Video Games

What on earth is Video Games Day?
Who comes up with this stuff?
What do we need to know about Video Games?
What global awareness would we benefit from knowing?
What is Google and the websites relating to video games telling us?
Are we ready to know more about the impact of video gaming online?
Are we aware of the scope and size of the video gaming problem?
Are we prepared to take a look at some real life facts about video gaming?

WHY are there two days for Video Games Day?
What is the purpose of these games’ days?
WHY have video games become so popular worldwide?

WHY are we not recognising that long periods of time spent in isolation with video games affects the way a person thinks and feels?

WHY is there a correlation with social anxiety and low self-esteem around video gaming?

WHY have video game addictions not been officially recognised within the medical field?

WHY are the psychological symptoms of video game addiction almost identical to those associated with substance based addictions, like drugs and alcohol?

Definition of Video Game

An electronic game played by means of images on a video screen and often emphasizing fast action. (1)

History of Video Games

1972 – Odyssey was the 1st officially acknowledged video game. (2)

Here is what the official websites are telling us about this day –

Gaming is a pervasive part of our culture, colouring everything from our choices in clothing to our taste in cuisine, there are even themed restaurants that are entirely dedicated to gamers and the games they love.

Video Games Day is dedicated to recalling this defining part of our culture and sharing it with our fellow gamers, new and old alike. (3)

The website tells us how to celebrate Video Games Day by getting together with friends, dig out our old consoles and play favourites and share with the newest generation of gamers. They suggest to play an event with game themed food and costumes and decorations.

Video Games Day is an excuse to go down a path of digital reminiscence. (3)

Video game players across the United States enjoy this day with much pride and enthusiasm. (4)

There are two special days for video gamers –

Video Games Day – 8 July
This is our chance to relish with our favorite video games in a local level.

National Video Games Day – 12 September
Nationally established celebration for video games.

Essentially, these two days are ‘good chances for you to sit back and enjoy a video game marathon as a way to celebrate the significant progress of video games.’ (2)

Do we all agree that video games have made our recreation time more enjoyable?
Is the video games world taking us away from our natural state as it is mind-challenging?
Can we subscribe and call this ‘bonding’ time if we are fixed on a screen playing a game?

It would be true to say that video game activity is the norm among children and teenagers.

Computers, Xboxes and any hand held device means the games can be played anytime and anywhere we want. (5)

Many parents may welcome what these games bring, when children are spending all their time playing games but is this the modern day answer to parenting?

When our kids start to neglect and ignore other areas of life to play video games, common sense would tell us that we need to be asking questions.

1 in 10 gamers showed signs of addiction from an online poll by leading academic. (6)
Professor Vladan Starcevic – Medicine Department of Sydney’s Nepean Hospital gives us Signs of Video Game Addiction to consider –

Psychological Signs of Video Game Addiction

Mood Shifts
Withdrawal Symptoms
Preoccupation with Video Games

Physical Signs of Video Game Addiction

Poor Personal Hygiene
Physical Problems

Behavioral Signs of Video Game Addiction

Declining Interest in School Performance
Loss of Interest in Other Activities
Increased Aggression

Relationship Signs of Video Game Addiction

Conflicts with Others (5)

Other Signs of Video Game Addiction

Using video games as a way to cope with unresolved issues, places children at risk of developing more serious addictions when they get older.

Like adults caught up in addiction, children struggling with video game addiction will run into problems in other areas of life and may show in –
Poor academic performance
Disregard for personal hygiene
Behaviour problems at school
Emotional outbursts when confronted about gaming behaviours. (7)

Video games can take the form of computer games, online games and even portable hand held games. Like the urges and cravings that drive substance-based addictions like drugs and alcohol, compulsive video gaming develops into its own lifestyle. (6)

WHY has gaming addiction got so bad and what are we doing?
WHY do gaming addicts suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome?
WHY do these people isolate themselves in their room?
WHY do gaming addicts live on two to three hours sleep each night?
WHY do they live on chocolate and caffeine?
WHY is procrastination a pattern in those with gaming addiction?

Recent studies have shown that adults who play video games have higher levels of happiness, and in some cases relaxation, as a result of their gaming. (4)

Games serve as a sense of accomplishment and make us feel great, not just in a personal sense but in a multiplayer sense.
That feeling of taking down the final boss of the final level of the game with your best friends is totally awesome and totally priceless. (4)

Video games can serve as an escape from our sometimes boring and monotonous lives.
Long day at work?
Nothing like a fight against a big boss in Sonic the Hedgehog, a good old-fashioned Mario Kart race or a dose of Mindcraft world-building to wash your cares away. (4)

Firstly, who is funding studies claiming higher levels of happiness as a result of gaming?
If this is working then can we do further studies to see how all of their other lifestyle choices are and how their true health and well-being is?

If a sense of accomplishment is totally priceless then how long does it really last?
Is it possible that we may need more of it to keep going and this can lead to addiction?

Would it be wise to find out WHY we find our life boring and monotonous so we never need to escape with video games?
What is a fight on screen really doing to us inside?
How does a kart race change anything in our real daily life?
How can a dose of Mindcraft wash our cares away and WHY do we need to keep building a false world inside our mind and play it out on a screen?
How does this support us to grow and learn about the Responsibility of Life?
How does this help us to evolve?

$91 billion dollar Global Gaming Industry (8)

Gamer Addiction: A Threat to Student Success! What Advisors Need to Know
By Lee Kem – Murray State University. College of Education.

This in-depth study was published in 2005 spelling out what we need to know about gaming addiction.

Video games are designed to keep the player riveted to action.
Players experience a sense of control when they enter into the fantasy world of speed, realism, violence and new morals. (9)

Many games offer online anonymous interaction with other people; a ‘hook’ is a sense of family or belonging in the form of a pseudo persona the player develops when repeatedly playing the game. The longer the game is played, the more the pseudo persona can replace reality. (9)

Game playing often begins with boredom; the excitement becomes the reward.
This behaviour is reinforced on an intermittent reinforcement schedule – the most powerful type of reinforcer. The college classroom comes into direct competition with the daily reinforcement from the video games.

Playing provides an alternative reality in which problems are solved and success and reward is possible.
When life seems out of control, the game provides a sense of control.
If life becomes difficult or stressful, the game will provide an avenue of escape from Responsibility and Reality. (9)

So what on earth have we done about this 12 years later?
WHY was this study not taken as a revelation back in those days?
WHY did we not follow up what this man was saying to the world?
WHY have we not got the details of this study on front page headlines?
WHY are we so ill informed by the media about this type of stuff?
WHY are very few bringing awareness to us about the harm of video gaming?

Characteristics of Addiction

Gamer addiction has the basic identifying characteristics of all addictions.
These tend to be progressive and cyclic.

Intense pleasure/guilt

  • More pleasure derived from playing video games than anything else
  • Sense of well-being or euphoria while playing
  • Guilt because of the amount of time spent playing the games
  • Lack of attention to other issues


  • When not engaging in the activity, individual constantly thinks about the activity
  • Gaming controls the thoughts
  • Craves more and more time with activity


  • Neglects everything to play the video games:
  • Studies
  • Work
  • Hygiene
  • Sleep
  • Relationships
  • Food
  • Family
  • Friends


  • Denies and lies about the amount of time devoted to playing
  • Denies and lies about expenses involved in playing
  • Will lie to protect source of pleasure and good feelings


  • Angry when something/someone interferes with activity
  • Feels empty, depressed, irritable when not at computer or gaming

Unable to Control

  • Engages in game playing after deciding not to do so
  • Decides to play one hour; plays three, four or all night
  • Compulsively keeps investing time and money


  • Money spent on addiction before paying for food, rent etc.,
  • Compulsively keeps investing time and money


  • A high followed by a low
  • Cure is to play again and regain the high
  • A deeper low follows and the cycle is repeated

The following has 4 focus areas that can assist in identification of possible gaming addicts in academic environment:


  • Lack of interest in attending class
  • Nervous
  • Anxious
  • Belligerent
  • Lying
  • Angry
  • Absorbed
  • Uncomfortable

 Physical Appearance

  • Dishevelled
  • Unkempt
  • Red-eyed
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Weight loss
  • Back problems
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Migraines


  • Withdrawn
  • Isolated
  • Aggressive
  • Sleeps in class
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Lack of sleep
  • Does not eat regularly
  • Games up to 20 hours at a time

Academic Performance

  • Missing class
  • Assignments not completed
  • Argumentative with professors
  • Failing
  • Probation
  • Suspension (9)


The two major indicators of Gamer Addiction are withdrawal and isolation.
The common thread in addiction is an emotional dysregulation.
Individuals are often –
Afraid to go out
In high family conflict situations
Low self esteem

This then affects all relationships.
Players have difficulty separating the game of fantasy world and reality. (9)

The compulsive playing tends to cover these underlying psychological problems.
(Cromie, 1999) (9)

85% boys and 65% girls are game players = 960 students addicted out of 10,000. (9)

Many students, choosing gaming over academics has become the norm.

Gamer Addiction is an obsession with video game playing that usually begins in elementary and middle school.
By college, the individual progresses from simple to elaborate games and the student is game-hooked.  An activity becomes an addiction when it is used to change an individual’s mood.

Computer use become Abuse when it interferes with ‘one’s work or school, or disrupts personal or family relationships, and becomes increasingly necessary to feel good. (10)


Marshall, age 25, was living on soda drink full of sugar and caffeine.
‘I would get weak from not eating but I would only notice it when I got so shaky I stopped being able to think and play well.’

Charlie aged 28, was suicidal and lost his job when he realised his online gaming was totally out of control.
He started playing video games around age 4 and was addicted by the age of 9.

Peter aged 31, the low came when he had been homeless for six months and was living in his car.
He was addicted to Internet porn, masturbating six to ten times a day, to the point where he was bleeding but would continue.
When he was not doing that, he was so immersed in the fantasy battle game World of Warcraft that in his mind, he was no longer a person sitting at a screen, but an avatar: ‘shooting guns and assassinating the enemy’ as he ran through a Tolkien-esque virtual realm.
If he wasn’t doing that, he would read online news reports obsessively and exercise his political opinions, projecting himself pseudonymously as a swaggering blogger-cum-troll. (8)

Peter says “Looking back now, I think a lot of male problematic behaviour is channelled into killing people on screen. I had anger against the world. A paradoxical mix of entitlement and worthlessness and being upset that my life wasn’t going the way I wanted it to.
I have noticed a lot of the trends in games are about ‘my father is lost and I have to find him’ on some quest.”

These three men talk about venting frustrations online and boys not being taught how to communicate with each other very well. (8)

This rehab centre helps residents, mainly men withdraw from technology that has consumed their lives.

“There is not consistent criteria to measure this yet, nor is there agreement in psychiatry that one can be addicted to the Internet. Research has accumulated to the point where something called Internet Gaming Disorder has made its way into the back section of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM), meaning it is being considered for future possible inclusion.” (8)
Hilarie Cash – Psychotherapist – Chief Clinical Officer at reSTART rehab Center, Washington

The DSM is the handbook of the American Psychiatric Association and is considered the standard US reference book for mental health.
It has now included Gambling Disorder for the first time, after 40 years of study.

“Gambling became the first behavioral addiction to be recognised and that opened up the mind-boggling concept that behaviors alone can be addictive – and just as powerful as a chemical addiction.

The chase and reward patterns of betting, hooking up or advancing in a competitive video game are not unlike a drug high and can be similarly compulsive even though a foreign substance is not being introduced to the bloodstream.

The way a gamer’s brain lights up in euphoria and builds up a tolerance to the rewards, distorting the neuro pleasure pathways over time, is similar to a cocaine addict.

Some games are much more addictive than others and they are designed that way, especially the endless massively multiplayer online role-playing games largely designed by men to appeal to males”.
Hilarie Cash – Psychotherapist – Chief Clinical Officer at reSTART rehab Center, Washington (8)

Is this a wake-up call and should we be paying attention to this woman who is concerned that parents don’t understand how addictive screens are for little children and detrimental to their mental development, especially interactive activities? This woman is alarmed about the dangers of the nascent virtual reality medium.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) – innovation in the area of online computer gaming.
This pilot study examined the psychological and social effects of online gaming. (11)
Gamers ranging from age 18 to 69 years.

41% gamers played online to escape.

Further analysis showed that excessive online gaming was significantly correlated with psychological and behavioural ‘dependence’.
It was also found that ‘dependent’ gamers appear to possess some core components of addiction to MMORPGs (e.g., mood modification, tolerance and relapse).
International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
October 2009 (11)

Hello Hello

What on earth is going on if back then in 2009 we knew the dangers of online gaming?
WHY have we not bothered to take these guys seriously who carried out this study?

WHY are we waiting for more and more research when we can simply join the dots?
WHY have we become so adamant on more research to keep proving what we all know?What have we been doing for the past 8 years about the effects of MMORPGs?

Can we blame those who supply the games or is it us making the demands so they give it to us?

Are those who seek to benefit making sure we keep getting more and more regardless of the consequences?

Are we ok with the harm this is causing us, our kids, our families, our communities, our country and our world?

Internet Gaming Disorder (DSM-5) (12)

Proposed Criteria

Persistent and recurrent use of the Internet to engage in games, often with other players, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as indicated by five (or more) of the following in a 12-month period:

  1. Preoccupation with Internet games. (The individual thinks about previous gaming activity or anticipates playing the next game; Internet gaming becomes the dominant activity in daily life).

Note: This disorder is distinct from Internet gambling, which is included under gambling disorder.

  1. Withdrawal symptoms when Internet gaming is taken away. (These symptoms are typically described as irritability, anxiety, or sadness, but there are no physical signs of pharmacological withdrawal.)
  1. Tolerance – the need to spend increasing amounts of time engaged in Internet games.
  1. Unsuccessful attempts to control the participation in Internet games.
  1. Loss of interests in previous hobbies and entertainment as a result of, and with the exception of Internet games.
  1. Continued excessive use of Internet games despite knowledge of psychosocial problems.
  1. Has deceived family members, therapists, or others regarding the amount of Internet gaming.
  1. Use of Internet games to escape or relieve a negative mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety).
  1. Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of participation in Internet games.

Only non-gambling Internet games are included in this disorder.

Internet gaming disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the degree of disruption of normal activities. Individuals with less severe Internet gaming disorder may exhibit fewer symptoms and less disruption of their lives. Those with severe Internet gaming disorder will have more hours spent on the computer and more severe loss of relationships or career or school opportunities.


There are no well-researched subtypes for Internet gaming disorder to date. Internet gaming disorder most often involves specific Internet games, but it could involve non-Internet computerized games as well, although these have been less researched.

Diagnostic Features

Gambling disorder is currently the only non-substance-related disorder proposed for inclusion with DSM-5 substance-related and addictive disorders. However, there are other behavioral disorders that show some similarities to substance use disorders and gambling disorder for which the word addiction is commonly used in nonmedical settings, and the one condition with a considerable literature is the compulsive playing of Internet games.

Internet gaming has been reportedly defined as an “addiction” by the Chinese government, and a treatment system has been set up. Reports of treatment of this condition have appeared in medical journals, mostly from Asian countries and some in the United States.

The DSM-5 work group reviewed more than 240 articles and found some behavioral similarities of Internet gaming to gambling disorder and to substance use disorders.
The literature does describe many underlying similarities to substance addictions, including aspects of tolerance, withdrawal, repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit, and impairment in normal functioning. Further, the seemingly high prevalence rates, both in Asian countries and, to a lesser extent, in the West, justified inclusion of this disorder in Section III of DSM-5.

