December 19th, 2017 | Updated on June 6th, 2018
Off and on we keep hearing about the hazards of cell phone accidents, such as cell phones catching fire or blowing in the face. These are serious risks, but there is another peril that a cell phone poses and is often overlooked. And that is the danger of mobile game addiction that affects one’s health adversely.
Mobile game addiction
You know it and we know it that mobile game addiction is for real, though it has still not figured in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) and not officially recognized as a clinical problem. People do get obsessed with mobile games and this is manifested when such people don’t take the games as a simple diversion from the real world, but make it an all-consuming affair.
They spend most of their waking hours gaming that leads to numerous negative consequences. And this malady is not restricted by age. Both grown-ups and kids seem prone to excessive gaming. Although not all mobile games are addictive, some games such as Pokemon Go, SimCity, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Minecraft, Clash of Clans, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Candy Crush, and some more are known to make people obsessed with them.
Studies reveal that usage of cell phones during driving is now one of the most common causes of accidents.
Consequences of mobile game addiction
Although not all who play mobile games get addicted, but the small percentage of people who do, show some telltale symptoms. If the addict is a student, his or her academic performance declines, since his focus no longer remains on studies.
In case of adults, this addiction may make them miss work or neglect job-related responsibilities. Their relationship may also suffer, since their partners my feel neglected. Unfortunately, this addiction can prove fatal too, as in the case of a gamer who died from a blood clot after a 12-hour gaming session.
Health problems associated with mobile games
There are some serious health problems associated with mobile games. Let us see what they are:
1. Affects psychologically
Mobile game addiction may cause high stress levels, social anxiety, low self-esteem and depression. Unable to break free from this habit, the addicts may also suffer shame, guilt and a sense of powerlessness.
2. Causes health problems
Mobile gamers who are too addicted may neglect their personal hygiene and be reluctant to participate in physical activities that they previously enjoyed. They may also have problem sleeping and become sleep-deprived due to excessive gaming. They may become negligent towards their eating choices and end up surviving on junk food.
3. Strains relationships
Relationships suffer, if you are addicted to mobile games. There are problems within the family, if their teenage kid’s mobile gaming addiction is beyond redemption. Marriages too suffer on this account, if one of the partners is hooked on to mobile gaming.
4. Wastes money
Some mobile games are expensive and even demand money for upgrades. This may cause the addict to waste money on them that could have been better utilized. Also, since this addiction affects work adversely, it may lead to coming late for work and suffer pay cuts or underachieving and not being considered for promotion.
Is mobile gaming really an addiction?
If neurological evidence is anything to go by, mobile gaming is akin to the substance abuse. However, researchers are divided on this issue and maintain that gaming does not constitute an addiction.
Many countries consider compulsive playing of mobile games as a serious public health issue and have established treatment facilities, especially China and South Korea. There has even been a case in India of a teenage kid murdering his parents, when denied access to his cell phone for gaming.
That mobile gaming is addictive is a foregone conclusion. Whether it will become a cognizable offence in the eyes of the law, much like substance abuse, and require a lawyer to fight the case is a possibility that just cannot be wished away.