Dealing with Online Gaming Addiction
09 APR 2019
Video games and online gaming can be fun activities shared by friends on weekends and other holidays. These recreational pursuits can help players to bond better, spend time together, enhance decision-making skills, encourage teamwork, and partake of light indoor entertainment. However, the sheer variety of game play, the spectacular computer graphics, and the pursuit of a grand prize can tempt players to escape reality and spend disproportionate amounts of their time in online gaming activities. The excessive engagement in these pursuits can spoil family life, disrupt social relationships, alienate friends, and cause negative impacts on human health. Compulsive gamers need professional treatment to cure them of such behaviour patterns and to re-integrate themselves into normal life routines. We will examine some techniques in the paragraphs below.
- Family – The parents
and guardians of young citizens addicted to video gaming and online gaming must
seek professional guidance to help their wards overcome the addiction. Seniors
in the family must create a positive and enabling environment that encourages
addicted juniors to seek help in such matters. Family members must take an
active role in implementing various de-addiction strategies to help their wards
reclaim a normal lifestyle.
- Cold turkey – Gamers must
be aware of the addictive power of modern video games. This awareness can help
them regulate their gaming activities to a minimal routine. Withdrawal symptoms
may include irritation, frustration, and an overwhelming desire to return to
the gaming domain. An addicted individual should recognize the symptoms of cold
turkey and deal with the situation accordingly. Most importantly, an addict
must not create an abrupt dis-engagement; rather, the aim here should be to
reduce exposure to gaming platforms in an incremental manner. A critical part
of the recovery process is to increase the amounts of time spent with family,
friends, education, the physical playground, an active social life, etc.
- Moderation – This is a key
aspect of creating an effective recovery from gaming addiction. Every player
that wishes to recover must limit the time spent playing online games. A
reminder can be set on the cellphone or an alarm clock. All gaming activity
must stop when the alarm is activated. In addition, the addicted gamer must
resolve to cut exposure to new gaming platforms and new games that enter the
market. This method essentially hinges on a calibrated strategy that reduces
exposure to the world of online gaming. A complete recovery would include a
personal resolve to stay away from the world of online gaming.
- Take breaks – Addicted gamers must be encouraged to dis-engage from online gaming
at regular intervals. The gamer must use the break-time to walk around the
neighbourhood, converse with family and friends, engage with the local
community, take a short shopping trip or a siesta, etc. These activities act as
distractions that remove gaming activities from the mind of the gamer. They
also help reduce the intense levels of excitement aroused by online games, thus
helping to boost de-addiction efforts. In addition, the addicted gamer must
avoid participating in multi-player games that have the potential to continue
for significant lengths of time. These strategies can help an addicted gamer to
quit the cyber domain and stage a return to the real world.
- Small budgets – Every addiction thrives on a constant flow of cash or electronic payments. Online gaming is no exception to this rule; hence, gaming addicts and their families must work to create a small budget for video games every month. This automatically limits the addict’s exposure to online gaming domains and helps to curb addiction. Further, avid gamers must make a choice to play movement-based games that encourage physical activity. For instance, gamers can choose to play online tennis and other games that operate outside the living room couch. This strategy helps the game player to move around and avoid the pitfalls associated with sedentary gameplay. Family members must participate in the action because this converts gameplay into a family activity.
We have outlined some of the strategies that empower gaming addicts to beat online gaming addiction in these paragraphs. The power of personal resolve plays an exceptional role in these de-addiction strategies.
This article was written exclusively for Gaming360 by Chandini Khanna
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