Gaming addiction has been widely talked about with the growth of the Battle Royale genre and the rise of Fortnite on the competitive scene. Many parents around the nations might wonder why Fortnite is so addicting. This is not an easy question to answer and we are going to look at the gaming addiction in general. What applies to a kid who seems to be addicted to Fornite, of course, does not necessarily apply to other games.
Recently, the World Health Organization officially recognized gaming disorder (aka gaming addiction) as a mental illness. Gaming disorder is mainly defined as when gaming becomes more important than your job, health, and personal relationships for an extended period of time. While gaming disorder is a concern for those who play video games for pleasure, it is also a major concern for those who play video games for a living through participation in eSports.
Why are Fortnite and other games so addicting
In South Korea, certain regulations have been put in place in order to prevent gaming disorder among younger eSports players and regular gamers. Even if people did not really ask themselves why Fortnite was very addictive in South Korea (Fortnite not being very present in the country), this law especially targeted titles such as Starcraft and League of Legends. In 2011, the Cinderella law was passed, restricting those under the age of sixteen from playing online games after midnight. However, the law doesn’t apply to mobile games, console games, or certain games on social networking sites.
By themselves, the Cinderella law and the acknowledgment of gaming addiction as a disorder cannot completely prevent gaming-related mental health issues. As seen with the Cinderella law, video games come in so many different forms and genres, and it is impossible to apply a single law or diagnosis to video games as a whole. For example, the reason why Fortnite is so addicting is different from the reason why League of Legends or Overwatch is so addicting. However, that doesn’t mean that gaming disorders aren’t preventable at all. When applied to eSports and beyond, the following tips may stop gaming disorders before they can start.
Trick Your Brain to Prevent Addiction
If gaming starts to suddenly take priority over crucial aspects of your daily life, telling yourself that the game is suddenly less exciting or appealing can get you back on track. No video game is perfect, so there is bound to be something about the game that will make you not want to play. Whether it is a difficult boss battle or a fictional character you can’t stand interacting with, sometimes the best way to stop playing a game is to get bored of it.
Monitor Your Stress Level
While gaming can be used to reduce stress, gaming can also increase your stress depending on the type of game you play and how competitive you are. For instance, Fornite is one of the most competitive (and addicting) games out there. As a result, you might take your anger out on other players in a heated moment. If you have depression or a similar mental health issue, excessive escapism through video games can worsen it. If this is the case, it is okay to step away from gaming for a bit.
Play Low Stakes Games
When you play constantly high stakes games that involve fighting or making your character as strong as possible, it is possible to develop unhealthy gaming habits because of a desire to keep playing until you feel you have won, feel a sense of completion, or become strong enough. High-stakes games such as Fortnite and PUBG might not really work in that case. However, there are low stakes games that can relax you and allow you to de-stress without adding to your stress. Examples of these games include Monument Valley, Alto’s Odyssey, and Zen Koi.
Participate In Community Gaming
A positive aspect of eSports is that it allows gamers to come together in the real world to compete against each other. A more leisurely version of this is known as community gaming, which involves everyday people who play video games together in a public space. Think Pokemon Go being played in your neighborhood outdoors or Dungeons and Dragons being played at your local comic book store. Community gaming has been around for ages, but it just might become as vital as eSports.
Be Vigilant About What You Play
While not all video games encourage video game disorder, there are definitely some that do. For instance, each mobile role-playing games and mobile casino games might fuel gaming disorder if you have a habit of gambling or overspending. If you catch yourself spending more time with a video game than other aspects of your life and you cannot resist this impulse, it is okay to avoid certain games entirely or even remove certain games from your life. Video games can be enjoyable, but no game is worth your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Last Update on 08/06/19: Added new elements including Fortnite details by Quentin Rosso2