I dealt with my unhealthy gambling obsession … With more games

However, if we continue the argument that gambling may not be a direct risk of addiction, but rather a symptom of a larger problem or other underlying mental health problem, then you can argue the same for alcohol and drugs. ?

“If you’re going to secretly mix heroin into someone’s food,” says Ferguson, “over time they will develop the addiction perhaps without even noticing it until it’s too late. There are physiological mechanisms that will cause the addiction.” You have a lot of people who are addicted to caffeine and wake up every day and need a coffee or Pepsi.And they can’t function without it and have gained a tolerance, so they need more and more coffee to get calcium. “If they try to stop, they will have headaches, fatigue, and will be irritable. There is no such equivalent in the game when it comes to the concept of tolerance and resilience.”

It was curious to hear, since I used games to break addictive patterns into my life. The biggest problem I have is checking my phone by email. If left unchecked, that can lead to using the screen late at night, on weekends, or when you are supposed to be on vacation.

Take this article: As soon as I sent the pitch, I turned off my computer and took mine BittBoy (a handheld retro game console) to play 10 minutes of Tetris Attack on the Super Nintendo (I set a timer). It provides me with the “reward” dopamine I was expecting from an immediate response by email. It means I can forget about the email and then get back to work. But is there a science behind my new habits?

“The easy answer is that, yes, you can absolutely make games as a reward,” says Ferguson.

“It’s a complicated situation, since dopamine does a lot of things, but you’ll see that dopamine levels rise immediately before you do anything exciting. It’s like when you get to the front of the line at Space Mountain at Disney World after a It could be exactly like receiving an email in a really good tone. “

Ferguson tells me then that dopamine levels increase about 50 to 100 percent when you play a game for the first time, and it’s a totally normal response to every enjoyable activity: from eating pizza to having sex (compared to using methamphetamine). , which may raise levels by 1,300 percent). On the contrary, dopamine-wise, it’s okay to play a game, and you won’t have the same regrets after eating pizza or (maybe) having sex.

I worry about how games affect young minds, that my 4-year-old daughter has just started playing with my iPad. I’m afraid she may develop an unhealthy relationship with the games, the way I played, and the way her grandmother did. Sarah Coyne, associate director of Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, widens my fears.

“There’s so much research on the positive uses of video games,” he says. “How it can help with social relationships and mental health and cognitive problems.”

“Video games are a really powerful tool and you can use them for good or for bad,” he continues. “And so you want to make sure that everything you do really works for you. If you are too restrictive with children, then they will rebel and want only restricted content and the kind of forbidden fruit kind of idea. ”

Coyne says there isn’t much research on the effects of having a parent who abused the game as a hobby, but the only advantage I have is that my mom played games that weren’t violent. It’s the kind of game I prefer, especially puzzle games that offer a brainwashing experience and the joy of solving problems.

“If you play catchy video games, or video games that connect with you or help you think about the world, it will have a dramatically different effect for you. Grand Theft Auto,Says Coyne.

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