Gaming addiction refers to excessive or compulsive use of computer and video games. In some cases it is reported that players who play compulsively, isolating themselves from social contact and focusing almost entirely on achieving goals in the game rather than in real life. Perhaps the most noted form of gaming occurring in gaming addiction is MMORPG such as World of Warcraft.
Gaming addiction can be detected by symptoms, which are usually manifested in drug addicted individuals or individuals having other psychological dependencies. Patient with gaming addiction cannot stop playing even if their need in rest is critical, which leads to sleep disrupting, an effect extremely common in game addicted. They also feel a strong need to play whenever or wherever possible, which leads to decrease of their performance at work or deterioration of their relationships with family and friends.
Gaming addiction is not included as a diagnosis in either the DSM or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
However, the effects (or symptoms) of overuse of computer games are similar to other psychological dependencies. Overuse of computer games can be like gambling, an impulse control disorder. In 2007, the American Psychological Association examined whether computer game addiction should be added to the new DSM to be released in 2012. The conclusion was that there was not enough research or evidence that gaming addiction was a disease.
Such as the United States, China, South Korea, and the Netherlands are concerned at the perceived threat from gaming addiction. Their agreed to intensify the research of the phenomenon, which is still in still preliminary because few tests and no meta-analyzes have been conducted to evaluate the treatment for this type of addiction. As with other types of dependencies, the most effective treatment method is a combination of drug and psychotherapy, as well as twelve step programs.
China’s government has a few clinics to treat people addicted to online games, chat, and web browsing. The treatment of the patients, who were forced to the therapy, includes various forms of pain or discomfort.
China also introduced a system against online gambling in 2005 with the aim to reduce dependence by reducing the rewards in games after three hours of play. During 2006, the restrictions were introduced for users under 18 years of age. Reports show that young players looking up ways to circumvent the restriction.
The Chinese government has launched a campaign to limit the number of hours teenagers can spend playing online games. Under new rules from July 2007, internet cafes in China have to install a program that requires users to enter their ID card numbers. After three hours, given the under-18 players prompted to stop and “perform appropriate physical exercise.” If they continue every point in the game to be halved, and all points are deleted in total if the player continues for more than five hours.
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