Apologies for the hard to read font, but I did this on purpose. See how when presented on the red the font is bolder and on the yellow light. This is so symbolic for me, especially when it comes to the conversations around online gaming.
Online gaming – the addictive monster of our modern times! We cannot even talk to our kids anymore. Our partners are glued to the screen and controller. Our family time is pretty much gone.
But is it? And if so, why?
Have you ever considered why we – adults (because it’s not the young people alone who love online gaming, let’s face it) and young people – navigate towards online gaming? In the exploitative economy that hardly allows time to stop, think, feel or rest, we NEED to play. Play means rest, connection, collaboration, even…FUN!
When we get a dopamine hit (not due to the game mechanics but because as humans we all enjoy a little bit of self-chosen challenge and success) we are…happy. At the end of a long day, we enjoy being happy, meeting friends online or joining in the game in the same house.
Why is that not family time?
You see what happens here is again the strange divide between online and offline. Focus on the device and software, not our behaviour. And sadly, the fact that we like to come back to gaming reminded us initially of addictions and so by now most even very established psychologists will support the assumption that gaming is severely addictive.
If you are interested in this area, do look up the definition of gaming disorders (you need to be dysfunctional for at least 6 months, suffer significant health imbalance, notice significant challenges in relationship building and self-care for your gaming behaviours to qualify as an addiction – and even this is still to be researched), but please do not overuse the term ‘addiction’.