Turn that Nintendo off!!
Is not unusual to see from time to time that some video game can capture your total attention for a long while and doesn’t want to let you go. You try to negotiate with the rest of the World to continue playing for a couple of minutes or more. Every truly video gamer has gone through this stage at least once in this fantastic hobby. Especially with those “single player” captive stories were you want to know what happens next. Therefore, gaming feels like reading a book, or watching a movie; but more interactive. In other words, more neurons blasting around your brain. Moments like those are okay-ish once in a while, it clearly shows your passion for video gaming activity.
But just like any other hobby that the human being practices, everything is excellent with moderation. If you keep repeating this pattern over and over again, more frequently each day; well you’ll start to have problems in other aspects of your life. Like for example, you’ll begin to see the “Matrix” everywhere. With all seriousness, there may come some physical and emotional complications that aren’t “fun anymore.
In this article, we’ll talk about those signs that pretty much appear when you have a video game addiction. Yeah, we know, this isn’t like some awful drugs that can mess things even worse. But still, some common problems become relevant when you spend too much time in front of your screen. Keep a count of how many of these signs can be related to you; maybe you’re experiencing more than one.
Causes of a Video Game Addiction
Believe it or not, there have been (and still are) lots of studies to help developers in making video games that keep you glued on your chair. There is a fine line between “difficulty” and “learning curve.” Some games keep adding interesting gaming mechanics through the entire run while tweaking the difficulty at the same time. As a result, you feel like the video game keeps adding “new” things and “interesting” enemies that keep you entertained all the way. In contrast, when the video game lacks elements such as these, it feels dull and repetitive. In the halfway of the story, you may feel like it’s not worth your time, and you’ll probably shut off the PC/Console without hesitating.
In multiplayer games is practically the same thing. You play matches. One at the time (with the same map on League of Legends) but somehow it “feels” different. The thing though, in games like League, there are champions added from time to time. Besides, every time you queue for a new match, there’s always someone new. Most noteworthy, a person that has an 80% probability that he/she is a troll and does whatever he/she wants. Because of that uncertainty, people in multiplayer tend to enjoy long periods in the same video game. If you add the “rank” system to any of these games, you’ll lock even more people for a long while.
These strategies that almost developers use to “hypnotize” one person to their works is similar to another “hobby.” That is “gambling.” Similarly, playing in slot machines where you “win” some reward after 10 to 20 tries suddenly creates an addiction to their players. Likewise, you can feel something like this when playing ranked and winning one game after ten losses. Above all, gambling is now a “thing” in video games with the “famous” loot boxes. Where you open twenty and probably one of those had something decent.
12 Warning Signs of a Video Game Addiction
Every element listed on this list means something negative that you’ll probably be passing through in your life. Don’t be too alarmed if you see that something similar is going through your life. Rather see lists like these as “eye-openers.” First of all, accept them as possible trouble of your own. Afterward, look for some changes to make your life better. Above all, don’t feel disappointed if you’re passing through something similar, like you, almost all video gamers have something similar in their life. Similarly, if someone you know is being affected with any of these sings, don’t try to tease or demean them. We all have a problem(s) in our lives that take a little more effort to overcome.
After reading all the sings, there are some sections about what would happen if you feel like doing nothing at all about it. Another part though will have tips of “what to do” if you want some aid in overcoming this type of addiction. We all want to have fun and games all the time, but sometimes really calls us back to show us some responsibility. At least once in a year is healthy to discuss subjects like these to clear our minds and keep us in the right track. Due to the seriousness of the subject, you may think that I’ll write like a textbook. Wrong! We always like to throw a joke here and there to “spice” things up for a little bit. After all, this blog belongs to “fun” topics (especially League of Legends); as a result, let’s have lots of fun while we’re learning a thing or two about Video Game Addiction.
1. You’re the only “friend” left (Isolation)
It comes more than often when some friends and you select one new video game to pass the time together. Most noteworthy, You all have fun experiencing its contents as a team, jokes surface from here and there. It seems like everyone will have lots of time to share in this new acquisition and everybody seems to agree. Out of a sudden, one of your friends finds some flaws in that “special” video game, although all of your friends make fun of that inconvenience and keep going. Suddenly, after some more hours, another friend dislikes something else, maybe a gaming mechanic that doesn’t seem to “click.” Seems like this time everyone agrees with this disappointing “bug” or “implementation.” Consequently, one of your friends starts to miss some gaming sessions; it seems like some “troubles” in his life prevent him from continuing.
