What started as a stress reliever and an outlet for experiencing the exhilarating thrill of a challenge has overstepped boundaries leading into dangerous territories. A territory that encompasses a false reality. Countless hours of gaming accumulate while the experiences of nature and the self application towards a meaningful task have been limited to compensate for the addictive nature of gaming. There is an old saying that states, “Too much of anything isn’t good for you.” However, did developers strategically design games that make moderation almost impossible?
There was a time when simpler gaming systems such as Atari and Nintendo provided games that were less complex in features but still accomplished the task of satisfying the gamer. In modern society, games such as Grand Theft Auto IV even has a meter in the start menu that depicts what level of addiction you have reached. These levels of addiction are categorized with labels of drug related contexts such as “first fix,” “habit forming,” “casual user,” “fiend,” etc. These references are subliminal messages indicating we as gamers are the users and the franchise is our supplier.According to the examiner.com when your engaging in something that gives you pleasure such as video games, the chemicals dopamine (chemical associated with pleasure) and serotonin (chemical associated with happiness) are released in your brain creating a stimulation. This encourages the gamer to chase after that same feeling thus creating a mental addiction very similar to drugs.
According to video-game-addiction.org, “obsessive gaming can cause a lack of social interaction.” Especially when video games have branched out from the television screen and into our mobile devices. Devices that we already have our face buried into everyday which will allow for an almost non stop gaming experience. I have been an active player of the game Clash of Clans on my mobile device and I have witnessed the instant hypnotic-like trans overtaking my mind while sabotaging my attention span intended for my priorities. Fortunately I have deleted the game, but games like Clash of Clans and others alike provide the user with control over there fantasy world and an allowance to interact globally among other members which can ignite the aspect of popularity and create the “need to play.”.
A sense of fantasy in gaming can sway the user away from the mundane and stress of actuality but at the same time can create desensitization which can lead to symptoms of depression and boredom. This depression and boredom is exhibited in real life and the gamer has a misconception of what reality is and perceives gaming as the “quick fix” that will relieve those symptoms; mistakenly thinking they can be cured by the same thing that caused the problem- the game.
As the elaboration of marketable items continued to evolve, we as humans have regressed. Technological advances that were created to help us have had an adverse effect. We have become spoiled and manipulated into obsessing over the latest and most advanced creations, however the need to participate in these worldly desires enable the capacity for distractions. These distractions such as video games can encourage acceptance of self mediocrity and create a diversion away from expanding your mind and maximizing your full potential with the limited and precious time we have in life.