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Although addiction to video games is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, at least not at the moment, many believe that playing video games is addicting. Why? Mostly because of the escape that video games give those who play them. While playing, you no longer have to think about the real world or what is causing you stress.
The problem is that this high that players feel, which causes dopamine to be released, can become addicting — especially if the life outside the game is not very good. Sometimes, kids are playing video games just because they’re bored, but it’s easy to turn a quick game into an all-nighter and the results can be detrimental. For kids and teens it can lead to lack of sleep which affects school performance. For adults, it can affect how they’re able to perform at school and could possibly lead to being fired.
What Parents Can Do
The best thing to do is prevent the addiction in the first place. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these games; it’s when they’re played all too often that there’s a problem. So the first thing that parents can do is limit how much the games are played. They should only be played after your kids’ homework is done and all chores are completed. Depending on age, the time limit should be between 30 and 90 minutes a day.
Games can be a great way to relax and practice problem solving skills, but be sure that you and your children are limiting how much you play so that there isn’t a chance that it could become an addiction.