Recipe for gaming disorder
A 15-year-old Briton, after being diagnosed with gaming disorder by UK’s National Health Service, has been hospitalized for over 8 weeks, British media reported. This came shortly after the World Health Organization listed gaming addiction as a mental health condition.
According to Zhou Huazhen, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, about one in five teenagers in China has been addicted, or has the tendency to be addicted, to video games. To those who are struggling with gaming compulsion, this WHO pronouncement, by defining gaming disorder as a pattern of persistent gaming behavior so severe that it takes precedence over other life interests, does suggest the imperative of medical intervention.
But it does not mean we can now deem excessive gaming as a pure medical issue. Like all diseases, prevention should come first.
Parents should ask if they have spent enough time with their children. Importantly, online game developers need to take seriously their social responsibilities. They are technically fully capable of regulating the time and money teenagers spend on gaming.