Game Makers Must Do More to Stop Addiction

video game addictionBefore the Internet, we had video games and everyone knows that video games are addictive. Once the Internet came along video games capitalized on it and created online video games. I personally can tell you that back in the days of AOL I was sucked into a solitaire game one time too many and now everyone on Facebook seems obsessed with Candy Crush. I’ve actually have a rule against Candy Crush – invite me to play and I’ll unfriend you. Simple enough, right?

I have also caught myself staring at the screen while my brother plays a few rounds of Call of Duty. Video games are entertaining, mind numbing and time consuming; a true nightmare to parents everywhere. Research is finally confirming what we’ve known all along: video games are addicting!

Research published in the Addiction Research and Theory journal suggest that seven to 11 percent of gamers fall under the “pathological addict” category. According to the study, game makers are aware of the dangers gaming poses because they place warning messages within the games themselves.

“These warning messages also suggest that the online video game industry might know how high the percentage of over-users is, how much time gamers spend playing and what specific features make a particular game more engrossing and addictive than others,” said Dr. Shumaila Yousafzai from Cardiff Business School.

Many high-profile cases of extreme game addiction have appeared in the past years, including a South Korean couple whose baby starved to death whilst they played video games in 2010. Another case in February 2012 reported the death of a Taiwanese gamer named Chen Rong-yu, who suffered a cardiac arrest in the middle of a marathon gaming session whist playing in an Internet cafe”.

There’s still much research that needs to be done because gaming addiction is not black and white. Addictive games are not always violent, shooter related or online multiplayer types. Think about how successful angry birds become out of nowhere and before it there was Tetris, Solitaire, Farmville, and now Candy Crush on Facebook. The title, genre, storyline, difficult, rewards and entertainment factor of the games being played have a lot to do with it’s addictive quality. Even then, there’s no sure cut way of knowing what is going to work and what isn’t.

Scientific American have given a pretty simple but interesting explanation as to Why Angry Birds is so Addictive here:

If you or a loved one is in need of addiction rehab we can help. Please contact FHE Health at 844-299-0618.


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