Internet gaming disorder has significant public health importance, and additional research may eventually lead to evidence that Internet gaming disorder (also commonly referred to as Internet use disorder, Internet addiction, or gaming addiction) has merit as an independent disorder.

Internet gaming disorder is a pattern of excessive and prolonged Internet gaming that results in a cluster of cognitive and behavioral symptoms, including progressive loss of control over gaming, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms, analogous to the symptoms of substance use disorders. As with substance-related disorders, individuals with Internet gaming disorder continue to sit at a computer and engage in gaming activities despite neglect of other activities. They typically devote 8-10 hours or more per day to this activity and at least 30 hours per week. If they are prevented from using a computer and returning to the game, they become agitated and angry. They often go for long periods without food or sleep. Normal obligations, such as school or work, or family obligations are neglected. This condition is separate from gambling disorder involving the Internet because money is not at risk.

The essential feature of Internet gaming disorder is persistent and recurrent participation in computer gaming, typically group games, for many hours. These games involve competition between groups of players (often in different global regions, so that duration of play is encouraged by the time-zone independence) participating in complex structured activities that include a significant aspect of social interactions during play. Team aspects appear to be a key motivation. Attempts to direct the individual toward schoolwork or interpersonal activities are strongly resisted. Thus personal, family, or vocational pursuits are neglected. When individuals are asked, the major reasons given for using the computer are more likely to be “avoiding boredom” rather than communicating or searching for information.


The prevalence of Internet gaming disorder is unclear because of the varying questionnaires, criteria and thresholds employed, but it seems to be highest in Asian countries and in male adolescents 12-20 years of age. There is an abundance of reports from Asian countries, especially China and South Korea, but fewer from Europe and North America, from which prevalence estimates are highly variable.

Risk and Prognostic Factors

Environmental.  Computer availability with Internet connection allows access to the types of games with which Internet gaming disorder is most often associated.

Genetic and Physiological.  Adolescent males seem to be at greatest risk of developing Internet gaming disorder, and it has been speculated that Asian environmental and/or genetic background is another risk factor, but this remains unclear.

Functional Consequences of Internet Gaming Disorder

Internet gaming disorder may lead to school failure, job loss, or marriage failure. The compulsive gaming behaviour tends to crowd out normal social, scholastic, and family activities. Students may show declining grades and eventually failure in school. Family responsibilities may be neglected.


Health may be neglected due to compulsive gaming. Other diagnoses that may be associated with Internet gaming disorder include major depressive disorder, ADHD, and OCD.

A Narrative Review on Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) – Naskar et al (13)

There seems to be an attraction to lose oneself in the realms of virtual reality, which is provided by these gaming platforms. The stimulation it provides continues to feed this need and the person loses sense of real life and is not aware of the isolation and separation that is moving them away from human experience. (13)


Let’s just stop here for a moment please.

WHY have we got an explosive growth in Internet usage recently?
Does this have something to do with children and teenagers now using the Internet?
Is this because access to technology is easier than ever for our kids to have?
WHY have we in this modern age come up with yet another new dis-order called IGD?
WHY is Internet Gaming Disorder rapidly growing and how are we going to stop it?
WHY is all this on-screen stuff having such a huge impact on our health?
WHY are there severe consequences because of the negative impact of gaming?
WHY are we not asking more questions when we know our kids are our future adults?
WHY is there not much data regarding exact prevalence and other risk factors?
WHY are we not on the front foot of this new 21st century disorder called IGD?
WHY do we keep asking for more proof when even one case study tells us things are not right?

What is the attraction that someone wants to lose themselves in the realms of virtual reality?
Do we need to be studying this and finding out WHY we prefer virtual to real life?
Could it be as simple as we don’t like real life as it requires the word RESPONSIBILITY?

WHY are gaming platforms allowed to get away with what they do?
Is it something to do with supply and demand?
In other words, we want it and demand it and they simply supply and keep supplying?

WHY do we have such a deep need for stimulation to feed our needs?

Would it be wise to look at what our needs are and why we have them?

Could there be a clue here as to WHY we need video games to fill up our needs?

Could it be possible that the more we feed the needs we want even more, because the need is empty in the first place – bit like a bottomless pit?


Next – Is there another clue here Dear World, that the person loses sense of real life because the need being fed is a false illusion?

Could it then be possible that this illusion removes the person and separates them from living life in the real world, which is the human experience?

Could it be possible that this emptiness we feel that has the need and requires the stimulation of what gaming brings, further isolates them from real life?

Could it be possible that the need becomes insatiable like a source sucking the life force out and the person not only loses sense of reality but becomes unaware of the difference between virtual reality and planet earth, real life, common sense, the human body and relating to earth life.
In other words, it is like they are not there and something else is in the mind doing all this at the expense of the body which is in total dis-regard and neglect.

Could it be possible that our mind no longer can think clearly and this removes and separates us from the human experience and we cross over into the world of virtual reality and struggle with the difference?

Could it be possible that we feel the tension of human life on earth and know something is not right and so we opt for something like gaming to numb us and bring us temporary relief?

Could it be possible that Internet Gaming Addiction is no different to other mind-altering substances like drugs and alcohol but remains under the radar and we call that legal?

Could it be possible that we are not acting fast enough with new dis-orders that seem to keep presenting themselves in our ever growing crazy world?

Could it be possible we normalise things when the mass are doing something without seriously checking the harm to the human body and society?

Could it be possible that there has been no real change as all those involved are exhausted and cannot keep up with what is next required?

Could it be possible that our world lacks real true role models who live with a Quality of Integrity and Vitality that is felt because it is lived?

Could it be possible that we can each do our bit simply by looking at our own life and where we are choosing and not choosing to take Responsibility?

Could it be possible that bad mouthing, blaming, championing or celebrating a world day is not needed but awareness about any given topic is?

Could it be possible that those who can, have a Responsibility like the quote in the Independence Day of America?

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. (14)

In other words, as Nicholas Cage said in the film National Treasure –
If there is something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the Responsibility to take action.

Could it be possible that we all need to see any problem as our problem and not sit back and hope it will go away or let others get on with it?

WHY are we even waiting for more research when common sense tells us something is seriously wrong with all this gaming stuff?

Have we got time to waste and wait for more funding to research what we already know?Have we got the luxury to sit around in hope that someone out there will sort this out?Have we got the urgency running through our veins that these people are not living life and seriously need help, even if they look like they are ‘normal’?
Have we simply changed what we call normal and accepted this, as the mass are all doing it?

Where is all this rapidly growing public health problem going to end up?
Have we stopped long enough to even consider that our health systems currently cannot cope?
Have we looked at what the long-term damage is going to be to our society?

Have we bothered to pause and ask why is this going on and what is our part in this?
Have we just written this off like any other news which quickly becomes old news?

Case Study 1

Messrs. A and B were two unmarried brothers belonging to a nuclear family of upper socioeconomic class of urban background of New Delhi, India.
A is 19 years old, studying in 12th standard.
B is 22 years old, studying in 2nd year of engineering.

Problem started when both used to stay at home together and started playing online games with their virtual Internet friends from different countries.
Duration of online gaming progressed from 2-4 hours per day to 14-18 hours within a few months.
Their behaviour and self-care were simply not there while playing games.
They both –
Urinated and defecated in their clothes
Did not change clothes for days
Did not bathe
Skipped meals
Did not answer phones
Did not open door, even to parents
Their home was robbed twice in their presence, whilst they were playing online games.

HELLO again

Is this case study spelling out to us that it makes no difference what background we come from?
Is this story shocking us enough or is it just another thing that is not right in society?
Is this telling us that online games with virtual friends means no real relationships?
Is this saying when we have online friends that don’t exist except in our mind, we are in trouble?
Is this clear that we lose all sense of self and the responsibility aspect of daily living?
Is this presenting that when we are checked out with our mind elsewhere, it is dangerous?

Case Study 2

Boy aged 18 – excessive use of video game for last 2 years.
Playing meant losing interest in studies and low academic grades.
Decreased self-care
Disturbance in biological functions
Avoiding contact with others
Irritability when asked to stop video game
Disturbance in leisure activities
Disturbance in family routine
Disturbance in family interaction
Disturbance in physical and mental health

Parents had psychiatric distress, which they attributed to helplessness to manage the user’s psychosocial dysfunctions. It also starts affecting their lifestyle in terms of decreased engagement in pleasurable activities, disturbance in sleep attributable to frequent checking of user’s activities at night, and interpersonal problems. (13)

Is this case study telling us that it is not just about the gamer but others too, including family?
How serious is it when parents have psychiatric distress because of their son’s psychosocial dysfunctions due to playing online games?

Who do we blame and point the finger at?
Is anyone to blame or is there something we are missing?
How bad will the disturbance in life have to get before we say No to this form of abuse?How crazy have things got that we are not the user and our life is affected by another?


The prevalence of Internet Gaming Disorder varies worldwide and is estimated to be between 0.2% and 8.5%.

Korea is reported to have the highest known prevalence.
50% of adolescents are presumed to be addicted to gaming and Internet Gaming Disorder.
24% of those diagnosed as having Internet Addiction need hospitalization.

However, these reviews and studies have considered Internet Gaming Disorder and Internet Addiction Disorder as the same disorder, so it is difficult to say what the exact prevalence is as the two conditions are distinctly different but with some overlapping characteristics. (13)

According to Ko et al, increasing age, poor self-esteem and low daily life satisfaction were associated with more severe online gaming addiction among males.

12,938 children and adolescents studied from seven countries across Europe.
Adolescents with Internet Gaming Disorder reported being from broken home, divorced parents.
Muller et al (13)

Most Popular Genres

88% action games
86% casual games
84% sports games
Study conducted by Donati et al, in 2016 among 701 male adolescents (13)

4744 University students in USA studied in 2015
Internet Gaming Disorder scores elevated rapidly with time playing Real Time Strategy and Real Person Fiction Games than for action games.
Eichenbaum et al

2422 individuals studied in Netherlands to find correlations between game genres and Internet Gaming Disorder. Findings show stronger correlation between online gaming and Internet Gaming Disorder than offline ones.
Lemmens et al (13)

Comorbidities Associated with Internet Gaming Addiction

Internet Gaming Disorder is thought to be a gradually progressive behaviour, with a chronic course deteriorating over time. The pathological gaming behaviour may lead to significant physical and mental health problems as reported by numerous literary evidences.

Addicted gamers have a higher association with psychopathologies than controls.
Addicts scored higher in Beck’s Depression Inventory and Social Phobia Inventory and are less agreeable, thorough, and emotionally stable.
Lehenbauer-Baum et al (13)


In response to game cues, patients with Internet video game addiction showed higher brain activation in left occipital lobe cuneus, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortext and left parahippocampal gyrus than healthy comparison subjects.

After a 6 week period of Bupropion SR (sustained release), craving for Internet video game play, total game play time and cue-induced brain activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were decreased in the patients with Internet video game addiction.
Bupropion which is an anti-depressant was suggested to change craving and brain activity in ways that are similar to those observed in individuals with substance abuse or dependence. (13)


Documentary by RT called China’s Digital Detox, looking into the harsh reality of Internet gaming addiction.

Here are some key points from the documentary –

China has 700 million Internet users.
First country officially to recognise Internet addiction as clinical condition.

Military style boot camp to help gamers overcome Internet dependence.
Some parents are giving up their jobs to be at the boot camp and attend parent classes.

$1500 cost each month for 6 months.
Course based on Military training.

Parades, marching outdoor exercise important.
Stand still for 20 minutes outdoors in silence with back straight.
One to one group sessions with psychologist referring to Freud model.

Many now have health problems from poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyle.
Screen time was junk food and sugar carbonated drinks.
Now nutrition important with balanced diet and plenty vegetables.

Vitamins and minerals given.
Sedatives prescribed in cases of severe depression.

Drugs not widespread.
Alcohol not easy to get.

WHY the Internet?
Internet easily accessible, costs almost nothing.
They feel in control like it is real life.
On the Internet, they are the heroes.
It is what they lack in real life.
What they can’t get at home, they get on the Internet.

Parents are running their business and often leave child with grandparents.
Only one child policy in China.

Child in boarding school for 10 years referred to it as prison.
He said the boot camp was the same as former prison life – it is boring.
“We march, wash clothes by hand and clean our rooms.
We have army drill parades and are pushed around.”

Boot camp orders
‘Room 5 – bedspread is not smooth enough.’
‘Room 8 – some furniture in the wrong place.’

Boarding school
Lessons start at 6am and finish 9:30pm.
No friends.
Very busy, no time to go to the toilet.
School wanted to be top in the Province’s ratings.

“nobody understood my heart…
my parents were poor growing up and don’t understand me.
they have no idea what I have been through or what I want in life.”

Parents think they are always right in everything they do.
15% ignore their children.
Children’s mental age is below average.

99% dropped out of school.
Unable to communicate with others.

Parent talking
We didn’t know material side of things not important to him.
We only cared about his material well-being
We never asked how he felt or if he was bullied at boarding school.

We must be real failures as parents.

We can’t and we don’t know how to. Of course, we will learn. First, we must learn his needs and get to know him better.

Parents learn about the children from the boot camp. Before they only wanted obedience.
Children see that their parents have changed.

Parent realise they cannot tell child what to do and need to allow him to make his own choices as he has grown up now.

“They often played online games and if one of the players needed to pee during the game, he was so afraid of interrupting the game, that he would put on a diaper.
This is the tip of the iceberg. Dysfunctional relationships in the family are behind it.
We educate parents to give their children space to grow.”
Tao Ran – Director
The China Youth Rehabilitation Base

Adults quit their jobs
They played 24/7
Some never left their room for 6 months.
Never saw daylight

Adult Story
Issues at work and found he was withdrawing from life.
Played for 16 hours in one day – that was his record high.
Mum tricked him and got him into boot camp.
Tried break window with his head and cut his veins with broken glass.

After the boot camp he became a presenter in the parent classes.
He starts with As for our kids, loneliness is a permanent state.

Parents are busy at work and have nothing in common to talk about with kids who have no siblings. They go on the Internet to meet new people and communicate. They gradually lose the ability to communicate with real people and start living another life. That’s called loneliness.

Sentyan system is long term voluntary isolation.
Locked up in room alone and no one to talk to.
A diary is used to write down reflections in life and childhood memories.
Not allowed outside for 28 days and 128 days was the longest in Sentyan.


518,000 children ages 12 to 18 addicted to Internet. (15)

Government successfully conducted “Net fasting” camp aimed at keeping internet-addicted teenagers away from smartphones and computers.

After the camp, 3 out of 7 who skipped school and played online games at home all the time were attending school.

Some participants regressed back to their old habits after a brief period of spending less time online. (16)


eSports is the abbreviation for electronic sports.

eSport – first new major sport invented in over a century.
Competitive video gaming is sweeping the world.
Players see themselves as athletes.
Prize monies are several hundred thousand dollars per game.
Heinrich Zetlmayer – Managing Director, Turtle Entertainment (17)

eSports consist of a variety of video games, for which you need nimble fingers and a fast brain to succeed. Just as with traditional sports, fans follow teams, watch matches and even attend cup finals cheering on their favourite stars from around the world.

Football clubs have started signing Fifa stars who are players of the virtual game rather than the real thing.

$130 million revenue in 2012 from eSports
$465 million expected in 2017
NewZoo – eSports Data Expert (17)

385 million global audience
191 million regular viewers

£2,000,000 paid a year to eSports player aged 21, not including sponsorship or bonuses. (17)

We could all agree this is new compared to all other sports we know of.

