Video game addiction is real. Video games are usually not a problem if used in moderation. People are spending hours and hours a day on an activity that isn’t real! Video games (and movies) do not stimulate the imagination. Older generations did not have this technology; they had to use their imagination while playing. Yes, it can develop your hand-eye coordination, reflexes, etc. If the people who played video games all day channeled that time and energy toward something productive and toward helping better humanity, we would have a much more beautiful world. You aren’t creating anything by playing video games, so I don’t think video games can be part of anyone’s definite chief aim unless they create content for entertainment.
According to Kevin Trudeau, video games cause your ability to cognitively think and analyze and rationally create decisions to go down dramatically. However, board games are massively beneficial and provide a similar experience to video games. They can improve your imagination. If you are playing a game like Battleship, you have to use your imagination to blow up the ship in your mind, whereas in a video game, the images are all presented to you.
In gaming, there is an activity called grinding, where you play the game to earn a reward. You could be doing this in real life. Gamers often spend so much of their time and energy on playing games just to earn the next item or level, even if they are not enjoying the game! If you do play video games, play them in moderation and for entertainment, not just to kill time.
Video games are designed to make money, of course. They do this through ads and sometimes through micro-transactions. They want you buy their items in the game store or buy the game. They use devious techniques to get people hooked on their games; one is overstimulation, such as flashing lights, vibrant colors, and fast animations. This overstimulation causes us to feel excited to a higher degree than we would in our natural environment. It’s easy to say that real life is not as exciting as in video games for most. We are not out slaying dragons in real life (However, when you create a successful life, video games pale in comparison!) This causes us to think that we are successful in life because we are successful in the game, such as by leveling up, slaying monsters, conquering, etc. This, in a strange way, is telling our brains that we are successfully foraging, whereas early humans for most of history would spend their day going out looking for colorful fruits and avoiding dangers. Our brains are basically saying, “I am a very successful forager. I do not need to forage as much and can take a break, since I have found my food.” This can kill our motivation to achieve greatness.
Some video games are quite violent. If you do not believe me, search for some of the most popular games, such as Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.” These games are violent, and it’s no surprise that you see violent crime in our culture. It is true that most people who watch violent movies and play violent video games are not violent, but some do become more violent from it. Even if we do not go and commit violent acts, we have to think about how these violent movies and video games shape our worldview. Are we going to have a positive and uplifting worldview if we watch violent movies and play violent video games all day? Probably not.
Even more sinister is that certain games like Call of Duty teamed up with the US Army in order to recruit, as if pressing buttons and seeing virtual soldiers die is not the same as killing real live people. Personally, I would not like to be brainwashed to accept a low-paying job where I am stripped of my freedom and could have my limbs blown off and live the rest of my life with PTSD because I hurt innocent people. We have to be careful.
You can wean yourself off video games similarly to porn, or you can just quit entirely. I would not recommended this method if you are an addict, as you may suffer withdrawal. Get rid of your game consoles and delete your games and accounts if you are truly committed to quitting completely. You could also make them hard to access, such as putting them in the closet behind some other stuff and hiding them. An excellent resource for quitting games is Gamequitters.com and https://www.reddit.com/r/StopGaming/.