Video Game Addiction a Growing Problem, Experts Say

By Staff Writer

Despite the fact that video game addiction is not currently recognized as a disorder by the entire mental health establishment, a growing number of parents are seeking help from rehab facilities.

With the advent of community-based gaming, many individuals now face the same risk of becoming addicted to video games as others do of becoming dependent on the internet and social networking sites.

A Wisconsin-based family psychiatrist recently told the Oshkosh Northwestern that some players have even been shunned by their communities. The threat of this may only serve to worsen a growing addiction to online games.

He added that there has also been some evidence to suggest that playing video games may cause the brain to release adrenaline and dopamine, which may form the basis of a physical addiction. Despite the current lack of recognition from the mental health establishment, psychiatrists are increasingly talking about the dangers of this problem.

In 2007, a Harris Poll reported that 8.5 percent of children between the ages of 8 and 18 could be classified as video game addicts.