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For most of us, video games represent a pleasant break in the day and a source of some entertainment. However a consumer concern group is seeking to raise the understanding in the general public that computer games misuse posses a significant and growing source of addiction in our society. This addiction is real and threatens the lives of many adults and children. It is not limited to children and young adults but affects members of the population at all levels of society and many occupations. However, the biggest threat is to children because they are vulnerable and they may be unable to recover from a serious addition formed at a young age.
People with true video game addictions substitute playing them for normal interaction with friends and family, and the time spent playing them is excessive to the point of interfering with work or school. The time spent at this activity steadily increases as the addiction grows and ending play can bring about withdrawal symptoms of irritability and moodiness. Addictive individuals can spend and average of 70 or 80 hours a week playing these games, reserving little time for work, social life, school or even sleep.
The signs of an addiction in children are easy for a responsible parent to spot. The biggest symptom is the time spent on the computer playing games. Video game time should be monitored just like television watching and the parent must make certain that both activities take place after the normal activities such as family socializing, homework and chores have been satisfied. If a child falls asleep at school often, it may mean that he or she is using sleep time to pay computer games. The child may then lie about the cause of tiredness. The child may also be irritable when not on the computer playing games. If these symptoms are spotted, it is time for the parent to enlist the child’s teachers, friend’s parent and a professional to help the child overcome this problem.
Adults are harder to monitor but a boss who notices an employee asleep at work or failing performance will certainly discuss the reasons with the employee. It is unlikely that the employee will admit his activity since video game use is usually characterized by feelings of guilt. Friends who notice a person dropping out of activities and becoming irritable or sullen should become involved and discuss the possibility of this problem frankly with afflicted person. It is not acceptable to sit by and wait for the problem to pass. Video game addiction can advance to physical addiction and symptoms such as Carpal tunnel syndrome. Sleep problems, back and neck aches, dry eyes and an increasing failure to maintain personal hygiene. The video game addict has replaced his or her real world with the virtual reality of the game. This person needs all the interest and help friends and family can give him and probably a healthcare professional and support group as well to surmount this problem.