What is it about competition that drives us to neglect our precious body?
What is it about eSports that fans love even though it is not real life?
What is it about us as a world that doesn’t care about the side effects?
What is it about us that subscribes to something that is not real?
What is it about us that ignores all the signs that something is not right?
What is it about us that requires entertainment and the buzz consistently?


2017 – Spodec Stadium, Katowice, West Poland
Intel Extreme Masters Final
173,500 attending
46 million viewers watching online
35% increase from last year (17)

Olympic type events like these are broadcasted widely by a leading eSports company that organizes competitions worldwide via streaming service. Today this company is worth over a billion dollars.

The Intel Masters was founded in 2006 and the man who established this puts its growth down to four factors:
Social Media
Live Streaming
Faster Internet
Longevity of more established games (17)


98% households have Internet

All textbooks to be digitised and base all schooling around tablet computers.

2,000,000 people receiving treatment to wean themselves from playing online games.

3 month old girl died, as parents were consumed in marathon online game session.

5 year old writes a pledge card “I promise to play Nintendo for 30 minutes only. Daddy promises to play less cellphone games and play more with me”. (18)

Esports originates from this country.

Korea has one of the fastest and most developed broadband networks in the world.

In South Korea, eSports is so ingrained in society that it could be seen as a national past time.

eSports Stadium, Seoul, Korea
This is the first sports venue in the world designed specifically for online gaming.
2005 arena opened that hosts online games in the form of sports coverage.
While professional gamers are playing a game on stage, spectators cheer from the gallery. (19)

South Korea has a channel that shows eSports 24 hours a day. (17)

eSports Stars
I practice a minimum of 12 hours a day. Sometimes 15 hours a day when close to a match.
As you sit for long hours without movement, inevitably it cannot be good for your health but I do believe it contributes to brain development.
Faker – eSports Star

This news article describes Faker like most eSports players:

Sense no sun for years (17)

PC Bangs
Internet cafes where clients spend an average of five hours playing computer games. (20)
Bang means room in Korean.
Initially opened by South Korean Government to promote the Internet and gaming.

PC bangs are no longer just cafes now – they are parks and playgrounds in South Korea.

PC bangs are packed out by 9pm.
Many of the youth here play through the night.
Hundreds of computer screens are all busy.
Energy food and drinks, cooked meals and alcohol available.
Smoking room.
Stay long as you want without ever needing to leave. (17)

Teenagers and those in their 20s are too absorbed in the games to talk to another.

28 year old Jeong – maths teacher about to study PhD in brain science.
Attends PC bangs 3-4 times a week.
Sometimes plays all night.
Says it is cheap compared with other forms of entertainment.
Finds it exhilarating as he is reserved and awkward in conversation but in PC bang he feels happy and uninhibited.
Jeong is transformed when he starts playing a team game where killing is involved.
He speaks fast and excitably, barking instructions to anonymous team-mates.
When he finishes, he looks exhausted and is out of breath and says he feels good. (17)

HELLO again

How serious is this?
What on earth gets into this guy and transforms him?
WHY does he change so quickly?
WHY is killing an exciting thing on screen?
WHY is he comfortable barking instructions?
WHY is he ok with people who are anonymous?
What has got into him that makes him speak fast?
WHY is he looking exhausted at the end of the game?
WHY is he out of breath and thinks that is good?
WHY are we not funding studies to ask the WHY questions?

Can we join the dots and keep it simple here?

The first sentence in the article, tells us this young man, who plans to study a PhD in brain science is having some serious brain activity going on when he starts playing a team game.

Something inside him changes and he goes from being a reserved character in real life, who has difficulty engaging and communicating with others, to being happy and uninhibited in front of a screen with players who he has never met and doesn’t even know their names as they are all anonymous.

Society would class him as highly intelligent just by the fact of his occupation as a maths teacher who is now going to study a PhD.
However, what is intelligent about his choices with his gaming behaviour?
Is the brain science going to give us some answers here about his own behaviour?

Would it be common sense intelligence for us to at least be honest and ask WHY someone is reserved but takes on a completely different persona when online?

Would it be true Intelligence to question what actually happens to the mind and body when online games start? In other words what is this transformation?

Would it be worth studying that if this was all just a game and nothing more, WHY does it leave a person exhausted and out of breath?

Would it be real to ask how can it be possible to be out of breath when there was no physical gym type exercise going on?

Would it be worth considering at this stage that something is seriously wrong the moment the online gaming starts as it changes the behaviour of the gamer?
In other words, just like drugs the mind is in an altered false state of being.

Principal of High School found a solution when students struggled in the mainstream because they spent all night playing games. (17)

He opened a PC bang in the school and as long as students studied regular subjects in the morning they were allowed to play eSports in the afternoon and evening.

The school was fast becoming a training ground for future professionals.
The students said a minimum of 10 hours per day dedicated to games was needed to succeed.

The Principal does like to use the word addiction – he prefers the world over-indulgence.

He was asked would he liked to be remembered for curing over indulgence of creating eSports stars. If he had to choose between curing and training to become a professional, he said he would choose the latter.

Is this telling us that we prefer to have the recognition of making students professional gamers, rather than value human life of those who are suffering from gaming addiction?

Cinderella Law

2011 – Korean government introduced the Cinderella Law which forbids youth under age 16 to play computer games between midnight and 6am.
The law came in because the country had a problem with young people addicted to gaming. (17)

This was 6 years ago and do we have any studies now telling us if this law is adhered to?
If we are being honest, it is not possible to police and monitor a law like this, as in reality we do not have the resources to ensure our teenagers stop playing at midnight?

How is the problem in this country today with young people addicted to gaming?
Has this law made any real difference and if so, how come statistics are rising?

Mental Health

The industry’s lack of support for addicts is “immoral”.
Problems typically emerge when children enter middle school at age 11.
They lose interest in academic work, friends and family; they stop sleeping; eat poorly or hardly at all.
Immersive gaming without any resting is harmful to our brain. It is a definite fact.
Case reported where the gamer was immersed without any sleeping or having a meal. He died.
As a medical doctor, I think the support from the Government to the patients struggling with Internet gaming is not enough.
Dr. Lee Tae-Kyung – National Centre for Mental Health in Seoul (17)

Choi aged 31 is an addict and inpatient at Lee’s hospital. He talks how his addiction alienated him from the real world and his job. He played at PC bangs for four to six hours every night and stopped eating properly.
The quality of his work was affected and he began to confuse his own identity with characters in the games he played. He stopped relating to people.

National Center for Mental Health was dealing with drugs and alcohol and now it is about gaming.

Psychiatrist – Dr. Kim Hyun-soo says:

In the 1990s, the addiction issues were associated with glue or gas.
In 1998 Internet Games were commercialised.
In 2000 I started seeing gaming addicts.
Many of the glue and gas sniffers moved on to gaming.

Top ranked addiction among young people is game addiction.
90% of addicts are male teenagers.

Kim talks about addicts he has seen who wear nappies so they do not have to leave their game to go to the toilet; the gamers are so obsessed they stop eating and sleeping altogether.

He was one of the psychiatrists that investigated the case of a games addicted young man who killed his mother before killing himself.
“There have been many tragic social cases that are related to game addiction.”

Kim treated a 23-year old addict in 2005 and weaned him off eSports and thought he was cured.
Two months after completion of the treatment he killed himself.
What he realised was that he had wanted to keep the relationship with his gaming friends but he was chucked out of the community. The fact that he thought he had lost all his social relationships led to his suicide.

“I realised it was not a simple issue of not playing the game at all – it is not black and white. I had to go much deeper into the psyche.”

He discovered there were different types of gaming addictions:
Some were addicted to moving up the ranks
Some to the money making aspect
Some to that sense of belonging to the gaming community. (17)

WHY are we not listening to these medical professionals who are telling us the truth about what is really going on?

WHY are we demanding and wanting more research when these real-life stories give us the anecdotal evidence that we need?

The most difficult to treat are those addicted to the money side.

Kim says younger and younger people are becoming addicted.
6 year olds refusing to go to school because they are addicted to smartphone games.
Patients are treated with “talking therapy”.
Addicts talk out their problem and hopefully reach a solution. (17)

When talking does not work for youngsters, his partner, Dr. Lee Jae-won turns to electric shock treatment. One machine delivers basic shocks to stimulate the frontal lobe; the other provides transcranial magnetic stimulation, a less brutal therapy. These treatments, particularly the first, are controversial, especially when used on young people. But Lee insists his treatment is much more sophisticated than the cruel ECT – electroconvulsive therapy of yesteryear.
As he talks, he regularly flicks a switch, gives himself an electric shock and twitches.
He seems unaware that he is doing it. (17)

There are children obsessed before they enrol in elementary school, says Lee.

With gaming, it is the frontal lobe that degenerates and it is the frontal lobe that makes humans act like humans. Having it damaged can explain the antisocial, impulsive and unhappy behaviour.

One reporter allowed Lee to give him a single electric shock and found it violent. He described it as his bones felt like they had been struck by a tuning fork and he could feel it hours later. Note that these shocks are applied to the head.

This news story mentions a young boy with a tattoo in the waiting room for electric shock treatment. Tattooing is illegal in Korea and this confirms how far gone this boy is. (17)


In eSports cheating is relatively easy. You can slow opponents down using technology to mess with Internet connection, take drugs to speed yourself up or simply lose.
Ian Smith, the first Head of British eSports Integrity Commission (Esic). (17)

Gambling in eSports already seems more advanced than in traditional sports.
Professional players have been banned for betting on themselves to win matches, or more commonly, to lose.

It is becoming increasingly susceptible to corruption because so many people are betting on matches. The casinos in Las Vegas are now streaming matches to attract more young people.


May 2017 – London famous football club announced their ground will now be used to host live eSports matches, with potential crowds of 50,000 and revenues of £3,000,000 for each match.

2000 – first UK eSports addiction clinic opened. (17)


Can we join the dots here and not just look at the heavily wired countries who are taking steps to curb addiction in youth?

Have we as individuals decided to value screen time above other important things in life?
Have we made a choice to check out in our gaming world to avoid the RESPONSIBILITY that life brings?

Are we Bored with the life we have and this video gaming helps us to not address the boredom?

Do we need an escape because we simply do not like the life we have?

Are we aware of the dangers that video gaming may be having on our mind and body?
Are we choosing this dis-connected way of living as no one is educating us on the dangers?
Are we bothering to find out that video gaming can be an addiction just like crack cocaine?Are we feeling safe from the cruel world outside when we stick to our screen playing?
Are we comfortable allowing our kids to stay quiet and not worry what they are up to?

Are we as adults so hooked into the fantasy escaping world that we just can’t stop?

Does it suit us to have a quiet child completely absorbed in the video gaming world?
Does it work for our lifestyle to know our child is muted and totally immersed in gaming?
Does it make it ok, as we are big into video gaming and our kids just follow the same pattern?


November 2009

First computer rehab clinic opens and surge in popularity of web based “fantasy world” games has triggered a wave of addiction among adults and children. (21)

Sufferers spend days at a time glued to their computer screens – going without food, sleep or any social interaction. As a result they suffer malnutrition, relationship breakdown and postural problems.

The wave of addiction is apparently triggered by more sophisticated online games where players have to invest significant amounts of time to progress. (21)


This is huge and needs another re-read.

So here we have it – games that require more and more time to progress, when in truth the significant amounts of time are killing our players.

Behavioural shifts include users becoming aggressive, with chaotic lifestyles that result in irregular eating and sleeping patterns as well as social exclusion.
It is not unusual for people to get so obsessed with online gaming that they forget to eat and drift towards an anorexic and undernourished state.

There is no helpline in the UK and nobody else treating such cases in this country.

There is a relationship with characters in the game that give an artificial feeling created by the body’s natural endorphins, when you have killed some monster or solved a problem.
Peter Smith – Counsellor, Broadway Lodge, Weston Super Mare, Somerset (21)

While children and teenagers naturally gravitate towards video games, adults have also fallen into the gaming arena. These developments have given rise to some alarming video game addiction statistics that seem to be increasing with each passing year.

Ongoing technological advancements make it possible for anyone with a television, desktop computer, notebook computer or mobile phone to play video games whenever the mood strikes.


A study in the medical journal Pediatrics presented the following video game addiction statistics:

20 hours per week playing video games.
72% American households play video games.
9% showed signs of video game addiction.
4% extreme users played video games 50 hours week. (22)

Video game addictions develop out of certain types of life circumstances and often become the “filling” for unmet needs and emotional conflicts in a person’s daily life. (7)

Children who spend inordinate amounts of time playing video games may have underlying, unresolved issues going on in their everyday life.

Compulsive gaming behaviours closely resemble the behaviours exhibited by drug addicts, some of which include:

Obsessing over the activity when not engaged in it.
Losing track of time.
Scheduling daily activities around “video game time”.
Disregard for negative consequences. (7)

Dr. Kimberley Young – Ted TALK


Gaming centres where Internet Addiction is most problematic and prevalent.

USA – considered more of a silent addiction.
Less Internet cafes. Happening more in homes, people’s bedrooms.
Gamers are treated that fail school or live back at home with parents as cannot hold a job. (23)


There is an online game using the name of a giant sea mammal spreading via social media accounts.

Aim – to goad vulnerable youngsters into taking their own lives.
Reports state children as young as seven are playing.

The suicide challenge in this game has already been linked to some 130 deaths in Russia.

Parent blamed the game for death of teenage daughter in USA.
She started researching and reading more about the game and joined the dots.
One weekend her daughter asked her to step on the roof of the house. This is something the game asked. She realised one of the pictures is from her own roof.

Anonymous administrators give out tasks and participants are required to submit photo evidence each day to prove the challenge was completed.

As the tasks become more extreme over a 50 day period, some group administrators have encouraged members to self-harm – with some scoring the shape of this sea mammal on their forearm.

Day 50 – group members are purportedly encouraged to take their own lives.

Russian university student planned to throw himself from a building to complete one of the challenges in this game.

He told Sky News
I didn’t feel like I needed to kill myself. I felt I needed to complete the task.
I only had this thought in my head – that I need to complete the task. (24)

Dear World

After reading this blog, would it be true to say the we have been re-creating a way to use our mind on screen time that is deeply harming our body?

Could it be possible that video gaming for many has become an addiction?

Could it be possible that video gaming is simply not evolving us as a race of beings on earth?

Could it be possible that video gaming cannot be celebrated if some of our world are truly suffering as a direct result of playing video games?

Can we sit back and let this continue after reading what is going on?

Do we each have a Responsibility even if it is sharing this blog on social media so more people are aware?

Can we take the Responsibility and get talking about this much needed topic?

Can we pass on what we now know to others in our community who may not be aware of the dangers of video gaming?

Are we ready to do our bit and take note of all that has been presented?

Are we concerned that our children may just be addicted to video games because we have made the choice to not connect with them?

Are we bothered about the state of our world in the future, knowing that our kids are the future generations to come?

Can we be honest enough to admit that we cannot celebrate a day about images on a screen that is causing many some serious harm?

Could it be possible that good old-fashioned meeting, connecting and expressing who we truly are would be enough?

Could it be that Simple?

If you are feeling suicidal, contact your GP for support or the Suicide Helplines.

In a crisis contact your emergency services.

