So why are video and online games so addictive? As Adair describes in his TEDx talk (link below), games are enticing because they offer a temporary escape from one's problems and they are social and offer interpersonal connections that are based solely on common interests and video game prowess which is enticing especially for many who have been bullied in the past. In addition, these games offer a challenge/sense of meaning or purpose and the chance to feel successful, and they're a source of constant measurable growth, frequently providing rewards for the time and efforts kids put in.
As he describes in both the article and video, by identifying these critical "four pillars of needs", Adair learned what gaming was providing him, and more importantly, what healthier alternatives needed to provide him with in order for him to be successful in curbing his gaming behaviours.
"The proportion of Ontario students with symptoms of a video gaming problem in 2015 was 13 per cent, compared to 9 per cent in 2007, according to a health survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. (It defined symptoms as “preoccupation, tolerance, loss of control, withdrawal, escape, disregard for consequences, disruption to family/school.”)
And boys are four times more likely than females to exhibit problem gaming, CAMH says...
...A number of studies have consistently shown that individuals addicted to gaming show a “comorbidity” — one or more additional conditions — such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and MDD (major depression)".
To learn more about Adair and his story, check out these links: