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Avatar image for geirr
#51 Edited by geirr (3766 posts) -

Gambling is addictive, smoking is addictive, sports are addictive, alcohol is addictive, hobbies are addictive, soda is addictive,
bad food is addictive, porn is addictive, puppies are addictive, writing clickbait is addictive, writing everything that is addictive is a addictive..

It's always nonsensical to me when one addiction is singled out.
Now it's good to inform parents and people about current "addictive trends" but maybe try educating instead of scaring them.
But hey, I get it, the headline "information on current youth trends" is way less addictive than
the headline "YOU WONT BELIEVE WHAT YOUR KID IS DOING RIGHT NOW" with a picture of a kid screaming and frothing around the mouth.

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#52 Posted by WeirdGuy (8 posts) -

Every hobby is addictin

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#54 Edited by Eurobum (487 posts) -

I used to think, that only bad games are habit forming, the ones that try to drip feed rewards, that have loot and "RPG elements" and create "long term motivation". Today, I recon a gaming lifestyle overall also qualifies as a habit and thus as addiction. I also don't expect anyone visiting Giantbomb to NOT be in denial about this. At the very least it's interesting to peel back the layers one by one, rather than judging "It's addiction therefore it's bad." It's possible to be addicted to gaming and then get hooked on gambling inside a game, which again are two different things. So even when there is some player backlash, about some dirty EA monetizing scheme, phone games, an in-game auction house or pay-to-win, it won't change gaming.

It will take our openly scummy society half a century to even admit that there is an issue, just like it was with tobacco, asbestos, sugar, CO2 and every harmful substance or practice in existence. We'll see professional liars go around asserting that "Gaming brings people together". When in actual fact: gaming is a perfect way to isolate someone, or isolate someone in a group of like minded people!

Today there is sufficient knowledge out there (I've read this in a brochure for a Betty-Ford Clinic), to know that alcoholics for instance aren't just craving to get drunk. Often times with addiction there is a strong ambivalence, people want to be nice, organized, productive, sober and successful, but at the same time they also want to imbibe, which is easier in the short term. It's basically negative reinforcement, a way to (temporarily) avoid the negativity of efforts, uncertainties and fears one has to face, by focusing on something else. Negative reinforcement means - reinforcing the feeling of pain going away. Just understanding this particular bit, helps explain why even escapism is dangerous, escaping something negative starts a self-reinforcing vicious cycle of problem avoidance.

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#55 Posted by kopcik (98 posts) -

@berfunkle: Please don't compare reading with gaming. Reading is actually beneficial for your memory and thinking development. Gaming is just a shallow hobby. I love games but i wont lie to myself how great games are for us. I play games after productive day to chill and zone out . That's the purpose of gaming. To entertain us. Not more, no less.

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#56 Posted by someoneproud (585 posts) -

@kopcik: I think you're selling games short, I agree with reading being beneficial but there are games out there that have a positive influence on development too. I defy anyone to play the Witness and tell me they didn't either learn / develop something useful in their brains, how Minecraft purportedly helps children develop creative skills, Kerbal Space Program and the creative and problem solving skills needed to advance.

Sure games are a good way to switch off, relax and be entertained but to say they can be nothing more is just wrong. Turns out memory games are good for developing memory too and anything that makes you think is good for thinking better.

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#57 Posted by NoahA123 (3 posts) -

Gaming only becomes destructive and bad once the parents of gaming kids become soft and allow themselves to get pushed around. These kids ruin it for everyone else. If your kid spends his whole day on his ass playing and he is 10 and you're too scared to go in there and turn it off and parent him, like you're supposed to, then there is something wrong.

Of course parents spend good money on video games and consoles/pc's to play, but there is a limit to the amount of time you are letting a child play their video games. Being a late teen with strict gaming restrictions as a kid (that i of course hated duhh), I am able to control how long I game for.

