We all know someone who spends a little too much time on video games. It may be the little ones who always want to play that game on your phone, the teenagers with the Xbox or even your adult friends on Candy Crush. Video games are now part of our culture.
Across all demographics, two out of three Australians play video games.
When you think about the variety of platforms and games on the market, there really is something for everyone. What then do we consider to be “too much gaming”.
In 2022 the World Health Organisation will include “gaming disorder” in their new disease classifications. This isn’t based on how many hours a week but instead on three main criteria:
- Losing control over gaming: not able to sensibly choose when and how long
- Prioritising gaming: choosing to game over almost all other activities, interests and tasks
- Gaming regardless of effects: choosing to game even at the expense of damaging work, relationships, family, school and health.
While the above is a technical guideline, less than one per cent of the population fall into this disorder category based on 12 months of continual signs.
Not everyone agrees with this “disorder” and there are strong arguments about technological and generational change.
So disorders and extreme cases aside, what is an acceptable time gaming?
Recent data has shown that someone who games as a pastime would on average spend 6-8 hours per week gaming. That being said, those who consider this their primary hobby may spend up to 20 hours per week.
Like it or not, gaming is a sport. Esports are massive and this “sport” is growing in popularity daily.
Many games now are social in nature and require communication and teamwork. There are positives aspects in these dynamics.
Ultimately gaming is a hobby and activity just like any other. It is up to you to determine what is an appropriate amount of time for you or your children to spend gaming.
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