Gaming

The burgeoning world of online video games has spawned a new experience of compulsive gaming. The video game industry is a $66 billion dollar global enterprise and a 2007 a study found nearly 12 percent of 7,000 respondents were diagnosed as “addicted” to video games. A Springer Link research study, showed as high as 40 percent of online video gamers played to escape from the real world. Escape as a coping mechanism a key component of any kind of compulsion or obsession. Gaming problems addiction are often an impulse control disorder.

Tips & Recommendations

A study in the American Academy of Pediatrics evaluated the link between violent video games and aggression in children. Video game addiction statistics showed children who spent excessive amounts of time playing violent video games were more likely to display aggressive behavior in their daily lives. These same statistics showed ongoing game play resulted in poorer grades and difficult relationships with their parents.

Adults can become addicted to gaming as well. If you or your child is experiencing any of the following, consider getting help:

  • Poor job or academic performance
  • Disregard for personal hygiene
  • Behavior problems at school or work
  • Emotional outbursts when confronted about gaming behaviors

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTS) can help you, your child or a loved one cope with gaming compulsions.

Additional Resources

WebMD: Video Game Addiction No Fun

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Featured Therapist 

Linda Crossley, M.A.
Linda M. Crossley, M.A.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Irvine, CA

I know it can be scary to reach out for help, especially in a culture that tells us we should be able to solve our problems on our own and, if we can’t, there is something wrong with us. Well, I’m here to challenge that culture that values independence more than interdependence, because as humans we are designed to be connected with others in relationships. And sometimes the first relationship that needs our focused attention is the one we have with ourselves in order to ‘show up’ in our relationships with others.


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