Editorial: Video Game Addiction

It does not concern this boy. He has not yet completed the final level. He will discuss the topic later.

Video game addiction is a serious topic.

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.

I do not understand why. The game is only fun for so long, and then it gets boring.

World of Warcraft is often blamed for people's addiction to video games.

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.

It is okay, friend. I know you play Call of Duty. We can get through this, together.

Sometimes, you just need a friend to lean on.

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.

11 comments on “Editorial: Video Game Addiction”

  1. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!!

    Ahem.

    Err.

    Lusipurr.com needs to do an intervention for Montok Montok’s roommate. He’s far too young to throw away his life with Call of Duty.

  2. Montok’s roommate, indeed. Speak to him and listen to him and you find that Montok only ever talks about Call of Duty.

    There is no roommate.

  3. i am wondering if the picture in the slider is a picture of slab as a child

  4. I have discovered an amazing treatment for gaming addiction that has helped me for years!

    …It’s called not having the time or resources to play video games on a regular basis. :(

  5. A true addict would just igmore more optional aspects of life such as other people and work/school and such!

  6. EP: Such is part of the point of the article. It points out that it is a symptom of addiction to do so.

  7. I couldn’t be any less addicted to games – I’m addicted to reading game news and reviews online … :(

  8. I still do not believe in the mythical video game addiction. I believe in psychological and sociological disorders and abnormalities. I believe that such disorders can cause people to excessively play games, but that the gaming is merely a symptom of a different illness.
    Exhibit A: https://thedaytonight.com/2009/09/10/editorial-gaming-addictions/ ^_^

    Really good advice in this editorial, btw. It’s almost like we’re doing a public service. Woo!

    It seems like there are just so many ways for people to screw up their life these days, and we’ve built up this socialist safety net that catches people who want to slack off and play games or do whatever else. Time was those people would put down the controller/bottle/needle/wtfever because they were getting hungry and needed to earn some money or grow some food. Now you can chill on social assistance, or get inflated student loans for ages. :D

    Eeeee I sound old and cranky. :(

  9. “Terminate Friendship”, “Let him live the self-destructive way” if the friend refuses to deal with his addiction?

    Wow, is the editor breathing fire? Abandoning a friend is quite immoral if you ask me. That throws the love and care and written before out of the window.

    Game addicts are not harming anyone but themselves. They are too indulged in gaming that they often see no better things to do in life.

    There are no guarantee for success but friends and relatives should give them more LOVE and help them FIND the feeling of SELF ASSURANCE outside gaming.

    Simply telling them to quit gaming would just leave them empty so it won’t cut it. You need something else to replace gaming a little by a little in the first place.

    I know because I’m a game addict who knows something is going wrong but finds it difficult to find worthy substitutes of happiness. I also read a book discussing the source of this addiction on children.

  10. @Himson: To be fair, the editorialist went out of his way to qualify the statement you quote in terms which seem reasonable enough.

    That is, if
    a) There is nothing else that can be done, and
    b) One is suffering as a result of the situation, and
    c) The individual in question refuses to admit there is a problem, then
    d It can be considered a reasonable act of self-defence to remove oneself from the situation.

    I had the same issue with a friend when I was younger, and there was nothing that could be done. Moreover, the situation was causing tremendous amounts of interpersonal strife. After much effort trying to be supportive and trying to help the person overcome their issues–issues they were unwilling to accept were a problem–I realised that there was nothing I could do and I had to recuse myself until they could solve it on their own.

    And, luckily, my friend came around. After several of his friends deserted him, he began to realise that he had a problem, and eventually he stopped playing Call of Duty so much.

    Now, that’s an extreme case to be sure, but now, my friend is more well-adjusted than before. I’m not saying every situation will be like this, but I am trying to point out that the editorialist qualified his statements by pointing out that the advice you take exception to is given for cases where the premises above are in play. In your case, you obviously are aware of the problem, and you want to address it and overcome it. So your situation is quite different from that which is referred to in the final instance.

    On that topic, good on you for taking charge and learning about the situation in which you find yourself. I think that you have already taken the hardest step, and if you remain diligent, you will overcome the problems that you are facing.

  11. @Himson I certainly do not advocate dropping friends at the first sign of trouble, nor do I advocate abandoning family members in need. What I am trying to convey is that there are situations where it is too taxing one one’s health to be the primary support system for an addict. There are many ways for an addict who wishes to lessen or overcome his addiction to get a support system, and if they only rely on a single friend or family member, it can be very hard on that friend or family member.

    Such is true even beyond addiction. Yes, it is important to love, care for, and support one’s friends and family members, but one should never forget one’s own mental health and well-being. Forgetting to take care of oneself can result in a lack of self-worth and a sense of weariness that can last years.

    It is untrue that game addicts are harming only themselves. Just like other types of addicts (druggies, alcoholics, ect), their addiction hurts the people that care about them. It is not an easy thing to see a friend or relative walk a self-destructive path.

    I applaud you for recognizing your situation, and I wish you well in your efforts to improve your quality of life.

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