Do you know that there are over 3.2 billion gamers across the globe?
Almost 40% of people on the planet Earth play video games. Although this number is mind-boggling, it does not warrant one’s attention as gaming is supposed to be fun and a form of mental exercise.
However, if we put into perspective the fact that anywhere between 3% to 4% of people who play video games are addicted to them, the matter of gaming becomes a concern.
Especially if we start talking about the youth (who are more likely to get addicted), the situation does warrant immediate attention.
When we talk about the UK, the number of gamers is on a constant rise – there was an increase from 36 million in 2020 to 44.54 million in 2021.
Almost 8% of youth who play games have a game addiction, and most require addiction support to get rid of the problem. But to help the gaming addicts, it is crucial to understand the addictive behaviour in youth.
- 1 Helping A Youth Overcome Gaming Addiction
- 2 Summary
What Is Youth Gaming Addiction?
Gaming addiction is just like any other behavioural addiction. It is considered at the same level as social media addiction or shopping addiction.
Gaming addiction is triggered due to the same reasons as any other addiction in the world.
Just like in the case of alcohol or drugs, playing games on a regular basis facilitates the release of a ‘feel-good’ chemical called dopamine.
As youth derives happiness and satisfaction from gaming (which might be missing in their everyday lives), they are more likely to continue playing.
Ultimately, addicted teenagers and young adults begin to display a sort of dependence on gaming and start cutting their ties with society.
7 Tell Tale Signs Of Gaming Addiction In Youth
Such has been the proliferation of gaming addiction in the world that even World Health Organization (WHO) has created a set of guidelines to facilitate the detection of gaming addiction in youth.
Below are some common signs that point to gaming addiction:
- Unable to control the urge to play games
- Prioritizing gaming over any other activity in life
- Irritability and anxiety when a youth is kept away from gaming
- Youths trying to deceive parents into buying new games
- Missing out on educational opportunities to continue playing
- Unable to control the duration of a gaming session, always asking for more time to play
- Continuation playing games despite experiencing the negative effects of gaming in school and life
Helping A Youth Overcome Gaming Addiction
Like any other addiction, a gaming addiction intensifies as a youth spends more time gaming than performing any other task.
So, if you can provide addiction support early, the chances of recovery improve. But it is essential not to be too strict after identifying a gaming addiction.
Instead, you must think logically and try to identify the root cause of gaming addiction. Below are some ways you can spot the signs early and provide addiction support at the right time and in a proper manner:
Learn About The Type Of Games Played By Your Child And Provide Help Accordingly
Most teenagers are hooked on tactical and thrill-inducing games like DOTA or Call of Duty. They seek an adventure missing in their lives, and the games become their only resort.
So, instead of taking away their consoles and smartphones, you should bring new adventurous activities into their lives to fill the void in their lives.
Change Your Own Behavior To Impact The Gaming Addiction Of Your Child
You may not be gaming, but you might be using a lot of digital technologies in front of your kid.
As a child mostly follows adults, their gaming addiction might become stronger seeing you indulge in such activities.
Try to limit digital time and set rules – for both yourself and the kids – and you can expect to see a change in them soon.
Help Your Child Understand And Overcome Their Emotional Struggles
One of the biggest reasons why there are more boy gamers than girl gamers is that boys mostly keep their emotions inside.
As some of them are unable to cope with their feelings, they resort to gaming to cope with their emotional struggles.
If you stay vigilant about your child’s emotional state and intervene before they resort to gaming, you can prevent the development of a gaming addiction.
Visit A Game Addiction Rehab
Gaming addiction can sometimes be too severe to treat at home. If you are unable to impact your child’s addictive behaviour positively yourself, then you should visit a gaming addiction rehab and seek professional help.
Gaming addiction can inhibit youth’s progress in the essential early stages of their lives.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the parents to spot the signs of addiction early and provide necessary help at home.
But if your own efforts do not bring about the desired change in the gaming addiction of your child, then visiting a gaming addiction rehab is an excellent option.