Look beyond the game
Imagine an iceberg: a floating block of ice with a huge mass of ice underwater. Your cyberdependency behaviour is the tip of the iceberg: it’s hiding something very big. Why are you spending so much time on the Internet or playing your video games? You might be doing it partly for fun. But it must also meet other needs: escaping from a life you don’t like, forgetting your loneliness, feeling some excitement. You need to understand it to be able to act.
Escaping fromthe blues or depression
When we feel depressed, we may tend to escape into video games. The game takes us out of our daily life; we turn into someone else. The perfect escape! In addition, we get immediate pleasure and frequent feelings of satisfaction, once we complete a mission or kill an enemy. In real life, it takes longer for enjoyment to build up. Developing a passion, learning a sport, mastering a musical instrument… all those things take time!
If you’re feeling very anxious, video games can be an escape hatch from your daily stresses. While playing, we forget arguments with friends, problems with the family, bullying at school, tests we’re afraid of failing, etc. Games become our way of running away and not thinking about stressful situations. A monster enters our field of view, and pow! It’s dead and the problem is solved. In real life, things aren’t always so simple.
Lack of self-esteem or self-confidence
In adolescence, we often lack self-esteem or self-confidence. This transition period isn’t always easy. We may feel a difference between what we’d like to be and what we think we really are. In some cases, we use this dissatisfaction as an engine of change. In other cases, we feel like hiding away instead. Then video games become a way to project ourselves out of the real world and become a character we like in a virtual universe where we feel competent, accepted, and acknowledged.