Most people find playing video games a fun activity, and they do it as a hobby. While for others, it becomes a harmful habit.
Playing video games becomes an issue if it starts affecting an individual’s relationships and daily functioning.
Currently, video game addiction is not on the list of DSM-5 (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
However, WHO (World Health Organization) has classified it as a disease in its ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases).
Online video game addiction is quickly becoming a serious issue. Therefore, numerous research studies have been conducted, and many are on the way too.
Numerous video game addiction statistics suggest that compulsive gaming has become a real issue for many people.
Key Video Game Addiction Statistics 2022
- 64% of the American population are gamers
- The average male gamer is 33
- 69% are Caucasian
- 13% are Asian
- 94% are male
- 25% of the global population play video games
- The video game industry is worth $131 billion
Why Are Video Games Addictive?
Many studies have been conducted to find out why these games are so addictive. One of the reasons for this is that they are designed to come back and play them repeatedly.
These games have to be challenging enough for the players to keep playing them. But they should not be so tough that players can easily give up playing them. Some games do not have a definitive end or a final goal.
It allows players to continue playing them for an indefinite period. There are now video games available that allow people to connect throughout the globe electronically. This feature can also promote endless gameplay.
Some games rely on different levels and a range of different reward systems. For example, players can repeatedly earn different skills by reaching a certain level.
There are times when players stick to playing a game when they know a big reward is coming. It increases here overall paying time.
Video game addiction also comes with physical and emotional signs, and they can indicate a problem.
The thoughts of playing the game can consume a player. S/he can show impatience and agitation if not being able to play for some reason.
People can also be dishonest about their playing time and isolate themselves to play even longer.
Some physical symptoms of this issue are:
- Lack of personnel hygiene.
- CTS or carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Migraines and headaches
These games provide them with an opportunity to be what they crave to be. And, of course, you always have a chance to start over.
But, unfortunately, people tend to live for short-term pleasure rather than long-term health And this is where things began to go wrong.
Let’s check out some video game addiction statistics and demographic data.
Demographics of Video Gamers
Over 2 billion people play video games worldwide.
Video game addiction statistics show that 1 percent to 10 percent of gamers show issues related to compulsive addiction.
Some other interesting demographics and statistics in this regard are:
- 64 percent of the US population are gamers.
- The average age of male gamers is 33 years old, while the average age of female gamers is 37 years old.
- 69 percent Caucasians, 13 percent Asians, and 18 percent other ethnicities are the gamer addiction ethnic breakdown.
- Males with ages ranging between 18 to 24 are most at risk of addiction.
- 94 percent males and 6 percent females are the gaming addictions gender breakdown.
- Over 25 percent of the global population play video games. That is over 2 million people.
These demographics have been significantly impacted by the recent lockdowns imposed by governments throughout the globe due to COVID-19. We will talk about this aspect in a bit.
The Rise of Video Gaming Addiction
The video game industry is going ahead with all guns blazing. Back in 1999, the industry generated almost $7.5 billion in revenue.
This number substantially increased to $131 billion in the year 2018 according to statistics. Some studies suggest that the industry is well on its way to generating over $300 billion by 2025.
Another point here is the ease of video game accessibility. With advancements in technology, people can now play their favorite games on televisions, computers, tablets, and phones.
As a result, it has encouraged more people to play these video games frequently.
Video game usage stats show substantial growth in the average time that a person spends playing video games. According to a study, individuals played video games for an average of half an hour daily in 1999.
Another study in 2009 found that 8 to 18-year-olds tend to spend an hour and thirteen minutes a day playing games on their consoles and other devices.
However, it has increased to more than a couple of hours in the more recent studies conducted in 2020 according to video game addiction statistics.
Most Addictive Video Games
The most addictive video games include MMOs (massively multiplayer online games) and RPGs (role-playing games) according to video game addiction statistics.
Some of these games feature elements of these characteristics and are called MMORPGs (massive multiple role-playing games).
These games can be pretty addictive because players can interact with other players throughout the globe in a competitive or collaborative setting.
Thus, these games are addictive, and players can role-play another life that they might envy or desire.
The stats about these MMOs show that about 22 percent of the gamers spent around 61 to 80 percent of their time playing these online games. Some of the most addictive games that players play today are:
It is a shooter game where the players play against 99 other players. The goal here is to be the last man standing or alive. More than 200 million people play this game. It has made around 1.2 billion dollars via in-game currency or V-bucks.
League of Legends
It is a multiplayer game in which individuals battle another team to destroy their entire nexus structure.
World of Warcraft
This game is about controlling an avatar and exploring different lands while fighting monsters and conquering different lands.
In the year 2009, more than 11 million people throughout the globe are playing this game. But it will drop to 4.88 million in 2020, according to video game addiction statistics. But it is still a staggering number.
