Up For Debate - Are You Addicted to Video Games?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, May 7, 2017 5:00 PM

Addiction has become a bit of a dirty word, synonymous with dead-eyed stares in smoke-filled bookies, or secreting a hip flask for regular top-ups of whisky. But ultimately we all have our vices, and I doubt there’s anyone in the world who isn’t at least addicted to something, be it something as harmless as knitting, as lethal as heroin, or as omnipresent as gaming.  We’re all addicted to something, it’s just a question of what form that addiction takes, or indeed whether you classify it as an addiction at all.

Here on GD I suspect most users play video games more than the average person. We’re all guilty of spending the odd sleepless night taking just one more turn or getting to the end of that all-important raid. But have you ever wondered when it’s turned from casual fun to something perhaps a bit more harmful?

I’ve often wondered over the years whether I’m actually addicted to games, and I suppose the answer is that I am. Not necessarily to the games themselves, but to elements within them. I crave competition, and I love a feeling of a progression, both dopamine-laden brain responses that are catered to by games in their bucketloads. Seldom a day goes past where I don’t hop on for just a quick game of Rocket League, hunting for that win which I feel like I need.

It’s doesn’t help that I’m also a bit of a completionist. Duty bound to finish pretty much any game I begin, giving me two separate angles (competition vs people & competition vs the game) to feed the addiction. At times it’s easy for this to overflow, and I’ve made some stupid decisions because at the time I tell myself I’d rather just sit around and play games. Missing out on potential once-in-a-lifetime moments in order to do something else which I can do just about any evening or weekend.

Read through the list of signs of video game addiction and you can quickly assume you’re some sort of dying-in-an-internet-cafe-marathon-sociopath, however, I think it’s dangerous to pinpoint these signs as any indicator of an actually dangerous addiction. After all, we can all enjoy games and play them regularly, but that doesn’t mean we’re addicted. I realise as well this falls directly into the “Downplaying the impact of the excessive habits” symptoms category.

A recent study by The Guardian opened up some debate on the subject, with psychologist Patrick Markey explaining that gaming is no more addiction than gardening. “Anything that makes a person have a good time, a person could overdo.” We can all be addicted then, but the number of people for whom it actually becomes destructive is a tiny percentage.

So while I know it’s a tricky subject to broach, but do you ever feel like you may have a gaming addiction? And if you do, what steps do you take the limit the impact playing games may have on your day to day life?

Do you think you're addicted to games?

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13:48 May-14-2017

I prefer the term "selectively obsessed".

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21:08 May-11-2017

I used to be, then my GPU burnt. It's been 2 years. I am Clean. lel

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00:13 May-13-2017

No one is ever truly clean.

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03:58 May-09-2017

I'm definitely addicted. The OCD thing makes this even worse for me.
But hey, as a lot of people said, Gaming Is Love, Gaming Is Life


P.S. I have my entrance exams in 2 days. GG

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05:18 May-09-2017

Remember the answers are Bioshock and Counter Strike.

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06:15 May-09-2017

Yup. Finals week at my university and I'm sitting here at 1AM gaming, watching my favorite twitch streamer, and on GD looking up gaming news. Definitely addicted.

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23:44 May-08-2017

Psh i know i am a gaming addict because if i go out with some friends the main thing i always suggest is going to the arcades and if i am out by myself i am on my phone playing PS1 games (which i own and copied off my on CD's) and if i go to my friends place i am bringing my Nvidia Shield to play classic arcade emulated games like Ninja Baseball Batman and Knights of the Round.

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16:29 May-08-2017

Haha, dreaming about a game. I remember a particularly long session of Dragon Age: Origins; every time I closed my eyes I would see red and green circles. I think my dreams were actually in isometric view.

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14:44 May-08-2017

The addiction is the easy part... the real pain is when there isn't anything good to play from the new games and the craving destroys you...


7-8 years ago I was a happy addict!

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13:22 May-08-2017

All thanks to digital platform, I consider myself addicted to BUYING games.

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15:34 May-08-2017

This is also my issues. I don't always play the games or finish them, but I buy a lot of games. I am as sucker for sales.

