Gaming addiction classified as disorder by WHO – World Health Organisation. An article byaccording to Oxford University study states that boys are more likely to spend time gaming than girls. Gaming addiction is to be listed as mental health condition for the first time by the World Health Organisation. 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) includes the condition “gaming disorder.” The draft document describes it as a pattern of a persistent and a recurrent gaming behaviour so severe it takes precedence over other life interests. Some countries already identified it as a major public health issue. Many, including UK, have private addiction clinics to “treat” the condition. The last version of the ICD was completed in 1992, with the new guide due to be published in 2018. The guide contains codes for diseases, signs and symptoms and is used by doctors and researchers to track and diagnose disease. It suggests abnormal gaming behaviour should be in evidence over a period of 12 months for diagnosis to be assigned but added that period might be shortened “if symptoms are severe.”
Gaming Addiction Symptoms include:
- impaired control over gaming (frequency, intensity, duration)
- increased priority given to gaming
- continuing escalation of gaming despite negative consequences
Dr Richard Graham, lead technology addiction specialist at the Nightingale Hospital in London, welcomed decision to recognise condition. It is significant because it creates the opportunity for more specialised services. It puts it on the map as something to take seriously.” But he added he would have sympathy for those who do not think the condition should be medicated. “It could lead to confused parents whose children are enthusiastic gamers.” He said he sees about 50 new cases of digital addiction each year and his criteria is based on whether the activity is affecting basic things such as sleep, eating, socializing and education. He said one question he asks himself is: “Is the addiction taking up neurological real-estate, dominating thinking and preoccupation?” So many psychiatrists refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the fifth edition of which was published in 2013. The Internet gaming disorder listed as ‘condition for further study’ meaning not officially recognised as controversial matters are assigned. It will have serious repercussions if the gaming industry accepts responsibility. If families sue them the businesses will collapse as multibillion industries.
Gaming is introduced to young children before forming prefrontal cortex brain so damage is done through radiation too. Many are absent-minded, aloof, not in the here and now able to experience the common sense needed for survival. Extreme cases often display a psychotic pattern of behaviour. Hallucinations if under stress, pressure or struggling to keep down job due to gaming addiction. Lots of countries are grappling with the issue and the South Korean government has introduced a law banning access for children under 16 from online games between midnight and 06:00. In Japan, players are alerted if they spend more than a certain amount of time online each month playing games. In China, internet giant Tencent has limited hours that children can play its most popular games. A recent study from University of Oxford suggested, although children spend a lot of time on the screens, they generally manage to intertwine digital pastimes with daily life. The research is looking at children aged eight to 18 and found boys spent longer playing video games than girls. Researcher Killian Mullan said: “People think that children are addicted to technology and in front of these screens 24/7, to the exclusion of other activities and we now know that is not the case.” “Our findings show technology is being used with and in some cases perhaps to support other activities, like homework for instance, not pushing them out,” he added. “Like adults do, children spread digital tech use throughout the day, while doing other things.” This issue is ongoing yet gamers become professional gamers, game designers or Internet experts.
However, majority are struggling with school and college work, frustrated, angry, manifest withdrawal symptoms from multiple addictions of high sugar, E chemicals in food, poor decision-making abilities, with stunted growth spurt development stuck in the childish mindset from the age of onset of gaming. Unable to enjoy free mind to grow as previous generations exploring outdoors daily for long hours. Getting a fresh air, physical exercises playing and interacting with friends. Many now live isolated detached lives in their bubble world cocooned in a virtual reality. The years of repeated gaming addiction now affect even basic communication and the social conversations. With majority of school, college, work and the world turning into virtual online lifestyle it is even damaging their health too. Like an issue that is not solved quickly, it leads to aggressive behaviour, sometimes tensions in families. Expecting for such future generations to grow up and take on the responsibilities and duty of care is getting worse. Som parents continue to ‘ raise’ adult children traumatized by gaming addiction and dark web porn. It is an expensive industry where games cost so much causing bad habits as big spenders on games wasting money that could be saved to buy or own home. So become dependent on parents as the bank of mum and dad. Domino effect is serious and even more dangerous when parents lack knowledge and awareness of gaming addiction. Treatment is hard because they are prone to using online facility for study, work shopping, social interaction often tired and lethargic.
Many need other hobbies especially outdoors like football hockey, biking, swimming or a practical outdoor volunteer centre to help others to learn practical life skills. In any case this generation faces challenges making choices and decisions even harder and harder everyday by gaming addiction. Often starts as fun time to relax, then it escalates into complex issues. Some children used parent’s bank accounts to run thousands of dollars worth of debts due to gaming addiction. Schools must teach dangers of gaming addiction as part of general knowledge awareness. When children are young parents must not buy expensive games because all the friends have one and they feel left out. Looking back some parents would have been better off investing a gaming money into extra tuition funds to help a child do better academically. Or pay for music, piano lessons to calm children and learn vital skills. Games change so rapidly that it becomes a life time habit not a phase to grow out of. This is a serious matter to be dealt with globally because it affects children in formative years and influences their thought and worldview. In addition some contents are completely unsuitable for children yet parents unaware of such dangers. Encourage reading skills from with real books they can hold first before ebooks or online ones. Computers are good and useful but can cause harm to children if not used properly under supervision. If parents do not know how to computers take basic lessons to learn safety, adult and child security online and upgrade often to learn new skills to help your children before it becomes too late so turn into gaming addiction disorder.