Video game addiction or excessive playing of video games is a rapidly growing problem at all colleges and universities. While waiting for a flight from San Diego to Baltimore, I met a computer science major, Brian, who said every student in his computer science department played numerous hours of video games during school. Several students had performed poorly in their academic work because of playing more than 30 hours of video games a week.
Some students required extra years of college to graduate. When I asked Brian why video games were so addictive, he answered “there is nothing in life that provides the same rush and euphoria associated with video games.”
I met a young woman at my friend’s house recently. Lynn attended a highly prestigious university on the East Coast. Lynn said that all her guy friends played video games. They gather in groups, played all night, and played excessively. Lynn, an extremely beautiful and intelligent woman, added “I am frustrated because guys are too busy playing games and not pursuing women.”
Have games become more fun and more ego boosting than dating attractive people?
While researching Hooked on Games, I have encountered dozens of families who have been adversely affected by the excessive play of video games. Several families have observed their sons fail out of college due to skipping class and playing online video games. Some of the students lost their academic scholarships.
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, “Why are boys struggling?” He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, higher rates of unemployment) and suggests a few reasons — and challenges the TED community to think about solutions.