The Truth About Video Game Addiction

Is Fortnite as "addictive as cocaine?" For this psychologist, the answer isn't as straightforward as it seems.

They allow people to escape momentarily

The World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to its International Classification of Diseases in 2018. Families are suing Fortnite creators Epic Games for allegedly "knowingly" making their game as "addictive as cocaine." A psychologist broke down why “video game addiction” is not as straightforward as it seems. The World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to its International Classification of Diseases in 2018. Gaming disorder is classified as irrepressible and excessive preoccupation with video games, resulting in social academic personal occupational impairment.

Everybody needs to be able to look in the mirror and ask themselves whether it's alcohol, whether it's drugs or whether it's video games. Do I have control over this? Or is this controlling me? I even worked with families where this has happened in two occasions where a grandmother unplugged the video game console and the child threw the grandmother to the floor. That's obviously an extreme case. But the common denominators here are parents and caretakers trying to turn off the game and unplug the game. I've never seen anybody that's just had a video game addiction or a gaming disorder that doesn't also come along with depression, anxiety or attention deficit disorder or a learning disability or sometimes developmental disorders like autism spectrum disorder. Isolation, uncomfortable feelings, whether they have to do with school or whether they have to do with friendships and peer groups these games, just like other addictive substances like alcohol and drugs serve a very important purpose,” psychologist Dr. Michael Fraser tells Brut.

Fraser says he doesn’t believe video games are inherently addictive — but some games lend themselves to the problem more than others. More than 2 billion people play video games globally, and up to 10% of all gamers struggle with compulsive addiction issues according to The Recovery Village. But Fraser says addressing this problem will require deeper conversations about child-access to technology.


November 12, 2019 12:57 PM