The world of games is getting more lively and of course, there are consequences. Game addiction is a result that needs to be wary of existing games. This addiction can be experienced by anyone, both children and adults. In fact, this addiction is increasing regardless of gender, where both men and women can experience this addiction. Therefore, each of us needs to be aware of this addiction because anyone can experience it, even ourselves. The following are some of the characteristics of someone who has experienced game addiction:
Some of the dangers that can arise from game addiction are:
- Difficulty distinguishing the real world from the virtual. High levels of dependence can cause individuals to view the virtual world in the game as something real or real.
- A more comfortable feeling in the virtual world of the game than the real world. This is because he feels he can be more confident / not inferior in the virtual world. As a result, individuals can develop a passive attitude in their social environment, but be active in cyberspace (online games).
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (disorders in the wrist due to compression of the nerves, for example, the fingers become stiff).
- Decreased sense of responsibility and self-discipline, both towards health, school, work, tasks, family, and social environment.
Therefore, we must be aware of this addiction. Of course, the degree of addiction can vary from person to person. A more severe level of addiction will of course be more difficult to handle than a lighter level. It would be nice for us to take preventive steps before our loved ones experience this addiction. These steps can be:
- Improving the quality of relationships within the family, such as the relationship between husband and wife, children and parents, or relationships between siblings. Children who are addicted to online games often have bad relationships with their families. Often online games are initially just a child's escape from the frustration that arises, which then escalates into an addiction for the child.
- Clear restrictions on time, duration of play, and what types of games are played. In this case, parents must apply clear and consistent discipline regarding the schedule or duration of play. Parents must also learn to know and understand what games are being liked by their children so that parents can sort out which games are appropriate and allowed to be played by children. When parents see that the game is not suitable for their children, parents can explain/explain the reasons. Of course, parents who have a good relationship with their child will find it easier to explain these reasons than parents who have a bad relationship with their child.
- Parents can be wary of children's finances because children can use their money excessively for things related to games. Parents can also train children's discipline in using money, and provide understanding to children about spending money because of "needs" or "wants".
- Increase positive and healthy activities. In addition, children can also be involved in positive peer groups/communities. Avoid playing online games in internet cafes because parents will find it more difficult to monitor or protect children from negative things, wherein general there are so many foreign individuals who are in internet cafes.
- Pay attention and understand the behavioral signs of a child who is addicted to games, as listed in the table above. This is so that parents can immediately take the necessary steps when the child's addiction level is still at a mild level. If parents are too late to realize their child's game addiction, then the handling may be more complex/difficult because the addiction level is already heavier.
If the child is already addicted to games, parents can seek the help of teachers, counselors, psychologists, or other experts to overcome their child's addiction to games. Cooperation between parents and teachers/counselors is very necessary to overcome this addiction problem. This game addiction has become a widespread phenomenon, even outside Indonesia. Therefore, before it is too late, let us raise our awareness of the dangers of addiction to this game, especially for children and the people around us.
Budiman Hadi Pranoto, M.Psi.
IPEKA COUNSELING CENTER