Effects of Video Games


To start we must first define what addiction is. Traditionally addiction is defined as being mentally and physically dependant on a substance and unable to stop without negative effects. This has been expanded to include gambling. An informal addition to this definition is being enthusiastically devoted to something. This informal definition is the one used when describing an addiction to video games. This definition seems invalid as there are no inherently negative effects on playing video games. At least no negative effects than ones you can have for being "addicted" to reading, sports, or any other activity that one can derive joy from. If this definition is considered valid then I would argue that everyone in the world is some form of an addict.

When comparing playing video games to an activity such as gambling (an activity legitimately considered an addiction) there are very few similarities. Gambling is a game of chance rigged in a way where you will ultimately lose. No matter what is done, the average person (not a professional gambler) will have the same chance of winning and failing, as is the same with all games of chance. An otherwise intelligent person will not gamble with the intent to win, rather the intent to have fun. One who gambles with the preconceived notion of winning and is not a professional gambler is addicted as it has inherently negative effects.

What is regarded as an addiction is simply a management problem, and is not limited to only playing video games. Anyone can have this.