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Know These Signs of Gaming Addiction

Published: April 24, 2023

With video games increasing in popularity with people of any age, and many video games now including gambling-like mechanics, the lines between problem gambling and gaming addiction are becoming increasingly blurry. Recognizing the signs of someone who might be struggling with gaming addiction is important, since they may already be at risk for or have a problem with gambling. 

Though researchers are still studying what exactly causes gaming addiction, it is generally thought of as a condition in which someone is unable to control their time spent gaming to the extent that it begins to disrupt school, work, and personal lives. It is most often present in males and is often associated with online video games that have a competitive element.

According to a 2019 article in the journal Frontiers of Psychology, the estimated prevalence of gaming addiction is between 1.7 and 10 percent of the general population. That means, much like gambling addiction, many people might know someone personally who struggles with an addiction to gaming. 

Learn to recognize a gaming addiction by looking for these signs: 

  • Neglecting other aspects of life to play video games, including work, sleeping, eating, social activities, or even basic hygiene.
  • Using video games as a way to relieve feelings of stress or try to “get past” negative emotions and conflicts, as opposed to playing responsibly for enjoyment. 
  • Skipping previously enjoyed activities to play games or spending time playing games even when you know it’s harmful. 
  • Feeling a continuous strong urge to play a game or feeling irritable when you can’t play. 

If you recognize these signs and want to help raise awareness about gaming addiction and resources available to encourage responsible play in your community, visit the Online Gaming Toolkit. Informational fliers, prints ads, posters, and billboards are all available for you to use in your part of Ohio. They can even be customized with your organization’s logo upon request by filling out this form

And if you are showing signs of gaming addiction, or know someone who is, make the call to Ohio’s Problem Gambling Helpline now. Trained and understanding specialists are standing by 24/7 to provide you with support. Your call is free, and your personal information is kept confidential. Call 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741.

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