At this point, you probably don’t care, neither by your friend or those “bad” things that they mention from time to time. After all, you’re having fun, and it looks like nothing is going to change that. Nevertheless, another friend goes the “honest” way and tells the group that he has lost interest in the video game. By now you only have another friend with you continuing the “fight.” You both get together from time to time, it doesn’t feel the same, but there’s still somewhat funny moments. Finally, at this moment no one else but you keep digging more hours in the same game. You start to play with random people to keep the momentum going.
From time to time you feel betrayed that everyone else left to do something else without you. It seems like your friends move on, but you want to be loyal, you need to discover all the secrets, and become the number one player. Probably by now, you’ll be busy with the game that you start to talk less with your real friends. They do some social gatherings, but you can’t let go. The game is now more critical than any of them.
2. Significant other leaves you
After a long delightful journey with your partner, you both decide to spend some time together with a video game. Suddenly you both find a video game that is enjoyable cooperatively and you guys start to have fun. Similarly, this story is somehow related to the “leaving friends” stuff. Consequently, you both are doing great for a long while, until your partner begins to find something that can help him/her to excuse himself/herself away from the video game. Suddenly you are both finding hard to spend some time together. He/she sees something else to pass the free time, while you maintain your loyalty to the video game. Even though you both can be on the same room, somehow you’re distant from one another.
Fights become more frequent than usual. Somehow you feel like your partner is an obstacle that keeps you from having the fun you need. Jealously and disappointment starts to fill your house. Suddenly you almost lost any communication whatsoever. At this moment, your significant other may ask for help from external sources — something like parents, close friends or professionals. Probably you may feel betrayed at this moment; you don’t see it as a big deal anyways. In a couple of weeks, if things keep going, as usual, your partner will probably feel that enough is enough. They accuse you as a child that needs to be with a parent all the time, and they can fill that role for you. With much sadness, he/she takes everything that can carry with them and leave you for good.
To some video game addicts (or any other addiction) this is the last straw. They probably want to change, make things better and ask for their partner to return. Sadly, it is always too late to save that relationship.
3. Lying to your family and friends about the time you spend playing
We all see the “total hours played” in a video game after every session we add to the game. Sometimes even passes more than three thousand hours for a single game in your library. In multiplayer games, times like these aren’t that alarming if you started playing like five years ago. If, by any chance, you got similar game time in just half a year (something that may not be possible), well you’re experiencing some troubles at the moment. Consequently, if we invest too much time in a single game, things may get complicated at the end. Above all, the only reward that we get from these games is almost the same. Most noteworthy, self-entitlement and probably some virtual stuff as well. As you can tell, all that time spend on a game may not give you anything of value in the future. When the servers go down, or a sequel comes out; all your progress goes away with it.
Now, when non-gamers see that we glue ourselves in a chair for long periods, they may wonder how much time we can handle like this. Somewhat, is like asking a popular girl how much time she uses her cell phone or Facebook account; or how many sports games a fan has spent in watching his/her favorite sports club. To the “outside world,” we video gamers may look incomprehensible to “normal” people.
When they become curious and ask for our play time, we’ll probably tell a lie to prevent possible teases. This behavior is usually understandable, but when we lie our families or closest friends, this is now considered a problem. They already know our hobby and understand about it. As a result, when we lie about our gaming times, is probably to avoid more troubles with them. Therefore if you’re lying about it, you probably know that is too excessive even for yourself. You already know that you have a Video Game Addiction.
4. You only talk about Video Games too often, even when you’re not playing
We all have a great time when we find someone else that shares the same hobbies as we do. As a result, we talk our longs out about anything related to that topic, with no censorships or shame. Therefore we tend to create great connections with such people and become best friends in no time. Even though this gaming hobby is turning more popular over the years, we need to be prepared to talk something else. When Video Gaming is our exclusive safe spot for any conversation, you may find it hard to speak with almost all your social connections. Furthermore, when other people ask about severe topics like School or Work, we may feel uncomfortable. When this happens, your safe bet is to answer with “yes” or “no” with constant hope that the conversation won’t last long.
