97% of children play video games*
2% are addicted

The recent story of an Adelaide mother who is struggling with her 17 year old son’s addiction to the online fantasy game Runescape probably rang alarm bells with many parents who suspect or know their teenager is in front of a screen far too often and for far too many hours at a time.

Research shows that in America 97% of all children play video games and 2% are addicted* . According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in the USA 25% of players are under 18 years of age and 60% are male.

The American Psychiatric Association will add “internet use disorder” to the research appendix of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in May 2013. Dr King, researcher at the Adelaide University School of Psychology said “this is the first time internet-related disorders will be acknowledged in the DSA.”

Writing in the latest issue of the Royal Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Dr King confirmed that mental health experts are debating whether to define the illness as “internet addiction” or “video gaming addiction”.

The 5 tell tale signs of online gaming addic