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12:41 May-08-2017

My mom used to tell me I was addicted although I knew I wasn't. Until a couple of months ago my previous PC died so i was left without games for several months. Haven't had a problem with it. Now she doesn't say a thing.

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12:02 May-08-2017

I am addicted, I would say, but I know how to limit myself. I know when it's TOO much and it's time to stop. I still know my priorities and responsibilities and that's the important part. And I would say that I'm still not hitting my prime, my rig's holding me back from reaching my prime. SAD :(

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16:26 May-08-2017

Mine is the opposite case, my responsibilities are holding me back from playing games on my average rig

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11:29 May-08-2017

i am playing video games from 1994 dos era & still enjoys & continues to play newer games & will continue to play till the end of my life.


video game is life.

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11:20 May-08-2017

Well ever since i was a little kid i loved games since they were fun and easy to get my growing frustration out on, even though i have pretty much broken every console i had, not until i started playing on PC did i stop breaking gaming gear. Still i smashed the keyboard and hit the pc box when i got angry. About 10 years later here i am with still the same box, same hard drive, but everything else is different, except my desk, i also have a working PS2 on my PC. So to answer:

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11:24 May-08-2017

Yes i have been addicted to games like a drug addict to cocaine. And i have loved every second of it, but now it doesn't feel the same, since i feel like i have important things to do rather than play games, like fix electronics. I feel like this gaming addiction was my stepping stone to continue forward, i may stop playing games althogether but i'll never forget how much fun i had with games for all these years. Yes im a gaming addict, but i feel like im growing out of it.

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11:33 May-08-2017

then my friend you are not a true addict. true addiction cannot be cure.

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13:51 May-08-2017

Dunno if that's good or bad, but im fine with whatever.

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09:56 May-08-2017

I have never skipped work or made an excuse to get out of something to play games, but saying that when I am not playing games I am usually watching my favorite gaming YouTubers play games, if that makes me "addicted" then so be it!!!


Gaming is love, Gaming is Life!

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11:15 May-08-2017

hahah I'm exactly the same I could probably get more chores done though :p

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09:27 May-08-2017

YES! I AM! ADDICTED TO GAMING, I EVEN INJECT IT THRU MY VEINS!!!

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09:48 May-08-2017

Lmao :D

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09:09 May-08-2017

I game a lot. I commonly stay up late, very late, in fact, doing it. Thing is, I don't think it gets in the way of the rest of my life. I go to school, I work. I just like Gaming A LOT, does that make me an addict? Dunno.

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08:43 May-08-2017

I must admit here, If I don't play games even for a short period of time daily like in my case GTA online then I face certain mood swings, mental exhaustion and lack of interest in work. But after my system went down like two weeks ago I have managed to control my urge and I am feeling bit better now. :)

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07:17 May-08-2017

Omg yes i am addicted.
I'm also addicted to technology I CAN'T GET ENOUGH!
I WANT MORE!

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08:37 May-08-2017

^^ this guy gets it ^^

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06:54 May-08-2017

hell yea and i love it till the day i die and i bet i die in my computer chair from a heart attack i dont give no ****slol


also if i didnt play games i would of killed myself a long time ago

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04:49 May-08-2017

btw denuvo got cracked again. SWG and Nier Automata

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03:00 May-08-2017

I put no because while there are times when I play for like a weekend non stop, I also don't feel like I need to play when I'm not playing. If I get some free time I have a quick lap around Targa Florio but I don't cut work or not go to a gathering or anything just to play games.

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03:01 May-08-2017

I suppose what I'm trying to say is the gaming conforms to my free time and my free time doesn't conform to my gaming.

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03:01 May-08-2017

Am I Addicted ?

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06:43 May-08-2017

Nope, you're normal like me. Same here; during my final exams I prefer to study rather than playing games and I get good grades. Although in vacation days, I wake up at 12 noon and play games all day till midnight and repeat the cycle. It's all about the balance in life. :D

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02:41 May-08-2017

It all depends on the definition of addiction. Games don't hinder my work and I spend time with my family. I haven't lost a good nights' sleep because of a game in many year. But I'd rather stay at home playing something than go out and sometimes when I'm gaming I feel as I should be learning something new, reading or otherwise doing anything else.

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