The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently included ‘gaming disorder’ in their International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an officially recognised illness. TIGA made the following comments following the WHO’s decision.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“The UK video games industry is economically important, creating high skilled jobs in a creative export focused industry. Games themselves bring enjoyment, engagement and entertainment. Games can promote numerous psychological benefits to millions of people. Games can be used for education, training and business as well as for fun.
“However, anything can be done to excess. Everything should be done in moderation – including playing video games.
“The Government should carry out research to identify the prevalence of the problem and ensure that those who play games excessively and who need medical assistance receive help from the NHS. The Government should also commission further research to ascertain appropriate time limits for playing games. At present, this is unclear. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health suggests that it is ‘impossible’ to recommend age appropriate time limits, instead urging parents to ‘approach screen time based on the child’s development age [and] individual need.’ Yet players and parents need reliable and actionable information to make decisions about gaming time.
“Games developers and publishers will want to work with the UK Government to identify the extent of the problem and potential solutions to keep players safe.
“For example, efforts could be made by platform owners and companies operating online game to enable players and/or their parents or guardians to set time limits when playing a game and send reminder messages when the time limit is approached.
“Platform owners and companies operating online games could also keep a record of time spent by players playing each game and send periodic reminders (e.g. weekly) of use to players. TIGA will continue to explore actions with its members that will enable players to enjoy video games responsibly and healthily.”
Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:
“Video games bring many benefits. As well as being fun and entertaining, video games can be used to promote education and learning, enhance skills and training and improve health and wellbeing. The industry is also economically important and creates and sustains thousands of highly skilled jobs.
“Everything, including video games, should be played in moderation. Parents and players need information about playing safely. TIGA provides such information here: https://tiga.org/about-tiga-and-our-industry/consumer-advice. TIGA also encourages games businesses to publish consumer advice information.”
More information on the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases can be found here.