Gaming industry should work at tackling addiction, too

Teens playing computer games.
Teens playing computer games. PHOTO: ST FILE

The World Health Organisation's decision to officially recognise gaming disorder as a disease should not be a surprise; it was only a matter of time (S. Korean game firms slam WHO's move to label gaming disorder as disease, May 27).

At the core of dealing with the addictive potential of gaming is the conflict of interests between game developers and parents of young gamers.

Citing relevant chapter and verse of international charter will not shed light on developing healthy games for children to play, just as classifying gaming as a disease by describing its symptoms won't provide a cure.

What the industry should do is acknowledge the addictive power such games possess over malleable and impressionable young minds that are easily bored when engaging in unchallenging tasks.

There needs to be time-outs built into every game or gaming system that reward taking a break, so that playtime does not turn into dysfunctional loafing.

Would game developers oblige?

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)