Call of Duty
It is a first-person shooter game that comes with a range of different settings. In 2003, the first version of this game was set in WW2, but new settings like Space and Cold War have been added over the years.
In 2020, this game was being played by more than 250 million players, an increase from 70 million people a couple of years back.
This adventure action game is in the third person’s perspective, and individuals fight and explore different questions.
There are different individual missions, and you can compete or collaborate with other players from around the globe.
Video Game Addiction Harmful Effects
There are different short and long-term adverse effects of video game addiction. In the short run, users might experience disruptions in their sleeping habits according to video game addiction statistics.
It might result in fatigue, sleeplessness, and even insomnia.
Disruption in their eating habits will be evident too. They might end up skipping meals entirely and will have to deal with poor nutrition.
They might also end up isolating themselves and miss out on different opportunities to socialize. It can lead to the loss of friends and reduced social skills.
Video game addicts are more prone to seizures due to flashing or those fast-paced images in these video games.
In the long run, these video games may impair an individual’s financial or academic career.
Game Addiction and Other Co-Occurring Disorders
Users play these games for a variety of reasons. For example, they might want to entertain themselves or lie a bit of competition. Or they might be trying to cope with some other conditions by playing video games.
Depression and Gaming
Depression and gaming have a significant correlation. According to a study, 9 percent of elementary plus secondary school students were categorized as pathological gamers.
They have been using video games to cope with other conditions such as anxiety or depression. Individuals with such conditions will want to isolate themselves and might want to escape any stressors with the help of video games.
Anxiety and Gaming
There is a direct relation found between anxiety and gaming. People use video gaming to deal with anxiety and stress.
They do not want to deal with their regular situation and might take help from video games rather than deal with that situation.
People with social anxiety find it difficult to connect with other people. They become much more comfortable interacting with others virtually. Therefore, real-world interactions make them nervous.
It further isolates them from other people, and they want to play even more games. Another study reveals that these MMORPG games increase social anxiety disorders in individuals with this video gaming disorder.
But the same study also found that the same people never felt hesitant when interacting with others through their avatar.
ADHD and Gaming
Video game addiction also has a direct connection with ADHD. Individuals who have ADHD might play video games even more because of poor time management.
They might be able to hyperfocus on their game, and it might reward them with some brief attention spans.
But, unfortunately, these people have an increased rate of problematic and compulsive usage of video games.
Autism and Gaming
Autism and gaming correlate, too, and numbers show that people with autism might find these games overly indulging because of the repetitive behaviors.
It might result in inattentiveness or even obsessive behaviors, leading to long and addictive playing patterns.
A study found that the average time that male children aged from 8 to 18 with autism spend 2.4 hours per day. In addition, those who play RPGs are highly likely to display oppositional behaviors.
COVID-19 and Video Game Addictions Stats
The lockdowns caused by the pandemic have had a profound influence on the number of gamers throughout the globe. Due to this pandemic, the gaming industry has only increased by 63 percent in sales in this period.
There are some other official numbers associated with video games and the pandemic.
- 39 percent more time is being spent globally on playing video games.
- The market value of this industry has grown from $151 billion in the year 2019 to over $180 billion in the year 2021.
- Most people in the US spend 59 percent more time in front of their screens (all devices).
- Prevalence and increase in gaming addiction have increased due to the pandemic.
The pandemics impacted these stats massively. Excessive use of screen time has increased during this period. More and more people are playing games on more platforms.
Stats on Treating Video Game Addiction
Game addiction is an impulse control disorder, and it can be as serious as any other type of addiction.
However, you have to understand that its treatment is necessary to assist the person in overcoming their dependency on these video games.
Video game addictions might be a new type of addiction. Therefore, plenty of research is already underway. Game addiction treatment is pretty much similar to treatments of other addictions.
Family and individual counseling and behavioral modification is the best treatment for this addiction.
Being abstinent when computers are an integral part of one’s life. In such a scenario, the focus of the treatment should be on avoiding playing video games rather than abstaining from completely.
Some treatment facilities even incorporate medication into the program. There is no complete solution to this problem.
It is very similar to drug addiction and alcoholism. You must enter the treatment and be aware of any trigger points while participating in those recovery groups.
These video game addiction statistics for 2022 underline that this is a serious matter. People must take notice of it. Parents have a significant role in keeping their kids off the screens and providing them with different opportunities to interact with others.
There are some benefits of these video games too. But it does not mean your kids can continue to play for long sessions. There has been a surge in these numbers due to the pandemic.
More people are spinning more time in their homes due to these lockdowns and restrictions. So, they must find a way to entertain themselves.
And this is where the gaming industry saw the boom recently.
These video games should not be a regular part of life but should be taken as entertainment. Of course, you can introduce more entertainment sources in your life too.
But things begin to become difficult when computers are a part of your daily life. Abstaining from gaming in such a scenario becomes tough.
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