The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

The student news site of Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Cat's Eye View

Are Video Games an Addiction?

Becton Video Game Club.

Video games are a fun and entertaining way for people to pass the time. Like most things, though, they should not be used in excess. 

“Video games can provide a lot of entertainment value,” says video game club advisor Dr. Bryan DeSousa. “It’s up to each player to decide how much time they play and still get their responsibilities done.”

Research on video games shows that they do have positive effects on the human mind, helping people develop certain skills. This includes:

  • Improved literacy levels
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Coordination
  • Multitasking
  • Acclimation to technology
  • Memory & Perception

Studies show, “the more adolescents reported playing strategic video games, such as role-playing games, the more they improved in problem-solving and had increased grades the following year.” 

Becton video game club enjoying their gaming time!

When anxious or upset, a person’s mood can easily be improved by engaging in something as simple as turning on your phone and playing a quick round of Angry Birds. Video games are also shown to teach children how to “learn resilience in the face of failure” and “build emotional resilience they can rely upon in their everyday lives.” 

Despite the “socially isolated gamer” stereotype, more than 70 percent of gamers play with a friend and millions of others worldwide online. “Multiplayer games become virtual social communities, where decisions need to be made quickly about whom to trust or reject and how to lead a group,” says the American Psychological Association. Even more brutal video games like FPS (first person shooters– i.e. Call of Duty, Valorant, Half Life, etc.) encourage cooperation.


Additionally, video games are also used to comfort and improve the health of children and adult patients in the hospital. The game “Re-Mission” was designed for teen cancer patients by the HopeLab Foundation. In the game, patients can “control a tiny robot that shoots cancer cells, [overcome] bacterial infections and [manage] nausea and other barriers to adhering to treatments.” Research proved that patients who played the game showed significant improvement during their chemotherapy treatment. Authors at the American Psychological Association recommend that teams of psychologists, clinicians and game designers work together to develop approaches to mental health care that integrate video game playing with traditional therapy.

While video games have their positives, there are also downsides.

Video game addiction, also known as internet gaming disorder, is “a condition characterized by severely reduced control over gaming habits, resulting in negative consequences in many aspects of your life, including self-care, relationships, school and work” according to Cleveland Clinic’s article “Video Game Addiction.” 

Video game addiction is most commonly linked with mental health problems like depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and impulse control disorders.

Many researchers link video-game addiction to gambling disorders, in the same way that the “rush of winning becomes one of the main reasons for playing.”

Senior Lucas Lin states, “Video games are addicting, yes, because of the dopamine that hits you when you perform certain actions. They get you to keep playing them because they keep you in a fulfillment loop.” 

Dopamine is a brain chemical that releases while playing video games, and is responsible for feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. 


Lin continues, “For example, if you make contact in a targeting game, you get an XP popup and bright colors flash; as opposed to other disciplines like reading, exercising, etc. Short term dopamine rushes are much more appealing than long term gain.”

When people think “video-game addiction,” most people think of online player games, such as MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), which are known to be especially addicting “due to their sprawling worlds and endless quests and content to consume.” Online games include more popular games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Roblox, and League of Legends. 

However, video game addiction can also heighten in the palm of one’s hand, with the use of mobile games. Games like Genshin Impact, Candy Crush Saga, RuneScape, PUBG, and Pokémon GO are equally as addictive. This could also apply to those in older generations, for those with grandparents who are on level 700-something of Candy Crush.

Solo games, while not known to be as addictive, include the Legend of Zelda series, the Mario Brothers series, the Assassin’s Creed series, Dark Souls, and many more. 

During the 2020 pandemic, people would use video games as a means of calming their increased anxiety surrounding public health. As people began to take their real-life friendships online while in lockdown, many online games found their numbers of gamers increasing. 

“Many studies found that the prevalence of gaming disorder increased, which was estimated to be between 2.3 and 29.4%, and the global prevalence of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) was 1.96% before the pandemic,” according to’s article. 

Former Atari employee and current Becton Wildcat Mr. Bill Carr believes video games are a “complete waste of time.” 

“Folks would send in their broken games and cartridges and we would take care of the issue.  Next door was the arcade console department,” Mr. Carr explains. “We were required to play repaired games for a total of five hours a week, to make sure they were working properly.  That ended any affinity with video games.” 


