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Can Someone Really Be a Video Game Addict?

Learn if a person can really be addicted to video games from Dr. Paul Hokemeyer in this Howcast video.


People can and do become addicted to video games. Video games fall into what's called behavioral addiction. So you're not necessarily addicted to a substance, like a drug or alcohol, but you're addicted to the process. So people get involved in these video games, and they lose track of time, they lose contact with their friends, and the video games begin to take over their lives.

So in other words, instead of they being in control of their life, the video game gets to be in control of their life. People often wonder whether or not they have a video game addiction. In my experience, if you wonder, if you think that you might have a problem, typically you do. Because we know that addictions are shrouded in the two concepts of denial. You deny that you have a problem, and rationalization. You say that, "Well, you know, I may have an issue, but it's not that bad," or "All of my friends are doing this the same amount of time that I am."

The issue becomes how is the video games, how are they impacting your life? Are they impacting your life in a negative way? Are they causing you not to engage in behaviors that you used to engage in, that you used to enjoy? Are you not out in the world as much as you used to be? There are a number of ways to address this. The first is to become very mindful of your use. Keep track of the amount of time that you're spending on video games.

Secondly, if you find that you're spending too much time on the video games, try to establish some boundaries around your use. A good way to do that is to spend, say, two hours in the evening. Allow yourself to spend two hours in the evening on video games. In that way, then, you can begin to control the amount of use that you have.

A third way is that if you connect with another friend, a person who is also taking a look at their video game use and trying to put some boundaries around it, you can reach an agreement with them in order to help you contain your video game use.

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