Games addiction cases rising

Counsellors are concerned by the rising number of those ‘addicted’ to video games.

As computer addiction isn’t a recognised medical condition, some have called on the games industry to offer addicted players counselling and advice.

The games industry should research the addictive impact of games playing on the health and social welfare of players, while offering counselling support for those who are adversely affected,” Phillip Hodson from The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy told the BBC.

Counsellor Peter Smith added: Most of the people that are getting into game addiction difficulties tend to be in their teenage years and early 20s.”

As that generation moves through and others follow, I think the problem is going to get bigger.”

Smith works at Broadway Lodge in Somerset which offers paid-for residential treatment for computer addiction. However GPs can prescribe treatment in serious cases.

UKIE chairman Andy Payne said research is key, hinting that UKIE or another official body could provide aid in the future.

The word ‘addiction’ is quite emotive,” he said.

If we’re talking about clinical addiction – proven to be something that people want as a dependency – then we have to look at the evidence and the research.”

If people are finding they’ve got problems in their lives and we can help solve those problems, then we should be able to do something positive about it."

Coincidentally it is ‘gaming week’ on BBC Radio 1, which ran the original story.

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