When we think of addictions, video gaming isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Yet the reality is hundreds of millions around the globe are hooked on games, and Dr. Andrew Doan was one of them.
Dr. Doan is a physician, researcher in neuroscience, and the author of Hooked On Games: The Lure And Cost Of Video Game And Internet Addiction. He, along with his wife Julie, shares his story and his expertise, offering real solutions to this growing issue.
In 2014, the video game industry is a seventy-five billion dollar titan. The recently released ‘Call of Duty 5’ grossed fully a billion dollars in one single day. That’s just the beginning of an understanding of the scale of video gaming in our modern world.
The further fascinating, second layer to that, is that actual chemical reactions occur playing video games. Natural hormones are being introduced to our system. In other words, video gaming is a profoundly stimulating experience.
But what’s the big deal? What’s at stake here? Dr. Doan notes that we don’t want our children’s minds to be at risk of incorrect development.
“Kids are playing on average seven and a half hours a day….” – Dr. Andrew Doan
Many people don’t even realize that such risks exist. Video games don’t come with a warning label! So Dr. Doan says we need to be responsible and understand the potential effects of excessive gaming before they manifest themselves.
So how do you recognize an addiction to gaming? And how do you separate a profound enjoyment of games from something destructive? The Doan’s say you can often recognize an addiction by the scale of things it impacts in a person’s life. Are they starting to go without sleep? Are they having problems at school? Are there issues with rage or a feeling of disconnection from the rest of their world?
Dr. Andrew Doan and Neil Stavem continued the conversation about being hooked on games here.