Video Gaming Problems

What’s a gaming problem?

Video gaming becomes a problem when it negatively impacts any area of your life. 

It doesn’t matter how many hours you play. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer Minecraft, FIFA, Call of Duty, or something else. Nor does it matter how you play: on your phone, computer, console, or VR set. 

Someone with a gaming problem — also known as gaming disorder or video gaming addiction — becomes more preoccupied with gaming over time. Like any progressive addiction, gaming disorder takes over real-life activities and obligations.

Rates of problematic gaming have risen since COVID-19. While gaming disorder is not an official diagnosis in the DSM-5, it is an increasing public health concern for all ages. An estimated 4% of U.S. gamers, or 8.6 million people in the United States, are addicted to the games they play.

How do I know I have a problem?

Common signs include:

Where can I find support?

In-person and virtual meetings can offer guidance and support. Some are for individuals struggling with their gaming. Others are for parents or loved ones.

Where can I find treatment?

Yes! In fact, many clinicians lead or receive continuing education through MACGH.

Call or email providers directly for more information:

Frequently Asked Questions

While teenage boys are often perceived as being most at-risk, anyone can develop a video gaming addiction.

Recent data indicates 25-34-year-olds are among the most susceptible. Those with autism, ADHD, or depression also have an increased likelihood.

In partnership with the Evergreen Council on Gaming and Health, MACGH has launched Foundations in Gaming Disorder, the world’s first fully accredited, on-demand training for screening, diagnosing, and treating video gaming disorder (gaming addiction).

Three distinct tracking tracks allow participants of all experience levels to customize their learning.

Learn more at Foundations in Gaming Disorder.

MACGH also regularly offers continuing education trainings on emerging topics in gaming disorder. See the Trainings page.

Establishing safe, healthy practices around video gaming and screen use is critical.

Read on our 10 tips for parents and caregivers on video games.

You can also check out the following resources:

Child holding game controller

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