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Gaming addiction must be taken seriously says World Health Organisation

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According to the World Health Organisation ‘Gaming Disorder’, or addiction to video games, can now be classified as a potentially debilitating addiction. The proliferation of smartphones has led to mounting worry, especially for parents and carers in charge of children.

So, where is this worry coming from? The market certainly indicates an increase in the use of video games. The Sunday Times reported that “game sales in the UK hit $3.4bn last year – nearly as much as music and video combined”.

The large and growing proportion of British people who use smartphones means that many more have access to some form of electronic game.

Games like ‘Candy Crush’ have hooked masses of smartphone owners and attracted a bigger audience to electronic games. It seems just as common that a commuter plays an electronic phone game as reads a newspaper in 2018. No longer are games mainly the preserve of teenagers.

This has transformed the typical audience that games developers cater to and led to more mass-market games primarily aimed at other age groups.

So with games manufacturers now targeting a range of age groups, and with electronic games more popular than ever, are they an issue in modern Britain?

China and South Korea already have laws limiting the use of video games and some believe it’s only a matter of time until Britain follows suit.

The new definition of ‘Gaming Disorder’ as a harmful addiction will certainly see it more seriously by legislating bodies and by parents. 

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