Video Games Addiction

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Video games have evolved a lot since the early arcade machines. This is not only in terms of better technology, better graphics, better gameplay, but also in terms of accessibility. The market for video games has grown tremendously since those times. What used to be a pastime mainly for kids for a few quarters to spare now has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry. The biggest titles cost about as much to make as Hollywood blockbusters and they also rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
More and more people are playing video games today. All studies ever done suggest that the average age of the gamer is well above 30. It is not just for kids anymore. The casual market has also expanded massively in recent times and this has led to the popularization of video game consoles aimed at the casual market such as the Nintendo Wii and, more importantly, the huge rise in popularity for casual games on smartphones and tablets. However, with this newfound success also come several negative effects and the worst one is video game addiction.
There is no denying that many gamers enjoy very long playing sessions that reach 10 – 20 hours or even more than a full day playing a video game nonstop. This has led to many debates whether video games can cause people to get addicted or not. Currently, the definition of addiction has two criteria that it must meet: 1. A person will require more and more exposure to a certain behavior or a substance in order to function and 2. Whenever that person is denied further exposure to that behavior or substance, he can become miserable, irritable and even aggressive. Both of these symptoms can be found in gamers who get too attached to their video game of choice.
Even so, video game addiction is still not yet recognized as an official disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), currently in its fifth edition, is highly regarded as the most distinguished publication in this area and is referenced by every psychiatrist on the planet. However, its latest version purposefully left out video game addiction, decreeing that further research needs to be conducted in order to officially classify it as a disorder.

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