I'm not trying to toot my own horn, as there is days where if I feel as though I have nothing to do all day or having an off day, 10 - 15 hours will be spent playing, so there is still issues but this is rare.

It's simple. Turn the console off on your kid if you think he's playing for too long or becoming obnoxious (and let's not lie to ourselves, we all do when we're gaming), or deal with a crappy kid.


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#58 Posted by berfunkle (185 posts) -

There have been studies that show playing some types of games improve memory.

Here's a link: http://fortune.com/2015/12/08/video-games-brain/

For any game to be beneficial, it has to engage your mind. A great example I played a few weeks ago, is Kerbal Space Program. I created my own space ships and resisted the temptation to cheat, which is hard for a game that's a few years old.

I realize a lot of contemporary games don't require much reading, but there are still games out there that allow you the option, especially indie titles that can't afford voice talent.

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#59 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7588 posts) -

I just see excessive video game playing as a symptom of a broader addictive disorder - one of many symptoms people could have with addictive disorders. This excessive gaming is "indicative of disease" not the disease or root case itself.

I think for the worst displays of these symptoms can be scary for parents indeed; ex. You wake up to find you kids is in their room playing; you find they can do nothing else or think of nothing else; etc. However, I thinking looking at games might be a very short term solution that will only be useful as long as their addition is focused on a game, gaming, or Twitch.

And, I don't think ist is too much to say games can cause people addictive tendencies to manafest. We know exactly why loot boxes work, we know teh psychological mechanism at work. But, I think a game triggering and addictive response is miles away form games "causing" an additive response. Opening too many loot boxes does not make you a scratch ticket fiend. It's just that games and loot boxes trigger the same response. Thus unlike cocaine, caffeine, or nicotine in which the more you use the more addicted you become; if you kids want to play a game and you don't let him they become aggistated or rants...but ist not physiological...it just a tantum.

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#60 Posted by cliffhoney54 (9 posts) -

i hate this addiction i feel bad, but i gave my game to my nephew

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#61 Posted by Eurobum (487 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: Gaming indeed exploits certain character traits, but they are diverse, good and bad traits and not an "addictive disorder". A virtual world would be particularly appealing to an imaginative person, while checking achievements off lists is something for a more conscientious personality. Lacking an inherited intuition for randomness, all people are fascinated by games of chance. Everybody likes collecting or making puzzle pieces fit exactly right, but some do more than others. A compulsive response to random rewards, is not something only addicts experience, even rats share this universal trait. (#Skinner Box). Obsessiveness is something basically all successful sports overachievers share, while an exposure as a child to a certain challenging game, can lead people to obsess even over crappy games like Donkey Kong decades later.

Habit-forming is a much more evocative synonym for addiction, and perhaps you've heard people being described as creatures of habit.

What you are perpetuating is the so called "bad apples defense", it's particularly ugly and unfair because it blames the victim. Other excuses blame parents, bad parenting or the educational system. Then there is the "everything is fine in moderation" - fallacy.

What is the root cause for drinking root beer?- Thirst. But behavior is result of a multitude of conditions and influences.

What is the cause for preferring root beer to a healthy beverage? -A fine tuned concentration of sugar, combined with acids, aromas, advertisement and availability.

Playing is among other things an inherent way (for children) to learn and practice, eliminating the risk of failure by pretending. And yet it was hijacked by a ruthless industry to instead stoop down to be mindlessly entertaining at best and habit forming and exploitative at worst. The interactive nature of games implies that they have to be mindless(!), which in turn means that a lot of learning, strategizing, thinking (and obsessing) has to be done outside of the game. Pulling the plug hardly stops the excitement, and it may turn gaming into a forbidden fruit.

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#62 Posted by Eurobum (487 posts) -

Now I have denied that there is such a thing as "addictive personality", but of course the flip-side of addictive behavior - Impulse Control has been suggested to be a very basic personal trait that could allegedly predict, how well children do in school from even simple marshmallow experiments, which probed if a child could delay gratification.

