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Gaming Addiction and the impact on society (Part 1 of 3)
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Recently, China has made it illegal for people under the age of 18 to continue gaming after midnight. They have done this to combat video game addiction in their Youths. Also in the news fairly recently was the news that Valve has been served with a lawsuit concerning the gambling that has gone on with CS:GO and the skins involved in the game. A lot has surfaced how some sites were owned by people who made a LOT of money but never disclosed this information. People have lost tens of thousands of (US) Dollars.  In addition to this the effect of video game dependency can be seen in children’s physical and mental health.

Over the 3 parts of this report, I will look at addiction and how it can affect impact on health both physical and mental, addiction to gambling, as well as the best ways to avoid running into issues while gaming and how to spot if you have a problem.

In 2009 a study1 was preformed by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health to investigate the effects of addiction to computer games on physical and mental health of students.  They found there was a significant positive correlation between students’ computer games addiction and their physical and mental health in dimensions of physical health, anxiety and sleeplessness.   There was a significant negative relationship between addictions to computer games and impaired social functioning.  The results of this study are in agreement with the findings of other studies around the world. As the results show, addiction to computer games affects various dimensions of health and increases physical problems, anxiety and depression, while decreases social functioning disorder. In 2001 there was also a study2 that found video-game research literature reveals that violent video games increase aggressive behavior in children and young adults.

It’s not just kids who are feeling the effects of too much gaming.  In Shanghai, China a man spent 19 hours playing World of Warcraft in a Cafe without a single break.  He started to feel ill and eventually started to caught up blood.  They called an ambulance but while waiting for the ambulance, kept on playing.  He eventually coughed again and then slumped over.  Soon, he was unresponsive and the ambulance arrived to find he had died.  In South Korea, in 2010, a 50 hour marathon of StarCraft II left another man dead when he suffered a heart attack due to exhaustion.  In Hong Kong last year a man died after playing in an internet cafe for 3 days straight.  His death came after  a38-year-old man was found dead at an Internet cafe in Taipei on January 1 after playing video games for five days straight.  In 2012, the corpse of a man who died playing online games went unnoticed for 10 hours by other gamers and staff.

If you noticed, these are examples of gaming addiction in Asian countries and there is a reason.  In a region where there isn’t a lot of jobs or careers available, a lot of people go to gaming.  Professional Gamers can earn upwards of $100,000 USD a year with sponsorships and winnings and this pushes more people to join which causes more problems.  Also, there is a higher addiction rate in Asian countries that some people estimate to be 25% of all gamers being addicted to gaming.  With the rapid expansion of a fast network in places like South Korea and China, this problem seems to be only getting worse.  There are people who are trying to stop it though, like the people in this documentary.

 

Wednesday, I will be covering the gambling aspect of gaming as well including websites that let you gamble with skins to games like CS:GO.  Here is a preview:

April 29th, 2008.  This day may seem random but it is the day that Valve introduced unique items into Team Fortress 2 (TF2) that could be attained by random “drops” by playing the game.  They had different stats than the default items and different appearances as well.  These were a welcome addition to the game and added a collection aspect to it that seemed like a lot of fun.  These cost no money to get outside the initial cost of the game, but all that would change on September 30th, 2010.

1.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905489/

2.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11554666

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Micah Patterson

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