Video Games Essay

1846 WordsMay 21, 20128 Pages
Today’s video game addict has many places to go. Websites like Online Gamers Anonymous[->0], Quit Wow Now[->1], and Video Game Addiction[->2] all exist to offer him relief. There are even clinics[->3] specifically aimed at helping video game addicts. On top of that, research[->4] has found that video game playing can release as much dopamine in your brain as a shot of intravenous amphetamines. This dopamine is, among other things, the “damn-I’m-so-good” neurotransmitter involved in learning and achievements. So are video games the drug of our generation, or might something else be going on? Definition of Addiction To know if video game addiction exists at all, we have to know what an “addiction” truly is. In common day speech an addiction is a “persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful”. For every day use, this definition is great. You can say you are addicted to cashew nuts, because 3 bags a day is really too many. You can say that you are addicted to taking the car to work, because walking/biking would be so much healthier but you cannot bring yourself to do it. In the same way, you can say you are addicted to playing video games, because you play more than you think is good for you. However, this Merriam Webster[->5] definition is not enough to define clinical addiction. That is the type of addiction that you get treatment for, because it is considered a mental illness. The definition of a clinical addiction is a lot more elaborate. You can find it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the bible of mental illnesses. This bookwork contains all the criteria for all recognized mental disorders. It is put together by the American Psychological Association[->6] (APA), the largest group of psychologists in the world that ever sat down together to write a book. If a disorder is not in the DSM, then it is traditionally not

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