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June 28, 2017

Internet Games: We can’t just take ‘em or leave ‘em

“Drugs and addictive behaviors activate the same reward centers in the brain.”
(Claire Gillan, neuroscientist)

 

When my kids were young, they loved to visit a website on our family desktop that allowed them to choose from dozens of simple, seemingly harmless games. Now that the world is becoming more and more aware of the research behind the creation of such games, and the research about their effects on our brains, I’m feeling a bit guilty for allowing that website into my home so often.

 

Perhaps I should’ve known all along—after all, the website was actually called…www.addictinggames.com.

 

Well, the way programmers have progressed since then, “addicting games” is redundant; all Internet games are designed to be addictive. There are now hundreds of treatment centers around the world for those of us who’ve fallen into their trap. We may think this is just for teenage boys playing World of Warcraft (the most addictive game in existence, statistically). But the 2nd most addictive game in the world is played mostly by women: Candy Crush Saga.

 

Here’s a website for parents to test whether their child exhibits the signs of video game addiction. (Use it on yourself as well).

 

Peace begins with pause,

 

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