Are videogames addictive? (Blog Post 3)

Above, I have linked an article entitled “6 Negative Effects for Children Playing Video Games” written by Cheryl Macquire in 2017. One of the problems I have with this article is that it takes a very specific instance (one child who developed physical tics due to playing videogames), and applies it to children and video games as a whole. I would connsider this a “hasty generalization” fallacy, a logical fallacy which already puts a bad taste in my mouth from the start of the article. She also wrote “The doctor told me that video games cause overstimulation of the brain” without citing any evidence, and she did not say what doctor or which hospital this was said to her.

She also claims that videogames are “psychologically addictive. and that dopamine is released when playing. The following quote from psychology today offers a good refute: “The research that Kardaris referred to demonstrates that certain pathways in the forebrain, where dopamine is the neurotransmitter, become active when people are playing video games, and drugs like heroin activate some of these same pathways. What Kardaris’s and similar articles leave out, however, is the fact that everything that is pleasurable activates these pathways. These are the brain’s pleasure pathways. If video gaming didn’t increase activity in these dopaminergic pathways, we would have to conclude that video gaming is no fun. The only way to avoid producing this kind of effect on the brain would be to avoid everything that is pleasurable.” Essentially, everything pleasurable releases dopamine and it is not in our best interest to completely avoid everything that would cause dopamine to be released.

She also lists “impaired social interaction” as a problem with videogames, but videogames can also cause people to come together. Those who play videogames (myself included) often play with others while chatting via headsets either within the game itself or with another source such as Discord.

2 thoughts on “Are videogames addictive? (Blog Post 3)

  1. Hi Eli,
    Great blog post! I think the topic of video games being addicting is very important to touch on. This topic is also the same as, are smart phones and TV addicting? YES! So many electronics are so addicting to many people. It’s like, how did we live in a time without computers, smart phones, or Nintendo switches?? We used to just sit and wait patiently without using any technology because it wasn’t as portable. I feel like that’s the biggest issue with video games being addicting, is because most is portable now, unless you are playing on a console!
    Great topic Eli, thanks for posting!
    – Ali K.

  2. After reading your post it also inspired me to write about the effects of video games on our brain. I agree with your summary of the first article that we can hardly take one instance and say that’s how it is for everyone. Like any other hobby, it should be enjoyed in moderation and some people will engage with it in unhealthy ways. That doesn’t mean it’s bad for us, and as I found out from an actual neuroscientist there are some real benefits to gaming.

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