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Published on February 23, 2023
In recent years, there has been an ongoing debate regarding whether gaming addiction is a real phenomenon or just a fabricated concept. However, many high school students around the world have found themselves hooked on gaming, leading to negative effects on their social, academic, and mental health. This essay will explore the reality of gaming addiction in high school students, why it happens, and what measures can be taken to prevent addiction and help addicted students.
What is Gaming Addiction?
Firstly, it is essential to define what gaming addiction is. Gaming addiction is a behavioural addiction characterised by compulsive and excessive gaming that leads to negative consequences. Such negative consequences include social isolation, academic decline, sleep deprivation, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. According to the World Health Organisation, “gaming disorder is a disorder in which an individual gives increasing priority to gaming over other interests and daily activities and continues gaming despite negative consequences.”
Why do students get addicted to gaming?
Gaming addiction is prevalent in high school students for various reasons. For instance, gaming provides an escape from daily life’s pressures, such as academic work and social relationships, which can be overwhelming for many students. Additionally, the development of online multiplayer games has made gaming more social and fostered a sense of community for many players. Students who may feel left out in their daily lives can find a sense of belonging in the gaming community.
Moreover, high school students are at a stage of life when they are searching for their identity and sense of self. Gaming can be an avenue for students to explore different personalities and identities that they may not feel comfortable expressing in real life. Additionally, students can explore different worlds and cultures through gaming, leading to a sense of adventure and exploration.
Furthermore, the increasing use of technology has made gaming more accessible to high school students. The rise of mobile gaming has made gaming possible anytime, anywhere, leading to students playing games even during class time or study sessions. The easy accessibility of games makes it easier for students to become addicted to gaming.
How to prevent addiction?
The effects of gaming addiction on high school students are detrimental, and it is essential to prevent addiction and help those who are already addicted. One way to prevent gaming addiction is by setting limits and boundaries. Parents and teachers can set rules and guidelines for gaming and technology use, such as limiting the amount of time spent gaming or restricting gaming during certain times of the day. Additionally, students can be encouraged to engage in other activities such as sports, reading, or other hobbies, to help them find a healthy balance between gaming and other interests.
Moreover, it is essential to educate high school students on the potential negative consequences of excessive gaming. Many students are unaware of the potential negative effects of gaming and may not realise that they are developing an addiction until it is too late. Educating students on the potential risks of gaming can help them make more informed decisions about their gaming habits.
Rehabilitation and Support
In addition to prevention, it is essential to provide help to those who are already addicted to gaming. One way to help addicted students is to seek professional help. Mental health professionals can provide therapy and counselling to help students overcome their addiction and address underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to their addiction.
Furthermore, support groups and peer counselling can also be helpful for students struggling with gaming addiction. Support groups provide a sense of community and understanding for students struggling with addiction. Peer counselling, on the other hand, can be an avenue for students to discuss their experiences and challenges with peers who may have gone through similar experiences.
Lastly, it is essential to recognise that gaming addiction is a complex issue that requires a multidisciplinary approach. Parents, teachers, mental health professionals, and students themselves all play a role in preventing and helping with gaming addiction. It is essential to work together to find effective solutions that address the unique needs and challenges of each individual student.