A new study suggests that approximately 10% of U.S. children are addicted to video games, including online games.
“Video/online games stimulate the brain’s “reward centers” which gives the same high drug addicts feel,” said Dr. Charles Lee, physician for The Pinnacle Schools.
“Children and teens are becoming addicted to video/online games the way people are addicted to drugs, alcohol and gambling.”
The 10% figure sounds a little high to me, but certainly some children are demonstrating addictive behaviors.
From the website: “The warning signs for gaming addictions are the same as those for alcohol and drug addictions. Signs include: Lying, Restless and irritable when doing other activities, Eating meals at the computer while gaming, Inability to keep track of time spent gaming, Increasingly defensive about game playing habits, Poor school performance, Skipping class, Loss of appetite/ skipping meals, Defiant, Isolate themselves from family and friends, Playing games instead of doing homework.”
The behaviors listed in the paragraph above certainly point to excessive use. Someone once told me “If something causes a problem, it is a problem.” If video games are causing the problems listed above it is time to take action, restrict video game use, and get the child involved in other activities.
For help identifying video game addiction and takes steps to curb it, check out this great resource from the MediaWise Network.