The World Health Organisation has decided to list gaming addiction as a mental health condition for the first time along with symptoms of the conditions. The health body listed three symptoms which, if severe, could indicate gaming additions: impaired control over gaming in terms of frequency, intensity and duration, increased priority given to gaming, and a continuation or escalation of gaming despite negative consequences.
Gaming addiction has been the topic of several documentaries to date including one which looks at China’s gaming addiction rehab centres. Other Asian countries such as South Korea have tried tackling the phenomenon by banning access to online games for children under 16 between midnight and six in the morning. In Japan, players are notified if they’ve been spending too much time gaming each month, China’s Tencent also has a system in place which limits the amount of hours that kids can play games.
The general advice to combating gaming addiction is to limit the amount of time that you spend in front of a screen and for children, playing outside is a good substitute to playing online games.
Gaming addiction will be included as a disorder in the eleventh edition of the International Classification of Diseases which is due to be published later this year. It’ll be the first time that the manual has been updated since 1990.
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