Is gaming an addiction? According to the UK Interactive Entertainment association (Ukie), with support from studies completed by both the UN and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, there’s a severe “lack of evidence” concerning video-game based addiction. That’s at least how they downplayed it to British politicians earlier this year.
However in a private hearing, the BBC reports that two self-confessed and recovering gaming addicts spoke out about their experiences with the condition to UK politicians, stressing just how it had affected their lives, and what should be done to tackle the potential problem within society.
When Matus Miker, was asked whether this should be something gamer's parents dealt with and set time limits for, or something the government should get involved with, he stated that: “parents need to talk to their children, as each one is different, but I’d say that three hours [gaming] at most per day. More than that is when it starts affecting you”.
James Good also an ex-addict, informed the parliamentary representatives that he’d spent a total of 32 hours gaming in one go, without a break while studying at university. A decision which had eventually lead to him dropping out of his course entirely and having to battle through depression as a consequence.
James reached out to Game Quitters for help, an online community and forum that tackles gaming addiction. It also features a, somewhat black and white, interactive quiz you can take to see if you’re addicted to games yourself. Or if you’re a parent, to see if your children are too. There's also further resources available to those looking to rid themselves of the addiction.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a hearing about gaming, if that age-old argument didn’t rear its ugly head once more. When asked whether the current increasing rate of knife crime in the UK was linked to the ever more dramatic graphic violence depicted in video-games, James responded that he didn’t see any correlation at all.