Some people may find you interesting at first when you’re passionate about your hobby. Consequently, they’ll try to hand out with you longer and try to find something else interesting about you. It seems like everything is going well on your end, but they may despise if you bring the same subject every time. Consequently, such people won’t last long in your friend list and move on. At first, you may feel confused because there were terrific conversations between you and them. In contrast, though, the only one that was having a great time were you. Having a Video Game Addiction makes you want to talk about this hobby 24/7, non-stop, not even on holidays.
5. Bad Grades or Job Performance
Depending on your addiction, the number of hours per day video gaming may be a little too excessive. As a result, you find almost no time to sleep accordingly (Eight hours straight), and you lack the necessary time to do extra-curricular endeavors (homework). It seems like you only play all day long, nap (a little), and go full “zombie” in your school or work. Therefore, your classmates or co-workers will quickly notice the lack of motivation when you’re outside the house. Likewise, in a month the grades may go below average, or your job performance declines. At the same time, your professor/boss will start giving you warnings or “worry” about your lack of enthusiasm. Above all, you may feel like is just a temporal “thing,” that the people around you are probably overreacting and you even start unwanted discussions with your peers.
If things keep moving on the same path, there is a high chance that it’s going to get even worse. If you’re in school, your parents could be aware at this point; otherwise, depending on the relationship with your boss, you may be cleaning up your desk. Problems start to accumulate in your life, and you’ll probably feel like playing video games is an “escape” from all that madness. Consequently, you are now behind a “loop” between “escaping reality” and “never-ending problems.” Indeed, video game addiction seems that it won’t let go, just like any other addiction created by a passionate hobby. Therefore it consumes your life and demands more attention as you pass the time digging your trap.
6. Lack of Sleep
There’s a great balance in how you’re able to spend a regular day in your lifetime. First of all, the 24 hours of the day, you can usually divide between three essential activities. Therefore you have eight hours for good straight sleep, vital for your body and mind; and is required that you try to respect this time as much as you can. Similarly, you have eight hours to spend in your work or school; these productive hours are necessary for your knowledge or financial income. Finally, for the last remaining eight hours of the day, it’s required that you use these hours for pure entertainment; like for example, doing sports you like, reading some fantastic books, have a nice chat with someone you love, or playing video games. Therefore, if the balance is not respected, certain parts in your life may start to decline.
If you reduce the time for work or school, your performance will decline, and the grades or financial income are going to be affected. On the other hand, if your “fun time” is almost non-existing, emotional problems or pure stress may appear in your routine. As a result, your health is going to decline, and severe diseases may surface to complicate things even further. Last but not least, a lack of sleep can be even worse. Because your body needs this time to dispose of harmful toxins, and improve essential elements of your body, like heart rate, energy and grow. Therefore, the lack of sleep will reduce your concentration, enthusiasm, and development. Above all, if this part of the day is usually not taking care off, problems like heart disease, Alzheimer, and overweight may be a part of your life. Think twice before reducing your sleeping hours of the day.
7. Constant Migraines (with Eye Strain)
When you’re “stuck” doing the same thing all day long, some parts of your body may feel the “burden.” As a result, being glued in front of a television or monitor can be unhealthy for particular organs. Similarly, if you have a “desk job” things probably could complicate your performance in the future. Besides, if you add the lack of sleep previously mentioned in this article, you’ll see that thing won’t get any brighter in the future. Therefore, one indicator from your own body about this problem is the constant migraines. Because of the backlight of a “too bright” monitor, your eyes may always suffer from strains with too much light almost in front of your face. While problems like these can be easily avoided by turning off the device and do something else, must of the time, it cant be an option.
Sometimes work needs you to keep your focus in front of a monitor for prolonged times; luckily for you, there are now glasses to prevent this problem in the future. Consequently, when you cannot avoid things like this continuing happening, the worst problems may come related to your health: most noteworthy, the ugly migraines. It seems like this health degradation may only affect people with desk jobs, but there’s also the possibility that video gamers experience the same problematic disturbance. As a result, if you feel any trouble related to anything we just explained, its advisable that you discontinue your prolong gaming sessions and ask assistance from a health professional. Likewise, if the problem persists without any changes in your schedule, the migraines may get worst and constant, and the medication could stop being effective in treating this cumbersome unease.