Suicide Helplines

UK – Samaritans available 24 hours
Tel: 116 123

Childline – for children and young people
Tel: 0800 1111

USA – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Tel:  1-800-273-8255

Other Countries
Check International Association for Suicide Prevention Resources on Crisis Centers


(1) (n.d). Definition of Video Game. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(2) (n.d). Video Game Day 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(3) (n.d). Video Games Day. Days of the Year. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(4) (n.d). National Video Games Day – September 12. National Today. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(5) (n.d). 10 Signs of Video Game Addiction Parents Should Recognise. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(6) Ryan, G. (2016, June 8). Addicted Gamers Wearing Diapers to Avoid Pauses. Sunshine Coast Daily. Retrieved September 8, 2017 from

(7) (n.d). Does My Child Have Video Game Addiction? Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(8) Walters, J. (2017, June 16). Inside the Rehab Saving Young Men from Their Internet Addiction. The Guardian. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(9) Kem, L. (2005). Gamer Addiction: A Threat to Student Success! What Advisors Need to Know. NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(10) Orzack, M. (2005a). Q&A with Dr. Orzack. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from

(11) Hussain, Z., & Griffiths, M.D. (2009). Excessive Use of Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games: a Pilot Study. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction – Springer Link. Retrieved September 9, 2017 from

(12) American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, V A, American Psychiatric Association, 2013. (pp. 795 – 798)

(13) Naskar, S., Victor, R., Nath, K., & Sengupta, C. (2016). “One Level More.” A Narrative Review on Internet Gaming Disorder. NCBI. Retrieved September 9, 2017 from

(14) (1776). The Declaration of Independence. US Retrieved September 10, 2017 from

(15) Ryall, J. (2013, August 27). Japan to Introduce Internet ‘Fasting Camps’ for Addicted Kids. The Telegraph. Retrieved September 9, 2017 from

(16) (2015, May 6). Japan’s First Internet Fasting Camp for Teens a Success. Stuff. Retrieved September 9, 2017 from

(17) (2017, June 16). The Rise of eSports: Are Addiction and Corruption the Price of its Success? The Guardian. Retrieved September 6, 2017 from

(18) Lee, Y. (2012, November 30). South Korea to Stem Digital Addiction from Age 3. Stuff. Retrieved September 9, 2017 from

(19) (n.d). e-Sports Stadium. Retrieved September 10, 2017 from

(20) Wei, Will. (2015, October 18). What it’s Like Inside a ‘PC Bang’ in South Korea. Business Insider UK. Retrieved September 10, 2017 from

(21) (2009). Britain’s First Computer Rehab Clinic Opens. The Telegraph. Retrieved September 10, 2017 from

(22) (n.d). Alarming Video Game Addiction Statistics. Retrieved September 9, 2017 from

(23) (2015, January 5). What You Need to Know About Internet Addiction. TEDxBuffalo. Retrieved September 10, 2017 from

(24) Blue Whale Game – Suicide Challenge Hits UK as ‘Children as Young as Seven Discover Craze’. Sunday Express. Retrieved September 8, 2017 from


Comments 59

  1. Very scary stuff! Why is this not talked about in the media?

    Is it because the age group that is now working in media is the age group that grew up with video games, and they do not want to admit that the gameing that they do is harming them?

  2. 20 years ago when my children found video games on the computer and I noticed how they would disappear into the computer, lose track of time, and afterwards they would be different, l knew computer games were a waste of time, a dead end.

    Especially for children who are supposed to be experiencing real life, not a distortion of life.

    When a young person sees on a computer screen that you can kick someone in the head and not hurt the person, because they have no direct experience in life, they believe that it is true.

    And their bodies are actually experiencing all the emotional trauma as if they really experienced it.

    Computer games are a dead end, they serve no purpose except to separate you from the world. How have we allowed them to exist for as long as we have?

    1. Bang on, Ken.

      We have a few education-style games for young kids on our ipad. Even with those, if I watched my kids play for even 10 minutes, I could see a switch in their behaviour. They would become fixated on the screen, unable to engage with the outside world. Then came the agitation, with their bodies wanting to move but their heads locked into the game. And when you called ‘time’ they would cry out and fight as if you had just taken away a meal after a period of famine.

      We would point out these physical and behavioural reactions to them so they could see them for themselves.

      The ipad has pretty much stayed in the cupboard since then.

  3. After reading this article by Simple Living Global it is clear that Video Games are the modern day acceptable drug that are having damaging consequences for our health.

    Metro newspaper – 24th November 2016

    ‘Younger people are increasingly being treated for conditions associated with older generations, including back problems, varicose veins and piles. Hours spent on games consoles or watching box sets mean bad posture and a lack of exercise are causing problems for 25 – 45 year olds, says BUPA…’

    Do we have enough evidence now that our preoccupation with video games is far from healthy or will we continue to search for more evidence to confirm what in truth we already know?

  4. Superb blog on video gaming – stunning facts and stats – yet very sobering to consider how bad things have got. Some kids aren’t old enough to know how the world was before computers/digital devices – but some of us do remember when we used to play outdoors, without a computer in sight (in fact when I was much younger we didn’t even have a TV). How bad does it have to get? It feels like with video gaming we have unleashed a monster that we have no idea how to deal with.

  5. I’m struggling to see why anyone would think of having a video games celebration day in the first place.

    What exactly is there to celebrate here?

  6. I have recently seen some of this at the ‘after school club’ at my kids’ school.

    At pick up time, the majority of the kids are lined up in front of laptops playing or watching one game or another. The games are cars and adventures and fighting – zero education.

    When I went in yesterday it was like watching a bunch of zombie children. No engagement, just staring into the screens, fixated.

    Many of them were playing a game where the characters are battling tribes and the main movement is a sword stabbing the ‘enemy’ on repeat.

    It is clear many of the kids are totally in to these games. My son found it hard to pull himself away.

    When I pointed out what I was seeing, I was told it is so the kids can ‘relax’ after being outside and that it makes them calm.

    How are we defining ‘calm’ here?

    Do we mean ‘calm’ or do we mean ‘out of the way’?

    Is it ‘calming’ to spend time repeatedly stabbing characters on a screen? How calm is the child’s inner domain when/after doing that?

    These kids are in primary school.

    What on earth are we doing here?

  7. “WHY are we even waiting for more research when common sense tells us something is seriously wrong with all this gaming stuff?”

    This is a GREAT question. It applies to so many subjects in life.

    It’s like we are open to justification – to being talked out of what we know is true.

    Why is this?

    Is it because we have lost our trust in that knowing, somehow?

    Or perhaps we don’t like the responsibility that comes with that knowing?

  8. The story about the boy in the Chinese boarding school is very sad.

    It is an extreme example, and yet how many parents put the material world above the true needs and feelings of their child?

    If we are honest, I suspect this would give most parents pause for reflection.

    Can we ALL take a good dose of their medicine:

    “First, we must learn his needs and get to know him better.”

  9. What a phenomenal blog. Packed full of factual information. I am not familiar with gaming but have heard of it. This blog is shocking and a real eye opener in the severity of the affects gaming has on children and adults and how addictive and life destroying it is. Why do we need more research when there are cases such as the ones in this blog proving the detriment and devastation gaming has on lives?
    Another very educational read, thank you Simple living Global.

  10. I have just read your last link, it seems absurd that something that encourages people/children to complete more and more dangerous and harmful tasks that result in them taking their lives is called a game.

  11. Why is it so easy for people to let their children play video games?

    It is because most people are too exhausted to truly do what they know is right. Engage their children in real life. Be with them not just take care of them.

    I used the television as a ‘baby sitter’ at times and l knew it was wrong but l needed to get supper together. It would have been much more fun and rewarding to engage my children in the food making process, but l felt l was too exhausted to do that.

    It makes me sad to remember doing that. I lost a precious moment with my children.

    Simple Living Global’s Back to Basics program has supported me to deal with my exhaustion and understand how l got that way.

    If our world was not so exhausted, there would be no way we would allow our children to do video games.

    Could this be the answer to this video game craziness (and all the worlds problems) – Just take true care of yourselves.
    We all know what is true.

  12. “…Also, even though my daughter was playing an ‘educational’ game, I noticed that she many times was more agitated, moody, and anxious after using those computer games…”

    Michael this is so interesting isn’t it – how their bodies are somehow agitated during and after playing these games?

    It feels like this should be the subject of a study – there is much to look into here.

  13. Having worked for a company that produces digital games, I have seen first hand the work that goes in to making them as compelling and addictive as possible.

    Testing and data analytics are deployed to understand in great detail where players might get disinterested and to make sure the game is just the right level of difficulty for them to feel determined, but not give up. The games are ‘optimised’ to the greatest degree, based on that data.

    It is all very mindfully done.

    I suspect people realise there is a level of manipulation involved when they engage in video games, but:

    – Do we realise the extent of the manipulation?
    – Have we reflected on why we allow it – what we are getting out of it?
    – Have we reflected on the harm it may be causing?
    – Is it right for children and other vulnerable groups to be exposed in that way?

  14. I’ve just watched your link to the presentation by Dr Kimberly Young, ‘what you need to know about internet addiction’ very interesting and educational, I recommend watching it… ‘disconnect to reconnect’ disconnect from our tech to reconnect to each other.. ‘tech free family time’ this woman speaks a lot of sense.

  15. What is the pupose of video games ? Is it really about what is good for humanity? No, it all about making money.

    So there was a demand for video games and someone saw an opportunity to make some money.

    Why do we want something that is just allowing us to escape life? Is it because the life we have does not feel ok?

    We are feeling overwhelmed by life and we do not know what to do about it.

    Ten years ago l was there. Totally exhausted, could barely work.

    I understand now that l had been ignoring all my body’s messages for a long time.
    It finally caught up with me.

    With support from Simple Living Global, l am slowly re-connecting to my body and trusting myself that l know what l need.
    I do not feel overwhelmed by life because l am truly supporting myself. When l do this my body knows exactly what do in any situation.

    This blog is showing that our bodies know that video games are not good for us.
    Is it time to Listen?

    Remember that video games are there because we asked for them!

  16. This is an incredible expose on the not so obvious dangers of playing video games.

    The statistics are utterly shocking and the ridiculousness of the whole thing makes for compelling reading.

    It asks the question of how the authorities can stand by and do nothing when people are wearing nappies so they don’t have to stop playing.

    People are urinating and defecating themselves just to play a video game.

    How is it possible that this is not seen as a mental illness?

    I was going to ask how far this has to go, if someone has to kill themselves for them to be considered mentally ill – but that is exactly what is happening.

    How is it possible that a website is allowed to be produced that incites people, mainly youngsters, to complete tasks that are very harmful to themselves and others and that also includes taking their own lives?

    How is it possible that this website is not illegal?

    Where is the responsibility of the people that organise these events?

    Where is the responsibility of the authorities?

    Where is the responsibility of the parents of these youngsters?

    With the introduction of this so called new ‘esport’ and the huge sums of money that can be earned, there is no reason to assume that these behaviours are not going to carry on and possibly get more bizarre and more dangerous.

  17. I met a woman today. She was capable, warm and lovely. She said she’s a big gamer.

    She plays one of the big multi player ‘online battle’ games. She has really got into it. She shared that it’s the first thing she’s found that she’s good at and that is addictive. It gives her a sense of purpose, achievement and recognition.

    She was also talking about the big competitions that happen and how you can team up with people and the best players win $1,000,000 in real life prize money. This creates an extra buzz around the game.

    What if these games only feed or fill an emptiness we carry?

    What if they wouldn’t take hold if we had true purpose in life? If we had a true sense of ourselves?

  18. Guy next to me on the plane kept reaching for his video game.

    It was fascinating to watch. Like a lab mouse going back for its sugar water every few minutes.

  19. Why is it so much easier to sit in front of a computer and play video games, rather then interact with real life?

    I have felt the excitement of playing video games. And I can see how they can be addictive. For some reason I have been able to just experience it and then move on. Is it because I was 40 when video games started appearing? And I had experienced enough of life to see that video games were nothing compared to real life?

    Because of the state of our world our children are unsure as to how to live in it. It is easy for them to want to withdraw from the world. I know because I withdrew in my own way as a child.

    Video games provide a easy way to escape the realities of the world, that is why they are so popular now.

    When children are young they need role models in life, to see how to be in the world. It is our responsibility to show them a way of living that supports them to flourish, and welcome all the true challenges in life.

    Simple Living Global has supported me to remember this way of living, a way of living that makes sense. All I need to do is live me, this will support everyone I meet to just be themselves.

    I along with many others are living like this and we are making a difference In the world.


    CNN – 26 April 2016

    This news story tells us there are hundreds of military-style boot camps where young Chinese people (aged 8 to 30) are quarantined from their compulsive use of technology, mostly online gaming.

    Most had been forced to enter the treatment centre by family members concerned about their physical and mental health.

    Maccotta states the internees were subjected to “discipline and repetition” which the leaders of the treatment centre said would cure their addiction.
    Their personalities are annihilated. They stay “behind a formal posture of silence and obedience” and they do not show sadness.

    ‘I think that what draws the kids to video games is the chance to get easy gratification in a virtual world, where they dive deeper and deeper’ says Lorenzo Maccotta who spent a week at a digital detox in China.

    Is this the answer here or is there more we need to explore?

    Can we for sure agree with the officials that believe the centre’s methods of intense physical training and no use of computers, “cures” most addictions?

    Maccotta doubts about the long days at the bootcamps with hard work, discipline and isolation.

    ‘It is very harsh for a kid to live such experience, I don’t think this is helpful’.

    Reading this Video Games Day blog – is it presenting another way, which is asking us to get to the root cause of WHY any child or adult chooses to spend excessive hours on a screen, away from real life?

    Could this be the starting point if we are ever going to nail it when it comes to video gaming addiction?

  21. An article in ‘The Week’ magazine, 25th March 2017, talks about how “Violent games are exonerated.”

    Playing violent video games does not make people more violent, or reduce their capacity for empathy – not in the long term at least, according to a new study.

    Researchers in Germany recruited 15 male gamers who had all played first-person shooter games, for at least two hours a day for the previous four years.

    In a two-part experiment, the gamers were first asked to complete psychological questionnaires to evaluate their levels of aggression and empathy.

    Then they were shown a series of emotionally provocative images while their brains were wired up to MRI scanners.

    As each image appeared, the gamers were asked to imagine how they feel in the situation depicted and their responses in specific brain areas were measured.

    When the results from both parts were compared with those from a control group of non-gamers, no significance was found.

    Earlier studies have found a link between playing video games and a lack of empathy.

    The researchers say this may be because those gamers were tested immediately after playing, when they may still have been “pumped up.”

    The gamers in the new study hadn’t played for at least three hours when the tests were initiated.

    Of course, we need study groups to determine what is the truth or not, but is it possible that a comprehensive answer to something like this can never be found, so are we really going to get a true picture when there are only 15 people in the study?

    The researchers in this study say that because they were tested three hours after playing, the participants showed no tendencies towards violence or being less empathic, but those who were tested straight after did become less empathic and more violent.

    Is it possible that if we are tested for alcohol or drug levels after three hours from stopping, the results would be less than if we had been tested straight away?

    But the alcohol and or drugs still remain in our system and in the long term (as well as the short term), can create serious harm to our bodies.

    The study says that the participants had been playing these violent games for at least two hours a day for four years and that the images of ‘emotionally provocative’ material showed no significance.

    Is it possible that their continued exposure to this violence had diminished their ability to be more empathic and therefore these images had little or no effect on them?

    Is it possible that studies like these are very counter productive as it gives the message that playing video games for hours at a time is OK?

    Is it possible that, like alcohol and drugs, or anything we do in excess, playing video games for hours at a time is an addiction?


    Independent – 21 December 2017

    Gaming disorder is to be classified as a mental health condition for the first time.

    The ICD – International Classification of Diseases is a diagnostic manual published by the World Health Organisation. It was last updated in 1990 and the 11th edition is due to be published in 2018 and it will include gaming disorder as a serious health condition to be monitored.

