The addiction to mobile games is a big problem to a large number of people across the globe and the number is only increasing by the day. Many times it happens that we sit down to play a mobile game for a few minutes and we end up wasting hours. It is a clear sign of mobile game addiction. Well hundreds of thousands of people are in the same boat.
We all love to play games on our mobile phones. And why not? After all, it’s fun. Playing games is fun. They help in reducing stress. Playing games on mobile phones is not harmful as long as it doesn’t turn out to be an addiction. To release some stress, we play mobile games for hours, which in turn adversely affects our physical and mental health. These effects have raised some important questions.
- Why are these games so addictive?
- Why do we waste hours playing these mini-games?
There is nothing wrong if we say that some mobile games are more addictive than many other leisure-time activities. The problem with mobile game addiction is to curb the addiction, you need to get rid of mobile phones, which is impossible nowadays.
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Let’s dig deep into the aspects of mobile games. It will answer the questions mentioned above.
Ease Of Access: The very first reason why mobile phones are so addictive is the ease of access. One can easily find mobile phone games of his/her interest. We don’t need to make any extra effort to reach out to them. There are hundreds of mobile games available on the Internet.
They Are Freemium Or Free: Most of the mobile phone games available are for free. That means you don’t need to pay a single penny while installing your favorite game. Most of the mobile phone game app developers offer their services for free to convince more users to install it. And that is the major reason for the addiction. With freemium games, the early stages are totally free but once a user gets addicted to the game and completes certain challenges, he/she has to pay to play further stages. A smart move from the mobile game developers.
Offer Attractive Appreciations: We all love appreciation. Every time when we accomplish a goal or get a new high score, we get some rewards and appreciation. The positive words and rewards keep us motivated to play more. The more points we gain, the more will be the appreciation and more we tend to play. A very simple logic behind the success of mobile phone games.
Amazing design and graphics: The modern day mobile phone games are designed in such a way to catch more eyes. They are not only attractive but also very easy to understand. Have you ever played ‘Temple Run’? What amazing graphics it has! The design is very attractive and catchy. From texts to the background images and color, everything is great. And that is why it has been a favorite for most of us.
Pleasure To Connect With Unknown People: Most of the mobile phone games available today are online based. With this feature, we can connect with people we don’t know. We can find competitors from all over the globe. This is one of the important reasons for the popularity and at the same time addiction to the mobile games.
Technically Complete: As we stated above, today’s mobile games are very attractive. In addition to this, they are also technically complete. They are designed in such a manner that it is very easy to install and run and they also use less memory of your phone and load fast. That means one can install, run, and enjoy the game easily. Don’t forget, easy availability and complexity lead to addiction.
No Extra Hardware Required: Gaming has never become so effortless after the introduction of mobile games. Earlier games demanded purchasing cassettes, setting up television or a game console etc. But today, everything has gone super-easy and handy. You just need a mobile phone. You can hold your mobile phone on one hand for playing games and at the same time you can do something else using the other hand. Playing games is so easy today.
Never Ending Stages: The mobile game developers are very smart. They don’t allow you to complete all stages. Since most of the games are online-based, as we stated earlier, the game makers always make new levels. You will always come again and again for the new stages that directly lead to addiction.
They Are Social: We feel a sense of pride when we complete a difficult stage. Most of the mobile games allow us to share our victory on several social media platforms with our friends. In order to gain more pride and attention, we tend to play more and crack more stages.
Unpredictable Rewards: The mobile phone game app offers several kinds of prizes (cash money or free gift vouchers) and rewards. This is to increase engagement level. Most of the time the unpredictable prizes are offered that means one will not know when and where he will get the money. The prize money and rewards keep them enjoying the game and complete the entire journey and sometimes even more.
Complex Challenges: Games are designed in such a manner that users have to face a lot of challenges while playing. Players need to be motivated to stick with their game. And that is why most of the games offer challenges and certain tasks to keep them engaged. The new challenges and experience drag users to play the game again and again.
What is the mechanism of addiction?
The Science Behind Addiction
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Mobile games are not physically dangerous as heroin and other drugs. However, it’s mentally degenerating. Inside the brain, there’s an organic chemical called ‘dopamine’ that is responsible for finding and exploring new things.
Mobile games directly trigger the secretion of this chemical. Since dopamine is a reward-motivated chemical, playing mobile games that offer you prizes, rewards, and new challenges mechanizes our brains to repeat in the future.
Effects of mobile Game Addiction
|What Mobile Game Addiction Disturb||How|
|Physical Health||Fatigue, seizures, weight gain etc.|
|Mental Health||Withdrawal, Anger Issues and eventually depression|
|Family||Making games a priority before family, Feeling neglected|
|Work||Degrades performance, can lose job|
|Friends||They feel ignored and leave you after a while|
Let us be honest. It’s difficult but not impossible to break mobile game addiction. However, the best part is that you will learn to play mobile games without being obsessed with them. Here are some tips to end mobile game addiction: –
- No Sudden Withdrawal: – Going cold turkey will not help you end mobile game addiction. Keep in mind that your primary aim is to cut short the amount of time you play mobile games.
- Play In Moderation: Basically, you need to curtail your mobile screen time. Reduce the hours you spend playing mobile games. For example, take the help of a mobile app that monitors and checks your phone app time.
Social Fever: App Time Tracker –
A powerful smartphone activity tracking app that can also help you break mobile game addiction. All you need to do is to permit Social Fever to track your game app usage. It’s super-easy to set goals and track hours you have spent playing those games.
You can also do more using this application such as –
- Water reminders – Take breaks and keep track of the water consumption as you can often forget about while playing games.
- Screen Time – Get the total amount of time spent on the phone tracked and find out more details in Social Fever. The number of times you unlock your phone and the details of time spent on each application.
- Earphone Usage reminder – Give your ears a break from constantly using your earphones. The reminders from Social Fever can be customized according to your needs.
- Eyes Straining – The application also sends constant reminders for prolonged periods of screen time. It can be harmful to your eyes to continuously stare at the phone screen. Therefore, you can set reminders on Social Fever that can be customized according to your needs.
- Application usage – Set time limits for each application individually to track the time spent on them. The reminders will show up when you cross that time limit and remind you to take a break.
Others things to do if you suffering from mobile game addiction –
- Take Breaks During Gaming Hours: – You must plan breaks while you play games. During breaks, walk around, stretch, etc. for a few minutes. Moreover, it’s unhealthy to stare at the screen for long hours without a break.
- Find Other Hobbies: – Invest your time in something productive or recreational such as dancing, playing or learning to play an instrument, or anything that doesn’t need mobile phones. The aim is to reduce screen time as much as possible. You can also spend time with family and friends.
- Seek Help If Needed: – There could be other problems why someone is obsessed with mobile games. If required, consult a mental health professional to mentally analyze the problem. It’s better to solve your problems than to be embarrassed.
- Analyze Your Life: – Analyze your present life and think about how you can make it better. Maybe you were missing out on some job or activity due to gaming. Embrace whatever you missed while you were wasting your time with dumb phone. Try to convert your wrongs into rights.
In many ways, mobile games are like monsters that lure us, motivate us to play, play, and play. The graphics, design, modern technical updates, rewards, challenges etc are some of the major reasons why we are so addicted to mobile gaming.
Did you ever get obsessed with any mobile game that made you feel you can’t live without it? Did you ever wake up in the middle of your dream to check your score? If your answers are yes, you too are suffering from mobile game addiction. We would love to hear from you. Share your story with us in the comments below.