Video Game Addiction: Are Game Developers Responsible?

Video Game Addiction:

There are tens of thousands of video games to choose from on many different consoles. Whether it be PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo, there is literally something out there to appeal to everyone. This brings us to the questions: Is video game addiction real? Whose responsible for the repercussions of the addiction?

IS GAMING ADDICTION REAL? 

The simplest answer is, yes. Video game addiction is very real. According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, the symptoms of gaming addiction can include:

  • Preoccupation with the Game.  (Thoughts about previous on-line activity or anticipation of the next on-line session.)
  • Use of the Game in increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction.
  • Repeated, unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop Game use.
  • Feelings of restlessness, moodiness, depression, or irritability when attempting to cut down use of the Game.
  • Gaming longer than originally intended.
  • Jeopardized or risked loss of significant relationships, job, educational or career opportunities because of Game use.
  • Lies to family members, friends, therapists, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Game.
  • Use of the Game is a way to escape from problems or to relieve a dysphoric mood.  (e.g. feelings of hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, depression.)

World Health Organization says this about the topic:

“Gaming disorder is defined … as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

There is help out there if you think you or a loved one has an addiction. Please contact your local addiction center for help. Or you can call Addiction Center at (855)826-4464 for confidential help.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GAMING ADDICTION?

Now that we know video game addiction is real, who do we hold responsible for it? Is it the players? Is it the game developers?

Personally, I believe it’s up to the players to decide upon a healthy amount of gaming time. If the player is a minor, it should be up to the parents or guardians. Game developers should not be held to such a standard that we take away personal responsibility.

A Canadian legal firm is preparing a lawsuit against EPIC Games, creators of Fortnite on behalf of the parents of two minors. The case states that EPIC Games knowingly created Fortnite to be “highly addictive” and did not warn consumers.

Isn’t that the point of games like Fortnite? Not addiction, but to create a game that people enjoy so much that they want to keep playing. There have been many games made that are easily addictive. It is up to us players alone to decide how long and how often we game. No one else.

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