Tl;dr Recommended read. Short, easy to understand. Minor changes may be needed.
Are you addicted? Spending countless hours playing games, losing track of time, questing for days on end, and not getting enough sleep? You may be affected! According to the book “Video Game Addiction”, which can be found here, 1 in 3 gamers experience symptoms of video game addiction. Alright, 33% of us are addicted. What does that mean for us? Withdrawal from video games makes us restless, irritable, and angry. Must have Call of Duty or brains. Let’s dive deeper into this book.
If you’re an an amateur, casual, or a professional gamer you may be able to skip half the book. Why? Well, the first half of the book targets those who have little to no-knowledge of gaming and electronics. It is so dumbed down that I feel like you would have to be a hermit to not know about half of it. However, you’ll be interested in the second half of the book. Since the book is in a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) format, it’s easy to skip around. The back half of the book contains information about what video game addiction is, what questions you should ask yourself, the symptoms, and testimonials of gamers. I’d like to note here, that because the book is about Video Game Addiction, all the testimonials are in favor of acknowledging that Video Game Addiction is a real thing and how it affected the person. There are no testimonials from the opposing side. Back to the front of the book!
While the front of the book is suppose to mix in a history lesson, as well an introduction to the gaming industry, some of the information feels out of order, or isn’t necessarily . in-line with the gaming community. Due to the nature of this book being in a FAQ format, the history tends to bleed together. You’ll have one question with an answer that references more recent years, then a question that references older information. This could be very frustrating for someone who wants more history on the systems, in a more timeline like fashion. Another part that may be a little confusing is comparing a game like World of Warcraft, to a virtual world like Second Life. Some people don’t even consider Second Life a game due to its nature. Other than the few things that could be frustrating, the front of the book explains all of these different parts in detail so that anyone could understand. Just to be sure on that, I think I’ll have my grandmother read the first section of the book. To the back of the book!
The back of the book answers a lot of questions in a lot of detail, and has the facts to back the answers. Honestly, after reading the back of the book I questioned myself, and I may be a little addicted. Playing video games for longer than intended, and instead of writing articles for this very site. I would say a whole lot more about my personal experience, but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else who would read the book. There are also tons of resources to help break Video Game Addiction, and several sources of people trying to make Video Game Addiction into a serious condition recognized by health organizations. Even though according to the book, someone like myself would be considered addicted. I myself, don’t feel like I have an “addiction”. I don’t think I’d ever label myself that way either. Why?
The book provides 20 or so main questions that allow you to identify if you are addicted to Video Games or not. Although I can honestly say I can answer yes to quite a few of them, I wouldn’t say that makes me or anyone else addicted. For example, one of the questions asks if you video games to run away from your problems, or to help avoid your depression. Sometimes, you need a break from your problems, and video games can really help you sort through them. Medication is just another form of mitigation. However, my opinion on this matter may not be as important as the books. The book backs itself with several different scientific studies, and facts from various resources.
All-though I personally like some parts of the book, and dislike other parts. I would recommend this as a read, or a handbook for Video Game Addiction.