addicted to addicting games has become very widespread over the last ten years. Video game addiction has been proposed as an official diagnosis to be included in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. While this proposal has thus far been denied, there are still many psychologists that advocate for its inclusion and its acceptance as a real psychological illness.
There are many ways to find support if you find that you do have an addiction to your addicting games. After a woman’s son committed suicide due to his gaming addiction (his addicting games including Everquest), Elizabeth Wooley started the non-profit organization On-Line Gamers Anonymous in 2002. This organization includes a twelve-step program for recovery from your addicting games as well as meetings, online chat rooms and forums, and information for relatives affected by these addicting games.
The site www.gamingaddiction.net has conducted surveys on the subject, and have come up with some really startling data. Around 10% of gamers show at least some signs of addiction to their addicting games. While most people would assume that the average gamer is a teenager, in actuality 82% of people playing these addicting games are adults. The average age of a person playing an addicting game regularly is 37. Another assumption is that most of these gamers are men, but 42% of the population playing addicting games are female.
So what should you do if you think that you may be addicted to your games? The first step would be to join On-Line Gamers Anonymous and work through their twelve-step program.
This program has been adapted from the very successful twelve-step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous. The first step is to admit that you are powerless over gaming and that your life has become unmanageable. Don’t forget that you are not the only person going through this program, and you can find support at meetings or online in their chat room and forums. If you find you need more one-on-one support in order to stay away from your addicting game, the On-Line Gamers Anonymous website provides a search to help you find professionals in your area to help with your addiction.