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February 21, 2009 By Addiction Blog Many parents worry, no doubt, about the effect video games have

on their children. We list the ten most common problems recently investigated by researchers from 2006present. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. An increase in emotional disorder symptoms An increase in and behavioral disorder symptoms Declines in verbal memory performance Somatic complaints Attention problems such as hyperactivity, ADD or ADHD Detrimental school performance (as video game usage increases, GPA and SAT scores decrease) 7. Family interaction problems such as less positive parental relations 8. Significant reduced amounts of slow-wave (REM) sleep 9. Modifications in visual selective attention 10. Playing violent video games is a significant risk factor for later physically aggressive behavior SOURCES: Pediatrics 2008 Nov;122(5):e1067-72 European Psychiatry 2008 Apr;23(3):212-8 Journal of Psychiatry Research 2008 Mar;42(4):253-8 Pediatrics 2007 Nov;120(5):978-85 Cyberpsychology & Behavior 2007 Aug;10(4):552-9 Psychological Science 2007 Jan;18(1):88-94 Pediatrics 2006 Oct;118(4):e1061-70 CONSIDERATIONS: Males are more attracted to, and more likely to become hooked on video games than females which has been found to generalize across very different cultures. So being male significantly predicts computer gaming. Its also possible that aggression and narcissistic personality traits can predict game addiction, whereas self-control is negatively correlated with game addiction
ANSWER: Hi Harold, Many of the video games out these days are very well done. That includes online games. They can be very alluring and once you get involved they can be very absorptive. Many of them are fun and very realistic. They should be treated like any activity and done in moderation.

They can be huge time wasters so anyone playing them should be aware of that. As a counselor I wouldn't discourage playing games. I would ask the person how involved they are how they interact with them. If they spend too much time, I would advise they look at that behavior. If I had a student who what adicted to playing games, I would treat it like all adictions. People can get hooked into these games because they provide a challenge; they are very realistic; and they are an opportunity to "pour" yourself into something. The positives are that they are an excellent change of behavior if you need that. The negative are that someone can let them get out of control and control their life. They can spend too much time playing. They can loose sleep. They can get addicted. I do not believe there is any long-term affects to playing the game itself. They are very real but they are not reality. If someone confuses them with reality, they have a worse problem then playing the game and that should be addressed. The long-term affects might be the residual behavior arising out of abusing them such as addiction, sleeplessness, other social problems related to too much activity. If you need further info or clarification, please write again. Graig :>)Yarbrough 2011 Could My Child or I Have a Video Game Addiction? Research studies show that only 10 to 15% of video gamers meet the criteria for addiction. Heavy game use is defined by the American Medical Association as playing for more than two hours per day, yet estimates of the amount of time gamers spend playing video games vary from 6 to 12 hours per week. In fact, reports typically suggest that gamers spend about a quarter of their leisure time playing video games. Considering this, it is easy to be confused about whether your or someone elses gaming falls in the average or heavy ranges. As with all addictions, it is important when considering the possibility of a video game addiction to not simply consider the amount of time spent gaming, but also the function it is serving the individual. Video game playing, as one of a range of recreational activities, may not be harmful or indicate an addiction. On the other hand, when game playing is addictive, it takes over as the persons main way of coping with life, with other important areas of life being neglected or disrupted as a result. Video game addiction or video game overuse is seen most commonly in players of the persistent multiplayer gaming universe, or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game -MMORPG games for short, who make up 9.1% of gamers, and may overlap with other types of internet addiction or computer addiction. These games hold many attractions for gamers -they are interactive, social, competitive, and happen in real time. Research indicates that MMORPG players tend to be lonely, socially marginalized people who have difficulty with real life social interactions. They may feel that they have a more positive social experience and more control in virtual relationships than they do in the real world.

The Controversy of Video Game Addiction Like other behavioral addictions, video game addiction is a controversial idea. Read more about the controversy of video game addiction: Is video game addiction really an addiction? While video gaming research is showing some disturbing effects, particularly in younger players, there is a lack of long-term research and insufficient evidence to definitively conclude that video game overuse is indeed an addiction. In addition, cautionary messages from groups such as the American Medical Association, which believes that video games are potentially harmful, have to compete with the aggressive marketing of the video games industry, whose own research, unsurprisingly, shows no ill effects. Video game addiction is not currently included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the "gold standard" reference for mental health conditions. In addition, it has not been recommended for inclusion by the American Psychological Association. The American Medical Association has, however, vacillated on whether or not to recommend inclusion of Internet/video game addiction as a formal diagnostic disorder in Manual's upcoming revision. How Is Video Game Addiction Like Other Addictions? Video game addictions are similar to other addictions in terms of the amount of time spent playing, the strong emotional attachment to the activity, and the patterns of social difficulties experienced by gaming addicts. As with other addictions, gaming addicts become preoccupied with game-playing, and it disrupts family and other areas of life, such as school. The younger that children begin playing video games, the more likely they are to develop dependence-like behaviors. As with other addictive behaviors, there are a range of different responses to the activity. While some gamers feel unable to reduce the time they spend playing, others do not experience cravings if they are unable to play. Harmful Effects of Video Games As well as addiction, the following harmful effects have been found to be related to video game use:

Increased risk of light-induced seizures, musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremities and increased metabolic rate. Increased aggressive thoughts and aggressive behaviors, particularly in children under age 10. Reduced pro-social (cooperative) behaviors in social interactions.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Counseling-1444/2011/1/behavior-students-its-effects.htm http://addictionblog.org/top-10/top-10-negative-effects-of-video-games-on-children/ http://addictions.about.com/od/lesserknownaddictions/a/videogameadd.htm

Over the last few years there has been an increasing interest in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). These represent the latest Internet-only

computer gaming experience consisting of a multi-player universe with an advanced and detailed world. One of the most popular (and largest) of these is Everquest. The data for this study were taken from a range of online gaming forums where individuals shared their experiences of playing EverQuest. Data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), a method for analyzing qualitative data and meaning making activities. The study presents an IPA account of online gamers who perceive themselves to play excessively. The aim of the study was to examine how individuals perceived and made sense of EverQuest in the context of their lives. It is clear that the accounts presented by players and ex-players appear to be addicted to EverQuest in the same way that other people become addicted to alcohol or gambling. Most of the individuals in this study appear to display (or allude to) the core components of addiction such as salience, mood modification, tolerance, conflict, withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and relapse.

EverQuest Its Just a Computer Game Right? An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Online Gaming Addiction
Darren Chappell, Virginia Eatough, Mark N. O. Davies and Mark Griffiths

Computer games have become an ever-increasing part of many adolescents' day-to-day lives. Coupled with this phenomenon, reports of excessive gaming (computer game playing) denominated as "computer/video game addiction" have been discussed in the popular press as well as in recent scientific research. The aim of the present study was the investigation of the addictive potential of gaming as well as the relationship between excessive gaming and aggressive attitudes and behavior. A sample comprising of 7069 gamers answered two questionnaires online. Data revealed that 11.9% of participants (840 gamers) fulfilled diagnostic criteria of addiction concerning their gaming behavior, while there is only weak evidence for the assumption that aggressive behavior is interrelated with excessive gaming in general. Results of this study contribute to the assumption that also playing games without monetary reward meets criteria of addiction. Hence, an addictive potential of gaming should be taken into consideration regarding prevention and intervention. Thalemann andgriffiths 2007