The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified gaming addiction as a mental health condition. Here’s why The Never Ending game is more relevant than ever now.
When the games stop being fun
The third book of The Plano Adventures series, The Never-Ending Game, touches on the subject of gaming addiction. In The Never Ending Game, our beloved protagonists – Professor Plano, Zed, and Zee – get sucked into the world of games! Poor Zed can’t keep his eyes off his game because of how fun it is.
For us parents, this situation may hit a little too close to home. We’ve probably seen our little ones clutching on to their phones for hours on end trying to move on to the next level of their game. They may tell themselves “just one more level”, but we know that it never really stops, does it?
While games are fun and are a good way to relieve us of our stress from school or work, too much gaming can be disruptive. Spending too much time on games can disturb our daily activities like family time, work, and spending time outdoors. It also affects our sleep, physical activity, and diet.
The WHO classified ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health disease in 2018. The disorder has been described to exhibit the following symptoms:
- A lack of control over gaming.
- Prioritizing gaming over other things in life.
- Continuous gaming behaviour in spite of the negative effects. Some negative effects include significant damage to personal, social, familial relationships, or to other important areas of functioning.
This gaming behaviour is normally seen over a duration of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be given. However, the required duration may decrease if the symptoms exhibited are severe.
What can you do about it?
If you notice any of your loved ones exhibiting the above symptoms, you may want to consult your nearest healthcare professional. Gaming disorder can negatively impact many different aspects of our lives – from relationships to our physical and mental health.
For parents, if your child constantly spends his/her time on their devices playing games, it’s important to create an honest conversation about excessive screen time. Let your child know of the importance of having the power to control the time they spend playing their games.
If you are interested in purchasing The Never-Ending Game, or any of the other 4 books in The Plano Adventures book series from Singapore at Kinokuniya, Times Bookstores, and at Popular. Alternatively, buy them online on Amazon or Book Depository.