    Some of the standard symptoms that could determine ‘Internet Gaming Disorder’ include –
    Anxiety, Withdrawal symptoms and Antisocial behaviour.

    Gaming is highly addictive says Mark James, security specialist at ESET.

    There will always be those who debate this and of course scientists want more research, as we are a world who needs proof and evidence over and over again because we seem to not apply common sense and innate wisdom.

    After reading this blog and knowing what this news story is saying, that some video gamers spend between 12 and 24 hours on video game screens, do we really need more proof that something is not right.

    What if we by pass coming up with solutions and go straight to the root question –

    What is going on for any person that they choose to switch off and engage in front of a screen playing games?

    Is this telling us something is not right?

    Something must be wrong, because this is not a natural way to connect and engage with others?

    We have enough proof that talking face to face, connecting and meeting people is something that humans need for a natural well being. Cutting off from this can lead to ill mental health and is it any surprise that gaming disorder is going to enter our world classification book of diseases?

    Surely that in itself confirms something is wrong.

  23. A friend just told her 2 young boys that she is pregnant with a baby sister.

    Their main concern was how the baby would get in the way of them playing video games and watching TV.

    The solution was to offer a video console and TV in the boys’ bedroom.

    Now the boys are excited about the baby coming.

  24. BBC News – 2 January 2018

    Gaming Addiction is to be listed as a mental health condition for the first time by the World Health Organisation.

    The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will include the condition “gaming disorder”.

    It has been described as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes “precedence over other life interests”. This is basic things like sleep, eating, socializing and education.

    The ICD was completed in 1992 so it is well overdue now for a new revised edition which is proposed for some time in 2018. The guide contains codes of diseases, signs and symptoms and is used by doctors and researchers to track and diagnose disease.

    Internet Gaming Disorder is listed as a “condition for further study” and this means it is not yet officially recognised.

    Are we confused if we read that WHO has confirmed it is to be listed and then we get on the same news story it is not officially recognised.
    Would it be true to say that as a world, we are always seeking more and more research studies trying to come to scientific based evidence?

    If we simply read what this blog is presenting and joined the dots, could we agree that something is not right and waiting for ‘further study’ is not needed when we know right now how serious this gaming disorder stuff is?

    South Korea – government introduced law banning access for children under 16 from online games between midnight and 6am.

    Japan – players alerted if they spend more than a certain amount of time each month playing online games.

    China – an Internet giant has limited the hours that children can play its most popular games.

    Are these countries taking some action and finding solutions because things are bad?

    Are these strategies going to really work to stop our youth being addicted to video gaming?

    Are we dealing with the root cause of why anyone would want to spend so much time online gaming for excessive hours?

    I have watched a really young boy learn from his older brothers how to use a screen and what to do. Just observing his fixed state of being and rapid eye movement looked scary. It was like it was not the 2 year old but something had overtaken him and he was controlled by what was on the screen shifting his eyes very quickly.

    Another observation was in a huge famous tech store, parents were busy buying phones and the three kids were playing online games. Their movements and the talking to the screen confirmed to me that something was seriously wrong. They were so fixated that they had no idea what was going on around them, even when they were asked a question by someone. It was like they could not register anything as the game was so important.

    Is it time we asked a big fat question – What is the purpose of video games?

    Can we get real and honest so we can get to the Truth?

    Are we using online gaming or offline games to distract us and stop us from feeling what needs to be felt?

    Is this a way off and whacky question or is this something we all need to be asking before things get even worse?

    With the rise in mental health issues with children and teenagers – is it time to ask questions about everything we are endorsing for our kids in this modern day world of ours?

  25. BBC NEWS –

    GP saying they have seen plenty of evidence of the link between mental ill-health in youngsters and their use of social media.

    16 year old self harmed and ended up in A&E and of course the first thought was to put him on anti-depressants, but TALKING to this teenager meant that this doctor realised he needed to be weaned off social media.

    But how many physicians would go straight for the prescription pad as the solution?

    As this blog is presenting – could it be possible that our youth need to be met for who they truly are and this would be the start point to open up and give them the space to talk?

    Are we simply way too busy, judging ourselves and distracting ourselves, to notice what is going on under our noses and in our own home?

    Next – Consultant Psychiatrist Louise Theodosiou is saying children are spending too long on their phones and has seen a rise in teenage depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

    Online addiction to gaming platforms is mentioned and how these children refuse to travel to psychiatrist appointments, so a range of professionals have to make home visits to deal with the issue. It can take months to persuade them to leave their bedrooms.

    She says these children are living in a fictional world, sometimes to the detriment of their physical health, but they are still not wanting to leave their virtual worlds.

    Hello – can we just stop and re-read this?

    What on earth is going on and WHY are we allowing this?

    Are we settling here for the easy route or is this a real solution?
    In other words, is this the best way we spend the nation’s money – sending out professionals on home visits as a child refuses to go to them.

    Are we feeding the ‘nanny state’ that the UK are known for when it comes to the health service?

    Is there more we can do here or do we just let it all happen and accept it as part of life?

    How serious is this that our kids are into a virtual reality and lost sense of real reality?

    How can we bring them back to who they truly are?
    How can we start to take the steps needed to end this behaviour?

    What is our individual role, even if we are not a parent?
    What can we be doing to support these parents?

    Can we start simply by asking more questions?

    Can blogs like this, by Simple Living Global be a way of bringing more awareness?

    Can a website like this full of content presenting another way help?

    What we can no longer ignore is that something is seriously wrong and blaming the social media platforms is not the answer.
    Blaming anything or anyone is also not the answer.

    It is high time we ALL took responsibility for what we as individuals are actually doing in our own daily life?

    Can we become real role models for our children, teenagers, youth, our community and our society or do we just add to the ill that is going on that we have all created?

    Could it be possible that the real role models are those who live a life of TRUE RESPONSIBILITY and that means taking responsibility for every choice they make?

  26. iNews – 31 January 2018

    Addiction to video games can contribute to depression, anxiety and low-self-esteem in players affecting them both psychologically and physically, a study suggests.

    Excessive game playing causes physical ailments including cardiovascular stress, wrist pain, issues with sleep and the nervous system and reduced physical activity, researchers from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Oulu, Finland found.

    Gamers were also put at risk of mental side effects, ranging from depression, obsessive compulsive behaviours, anxiety, lack of concentration and self-control and impulsiveness the report said.

    The report was published in the Journal of Health Psychology, taking into account data from more than 130,000 gamers aged between 12 and 88 years old and the findings of 50 studies into video game addiction conducted over the past 11 years.

    We already have in this article by Simple Living Global that 1 in 10 gamers show signs of addiction and that gamer addiction can threaten student success and we have the research above telling us how gaming affects people both physically and mentally, so why is it so popular and why has it even been turned into a degree course?

    It has become normal for activities that are harming us to be popular.

    I have seen many children, some pre-school aged glued to screen with these games – are they now destined to develop the symptoms above into their teens, adulthood and even elderly years if we do understand what has created this?

    I have often seen children struggle to interact with others due to the habit of engaging with a screen.

    When did this become the norm and how many of us are stopping to ask WHY?

  27. Metro News – 20 March 2018

    A girl aged 13 was shot in the head by her brother aged 9 because of a row over a video game controller.

    The news story is in the UK but this happened in the U.S.

    Do we see it as just a story out there as its not in our country or do we pay attention?

    Do we ask how on earth could this ever happen?

    Do we have the list of questions of WHY and are we expressing this?

    What gets into them during a video gaming session that leads to this?

    Are we going to ask why are our kids getting so into this screen stuff?

    Are they seeking a form of connection in this virtual reality as it’s easy?

    Are they going to video games to get what they need as nothing in real life is worthy of their attention?

    How are we raising our kids who are going to be the future adult generations?

    Can we afford to sit back and let it all continue or do we have a hand in this?

    How are we all living in our daily lives and how connected do we feel to others?

    Are these the type of questions we need to be asking and opening up conversations at our dinner tables and in our communities and in our countries so that our world can start with the statement – SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

  28. Watching a guy today on the train with his portable video game.

    He was fully plugged in. The game was a high fantasy one with weird characters – grotesque and whimsical.

    His body was in a heightened state of tension – shoulders hunched and held, his fingers like claws.

    He was clearly networked, because when we went into a tunnel you could feel his fury at the interruption.

    It was like a glimpse into this person’s life – focused on fantasy.

    I wonder how much of his energy and time it takes.
    I wonder how it affects what he talks and cares about.
    I wonder the extent to which it impacts how he sees and experiences the world and the people in it.

  29. Talking to a woman this week about her appal at experiencing video game addiction in a small child.

    She had watched her 3 year old grandson begging – literally begging – his mother to have their tablet so he could play games. She said it wasn’t the casual whinge you see kids do when they are trying it on. It was full-body pleading, like the technology was the only thing on earth and to not have was devastating.

    She said she could see this was something that had built up over time, leading to a point where it was everything to the child to have its fix. The melt down at any refusal was disproportionately huge.

    This lady felt sorry for her grandson. That video games had become so important to him – above so many other things in his life, aged 3. That he had been parented in a way that led to these priorities and this suffering.

    1. 18th June 2018

      This week the ICD-11, International Classification of Diseases manual was published. This is the 11th edition. The ICD is a manual that is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose diseases.

      For the first time Gaming Disorder has been included as a disease. So whilst the DSM-5 considered Internet Gaming Disorder as something that needed further study before it could be included in the manual (2013), 5 years on we have Gaming Disorder as a recognised disease.

      This is so concerning and to be honest I cannot say it is a shock.

      On a daily basis at work or whether travelling on public transport, I see children who are just about able to walk with their eyes glued to a screen.

      What you describe about this 3 year old JS is unfortunately no surprise.

      The question does arise though – what will happen to our 3 year olds as they get older if this addiction continues?

      Will they make it to adulthood and if they do – what will their adult life be like?

      Will we see new symptoms and other diseases as a result of this addiction?

  30. The Telegraph – 13 June 2018

    New study reveals that Addictive video games may change children’s brains in the same way as drugs and alcohol.

    MRI scans show the “reward” system in the brains of young heavy users of social media and video games display the same changes in function and structure as those of alcoholics or drug addicts.

    A series of studies by California State University found the impulsive part of the brain was not only more sensitive but also smaller in excessive users so that it processed the stimuli of social media or games faster.

    In the UK – 9 year old admitted to rehab after becoming addicted, as she wet herself rather than leave the screen.

    Enough said – do we wait for ministers to consider new measures or campaign about this OR do we start to take Responsibility now with whatever resources we do have?

    If we just start with common sense and our innate wisdom as adults raising children, can we get real and honest about what on earth is really going on?

    Are we victims here or do we have a hand in how our children end up addicted to a screen?

    What have we accepted because the masses are doing it and how can we change this?

    Do we need to get the WHY WHY questions in and burn inside until we get some answers?

    What will it take to turn the tides and not subscribe to anything that is harmfull to us, OR do we have a blind spot because on some level it suits us to let the kids do their thing but not police what they are up to as that would mean change, discipline, perhaps confrontation or strict boundaries?

    Do we prefer to be the nicey nice parent or guardian because we just want to be liked and known as cool daddy or a cool mom but somewhere along the line we know all this stuff is just not right and we did need to say something?

    So is this enabling type of raising our children going to come at a cost in later life and have we considered this question –

    Was it worth it?

  31. Sky News – 23 June 2018

    The NHS has funded the first internet addiction centre in London.

    The founder has said it will be a ‘life-changer’ for those who struggle with an addiction to gaming.

    Other internet-based addictions could be treated in the future.

    “Gaming disorder is finally getting the attention it deserves.
    We are unlikely to witness an epidemic of young players with an addiction.

    World Health Organization classified gaming disorder as an addiction, describing it as a pattern of persistent gaming behaviour so severe it “takes precedence over other life interests”.

    Symptoms include impaired control over gaming and increased priority given to gaming.

    WHO said “studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital or video-gaming activities”.

    Dear World

    Are we all aware that research studies by the time they are published they are out of date.

    This means what we get told old news and things may have changed.

    Please re-read this blog and all the facts presented.

    Then put our common sense hat on with eyes wide open, the next time we are out and about on the street.

    What is super clear is our young children in buggies are on the video games.

    Check the bus stops and the shopping malls and we will be left with the real facts that this is not just a few heading towards persistent gaming behaviour.

    What is noticeable is they are super young and with this behaviour pattern being ingrained – where is it going to end up?

    Next – we need to ask the parents who know their child is addicted to gaming.

    Next – we need to speak to teachers and see what they have to say.

    Next – we need to observe all children and watch their eye movement, clock their body language and their behaviour, before, during and after they are video gaming.

    Next – we need to get real, wake up and do what it takes to be on the front foot.

    That means start talking about this and not wait for the next research study to come out, but ask more questions so that we can get to the root cause of WHY any child makes a choice to look at a screen instead of being connected to their being inside and engaging in the real world and not a virtual reality made up world behind a screen.

    If we are to have any life changing effect, it would be wise to consider all aspects of living and how choices are being made in daily life and ensure there is no band aid solution where the real deep issue gets buried and on the surface it looks like we cracked it and got results.

    We need to all wake up to the fact things are getting worse and thinking gaming disorder is only affecting a few may be the biggest understatement and a confirmation we are not on the front foot.

  32. Sky News – 5th July 2018

    A mother has warned parents to delete a popular online game from their children’s phones, tablets and consoles after a young girl’s avatar was “violently gang-raped” while playing.

    The mother shared a distressing account of her daughter’s experience on the iPad version of the game, which saw her character being attacked by two males and then a female.

    Further research reveals that this online gaming platform allows users to create their own content and is the largest user-generated with over 15 million games created by users. It is the number 1 gaming site for kids and teens.

    Back to the news story – at least one of the attackers – who the developer of the game told Sky News has now been banned – appears to have used the games extensive creation tools to carry out the assault in a sexually explicit manner.

    In the news item, there is a screenshot of the girl’s character lying motionless, face down on the ground, after the attack.

    The game was launched in 2004 and has been compared to another megahit similar game, which is said to have 64 million active players, many of which are children.

    In Europe, including the UK, it has a PEGI (Pan European Game Information) age rating of 7+, while in the US it has a 10+ rating from the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

    Whilst this is obviously a horrific experience for the young girl concerned, where do we need to look to find out who is responsible?

    Is it the people that created this game?

    Is it the people that are selling the game?

    Is it the parents for buying the game for their children?

    Is it the parents for not being more vigilant while their children are playing this game?

    Is it society itself for allowing these video games to become a much bigger part in our lives and the lives of our children?

    Is it because, we as parents, would rather let our children play with these video games because it keeps them quiet and it is so much easier than to participate fully with our children?

    Is it possible that we all need to take our part of the responsibility in this?

  33. I have just read a news article where one man is stating that video games help players cope with mental health difficulties.

    He shares this as from his own experience he used video games to deal with difficult times. Video games are used in his life to deal with the symptoms of anxiety and depression and voices in his head.

    Only if games are played ‘too often’ is it a sign of mental health problems this man says, rather than video games being the cause of mental illness.

    We have a habit of only seeing things as a problem when they are extreme.

    If anyone has read the criteria for assessing Gaming Disorder in the ICD-11 or the proposed criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder in DSM-5 we will see that the bar is set very high, so all those that are not officially diagnosed are seen as not ill.

    But what if that is not true?

    What if the signs of an addiction go far beyond how often video games are played?

    Does anyone check the behaviour of the person playing on a daily basis?

    Could it affect their ability to interact with others or even sleep at night?

