My friend tells me every day that he sleeps late and hence has to always run to work in the morning! And the answer is hardly ever different- “I lost track of time, I was playing Xbox all night” - this I never understood as I am not a gamer myself. But if you ask around, I bet you will find many who get excited with the words Xbox and PlayStation. I very well know that gaming addiction is not entirely treated as a serious medical disorder but it is not always healthy as well.
With the new Xbox One release, the package looks all the more attractive to gamers. Be it its super comfortable console, better Kinect, its awesome sound system, Dualshock 4 controller and what not. Much to the chagrin of gamers everywhere, Microsoft chose to focus on TV and entertainment options in its Xbox One reveal rather than games. Did you just say to yourself - “I must get this one?” well, that is the aim of Xbox and PlayStation creators. They feed on this blind interest of people who love gaming and get them immersed in their own virtual world.
It's real - The Addiction
'”I would say I was playing 15 hours a day at the peak," says self-confessed gaming addict anonymous.
If you think it is not serious enough, let me tell you something. At an addiction treatment center in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, teenagers and young adults begin detox by admitting they are powerless over their addiction. But these addicts aren't hooked on drugs or alcohol. They are struggling to break their dependence on PS and Xbox. as much as it offers super cool features to you, it also comes with an invisible subtext that says “I will never let you go”.
Why the addiction?
Most people who are ‘addicts’ are so because they want to have a connection with people and through these Xbox and PS, they feel they can have that kind of connection while they play with another player(s) online. Experts say that these video games are designed in such a way that the gamers often feel the need to complete the level and go on to the next one. Finishing a level is never enough and hence they come back and play the game over and over.
One of the other reasons why people get addicted as the experts say is competing with the person sitting on the other end with a console. The need to compete and be better than the other person drives people to play more and usually, it is neverending and hence it turns into an addiction. During this process, it is said that the online characters these gamers have built for themselves slowly take them off of reality. They begin to establish a relationship with the virtual world characters and without their knowledge, they are addicted to them. To list some of the reasons that lead to addiction;
- The most addictive video games have no pre-defined ends.
- Video games are more addictive when in-game rewards are based on a leveling system.
- The more addictive video games often encourage play and collaboration with gamers worldwide.
- Addictive video games often have some form of in-game currency.
- It is easier to view video games as harmless online activities.
- One important factor that makes video games addictive is that rewards often are set on variable schedules.
- Companies regularly release upgrades or expansion packs.
However, if playing Xbox and PS can be considered a hobby, I believe it should be treated as one and do not let it be any more than that. Too much of anything is too bad and if gaming is harming us in any way possible, maybe it's time to re-think on the time spent on it. If this is being talked about as a problem then maybe it does need our attention as well.