World Health Organization to recognize gaming disorder

A Nintendo video game controller. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

(WLUK) -- Spending too much time playing video games could be considered a disorder in 2018, that's according to the World Health Organization.

Step inside Mojo's, a video game store in Ashwaubenon, and you'll likely find a variety of games and customers.

"Gaming is such a general pursuit, that you got the kid, you've got the grown ups. It covers a little bit of everything," said George Maglio.

He's the general manager of the store. He started playing video games as a kid.

"When I was younger, I might put in a couple of hours a day. Now having kids, I might put in a couple of hours a week," Maglio said.

The World Health Organization says spending too much time with a controller could be considered a disorder and recognized as such if gaming is continuous or repetitive and noticeable over at least a one year period.

How much is too much? The World Health Organization says that addictive behavior would mean gaming is more important than your personal and social life.

"It wasn't surprising to me when I saw and heard that this had come out. There's been some research that's been done in this area and mental health experts have been studying this a little bit," said Lisa Schubring.

She's a therapist for Prevea behavioral care. She says parents should have a limit on how much time children spend with technology.

"No more than two hours a day maximum and you have to consider that they are using electronics in school to some degree as well. So, that also counts," she said.

Schubring adds, adults addicted to video games could be more of a challenge.

"Because, obviously they're grown ups, they get to do things how they want to do them but it's fair for somebody, a significant other, a parent, a boss, to express concern if it is interfering with daily functioning," she said.

Schubring says it's important for kids and adults to balance work and play.

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