Impulse control disorders do exist as a classification. Both gambling - and internet addiction count among them. It's the old nature vs. nurture debate all over again. It's probably a little bit of both. From personality to age, gender, prior history and social surroundings there will always be predispositions to addiction.

A lot of parents share this dilemma, I can't say if an early exposure to games and impulse control inoculates a child from further curiosity, or if it infects it for the rest of their miserable life. Being an addict is a behavior that people learn. First time over I was dumbfounded by the idea of having to practice Starcaft or grind XP, it also never occurred to me to kill Bosses over and over again for loot. That's something I learned from others.

Alcohol creates a mild stimulus and euphoria, but it's the second step of "Imagine you can have that euphoria every day" that makes it pathological pattern. And that is what games today assume they have to do to retain customers, to keep relevant, to drive engagement, to push people's buttons and twist people's arms to buy things. Jeff touts the ability to unlock perks and prestige, as some kind of second coming of the Call of Duty 4 Jesus, the reincarnation of the FPS, which have been quite boring prior to this. But that is actually where things went wrong, with that second fatal step. Ironically the devs don't seem to have figured it out. They seems to have stumbled into this idea, that young people need a guiding purpose in life. So, the "career", RPG, progression and numbers going up have become just that. So this second step of "play everyday" is both dangerous because it is addiction and because it's fake and doesn't lead anywhere.

The interesting thing about alcoholism is, that other than the usual behavioral ways to diagnose addiction, there is a also a quick way for doctors to tell, by simply inquiring and adding total consumption in a typical week. The same is likely true for gaming. This data is available, so devs can easily surmise how many players are addicted, so they know. There isn't some big debate.

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#63 Posted by JasonR86 (10255 posts) -

I work as a mental health therapist and have for about 10-12-ish years. I've worked long enough that I've lost track. One of the things that I bring up with people is how weird therapy is as a concept is because it is both pro-generalities and anti-generalities. In the US, we use the DSM as our guide for diagnosing mental health issues and it is a book of generalities, more or less. But within therapy we create treatment plans that are individualized to every unique person. Which is somewhat at odds if you consider that often I'm creating a unique treatment plan for each depressed person given that their symptoms are largely the same. This happens because people are impacting by countless variables all of which can impact a person's mental health. The same concept can be, and often is, applied to addiction.

I say all this because I can see, and have seen, addictive symptoms with all manner of behavior, including gaming. If you look at the shared symptoms of addiction in the DSM they are things like engaging with behaviors associated with the addiction at the expense of work obligations, socializing, meeting basic needs, etc. Or spending inordinate amounts of time engaged solely with that behavior. It can go on and on. But of note is that these shared symptoms can apply to many behaviors. So in a macro sense, gaming addiction diagnosing doesn't seem troubling to me. I think what people need to focus on when they react to this news is how it's applied in a micro sense. If I were to write a treatment plan for someone who, say, has acknowledged that they spend more time gaming than they do engaged with friends and family, would like help changing that behavior, but doesn't know how to change it successfully would anyone here really have a problem with that? Because that would likely be the end result on a one on one, individual counseling basis. I suppose we could get into the weeds on how gaming addiction might change how societies consider gaming as a hobby but I think it would be too early to tell at this stage, right? And we still advertise the hell out of alcohol so...

I guess I can see why people who play games and identify with gaming culture might be bothered by this but I would caution monitoring your defensiveness and looking at the possibilities. I can say, anecdotally, that I have tried to help folks change their gaming habits because they saw that it was impacting other aspects of their lives. Whether we call their old behaviors addiction or not I don't know and I kind of don't care, you know? I just like that I had the opportunity to help those people and if calling these behaviors addictive facilitates that helping then I'm fine with it.

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#64 Posted by Aghoramovie (3 posts) -

Yes, gaming addiction is every human. Even though small kids also addicted to gaming.