Video games have been around for decades but have long evolved past the primitive state when they mainly appealed to a niche subset of the population. Games are visually astounding and interactive, with compelling storylines encompassing various categories. Due to their skyrocketing popularity and mass appeal, it is more likely that gaming is just a tiny glimpse of the fully immersive entertainment that awaits us in the future. There is still some argument concerning what degree of video game use causes harm. Studies will continue, and new conclusions will be reached. Still, in the meantime, many parents and professionals ask, “Are video games addictive?”
If you’re concerned that your teen may have or be at risk for a video game addiction, contact Venture Academy today. Our team of caring professionals provides a comprehensive treatment program for video game addiction that helps teens get back on the right track. Learn more from our Venture Academy team today by completing our online contact form or calling 866.762.2211.
The Psychological Effects of Video Games
Video game addiction is a divisive topic. There is a deep divide, with many insisting games are harmless because of their cognitive benefits. At the same time, a separate group of people chooses to judge gaming as a whole by the merits of the most gratuitously violent games on the market. The fact is that video games and gaming are much like many other activities that straddle the line between a hobby and an addiction. The critical factor here is self-control, which children do not have because their brain is not yet fully developed.
Some of the fundamental harmful aspects of video games for teens include:
- Gaming can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which elevates the risk for chronic disease.
- A preoccupation with gaming can distract a person from their loved ones and cause them to neglect their responsibilities.
- Gaming can prevent a young person from regular in-person socializing, which keeps them from gaining insight from real-life experiences, problem-solving, and dealing with emotions in human relationships.
Despite noticeable adverse effects, it is crucial to see the positive aspects of this socially acceptable pastime to be taken seriously by your child. Gaming requires cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination, and a suitable video game can even build up empathy and social skills.
Are Video Games Addictive?
Gaming addiction stands alone while sharing many of the traits of other addictions. If you began gaming hours every day, neglected to eat, sleep, work, and care for your family, what would a therapist say to you?
So, are video games addictive? There is no doubt that gaming causes spikes in dopamine and alters the brain’s reward center. The fact that it takes skill to play does not discount gaming from being considered a behavioural addiction. How can you as a parent tell when gaming has crossed over from simple, fun entertainment into a harmful addiction?
Some of the critical warning signs to look out for include that your teen:
- Needs to spend more time playing games to get the same level of enjoyment as they did previously
- Shows symptoms of physical or psychological withdrawal, such as loss of appetite, insomnia, restlessness, or emotional outbursts when they don’t have access to gaming
- Is using video games as a way to cope with stress and painful emotions
- Is neglecting school, work, or household responsibilities because of gaming
When you notice these signs in your teen, reach out to our team at Venture Academy, and we can help your teen ease their video game addiction.
Help Your Teen Overcome Video Game Addiction at Venture Academy
In a society where video games are found almost everywhere, it can be easy for a teen to become addicted to their use. At Venture Academy, our team recognizes that video game addiction can derail a young person’s life. That’s why we proudly provide comprehensive care for this type of addiction. Reach out to our team today by calling 866.762.2211 or filling out our online form.