Everyone has already heard of drug addiction. And gambling addiction. And sex addiction. But lesser-known habits might deal with newer technological institutions. There are, quite literally, social media and gaming addictions. And though they might not necessarily be harmful in the same way as the other dependencies are, they can still rapidly derail a person’s life.
When thinking about the correlation between gaming specifically and addiction, think of it from a marketing standpoint, a chemical perspective, and a self-evaluation of where you draw your own lines. Beyond that, consider that generational differences in culture can alter how you view this topic as well.
From a Marketing Standpoint
From a marketing standpoint, people who sell games are trying to get into the psyche of people who buy games. A huge part of geek culture deals with how to get people to do stuff. Every psychological trick is used. In a parallel viewpoint, consider how drug rehab facilities market themselves. You might find it similar techniques for companies that want to get the interest of people in the gaming community. There is a psychology of obsession and obsession recovery in both of them.
Knowing Your Happy Chemicals
It’s vital that you understand what the human chemical makeup is regarding happy chemicals. What hormones make you feel good? What hormones make you feel bad? In the life of an addict, these substances are what runs every fundamental decision. In the life of a hard-core gamer, it can be said that these similar provocations are always in place. It’s the point of many games to try and get people excited to the point where they feel compelled to continue with the storylines and narratives and keep spending money on the games.
Where Do You Draw the Line?
As a gamer, where do you draw the line in your personal behavior? If you spend more than a few hours a day in front of your video games, at what point does it become unhealthy? When you start moving away from friends and family and work towards your virtual world? If gaming eventually makes you isolated or unhealthy, it’s time to step back.
There is a vast difference between people born before video games were popular, and those born after. People of a certain generation may not understand the gaming community at all or any of the geek culture that comes with it. On the other hand, people who have emotional attachments to games and the social groups that go with them may not understand how people can discount their opinions so quickly. It may be difficult to start conversations between generations about the energy that goes into gaming, but the idea of addiction can be a central focus.