We love playing videogames, which is why we write about the things that affect the industry, but we had no idea that we could have an addiction. That could very well be the case, according to Klaus Woelfling, a psychologist and director of the Clinic for Gaming Addiction at the University of Mainz in Germany.
According to Woelfling, computer games have the same risk of physical addiction, complete with the classic withdrawal symptoms. He clarifies that, “Addicts denied access to their games can display symptoms such as a racing heart or excessive sweating.”
Just wanting to play a game, or even thinking about tactics and strategies when involved in real world activities, is not enough to qualify as an addiction. Heck, most of us at TVGB have actual jobs that pay the bills, but pass the time wondering just how we can hit someone in the head with a grenade in Rainbow Six Vegas without blowing ourselves up. No, gaming becomes an addiction when someone cannot make rational decisions concerning when to start or stop playing, how long to play, and is overcome by an “irresistible urge to play.”
Woelfling advises that family and friends should bring up the subject, in a calm and non accusatory manner, if the gameplay begins to get out of hand, as addicts of any sort do not feel comfortable talking about the problem.