With the world we live in today, with video games and entertainment at our fingertips, there is no surprise that unhealthy addiction has taken its toll on our society. While the video game industry provides many job opportunities that never existed before, their cost on the people they serve is high. Video games, just as all things, have their positive attributes- such as stress relief, engagement bonding, and enjoyable entertainment when stuck indoors. However, when it comes to addiction to video games and how to avoid playing into it, there are some necessary actions to be taken seriously. What one person may find as entertaining and a useful way to spend leisure time, another may find to be absolute for enjoying life at all. Should it be yourself or someone you care about, learning ways to avoid playing into video game addiction is crucial before a serious problem begins. 

What Is Considered To Be An Addiction To Video Games?

So how does one determine if health video game play or unhealthy addiction is being experienced and played into? Video game addiction can be defined as the overuse and obsession-related behavior of an individual in playing video games that increases over time. Obsession despite the negative consequences and life altering problems of the individual experiencing addiction to video games. An addicted individual exhibits what usually starts out as an hour of playing games and then quickly becomes two hours a day the next week. Then steadily increasing to 4 hours a day the following week, and so on. What perhaps starts as one game, becomes two, becomes three, and so on. The trouble lies when video games seem to be the only way to relax, to bring joy and excitement, and become your focus in daily life. Then treatment for addiction to video games should be considered, to avoid playing into it more. Research has shown that people who are predisposed toward addiction have lower baseline levels of dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters such as endorphins and norepinephrine. Meaning they’re more likely to get hooked on any behavior that increases dopamine simply because their brains crave it more than those of people who have normal baseline neurotransmitter levels. This leads to understanding the addiction and brain link. 

In order to fully understand video game addiction, we should look at the dopamine and video game addiction connection. In particular at the understanding of the brain’s reward system and the impact of dopaminergic behaviors on the reward pathway. How dopaminergic (dopamine activating) a behavior correlates very highly with the addictive potential of that behavior. Dopamine is the feel-good neurotransmitter that’s the most critical element in the addiction process, related to addiction of video games and how to avoid playing into it. When a person performs an action that satisfies a need or fulfills a desire, dopamine is released into the nucleus accumbens. This cluster of nerve cells beneath the cerebral hemispheres are associated with pleasure and reward, also known as the brain’s pleasure center. In simple terms, engaging in dopaminergic behavior increases dopamine levels so that the dopamine-reward pathway is activated. Therefore telling the individual to repeat what he or she just did in order to get that feel-good dopamine reward again. 

Best Ways To Avoid Playing Into Video Game Addiction

Going cold turkey and completely stopping all use of video games may seem like the best way to walk away from addiction to video games and how to avoid playing into it. The reality is though, for some that is just not possible. There are, however, some great ways to avoid playing into video game addiction further. 

Have A Back-Up Plan – Urges will be inevitable, especially when trying to break free from the strong grips of addiction to video games and how to avoid playing into it. Having a back-up plan, however, is a great tool in the box to redirect your attention and can leave a person struggling with a feeling of hope in their recovery journey. Something such as keep phones and other gadgets out of the bedroom so you won’t play into the night.

Set A Limit – Taking some time to assess, whether for yourself or someone else you care about, how much time is spent in a day playing video games is the first step. Depending on the amount of time, the second step would be cutting down that time to a healthier level. And sticking to it is the third and most important step! Setting a time limit for the day on how much a person addicted to video games can play and sticking to them can help in a healthy recovery.

Go Outside – The benefits of nature and its influence on our well being is not only substantial, but proven. Nature provides the mind with peace, a sanctuary from a busy world full of an overload of obligations and distractions. Doing other activities every day, whether it be hiking, biking to work or school, exercise, or a simple walk outside can do wonders for a healthy state of mind. These other kinds of activities can also lower the health risks of sitting and playing for long stretches of time, a concern for those with an addiction to video games. 

Maui Recovery Is The Video Game Rehab That Breaks The Cycle 

At Maui Recovery our goal is to treat and address the addiction of this millennium, Technology Addiction. Video games and the internet can seemingly offer an escape from the pain, stress, and loneliness in an individual’s life. For some, playing video games is a place that provides comfort and entertainment, giving a feeling of satisfaction and escape from reality. But, for those with an addiction to video games and how to avoid playing into it- going offline is unthinkable. At Maui Recovery, we strive to help those struggling with video game addiction come back to being the main player in their own real life. By focusing on the sources of anxiety and unhappiness, we’re able to teach our clients how they can walk away from bad habits. There is now a dedicated specialized program at Maui Recovery to effectively treat addiction to video games and how to avoid playing into it. Dr. Kardaras, our Co-CEO and Chief Clinical Officer, is considered one of the world’s leading experts on digital addiction (social media, video games, smart phones, etc.) and treatment. Kardaras, author of “Glow Kids”, wrote a seminal book on the clinical, neurological, and sociological aspects of digital/technology addiction. Over the past 10 years, Kardaras has worked clinically with hundreds of young people struggling with addiction to video games and how to avoid playing into it. His work and dedication, along with joint efforts of staff at Maui Recovery offer incredible value and expertise to help anyone seeking recovery from video game addiction. At Maui Recovery we combine the best evidence-based treatments with powerful, transformative, holistic, and experimental therapies to treat the whole client. By focusing on the sources of the anxiety and unhappiness, we’re able to teach them that they can walk away from bad habits. They don’t need the Internet to feel whole.