Symptoms of video gaming disorder include:

  • Poor performance at school, work or household responsibilities as a result of excessive video game playing.
  • Withdrawal symptoms, such as sadness, anxiety or irritability, when games are taken away or gaming isn’t possible.
  • A need to spend more and more time playing video games to get the same level of enjoyment.
  • Giving up other previously enjoyed activities and/or social relationships due to gaming.
  • Being unable to reduce playing time and having unsuccessful attempts to quit gaming despite the negative consequences it’s causing.
  • Lying to family members or others about the amount of time spent playing video games.
  • A decline in personal hygiene or grooming due to excessive video gaming.
  • Using video games as a way to escape stressful situations at work or school or to avoid conflicts at home.
  • Using video games to relieve negative moods, such as guilt or hopelessness.

Video gaming disorder can be diagnosed through an evaluation by a psychiatrist or psychologist. For video gaming disorder to be diagnosed, however, your gaming patterns must be extreme enough to result in significant impairment to your personal, family, social, educational and/or occupational functioning. These patterns usually have to exist for at least one year.

The most common form of treatment for video gaming disorder is psychotherapy, or talk therapy. “Psychotherapy is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help you identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts and behaviors,” Cleveland Clinic elaborates. Any underlying mental health conditions caused by video game disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD, may be treated using other specific types of medication prescribed by a healthcare professional. 

If you are worried about gaming habits of either yourself, a friend, or loved one, reach out for help! While most people who play video games do not develop an addiction to them, it is always wise to limit screen time and involve yourself in activities away from your phone or consoles. It’s important to make plans and socialize with others, as advised by Dr. DeSousa.


More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ariel Konopka
Ariel Konopka, Staff Writer
Senior Ariel Konopka joins The Cat's Eye View with a warm welcome! We are thrilled to have Konopka, a fantastic senior from Becton Regional High School, on board. While she may not currently be involved in any clubs, her past involvement speaks volumes. As a freshman, she contributed her passion to the Environmental Club, and in her junior year, she dazzled us all as a member of the Digital Arts Club. For now, she focuses on running her art business by making personal commission pieces that she promotes through Instagram. Konopka has a passion for drawing and dedicates her free time to this creative pursuit. Specifically, she enjoys drawing anime-style characters and exploring the world of anime art. Whether it is on paper or digitally, she expresses her artistic talents through this captivating medium. With a dedicated practice of over six years, she has honed her skills and continues to immerse herself in drawing. It is not uncommon to find Konopka engrossed in her artwork, as she once said, “Maintaining a good work ethic and not procrastinating will make life a lot easier.”  After high school, Ariel plans to attend college for character design. She is interested in Boston University or Parsons School of Design but is open to visiting other colleges. For her contribution to the CEV, she can contribute by potentially making video packages for it, or by using skills from Becton's TV & Comm. class-- which she was involved in last year! Konopka brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to our team, and we cannot wait to see what she accomplishes next! 
Rocky Esposito
Rocky Esposito, Staff Writer
Rocky Esposito is a senior at Becton Regional High School. You may have heard his name before, as he is no stranger to the Cat’s Eye View. Esposito has contributed to Becton’s newspaper since his sophomore year, using his artistic skills to make comic strips. He is very passionate about art, specifically the field of animation. Esposito has been creating art for a while, but during his freshman year he decided to turn his hobby into a career. Since then, he has already made progress toward his goals through his freelance work and YouTube channel. For one particular freelance job, he was commissioned by a comedian from Staten Island, making comics to accompany his routine. Additionally, he has also had experience with the business side of being an artist, as he actually holds a copyright to one of his illustrations. Esposito is focused on building his career, but as he puts it, “The payment of this job is not just money, it is the pleasure of being able to do what I love to do.” Along with his animation, he is also experimenting with some other mediums, such as scriptwriting and voice acting. In the future, he plans to go to an art school and major in visual arts. He also wants to get more into comedy, inspired by his previous client. Overall, in his third year of the Cat’s Eye View, Esposito is excited for the chance to venture into writing as well as share more of his passion for art with the community.