Compulsive Digital Gaming: An Emerging Mental Health Disorder in Children (2018)

Indian J Pediatr. 2018 Sep 12. doi: 10.1007/s12098-018-2785-y.

Singh M1.


Excessive digital gaming is emerging as a mental health disorder because youngsters are losing control of their lives by wasting their time by indulging in online multiplayer games. The popularity of the games can be gauged by the fact that India’s online gaming market of US $360 million is expected to grow to $ 1 billion by 2021. Video gaming is an obsessive compulsive disorder. The players enjoy creating and building relationships with other online characters, which provides a virtual community feeling at the expense of one-to-one social interactions and real life bonding. In due course of time, the players are preoccupied or “hooked” to the games and display mood swings like irritability, restlessness, and aggressive behavior when they are denied the playing gadgets. Realizing the multifarious health hazards of digital gaming, WHO has recently classified it as a mental health disorder in the 11th revision of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) so that it is accorded the state health benefits for its prevention and treatment. The technology is both a boon as well as a bane, the option is with us. It is important to avoid all obsessions or compulsions in life in order to follow the philosophy of “middle path”.

KEYWORDS: Behavioral addiction; Deaddiction; Digital gaming; Internet gaming; Obsessive compulsive disorder

PMID: 30209737

DOI: 10.1007/s12098-018-2785-y