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The Computer Internet And Video Game Addiction Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2099 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In this review report i will discuss about the article about “The Computer, Internet, and Video Game Addiction” by Douglas A. Gentile. In the article the author discussed about the issue about the addictions because of computer, internet, and video games, and he discussed about the warning signs and symptoms in order to detect the addiction status. In the article the author says that because of the high addictiveness to these technology inventions causes disruptions to works, friends, school, and family. The author explained that the addiction to something will cause damage to the functionality of their life. It may be more one or two functional areas of life that may get damaged because of addiction of something. And the author used a scale to determine the addictiveness of a person. I agree with the author as he says that the addiction disrupts the functioning of social life in many areas but he did not mentioned about the new technologies and services like social networking addiction and text messaging services. As the author said the addiction to internet may not always damages their social relations. I shall show that the addictions to internet may improve the social functionality of the people.

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Critical Review:

The topic of this review is the addiction of new technologies and services developed in recent years. Douglas A. Gentile clearly explained in his article about the issue and warning signs and how to rescue the people from addiction. In recent years technology is growing rapidly. As a result of this technological development so many new facilities and services are coming forward. Computers and Internet services are some of the major aspects grown very rapidly in the past decade. The number of users using these services increasing day by day. These new technologies and internet services are very useful and became very important aspects in regular life as we have so many advantages with them. Some people uses internet for longer hours daily. Psychologists named it as “internet-addiction disorder”. But so many people used to spend hours of time on their computers even before the usage of internet came into their regular life. We can call it as computer addiction. And one more powerful, routine and mostly accepted addiction is video gaming. And what about mobile phones? Persons get addicted to these mobile phones too. With the help of developing technology the researchers will implement all the computer, mobile phone and videos gaming features into single equipment in near future, possibly mostly addictive.

In Douglas A. Gentile’s article he explained the term addiction as to do something which will spoil their regular life functionalities. They will spoil more than one or two functionalities of their normal life such as their social functionality and work operations, school operations and even family relations just because of their addiction. By considering the above functionality disorders ‘Gentile’ said that 8.5% of young games are addicted in America. (Gentile 2009).[1]

As of now there are no accepted risk factors or symptoms in order to identify the addiction Gentile suggested some factors as a basic guide to find the addiction of video games. He suggested the symptoms for children and adults. Those are, in case of children, they will spend most of the time in playing games, incompletion of assignments, getting less grades, falling into sleep in school hours, always likes to play video games instead of playing with their friends, lying about the use of computer and games, not interested to spend time in sports and clubs, violent response when anyone tries to stop their game play. These are the symptoms suggested by Gentile to be used as a guide to identify the addiction in case of children. And when it comes to the adults he suggested the risk factors as follows. When the time spending on video game play increases it seriously disrupts the family, social life and even work life, cannot control the use of computers and video games, that fantasy video game life replaces the original normal life with partner, they will lie about the use of the computer and games. And Gentile also suggested some physical symptoms which may indicate to addiction. Those symptoms are disturbances in sleep, back ache and neck aches, headaches and neglecting personal hygiene because of not eating regularly.[1]

In his article Gentile said that for the person who is addicted to computers and video games, a fantasy life in on-line or in the video games replaces his original real world. The virtual reality of the video games is more attractive than real world, family, school, or work. And the improved right of entry to pornography on the on-line and in video games.

And Gentile mentioned different approaches in order to define the addictions. However, they are likely to share various characteristics. In 1991 Brown potted 6 core facets in order to identify the presence of the addiction, and those facets are alike across various approaches. The facets summarized by Brown are ‘salience’, is defined as the action which controls the life of a person either cognitively or behaviourally. And another facet is euphoria/relief, and is defined as an action which provides ‘high’. And another one is ‘tolerance’ is defined as the greater action is required to get the similar ‘high’. And another facet is ‘withdrawal symptoms’ is defined as the occurrence of unlikeable negative emotions or physical effects while not capable to employ the action. And ‘Conflict’ is defined as the action that directs to clash with others, and ‘relapse and reinstatement’ is defined as the action continued in spite of challenges to withhold from it.[3]

Douglas A. Gentile defined a scale in order to calculate the addiction level of a person. That scale includes the following questions.

