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Friday, September 3, 2021

Addiction To Video Games|Effects, Causes, Solution & Prevention

 Addiction is a disease burrowing the lives of many people. Some are addicted to alcohol, some suffer social media addiction and others, from addiction to video games.


More seriously, video game addiction seems to be the only addiction that cuts across all age groups—children, teenagers, adolescents and adults.

video game addiction


Because teenagers’ and children’s video game addiction can hinder potentials, disrupt concentration and compromise ambition, parents need to take stringent action to avoid this deadly mistake many parents make.  I have painstakingly written this article just to do that—an easy way to help an addict find a solution to video game addiction. This post is for everyone: children, teenagers and adults who are addicted to playing video games.

 

Below are the outlines for this post;


  1. What is video game addiction?
  2. How to tell if a child is addicted to video games
  3. Causes of video game addiction
  4. Effects of addiction to video games
  5. Solution to video game addiction
  6. How to prevent addiction to video games

 

 

WHAT IS VIDEO GAME ADDICTION?

Video game addiction is once over-indulgence in playing video games to the extent it controls his life and steals his priorities. Like every addiction, addiction to video games begins with an initial mild interest which then becomes a pleasure and then a strong desire.


Video game addiction is in short called Gaming addiction, gaming disorder or compulsive gaming. It has become an internationally recognized mental disease as asserted by WHO.



According to WHO, there are too many negative side effects of video game addiction, especially in teens and children. Now I know why we rarely see Albert Einstein's of this generation.



HOW TO TELL IF A CHILD IS ADDICTED TO VIDEO GAMES

The signs of video game addiction are glaring. It is not rocket science. It is pretty easy to tell if someone is a video game addict.


Addiction to video games is a disease and like every disease, it has its own symptoms as well. These symptoms can help parents notice a child’s addiction to video games.


Some of the symptoms of video game addiction are;

 

  1. Poor academic performance
  2. Always acting like a character they see in video games
  3. Always wants to use your phone or are regularly on PC
  4. Lack of concentration
  5. Being quick about things like school home works, bathing or even eating just to play a video game
  6. Making video games the centre of discussion all the time
  7. Playing video games for outrageous hours of time like 2 to 5 hours straight-non-stop
  8. Loss of interest in learning
  9. Stealing money just to buy or play video games.

 

 

CAUSES OF VIDEO GAME ADDICTION

The reason for video game addiction is not far-fetched. If you are a parent, then you are the number one cause. You can’t be too busy that you seldom make out time to observe and indulge your kids in healthy practices. Teens or children’s addiction to games or any other thing is because you fail to get them busy with the imperatives.



Think about it for a second. It is natural to indulge in meaningless things when you don’t have any meaningful thing to do. Similarly, a child will naturally bequeath his or her time to playing games when they are less engaged with what matters. Remember, games resonate well with children.



 By engaging children, I don’t mean you totally write off games or any recreational exercise. They help a child’s mental development if handled appropriately.



If an adult is addicted to video games, whoever raised him is to be blamed. This is why we need to raise our children to embrace virtues so that in the long run, we won’t be held accountable. To do this, you have to set their priorities right, so that they won’t set wrong once for themselves. This is one of the things you must do if you don’t want to go through the struggle to breaking gaming disorder.

 


EFFECTS OF ADDICTION TO VIDEO GAMES

addiction to video game


A reputable study has shown that a child’s basic character is formed at the age of seven. This means that the side effects of a child’s addiction to video games will begin to speak from age 7 to adulthood. The negative consequences are enormous if this is the case.



Some of the major side effects of video game addiction are;

 

  1. Loss of drive for things that matter
  2. Loss of life’s dreams and ambitions
  3. Poor academic performance
  4. Isolating from others so as to play video games thereby missing out on major family activities or outings.
  5. Relationship problems may arise when one can no longer spend quality time with his partner.
  6. Once mental health may be challenged since there is little or no indulgence in healthy activities that can enhance the development of one's mentality. 
  7. Migraine may result from focusing on a computer or phone screen for long hours.
  8. Video game addiction can be very time-consuming, leaving addicted adults with less time to focus on their career or education.

 

         

SOLUTION TO VIDEO GAME ADDICTION

As we have seen the effects of addiction and how detrimental they are, how then can we overcome video game addiction? How can we control it?



Here are a few things to do.

 

1. UNDERSTAND ITS PERKS AND PITFALLS

Maybe you are a parent who keeps asking the question of what to do when a child is addicted. Well, in dealing with the issue of video game addiction whether as an adult, teenager or a child, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of video game is the best place to start from. The pitfalls when indulged in excessively are colossal.



As we’ve already seen, misplacement of priorities, compromise of career and education and loss of dreams and personal ambitions are some of the pitfalls of compulsive gaming.

 


A parent’s first assignment is not to destroy the gaming systems, pads and warn the children not to ever play games again, but to provide solid enlightenment. Knowledge is power and education is the beginning of a change in any situation.

