A new study shows that 100 million gamers in China show signs of video game addiction, which some sociologists call a form of “brain damage.” Individuals that are addicted to video games often have manifested symptoms of addiction like a person that is addicted to drugs, alcohol, or gambling. Some of these symptoms include inability to control the amount of time they spend gaming, spending money they don’t have to continue gaming, irrational dependence on the game, irritability, violence, detaching from work, family, or social situations, and more.
The study was conducted by a Chinese research firm called Enfodesk and Eguan and the results showed that 67.5% of gamers admitted to knowing someone that was addicted to games. Interestingly, only .02% of these gamers admitted to being addicted themselves, a classic response for people living in denial about their addiction. Tech in Asia reports, “The survey revealed that a high concentration of these gaming addicts reside in China’s northeastern provinces, a region that accounted for 29.7 percent of the afflicted population. Henan province made up 17.2 percent, while Shanghai-adjacent Fujian took 12.9 percent. The remaining 40.2 percent were spread across the rest of the country.” (1)
Gaming addiction is very real and the millions of gamers around the world that are losing jobs, dropping out of school, and are suffering in their relationships with friends and loved ones. If you or someone you know is addicted to technology or video games, seek help immediately.
Crouch, Erik. “Study reveals China has 100 million 'brain-damaged' online gamers.” May 13, 2014. Accessed on May 13, 2014. http://shanghaiist.com/2014/05/13/study_reveals_china_has_100_million.php
By Brooke Strickland and Andrew Doan MD PhD