Are You Or Your Gamer Boyfriend Having Gaming Addiction?

Are you dating an “Over Gamer?”

A lot of Gamer’s Girls (GGs) struggle with the amount of time their Gamer spends hunkered down in front of a game. They want to be reasonable, accepting, and overall, a “cool” GG, but sometimes they think, “Geez – it seems a bit much.” What does a GG do if she starts to feel the “dark side” of gaming taking control? How, as a couple, do they improve the situation?

The “dark side” of gaming is often referred to as “Gaming Addiction.” It can also be described as “over gaming,” meaning, spending an unbalanced amount of time with a game. This usually leads to the avoidance of responsibility, neglecting their spouse/friends/family, and a withdraw from all other activities.

In order to pull your Gamer out of Lord Vader’s grasp, or to avoid him together, you have to get past the assumptions of Game Addiction, in order to clearly define what is going on. There are three big assumptions to get past. One: that gaming is a childish endeavor, two: all gaming leads to addiction, and three: game addiction is as severe as drugs and alcohol.

Assumption #1: Gaming is a childish endeavor.

A lot of “non-gamers” view gaming as a childish activity. Ya know…“for the kiddies.” That’s an easy argument to make, but it’s one that’s full of holes. Current, adult Gamers grew up with video games, but that doesn’t make them for kids – nor is it explicitly for the kid at heart. For some time now, Gaming has been considered an adult-oriented form of entertainment. The industry has been making games with adult content for years. Not to corrupt children, but to entertain adults. 65% of Gamers are over the age of 18 – the most common age range from 18 to 34.

Assumption #2: All Gaming leads to addiction.

Another big argument I hear is, “If it’s possible to become addicted to gaming, why the game in the first place?” They assume that all gamers will be assimilated into the Borg and conform to the socially inept. This, simply, isn’t true. The body craves entertainment, people! It’s a stress release from the daunting, daily tasks we bear. Asking people to avoid Gaming for entertainment is like asking someone to stop playing Apples to Apples, or playing sports, or reading a book. If done right, advanced entertainment is all it is. Like with any hobby.

Assumption #3: Game Addiction is as severe as drugs and alcohol.

This assumption is by far one of the most argued and, in my opinion, the most annoying. The analogy of Gaming being compared to drug or alcohol abuse has been far overused. Drugs and alcohol lead to chemical addiction. Last I checked – Gamers weren’t receiving an addictive dose of serum, fed from a tendril, leading out of their console/PC. Gaming can become addictive, yes, but the activity itself is not. By the argument’s terms, reading Harry Potter is just as dangerous as said drugs and alcohol.

There are tons of people out there that stay up until 2 am, knowing they have work the next day, telling themselves “just one more chapter.” And they aren’t reading the Times to become a more enlightened human being. They’re reading a fantasy book about wizards and witches for entertainment. If you have forgotten what real drug and alcohol abuse looks like, re-watch Trainspotting and Requiem for a Dream. By comparison, Gaming is about as harmless as watching a Real Chance of Love or Survivor.

So, what have we learned from these assumptions to aid us in our quest to annihilate the “dark side?” First, Gaming isn’t a childish activity you put away with the rest of the toys. Second, it’s ok to Game. It’s an acceptable means of adult entertainment. Third, there’s no need for an intervention and a halfway house for “over gaming.” So, what are we left with?

The best comparison to “over gaming” I have assembled is “overeating.” You have your “healthy eaters,” the ones who know when it’s time to scoot away from the table, and the ones who simply don’t. Both snack and crave food, but the “overeater” have lost their ability to control their habits. At one point, they may have been a “healthy eater,” but somewhere down the line, things took a turn. “Overeaters” may even acknowledge they are overweight, but continue to gorge themselves with little self-control. A pivotal difference between a “healthy eater” and an “overeater” is that an “overeater doesn’t eat to live – they live to EAT! Sound familiar?

So, now that we have the assumptions out of the way and have been able to colorfully define the problem. The next step is to introduce a plan to become a “healthy eater” again.

==> Read Part 2 on Gaming Addiction Treatments

====> Read Part 3 on Boyfriend Or Husband Is Addicted To Video Games?