Though it may not be something one can clinically diagnose, the frequent and obsessive overindulgence in video games, to me, can be considered a dangerous addiction. However, this addiction manifests itself in quite a different way than one might think.
What sets this unique addiction apart from other commonly discussed addictions is that it is considered by many to be harmless, and is therefore supported and propagated as a means of keeping children entertained. Parents think, “Oh those kids and their video games, aren’t they adorable” as they go off to buy the newest edition of Call of Duty as a gift for their children. Many people believe that it’s just wholesome and harmless fun, and it can be. But what many people overlook is that video games are becoming better and better at drawing gamers in to keep playing. I have many times found myself playing into the wee hours of the night (morning) so that I can advance my character to the next level, unlock some new power, or earn enough gold to purchase new weapons or armor. I have seen myself and many of my friends sucked into a virtual world where time stands still. It is only when the gamer emerges from this imaginary world that he finds the day is over and nothing has been done. So much time I wasted as a child and as a teenager staring at those flickering screens, never accomplishing anything. The worst part is that after a certain point, I stopped playing these games for fun. Some part of me was compelling my body to turn on the Xbox and play. I HAD to get to the next level. I HAD to unlock that new armor. I HAD to finish the game. So instead of using all of this time to accomplish something marvelous, or learn something new, I squandered it playing video games, and I didn’t even enjoy myself in the process.
Now, my suggestion to you avid video game players out there is to try your best to do something more productive with your time. I’m not saying you should drop video games entirely, but I know that you will be much happier in the long run if you pick up a hobby or some other healthy alternative. You can read a book, learn to play a musical instrument, do yard work for cash, etc. If I had used half the time I spent playing video games on learning to play piano, for example, I would be a master pianist (and I really am not exaggerating here). So please, for your own sake, try not to be consumed by the massive black hole that is gaming. If you do, you’ll look back and ask yourself “Where did my Life Go?”.