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Ann Dixon's picture
Welcome to Serendip's forum for sharing experiences about video games. Links to 2 papers exploring questions of whether video game playing can become a clinical addiction in some people, and of whether video games can cause some people to act with more aggression can be found below.

This forum is a place to share video game experiences, thoughts, feelings, and social commentary. Serendip does not offer special expertise, but rather a gathering place to talk, listen, think aloud and be heard.

Thanks for visiting, and please join in.


Links to papers about video game playing:

Video Game Addiction paper

Games Cause of Violence? paper

Video Game Addiction: Mental Disorder? 

Pandora Battery's picture

Addicted to computer games

I was addicted to computer games since about 13 years old, I'd play computer games 30 mins before school, and when I'd come back from school I'd play computer games immediately after I'd come back. And during school I'd spend all my time just getting by - and looking forward to coming back home to play games again.

As you'd expect socially, I struggled a lot. At the time I received no guidance or advice on video games use. Only my parents ordered me to stop playing (sometimes I did reluctantly), but it never addressed the root cause of my addiction. Until I got my own room one day when I could get my own Tv and stuff, and I'd spent the entire time playing games in my room.

I'd hide away in my room for the entire weeked and most evening to play games.

I wish at the time I explored what the cause was, it;s only now at 23 years of age, that I've finally realised what it was, I had a terrible amount of social anxiety which impinged me socially. Rather than enjoy being with people - I'd hate it, and every time I was forced to be out with people, like on breaks in school I only wished that it be over so I can go to class again. And I remember vaguely one day I was given a walkman as a present, and from that day on I spent all the time listhening to music during my breaks.

Atm, I occasionally play games, but it's really a treat, and I don't have the time or inclination to waste my time playing games, I've done years of self-help to realise why I was addicted. However my time could have been cut down to a fraction with the right guidance and support.. :S

michael's picture

how parents should deal with video games

This is a general desription of how parents should deal with video games.

Parents these days are NOT responsible not all of them but most are. i am 13 years old and i play video my age it is considered allowed to play more violent games like grand theft auto and playing these games do not effect me. but when I go on the internet for an online game (im playing an extremely violent game) and I have a mic hooked up to talk to other players in game and i hear somone 6-8 years old... if you think my age and his is not that big a gap for gaming your wrong. to play the game I was playing would probably make me more violent this game is almost like a horror game i have friends who have gotten scared playing it and then I hear someone probably in grade 3 playing this game thats extremely wrong. if you have heard of the game gears of war you would most likely know where im coming from. people who play these games at my age dont care about it and think about doing violent things because of them or even when I was younger. We look at a game and wonder if it takes skill or not. anyways what im getting at is parents if your child wishes to play a video game say hes 5 years old do not get him an xbox or ps3. get him a nintendo or a gameboy and get him a pokemon game because at that age they probably like anime. there are three basic types of games there is the First Person Shooter, Real Time Strategy and a Massive Multiplayer Online. first person shooters are fine i used to play james bond with my dad when i was little and real time strategies are where you control an army from a birds eye view and is peticularly about eliminating another army it will have noo affect on your kids such as addictions and so on along with first person shooters. but parents the massive multiplayers online (mmo) are extremely addictive causing your children to play for long hours of the day from morning to night when they have the chance. I know I once played the mmo (massive multiplayer online) games and finally realized i had a problem. I was playing these games instead of going outside with my friends and it messed with me socially.mmos are designed a certain way to get you addicted. When I was a kid even though I said that a kid whos 6-8 years old playing that violent game was wrong a kid 9-11 is a different story by then they are ready for games like halo and maybe gta. as bad as gta is children playing those games only care about customizing there car in the game and driving around in it. But... if your children do play a violent game like gears of war dont allow a mic until they are age 10 your kids will know every swear word by grade 4 and 5 so no use in annoying them for no real reason. so avoid an mmo (masive multiplayer online) such games as world of warcraft and warhammer online. do not restrict your children from games rated T for teen when there not a teenager because seriously those games are just as bad as when you were little and played cowboys and indians. so generally keep restrictions with games like gta and saints row up until they are about 10 also thats grade five they already know bbasicly everything you dont want them to know by then.

Anonymous's picture

16 year old game addict

Hey, I'm Jess and I'm 16 years old who has a really unhealthy habit of playing Playstation 2 almost all the time because it allows me to escape into another world and leave my problems to dust.
I know that this is quite unhealthy but its fun, I mean what do you do when you can't do anything else but play video games because you're so depressed and bored there isn't much else to do.

Ron C. de Weijze's picture

addiction stories

Recently there was a story on tv from someone who betted on the stock market all day. He had finally quit, because "the fear got bigger than the kick". He had believed his own explanation of his behavior even though he knew it was a lie. You can only lie to yourself for a limited time; after that, you start to get disgusted of yourself. "That is a very painful experience, that when you have all that you miss around you and that you are really dreaming of, and you stand crying in front of the mirror looking at yourself and saying: 'so my friend, are you the one who has it all? You have all that you want but here your stand!'" The therapist repeatedly said it was not the kick as much as the power that his client was hooked on. Addicts can turn like a leaf, standing in front of a machine and saying "absolutely never more", and then break down (tears) and start playing again. You are trying to get that high and that effort is taking up ever more of your time. You should try to rely on the logic of your feelings (guts) instead of the one in your drip-fed-conditioned brain. You may think it isn't much you are doing, but trying to give it up, shows you how much it really is!

Daily's picture

gaming addiction

I'm 27 and have played MMORPGs for nearly 5 years.

For the last 2 years I've slowly added more game time and decreased real life social time.

Currently, I have no friends other than my online friends and even those are few because my natural personality (I believe) is to have a small and very close few for friends.

At this point I am no longer in college, my boyfriend supports my household financially and I spend my entire day around my computer. I sit no place else.

I have played every MMO released for play.
I become very easily burnt out with games since I play so much, but I am constantly downloading something new...even if I know I won't play it long.

I have nothing else to talk about.
Every conversation I have with boyfriend or an occasional family member has a gaming reference. It embarasses me and I never admit to anyone that I do absolutely nothing else besides gaming.

Sadly, these wonderful experiences in-game create a depression that I try my hardest to suppress. I sleep more often than usual and I shamefully neglect personal hygeine for days because of the time it will take away from my computer.

I know that I have a problem and the more I type this out, the more real it becomes. I don't know what I'm going to do about it. To end my gaming would be ending a daily life that I've had for years. Who could do that?

There is no 'blame' here other than my own.
I'm an adult and I make a decision to play games.
This has snow-balled into a problem, but the only real problem is my will-power.

Believe me, this is not a horribly sad story for me.
I've had plenty of incredible days of gaming and I wouldn't change that for anything. It is a wonderful hobby. It feels great to make progress and build a character with grand weapons that saves the universe.
I just should have taken a few days off from playing savior.

I hope that others will realise their problem sooner...if only to keep them from limiting their lives like I have.
There IS more to life.
Games are great, but real relationships are needed.