Gaming addiction

Gaming addiction

Photo by Fredrick Tendong on Unsplash


The top three addictive games


Addicted to our screens

As you’d realize by now, our focus in this blog series these past few months was ‘Gaming Addiction.'   


Recognized by the World Health Organization, gaming disorder is defined as ‘impaired control’ over gaming.   Research says that about 90 million people worldwide are addicted to gaming.


We've already covered some of the essentials, and today we zoom in to ask the vital question: what games do people play that are so addictive?   


At Largest Heart, we believe knowledge is power, and as parents, we need to know what our kids are playing and why they can’t stop doing it.


The top three addictive online games that people play


Fortnite Battle Royale


This online game became a sensation virtually overnight.   Since its launch in 2017, 125 million people have played Fortnite.   You can even make money by playing the game competitively.   


Health experts say that Fortnite can get in the way of healthy brain development in children.   The dopamine system releases addictive chemicals – like those in drug addiction, and the game creates cravings that some people just can’t live without.   Their obsession has been compared to heroin addiction.


The most vulnerable are teenage boys.   One boy even admitted to researchers that he kept on playing Fortnite while a tornado was sweeping through his neighborhood.   


Children are so addicted to this game that parents are panicking because they just don’t know how to address this.  Not only are kids wasting thousands of dollars, but they will throw tantrums if kept from playing their beloved game.


From January to September 2018, 200 divorce cases cited Fortnite Battle Royale as the cause in the UK, showing that it is not only children that can suffer from the effects of a video game addiction.


League of Legends


Why do people get addicted to this game?   


One writer sums it up like this:


You are terrible when you start playing League of Legends.   But then, as you are slowly learning the ropes, you become familiar with the different 'champions,' and something changes.   You start to enjoy playing, and you see yourself grow.   Your skill level improves, and you can push yourself through competitive ranked matches.   You begin teaming up with your friends, and before you know it, you are hooked.   Once you realize you can't limit your time playing, you should stop, but people don’t.


The problem with League of Legends is that the team players form their own community and this effectively reinforce the game's addictiveness. You practice with the team, who is pressuring you to perform better and to play for longer.   


Ironically, the ‘highs’ in League are few and far between.   So, essentially, you are suffering through the 'lows' for hours on end, just for a few fantastic moments when you outplay someone or hit a vital skill shot.  


World of Warcraft


This multi-player online game was created by Blizzard Entertainment and launched in November 2004.  In describing the game, one player says that ‘you lose months in front of the computer because you want your character to dominate the game.’


This game is an excellent example of what the online gaming community can be.   It is a competitive experience but also a form of escapism.   


In this fantasy world, you can be anyone you like and control your world, unlike reality (and its stress) that you can't control.  Players often feel that the benefit of the whole network is lying on their shoulders, which is why they can't stop playing.   




What games are your children playing?  


If it is Fortnite, League of Legends, or World of Warcraft, you should know that these three games have been ranked as the most addictive online games today.


You should keep a lookout:  if gaming gets in the way of family activities, sleep, homework, friendships, and other extracurricular activities, there might be a problem.   Playing games for four to eight hours daily ties to much more extensive problems, and it might be time to let your child scale back or pull the plug on his gaming behavior.    


At Largest Heart, we want to help!   Please look for our resources page elsewhere on this site to see where you can find help for gaming addiction.