Video game addicts display a very common behavior that is also present in other behavior addictions- the escapist behavior. Playing video games is a way of finding a temporary escape or refuge from the real world. Video gamers travel into a whole new different dimension away from the pressures, demands, and complexities of real life.
The Escapist Behavior can be narrowed down to the following:
Zoning Out: Once the video game addict clicks on “Start” or “Play”, he is off to his own world. When he is completely into the game, his attention and concentration are focused on the game alone. All other things around him are blocked out because he has completely zoned out. Ask him a question and you get a nod, a mumble, or a simple “yes” or “no”. His hands and his eyes are glued to the controls and monitor but all other senses are already numbed out. His mind is definitely off somewhere else where nobody and nothing can reach him anymore.
Avoiding Feelings: Video game addicts take into the comforts of their game. When faced with a difficult situation at school, at work, or at home, they find peace and calmness in the depths of their virtual conquest. Escape room Whatever disgust, fear, or disappointment that they may be feeling in the real world are set aside when they play. Sometimes, these negative feelings may be replaced with even more negative ones such as outrage, paranoia, or resignation. Avoidance is a form of running away from true emotions that are nagging inside them.
Compulsiveness: Playing gives the video game addict a sense of temporary pleasure. They play not because they have to but because they need to fulfill that urge to feel good and victorious. There is that helpless, powerless feeling of indulging into the game even if they know they do not need to. Even if they know that they don’t need to spend hours on the game, their lack of control and the urge is more powerful than reason.
Denial and Rationalization: The video game addict foremost denies that he has a problem and that the addiction is definitely not doing him any good. He will never acknowledge the fact that their personal and social lives are affected by the addiction. He will find reasons to rationalize and defend his addiction. He makes countless excuses not only to convince other people but to justify his actions to himself as well. Constant denial and rationalization are his ways of defending his addiction.
The above symptoms are almost always present with any behavior addiction. An addiction provides an escape from the real but unpleasant realities of everyday life. Any addiction serves as the individual’s preferred temporary world that is more pleasant for them than in the real world.
Finding a diversion is okay when you feel like getting away from the pressures of school, work, or home. You can get into a hobby from time to time but not let it take up all of your time and energy.
When the diversion takes on a different turn like using it as a form of total escape, that can really be harmful. For as we try to escape, we move away from the truth that we need to face life’s challenges and pressures. We move away from living an ordinary, normal life.
We find ourselves off to our own world away from everything and everybody. We numb ourselves of any emotion or we harbor more negative ones. We always feel the urge of playing and resign to it. We lie and justify our actions especially when we know these actions are already unacceptable.
The escapist behavior is easy to detect. It will be very, very evident to people suffering from any type of addiction. It can manifest at an early stage or maybe later on. But no matter how soon it appears, it will eventually be there.
If you see this type of behavior on your video gamer kid, loved one or friend, take the first step of reaching out to them. Help them see that the video game is not doing them good anymore. Make them understand that there is hope and help. Knowledge and intervention are some of the keys to help an addicted individual break away from the clutches of the virtual world.