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Tech and Gaming

Video game addiction is now a mental health issue

Words by Nathan Irvine

Game over, man. Game over.

It’s been the subject of mass scrutiny for decades now, but video game addiction officially real and damaging. This is according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) who unanimously agreed that playing games can be bad for your health.

The new classification comes into effect on January 1, 2022. So from then on, anyone suffering from gaming addiction qualify for medical assistance to help them out.

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WHO says that a gaming disorder is “characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

This puts it into a similar ballpark as drug and alcohol abuse, but on a slightly smaller scale.

It’s likely we’ll see this news have a positive effect on the games industry. For too long now, certain games – especially mobile ones – reward players for logging in on consecutive days to make sure they come back. So let’s hope that murky side of the business is killed off.

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