 

2. ADMIT YOU NEED A SOLUTION

We’ve seen some of the signs and symptoms of addiction to video games. If some or all of those signs sounds like you, then you need to admit your need to control or break free from video game addiction. If you think you are ok, you are normal and this post is exaggerating, then you may never get the help you need. Admitting you have a problem solves 50% of the problem.


 3. ACCEPT THE GRACE FOR CHANGE

If you are an adult addicted to playing video games so much so that it has affected many areas of your life—relationships, career, business, name it, then your cheap win is Jesus Christ.



Many times you have resolved not to ever play games again. You even went a step further to dispose of your gamepads. But after a while, an uncontrollable longing for it sets in again and you are back to it. It has become a cycle of defeat. 



This is because you don’t have a higher Grace backing up your decision. Your decision without God’s backing will always end in failure. In any kind of addiction, God does not help those who think they can do it without HIM. This is the reason for the cycle of defeat.


In case you need God’s help, the first step is accepting Jesus Christ into your life by making this prayer:


Father, thank you for demonstrating your love for me by sending your son JESUS CHRIST to take my sinful position and die to set me free. I receive you into my heart JESUS and I acknowledge you as my LORD and SAVIOUR, Amen.


In case you made that prayer, you now have the power and right to approach the throne of God in prayer.  The next thing is to look out for a bible believing church near you and attend.


4. TRY CORRELATING YOUR LIFE’S DREAMS AND VIDEO GAMES

Think about your dreams—the things you hope to achieve in life and ask yourself, “can I get there being addicted to video games?”  “How can I achieve my goals when the only thing I invest my time in is video games?”

 

5. DON’T DESTROY YOUR VIDEO GAMES

Taking away a source of temptation is not the solution. Instead, use that source to your advantage. Use the tempter to fight your temptation. How do you achieve this? By still keeping the video games and at the same time determine not to play them. As time goes on, its grip and control over you will begin to wear off. But in a situation where your addiction level is critical, then you have to smash your video gamepads and uninstall those you have on your devices. Treating addiction to video games demands a drastic measure in such a case.


6. CHANGE COMPANY

 There are several reasons we want to hang out with our friends. Some people for their intelligence, some for comic reasons and others perhaps for recreational reasons like playing games. For any significant change to happen in your quest for freedom from video game addiction, you need to keep off of friends who like playing games and who fuel your desire for video games. 



To easily achieve this, ask yourself, “Are my friends more important than my life?” If the answer is NO, then you have to choose your life over them. Don’t forget, many people— parents, siblings and the world at large depend on your purpose for life. There will be no Microsoft if all Bill gates did was play video games. Even the devices by which video games are played, including the game itself, were manufactured by people who were not game addicts. Perhaps if they were, they probably wouldn’t have succeeded.

 

7. SET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT

One way to help children or teenagers control their addiction to video games is by helping them replace unhealthy or worthless priorities with healthy ones. 


This is how it works.....


The minds of children were clean slates from birth. They are like a very fertile and viable soil ready to germinate anything planted in it. This is why God wants us to keep our hearts with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4: 23).



 If you refuse to plant positive seeds in the soil of their heart, they will plant negative ones like video games, cartoon and many more. 

 

 

 HOW TO PREVENT ADDICTION TO VIDEO GAMES

To prevent is different from seeking a solution. You seek a solution to a problem that is a reality already. But to prevent means to take proactive steps to ensure that the problem does not occur at all.



There are preventive measures to video game addiction. Actually, it is a two-step process—DEFINITION AND SUPERVISION


DEFINITION         

When God gives you children, as long as they are babies, He confers the power of decision to you as parents. But when that child grows into an adult, you no longer have that power. This is why the best time to exercise authority over them is as long as they are children. What you do with them as children today will determine what they will become as adults tomorrow. We already know that a child’s basic character is moulded by the age of seven.



The best every Parents can do for their children in the childhood stage of life is to define priorities based on values and virtues for them. Priorities such as praying, going to church, studying God’s word, education, respect, honesty and pursuing one's dreams are primary. Let games and cartoons be secondary. This will help prevent addiction to video games.

 

SUPERVISION

Many parents have a great outline of virtue-driven and value-driven priorities for their children, yet nothing significant is changing and they wonder why. Well, plans alone can’t do the magic if not monitored. Even adults are mischievous concerning instructions, talk more of children. They have to be seriously watched over and observed closely.



After making and executing a child’s daily priority engagement plan, the next step that does the miracle is supervision. You have to ensure they are not replacing your priorities with theirs. If you are a career parent, let whoever be the guardian take charge. They must not be seen playing games and watching cartoons than they read their school books and study God’s word. They must not be allowed to skip church service or any important meeting or outing because of games. They have to be drastically engaged in meaningful activities 80 percent of their time if you don’t want to deal with video game addiction later on in their life.



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