Have you turn into extra anxious in the past year while playing video games or while using computer?

Have you spend lot of time and money in order to play games and in order to get required excitement in the past year?

Have you tried to minimise your playing time in the past year?

Have you become short-tempered or irritable while trying to stop playing games?

Have you lied your parents or friends about the time you spend to play games?

(For children)Have you ever done incomplete assignments because spending more time on video games in the past year?

Have you required the financial help of family or friends for the reason of spending lot of money on video games?

Have you committed anti-social activities such as theft from home or friends to buy video games?

And he explained how to score this scale. And how to decide the level of addiction using this score. As Gentile mentioned people needed to count 1 if the answer is Yes and they need to count as 0 if they get No. So finally if u gets yes for half of the questions then you are in addiction. And if u get No for more than half questions then less addictive or not addicted. According to the opinion of the author Gentile he considered this type of disorder as impulse-control disorder. It means the person who plays the games knows that he should finish his home work, but he cannot stop the desire to play for some more time. And the Gentile said that it is not only in the case of games. The person may have addiction of computers or internet to stay away from rest of their social life.[2]

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The author has given some reasons on why people get addicted to the internet, computers and games. He said three basic requirements that direct to human motivation. These requirements are the requirement of autonomy (that is the human want to believe that he is in charge about the thing he is doing), the requirement of relatedness (it means that human wants to feel joined with other persons), and the requirement of competence (that is human want to believe that he is better at things). These are the three basic requirements of self-determination theory. The video games and internet are superb to satisfy these three requirements and because of this reason they are highly motivating things and leads people to get addicted to them.

Gentile gave some suggestions in his article about how to get out of these disorders. He suggested taking the person who is spending lot of time on games and internet to the counsellor who treats the people having impulse-control disorders. And he suggested some changes to take in the living patterns of their family. That is by making the children to spend more time with their family. Because if the adults are busy at their work then their kids try to entertain themselves by playing games and can become addictive to those games. And if you want to stop your children from playing games first you need to arrange some alternative to replace those games. You need to fulfil their needs which they are getting by playing games. And he suggested some links for specialize treatment for video games and internet addictions. Those are http://techaddiction.ca/ and http://www.netaddictionrecovery.com/. [2]

As Gentile said in his article i agree with him that the addiction to something leads a person to spoil his regular life operations such as their school operations, time spending with their friends, work operations and also family relations. But here the author did not mentioned about the social networking sites available on internet. In present days most of the people using the social networking sites such facebook, orkut, hi5 and most of the internet users became addicted to these social networking sites. And by using these sites they will can make good relations with their friends and they can make their social relations stronger. So that i cannot agree with the author as he said that the addiction spoils the social relations.

The symptoms suggested by the Gentile are good enough to identify the addiction of children and in case of adults also. Those symptoms or risk factors are much accurate to identify the addiction. I agree with the author to use those factors as a guide to detect the addiction. And by following the physical symptoms suggested by gentile as indications we can definitely know whether we are addicted to any of those computers, video games, and internet or not. And i support the questions covered in the scale taken by gentle in order to find out the addiction level of a person. By asking those questions themselves the people can find out their addiction level and can take some cautions to get out of the addiction. And he gave some best reasons for getting addicted to these technology things. And the addiction to the internet and video games may not always a big problem as those addictions may get out of the people as time passes. And these things are even not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a medical disorder


In this review I have discussed the article about “The Computer, Internet, and Video Game Addiction” by Douglas A. Gentile. This article explained so many points regarding the addiction of people to the technologies like computers, video games and internet. In his article the author has given some symptoms to find the addiction and he gave some reasons for addiction. The author shown that the excessive use of computer, internet and video games make people to damage their social life and their relationships with the real world. But it may not acceptable in case of internet because so many social networking websites are available in internet to which most of the people getting addicted. Even though they are addicted to those social networking websites they can continue their relations with the people around them and can make their relations even stronger by using those websites through internet. Even some people may balance their social things even though they spend more time on internet and video games. And the author explained three motivations that can lead people to get addicted with the video games. One of those three motivations is the people feel that the human feels that he is better at things. It may not correct that all the people who spend more time on video games feels like they are better at those things. And the most of the points explained by the author Gentile are agreeable and very useful.


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