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Question:  I am addicted to video games. Every time I study or do any work I just think about games and just games. When I talk to my friends I talk only about games. Even knowing all this, I can’t stop myself from playing games. Please give some suggestions so that at least I can think when to play games and when not to play.!

Dear Teentalker,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your concerns.

With the plethora of video games available today, it is quite natural to want to try and play those games, since they do help build in certain skill sets, however, when taken to an extreme, it can become a matter of concern.   However, gaming by itself is not such a bad thing, after all, there are advantages to playing video games and it is important to know what those are so that you make the most of your time and resources.  

Positive Side:

  • They can add to your knowledge and improve physical and mental skill
  • Video games stimulate curiosity and imagination
  • They also strengthen self-esteem as children, overcome challenges, go to a higher game level and discover what they are capable of achieving.
  • Playing video games is a distraction and also an adventure!
  • Video games is one of the preferred topics of conversation with friends
  • Children exchange tricks and solutions to achieve the objectives of the games when they find difficulty doing it by themselves.

       The negative effects of video games are as follows:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Violence and pornography
  • Attention problems: High-speed media content can contribute to attention deficit disorder, as well as decreased concentration and memory.
  • Impatient:  New technologies make us more impatient and decrease frustration tolerance.
  • Addiction:  The players’ immediate response to stimuli generates a mini-reward in the form of dopamine (pleasure hormone).
  • Sleep deprivation:  Exceeding exposure to entertainment screens produces sleep problems.
  • Emission of radiation: In May 2011, the World Health Organization, classified mobile phones and other wireless devices as a class 2B risk (possible carcinogen) due to the emission of electromagnetic radiation.

Are there ways to overcome this addiction?

Here are some tips:

  • While taking a break from studies or generally while relaxing, try to use that time to go outdoor and play some sport or try going for a run, or walking in some park or garden nearby.
  • Interact with friends and family face-to-face while relaxing. That will help you to stay connected to the real world and be happy as well!
  • Being mindful certainly helps. Practising mindfulness through meditation will not only help you to calm down but to be more effective while doing your work and while taking a break as well.

Hope this helps, if you have any other queries do connect online for a chat between 11am-8pm or drop us an offline message.