Video games were deliberately designed to keep you invested. These are games which operate with state-of-the-art behaviour, and they deliver experiences which supply you great quantities of dopamine. When you are exposed too much to this height of stimulation, structural changes can be made to your brain.
In a world where prompt gratification is desired, this becomes attractive to the video game player. You could end up playing games for hours, without realizing that your whole day has been spent. It becomes difficult for you to make progress in reality, because you have your full attention elsewhere.
Video games addiction is typical of teenagers, and it has various effects on them. However, how do you know a teenager who is addicted to video games?
- Preoccupation: An addicted teenager will have his mind on the past gaming activity, and would always look forward to more. He would definitely look for means to skip classes if possible, and fulfil his gaming desire. With time, the dominant activity in the life of the teenager becomes video games.
- Withdrawal symptoms: If an event happens which ensures the absence of video games, it becomes difficult for the teenager to cope. Hence, he experiences some withdrawal symptoms which is similar to what a recovering alcohol or drug addict would experience. Some of these symptoms are anxiety, irritability, sadness, boredom and the likes.
- Lies: An addicted teenager would lie to his family and friends when it comes to video games usage. When the act of lying sets in, what occurs is, the teenager uses more lies to cover up, and it strains his relationship with his loved ones.
- Relieve an undesirable mood: One way to know a teenager addicted to video games is, whenever he is angry, feeling guilty or anxious, he uses video games as an escape route.
- No interest in past hobbies: An observant parent or loved one will realize that, the teenager would lose interest in activities which he used to participate in. His full interest would be in video games.