8. Poor Personal Hygiene
If you feel like taking baths and cleaning up your clothes regularly, you’re probably in the middle of a video game addiction. When constant gaming starts to reduce your social gatherings, things like these may happen. Most noteworthy, if you’re held between your work and the need for prolonged gaming sessions, going out is probably a “no-no.” As a result, every time some of your closest friends ask for you to hang out for a couple of minutes, you probably decline the invitation politely. Furthermore, if your friends persist in this endeavor, you may feel annoyed, and in need of retreat. If you keep succeeding in the retreating part, things can get complicated as the time continues. Therefore, if your life lacks in social activities, the need for personal hygiene dies with it.
Even though you can’t smell your aroma, everyone else is going to feel it the moment you step out of your house. Likewise, your hair may grow long and uneven, your beard (if you’re a guy) will populate your entire face, and the clothes may lose color as soon as possible. At the same time, you’ll start to have weight problems, and your health will degrade with each day that you feel like keeping this routine. It seems like complications like these can only get worse with every hour, luckily for you, you can change things up before the monotonous lifestyle takes the best of you. Above all, just by looking yourself in the mirror and judge if you like what you see. First of all, learn to love and respect yourself.
9. Mouse-hand (or trigger finger) hurts all day
When you keep doing the same thing for an extended period, some parts of your body may take it harder than other regions. As a result, one of these cases is the constant pain of the Mouse-hand (or trigger finger if you’re on console). It seems like having long sessions with the mouse (especially in League of Legends), can take a toll in some muscles of your hand. Therefore, keeping your hand on the same position and continuously “clicking” the mouse buttons can lead to “sad” moments in the next couple of hours. Likewise, if the pain persists and the routine never changes, your hand may not probably like what it can happen afterward. Therefore, in some cases, the pain would escalate to the point that it won’t be able to touch a mouse anymore.
Likewise, when people use controllers, other parts in the hand (likely some fingers) will degrade with each video gaming session. Furthermore, if you have the “rumble” option always on, there may be problems with your muscles and bones in the future. Because of these complications, it’s advisable that you reduce the gaming hours before the pain does it for you. As a result, practice another hobby as well, only add another activity that does not require the use of your hand. Likewise, if you feel like your skin is a little delicate, you can opt for some gloves to keep it protected. We all know that your ranking is essential, but before considering holding prolonged sessions trying to climb the ladder, think of your health instead. After all, anything wouldn’t matter in the future if you’re incapable of continuing playing due to the constant pain in your hand(s).
10. You take insults too seriously
We all know that “trolls” exist over the Internet, and it seems that they reproduce like bunnies. Due to the anonymity that this powerful tool give us when we create a new account on a particular website, it has a negative backlash when it comes to social interactions. As a result, some people take this privacy in the worst way possible. It seems like if you aren’t revealing your real name or location, you have the “freedom” to express yourself without remorse.
Because of this retorted freedom of speech, you always tend to see offensive comments over various forums, Reddit, Youtube or even your favorite video game. Sometimes people take it too far to the point that they’ll throw “fire” to anyone as quickly as they can. Therefore you start to hear preaches in less than a minute from a total stranger that want to vent their bad day to their teammates.
When something similar to this happens in your video game session; you’ll probably ignore the comments, have a little tease with the stranger, and even laugh about it for a while. But the more you get to play the same video game; you’ll start to get frustrated by random comments, and some veins in your forehead may become visible for a moment. It seems like talking rationally with trolls is almost impossible. Furthermore, the more you try to make thing clear for the team, the more flame will be directed to you from these courageous people. Sadly, when you’re trying to have fun in Rank, events such as these are impossible to avoid. Due to the winning requirement to climb up the ladder, everyone takes it like “double negative” when they see no light in the tunnel. As a result, “blessings” continuously appear, and without fail in every match that you want to participate. Every hurtful comment automatically stored in a “troll bag,” the more you play, the more patient you’re going to need to tolerate their fire.
11. Spend too much cash on virtual goods
Theirs is no better way to appreciate the work from the developer team when they deserve it. First of all, in the gaming industry, there are different options to do such thing; like for example, the initial payment from a triple “A” game and its season passes. In contrast, when a video game is “free to play,” where you only need to make one account and download the full version; it appears that other options can guide us to the same purpose. Therefore, we get the chance to interchange our hard earned money with some cosmetic items or the opportunity to unlock certain parts of a game. Furthermore, the more time we like to spend on the same thing, a desire to keep the cash flowing, suddenly appears. As a result, we become collectors of every digital piece that the developer team throws at us with every new update. It seems like paying extra cash doesn’t matter for the random item; we want everything added to our accounts.
