Video Game Addiction – Research/Audience Assignment

Mohammad Andha

 

Video game addiction is a big issue, it’s a major concern for most parents. It’s about their children’s life after all. It’s important for both parents and young children to understand the meaning of what addiction is and how it can affect them in the long run. I chose to write to the parents who are concerned, teaching them how they can prevent this addiction and I wrote to the gamers, trying to awaken them before it’s too late. Gamers think video game is not an addiction and it’s nothing to worry about. But it’s important they understand how lethal it can be. I chose to write my audiences a letter because I want to create a sense of personal sympathy and express the importance by publishing it everywhere to quickly rise attention. 

 

Dear Parents, 

 

    I’m sure every parent is concerned about their children. Every parent is worried about what their future might be. Every parent has a dream to see their children succeed in specific careers. Some children succeed and fulfill their dream but the rest don’t succeed. The ones who succeed are the ones who try, the ones who care, and the ones you can make smart and responsible choices for themselves. The ones who fail are the ones who don’t care and who are ignorant of the world outside. One of the biggest issues in youth today is video game addiction. Parents that have children who play video games have concerning questions such as, “Does this addiction affect our youth today? If so, in what way?” And “How far can this addiction go?” 

    Children can become addicted to many things and gaming is one of them. What harm could this give, you might ask? According to an article called “Negative Effects of Video Games” states that “Video games can negatively affect the brain, memory, and vision. They can cause stress, anxiety, and even isolation if the addiction gets severe enough. Video games can even kill brain cells and interrupt a person’s sleep.” The amount of time spent into gaming can affect your brain in long term effects which can lead to many other problems. Kids get so involved in gaming that they don’t sleep or go outside and exercise. For example, playing shooter games can affect your hippocampus part of the brain. As the article states, “Studies show that people playing “shooter games” damage the hippocampus area of their brain.” This part of the brain controls spatial and long-term memories, being harmed, it can cause depression and anxiety. This addiction can also affect your sleep. Same article states, “Use of video games before bed does make it difficult for many children to get a good night’s sleep. 18% of parents in a recent study cited sleep issues with their children who played video games at night.” Now there are many ways it can affect your sleep. It can give nightmares, or staying up late playing leads to less hours of sleep, or hard to fall asleep. An article called “Violent Video Games and Aggression” states “Studies have shown that playing violent video games can increase aggressive thoughts, behaviors, and feelings in both the short-term and long-term.” Youth that grows addiction in such violent games can have a noticeable increase in their aggression. This can lead to many social problems. Such as, not feeling empathy for people around them. Also, yelling or screaming at almost anyone in public which can lead to violent action. 

    Parents are responsible for their children’s behavior. Parent’s actions lead to their children’s behavior. You parents must control your children because as weird as it may sound, they will become addicted to video games. You might ask, how can I tell if they are addicted to gaming? Answer is very simple, an article called “Video Game Addiction” states few symptoms of an addict. These symptoms include, “Not being able to quit or even play less” or “Not wanting to do other things that you used to like” or “Having problems at work, school, or home because of your gaming.” All of these are signs of video game addiction. Look at the amount of time they spend playing video games, if it’s more than a few hours a day then try to lessen it. Don’t completely remove video games from their life, this will make the situation worse. Video games are a key factor of mind relaxation. Obviously too much is harmful but a little bit of it is needed. It’s never too late to break the addiction. Just like any other addiction, it can be cured. Consult a doctor or therapist as soon as possible. It’s a parent’s duty to get any help necessary because the child might now even feel he’s addicted.

 

Dear Gamers,

 

    Video games can be addicting. It’s a lot of fun to play, relaxes your mind. Great temporary distraction from school work. Even I play video games for about 1-2 hours every weekend to relax my mind and to enjoy my free time. However, letting gaming become an addiction can be a really a horrible thing. It can go from relaxing your mind to killing your mind. Temporary distraction to permanent distraction from school work. Playing more than a few hours a week is considered addiction. If not addiction then definitely a start to one. First it will be 3-4 hours then 4-6 and then 10+ hours. Eventually, you will start to skip sleep or school so you get more hours to play. This will affect you in the long run. You won’t be able to progress in school because you won’t feel like doing any of the given work. Instead, you’re going to find yourself playing video games. Then after you graduate from school, you’re going to end up working in a fast food restaurant but still playing video games. That’s not even the worst part. Video game addiction will affect your marriage life. 

