Definition and Symptoms of Gaming Addiction

Video gaming is designed to provide entertainment and relaxation. It’s nice doing things that bring you fun, but is there a line crossed where a hobby becomes an addiction? Most experts still research to this day to answer this question. 

Video game addiction is a common disorder diagnosed a long time ago. According to the World Health Organization, “gaming disorder” has high relevance that it was added to its medical reference book “International Classification of Diseases” for 2018. 

Many players miss the sign and develop unhealthy habits with dire consequences. This article will focus on this, with a comprehensive definition of this addiction type. We also look at the common signs most players experience when they play for longer periods.


What is Video Game Addiction?

Also referred to as internet gaming disorder, video game addiction is a situation that includes a steady loss of control over gaming habits. Its end results influence self-esteem, relationships, and even work. This issue is common that books and essays about addiction with it being a focal point have been written. The research conducted shows players across different demographics are affected. 

Most scientists now debate that this issue should be classified as a mental illness and others prefer it remains an addiction, based on the number of essays written. Many claim it is a behavioral addiction, where a rush always to win becomes the primary focus. 

It is common to find gaming addiction related to gambling. However, it is flawed since the former needs a combination of good reflexes and cognitive skills, and the latter depends on a chance to succeed.  

What Demography is Gaming Addiction Most Common With?

Experts who provide help for addiction notice this issue is prevalent with everybody. Adults, children, and teens are all affected. However, the first group seems to be most affected by this condition. Males are more likely to suffer from this problem than females, although there is no compelling research to suggest such. 

Causes for Gaming Addiction

Video games have an addictive design, with top-notch behavioral psychology to keep players hooked. Even the storyline is set to induce high levels of dopamine. A continuous overflow of this hormone into your brain is sure to develop adverse reactions. 

Other common causes are the manipulative design clauses inserted by the software developers. Features like loot boxes, in-app purchases, etc., are standard that several governments have moved to ban as they portray a form of gambling outrightly. 

These high-tech additions and adjustments are because the software companies are multi-billion dollar enterprises, and the higher the number of addicts, the better their profits. It’s not uncommon to find several video games with HD features to keep players playing longer. 

Symptoms of Addiction to Video Games

So, when do you know if a gaming hobby is fast turning into a negative trend? According to different paper journals released by the American Psychiatric Association, there are nine symptoms of addiction every player should be wary of. While the following points could be a way to know on time, the assistance of a professional could be helpful. 

  • Preoccupation with video games. A player misses the previous session and eagerly looks forward to the next round. Soon enough, it becomes an active daily routine.
  • Usual signs of withdrawal are shown when the equipment is taken away. Typical characteristics like sadness, boredom, irritability, etc., are experienced. 
  • Tolerance. A burning desire to increase playing time. This is usually seen when players are largely triggered to complete difficult stages and achieve goals that may require lots of time. The end product is a feeling of satisfaction.
  • Problems with concentration. Poor attentiveness, inability to be alone with oneself, loud music constantly playing during lessons at home. Regular failure in controlling the habit of video gaming. 
  • The steady loss of interest in other activities, hobbies, etc., is slowly replaced with an urgency to play video games. 
  • Continuous patronage of video games, even when armed with the knowledge of everyday issues. 
  • Deceives family, friends, and even therapists of their gaming habits. 
  • Using video gaming to escape negative thoughts and moods. For instance, a chance to easily forget sadness, anxiety, guilt, etc.
  • Lose influential people’s relationships, jobs, or career advances due to video games. 


The number of books and articles on this type of negative addiction has continuously portrayed it as a harmful habit. If you’re currently struggling with this disorder type, a visit to a professional can help. Changes like setting time limits, engaging in other activities, etc., can go a long way in helping you fight this addiction. 

Editor - An aspiring Web Entrepreneur, Professional Blogger for over 9 years, SEO Specialist, Digital Marketing Expert, and avid Tech Geek. He loves to cover topics related to iOS, Tech News, and the latest tricks and tips floating over the Internet.