In June, the World Health Organization recognized video game addiction as a mental health disorder. It described the addition to digital and video gaming as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior” that becomes so extensive that it ‘takes precedence over other life interests.”
In a dzBB interview on Sunday, IT expert Jerry Liao said gaming addiction may even worsen in the future given how technology is developing; he points out to VR aka virtual reality where the player himself is already in the game.
But he is quick to make a clarification: gaming is not bad. It actually has benefits — it helps make studying more fun, and helps with critical thinking. “Ang masama ay yun labis na paglalaro,” he said.
Thankfully, not all is lost. According to Liao, there are always ways to help avoid gaming addiction.
1. Technology break. Make sure there are hours in the day — or certain rooms in the house — where gadgets are a no-no for everybody. For instance, uphold a rule where no gadget is allowed inside the dining room, so that when having breakfast, lunch, merienda or dinner, everybody including the parents are offline.
2. Be serious about family time. To help get kids off the screen, spend quality time with them. Make family time non-negotiable — meaning even parents must be held down to it. Go out to the mall, to the park, to the grocery, or even to church. Show them how interesting the world is and it will make gaming less attractive to them.
3. Check the game’s ratings. Similar to movies, games also have ratings, which are unfortunately overlooked by many. The entertainment Software Rating Board evaluates games according to age. Check the ratings to see if the games you’re buying for kids are age-appropriate.
“Do not allow technology to control your life. Learn how to control technology,” he reminded as the interview ended.