As video games get more immersive, the issue of gaming addiction rises
Gaming addiction in teens is a fast-rising epidemic in America. Teens and young adults are officially diagnosed with gaming addiction when they display behaviors that include:
- ignoring responsibilities to play games
- playing video games with no concept of time or consequences
- having no control over the impulse to play games
Teen boys are most commonly diagnosed with gaming addiction which can cause setbacks in social skills and an increased chance of experiencing depression and anxiety. These teens that struggle with it tend to be using video games as a way of escaping reality–much like drug and substance abusers.
School safety & gaming addiction in teens
Commonly, gaming addiction in teens can be linked to high incidences of cyberbullying. These incidences have been linked to extreme violent acts, such as school shootings. The Federal Commission on School Safety has met with the Education Secretary to discuss ways to combat the growing gaming addiction and its impact on school safety.
This discussion emphasized the need for schools to create a more positive climate by teaching students how to use social media in a more positive manner. The commission also discussed how gaming addiction in teens can be curbed by locking teens from gaming sites and apps on school supplied computers and tablets.
Mental health impacted by violence in media
Studies show that the more children and teens are exposed to violence, they will be more likely use violence to solve problems. Both a teen’s mental health and family dynamic can combine with gaming addiction to exacerbate violent outbursts. The panel discussed these studies and recommended that a reduced exposure to violent video games, news outlets and poor social media usage will help curb the growing violence amongst teens with video game addiction.
Video games will only continue to get more complex and immersive. With virtual reality coming into play, mimicking the real world as a virtual one will only become easier as time goes by. Because of this, parents and society must take action in helping children develop healthy relationships with technology.