NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — 65% of American adults play video games according to the latest data compiled by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The number one reason people said they like to game is because it brings them joy.

The Mayo Clinic explained the feeling of joy releases the chemical dopamine, which makes the body desire the activity more.

As a psychiatrist who knows all the tools to set best playing practices, Dr. Roy Asta admitted sometimes gaming gets the best of even him.

“I started around 8 or 9 at night and said I was going to go to bed around midnight, and I looked up and said, ‘Is that the sun? Is the sun rising?’ and I realized, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ It is about 7 in the morning.”

Flashy colors, sounds, competition, and even betting in games, all can easily hook some people into more playtime.

Dr. Asta explained certain personalities, admittedly like his own, are more affected by the feeling of accomplishment. “I’ve got to win this game. I’ve got to get to the end. Got to get to the end!”

He continued, “It’s called the reward pathway. It’s the little pathway inside the brain that if you’re challenged and you get something it creates this spark of ah-ha! And for individuals who get more excited about that ‘I’ve won that!’ They’re more likely to go toward an addiction.”

Not everyone who has a strong desire to play has a true addiction.

“The key point to addiction is really looking at the behavior. Is your behavior causing difficulties in your life?” Dr. Asta said to ask yourself.

Are you missing work? Forgetting or choosing not to fulfill obligations? Are relationships strained?

Dr. Asta said if ‘yes’ is the answer to many of those questions, then it’s time to seek out help.

The gaming form of addiction is different than substance dependency.

“The good thing about gaming is it doesn’t seem to cause a physiological change, it’s more psychological, a feeling, or a need, or irresistible draw to playing the game,” he explained.

The intense draw isn’t lost to gamemakers.

“Some of the games will punish you when you stop midstream,” he said.

Especially in team games, which are extremely popular and allow players to interact around the world.

“If you leave the game mid-game because you have to leave to do something, your team will be punished if you’re not there.” He added, “And of course, they remember you, and for the next 24 hours, you can’t even get into the game.”

It’s up to the player to pause and hit resume when ready.