Good day to you, Lusipeons. I come to you all with another topic that some might deem ‘srs bzns’: addiction. Not drug addiction, of course, that would be just silly. I am here to talk about video game addiction. I think it is safe to assume that all Lusipurr.com readers play video games for some time out of each week. I make this assumption on the grounds that Lusipurr.com is a site that brings reviews, editorials, and news about video games, so why else would anyone read the site? It is likely that some of the readers play a great deal of video games. It may even be possible that one or more readers of the site has a problem with video game addiction.
Let me pause for a moment to provide a disclaimer about this editorial. I am in no way saying that playing video games is, in and of itself, a bad thing. However, it can become a very serious problem if a person plays video games too much in his life. Video game addiction, unlike some types of drug addiction, is often difficult to spot. A person who is addicted to a drug requires a steady supply of that drug, so there will often be a trend of money spending for a drug addict. This is not always the case with a video game addict. Video games are legal. Some video games do not have a subscription service, so an addict need only purchase a single game without needing to drop large sums of money in order to get their fix. Even games that have subscriptions are still legal. Plenty of players who are not addicts pay subscription fees in order to play games such as Final Fantasy XI and World of Warcraft, or games on XBox Live. Because of this, an addict’s spending habits for games may not strike those closest to them as unusual.
An addict will most likely reveal himself through the sheer amount of time that he plays games. If a person spends more than four hours every day playing video games, it is quite possible that he is an addict. He is even more likely to be an addict if he shirks other responsibilities in favor of playing more video games. Perhaps he calls off sick from work in order to raid with his guild in World of Warcraft. He may decide that he would much rather play Call of Duty than guest star on a podcast. He might even decide that he should ditch his friends in order to play around with Final Fantasy XIII. When playing video games interferes with a person’s livelihood or relationships, the person has a serious problem. A person who frequently calls off work to play video games is very likely to lose his job. Someone who ditches their friends to play video games is almost certainly going to end up alone.
Addiction is very problematic, regardless of the object over which the addict obsesses. Without proper treatment or guidance, an addict is likely to be on a downward spiral toward a crash where they have only their addiction. How can a friend intervene to prevent this downward spiral? It is first important to remember that playing video games is a perfectly normal pastime in moderation. That said, if your friend or family member appears to have an addiction problem, where he plays video games to the exclusion of all other activities, then even if he begins to overcome his addiction, playing a video game again is likely to begin the very same obsessive pattern that he is fighting to avoid. It is not advisable or wise to expose a former addict to the object or activity he was once addicted to.
First, remind your friend that he is your friend, and that you care about his well being. Tell him that you are concerned about the fact that playing video games is interfering with important parts of his life, such as his job and his friendships and family relationships. Tell him that you think that he should try to cut down on the amount of time that he plays video games. Ask him why it is that he plays video games so often and be willing to listen to him. He may say at first that he simply enjoys them, but there might be a deeper cause. Let him know that you are there for him. If he feels hesitant to talk to you, it can sometimes be helpful to suggest that he seek help from a licensed therapist. Be supportive of him whether he decides to handle the issue on his own with your help, the help of his family and friends, or if he decides to seek the aid of a therapist. Remember to be encouraging when he makes progress. It may be incredibly important to him to receive praise for progress toward overcoming his addiction.
Unfortunately, in the real world, not all stories have fairy tale happy endings. Sometimes you will find that a person is entirely unwilling to overcome his addiction. When this happens, it can be very difficult to accept. However, you cannot help someone who is not willing to receive help. If your friend refuses to acknowledge that he has a problem, not only must you be prepared to accept that his problem is not going to go away, but you also must be prepared to accept that there is nothing that you can do about it and that it is not your fault. You are not responsible for your friend’s life, nor are you responsible for his happiness. If he chooses to live his life in a self-destructive way, you must let him. If it becomes too painful for you to handle, the only healthy thing for you to do is to terminate your friendship. It is a saddening thing to do but you must be willing to put your own health above your friendship. In the end, though you may love your friend very much, you are the most important thing in your life.