    I knew someone who had a son aged 7 who when he was on the screen with the video games would be glued to it. The behaviour when he was told to come off was very frightening to the point that his mother felt apprehensive and I would say afraid when she had to tell him to come off.

    He was afraid to sleep at night and would speak of being visited by things at night.

    Things got so bad that one day his mother locked herself in a room as he was threatening her with a knife.

    Now no-one put this down to the video games, but I know that this was having an effect on him and we did discuss this but his mother stated that she did not feel able to stop him playing them.

    She did seek support from social services with his behaviour. They were looking into a learning disability diagnosis.

    When our children are babies, if anyone told us that if we give them a screen, this would be the end result at age 7, I am sure that we would not accept that this is possible, but having seen it first hand I know for sure that it is.

    Children need to be connected to and met by adults who are connected to who they truly are and who love and care for themselves. Only then will they be pulled to not seek outside stimuli like video games as they will feel met for who they truly are.

  34. This is an interesting comment – thank you Shevon.

    International Classification of Diseases – 11th Edition came out this year 2018 so it was not mentioned in this blog, which was written in September 2017.

    However, this blog does mention the proposed criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – Edition 5.

    It is clear that the bar has been set high because these guidelines are for extreme and serious cases.

    But what about all those who fall under this line?

    I can speak from real life citizen journalism. By that I mean I listen, I talk to people on the street, in my neighbourhood, community, on the bus, train and at work. I find out what is going on, as it is of great interest to me to report real life facts.

    On that note – local school children in a long waiting list to see a psychiatrist because of video gaming addictions.

    One business owner in the community shared how his son has been addicted since the age of 4. The current games were from their native country which was scary stuff, telling him not to go to bed between the hours of 11pm and 5am.

    This boy suffered anxiety and when I met him, I could clearly see the harm this was doing, not only did he look exhausted from lack of sleep but the natural social skills were simply not there as he was 9 which means this had been going on for 5 years.

    With due respect is the psychiatrist the answer or is there more the parents need to be doing or saying?

    Are we going to blame or is it time to bring in real education?

    How do we do that if parents are too busy working and have little time to be around their kids and on top of that have their own stuff going on?
    This boy was saying all his friends were seeing the psychiatrist too.

    What we can all agree on is SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

    What is screen time and this artificial world doing to all of us?

    Is virtual reality removing us from real life everyday responsibility?

    Are these the type of questions we now need to be asking or do we wait for more and more research to tell us what we know now?

    Is it time to put our common sense hat on and join the dots as let’s get honest, things are getting worse.

  35. Mail Online – 3 August 2018

    This news story talks about a 6 year old boy in the Philippines who has been left with permanent facial seizures after playing computer games for 9 hours every day.

    Uncontrollable facial tics, lips shaking permanently and eyes that cannot stop blinking.
    His father is convinced it is due to his son’s addiction to playing video games and excessive use of electronic gadgets.

    His mother said he watched TV as soon as he woke up and then after school from 3pm until midnight he would play games on his tablet or smartphone.

    She adds that because they are just children’s games that are fun and colourful with no violence it was not a problem. Both his parents were convinced he was happy.

    The doctors are not confirming this is the cause as they need “evidence”.

    While we wait for evidence, would common sense and joining the dots, give us some indication here as to WHY this could have happened?

    A very young child is up until midnight and consistently in front of a screen for 9 hours.
    Then this first movement as he wakes up is cartoons on TV in the morning.

    Would that level of exposure to a screen and gaming when he should be naturally sleeping have something to do with his non stop blinking?

    The fact that he is still having seizures every 20 to 30 minutes even though he has been stopped from gadgets is telling us that his body is communicating something.

    Could it be possible that the behaviour has been ingrained and that means the movements are a momentum inside his body that even though he has physically stopped the activity, the motion inside him continues to play out and in this case it is seizures? Possible?

    How can we educate parents who want the best for their children growing up to be alerted to the dangers of video gaming and all other screentime activities?

    Is this a difficult one simply because the majority of parents are doing excess time on the screen stuff or video gaming?

    If we are doing something and then expecting our children to do something different or abstain from what we do, will that work?

    Are they simply going to see us as not the real role models in life and if we want that, is it our Responsibility to live that?

    In other words, walk the talk and talk the walk if we want our kids to be inspired by our living way.

  36. Daily Mail – 11 August 2018

    Organisers are in deep talks about having video game leagues in the Olympics for 2024.

    The world’s oldest sporting tournament could include e-sports as a reality.

    E-sports is competitive video game playing and watching millennials play is big business.

    Tens of thousands of fans at big stadiums, watch their favourite players or teams use their consoles to battle against each other in a digital world.

    Young technology companies are waiting and ready to serve the gamers’ and viewers’ needs, hoping to cash in on a multi-billion pound industry.

    Predictions are that by 2020 there will be 70 million people watching an e-sports final.

    That is more than the number watching American professional baseball or soccer finals.

    Gaming has gone from a past time that was ghettoised in the bedrooms of teenage boys to the mainstream.

    What exactly is behind this rise is not clear.
    Developments in internet speed, graphics technologies and gaming capabilities are part of it.

    Majority of the viewers are young people and an executive chairman of an e-sports organiser says that, we are in the middle of a cultural revolution and it’s driven by human curiosity.

    It is more accessible to get into e-sports than becoming a professional footballer and it proves to be incredibly lucrative for some players.

    Last year a 25 year old earned £2.9 million.

    Those supplying are making billions. A company in US produces graphics cards and is worth $121 billion.

    Research shows that e-sports fans are more than twice as likely to gamble as the general population, and now sports betting is being deregulated in the US, a new market could be cracked open.

    The big break could come in 2022 Asian games where players will be on a mainstream stage for the first time. After that e-sports’ rise could be meteoric.

    If we read this blog and consider the facts and everything it is presenting, we could say we are more than well informed about what video gaming is about.

    Could money be the motivating factor for this new sport to be included in the Olympics?

    Do we blame the organisers who want to keep the fans happy or do we take stock and admit we are the ones asking for this?

    If none of us were interested, this or any other sport would not exist.

    Can we agree with one man’s opinion about human curiosity when it comes to video gaming?

    Could it be possible that young kids who are not feeling plugged in and connected and are not being met for who they truly are by parents and teachers, are somehow feeling a void – a gap that needs to be filled and the simple quiet option is in front of a screen, where they become the master of control?

    What if these games are designed to hook in children and young adults and so on some level it is a drug of choice, but no way would our world ever admit we have a drug called video gaming?

    Drugs are substances that alter our natural state of being.

    Video games are a mind-altering drug, but excess use is not going to enter our world diagnostic manuals for physicians. This confirms something is clearly not right.

    While we wait around for more research because we are going to be asking for this, once this new sport takes over the world platform, let us consider all the questions presented in this forensic blog.

    In addition to this, we could simply observe a young kid or adult and see their eye movements and body language and then make up our own minds about what it is doing to them when they are playing.

    Is it time to stop pretending that things are ok and video gaming is safe?

    Do we need a 911 before we take real action or can we get on the front foot now and listen to those who are presenting the Truth, like Simple Living Global?

  37. An article from divorce-online asks if a new digital game is becoming a relationship wrecker.

    The game is all over the news at the moment as one of the most addictive games ever played.

    The game is an apocalyptic survival video game that has attracted legions of fans and controversy in equal measure.

    The free multiplayer spans a number of platforms and pits players against 99 others in a frantic fight for survival on an island, where the last gamer standing is the winner.

    40 million people have downloaded this free game.

    It’s not only teenagers that are being affected, but adults too and it is affecting relationships and marriages according to research by this online divorce website.

    The company has seen an increase in enquiries where this game has been mentioned as part of the reason someone wanted to file for divorce.

    It has received 200 divorce petitions for this reason since January 2018.

    A spokesperson for the company said. “Addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling have often been cited for reasons for relationship breakdowns but the dawn of the digital revolution has introduced new addictions which include pornography, online gaming and social media.”

    Of course, it is an addiction and it is no different to any other addiction, be it drugs, gambling or alcohol.

    Yes, with the latter three there are more obvious signs and some could say that the visible consequences are much worse, but is it possible that pornography, online gaming and social media are so much more insidious, because they are either becoming an acceptable social norm or they already are?

    But what exactly does the word addicted mean?

    Merriam Webster defines it as:
    (a) Having a compulsive physiological need for a habit forming substance
    (b) Strongly inclined or compelled to do, use or indulge in something repeatedly

    So what is missing in our lives for us to be compelled to do, use or indulge in something repeatedly like spending countless hours on social media, pornography or online gaming?

    What is it with this new online game that people are prepared to sabotage their relationships and marriages?

    Are we losing the ability to connect with others on a human level?

    Why do we continuously have to find ways to distract ourselves from living?

    Is it possible that we are choosing these distractions, because life is getting too tough and we don’t want to take responsibility for ourselves?

    Is it possible that the more we venture into the online world, the reality of what is true or not becomes evermore distant?

  38. Talking to a neighbour after he had just pulled his 9 year old off a popular social game.

    They had been having a full stand up row.

    The boy was furious and expressing devastation at what his father was doing. Saying his dad was ruining his life. That he would now die in the game because he wasn’t playing.

    It was clearly a source of huge anxiety for him – seemingly the most important thing he had going on.

    Seeing this play out was quite shocking. The extent of the investment and the emotion involved.

    It makes you realise how much social and video games are designed to have that effect. To hook you in completely. To make you fixate.

    Particularly when they feel pressure from friends playing it, too. Desperate to fit in and be involved.

    I suspect the effect these games has on young, developing minds is especially intense.

    As parents, how do we deal with these modern challenges? How do we respond?

    Do we ‘give in’ a little bit so they can have what they want, but contain the screen time?

    Do we hold steady with what we feel and say no to it all?

    As a parent, I see it as my job to understand what is going on for this generation and make sure we have strong boundaries at home about what my kids can and can’t get involved with.

    If it feels wrong for us, it’s a no.

    If it disturbs them or leads to off-beam behaviour, it’s a no.

    However unpopular that might make me or them.

  39. The Times – 16 February 2019

    Young Chinese are playing at being mothers and fathers in an online game that requires them to bring up a digital child.

    They are given a series of multiple choice questions ranging from how to react if the child becomes distressed, when to schedule piano and swimming lessons after school and what to do when a first love breaks their heart.

    The game costs $9.99 to play.

    Some have said playing the game has moved them to tears and others have said it has helped them to understand their own parents and the plight of parenting.

    The virtual child is scored in 6 areas –


    Emotional Intelligence

    Physical Fitness




    This raises some serious questions.

    Can any game really prepare any of us to be a parent?

    Is this what we call modern day intelligence?

    Ask any parent and they will tell us that every child is different.

    How can a game prepare us for the nuances of each child?

    How does it support us in getting to know that child and what they need to grow?

    Have we just reduced parenting to a tick box exercise of grooming charm, memory, imagination, physical fitness, emotional intelligence and intelligence?

    What if there is much more that each child brings but without connecting with them and responding to what that is, we will never know?

    What if by reducing parenting to a tick box mental exercise, the whole world misses out on what each child can bring?

    What if this approach crushes their potential?

    Is it possible that reducing parenting to something that can be learnt in a game, is part of the problem as to why we have so much ill mental health in both parents and children?

    Are we eroding our natural ability to connect and be responsive to another?

    1. I had no idea about this, Shevon, thank you for sharing.

      This teaches such a reduced version of the truth of life and the most obvious outcome is that kids end up thinking this is all there is.

      ‘I’ve played the game, I know how it works’. So they shut off considering what more there could be. Then when real life happens, what do they have to draw on?

      Technology can certainly serve people and be hugely enriching, but it is no way a replacement for the human touch.

      I saw only this week how degrading tech can be if we don’t teach kids how to discern and use it properly.

      At an event, I watched kids having access to the web. Some of the kids wanted to look for nature and science and cartoons and the like. Others wanted to watch videos of people playing video games. The latter group were more forceful and got their wish.

      Within seconds, the entire group was watching a video of a man playing a violent video game, shooting characters til their heads exploded. The man was commentating over the video, shouting at the characters and making it sound crazy and exciting.

      The kids were fixated, some horrified, others just staring like it was totally normal.

      I switched it off, calling it out as violent and disturbing and not okay.

      If this stuff becomes normal for our kids, how will they be able to process life?

      Wont their ability to discern simply degrade as they simply accept this as what life is about?

  40. – 22nd May 2019

    Video Games Can Help Veterans Recover from Mental Health Challenges

    A recent study with a small sample of Veterans trying to recover form mental health issues found that video games can help in overcoming such problems as PTSD and substance abuse disorders.

    The researchers concluded that although the impact of video games may vary based on the user, clinicians may wish to discuss video game play with their patients to help them “optimise their use of games to support recovery.”

    The researchers write: Gameplay may promote a mindfulness-like psychological (escape) but can also provide users with benefits of confidence, social connection, personal growth and opportunities for employment or even leadership.”

    The researchers also note that some of the participants described using video games to “distract from overwhelming symptoms, including suicidal thoughts and drug or alcohol use”.

    The study included 20 veterans – 15 men and five women – who ranged in age

    A public health researcher and doctor led the study. With extensive research experience in video game play and mental health recovery, she interviewed the veterans on the value of the games – (she’s also played the video games and has recovered from her own mental health problem).

    In the interviews, the participants reported that the games helped with several areas related to recovery: managing moods and relieving stress; adaptive coping (distraction, control, symptom substitution); eudaimonic well-being (confidence, insight, role functioning); and socialising.

    The researchers write: “The meaning derived from game narratives and characters, exciting or calming gameplay, and opportunities to connect, talk and lead others were credited as benefits of gaming. Responses often related closely to military or Veteran experiences.”

    “At times, excessive use of games led to life problems or feeling addicted, but some Veterans with disabilities felt the advantages of extreme play outweighed these problems.”

    Regarding the above sentence, is it possible that we are offering a solution to deal with an issue which then creates another issue?

    The study researchers say: – “Gameplay may promote a mindfulness-like psychological (escape) but can also provide users with benefits of confidence, social connection, personal growth and opportunities for employment or even leadership.” – is it possible that, having any of the benefits listed above by playing these video games, will not be the truth as they do not come from real life, they do not come from a lived experience?

    It stands to reason that, if anyone has an issue, whether it be mental health or indeed, any issue at all, if we are giving something to distract or to take them away from the issues, then we are not going to focus on the issue we have and therefore, it is going to appear that we are improving.

    But, how does that truly help us to recover?

    Is it possible that these video games are just a distraction?

    Is it possible that these video games do nothing, in truth, to heal the person’s mental health issues or substance abuse but simply buries whatever issue they have further into their bodies?

    Is it possible that this is just another solution and one that avoids the patient taking any real responsibility?

    The playing of these video games is a virtual reality and not real life.

    Is it possible that, any results that are obtained from a study like this can only be at a surface level and as such; no true healing can ever take place?

  41. Reading this blog or writing about it is one thing.

    Hearing about someone is another but when it is in your face and you are being told that a young son, a brother, a teenager has stopped going to school and been in their bedroom for over 3 months and is not leaving the house – it becomes real and in your face.

    I asked are they playing video games and the answer was yes.
    It started when the parents split up and there has been ‘childhood trauma’.

    Without needing the details, I had a sense that this is a case that is more typical than we would like to think. There are many more teenagers experiencing this.

    Yes I know this video gaming addiction is happening all over the world and behind closed doors, but here was a single parent scared about the school imposing a fine for non-attendance and not knowing where to start. It was clear there was shame about what is going on but simply not knowing where to turn.

