Gaming Addiction Info
Gambling Addiction and Gaming Disorder (Addiction) are quite different.
This page is focused on Gaming (video games) addiction. Information and help with Esports Betting (Gambling) addiction can be found here
In 2018 the World Health Organisation included ‘Gaming Disorder’ (video gaming rather than gambling) in their medical journal, and many parents were relieved to find that the concerns they had about their own child’s near constant game play, mood swings and lack of interest in anything other than playing video games, were shared with other parents Worldwide.
What is Gaming Disorder?
The World Health Organisation defines Gaming Disorder as a pattern of behaviour characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing the priority given to gaming over other activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. This pattern persists to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities.
For Gaming Disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.
Do I/ Does my friend/ relative or child have a Gaming Disorder?
Gaming addiction is quite rare. Don't feel that because you or a loved one spend more time gaming than others that it's necessarily a problem.
After all, couldn't David Beckham have been considered a football addict or Garry Kasparov a chess addict. It is possible to nurture a child’s talent for gaming whilst at the same time protecting their wellbeing by moderating certain behaviours.
What are the signs of Gaming Disorder?
-Thinking about gaming all or a lot of the time
-Feeling bad when you can’t play
-Needing to spend more and more time playing to feel good
-Not being able to quit or even play less
-Not wanting to do other things that you used to like
-Having problems at work, school, or home because of your gaming
-Playing despite these problems
-Lying to people close to you about how much time you spend playing
-Using gaming to ease bad moods and feelings
What can I do if I’m worried?
Concerned parents or gamers themselves should set limits to the amount of daily play. As well as agreeing times when gaming is ok. E.g. No gaming after 9pm on a school night. Set clear limits that must be adhered to if they are to make a difference.
If things appear to be out of control, where possible access to gadgets or even the internet could be restricted or blocked to stop game play altogether. Instead focussing on spending time in the fresh air could be introduced to off-set the gaming activity.
When and Where to get help
If over time these limits aren't able to be followed, you can take advice from the NHS and even use their site to find a Gaming Addiction Therapist.
Alternatively, The National Centre for Gaming Disorders is a gaming addiction clinic in the UK that provides treatment for problem gamers living in England and Wales aged 13 and over.