The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Is Video Game Addiction Real? Do You Have It?

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Video games can be obviously be major distractions when you’re trying to get work done. A few (hundred) games of Black Ops 4 may be more appealing than an AP Lit essay. Red Dead Redemption 2 or Spanish homework?

The Willistonian met with a few known gamers on campus and asked how playing impacts their lives, not just academically but socially.

“It does impact my work and they are very addicting,” senior Glede Wang said. “But I am always able to go to bed every night.” Glede’s game of choice is “Onmyoji.”

Junior Vince Wang said he plays three to four hours daily, but video games never interfere with the work he needs to finish. “Sometimes they can be addicting” he said, “but that does not mean you’re addicted to them.”

According to  a June, 2018 article in The New York Times, video game addiction is, in fact, a problem. The American Medical Association does not currently recognize video game disorder, but in September, the World Health Organization included “Gaming Disorder” in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a “clinically recognizable and clinically significant syndrome, when the pattern of gaming behaviour is of such a nature and intensity that it results in marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning,” according to the W.H.O. website.

One doctor compared gaming addiction to the effects of cocaine.

“I have patients who come in suffering from an addiction to Candy Crush Saga, and they’re substantially similar to people who come in with a cocaine disorder,”  Dr. Petros Levounis, the chairman of the psychiatry department at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told The Times. “Their lives are ruined, their interpersonal relationships suffer, their physical condition suffers.”

According to the Times article, many gamers seek help for their addiction, but don’t have anywhere to go because of a lack of video game addiction specialists

Around the world about 2.6 billion people play video games; that figure includes about two thirds of American households.

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Mitch Hansen '20, Staff Writer/Editor

Mitch is a junior who enjoys hanging out with friends and playing hockey. In his free time, he likes to watch sunrises and sunsets.

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Is Video Game Addiction Real? Do You Have It?