How many times have we heard that video games generate dopamine in the brain and are therefore addictive!
Likewise, we have all heard of risk factors and protective factors in dealing with symptoms of addiction. If I have friends who encourage me to use, they are a risk factor, whereas if I have social circles that do not use, they prevent me. But beyond these diagrams to describe a problem of this kind, it is necessary understand the tendency to overplay video games as a product of some form of confrontation with the world.
Beyond the reductionist perspective on excessive use of video games
With the risk and protective factors we can make a list, from hereditary elements to the psychological firmness of the person (with all its repertoire of attributes such as self-esteem, resilience, impulsivity, etc.) , family, friendships, emotional -sexual relationships and academic work context, among others.
Corn… What if the perceived reward of our young people for participating in this world was a factor that led them to play video games? And it doesn’t justify it, nor does it seem fair to me if it was, but to some extent it can put on the table one more factor that explains the problematic use, which we have to visualize with the others already exposed.
The effects of uncertainty on addiction
Therefore, the way we tell reality can influence the perception of the reward. We all know the experience of Skinner’s Dove, but perhaps few know that, in hindsight, while the reward of giving him the leverage and receiving food was long overdue, so distant and insignificant, in this situation, while giving a variable reward, this was so insignificant that the animals stopped giving the lever.
This is perhaps what happens to our young people during their school career; a phenomenon which, in recent years, has perhaps been precipitated by the uncertainty which is spreading in the world. In 2020, Victoria Fugariu and colleagues published an experiment in which they subjected four groups of rats to four degrees of uncertainty respectively, while members of a fifth group were made dependent on amphetamines.
The researchers observed that the brains of the group with the highest degree of uncertainty, and that of rats addicted to methamphetamine, showed the same desire for methamphetamine use, the same degree of risk-taking in decision-making (impulsiveness ) and similar amounts of dopamine. receivers. That is, he seemed to observe that uncertainty makes people more sensitive to addictive stimuli.
Understand the dynamics of the game to understand a part of the world
In this line, the book “Video Games: The Last Black Mirror” talks about all the concerns that a teenager may have in his confrontation with the world, validates them and focuses them on the right path, thus getting a better and more perspective. healthy to face reality.
The content of this book straddles deep reflections and personal experiences as a psychologist and gamer, all based on scientific references.
Whether or not you like playing video games, the phenomenon of gambling is becoming more and more social and it is important to know the fundamentals; we all have a close friend who plays hard. And as psychologists, understanding these game dynamics is imperative to understanding this new generation of games and content creation. This book offers a different approach from what you already know (dopamine, variable reward systems, social validation of the game by the big stars who create content …).
It is obvious that this generation comes from a social comfort zone and that compared to others, it has had to overcome almost no adversity; however, if there is no longer a comfort or well-being zone, we will need to shift this point to the reality narrative to generate resilience.
We must reiterate that the act of correctly validating the confrontation with the world will be much more beneficial than pointing the carrot in front of the donkey because yes. Let’s dive into this world, collect some thoughts and groundwork, and see how to spark the motivation of this generation to really feel a lot more validated emotionally.