Computer Addiction: How Video Games Almost Destroyed A Teen’s Life

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald March 07, 12:14 pm

People get addicted to drugs, gambling and alcohol but Cam Adair has a different addiction. One time, he sat in his bedroom for 15 hours playing video games like "World of Warcraft" and "Counter-Strike 1.6."

Adair was bullied when he was still in middle school so he kept to himself. He spent most of his time in the exciting world of video games because he loved the feeling of being in charge. When he played, he forgot everything, including his family and his problems.

Adair is just one of the increasing number of teenagers in North America who are addicted to computer games, according to The Star. As per the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, the number of Ontario students who showed symptoms of video gaming problem has increased from 9 percent in 2007 to 13 percent in 2015. It defined symptoms as loss of control, escape, tolerance, preoccupation and disruption to family or even school.

"My roommates at the time went away for three weeks," Adair said. "I was so excited they were leaving so I could game in peace without anyone noticing how much I was playing."

The symptoms of excessive gaming have been around since "Game Boy" and "Tetris" became popular in the 1980s. The symptoms have grown more serious this time with the emergence of video games with better graphics and real time experience. Children have become more preoccupied with these games now as these can be easily accessed through cellphones and tablets.

Adair never graduated and just played video games in their basement until he made a commitment to change at age 19. He used to be a video game addict but he has reformed and is now a hockey player and a motivational speaker, as per Cameron Dare. He founded Game Quitters, an organization that provides support for video game addicts all over the world. 

He said there are many reasons why people, especially teens, can become addicted to video games, Calgary Herald reported. Adair said playing video games offer that feeling of instant gratification not offered by real life.

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