Video games have gotten a bad rap over the years, linked with everything from obesity to mass murder.
We all know that the charges are baseless. In reality, playing video games is a wholesome activity that promotes cooperation, lateral thinking, empathy, inquisitiveness, perseverance, and other admirable traits.
But there’s one charge that video games can’t escape. ExpressVPN reveals in a study that they can be addictive.
According to the study, one in five respondents reported wishing that they spent less time playing video games. 5% of Millenials and 3% of Gen Z gamers admit to feeling addicted. Oops.
But what does being addicted to video games actually mean for the addict?
Among the reported effects are an inability to focus on other tasks and a tendency to think about video games when doing other things.
Worryingly, almost 30% of respondents admitted to thinking about video games “all the time”, while half of those claimed that everything else in life is boring by comparison.
It’s all very well to have a hobby, but this intense level of obsession can lead players to neglect important activities like eating, sleeping, working, and socializing, all of which are integral to a good life.
Well over half of the respondents – 58% – admitted to playing video games despite negative consequences, while 47% reported lying to their loved ones about the amount of time they spent gaming.
So what makes video games so addictive? Basically, they hack our brains, giving us goals to complete in exchange for pleasing little releases of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that produces the glow of satisfaction.
Naturally, we want to experience this glow as often as we can, and so we develop a craving for it. Video games are unbelievably adept at satisfying this craving, trapping some gamers in a cycle of addiction.
You’ve been warned!
Let us know about your gaming habits in the comments.