Gaming. Times have changed over the last decade. Who would have thought that 59% of Americans would be playing video games daily, and that 74% of our Kindergarten through eighth grade children would have their teacher utilize video games as a method for teaching. 
People are now able to play video games online as well. Online gaming can be accessed through their gaming consoles, computers, phones and tablets.
Gamers from across the globe are joining forces to defeat the enemy in video games of all kinds.
Having video games become so accessible to our population can help to fuel a dependence on video gaming.
It is believed that gaming can be addictive. Like other types of addictions, it is perceived that gaming has both psychological and physiological components.
The rush of dopamine that occurs while playing video games can become part of the addiction. 
People habitually focused on video games can suffer sleep deprivation, relationship struggles and impact to employment.
Frequently gamers will stay up late at night to game. There are online gaming parties that set virtual meeting times to complete tasks together within the games.
The bright light of the computer or gaming console background can trick the brain into believing it is daytime when it may in fact be the middle of the night. Gamers go to bed after a big night of gaming to face that they are not able relax and go to sleep easily.
They may need to lay quietly to calm down from their gaming experience and let the brain adjust to the darkness in preparation for sleep.
Relationships may be impacted by gaming when wives or husbands are playing video games rather than listening and interacting with their spouses. Families may feel slighted when a Dad is focused in on his online gaming buddies rather than his wife and children.
And parents may be easily frustrated when chores and homework fall to the way side because a child hits the door from school, and runs to play the latest video games. All of these examples can refer to people using gaming as a means to escape from the emotions and stresses of daily life.
Employment, unfortunately, can also be impacted by a gaming addiction. Sleep deprivation can result in frequent tardiness, lack of focus and poor job performance at work.
Utilizing work hours to game or simply accessing video games online is grounds for immediate termination at some companies.
Gaming becomes a problem when it begins to consume your time, focus, and finances to the point that it is a detrimental to your lifestyle.
Everything has a time and place. If you are unable to balance your time or say no to gaming, then you may need to seek professional help. There is hope!
Seek out the assistance of a treatment center, therapist or support group. Share your struggle with a trusted love one and ask that they help you remain accountable to achieving and maintaining balance in your life.
Consider replacing your gaming time with things that fill your cup. Consider helping your children with their homework, taking your spouse out for dinner or a cup of coffee, write a card or letter to someone that you have been missing.
Look at opportunities for physical fitness, get into an exercise class or look to volunteer at your local soup kitchen or mission to engage and positively impact the lives of others.
Life is best when it is lived and experienced. Take that first steps towards life today.
About the author: Jane McGuire is the Executive Assistant for Jacquelyn Ekern, Founder of Eating Disorder Hope and Addiction Hope. Jane graduated from Eastern Oregon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business. Jane believes that everyone has a story of trial, that when shared, can be used to benefit and encourage someone else who is struggling to find hope and direction.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 20, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com
: 2015 Video Game Statistics & Trends Who’s Playing What & Why? | Big Fish Blog. (2015, March 3). Retrieved December 16, 2015, from http://www.bigfishgames.com/blog/2015-global-video-game-stats-whos-playing-what-and-why/
: Feature, S. (n.d.). Video Game Addiction. Retrieved December 16, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/video-game-addiction-no-fun