Is video gaming a true addiction? That is a question being debated by professionals worldwide.
Dr. Linda Mintle, a licensed marriage and family therapist and best-selling author, says Internet gaming is looked at differently by national and international health organizations.
Mintle recalled the story of a 23-year-old man who died of a heart condition while playing video games in an internet cafe in Taiwan. There were more than 30 gamers playing around the man, and no one noticed what had happened to him for more than nine hours.
“And there’s just story after story like that because of the preoccupation and the all-consuming power that some of these games have on some people,” Mintle told CBN News.
She also gave three signs to look for if someone has a gaming problem.
1. Have you been struggling with gaming for more than a year? Are you preoccupied with gaming? Does it take precedence over everything else in your life?
2. Does your preoccupation have negative consequences with your life? Is it interfering?
3. Is gaming somehow causing you personal distress? Is it impairing your life in any way?
Mintle also had some advice for parents whose children play video games. Just as with other digital media, they really have to pay attention to the number of hours children are playing.