Video game addiction: The difference between a hobby and a disorder

Posted at 6:30 AM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 10:14:32-04

The World Health Organization recently classified video gaming as a possible addiction, but not everyone agrees.

Jacob Parker is making money as a video gamer who sometimes plays up to 12 hours a day.

"It's producing over $10,000 a year in revenue," Parker said. "I'm now using it as a secondary source of income."

Parker streams his gaming sessions online on Twitch TV, an app that allows gamers to broadcast their sessions while interaction with viewers. He got into gaming after a motorcycle accident left him bedridden, so for Parker gaming is a positive tool, not a disorder.

"It [gaming listed as a disorder] is absolutely wrong," Parker said. "We have video gaming that has proven in research to decrease stress and cure anxiety and depression."

Dave Marlon, CEO of Solutions Recovery, believes there is a fine line between hobby and addiction, but those who find themselves making negative choices from too much gaming may have a problem.

"If you're gaming too much and you're losing your job, or it is hurting relationships. We are looking for other factors in your life that this is harming," Marlon said.

Both did agree that it is up to family or parents of the gamers to help set boundaries.

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For parents, Marlon suggests limiting the amount of time playing video games and instead suggest other activities.

Parker said he uses his day job as a teacher to unplug from technology.