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Lenny Johnson There are many different types of addiction. When thinking about it, the first thing to pop into most people s minds is some sort of drug. The truth be told, addiction can invade just about any area of one s life. Take video games for example; for children, video games are a popular way to pass time, and on the surface, seem harmless. It is not unusual for a child to come home after school and play video games for a few hours or more a night. But, parents and loved ones of these children should start to worry when the game playing gets to be excessive and compulsive. Some children have no problem mi video game playing with other activities such as sports and reading. However, there are many who do not keep a balanced mix, and this has the potential to result in a severe problem. As the child grows older, he may develop a serious addiction to video games. Separation form reality into a fantasy world is an extreme rush for video game addicts. Once in this fantasy world, nothing else is important. There is no time fame for the hours that can be spent playing in one setting. Sleep becomes of minimal importance, as well as nutrition. All that matters is not real. Personal relationships become of little importance. The bottom line is that video game addicts are normal people with a problem that needs to be taken seriously. Although most video game addicts are males between fifteen and twenty-four, video game addiction is not gender or age discriminate. Most experts say video game addicts are for the most part, the type of people that are prone to addiction in general. Some experts have started coming forward to recognize video game addiction as a problem, but for the most part, there is not much professional help in this field. This paper will examine video game addiction and the scope of the effects of it on our youth. In the old days there was no such thing as addiction. People who indulged themselves to the point that the activity becomes damaging, were thought to be suffering from some form of mania. They were basically considered to be crazy (Orford, 4). Today addiction is seen by many as a form of disease that affects millions from all social, economic and racial backgrounds. People even die from their addiction. Some addicts are driven to the point of committing crimes that range from petty theft to murder so they can support their vice. How does one reach this desperate state of life? Although the dictionary defines addiction as a compulsive need for, and use of a habit there has been, and still is controversy over the correct definition. Many different groups are still debating to come up with a definition. The proposal that addiction is a disease is also open for debate. The reason being, in referring to addiction as a disease, means it has to be accepted as a condition over which the person is powerless. Those that view addiction as a disease feel that addicts should be treated as people that are sick and should not be punished for their illness. This is saying that the person should not be blamed for the problem because it is not something that can be controlled. Those that feel addiction is a disease emphasize that punishment is not the answer in helping an addict, only treatment has the potential to help. This idea stirs up debate with many in fields of religion, medicine, and psychiatry because many believe that choice is the main reason an addict is in the state the he is. Granted, some people are genetically inclined to become addicts more then others, the bottom line is that a person voluntarily chooses to start using an addictive substance and chances are, he knows the risk of getting hooked. This opposing view that addiction is not a disease is more of a traditional approach that holds the addict solely responsible for the state they are in. For the most part though, experts agree that recovery is the main concern to be addressed, not debating over the definition of addiction or whether it is a disease or not (Muse, 103).

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