Tell Johnny To Take a Break From That Video Game
Children who can’t put down the joystick may have a real problem. Pediatric psychologists explain that falling grades and antisocial behavior are to signs a child is spending too much time playing video games.
Writings in the journal Pediatrics explain video game addiction can lead to serious psychological problems, like depression, anxiety and social phobia. Researchers in Singapore say kids who were able to stop playing the video games saw a reduction in depression, anxiety and social phobias as well.
For this study, pathological gamers logged an average of 31 hours of game playing time per week, compared with 19 hours a week for those who never experienced the problems a pathological gamer does.
In order to be classified as a pathological gamer, the person has to be experiencing damage in several areas of their life, including school, social, family, occupational and psychological functioning. Playing a lot is not the same as being a pathological gamer. The games have to be causing problems in order for it to be considered pathological.
The study was important because researchers weren’t sure whether some children were at greater risk of becoming addicted to video games. They also wanted to determine if pathological gaming was a separate problem or if it was a symptom of something else, such as depression.