Online gaming addiction

This category of Internet addiction includes behaviors ranging from gambling to video games. Online gambling addiction was recently included in the third section of DSM 5.

While games such as “Minesweeper” or “Solitaire” began to pose a problem for many companies in the 1980s, whose workers spent much of their time playing them, the development of interactive online games and role-playing games has increased the phenomenon exponentially.

Addiction to online games shares several elements with substance addiction: changes in neurotransmitter circuits (alteration of the dopaminergic system linked to reinforcement) and behavioral alterations (impulse control, inhibition, cognitive control).

For several years now, studies have shown how addiction to online games is associated with serious consequences for the psychophysical health of the person:

1-Drastic reduction of interpersonal relationships

2-Reduction / absence of hobbies

3-Poor sleep hygiene

4-Decline in work performance

5-Decline in academic performance

6-Decline in attentional skills

7-Increased aggression and hostility

8-Increased stress

9-Decline in verbal memory

10-Increased loneliness

11-Weight gain

Griffiths (Griffiths, 2005) explains the 6 components that make up the bio – psycho – social process that leads to addiction:

1-At the behavioral level, the person is totally absorbed in the game

2-The game is a way to escape from reality and allows you to experience pleasant emotions

3-The person needs to prolong the time spent playing to feel the positive effects on himself (pleasant emotions)

4-The person feels anxious, depressed and irritable if he cannot play

5-A significant social withdrawal emerges

6-Although the person understands the seriousness of his situation and stops playing for a while, he is never able to completely stop

From an interpersonal relationship point of view, those who suffer from online gaming addiction prefer to spend their time with friends they meet online and believe that these relationships are much more true and intense than those in real life.

Online game addicts play in order not to feel dissatisfaction and this is an indicator of the onset of symptoms related to the withdrawal they experience as they are increasingly “captured” by the game.