Gaming and Addiction

Published on January 21st, 2022 at 7:33 PM

As video games have grown more and more popular in recent years, video game addiction has become a topic of increased interest for parents, gamers, and researchers alike. In 2013, “internet gaming disorder” was classified in the DM5 and in 2019, The World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD-11 defines gaming disorder as the following:

  • A pattern of gaming behavior characterized by a lack of control over gaming.
  • Prioritizing gaming over other interests and daily activities
  • Continuing to play games despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

Our educational partner, Healthy Gamer, believes “Video game addiction is a behavioral addiction, which means it has different triggers, manifestations, and underlying causes”, says Kabir Lal a community manager at Healthy Gamer.

There are many signs that can help you determine if someone close to you may be suffering from gaming addiction. According to Healthy Gamer, some of these signs can include:

  • Preoccupation with video games.
  • Being unable to stop playing video games when needed.
  • Being unable to cut back on time spent playing games.
  • Prioritizing gaming over other parts of your life.
  • Problems with daily functioning.
  • Compromised physical or mental health.
  • Deteriorating relationships as a result of too much gaming.
  • Inability to move forward in life due to time spent gaming.

But just how much gaming is too much gaming? According to our partner Healthy Gamer, Gaming addiction often presents itself in three stages:

  1. You play video games for several hours and have fun.
  2. You play video games for several hours, but you don’t have as much fun. They still help you improve your mood.
  3. You play video games for several hours, but they are neither fun nor do they improve your mood.

Gaming addiction has a lot of interesting effects on the actual chemistry of the brain as well. Video games can be addictive for many reasons, but Healthy Gamer defines some of the biggest reasons as:

  • They stimulate our brain’s pleasure centers and cause the secretion of dopamine.
  • Games engage the Triumph Circuit in our brain and allow us to feel challenged and victorious.
  • Video games suppress negative emotions, and they become an excellent way to cope with negative emotions and therefore result in dependency.

For more information on how video games can affect the neurochemistry of the human brain, we highly recommend this video of Harvard-trained psychiatrist and cofounder of Healthy Gamer, Dr. Alok Kanojia going into more detail! Healthy Gamer has also put together a great Video Game Addiction Quiz that can help you determine if you or someone close to you may be suffering from video game addiction.

For more information about the educational and coaching services Healthy Gamer and GGLeagues provides, or to receive a code for 20% off any Healthy Gamer programs, please visit the following links: