Thursday, December 14, 2017

Computer And Video Gaming - The New Addiction

The virtual world has become the new park for most of the teens nowadays. Computer and video games caused this to happen. A new kind of addiction has emerged out of these technologies; and this is not something that we can ignore. With the availability of console games and cheap computer games in the market, it is now very easy for every teen out there to own one. The realm of the virtual world of gaming has become the object of their addiction.

Gaming becomes addictive when it already interferes with the teen’s daily chores in life, school responsibilities, family affairs, sports, and other tasks. This will change the way the person behaves and acts in the family, school, or in the community.

First, we differentiate the two from each other.

Computer gaming is a type of video game that is played on a personal computer rather than on a video console. History brings us back to the very first form of computer games, which are mostly text-based. Early computer gaming is credited to Steve Russell of MIT, whom in 1962 invented SpaceWar!. Then with the development of computer peripheral technologies such as the mouse and the keyboard, the first-person shooter (FPS) type of games emerged. One of the first to be released in this kind of game was the Wolfenstein 3D in 1992. And now with the increasing power of computer and the advancement in the video card technologies, computer gaming has skyrocketed into a larger market and has now become one of the mainstream uses of home computers. Complex games have been released because of the efforts of game developers on experimenting on new human-computer interaction (HCI) as well as with the advancement of technologies. Examples of these are StarcraftWarcraftCommand and Conquer, and The Sims. Moreover, with the utilization of the high speed Internet nowadays, the next big leap was the Massive Online Role Playing (MORP) games, which allow hundreds of thousands of teens to interact in the virtual world. Thus, a new addiction was born.

On the other hand, video console gaming is a type of video game that uses a console and a game controller. Early console games are the OXO, a tic-tack-toe game by Alexander Douglas in 1952, which utilizes the Oscilloscope; then followed by Tennis for Two, invented by William Higinbotham in 1958. In 1971, Nolan Bushnell created the Computer Space and then later  started the company which created Pong, the Atari Computers. Then after that, Nintendo revolutionized the console gaming with their Game Boy. The advancement of technology brought us Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft’s XBOX, and Nintendo’s Wii. Everything is now sophisticated enough to be able to connect to the Internet; thereby, allowing virtual interactions.

With all of these new tools and gaming technologies, many teens are getting hooked up every day. These teens may not even be aware of the addicting effects of these games. Survey says that 10 percent of gamers show addictive behaviors. Some of these symptoms are listed below:

-          Spending non-school hours to playing computer and video games

-          Sleeping in school

-          Forgetting assignments or falling behind

-          Grades are getting worse

-          Say lies about computer and video game use

-          Does not go out with friends anymore

-          Getting self drop out of school

-          No social life anymore

-          Get irritated easily when not playing a computer or video game

Some Symptoms are obviously seen physically:

-          Difficult to sleep

-          Headaches

-          Dry eyes

-          No hygiene anymore

-          Back aches

-          Neck Aches

If these symptoms can be seen to these teens, then treatment should immediately be given to them. Just like alcohol or gambling addictions, there are video game addiction treatment centers made available in different countries like US, China, South Korea, and Japan. There are detoxifying agents that are designed for computer and video game addicts. These help addicts on how to avoid or eliminate their addictive and compulsive behavior.

Books for video and computer game addictions are now available for parents to read so that they will be able to treat early, if not prevented, the computer addiction in their children.

Computer and video games may just seem as an entertainment for some teens, but when excessive playing compromises their health and future, then it better be stopped before it grows into addiction. After all, too much of something is bad enough.