    This was what we might call a chance meeting waiting for the elevator at a busy hospital today. We all constellated with one purpose to get in the lift and go to the department where our appointment was. No surprise we all ended up at the same place and got talking before we even reached our destination.

    Here was a woman supporting her neighbour who clearly needed help for a hospital appointment and in her own private life she has a young son suffering with video gaming addiction.

    What is going on in our world and how are we going to ever turn the tides when so much is wrong and not making any sense?

    The authorities want to impose a fine but how is that going to help and where will it end up? We can sit and blame or finger point but we all know that changes nothing.

    I realised in this one conversation that things are very serious and it is easy to simply accept this as ‘one of those things’ life has dished out. But if we all just accept everything as it is, how will anything ever change?

    Whilst I cannot go around and help everyone, I do have a skill which is typing and I do know how to write about facts and stats with a natural questioning style.

    On that note, I have written this blog and all others on this website to bring awareness about topics like video gaming and other current health issues.

    Add to that some simple human life stuff and bingo there is now a monumental library of information here that anyone can go to, as it may just be the support needed while we wait for resources out there to help us.

    Back to the teenager addicted to video gaming. I gave his older sister this website and directed her to this blog as she was ready to learn and know more about this subject that is having a harmfull effect on her family.

  42. Metro News – 29 May 2020

    What is going on inside the mind of a 14 year old that he murders his friend in a frenzied knife attack after losing to him in a computer game?

    Chasing the victim and inflicting 27 wounds which included cutting his neck from ear to ear with the aim to sever the head.

    Have we considered the consequences when we are consistently exposed to video gaming where these types of acts on screen are ‘normal’?

    Did this young teenager in his so called ‘heat of passion’ forget the reality he was in as his mind was engaged to the virtual reality on screen, where he is the fighter, the winner, the killer and the one everyone wants to be – in his supremacy above all others?

    We cannot negate, ignore or dismiss this news story as it is a very serious wake up call to all of us. We are being alerted that this behaviour is possible even from a teenager towards his so-called friend.

    How have we got to this point and WHY are we not asking questions and bringing this to national front page news headlines?

    For the record, this very small news story was on page 17 of a newspaper you pick up on your train travels in the city of London.

  43. Daily Telegraph – 6th June 2020

    Gaming Star Retires at 23 with Obesity and Diabetes

    A leading online gamer from China is retiring at 23 after an eight year career due to gaming-related health problems, including Obesity.

    He was diagnosed with Diabetes last year. Announcing his retirement on social media, he said: “I tried to adjust my living habits, control my diet, lose weight, do exercise and take meds but my condition didn’t change. My mental state is not as good as before, due to the medicine, and the doctor warned that if the situation worsens, there’ll soon be complications. Plus, the problems with my hands are relatively serious, so my physical condition doesn’t allow me to go on competing in the game world.”

    His team described him as “not only the heart and soul (of the team), but also an icon in the e-sports world as a whole.”

    The gamer set unbeaten records in one multiplayer online battle game in his debut year and went on to win gold medals for China in international E-sports tournaments.

    According to the website E-sport earnings, he has around $545,000 (£485,000) in prize money, but would have earned large sums from sponsorships and commercial events.

    In 2018, he said he had to be treated by a doctor for at least half an hour after every practice and match.

    According to state media, he said: “But I also believe that the best athletes in every sport in the world reach the top with injuries by pushing through the pain that ordinary people can’t bear.”

    Is there something wrong here?

    What is the purpose in someone having to retire at 23 due to ill health?

    This gamer has been lauded and championed for his achievements – at what cost?

    This guy has earned lots of money and won gold medals for his country but he is now retired due to ill health – at the age of 23.
    Was it worth it?

    Is it possible that, the fact that he has retired due to ill health at the age of 23, shows that what he was doing was not the truth?

    Even if he wasn’t Obese and didn’t get Diabetes, the problems with his hands, which he referred to as being ‘relatively serious, are likely to cause him lifelong issues.

    He made a point about the best athletes pushing through the pain –
    is it possible that this just shows that any sport, real or virtual, is not the truth?

    Are our bodies informing us that there is pain for a very good reason?

    Is it possible that our bodies are not meant to ‘push past pain’?

    Now, of course, there will be those that say how can this guy compare himself to top athletes who have a very demanding physical training routine.

    But, is it possible that it doesn’t matter if the sport is physically demanding or not and it is the intention behind the training that is important here?

    Even if it is not a sport but an everyday activity and we push ourselves to the point that it starts to have an adverse effect on our body, is it possible that this ‘pushing’ is the same as any top athlete?

    The end result is going to be the same in that we do not listen to our body giving us messages and then we wonder why we have an illness or disease.

    This video gamer would have had plenty of messages from his body but like most we override what our bodies are telling us.

    Is it possible that, like any other sport or activity played at this level or this intensity, video gaming could be classed as an addiction?

    If we do something over and over again, knowing that it is harming ourselves, can we truly say with all honesty, that what we are doing is the truth?

  44. CNN Health – 16 June 2020

    The first video game based treatment for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. (FDA)

    It is available on prescription only and aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 12 with certain types of ADHD.

    Symptoms of ADHD include difficulty staying focused and paying attention and difficulty controlling behaviour.

    This is part of the growing field of digital therapy and digital therapeutics we are told.
    The game can be downloaded as an app on to a mobile device.

    5 clinical studies that included over 600 children were reviewed by the FDA. The agency did note some negative effects which were reported – frustration, headache, dizziness, emotional reaction and aggression. However, these were seen as ‘non serious’ adverse effects so that makes it all ok.

    The FDA are proud that they have made history – a game to improve attention function.

    Dear World,

    We could simply stop and celebrate or we could ask some serious questions.

    Are we certain this is not going to have any adverse long-term effects on this target population?

    Are we sure we have used common sense when dealing with such super sensitive children?

    Are we negating what the negative effects are when they could be deemed as ‘serious’?

    Is the body communicating something loud and clear if we are told of frustration?

    Can we all stop and read the headaches blog on this website before we go any further?

    Dizziness in any human should not be seen as minor as it could be an alarm bell.

    Emotional reaction to what? The game? The force that comes with this type of ‘digital therapy’?

    Aggression – animals get aggressive when they are confronted in some way – so could it be possible these ADHD kids are showing signs of aggression for good reason and letting that be viewed as something minor under the umbrella of “negative effects” could come back in later years to warn us it was not minor. Of course it may not but nevertheless ignoring aggression in a child with ADHD is not taking responsibility on behalf of a minor that needs adult supervision.

    What would common sense tell us? Let’s ask

    Answer – In the new advanced world of digital this and that and screens for everything, the natural way of life is out of fashion. In comes a plethora of lifestyle choices creating illness and disease that we keep being told could be avoided.

    Back in the old days with common sense as the guiding compass in life for every situation, everything was simple and complicated symptoms rarely existed.

    We are using digital artificial ways to heal the human frame when good old fashion common sense would tell us otherwise.

    There will be lessons to learn with the so called advanced intelligence that most currently seek, rely on and endorse above anything else in our scientific, evidence based world today.

  45. The Guardian – 20 March 2021

    Designer trainers costing £400 can now be bought for £10.

    Just to be clear – this is digital only. Yes we have a top well known designer making a digital virtual sneaker that can be worn in online worlds while gaming.

    “It is chunky, bubble-gum pink and sky blue shoe that would not look out of place in a robot’s orthotics clinic and can only be worn via augmented and virtual reality.”

    A fashion executive has said that in 5-10 years from now, a large proportion of revenue for fashion brands will come from digital products.

    Children are the large proportion of the subscribers for a huge gaming platform, where the company had a valuation this year which totalled $38 Billion. Yes you read correctly – BILLION

    So it makes sense that a fashion house got on the front foot and came up with virtual trainers that just happen to have a different price tag and never wear out, get dirty or need changing as we have outgrown them.

    Have we lost the plot or do we make out this is just a gaming thing and the kids will outgrow this stuff or that we are all very sensible and responsible, nothing more to say about this?

    What we need to be questioning is why we have virtual costumes making big bucks, digital artworks and NBA trading cards selling for hundreds and thousands of dollars?

    We must remind ourselves consistently that where there is a demand, we can expect the suppliers to create what we are asking for.

    Think about it – if we all just laughed off this crazy thing called designer footwear that is digital – aka fake and just an illusion, as it does not exist in our reality, these suppliers would have no business. But the truth is we want it and therefore we make the demand and they supply, as there is profit to be made.

    Gaming is huge business for those who profit from this and those that are on the bandwagon, subscribing, endorsing or championing the hobby, leisure or recreational past time also have something to gain or they would not do it.

    What would common sense have to say?
    What would your granny say about video gaming?

    How are we going to end up, if our life is currently consumed by video gaming or we are into buying these virtual outfits and footwear to play online gaming?

    There will be more and we could dismiss it as crazy or we could wake up and consider some serious questions – starting with how does digital clothing and shoes relate to real life?

  46. U.S. News – 7 July 2021

    1 in 20 college students has ‘Internet Gaming Disorder’ according to a new study.

    Researchers discovered that when young people get too hooked, it may trigger sleep difficulties, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. They found evidence of having fewer friends, being unhappy with social life – pointers to social isolation or loneliness, among students with Internet Gaming Disorder.

    3,000 American college students participated in this study between 2007 and 2015.

    Internet Gaming Disorder is a clinical condition defined by the compulsive use of electronics, both online and offline.

    The study author explained that like any addiction, to be considered a disorder, Internet Gaming must cause disturbances in daily life. For example – playing online until late in the night and then having difficulties to get up in the morning to go to class or to work, or simply skipping classes.

    The author also found that the behaviour was linked to a higher than normal risk for “feeling unrested when they wake up, being fatigued, feeling depressed and having social anxiety.

    90% of American households are connected to the Internet with teenagers and young adults among its biggest users.

    Late 1990s, researchers started looking into the potential downside of heavy Internet use.

    2013 – The American Psychiatric Association proposed the inclusion of Internet Gaming Disorder as an official diagnosis in its updated diagnostic manual. More details from the official DSM – 5 has been presented in this article by Simple Living Global.

    For the record – Internet Gaming Disorder is a relatively recent problem and they still have insufficient data and as with all research studies, there needs to be more and we have to wait.

    We are also told that it is important to know that not everyone using the Internet will end up developing an addiction. The example given is not all those who drink alcohol will end up an alcoholic.

    On this note – would it be wise to stop for a moment and consider if this example is a form of reductionism? We have the so-called leaders in their field telling us something that we accept but is it worth questioning? How about we visit the forensic article on this website called The Real Truth about Alcohol and then read the 250+ comments and all the relevant evidence – research studies confirming the real harm of alcohol to the human frame? Then take a deep breath and note that alcohol is a scientific proven poison. That means we – thee most intelligent species on earth consume a poison which society accepts as normal and legal.

    Who is defining what addiction is when it comes to alcohol?

    What if we totally removed drinking for a month or two and then see what withdrawal symptoms appear?

    Back to Internet Gaming Disorder – will it really work if we use therapy and counselling to motivate the person to change their behaviour?

    How about we dig deep and keep digging until we get to the root cause of WHY and HOW any person ends up addicted to the screen playing games for excess hours, every day?

    How about we get our researchers all focusing on this one thing? Getting out there, collating anecdotal evidence, getting on the streets, so to speak and finding out what happens, what happened and how did that person go into gaming?

    How about we start a different line of questioning and carry out observational studies too, real life and talk to the parents, the partners, the siblings, the friends and neighbours? Let’s find out more about what is really going on and let’s start with a big dose of honesty.

    Waiting for more research may be how we have always approached everything, but time is running out as things are getting worse and it’s all over the world.

    In the meantime, let’s get articles like this being presented in schools, so our children understand more and can then make their choices thereafter.

  47. Sky News – 15 September 2021

    When we have a real life story with the image of the victim, it somehow brings it home that this is really going on and we can no longer negate the serious-ness.

    The news headlines tell us there is a dramatic rise in online linked sexual crimes against children.

    78% rise in 4 years according to new data from research by children’s charity the NSPCC. They claim that the government’s plans to regulate social media “fall significantly short” when it comes to protecting children from preventable online abuse.

    A real life story about a teenager when she was 14 years old, which started with an interactive game in a virtual world. She met another player who claimed to be 16 but was at the time age 49. He had children of his own and so he knew the kind of things that teenagers talk about.

    Over time, they had a relationship online and arranged to meet. She was abducted in a forest, violence and sexual assault followed.

    We are told that this story is ‘becoming increasingly common’.

    We are demanding that social media platforms take responsibility and remove child abuse content and prevent young people from being groomed or exposed to harmful material, like pornography or self–harm images.

    Will hefty fines to failing firms work or will we ever get to block all the websites that we need to when there is such a demand from the masses for them?

    Will we ever have the power to impose on to senior managers of these companies and make them criminally liable for failing to protect children?

    The fact that after a prison sentence, this man created a new online persona and was back to his old behaviour and convicted once again, tells us a lot.

    The victim has said “It begins with these websites; it begins with these apps. It begins with the Internet, so I think they should be held accountable for part of this.”

    The first important point to note is this young 14 year old is now age 25.

    How can we not agree with her comment above saying websites and apps and the internet should be held accountable for their part in this. But is there more as she rightly says “part”?

    What else can we do and where did this all start?

    Is it ever going to be possible for proper regulation of the Internet?

    How are we going to raise awareness and education in schools?
    How do we plan to implement more child protection and is it that simple?

    Are these the type of questions we ought to be asking?

    This blog clearly presents much on the topic of video gaming and where it currently is in our world of distraction. Yes indeed, we all know that this form of engaging with a screen in a ‘virtual world’ has a knock on effect.

    The fact that this type of crime is now seen as a growing problem and there will be thousands more stories going under the radar that may never make it to a statistic.

    In our modern digital world, we have no idea who ‘other players’ are when we are playing an interactive game in a virtual world.

    Do we need to move away from all the obvious solutions and ask this question –
    What makes a teenager play online in a make believe world removing themselves from reality – the real life, face to face engaging and interacting, which is part of our natural state?

    What is going on for them inside and how are they really feeling that they move away from humans around them and create relationships with a screen in between?

    Could we get to the root cause of WHY and HOW any child, any age wants to engage in this form of distraction?

    Is it to numb what they are feeling?
    Is it a form of escape to bury what they are sensing?
    Is it a way to occupy their minds as life is boring at home?
    Is it a way to get some attention or control over their life?
    Is it what all their other friends do, so they join the bandwagon?
    Is this the new normal – social media, online gaming and cyberabuse”?

    Are they troubled or is something going on that we are not aware of?
    Are the parents or those who take care of them, too busy with other stuff?

    Have we explored every line of questioning while we wait for new regulations, campaigns to change the laws, more research data and more news stories such as this one?

  48. Talking to M – a woman working in the local community who moved from the Middle East with her husband and 2 children.

    She shared that they are learning English but not doing so great.

    The problem they have is video gaming addiction. M said they spend every moment after school and all weekends when awake on video games. Nothing gets done and they refuse to go out to the supermarket with her, walking in the park or helping with cooking and housework.

    She said her husband doesn’t know what to do and she never gets any time off as she is so busy with her job and running the house and cooking, cleaning and washing clothes.

    What was interesting is M told me that “all the children are doing video gaming” and this was not just about her 2 boys aged 13 and 15.

    Dear World

    Yet another real life story confirming that we actually do have a 911 when it comes to young teenagers addicted to their screens with video games.

    Next – how many parents, let alone the rest of us in this world have bothered to find out exactly what the video games are?

