Video Games: Are They Really a Source of Addiction?There has been research and speculation regarding video gaming and how it can be a source of addiction. According to the American Medical Association, up to 90 percent of American youth play video games. Of those teens and young adults, it’s speculated that up to 15 percent may be “addicted.”

Video gaming addiction, and addictions in general, have biological components as well as psychological ones. The biological components are that game addicts show an increased release of the mood-regulating chemicals dopamine and glutamate in the brain.

It is a highly rewarding, stimulating, and motivating activity. And our brains know it.

8 Comments to
Video Games: Are They Really a Source of Addiction?

Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. The comments below begin with the oldest comments first. Click on the last comments page to jump to the most recent comments.

  1. I think you could do some Google searches to find the status of Mr Bakker’s treatment centre and what happened to him.

  2. Actually MMORPGs are in decline, namely the only known successful one, World of Warcraft seen by it’s dipping subscription numbers.

  3. Please keep in mind this is a speculation piece, and is based off of current research looking into the possibility of video gaming addiction. Also, WoW might be declining in popularity but those who play are still dedicated, and either way, games like this can be most rewarding to play. I know that many video games (PC or console) are popular such as Call of Duty, Minecraft, StarCraft, and Halo and go through periods of high popularity and periods of decline in regards to how many people are playing. If you have any other input that could support or disprove this speculation, I’d like to hear it. Thank you.

  4. Game addiction is a real thing. But a strong line needs to be drawn between addiction and the drive to play. I play 2-3 hours of a certain game every day. Its competitive and I want to get better in it. People may say I’m addicted. But I also skate for 3+ hours a few times a week am i addicted to that?
    Some weekends I’ll spend all day gaming some times for hours and hours into the night…Am i addicted or do I simply like playing?

    I talk a lot about it in my blog, if your interested in this topic, check it out.

  5. The reason why video game “addiction” has not been declared a diagnosable disorder, is because it is not a disorder to begin with. Its a compulsion

    Instead of trying to find reasons why they are ‘addicting’, people should be looking at reasons why people turn to games in the first place and what video games offer that society does not (and I don’t mean slaying dragons).

    When I was younger I used to invest over 40~ hours a week into gaming. I know what it feels like to sink hours into a game as if it was your job. For me, video games were a way to use my problem solving skills to overcome adversity to a degree society could not offer. I gained a great deal of satisfaction from completing games, and then later by becoming more efficient and outperforming others in multiplayer games.
    Other people might turn to games for other reasons, but this is my version of the story.

    If you interested, search ‘Extra Credits game addiction’ on Youtube, there is 3 parts, but its a good watch.

  6. Do you know what? If people are ‘addicted’ or claim to be ‘addicted’… They should make use to it by becoming a software engineer or a game designer/tester, the salary is good and I bet it’ll be fun!

  7. As a younger sibling with older brothers a lot of this information like “Aha, that makes so much sense now.” I can remember watching my brothers play for hours on end and to this day they still spend multiple hours playing before bed and also as soon as they wake up. Now it seems like its a part of their daily routine and if they do not get to play they do become irritable.

  8. “Eventually, the release of dopamine and glutamate reach a threshold in the brain where a higher amount is required to experience the rewarding effects.” author take wrong conclusion. Glutamate change neuroplasticity but if like author think glutamate increase then we will be see massive cell death (excitotoxicity) Screen studies dont see this changes

Join the Conversation!

Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines.

Post a Comment:

(Required, will be published)

(Required, but will not be published)


Recent Comments
  • FreeDumb: Any man desperate to cave in to your demands is probably going to be a big problem later. Women always...
  • sandesh panta: Depression is nothing it’s just a long tension on ur mind. Dont think to much for ur future.Make...
  • Katie: Hi Meli I am having horrible anxiety and OCD problems. This is my second pregnancy. I stopped seeing my dr...
  • laxl: Not sure if you will see this message, but you are NOT toxic, I’m sure. Just the fact that you are...
  • laxl: I agree that name-calling is not usually beneficial to anyone. But the description of a toxic personality is...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code