There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to change a lot of things once the dust settles. But one thing that isn’t changing right now is the negative perception that some people like to attach to video gaming – even though it’s one of the few entertainment options left to people who are trapped inside right now.
Now “experts” are warning the media, naturally, that video game addiction could grow and become worse for people already “suffering” from it. There’s little doubt that people become addicted to things, yet this “hot take” is getting so stale at this point that we can’t help but wonder what this research illuminates during this already stressful time.
Executive director at the National Council on Problem Gambling Keith Whyte told Bloomberg, “Every risk factor for gambling addiction is spiking right now, and the same is true for internet and gaming addiction. There could be a wave of addiction, quite a big wave.”
Whyte tells Bloomberg that calls to the helplines the council operates have increased and they’re seeing a huge jump in the number of relapsed addicts during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
One thing that isn’t helping addicts during this time is the number of free offers out there from pretty much every major platform and company, not to mention free titles like Fortnite and many mobile smartphone games. Bloomberg cites these initiatives as being intentioned for helping people deal with the isolation that comes from the lockdown imposed by many governments. However, experts are saying these same deals or offers can be a gateway back into a problematic pattern of behavior for people that are addicted to gaming.
Of course, all of this somewhat glosses over the fact that free-to-play and other “gratis” offers populate the gaming world like dandelions in a field after rain. Considering that, nothing makes this time any more novel in that regard other than the cause for the offer and the number of people that could potentially take advantage of it.
None of this is to overhype or under-emphasize the role of addiction in the lives of some people, gamers included. The World Health Organization classified video game addiction as a mental-health disorder just last year, to great controversy.
Those who are interested in resources regarding video game addiction can check out https://gamequitters.com/.
What do you think? Is video game addiction a real thing or just another phenomenon linked to other disorders? Let us know your opinion on this article in the comments section below if you like.
Source – Bloomberg