How do you know whether gaming is just a normal part of your life? If it is simply a way of having fun, is it a problem? Is it actually an addiction?
It is a great question and at the end of the day, the answer is relatively simple. If it causes a problem, it is a problem. If psychiatry, the simplest way to diagnose a problem is to ask whether it crosses a particular line. Does it actually get in the way of something that you want to do?
Gamers often find that gaming gets in the way of their creative pursuits. On average, gamers are really smart. Most gamers have had great ideas for video games, startups, or novels, but they never make a move in that direction. They never sit down and start to write the opening scene of their TV show because they spend so much time gaming.
The most dangerous and insidious part of a video game addiction is that it prevents gamers from becoming the person that they want to be in this world. The game might be fun and they enjoy playing it, but five years down the road, will you be happy with where you are? Or would you have rather spent some of that time doing something else? If the answer to that question is yes, then you have a problem.