Who can forget the good old days of playing Frogger and PacMan at the local arcade? Or the excitement of getting your first Nintendo? As fun as those times were, video games have definitely come a long way since then. For one thing, you don’t have to blow on the game cartridge anymore when they aren’t working like they should (crazy, right?).
Although video games get a bad rap nowadays, they aren’t inherently bad. Playing video games can be a good stress-relieving activity your child can enjoy on their own or with friends. The trouble comes when your child begins to develop a video game addiction.
Let’s take a look at the dangers of video games and how to avoid video game addiction.
Why are Video Games Addicting?
We’ve all heard about people that can spend hours playing video games—maybe you’re one of them. Have you ever wondered why it’s so easy to sit there for so long? It’s actually the same reason you might find it hard to look away from a funny TikTok or Instagram Reel: dopamine. Dopamine is that happy chemical released by our brains when we experience success or pleasure. The feeling we get from dopamine keeps us coming back for more. So if you aren’t careful about limiting how much time you spend playing video games, addiction can happen more easily than you might think.
Signs of Video Game Addiction
Video game addictions can lead to other unhealthy lifestyle choices, so it’s best to address them as soon as possible. Are your kids addicted to video games? Here are a few signs that they might be.
- They neglect school and other responsibilities to make more time for gaming
- They react negatively when their gaming is interrupted
- They are unable to limit the time they spend gaming
- They have to increase the amount of time they spend playing or the intensity of the game to get the same enjoyment
- They use gaming to escape from stress or conflict
If you notice your child beginning to exhibit some of these signs, they might be struggling with a video game addiction.
How to Avoid Video Game Addiction
The dangers of video games also apply to phone games. Your child might not play regular video games (on a console or computer), but they might play games on their phone. If that’s the case, check out Troomi phones. Troomi phones help your child develop healthy technology habits through gradually increasing or decreasing their access to certain apps or features as needed. This way, your child can still access the necessary features on their phones without having access to others that might cause distraction.
If you have kids addicted to video games, the first thing they need to do is stop playing the game. Though quitting cold turkey is difficult, it will get easier with time. If you’ve ever participated in a social media fast, you can relate to this. Just like it’s easy to bypass any limits you’ve set for yourself on social media, it’s easy to bypass game playing limits, which is why stopping altogether is the most helpful when it comes to overcoming video game addiction. If the addiction is bad enough, you might consider seeking professional help with a therapist or finding a support group.
Though addiction can be scary, remember that not all kids who play video games are addicted, and not all video games are bad. Video games can be a great way for your child to wind-down and destress after they’ve completed their responsibilities. But just like with anything else, moderation is important, so help your child understand why spending hours everyday playing video games isn’t healthy for them and how they can avoid addiction.