Video game addiction
Andrew Doan, MD, PhD, is a trained eye surgeon, father of three, a professor — and a recovering video game addict. Astonishingly he made it through medical school at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine while playing a real-time strategy game like StarCraft for 7 to 14 hours a day. He’d started gaming at the uncharacteristically old age of 24 and got married a year later. Unhinged by lack of sleep and irritability when not gaming, he freely admits, “I was abusive to my wife,” Dr. Doan says.
While video game use is problematic for some teens, researchers say addiction is rare.
Video game addiction is a popular term for a compulsive, psychologically and socially dysfunctional pattern of video game playing. While the condition has no official standing in the U.S., it is designated for review by the American Psychiatric Association, which creates the country’s preeminent addiction/mental health guidelines. In a study published in 2013 in the journal Addiction, a German research team set out to accurately estimate the frequency of video game addiction in both teenage and adult populations. The members of this team concluded that only a small number of people appear to have symptoms of the condition.