    How informed are we and up to date with the latest level of violence and abhorrent virtual reality online behaviour that goes on in the name of video gaming?

    Why do parents like M say that the kids are more stubborn, angry and aggressive since the obsession with video gaming?

    What is it about a game on a screen that gives rise to addictive behaviour, which then creates tension and problems in family life?

    Why are parents so scared with their teenagers that they feel they have no control or no way of stopping their behaviour?

    We all like to blame those in the gaming industry that come up with even more unreal stuff that removes gamers of all ages away from everyday life, in the name of entertainment or a bit of recreation (for the adults). But we forget those games are sold because we the customers buy them. That means there is a demand and then the supply comes. It is not the other way around. Forget this not.

    What we All need to be asking now is what happens to a child or young adult that they feel they need to escape and withdraw into a virtual world or an unreal setting that is void of human interaction or human living?

    In other words, we have a responsibility to engage and be a part of the human race in the real world, this world we all live in and need to face if we are to ever evolve as a species.

  49. University of Waterloo News – 13 April 2022

    Early research into the growing electronic sports (E-Sports) industry has highlighted a need for better coaching to prevent burnout among professional players.

    The study, conducted by the University of Waterloo, Canada, identified the following areas:

    Player Fatigue
    Mental Stress
    Peak Performance Conditions

    The study lead, Bader Sabtan said “they burn out because they spend long hours sitting at desks playing and training. It results in all kinds of problems, from mental health issues to back and wrist injuries.

    Young players practice 12 – 14 hours a day, 6 days a week.

    Professional esports fill stadiums with spectators as players, with average age of 18 – 20 compete at computers, while their games are shown on giant screens.

    2018 – a championship event had 100 million online viewers

    Players can earn more than $400,000 a year but rarely have careers that last beyond 3 or 4 years.

    Sabtan can personally relate as a few years ago he was spending 50 hours a week practicing to stay in the top 1% of an online battle arena video game. He says “the required sharpness, game knowledge and reaction speed are only achieved by practicing and repetition, so they just play the game and don’t have social lives.”

    Dear World

    While we wait for “in-depth research to improve coaching and player performance”, could we consider a few serious questions –

    What is the purpose of video gaming?
    What happens once the 3-4 year career is over?
    Why are we not learning that excess screen time has devastating consequences?
    Why are we as humans so enchanted by games that supposedly destroy ‘enemies’?

    For those that never make it and those that do – was it worth it?
    Can we get real and honest and observe how their lives turn out as they get older?

    Can we ask researchers to track the lives of those that peak in esports and see where they actually end up and more so, how their body is in terms of any ill health?

    Before we go championing yet another sport we have created for our entertainment and distraction, it would be a wise move to at least consider why on earth we behave in ways that actually harm the human frame.

  50. UPI Health News – 11 October 2022

    Playing video games can involve an adrenaline rush that affects the cardiovascular system in a manner similar to physical exertion, including raising blood pressure and heart rate.

    According to a new study, playing video games can trigger life threatening heart arrhythmias in certain vulnerable children.

    Researchers studied children and teenagers who suffered heart rhythm disturbances while playing video games. In many cases, the children suddenly blacked out, with some going into cardiac arrest.

    Experts stressed it is not clear how common such incidents might be.

    Co-author Dr. Daniel Sohinki – Cardiologist at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University said “Gaming is no longer just a pastime. In the last 20 years, it has evolved into a competitive “sport”. Individual players and teams compete in sponsored “esport” events that are streamed online or broadcast on ESPN and other channels, sometimes with huge cash prizes at stake”.

    Sohinki cites one case where the child suffered an arrhythmia after jumping up to celebrate a victory.

  51. The Guardian – 14 July 2023

    855 people have been referred to a clinic for video gaming addicts.

    The (NCGD) National Centre for Gaming Disorders, which had its first patient in 2020, was originally given NHS funding based on seeing 50 people a year. The specialist clinic in London has been treating 30 people a month, which is 7 times the anticipated demand.

    One third of the gamers receiving treatment said they spent money on “loot boxes”, gambling-style features that offer randomised rewards such as weapons or outfits for characters that cannot be “re-exchanged” for cash legitimately.

    Experts say these features, which have proved highly lucrative for video game firms, are normalising gambling behaviours in young people by offering the rush of rewards that can entrench addiction.

    Loot boxes have become increasingly common in gaming because they offer the games industry a source of continued revenue after the initial sale of the game.

    Industry revenue from loot boxes is projected to hit $20 billion by 2025.

    “The monetisation of gaming via loot box purchases and the advertising of such gambling like features in games is normalising gambling behaviours in young people.
    We need assurance that protective regulation of these products will be implemented. We must take online harms seriously.”
    Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones – Founder of NCGD

    Professor Sarah Mills – Loughborough University pointed to a series of recent studies that had added to the weight of evidence that showed a connection between loot boxes and problem gambling. She said “A game provides joy on Christmas day but parents often don’t know there are going to be requests for small amounts of money over and over again that could add up to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

    App stores used by phone users are increasingly offering games with gambling-style mechanics, such as slot machines.

    One reason that randomised rewards in games are not regulated as gambling is that, in theory, the returns are only digital and cannot be exchanged for currency.

    Certain games are particularly likely to be cited by addicts, according to analysis of treatment sessions.

    The clinic supports gamers and over half are children, as well as family members.

  52. Today is National Video Games Day in the U.S. but when it comes to video gaming, we all know that this $18 billion dollar industry is growing very fast and it comes from our demand.

    This means that us, the people, humanity or mankind – all the same are making the call for more of this type of screen entertainment.

    This forensic article and comments thereafter serve, as they let those that are ready to listen know that something is seriously not right when we have video gaming addiction in more and more young children.

    On that note – this is real life stuff.
    As the author of this comment, this article and this website, I have made it my life’s work to keep in touch with humanity. That means on the ground, on the streets, in the communities, towns and cities where I go and all travel on public transport because it keeps me tuned in to the ‘pulse’ of humanity. I am aware of what is going on simply because I talk to anyone and everyone and more so because people open up. Why is it that we talk to people we don’t know as such but feel we can?

    Local small business owner highly stressed and struggling being a single parent. I have heard bits but last week it got to a new level. WHY? New school year just started. Her 12 year old boy is addicted to video gaming and does not want to attend school. This has been going on for 4 years and her stress is she has been to social services, the doctor and the school authorities who say it is not their problem. So he hangs out at home and she has a constant battle to get him to go in for a few hours and then wants out again so he can get back to video gaming at home. Isolated and not interested in anything else.

    Local business owner – son addicted from age of 4 and now having nightmares, cannot sleep as the scary video games affect him so much. Constantly anxious and fearfull. Waiting list to see a private psychiatrist is so long that the parents do not have any clue what they need to do or can do while they wait for this appointment.

    With both cases, I made it very clear and delivered in full authority that video gaming is no different to a drug addiction, you need more of the same to get the feeling you want. Let us not pretend any longer when we all know that a hit of cocaine for someone and a kid getting angry, violent and aggressive if video gaming is stopped is the same.
    I added very simply that the gaming is same as drugs when it comes to the brain – a neurochemical reaction in the brain’s reward centre.

    This is not just 2 cases I have heard – this is the norm and that means we have made the abnormal normal and what we ought to say is –
    Houston we have a serious 911.

    How are these kids going to be as an adult population in years to come?

    Who are we blaming and where are we not taking RESPONSIBILITY?

    Questions like this must be addressed now and championing on this designated day that it is totally acceptable to play all day and not feel bad is not how we should be addressing the world.

    Next – see link

    This gives us a short history of video games, naming gaming consoles, video game franchises and a few statistics, which include:

    31% play video games everyday
    66% play games on mobile phones when they are bored
    41% when watching TV
    39% before sleep
    34% on the toilet
    20% when eating
    21% during breaks at work

    A reminder that it is not just children as quoted in my real life examples above but the adult population.

    Have we bothered to stop long enough to question that two thirds are playing from boredom?

    WHY are we Bored with Life – read our valuable article and answer the questions presented.

    How is it possible to watch TV and play video games at the same time?

    How does this then affect our ability to focus and concentrate in other aspects of life?

    If this is our behaviour, would these movements become a momentum and that means because we repeat it, this then becomes our foundation? Is this making sense?

    Next –
    If we are video gaming just before we sleep, what will be the QUALITY of our sleep?

    Are these people that live in this way, those that seek solutions or have problems sleeping?

    Are these the gamers that do fall asleep but struggle to wake up and feel constantly tired at work and the only thing that seems to stimulate them to stay awake is video gaming during breaks at work?

    Next –
    How are we treating our body which is highly intelligent, when we shove food in our mouth at the same time as video gaming?

    Where is our focus and what have we made normal if this is going on in daily life?

    Are those that do video gaming on the toilet just carrying out a body function and because there is no regard for the human frame, so to speak, it leaves them unaware of having the much needed connection to the body in a moment like using the toilet, where there is an intimate space with their body to just be with themselves and not have an outer distraction?

    Have we considered any of this before we go seeking fixes and solutions to a problem that once did not exist, as distractions to stimulate our bodies in this way was not a demand in the past?

    What if our world reported on awareness articles like this today on Video Games Day – how would that be received as a simple wake up call to bring awareness to ALL of us and not just those that are doing the playing?

    Let’s get real, our behaviours affect everyone even if we would not like to consider this as it suits us not to.

    1. This follow up comment the very next day after I posted some real life stories will be of no surprise to some.

      In my own neighbourhood, new school term has started and parents cannot get the child to get up and go to school. Seriously fighting and arguing and all because the kid wants to stay home and be with the addiction of video games. It has overtaken normal life as we used to have it. That means we no longer have the movements, the behaviours, that warrant school education as important.

      Back in the old days this did not exist. School was not negotiable.
      Parents pandering to a child begging them to go to school and the child is the one calling the shots and winning every time is not how we can continue in society. Have we considered – how is this child going to be a teenager and young adult?

      As I shared with a friend today we need to call this addiction to video gaming a DISEASE because that is what it is. Let’s state the facts, keep being honest and wake up to our blindness that we have created a demand and the suppliers are just there giving us more and more of what we seek AND this has serious consequences — children refusing to go to school because they are addicted to video games.

      I just remembered another business owner telling me about both his teenage sons never leave their house as addicted to video gaming.

      How much more real life anecdotal evidence do we need or are we going to do our usual – wait for robust scientific based research studies to tell us what is going on in our homes, communities, towns and cities? It is everywhere and we like to think it is ok as just a bit of fun or play time, but is it really if we have got this going on under our nose literally?

  53. Australian Federal Police – 3 December 2023

    Holiday Season Warning:
    Extremists Infiltrating Online and Gaming platforms to recruit young Australians

    Attempts to recruit young people through popular chat and online forums with a recent increase in the use of gaming platforms, with some extremists creating their own platforms to disseminate propaganda, network, recruit and generate funds online.

    Some of the games created by extremists feature virtual worlds where players must adhere to the rules and objectives of the simulation fitting a particular extremist ideological narrative.

    In recent years, extremists have created violent content within popular gaming platforms, which include simulations depicting a recreation of a real life terrorist attack, aiming to expose gamers to violent ideologies, normalise violence and blur the reality of users, allowing them to undertake criminal acts within the game.

    The AFP is aware of instances where individuals have re-created or depicted historical scenarios, related to their ideology in online gaming platforms.

    One gaming platform cited in this news story has over 65 million users on a daily basis with 45% of them being 12 years of age or under. The example of the infiltration of this gaming platform is to push a political or ideological cause to host gatherings and rallies. In some instances, some players have resorted to violent means, attacking users with opposing views through the gaming platform.

    When the online extremist community encourages and validates the young person, their interests and their skills, it can become socially and emotionally reinforcing.

    Some commonalities that have been identified in recent investigations include diagnosis of a neuro-diverse or mental health condition, being raised in a disruptive, unstable or harmfull environment and experiencing social problems throughout their school life.

    In the last 2 years, the Australian Federal Police have experienced an increase in young people being investigated across several Australian state and territory jurisdictions, with children aged 12 adopting violent extremist ideologies.

    “With more than 3.22 BILLION ACTIVE GAMERS ONLINE around the world, these extremists are attempting to target a significant part of the global population to spread their views and propaganda with the aim of recruiting young people across popular platforms and games with the aim of encouraging them to adopt an extremist or radicalised view.
    These extremist groups and individuals are using these gaming and online platforms as a mode to transmit violent material and propaganda, across a range of extremist ideologies.
    The AFP is aware that some of these extremists are building and releasing games that really are just a trojan horse to promote their world view, blurring the reality of young users with the aim to radicalise them.
    We know that gaming and online chat and other platforms are being infiltrated by extremists, so we are urging parents and guardians to keep a close watch on who your children may be engaging with online.”
    AFP Assistant Commissioner Krissy Barrett

  54. World Heath Organization – Safe Listening in Video Gaming & Esports – 2023

    $268 BILLION USD consumer spending on gaming and projected to continue rising (Statista, 2023)

    3 BILLION gamers in the world, which included casual, hobbyist and professional types of gaming on a range of different platforms, including mobile, console and computers.

    1.5 billion gamers in Asia – the largest gaming market.

    50% of European and U.S. populations identifying as gamers.

    Gamers can now access gameplay 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on a variety of devices and platforms.
    1.7 BILLION gamers regularly participating on these platforms.

    SUBSTANTIAL UPSURGE in video game consumption with gamers reporting that they play online games for more than 8.5 hours per week.

    Trends suggest average weekly playing times and binge-gaming are on the RISE.

    $1.4 BILLION Esports revenue

    Projected to be a multi-billion dollar industry from 2026.

    Competitive Esports events exist as both in-person and online events and can attract many spectators.

    100 million viewers worldwide for a world championship final over the entire event in 2019.

    The popularity of online gaming and Esports is such that an entire new way to consume gaming has been created, in the form of video game “livestreaming” which refers to a real time social media experience where one or a group of gamers publicly stream their video game session to an active online audience.

  55. Sky News – 28 March 2024

    NHS treating hundreds of children as young as 13 for gaming disorders, including some who have been driven to attack their own family.

    The number of people playing video games increased massively during pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 – but so did the risk of addiction.
    Campaigners have previously warned about the dangers of certain modern gaming tropes.

    745 people have been referred to the National Centre for Gaming Disorders since it opened in October 2019 – the only clinic of its kind in the UK.

    It has dealt with youngsters who play video games for upwards of 14 hours a day, some avoiding school to do so.

    The NHS said there had been cases of children becoming so addicted to gaming that relationships with relatives and friends had broken down, and that some had become violent.

    It has been made an official disease by the World Health Organisation which said it can harm “personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning”.

    Not only are gamers themselves being treated by the clinic, but so are family members – and the numbers are rising.

    People with a gaming disorder receiving help increased by more than half from 2021 to 2022, and relatives getting treatment went up by 46%.

    The average age of a gamer seen by the clinic is 17 – with some patients needing more than a year of treatment.

    It is becoming clearer every day that the pandemic lockdowns have created so much more harm than was first envisioned.

    The lockdowns gave us permission to be idle, to check out more, to allow society to take care of our needs, to allow ourselves to relinquish any responsibility we may have had.

    The gaming world is a $MULTI-BILLION dollar industry and the only ones benefitting from these video games are the manufacturers.

    Of course, it is never others who are culpable here.

    We are the ones making the choices and we are the ones allowing our children and youngsters to play these video games.

    We are the ones allowing their behaviour to deteriorate and even become violent.

    We are the ones allowing them to check out of this world and join the world of fantasy.

    Is it possible that we allow our youth to check out and play these games so we, the adults, have our check out time?

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