Although the idea of video game addiction may seem like a laughable prospect at first, there have been several incidents in which addiction resulted in the death of gamers or individuals related to gamers. One of the most recent incidents occurred earlier this year, when The New York Times reported that a South Korean man’s two-year-old son starved to death because the father spent an entire week playing online games at an internet café.

In an article titled “The psychology of video game addiction”, psychologist Joseph Hilgard indicates that the reason why gaming may be so addictive is that it makes use of the brain’s internal reward system. Video games reward players for accomplishing particular goals and in doing so may strengthen the brain’s need to perform the task, as we enjoy performing tasks that reward us.

Video game addiction is something that can be prevented if you feel that your gaming habits are becoming a problem. suggests several steps that can be taken in order to prevent or treat addiction, such as keeping track of how much you play, slowly reducing the amount of time spent playing each day, and using other means to connect with friends if that is the reason for playing. If none of this seems to help, the best solution may be to stop playing altogether.

It is important to remember to enjoy everything in moderation. If you are beginning to feel that your life depends on unlocking every single weapon in Call of Duty, it may be time to start limiting your time playing and get some fresh air.


Photo: Anele Mnkungela

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