Negative Aspects of Online Gaming

Addicted gamers spend so much time playing that their personal relationships get neglected and sometimes disappear altogether. Among addicted gamers who are married, up to 50 percent report a strain in their marriage as a result of their addiction. Addicted gamers also neglect the responsibilities of everyday life such as school and work.

It’s not just neglect that costs addicted gamers their relationships. Some of them talk so much about their game of choice – to the exclusion of everything else – that people no longer want to be around them. They can’t, or won’t, engage in real world conversations or be a source of support or encouragement to friends and family. Because their friends talk about other things, they begin to feel left out, which in turn causes them to feel irritated or offended. It doesn’t occur to them that they’ve chosen to be left out by devoting all their time to gaming.

This lack of social interaction that results from obsessive gaming can have long-term social consequences. An addicted teenager won’t develop effective social skills, which will hinder his ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships in college and beyond. Suddenly, he’s 21 but has the social skills of a 15-year-old. He doesn’t know how to make friends, talk to girls, or just “hang out” and enjoy people’s company. The social awkwardness created by the isolationism of gaming addiction, unfortunately, feeds the addiction. The gaming addict will likely retreat back to his online world where relationships are easier and already waiting for him.

Physical consequences of gaming addiction include carpal tunnel, migraines, sleep disturbances, backaches, eating irregularities, and poor personal hygiene. Some of the physical consequences of video game addiction can lead to social consequences as well. For instance, an addicted gamer who loses sleep because he’s playing so much simply doesn’t have the energy to invest in relationships. Lack of sleep may also make him irritable and difficult to be around.



Psychiatric Disorders Most Commonly Comorbid with Internet Gaming Addiction

Mood Disorders
• Depressive disorders
• Bipolar disorders
• Substance-induced mood disorder
Anxiety Disorders
• Social phobia
• Generalized anxiety disorder
• Anxiety disorder NOS
Attentional Disorders
• Attention deficit disorder
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Substance Use Disorder
• Amphetamine (or amphetamine-like) abuse or
• Cocaine abuse or dependence
• Cannabis abuse or dependence



In 2005, a South Korean man died after playing the online game Starcraft for 50 hours with few breaks. The 28-year old collapsed in an internet cafe after not sleeping and eating properly during the session. Police said that the man would only pause to go the bathroom. A similar death occurred this year in China when a man spent 3 days straight at an internet cafe without proper sleep and food.

Also in 2005, A Chinese man killed a fellow gamer by stabbing him in the chest because he sold a virtual sword that man had won in the popular game Legend of Mir 3.

Also in 2005, A Chinese couple left their 4 month old infant at home alone for 5 hours while they went to an internet cafe to play World of Warcraft. When the couple returned the infant was found dead due to suffocation.

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