    An article on the New York Post, called “Video Game Addiction Ruined My Life” gives an example of a wife tired of her husband playing video games all the time. The wife says “I would go to sleep, and he’d be up gaming”. No life partner wants their partner to be away while they sleep all alone. They probably won’t have any kids if her husband doesn’t leave video games even when it’s bedtime. She also says “He just wasn’t around, he wasn’t there … I was a video-game widow.” She felt lonely, so lonely that she describes herself as a widow. This was just the start, the wife got so sick of it that she hammered his computer. I’m sure the husband wasn’t very happy about it. They will have arguments and fights daily. Why? All because he decided to play video games day and night. It may even lead to divorce, which you better hope doesn’t happen. 

    You might ask, how can I tell if I’m addicted? It’s very simple. According to an article called “5 Signs of Video Game Addiction” there are 5 ways you can tell if you’re addicted to video games. These are anger, problems socialising, neglecting other activities, lying about gaming, and physical neglect. As the article states, “Irritable when they have to stop playing to engage in another important activity.” If you see yourself getting angry because you’re losing or you have to stop playing, it’s a sign you’re getting addicted. According to the article, “addicts to video games do not have close social relationships, and often become isolated from society, preferring to spend long hours in front of the screen.” If you find yourself playing video games all day and not socializing with anyone in real life, it’s a sign you’re addicted. Refusing to do any other activities such as hanging out with your friends and family or to focus on your studies is also a sign you’re addicted. According to the same article, “people with a video game addiction usually end up neglecting other aspects of normal life such as their studies or their work, in addition to their family and friends.” If you are lying to your parents about the amount of hours you play video games to defend yourself, then it’s another sign you’re addicted. For example, playing 8 hours a day but telling your parents you played 2 hours. Also stated in the article, “people with an addiction to video games try constantly to defend themselves, and lie about the number of hours they spend playing games.” Finally, not doing any form of exercise or cleaning yourself or taking care of your health is another sign you’re addicted. According to the article, “addiction can lead them to stop paying attention to personal hygiene.” This isn’t the time to panic, you can still divert from this addiction, you may not even be addicted yet. Having one or two symptoms doesn’t mean you’re addicted but it does mean you’re getting there. Even if you’re addicted, you can still eliminate this addiction. 

    You still have time to change yourself, you’re not alone in this. Article from the New York Post, called “Video Game Addiction Ruined My Life” gives an example of a man named Tim Walrod who overcame his addiction. He says, “It felt so much easier to go home, flip a switch and play a game, instead of dealing with real-life issues.” He’s not wrong, playing video games is easier than dealing with real-life issues but you shouldn’t hide from them. According to the article, “Things “spiraled” out of control four years ago: He was so engrossed in his video games that he missed a deadline to apply for nursing school. It was a “big wake-up call,” says Walrod, who was unemployed at the time and dreaded breaking the news to his mom.” He played so much that he forgot about his deadline to apply for nursing school, he was unemployed and scared to tell his mom. It says it was his “big wake-up call”, it reminded him of his career and dreams. He started by cutting down an hour a day as the article stated, “he cut back on his game time to just an hour a day and was eventually accepted into a nursing program from which he graduated earlier this year.” He also reveals his secret to success. Article says, “He’s now game-free and credits his success to therapy and pursuing other interests such as meditation, guitar lessons, learning Spanish and running.” Consult a doctor or therapist, they will guide you. Do something else you like, you don’t have to do what he did. Therapist will help you find what else you like if you can’t figure it out. Before gaming gets even worse and harder to control, it’s your job to make sure you handle it. 

 

References: 

 

P., Kim. “Negative Effects of Video Games.” CreditDonkey, 31 Mar. 2019, https://www.creditdonkey.com/negative-effect-video-games.html

 

Goldbeck, Lauren, and Alex Pew. “Violent Video Games and Aggression.” National Center for Health Research, 21 Aug. 2019, http://www.center4research.org/violent-video-games-can-increase-aggression/.

 

Ratini, Melinda. “Video Game Addiction: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention.” WebMD, WebMD, 19 Mar. 2019, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/video-game-addiction.

 

Lewak, Doree. “Video Game Addiction Ruined My Life.” New York Post, New York Post, 25 June 2018, https://nypost.com/2018/06/25/video-game-addiction-ruined-my-life/

 

“Home.” Triora, https://triora.uk/the-latest/blog/5-signs-of-video-game-addiction

 

   

 

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