In a recent article, Dr. Andrew Doan shared his story of addiction to video games and the devastation it caused in his life and family. Because this is a growing concern, we invited Dr. Doan back to take your calls and questions about the risks of unchecked gaming.
Dr. Doan is a physician, a researcher in the field of neuroscience, and also the author of Hooked On Games: The Lure And Cost Of Video Game And Internet Addiction. He shares his story and offers applicable expertise and solutions for this increasingly widespread issue.
Why is the feeling that game play gives us so powerful & addictive? Dr. Doan touchs on the biological science involved in addiction and why the addictive nature of an experience can actually increase as we continue to play. There are certain signs to watch out for when it comes to potential addiction – including sleep deprivation. In fact, Dr. Doan says the lack of sleep involved is the number one issue here for young people.
Dr. Doan shares three elements of the gaming experience that help explain its addictive nature.
3. Social interaction
Today’s video games utilize a high level of technology. It has advanced immeasurably from the days of games of bridge and chess in the park, and that difference has a big impact on the issues we’re seeing develop. Playing against another person is an adrenaline rush that’s magnified because of the social element it features. It offers fulfillment to a need we have for interaction. When kids say that all their friends are online, they may just mean it. Those who are spending more and more time online run the risk of losing friends in real life.