Editorial: video game addiction is real and must be fought

ALL TIED UP. Video game addiction, now an official mental health disorder, is a mayor problem among teens.

Maddison Ball

ALL TIED UP. Video game addiction, now an official mental health disorder, is a mayor problem among teens.

By The Editorial Board, John Sevier Middle School

They can’t fall asleep. Their palms are sweaty. They can’t stop thinking about their obsession. It consumes their thoughts and everyday life. They are suffering from an addiction. This addiction hides itself in an activity widely accepted and encouraged around the world: video games.

Cam Adair is the founder of “Game Quitters,” a company designed to support quitting video games.

“Ninety-seven percent of youth play video games, which equates to 64 million kids in the US alone,” Adair said on a Tedx Talk available on YouTube. “The fastest growing age [group of children playing video games are] kids aged two to five. In the UK, 10 percent more kids aged two to five know how to operate a smartphone application then know how to tie their own shoes.”

This is a monumental problem not only in the US, but all around the world. Children are glued to screens such as televisions, smart phones and video games from a very young age.

Video game addiction is the overuse of video or internet games that results in impairment in multiple areas of life. This addiction can lead to health problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, too much screen time may interfere with sleep, increase the risk of depression and increase the risk of obesity.

A BMI, or body mass index, is one way to tell how healthy a person is. It divides the person’s weight by their height. Video game addiction is known to affect one’s BMI. According to Science Daily, several studies have shown a link between how much time a child plays video games and his or her chance of being obese. According to the US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health, obesity and weight gain is a critical health problem.

The American Addiction Centers describe the problems that video games cause as “poor performance at school or household responsibilities, neglect of other hobbies or friendships, a decline in personal hygiene or grooming, signs of irritability or anger when forced to stop gaming, sleeplessness, or emotional outbursts if the game is taken away, using video games as a way to escape stressful situations at work or school, or conflicts at home.”

But there really wouldn’t be any problem if the video games didn’t use addictive methods to lure their prey. The psychological tactics used in video games are horrific and appalling. According to “Psychology Today”, role-playing gamers are more vulnerable to addiction, but so are shooter and strategy gamers. Video game designers use corrupt strategies to ensnare their victim’s minds and capture their childhood.

The main reasons people are addicted to video games is that these games provide positive rewards. People like to finish what they started. Sometimes, gamers don’t have a realistic understanding of how much they are playing video games because popularity has warped the idea of what is an appropriate amount of time to spend on technology.

Humans have been around for about 200,000 years and have survived two world wars and countless natural disasters. Humanity, in general, must be doing something right. With the introduction of video games and their addictive qualities, the nature of what humans are supposed to do is demolished and replaced.

The social interactions that humans depend on are completely taken away and substituted for violent, destructive killing hours on screens. The time that humans are supposed to be spending standing up, walking around and playing outside, have been abducted and consumed by technology.

The irreplaceable memories that one may have made with friends and family will never be made because people are so concerned with and controlled by video games. Video games are destroying us.

Video games can also lead to violence. Violent video games have been blamed for school shootings and even the rise of bullying. This makes sense. If children are taught how to shoot and aim at targets, and are taught that these things are okay, it will expand into real life and invade their minds. If children develop hatred and are accustomed to it as a normal feeling, society will be full of angry-minded, violent people.

Video game addiction is a real problem that is ripping through the traditions and normalities of human life. Video game addiction is destroying children and adults alike. Anyone can be a victim. Don’t let it be you.

This story was originally published on The Sequoyah Scribe on November 26, 2019.