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Topic Of The Month - Gaming Addiction

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Topic Of The Month - Gaming Addiction
by James Williams - Wednesday, 2 January 2019, 11:50 AM

Gaming addiction

Did You Know?

•According to, playing computer games releases dopamine in the brain’s reward centre. Dopamine is a feel good hormone released during pleasurable activities. A gaming addiction means dopamine is released in unnatural quantities. Thus the gamer’s brain becomes tolerant to dopamine as a result. Gamers need to play computer games constantly in order to maintain normal levels of dopamine.

•A gaming addiction is similar to a gambling addiction: both are classed as an Impulse Control Disorder (ICD). Withdrawal symptoms occur when gaming is withheld from the addict. Such symptoms typically include irritability or anxiety when the addict cannot play computer games.

Signs and symptoms of computer game addiction include:

Irritable when not being able to play

Playing long into the night (even at 3-4am), mood swings, violent and damage property, withdrawn and socially isolated, damaged social relations, neglect personal hygiene, neglect work or school, insomnia, gamer’s thumb, rapid weight gain or malnutrition.

Online role-playing games (especially multiplayer online games) are more likely to result in video game addiction than other computer game genres.

Students addicted to video games have lower academic grades than their non-addicted peers.


•How long do you think is a healthy amount of time to spend gaming per day?

•Are there games that you can imagine being addictive?

•How do you think young people could avoid being drawn in to gaming addiction?

•In which ways do you think addiction might affect someone’s mental health or wellbeing?

•What support could people seek if they felt that they had a problem?

•What advice would you give to a friend about this?

View previous topics of the month here: