Video Gaming Addiction.
Video gaming addiction is a recent mental health problem but is one that is affecting many people around the world. In fact, “gaming disorder” is of such a concern that the NHS are offering treatment to children hooked on video games. The condition will now be recognised as an official mental disorder after the World Health Organisation chiefs listed it under the International Classification of Diseases, which entitles free healthcare.
Do you worry that your child is suffering from a video game addiction? If so, read on. We have help for you.
Online video gaming has fast become a very popular pastime. The prevalence of faster internet speeds and the ease of access to internet-connected devices has led to the exponential growth of online games, including the extremely popular MMORPG-type (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) ones, such as Fortnite.
People with a compulsion to game online may spend 30 hours a week or more glued to a computer or device, compulsively playing video games.
Research by Van Rooij et al (Online video game addiction: identification of addicted adolescent gamers) back in 2010 already showed that online role-playing games are more likely to result in video game addiction than other computer game genres.
We all want our kids to enjoy their lives and we don’t want to deprive them of things that they like to do. This includes gaming. But we do want them to grow up to be well-rounded adults. So, we do have to set some boundaries and teach them to do things in moderation.
There are lots of ways you can attempt to manage your kids’ online behaviour, as there are lots of ways to apply certain controls on certain devices. But you need to have the time to install all the controls on each device and you need to be able to figure out how to do it as well. And worse still, kids tend to be more tech savvy than parents, and it’s usually very easy for them to circumvent these controls.
We make it easy for you!
That is why we made iKydz. iKydz is the simplest and easiest way for you to set boundaries for your kids when they’re online. There is no challenging set-up on lots of different devices around your home. You just plug iKydz in, download our app and you can now easily manage all connected devices including gaming consoles, smart TVs, phones and tablets.
Now when it comes to gaming, you can simply set the time that they can game, so you know that they will only be online for a certain period of time. You can block games that you do not want them to play. And you do this all from your own phone, so there is no complicated set-up on devices and operating systems that you sometimes need a university degree in to figure out.
Video Gaming and Mental Health
Governments around the world are now recognising video gaming addiction as an actual mental health disorder. This will be incorporated into health care systems to allow for people to be treated for this addiction. However, as parents and despite our increasing knowledge on the effects that video gaming can have on our children, we continue to allow our children to play video games, unrestricted. Many parents are unaware that this is having a serious effect on their child’s mental health and well being.
A study in 2015 by the Pew Research Center confirmed our mixed views towards gaming, and this gives some insight into some parents’ inaction when it comes to managing their children’s online habits.
What causes Video Game addiction?
As with any addiction, there’s no clear or single cause to gaming addiction, but experts suspect that key factors include both personality traits and physiological factors. Success in gaming triggers the brain’s reward system in such an intense way that the gamer experiences a strong feeling of pleasure or “high”. It is this feeling that keeps players coming back for more, and it this is the point when gaming can turn compulsive. Addiction traits also tend to be higher in people with impulse control difficulties, with those people preferring small, immediate rewards over a larger but delayed reward.
If online gaming is a pastime in your home, there are a number of signs that you need to look out for in your children’s behaviour.
- Preoccupied with buying and playing video games and spending a lot of time thinking or talking about previous gaming experiences and looking forward to playing again?
- Feeling anxious, irritable or sad when gaming is stopped or reduced?
- Needing to spend more and more time playing video games in order to get a rush?
- Losing interest in everything else, including hobbies that are being edged out by time spent on gaming?
- Unable to stop playing video games even though it’s causing problems psychologically or socially?
- Lying about the amount time spent on Internet games?
- Playing Internet games to undo bad moods – feeling guilty or anxious, for example?
- Affecting relationships, hobbies or education because of the overriding need to game?