World Health Organization formally accepted the inclusion of video game abuse as a mental disorder . It is a form of leisure that has a great following by a multitude of young and middle-aged people. According to this new approach, spending too much time on this content is a health risk and can be considered a mental illness such as addiction.
Currently, video games are very popular among the population under thirty-five years. Although it is associated with youth in general, it is increasingly affecting adolescents. This is a segment of the population that is between two very different age stages and it is difficult to pinpoint its identity. Video games are so varied and the product of a sector that evolves so quickly that it makes minors an ideal group to make a dent in their vulnerabilities and create addiction.
What is video game addiction disorder?
Video game addiction disorder occurs when a person ends up spending much of their time connected to them. Whether due to lifestyle or abuse, a psychological bond is created that can generate emotional dependence.
If limits are not set, progressively more time is spent on the activity, leaving aside responsibilities and daily needs.
Thus, the individual deviates from normal habits and affects how he develops in his normal life and his psychological stability.
How to avoid addiction to video games
Guidelines and good practices to avoid addiction to video games
Know what your children play
Don’t be afraid of not knowing enough. Just be interested. Just look at the cover to see the age rating, check the PEGI code, or ask your kids and even other parents. Video games appear all over Youtube and are designed to be simple and intuitive.
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Be demanding with the times
Your child will enjoy it more if it is dosed, so teach him to alternate the game with other activities. Negotiate study time, video game time, and non-digital leisure time. Everything must have its space and, in the future, it will thank you.
Not only from video games can your child live. In case you begin to notice an excess of dedication to video games or online time, always have alternatives of your choice ready. The best ones are those that allow you to be creative or that favor personal relationships, or outdoor activities. Be interested in the alternatives that you like and promote them.
Reading is essential for the brain of all ages. Even if they are novels or fantasy literature, reading of any kind is great for the brain. Get it.
Minimize the use of screens
If your child has a mobile, laptop, desktop computer, console, tablet and television, it will be difficult for them not to be looking at a screen or playing video games all the time. With a mobile you have access to thousands of games that you can take with you wherever you go. Negotiate the use of screens inside and outside the home.
Pay attention to economic spending
Video games are expensive, and few of them are 100% free. The micropayment system of mobile video games or “free to play” convert a mobile or console into a potential slot machine.
Talk to your child
The concept of “playing too much” or the use of age-inappropriate video games can be difficult topics to address. Instead of arguing, give him your opinion about the content of questionable morality or if you think he plays too much. Let’s turn lemon into lemonade: A violent game can give you an invaluable opportunity to talk to your child about violence, drugs, or any dangerous or inappropriate behavior.
Worry, but not too much
As much as your child plays video games, he will not get sick or need clinical treatment for techno addiction, as long as he does something more in his life than just play video games, such as going to school and learning, playing sports, etc. Worrying too much will only make you suspicious and create unnecessary tension at home.
Remember that they are just games
Behaviors or situations within a video game are not imitable in real life. Playing violent video games is not going to turn your child into a violent person. If you respect the age rating and the obvious minimums of common sense, you should not fear for your child’s emotional or mental health.
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Ask for professional help
When in doubt… ask. Consumer associations endorsed by official bodies such as the Learning to Watch Foundation are specifically dedicated to researching and keeping abreast of what is happening in the world of video games to anticipate all your questions. In addition, there are guides and books written by psychologists and pedagogues aimed at parents and educators in which you can solve most of your doubts.
Symptoms of video game addiction
Loss of control
It arrives when the boy says that she is going to play for an hour and they end up being six or more.
He spends more and more time in front of the screen or is always thinking about the video game even if it is not in front of him.
She spends a lot of time in her room because she prefers to be alone while playing; his friends go into the background. He does not do other leisure activities such as sports.
Aggressive responses towards parents or close relatives, irritability…
The stress of the games is also noticeable at night, when they can’t sleep. They are sleepy and tired at all hours.
Video games are a type of entertainment that requires more attention and concentration than any other type of leisure activity. For this reason, the games that are played become very intense to test the stimuli and cognitive abilities. A person who habitually abuses them, not only can become addicted, but over time will pay less attention to their environment, and especially to their social relationships. On the other hand, in the loneliest people it can be a means to keep in touch with other individuals or to alleviate the pain of loneliness.
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