Is gaming addiction real?

I keep getting ads on my phone when I am on social media for “Toon Blast.” They are promoting it with testimonials of people who say, “I couldn’t stop playing.” Why in the world would I want to download a game with that side-effect?

It’s too easy to look up already for me to see that I’ve just spent an hour cruising Facebook or Twitter, making funny videos with my grandkids on Marco Polo, or playing Boggle or Word with a few people (not adding any more)!

It’s been shown through scientific studies that as we play video games, we experience a constant small release of dopamine into our brains. (That’s what heroin does, but in one big dose.) And the dopamine flow stops when wequit gaming. That causes a depressive dip in our moods.

I am no expert, but I have experienced the strong pull of technology and have occasionally fasted to set tight rules for myself, which gradually loosen up. I do it when I find myself preferring social media to real people or when I realize it’s affecting my life in other ways, like procrastination or escaping.

Listen as Jeff Angelo talks to an expert (only 8 minutes). Lots of good information here for yourself or if you are concerned about another. Jeff Angelo asks Psychologist Dr. John Huber if video game addiction is real after the World Health Organization classifies it as a mental health disorder.

The World Health Organization has labeled video game addiction as a mental health disorder. The organization added “gaming disorder” to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems which goes into effect in January 2022.

Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

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