All Voices Matter: put the controller down


Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Aviance Pritchett, Staff Reporter

We’ve all got addictions that we aren’t ready to face yet. Like phone addictions. Studies show that it is a very real problem and has a handful of mental health risks. We tell our parents that we totally aren’t addicted to our phones and that we need our phones for many things, like school and work, as well as other things that aren’t as important, but we don’t tell our parents that part.

It’s the same for video games. We tell our parents that we can’t pause a game because it’s online, we say we have to finish a boss fight before we can turn off the system, or that we have to reach a save point first. This isn’t even just exclusive to video games on consoles like a Playstation or an Xbox; it applies to apps on our phones as well.

Like most forms of modern technology, video games provide entertainment. They can make you cry or laugh, they can provide mindless fun to pass the time or tell a story to you. There’s so many genres and interesting features that comes with games that makes it so addicting.

Some games have cosmetics that add nothing to the game besides making things look a little prettier, and if you don’t have enough in-game currency to buy it, you have the option of using a loot box that has a randomly generated amount of items, so you can only hope and pray that you get what you want. And even better, if you don’t feel like grinding for these things, you’re open to pay with your real money to get them and some people don’t know their own limits.

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It’s become such a problem that Belgium considers loot boxes to be a form of gambling. In Japan, a man spent $70,000 on a video game that relies heavily on loot boxes for its gameplay. The extremely popular battle royal game Fortnite has 78.3 million players monthly players, and a survey of 1,000 Fortnite players states that they spend an average of $84.67 on the game.

Money aside, the addiction to the game is so bad that parents are sending their kids to gaming rehab. Coming from a personal perspective, ever since Fortnite expanded its platforms to being mobile as well, I saw lots of people playing it during class, advisory, and lunch. I’m at fault too.

I play games on my phone almost all the time because I get bored and easily distracted, and even at home I’ve messed up my sleep schedule because I play games all night without any breaks.

Addictions are hard to get through, but they aren’t impossible. When you notice your grades are slipping or your relationships are being negatively affected due to you playing video games instead of focusing on life, it’s time to put the controller down.

Put a password on our console or phone that only someone you trust knows so you can’t access it anymore.

Uninstall the game.

Go outside and enjoy the little things.

It’s better to face your addiction and try to work through it than living in denial.