Is video gaming addiction real? Is it serious? The answer is yes, it is real, and it is very serious. While contrary to some naysayers beliefs, video games can be a healthy and even beneficial recreational activity, although it, like anything else, can be dangerous when taken to extremes.
Gaming Addiction Case Study
The most stark example of how serious this problem can become comes from South Korea, where video games are considered to be a competitive sport. One of the most popular online video games in South Korea and the world is StarCraft, a real time strategy game where the best players can earn fame and fortune on the professional video game circuit. In fact, a number of professional poker players got their start as professional StarCraft players.
Gaming Addiction Tragedy
While Mr. Lee, a 28 year old resident of Taegu, was not quite at that level, he was either confident enough in his abilities or addicted enough to lose his job in order to devote more time to playing the game. While this would be bad enough, things quickly got worse for Mr. Lee, as he sat down in an Internet café one Wednesday afternoon, logged in to play StarCraft, and never got up. Mr. Lee played for 50 straight hours, failing to adequately nourish or hydrate himself during any of that time, and collapsed of a heart attack in the middle of the game.
Understanding Gaming Addiction
This is clearly an extreme case, but the point remains; allowing oneself to become consumed by video games is dangerous. Any activity which provides instant gratification can lead itself to addiction. Laboratory rats will keep pushing a button that delivers stimulation to their pleasure receptors, to the exclusion of doing anything else, until they die. Human beings are not much different. Continual stimulation can be hard to resist. However as human beings we must know that sometimes we must delay gratification to take care of other needs.
If you suspect someone is suffering from a gaming addiction, talk to them about it. Don’t be judgmental, just offer support and think about ways that you can help them control their impulses.