League of Legends is no stranger to these types of business models. Therefore, we always get to see the new skins from some of the champions that this game has to offer. They look at the most played characters and release skins to those particular elements of the full roster to get more sales. At the same time, Riot groups some aspects from their store in limited time seasonal collections. Therefore, if you don’t want to miss the cool new looking stuff from the latest patches, you’re going to need your wallet fast, before its too late. Indeed, this is not all; there are other elements in the store, such as the icons, wards, chromas, etc. It seems like you’re going to be always broke if you want to be the “top collector” from this particular game. Above all, no one is pointing a gun on you to buy everything, get a couple of things from time to time if you feel the need to support the game and its servers.
12. Eating disorders
Certain chemicals in your brain always create a difference between the need for you to look out for food. Anxiety, for example, can drive you in either looking for food in the refrigerator or avoid any flavor in your mouth in case you return everything on the floor. Above all, your personality decides for either option one or two. Therefore, if something keeps elevating your anxiety, you either grab a lot of food all day long or starve for a long time. As a result, if playing video games for a long prolonged time and keep your nerves activated until the session ends. Most noteworthy, with video game addiction, your family or friends will quickly tell if you’re in some problem just by looking at your waist.
If you continue with the same routine for a couple of years, another problem concerning your health may arise with time. Hence, you either begin to complicate things up with heart diseases due to overweight, or you may experience some anemia from the lack of nutrients in your body. As a result, it never looks good for your health. Meanwhile, your self-esteem is going to be affected, which means more anxiety from social interactions. Furthermore, you’ll probably want to escape from all that nonsense with video games, making an addiction cycle that is hard to break free.
Long Term Effects in Video Game Addiction
- Under or overweight.
- Heart problems.
- Memory problems.
- Muscular problems.
- Vision problems.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Low Self-esteem.
- Emotional distress.
- Social anxiety.
- Lack of intimacy.
What to do?
If you’re beginning to experience certain uneasiness with some parts of your life that can be related to prolonged video game sessions, don’t worry; you still have time to change things up for the better. First of all, if you’re experiencing some video game addiction, is always advisable that you accept that you’re going through to that kind problem. Most noteworthy, after enduring the challenge, there’s an actual motivation to change things up for the better. At the same time, talk with your family and friends about what you’re going through; ask for forgiveness and their support in overcoming this difficulty. When everything is set and done, you should start the “healing process” as soon as possible.
At first, change your routine with other activities full of positiveness. For example, do exercises regularly, yoga, meditation, watch an exciting series on Netflix or read motivational books. Try to reduce your video gaming sessions for around two hours, use the remaining six hours for something else that’s also fun for you. Likewise, try to respect the eight hours of sleep and the other eight for school or work. Always remember that your Rank number is going to be there waiting for you, there’s no need to rush things up; enjoy your life in more meaningful ways.
Lastly, if you’re experiencing two or more problems from the “Long Term Effect” list, try to add a professional to your changing process. If there are too many emotional problems in your life, find a psychologist that can aid you in overcoming such difficulties. Likewise, if you’re experiencing too many physical issues, keep a record with a physician to reduce more health risks in the future.
There’s nothing wrong in doing something that you like. Above all, having a hobby such as this can be healthy and give some mental exercises. Therefore, sharing a couple of hours with this kind of activity can even boost your school or job performance. But, if you have a video game addiction, everything can go wrong quickly in a matter of weeks. Similarly to any other addiction out there, a problem such as this can provide a lot of misfortunes in the present, and complicate things even further in the future. Most noteworthy, this difficulty can break the “balance” of your everyday routine and reduce your motivation and will to pursue your dreams.
Still though, if you’re passing through a video game addiction, you always have the time to change for the better. Gather your family and friends, and together you’ll overcome this problem in no time. Keep your hopes always high and reach for the sky. Most noteworthy, remember that these video games are still there waiting for you; just like any other book or an intriguing series. As a result, you’re the boss, and you always have the last word to decide what to do in your free time. Therefore, have more breaks from the same routine and do something else fun, like going up for a walk in a park or across some streets, and experience the “real word” from time to time. Stay positive and enjoy the short time we have in our lifespan.